First born children typically seem to be especially resilient – perhaps chosen especially for that role. They are the guinea pigs, the lab assignment, the hands on training for those who have jumped into parenthood. Firstborns often are strong willed, bright and determined – qualities which enable them to train two inexperienced and clueless adults in the proper care and feeding of children. Emily handled that role with skill and finesse!
Don and I eagerly anticipated the birth of our first child, wondering in those pre-ultrasound days if we’d have a daughter or a son. Don was sure it was a boy and referred to the growing baby as little “Sheide” after Gary Sheide, BYU’s outstanding quarterback of the 1974 season. I thought we were having a girl, but really just wanted to get that whole labor and delivery thing out of the way. Fear of the unknown was intense.
So after a Relief Society Homemaking meeting on April 2, 1975, feeling like I would never get comfortable again, I vocally listed my complaints, pains, concerns, and frustration.
That must have been just what I needed, because less than 24 hours later we were the picture of happiness – or at least relief!
The next day life looked great.
Utah Valley Hospital in the 1970’s was an absolute baby machine. Health precautions were strict – Don had to put on a gown before he was allowed to hold Emily. And the only people who could visit other than the dad, were grandparents who were allowed only one visit during my 3 day stay in the hospital.
We left the hospital on April 6, 1975 and went home to our one-bedroom basement apartment where Emily began her training sessions with us. We had a lot to learn, but she was a great teacher covering such topics as sleepless nights, projectile spitting/throwing up, and muffling a newborn’s cries so as not to disturb the upstairs neighbors!
Thirty-four years have passed since those days in Provo, and we’re still proud and in awe of our first born child and only daughter. Thanks for the continuing education. Current classes are a lot more fun than those prerequisites you put us through, and we look forward to many more semesters under your tutelage.