Monday, March 30, 2009

Baby's First Bath

It may look like she's not enjoying it, but she actually quite likes the water. She may have just been a little peeved at the large audience we had for such a private moment. Assuming that's the case, it's a good thing she doesn't know about blogs yet.

Clayton is a natural.
Here she is in her little ducky towel from aunt Alison and family.

We set her on the bed to diaper her newly clean self, only to have her christen the area. Nice. Lucky thing for the two towels. Ya- Eleanor is going to really love this blog some day.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How It All Went Down: Eleanor Edition

Warning: Hospital details ahead. If that isn't your thing feel free to ignore this post. I'll try to keep it on the less graphic side. This is mainly for my journaling, so I will not be upset if you skip on to the pictures.
P.S. I am typing this with one hand- as little Eleanor sleeps like a champ if she's being held. Put her down? Not so much.

So. Late one night on March 11th I was working on painting bins to go under our changing table. Clayton had taken two Nyquil and gone to bed early as he had slept poorly all week. I was happily mixing paint and watching HGTV. I had just enjoyed a ridiculously unhealthy (but so happy) snack of chocolate Haagen Dazs ice cream and a chocolate cupcake around 10:30 pm. At almost exactly 11 pm I got up to get a different paintbrush. As I stood up from the couch my water broke. Not sure how anyone can mistake that for something else. I guess not everyone has it go so dramatically though. I stood there like a moron for a few seconds trying to wrap my head around the idea. "Really? Now?" I truly thought it would be at least a few more days, if not a week. Then I thought, "Oh, poor Clayton. I have to wake him up when he's just gotten to sleep. " Also- I really wanted to take a shower. Which is something they advise against as labor can start fast once your water breaks. However, this happened to be a day when I had stayed in sweats all day working on projects, and hadn't found a minute to shower. I figured it was worth the risk. So I go in and flip on the lights like a mom to a teenage son. He immediately asks what's wrong and I tell him. "Really?" I know, me too. He is ready in like two seconds while I take my shower (Where I shaved my legs?) and put on make-up and throw things in a bag. When I apologize for taking forever his only comment is "You are the ticking time bomb." True enough.

Even with all of my preparation we get to the hospital around 11:30 pm. No contractions yet, they say after your water breaks it can sometimes take another two days to deliver. Due to risk of infection though, they want to make it happen within 24 hours. I am down with that. So we get all settled and prepped and meet the night nurses assigned to me. Heather and Leslie. Nice girls, why two? Ha ha- ya. They acted like it was normal, but the only time you get two nurses is when someone is training. So each "check" and procedure got done twice. Lucky me. Aside from the IV (arghh, get it in there!) and the "checks" it wasn't so bad. I was contracting, but not feeling much. I have pretty miserable cramps normally (Sorry) so it takes a lot to register as "ouch". I was progressing well, I thought. Either they got bored, or wanted the training to be complete, because after about two hours they started me on Pitocin. That got things fired up. The contractions weren't horrific, but they were coming about 40 seconds apart. Also- little baby would not hold still, so they had to readjust my monitors about every 5 to 10 minutes. As that made every one's life a little less fun, they decided to do the internal monitoring. If you haven't had the pleasure, it's two wires that go, well, internally. One has a little wire corkscrew on the top that gets inserted into the baby's head to monitor her heartbeat. Ouch. It was about then that the epidural started looking really good. I fretted about getting it too early, I'm not sure why. If you are going to get one, does it really matter when? I thought no. So Mr. Anesthesiologist comes in (possibly the best person in the whole hospital) and performs his magic and life is now a dream. The contractions were coming bigger than ever, but I blissfully took a nap. The only downside is the dead-leg feeling. Creepy. I kept getting grossed out by how fat and dead my legs felt. So bizarre, but totally worth it.

When the night shift gals were leaving I was at a 6+. When the day shift nurse checked less than an hour later I was at a 10! We waited another two hours to start pushing to let the baby descend a bit more on her own. An hour and a half of pushing and our little girl made her arrival into the world at 9:56 AM. Right on her due date. What a good and obedient daughter we have.

She has a full head of dark hair, which I love. Both of our families generally have bald babies, so that was a surprise. I think her eyes will be blue, but that wont be for sure for a while yet. She has my eyes and Clayton's forehead and tongue. Very long little tongue. She also has my hands and toes, down to the curled under pinkie toe. She came out crying and tried to taste and eat everything right away, including the bulb syringe they suctioned her with. She is pretty easy to calm down (except at 3 am of course) and loves to be held. Her new favorite thing (and mom's) is the noise machine that Aunt Jenni loaned us. It plays whale sounds and what not, but we love love love the heartbeat sound. It keeps her sound asleep twice as long as she usually would.

She has turned our world upside down, and we are thrilled about it all. I can't imagine how lame our life was before she was here. We aren't the most experienced parents just yet, but are slowly getting the hang of things. Like this little lesson.

Don't let your newborn watch Band of Brothers.
I like to think that she was too far away to really see anything, but she had this seriously concerned look on her face the whole time.

However, she has so far really enjoyed Twilight. I know- I'm a nerd.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Eleanor Jane Firth

Eleanor Jane Firth
7 pounds 14 ounces, 18.5 inches

She's here! And she's over a week old now, well, a week and a day. It's been a bit of a blur, and I'm a bit sad that it is going so fast! As we speak my mother is blessedly rocking Eleanor so I can take a minute to blog. No big writing yet, I will have to tell how it all went down in the next post, but here are some pictures to tie you over. She is painfully cute and we love her to pieces!

