She's here! She's here! Madeline Claire was born this morning (Thursday) at 3:06 a.m. She weighs 8 pounds, 10 oz, is 21 inches long and has short, dark, likely curly hair. Awww -- just like Daddy! She appears very healthy and responsive, and -- most importantly to Mommy -- appears to be VERY mellow, and LOVES to sleep. I don't quite know what to do with a child like that, but I'm looking forward to finding out. She was made to order! Oh, and she even latches on well. Such a perfect little package.
We're all doing pretty well. Matt's ably filling the role of SuperDaddy, martialling the forces here at home. He's giving Lizzy lots of opportunities to be a special Big Sister helper, and chances to bond with baby sis, not to mention making sure all Mommy's needs are met, and if that weren't enough, he and Uncle Nick are still moving everything all around the house to rearrange, now that we have the basement back. Grandma Connie is helping a ton by amusing Lizzy and generally doting on her granddaughters. Matt's threatening to scrub the place from top to bottom in advance of my parents' visit next week. Which they insist we shouldn't do, of course, but Matt likes to run a clean ship, I guess.
I know I should be sleeping right now, but it's just too weird to take all those naps during the day. Perhaps after another mostly sleepless night, I'll get with the 'sleep when the baby sleeps' program!
I'm feeling okay. I knew what to expect, post-birth, this time, and that helps so much. I've got the 'spayed cat' feel from the stitches, the crampiness from the breastfeeding kicking my uterus back into shape, and the weirdly still-huge gut, but aside from those fairly minor things, all is well.
It's so neat to be a mom (again). It's so wonderful to feel settled in this role, and to know that there is nothing but joy surrounding this situation. To add something wonderful to our family, instead of starting something that we didn't really know what to do with. God is so incredibly kind and merciful. Who could deserve these sort of gifts?
(what follows contains a 'too much information' warning, especially for the male types among us)
As for the childbirth itself ... apparently, I cannot pop out a kid without the use of castor oil. Okay, it's not SO bad. I took it late enough in the game -- not sure if it was that, or the enema shortly before, that finally kicked my body into gear -- that there wasn't a lot of, well, stuff all over the place when the kid arrived this time. Later yes ... the big difference this time around, aside from time of day, was that I pushed for only nine minutes. And when that pushing stage started, BOY. It was more sudden (though greatly appreciated) than I could imagine. It took the midwives, and my poor sleeping husband (I think he grabbed about three hours that night while I was having those increasingly wild contractions), by surprise. I recall being a rather wild banshee for those nine minutes, as well, not nearly the chilled-out character of last time. The difference between ages 30 and 36? Or just how fast it was happening? All I know is, I wanted that child OUT. And out NOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW.
They tell me that when her head came out, she looked to one side, then the other side, then lifted her head up and looked all around, as if looking for the proper exit. "Pick a side, little one!" I heard the midwives say. (I guess they're supposed to turn to one side and kinda slip out the rest of the way that way, to get one shoulder out at a time.) I thought to myself, "No worries, little one. Your big sister is going to LOVE telling you exactly what to do from now on ..."
So both my kids like to make dramatic entrances, it sounds like. (Lizzy came shooting out through the air, the umbilical cord acting as a bungee cord. So I hear.)
All I have to say is, whatup with this natural birth crapola? If I were doing it again -- which I am NOT -- I would embrace an epidural as my best friend. When I said this to my friend Stacy, she said she thought all moms said that in the days after the birth ... and perhaps that's true. All I know is, it makes me want to shudder to think of those dark hours right before she was born. But, I survived. As women tend to do. And the literally hours of stitching me back together afterward -- I was serving as a sort of training ground for one of the women, it appeared -- were no treat, either.
Yes, we had enough food for the midwives! :) Much of it didn't even get opened, but the mini-quiches from Costco were a big hit. I highly recommend them.
This same friend Stacy, the Baby Whisperer, and her wonderful husband Mike visited with their rockin' camera this afternoon. She got some incredible photos that I hope to share a couple of here soon.
Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement, everyone. Much love to all of you who keep up with us here. We can't wait to share our littlest charge with you!