I love that Mariah gets to have brand new experiences just about every day. I like to pretend she has at least some idea of what's going on because it makes me excited for her.
Here was our first outing, to the doctor's office at 4 days old.
First bath at home. It still takes two of us to do almost everything :)
Getting ready for her first walk outside. Getting the mail has been our big thrill of the day for these first couple weeks.
Today was her 2 week check-up, and it was my first time driving her anywhere by myself. I was super nervous about it, but it went fine. I had totally forgotten that she had to have her heel pricked again for the PKU test today, and was not emotionally equipped for it. She was just fine by the time we got home, unlike me. The good news is that she weighed in at a healthy 8 lb 8 oz and measured 20 in. About a whole pound and a whole inch bigger! I love this tiny body.
She did remarkably well. Two disclaimers: Yes I know I make fun of babies who wear bows bigger than their heads. It's cute when it's your own baby, and that's all I have to say for myself. Also, I know that these photos may look more or less identical to the untrained eye. Again, it's cute when it's your own baby.
Can't believe I've already become *that mom* who takes over 120 pictures of her baby in an afternoon and actually considers posting all of them.
Totally over it.
All tuckered out from a hard day's work
Having a newborn is a gajillion times better than being 9 months pregnant.
Mariah is perfect in every way. Yeah, I'm her mom but it's true. She is healthy, mellow, and sleeps like a baby. She's also funny. She snorts when she's hungry, and when she's grumpy she scowls so big that her chubby cheeks rest on her shoulders. She reminds us of a little kitten with her furry head and hand licking. I would be totally fine if she stayed like this forever. Okay, not forever, but at least a few more months. Only seven days old but I feel like I've known her forever. We sit with her on our laps and play with her tiny toes and fingers and say "she's sooo beautiful" over and over again. We're totally in love.
I typed up her birth story earlier this week, but I ended up writing for so long that I had to divide it into chapters, haha. But, if you're curious how the whole HypnoBirthing thing went, here is the short(er) version:
I went in for my 40 week prenatal appointment on the morning of Wednesday, Oct 3. I had a membrane sweep, and by the time I got home I was having mild contractions, but didn't yet recognize them as such. My mom had been hanging out with me this week, and even though I was feeling crampy and tired we decided to go ahead with our shopping and movie plans. I was getting increasingly uncomfortable all afternoon, and during the movie I got up to pace the halls for a bit. By the time the movie was over I was anxious to just be home.
I was really glad to find that Matt was home from work early, so my mom left and we started talking about plans for the evening. I told him I thought we may be going to the hospital. I didn't want to have any false alarms, but I was pretty sure this was the real thing. It was still unclear when my contractions were starting and stopping, so I thought it was probably too soon to time anything. I decided to take a short nap and listen to two HypnoBirth recordings at 7pm and see if I was still contracting when I woke up. I was. We ran through another HypnoBirth script together. (HypnoBirthing suggests doing 3 hypnosis scripts within 6 hours to be in a state of "waking hypnosis" during labor.) We started timing contractions and realized they were about a minute apart and lasting about 40 seconds each. I think it had been that way for most of the afternoon. Definitely not following the 5-1-1 pattern we learned about in childbirth classes. I wanted to labor at home for as long as possible. I did a lot of pacing and squatting and bouncing on the birth ball. We both took showers and got ready, packed bags, and left for the hospital at midnight.
We asked to be assigned to a room with a tub and a nurse who would be familiar and supportive of HypnoBirthing. I ended up not using the tub, but the nurse was really great. I asked to not be hooked up to an IV, not have any medication, not be checked for dilation every hour, and to not answer the pain scale question more than once. The nurses were great and made all those accommodations. ((As a side note, whenever people asked me if I was "going natural" I felt uncomfortable answering because a) I don't think that women who choose to get an epidural are doing something "unnatural" and b) I didn't know how things would go and didn't want to set any external expectations. But yeah, I planned to have an unmedicated childbirth because it was what I was most comfortable with.))
Matt helped set up the hospital room by dimming the lights and using the clary sage essential oil we brought to scent the room. Labor was long, but it went well. Because I wasn't hooked up to anything I was able to labor with the birth ball, in a rocking chair, in child's pose, on my hands and knees, laying on my side, etc... That helped a lot. I felt like I was in control the entire time, but also like I was in a trance. I repeated a lot of HypnoBirth scripts in my head. I was surprised that I ended up not wanting to listen to any of the playlists we had prepared. I wanted silence the entire time. I was also surprised that I never once thought I needed an epidural or any pain medication. It was hard work, but I knew I could do it.
Matt was in and out of sleep, but got up to rub my back, sneak me crackers and help me when I needed. I was also able to doze in and out of sleep just before transition. The aching got a lot more intense, and I asked the nurse to be checked again. I was pretty far along, but my waters hadn't broken yet, so I asked if the doctor could come in and make that happen. She said he was already on his way. My waters were broken at about 7 am, and within 30 minutes I was feeling really "pushy". I think this was the point where I started saying some weird stuff and moaning pretty loud. Each nurse I had through the night commented that my contractions were extremely close together and very irregular, and apparently I was having back labor the entire time. I pushed for over 2 hours, but I had no idea how long it had been until they announced the birth time at 10:08 am. The only word I can think of to describe the delivery is intense. I was so relieved when I saw her, so overcome, so happy. We laughed and cried and it really was the best day ever.
There were a few things that didn't go exactly as outlined in our "birth preferences" we had typed out, but the most important thing to me was that it be a peaceful, good experience for both Matt and me as well as the baby, and that was achieved. I was happy that we had planned and prepared as much as we possibly could and that we were blessed to bring our baby into the world in the way we had hoped.