And sorry for this one. It's Clayton's favorite.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

5 Days? Oh crap, 4? Are we sure?

Surely it can't be five days away from my due date? That has to be wrong. Thursday, hmm. Ok, it's Sunday night... due on the 12th. Ya- I guess that's right. Weird. A little scary, but also just enough time to get things done. Because babies come on their due date I'm told. Kidding of course. I feel like I will go over. The last few times the doctor has checked, the baby seems to try and go higher. For all of you moms out there, you know that isn't the most pleasant sensation. And if we are going by sensations here, then she should have been born a week ago. Everything hurts. The loose joints and swelling are my two favorites right now. Good times. Also, I'm extra exhausted as of late. I slept in forever today as we forgot to set our alarms for church, AND we also forgot about daylight savings. Whoops. Thankfully the wonderful RS sisters had gotten a substitute for me a few weeks back, so I didn't have to teach. I also took a two hour nap in the afternoon. What is up? Any chance this is one of those signs that labor is imminent? No?

Anyhow, the house is coming along ok. I've got the changing table set up, the dresser painted, everything pretty much purchased, a few meals in the freezer and Clayton even put together the crib tonight. So sweet. I still have a few odds and ends to tie up, but nothing that will make me swear if my water breaks tonight. (Come ooonnnn tonight!) Do I really need to shampoo the carpet in the nursery? I imagine that might get skipped. The projects have been fun though. A lot of before and after shots. I will post pictures of all of the decorating when it is finished.

As for the baby, we still aren't finalized on a name. We are down to two, maybe three and we each have a favorite. We are waiting to look at her before we decide. I'll save that so I have something to announce when she comes. There is still time to plug your personal favorites if you want.

Tomorrow is Adam's birthday- Happy Birthday Awesome Brother!!!- and it would be super sweet to have her join him in celebrating, but I am not holding my breath.

Also- I am going to get my hair cut tomorrow as I remembered that it's been almost three years. Ya- not even a trim, unless you count my personal clippings that usually happen in desperate, dark moments of hair-hate. I think I might go back to short, but then I wistfully see a horrible Victoria Secret model whipping her mane around on tv and think twice. I need to remember that no matter how long my hair gets, IT DOESN'T EVER LOOK LIKE THAT. Repeat three times to self. You all can vote for my hair options too, at least until my appointment tomorrow night. I need to be careful making choices right now. I realize that when I am gigantic and puffy, and can't change a thing about it, then I want to change everything else. Dangerous territory.

All right- it is far too late to be blogging. Nothing clever or interesting is ever written (at least by me) after eleven pm. I am pushing one am, so it is definitely time to go. Hopefully the next blog will be ages away as a crying baby girl will occupy my time instead. Yee!!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

9 days and counting!!!

I wish it were 9 hours left (and I suppose it could be), but alas. Right now it is almost 2 am and I am having trouble sleeping. Again. Always it seems. Boo-hoo though, right? No- I am ok. The end is definitely the hardest part, but it's exciting to know that we will soon have our daughter here. And I still have a few things to finish around the house. A bit of sewing, a bit of painting and a lot of putting away. So I am happy to have the nine days or so. I love the preparation of it all, no complaints.

This past Saturday my Howell family and friends threw me a baby shower. And last month my Firth family and friends threw me one. Can I just say that both parties were amazing? My family really has my number, as the food was divine at both. I do love to eat. Fresh fruit and crepes at the Firth one, and bagel sandwiches and cupcakes at the Howell party. Plus salads and goodies galore. It was so fun to see everyone all together. And boy did baby get showered with gifts. Let's just say that our sweet one is already one spoiled little girl. For someone who is still naked, she has a wardrobe that could rival Suri Cruise. It is so nice to feel we are set up in all of the necessities- and overly set up in all of the frou-frou, fun stuff as well. Thanks to everyone who has shown us so much love and attention in the past few months. And thank you for all of the lovely gifts. They will all be happily used and loved.

Here are a few shots of the festivities. First the Firths.
Adorable girls (and one fellow) at the party. I kind of know their names, but would undoubtedly get them all wrong if I tried.

Grandma Firth, Rebecca and Kathy (Clayton's mom.)
Charlotte, Jenni-Jo, Tiff, Wendi, Alison and Kaitlyn (on the floor)
Me and Autumn. Could she be any cuter? She is so fun to chat with.

And now for the Howell's. My very young niece was my personal photographer, so I didn't get too many shots of who came. Kir has all of the pics of who was there, but here are a few anyways.
The cupcakes were there. Very important.

My friend Cristy was in town (she lives in Boston) and so we got to hang out. Such a treat! Here are Julie, me, Cristy and Diana. Former roommates all together again. It's been a few years!

And here I am with Kirsten and Ayla. My niece and great-niece. (Niece Allison's daughter.) Kirsten put all of the party together. She had help from a few others she said, but adorable touches like the marquee sign out front that matched the fabric wrapped soap favors that matched the quilt... all her.

So much fun. And my one wish was that I wouldn't go into labor before the shower. Wish granted. So remind me if my water breaks at Ikea or something, that I need to be grateful. (Ya- I have one more exchange to do tomorrow at Ikea. Dreading. Luckily they sell towels.) We will keep everyone posted!

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