Wednesday, June 30, 2010

17 Days Old.

Today our Little Girl is 17 days old. We've already established quite the routine during the day and at night. Her two hour cycle seems to be: Wake up, eat, have diaper changed, eat again, and then go back to sleep. Sometimes she'll stay awake for a while, exercising her rapidly developing senses. It's a good thing I have orders to take it easy, because I just want to hold her and stare at her all day long.

Chloë is already so much more aware and alert compared to her first few groggy days in our world. She is learning to use her eyes, although still goes cross-eyed once and a while. Sometimes she will stare far off into the world outside, and must be soaking in the vibrant colors of the trees and sky.

She is quite the active baby, with lots of arm flailing and leg thrashing when she's awake. It almost reminds me of some sort of uncoordinated aerobics routine. And then there's the strong head and back of hers. When she's lying on her tummy, she sometimes uses her arms to push up her upper body, and holds her head up and looks around. If she gets angry (for instance, when she's trying to figure out how to eat), she'll arch her back and throw her head back and do some good screaming. She has quite the lusty cry; I think maybe she has her Momma's lungs. And she definitely has her Daddy's sneezes. They both do a fake cop-out sneeze occasionally before actually following through and really sneezing.

Just in the last few days, she sometimes get fussy after eating. Although I'm really not surprised because of how much she eats sometimes! (I've taken to calling her My Little Piglet occasionally while she eats, although I reassure her that it is really an endearing term.) It amazes me how much she is calmed just by holding her, patting her back, and speaking a few soft words to her.

Waking up and falling asleep are not the instantaneous functions that they used to be. Sometimes she needs quite a bit of patting and something to suck on in order to fall asleep. We have started using a pacifier in the last few days, and once she figures it out, is quite content. Sometimes she'll fall right into a REM cycle of sleep... lots of squeaks and moans, and frowns, grimaces and smiles, while her eyes flutter all about, occasionally opening slightly as if she's peeking at something. Waking up often involves five or ten minutes of grunts and throat clearings and stretches; the same short cycle repeated a dozen or more times. It looks like quite the work-out.

She is so strong and smart and healthy. And getting chubbier by the day.

These pictures are from two days ago when she was 15 days old. I can't believe how quickly she's changing.

Cooling off after being outside. This picture is very Botkin.

Friday, June 25, 2010

First Bath

Chloë had her first bath today. Her umbilical cord fell off three days ago, so she's all checked off to have a real bath. She is now 12 days old, and that little tummy of hers is getting quite round.

She seemed to enjoy the warm water, and made a few of her pleased grunting noises.

I was curious what her hair would look like if I didn't brush it straight.

Apparently my hair used to do similar things when I was her age.

She sleeps so peacefully most of the time. I love holding her and cuddling her and kissing her soft little cheeks.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chloë Ann Blakey

Our Little Girl is here. Beautiful and healthy, we give thanks to God for his timing and grace.

Chloë Ann Blakey was born at home on Sunday, June 13th at 12:13pm, weighing 7 lbs, 10 oz, standing 20 1/2 inches tall.
With the assistance of two amazing midwives, we somehow did the most difficult and amazing thing we've ever done. 15 hours of "active" back labor was pretty intense, to say the least. Not to mention the 50+ hours of "non active" labor, mostly on-again, occasionally off-again, since the evening of Thursday the 10th.

But we did it. She is here, in our arms, and we are still resting and enjoying her dad's week of paternity leave from work.

Just minutes after she was born. She didn't cry, but held her head up and looked around, and noticed it was just a little bit bright and cold here in our world.

A few hours old. We think she's the cutest baby in the whole world.

5 hours after she was born. We were all exhausted, but we got to introduce Chloë to all of her Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles (all officially receiving these titles for the first time that day), except for my sister, who was in Europe, and my oldest brother, who was in Oregon. They've both met her since.

5 hours old, and she already had him wrapped around her finger.

Two days old. I didn't know it was going to be this wonderful.

Two days old, and we just can't get enough of snuggling our Little Pea Pod.

4 days old. Some of the adorable little faces she makes.

Today, 5 days old. We think she's pretty great.

We still can't believe that she's finally here and that she's really ours. I think we'll keep her.

Friday, June 11, 2010

False Alarms

I have three due dates. June 15th, June 16th, and June 17th. I love it. Some women have a three or four week spread between due dates. That would just drive me crazy.

