Meeting Genesee

Welp, the situation took a dramatic turn! Mom finally convinced herself that she simply had to hang out at the hospital for an uneventful few weeks until a routine c-section would be scheduled between weeks 35-37. But suddenly, in the middle of the 33rd week, just five days after mom became a Mayo Rochester antepartum patient, the dreaded phone call came. At 7:04 a.m. on Wednesday, July 26, Mom informed Dad that she had experienced vaginal bleeding (as a result of blowing her nose in the bathroom) and was being rushed to the operating room. (Thank goodness Mom was surrounded by AWESOME nurses and doctors!) Dad responded, “Okay honey. Good luck. I’ll be right there.” But really, we were at home, two hours away. As we quickly packed the car to head to Rochester for the longest 91-mile drive ever, the doctors efficiently and confidently prepped mom with a pep talk, a catheter, intravenous therapy, and general anesthesia. Then, as mom drifted off to sleep, the surgeons made an incision in her lower abdomen and pulled out my baby sister three short minutes later, at 7:15 a.m.

After being sewn back together, mom returned to consciousness around 9:15 a.m. and numbly asked, “Is she alive?! Am I alive?!” Upon hearing the doctors respond “yes” to both questions, mom instantly felt the excruciating pain of an expeditious cesarean section, endured under just general anesthesia. Fifteen minutes and several doses of morphine later, Dad and I arrived at mom’s bedside in a state of disbelief and concern. But after being reassured that mom and baby should recover well, we were escorted to another bright and busy room where the three of us became four of us.

This was the day I officially became a big brother; I even have a certificate to prove it.

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Although my sis and I were both born via emergency c-section, with a full head of black hair, and immediately sent to the NICU, there are several things that set us apart:

  • Sister is a girl. (I’m a boy.)
  • Sister was born almost 7 weeks early. (I was one week late; a true dilly-dallyer as Dad often calls me.)
  • Sister weighed only 4 lbs and 11 oz and measured 18 inches at birth. (I was bigger! 7 lbs, 5 oz and 21 inches.)
  • Sister was born in Minnesota, a different state than me. (I’m a Wisconsinite.)
  • Sister didn’t have a name until a couple days after she arrived. Apparently, my name suggestions (“Cuckoo Clock” or “Apple Surprise”) did not stick.

Eventually, sissy-butt became known as Genesee Jaydeigh Goodenough (pronounced JEN-eh-see JAY-dee). Although Google will tell you that Genesee means “Beautiful Valley,” the name is actually a connection to our maternal family. Once upon a time, my Aunt Nay Nay (Helen Renee) lived in a southeastern Wisconsin town named Genesee and my Nana Florence would always say that the trick to remembering how to spell it was to combine the names of Papa Florence (GENE) and Aunt Cha Cha (ChelSEE). Plus, the initials of Genesee’s first and last name (GG) are like “Gigi,” the nickname that Nana Florence gave to my mom when my cousin Brooklyn was born. Jaydeigh, on the other hand, derives from my dad’s nickname “JD,” which stands for “Joel Duane” (the first names of Dad and Grandpa Goodenough). And so, her middle name celebrates family too, by preserving our paternal roots!

My first impressions of Genesee are as follows:

  • She’s really furry.
  • She has long fingers.
  • She’s strong.
  • She’s not much for conversation… doesn’t even cry, but she is quite the grunter and squeaker!
  • She is loved.
  • And as you’ll hear in the below musical tribute (dedicated by Auntie Cha Cha), the world is a “better place” since she came along.

Welcome to the world, Genesee Jaydeigh Goodenough!

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