Friday, August 24, 2007

One Month In

Life with a new baby leaves very little time to do much else other than attending to her. Of course, that's nothing new to those of you with children. People kept telling me how much my life would change after she arrived, and I just kept saying, "I know." I didn't know; I thought I did. While it was quite annoying that people seemed so intent on pressing this reality on me, it is no less true that everything does indeed change.

Willow is four weeks old today and is seated just to the right of me in her boucy seat. She is so alert and seems eager to discover all that she can as soon as she can.

We received quite a surprise this last weekend. After a dinner at my in-laws to celebrate the engagement of Chris's younger brother, we went to my parents' house to see my brother's wife and kids. We found just a couple hours earlier that they were making an impromptu visit to Nashville to see Willow. Just after we arrived, my sister Eva bounced in the door laden with several boxes announcing that she had brought pizza. Just in behind her strolled my brother, Wayne, with a bouquet of flowers for me. What's so surprising about this is that he's supposed to be in Iraq. I felt like I was hallusinating. Surely, I couldn't really be awake! But there he was! He hugged me, and I just started crying and trying to spit out the question, "How are you here?" To which he sarcastically replied, "Well, they have these things called airplanes...." He is actually here on emergency leave, sent home by the Red Cross, as he needed to see about a situation with one of his sons. Thank you, Clara Barton (founder of the American Red Cross). I am so thrilled that he was able to see Willow while she is still so tiny, and I was blessed to witness my rather formidable, strong brother hold that sweet little girl in his arms.

And now she is becoming not so content, so I need to turn my attention to her.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Willow Grace

So, I've been a tad busy lately. Our sweet daughter was born on July 27 at 6:39 PM. Today she is two weeks old. She weighed 6 lb 8 oz and was 19 inches long. Such a lovely little lady.

The labor and delivery was quite difficult. My blood pressure and swelling was getting to a scary level, so they admitted my Thursday night in order to begin enducing labor. Around 4:30 the next morning, my water broke, and they started me on Pitocin. I had tried to go all natural for the birth, but the contractions were so fierce that I ended up asking for the epidural. I was in labor for 14 hours and pushed for 3 1/2 hours before they realized that she wasn't going to be able to come out, so we had to do an emergency c-section. With the epidural, the first dose I was given of pain medication worked, but the problem is that my epidural slipped out at some point, so most of my labor ended up being natural anyway. When I went in for the operation, they didn't check to make sure the epidural was working. I told them that I felt pain but was told that it was just pressure, and I felt, among other things, the doctor cut me open. I was screaming and arching up off the table, and finally they put something in my IV to knock me out. So, I missed the birth of my daughter. I missed her first cry.

For about two and a half hours after I woke up from the surgery, I didn't know who I was and I didn't recognize anyone from my family either. They took everyone out of my room, I think, to save more on their distress than mine. Finally, after some time, they brought Chris back in and I knew who he was much to his relief. I asked to see the baby, and they didn't want to bring her but Chris convinced them that they had to bring her. So, around 10:30, I met Willow Grace face to face.

Recovery has been slow, but I love having this little one here with us. It was a rough beginning, but she is so worth it.