So Monday, the 7th, I had a little false alarm. I've been having lots of good Braxton-Hicks contractions for quite a while now (I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with all of the packing and moving and unpacking and nesting I've been doing). But Monday evening I noticed that they seemed a lot stronger than normal, and actually uncomfortable. I went to bed, tried to sleep, but kept thinking about the possibility of labor. So of course my brain went wild, and I had a pretty crummy night of rest, and nothing progressed. Oh well.

Then on Wednesday the 9th, I had my 39 week appointment. We're planning on doing a home birth, with an absolutely amazing midwife, and it was kind of surreal talking about labor and delivery as a real possibility of something in the near future. Our Little Girl is in the optimal position for delivery (LOA, for anyone who cares), she's "dropped," and her head is well engaged. It looks like my body just might preparing to birth a child.

The only thing is, my amazing midwife also has a life aside from delivering babies all the time, and is going to be out of town from the 13th to the 19th. And my due dates are right smack dab in the middle of those dates. I had decided quite a while ago that if things were beginning to look ready, maybe I would try to nudge nature along before my midwife leaves town. And if things didn't look very ready, I would just lay low and hope I don't go into labor until my midwife gets back in town.

So yesterday morning, Thursday the 10th, I tried a handful of labor inducers... including castor oil. Let me just say, castor oil is the most awful, horrible thing I have ever done to myself. Terrible, terrible stuff. I tried mixing and chasing it with V8 splash, and I don't think I'll ever be able to drink it again. So the afternoon passed, and not much was happening. I just figured my body wasn't ready, and I'd tortured myself for no reason. But then about the time Bryan got home from work, I noticed the contractions were picking up. He has a fancy app on his iPod Touch, so all I have to do is push a button when a contraction starts, and again when it stops. No fumbling with paper and pencils and watching a clock.

So around 9 pm, I realized that for the last several hours, contractions had been lasting 1-2 minutes, and coming every 2-5 minutes. Some were actually riiight on top of each other for 8 or 10 minutes. I thought "oh wait a second, I've seen this before... oh right, when women are in labor." So I gave my midwife a call, and she told me try to get some sleep, and to call her when I couldn't talk through my contractions. Then I threw up for the first time in three weeks. And then the contractions reeeally started hurting. I was even using some of the fancy breathing techniques I learned about in our birthing class.

I was so sure this was it. I got a few things together in between contractions, and even had Bryan set up the birthing pool. I tried going to sleep around midnight, but was waking up frequently. I almost picked up my phone to call my midwife about a dozen times, but kept thinking "I'll bet I could talk through this contraction if I had to if Bryan were awake, so I'll let everyone sleep just a little bit longer."

So I dozed in and out of consciousness for a few hours, and then woke up at 6:30 and realized I'd just slept soundly for two hours. I got up, walked around a little, tried the stairs a few times, and realized the contractions had given up. I was very confused. And extremely tired. So I went back to bed. Awoke again at 9:30, and realized I wasn't actually going to be having a baby any time soon, despite everything my body had just done. So I shook off my frustrations and disappointment, and have been mildly productive today, with the exception of a few naps.

I guess this Little Girl just isn't ready to make her grand appearance into the world. Which I wouldn't mind so much if it weren't for the horrible back pain and spasms I've been having (if only Ibuprofen weren't contraindicated, especially at the end of pregnancy). And if she decides to come when my midwife is out of town, there are two very wonderful midwives all lined up for back up. God is in control.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My first Baby Shower

My dear friends Katie (who lives in Seattle) and Betsy (in Spokane) threw me my first baby shower! They put together an absolutely amazing shower. I was very overwhelmed and blessed by all of the ladies who came, and all of the beautiful gifts they brought for our Little Girl.

Betsy (holding her Eva), Katie, and Bess (holding Katie's Kay).

The amazing spread of food
(and notice Katie's amazing baby pram cake!).

I opened presents for a very long time!

It was such a wonderful shower. And now I just have to wait patiently for the Little Girl to get here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

We're almost there.

On Sunday, at 8 1/2 months pregnant (37 1/2 weeks!), during one of the few warm and sunny moments we've had in the last couple of weeks.

In front of our new home!

Soon, our new family.

We're really excited to meet her!

We heart our baby.