Friday, April 25, 2008

Claire's Second Week

Tuesday, April 22nd - Two weeks old!
Claire had her 2 week appointment with Dr. Neely on Thursday. She's almost back to her birth weight - she weighed 7 lbs. & 7.5 oz. (25th percentile), has grown 3/4 of an inch to 20 inches (also 25th percentile), and has a head circumference in the 50th percentile. She also got her Hepatitis B shot - Claire and Mommy both cried. :) Fortunately Grandma Patty was there to console us both. We're so blessed to have a healthy baby!

Claire's second week was a busy one! It's been amazing to see how much she changed in just a week. She's so much more alert and seems to get stronger every day. The week started off with a handoff between the grandmothers. Robert's mom stayed with us until Friday to help out. While she was here, Claire got to go to Fish City Grill & Corner Bakery.

On Saturday, we all went to Arlington to visit Robert's grandparents (both sets) and dad. She finally got to wear one of her cute dresses - girl clothes are so fun!

Claire spent a lot of the week sleeping. She likes to have her arms free - we frequently find her in this position...

Trying to capture a smile (I know it's probably just gas, but it's so cute!)

Grandma Patty and Granddaddy Darwin came back on Sunday. Dad stayed a couple of days, and Mom was here for the week and was so much help! Claire likes to sleep in her arms.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Claire's First Week, Part Three

We've been having so much fun with Baby Claire! One night Robert called me over to show me the new hairstyle he gave her to match the gang signs she's been flashing.

On Monday, she got her first bath. You would have thought we were torturing her.

But after it was over, she looked so cute in her ducky hooded towel!

Grandma Pat stayed through Tuesday. All of the girls cried when she left, but we were so fortunate that Grandma Nancy could come in the same day to help out. Robert started back to work on Monday, and while he's not working a full schedule, I'm so grateful for the extra set of hands around the house while he is gone!

A few facts about Claire:
  • She doesn't seem to enjoy being swaddled - she likes to have her hands free. I'm so glad that we discovered Sleep Sacks! They keep her warm and cozy.

  • Claire loves to sleep during the day, and does pretty good at night. We're waking her up a couple of times at night for feedings. She typically only needs someone to get up with her one other time.

  • She loves to snuggle and so far has been fairly easy to soothe. One of the lactation consultants in the hospital commented a couple of times that Claire is very even-tempered. We hope that sticks!

  • While she has trouble with the latch for nursing, she loves to eat and isn't too picky about the temperature of her meals and switches easily between formula and breast milk.

  • Every day she seems more alert and interested in what is going on around her.

Tuesday, April 15th - One week old

Claire's First Week, Part Two - Coming Home

On Saturday, we were finally able to leave the hospital. I hadn't left the doors since coming in at 3 Monday afternoon for my OB appointment, so I was definitely ready to get some fresh air and sleep in our bed!

I had purchased two coming home outfits - one blue and one pink, and had my first lesson in the sizing for children's clothes. 0-3 months swallows her! I'd also bought a cute hat, but didn't realize until we got to the hospital that it was a size 12 months. We laughed so hard that my incision started really hurting - it looked like she was wearing the Pope's hat. We switched back to the one from the hospital.

When we arrived, we were greeted with a sweet balloon bouquet from Robert's parents - such a nice surprise!

First time in her crib

Claire's First Week, Part One

We were in the hospital through Saturday, and had several visitors, including both sets of Robert's grandparents, Courtney & Jared (who welcomed their own new baby on Friday, April 11th - Claire already has a playmate!), Jennie, Lindsay, and Miss Kristy.

Grandma Pat (Amy's mom) was there every day - Claire loves snuggling with her!

We had originally planned for Claire to exclusively nurse, but she had a few problems getting the technique down and was losing too much weight, so we started feeding her formula. Daddy quickly became a pro with the bottles. We're still working on nursing and met with a few lactation consultants. It's hard work for both of us, but we're hopeful that we'll get there with lots of practice!

Easily the cutest baby at Presby :)

Getting some good snuggle time with Daddy - Mommy needed a break from the hospital bed!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Birth Story

Robert and I went in to the OB's office at 3 pm on Monday, April 7 (Due Date + 1) for a routine appointment & sonogram to make sure everything still looked good. My doctor was really sick, so they sent me to the sonogram and planned for me to see the nurse practioner for the check up. During the sonogram, Claire's heartbeat decelerated into the 80's briefly, but then went back up to the 130's. A heartbeat that low is not something you want to see, and they thought it was probably a fluke, but they sent me down to L&D to get on the monitors with plans for a sonogram with a perinatolgist a little while later. During the time in L&D, we had a couple of small dips, and then during the sonogram with the specialist, it dipped again. He thought that she was probably compressing the cord somehow, and since everything else looked great and she was fully developed, he thought it was time for her to come out.

