Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Sophie took her first Halloween in stride. At just 2 1/2 weeks old, she wasn't quite ready to hit the sidewalks of Baltimore begging for treats, however she was game for a photo shoot in the cute ghostie outfit her Aunt Jen gave her.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bringing Home Baby...

Homecoming was full of mixed emotions. Frankly, I liked being in the hospital. They fed you (and it was fairly good food), cleaned up after you and pretty much catered to your every whim. However, I was excited to be home and begin our life as a threesome.

So, on Tuesday afternoon we packed up all of my stuff - and I had a surprising amount of stuff, most of which I didn't use - and we headed out. That first ride in the car with Sophie was absolutely agonizing. I sat in the back with Sophie while Neil drove. Every bump, every shimmy of the car were traumatizing events that I was positive were shaking the smarts right out of my kid. Not to mention how it felt on my tender hind. However, we made it home without any real damage, other than to my psyche, and settled in.

During my stay in the hospital, Neil had set up the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper (thanks Randy and Valerie!) that would be Sophie's bed initially. This contraption looks like a play yard but is attached to our bed and has a sleeping surface that is just below our bed's. It places the baby within arm's reach, but out of any danger of smothering. This is a great invention, however, not so great when you're in so much pain that the only way you can get out of bed is by literally rolling out. The Co-Sleeper takes up approximately 2/3 of my side of the bed, making it impossible for me to just get out of bed, I had to skooch down and then out. Needless to say, this wasn't going to work for someone in my condition. Luckily for me, my beloved husband was willing to sleep next to the baby, handing her to me for all of her many feeds and taking over nearly all of the diaper duties those first days. That first week was pretty tough, but we survived.

Not surprisingly, the cats, Potter (left) and Gomez (right) were none too happy to be sharing the house with someone new.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Welcome Sophie!

I've said it before and I reiterate it now, giving birth is an amazing and crazy thing. You go in as one person and come out as two. Isn't that wild? Sort of a reverse Thunderdome.

On Saturday, October 13th, as I suffered through contractions, I still had no real grasp on what I was in for. I know that millions, maybe billions, of women have go
ne through this process before, many of them multiple times. That knowledge does not make your own experience any easier, nor does it really prepare you for what lies ahead. Just as I cannot imagine describing the sensations of a sneeze to someone who has never experienced one, I don't think a woman can truly understand the birthing process until she has been through it.

I took a Hypnobabies class to prepare me for the birth. This is a program that emphasizes natural birth and pain management through mind over matter kind of self-hypnosis. I do believe in this stuff and I thoroughly enjoyed the class, meeting some really great people in the process. Unfortunately, the practice of said pain management during the actual event was less effective than I might have hoped. Because of a cervix that was still at 0 more than 18 hours after my water broke, the doctors recommended pitocin. That's fine. I do not, however, recommend pitocin on no painkillers. After about 6 hours of pitocin-induced contractions, I decided it was time to allow modern medicine to do its thing and asked for the epidural. Seven more hours of contractions followed by three hours of pushing and still no baby and the decision was made to bring in the forceps.

Now, I don't want to say that I'm a convert to the epidural, however, if I would have had to have a forceps delivery without it, I might not have made it through. The result of a forceps delivery, not surprisingly, is often a fourth degree tear. That was the case with me. If you don't know what this is, spare yourself and DO NOT look it up, suffice to say it is bad, bad, bad. The end result though is that we had a beautiful baby girl with 10 fingers and 10 toes and we were instantly in love with her.

Sophie Blevins entered the world on October 14, 2007 at 10:17 am. She was 18 1/2 inches long and 6 pounds 13 ounces.