|Allison and her daughter Lexie 18 June 2010|
Allison is a very strong-willed and beautiful career woman, with many promotions through the ranks as an officer in the Army. Soon she will become a Lt. Colonel, but that pretty incredible accomplishment pales in comparison to that child in her arms. Although Allison has been married before, she is not married right now, and she must have been paying close attention to that biological clock that many of us women are aware of: soon she would no longer be able to bear a child.
She tried to conceive this way a while back, but she was unsuccessful. Norma Jean told me in a conversation with her not long before Lexie was conceived that Allison would give it one more try, and if she didn't conceive, she would turn to adoption. Norma Jean, Pete (my brother-in-law) and I were dubious about the wisdom of conception this way, with a high-powered career woman for a mother and no father. We discussed this, all of us, on the phone a few times, and I was just not sure this was a good move.
But nobody stands in Allison's way for long: when she makes up her mind to do something, she follows it to the end. And guess what? She did conceive! One little egg was fertilized with one little donor sperm, and Alexandra Petra Stewart was begun. Allison had a completely normal and complications-free pregnancy until a few weeks ago, when she began to go into labor six weeks early.
She was put into the hospital and the doctors figured that bed rest and some drugs to slow down the delivery would give the baby more time in the womb, but it was not to be. Lexie wanted to be born, and she came into the world six weeks early on June 18. She was 5 pounds, 5 ounces, which makes me wonder what size she would have been if carried to term!
All is well, Allison has been discharged and Lexie will be sent home to join her mother in a week or so. She will remain in the NICU (natal intensive care unit) until the doctors are sure her lungs are sufficiently developed. She is having some periods of apnea that should disappear once she gains some strength.
Norma Jean and Pete are thrilled. Much more so than they thought they would be. They were on an extended motorcycle trip during this time and checked into a hotel a few nights ago. Pete got on line and asked Norma Jean in a trembling voice if she wanted to see a picture of her beautiful granddaughter, and they both cried over the Facebook pictures that Allison shared with all of us. That's where I snagged the picture.
No matter how this person was conceived and brought into the world, that little life will be loved and cherished with a full cadre of family members who will bring their love, hopes and desires into her world. We already love her immoderately. And we have always loved her mother.