We went back down to L&D and saw the on-call doctor from my OB's practice. We were not big fans of his - not the best bedside manner. He basically said that I had made no progress towards labor and that he thought I should go ahead and have a C-section that night. Our other option was to start Cervadil that evening, check progress in the morning, and if things had moved along, they would induce contractions with Pitocin the next morning. It was overwhelming to have to make that decision right away. I had been hopeful that I would be able to have a non-medicated birth and did not want to be induced, much less have a C-section, but it was obvious that we did not need to take any chances - this baby was coming either that night or the next day.
Fortunately, we had a great triage nurse, and she talked us through the pros and cons of each, and my OB called to check on me during that time and said she thought it would be fine to wait on the C-section and start the induction. Since I would be on fetal heart monitors the entire time, we all felt like that was a safe option and bought us a little more time to make a decision. Also, I was having small contractions, so we thought maybe the Cervadil would go ahead and send me into labor.

I was admitted after that, and Robert went ahead and called our parents to fill them in. My mom and Robert's mom immediately headed to Dallas. Since my mom was planning to stay for a few days, my dad was going to bring a separate car. We told him that it was fine for him to wait until the next morning, since it would probably be at least Tuesday afternoon before Claire would make her appearance. Little did we know...

That evening was pretty uneventful. Robert ran home to get our bags, eat dinner, and run a couple of errands. I watched some "Dancing With the Stars," and my mom got there in time to see me before I went to sleep. We had a couple more decelerations, but the nurses would have me roll on my side and things would pick up again. They started the Cervadil at 10 pm and gave me an Ambien to help me sleep.
In the labor room Monday night:
The next morning, they came in around 7 - 7:30 to remove the Cervadil. We were disappointed to find that there had been no progress. The on call doctor (a different one from the night before), Dr. Staub, came in and talked to us, and said he thought we should go straight to a C-section. From looking at the results from her fetal heart monitor, he thought labor would be too stressful for her, and that it would be a big risk. That time the decision was easy, and they started prepping me for the C-section. Things from that point went so quickly - it's all a big blur. They started my epidural, and Dr. Staub was telling everyone to move quickly and get me to the operating room - at one point, the nurses told him that the room would be ready in 10 minutes, and he told them that wasn't going to work - to go ahead and wheel me down to the room and they'd better be ready when we got there.

They got me prepped, and Robert came in wearing his scrubs. About that time my OB came in, so it was reassuring to have my regular doctor there as well for the procedure. It seemed to take no time at all. Robert was great - he kept peeking over the drape to see what was going on and got some great pictures, but I'll spare everyone the gory ones. :) My most vivid memories are of Dr. Staub telling Robert to take some pictures, including one of the clock with her birth time, and Robert telling me "It's a girl!" They brought our sweet Claire around, and she was so beautiful and perfect. It was so surreal to have her inside me and then moments later see a living, breathing person that I could touch and kiss. She scored an 8 & a 9 on her 1 minute and 5 minute APGAR scores - she did great!
We thought this was pretty funny:

Here she is!

Something I'm quickly learning is that the expectations you have as a parent may not always play out, but as long as the end result is a happy and healthy child, that is what is important.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Introducing our baby GIRL!

Claire Michelle arrived at 8:46 am on April 8, 2008. She weighed 7 lb., 8 oz. and measured 19 1/4". Claire is absolutely perfect - we are so blessed to have a healthy little one.

More details to come!

She's here!

Proud parents

Checking out her tongue

With her grandmothers

Snuggling with Granddaddy

Meeting Aunt Carol

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Due Date

April 6, 2008 has been highlighted on our calendars for many months now as our baby's expected due date. Seeing that it is after 6 pm and we are not on our way to the hospital, it doesn't appear that this will be our baby's actual birthday. :) We have an appointment tomorrow afternoon - hopefully we'll find out that I've made some progress since Wednesday!

40 Weeks:

The weekend has been pretty uneventful. We've mainly been relaxing and doing little chores around the house, and we went to an arts festival in Deep Ellum yesterday afternoon. Last year for Robert's birthday, I told him I would buy him a little sculpture by an artist we've seen at the Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth, Dick Cooley. He makes the sculptures out of metal scraps. The festival is held towards the end of April each year, and when we went last year, he didn't have what Robert wanted. The guy takes custom orders, but I never got around to contacting him. I found out a couple of months ago that he would be at the Deep Ellum festival this year and was hopeful that I'd be up to going. I'm glad we were able to go, because Robert found something we both liked - a tank (for those of you who don't know, he drove tanks when he was in the Army):

I'll update tomorrow after we talk to the doctor!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A History Lesson

Robert and I are in a newly-married's small group at church, and we are currently taking turns sharing our life stories, complete with photos. My presentation was a few weeks ago, and I thought I would share the photos I used:




Junior High:

High School:




Our Wedding:

Waiting for Baby!