Hi kids! Long time no see. Well, it’s day 5 and although last night was our first up-nearly-all-night experience (cutie Claire-Bear decided it would be fun to just be wide awake all night), it’s been a good day. For one, I put on mascara for the first time, am wearing real underwear (those hospital ones ain’t Victoria Secret, but, man, are they comfortable), and I went to the bathroom for the first time (go me!). Ah, yes. TMI lady is B-A-C-K!

Claire is a joy. She’s the cutest person I’ve EVER seen. Her slate blue eyes absolutely melt my heart, as do her happy pink cheeks and her button nose (and her cute little puppy breaths…and her little perfect hands…and her little knee dimples…and her little neck which you can only see when she stretches out…and her little chin which is almost lost in her fat round face…even her little high-pitch screams are endearing – so long as we find the off switch for it sooner than later, which, so far, we’ve been able to do…etc. etc. etc. I could go on for days).

She’s breastfeeding really well, which is not to say that my nips don’t hurt – because they do – but it’s not too terribly bad and she’s clearly getting the nutrients she needs because her poopy diaper count increases each day (go Claire-Bear!).

She’s napping now (and Huz and I just woke up from one while Grandma goes crazy buying probably more than our fridge can hold at Kroger). That’s about it around here. The labor wasn’t as bad as I had imagined thanks to Mr. Epidural. Like Huz said, I labored a lot at home (sweet Jesus do contractions hurt – they were quite evident and SHARP – anyone heard of a knife up their gut!?), and arrived at Vanderbilt Hospital at 6cm and 90% effaced. About an hour and a half later I got the epidural, was checked at 8-9 cm, and then napped for a bit before pushing. I didn’t feel the pushing, so it was more exciting than scary. It lasted 50 minutes and I watched the whole show in a mirror (which I recommend – it helps you know if you’re making progress and how to push better by seeing what you’re doing). The midwife was awesome and encouraged me the whole time – I didn’t tear which is great and everything is feeling pretty good down there. My tail bone hurt for 2 days because she was face up for most of it, but it’s fine now. The surprising part is that every muscle in my body ached (still does, but SO much better now), as if I ran a marathon. You literally use every muscle to push a baby out and I felt it! Claire came out without much pushing on my part, they put her on my belly, but she didn’t make that first cry. The next 3-4 minutes were the scariest of my life as a team of NICU folks rushed into our room, took her to a warming station and tried to get her to cry and to suck her lungs (there was meconium behind her in the uterus). Finally she cried and was a lovely pink color, but let me tell you, my heart about stopped. Phew. She’s healthy and perfect and we’re so very much in love.

I leave you with more pics.

Signing off,

The luckiest Mama in the world.

Scary moment, but lots of caring hands:

First momentsFirst moments

In grandma’s hands:

At homehi, who are you?introductions

Pumpkin Gansta:

um, too bigthe original pumpkin gangsta

In love:

Mommy and baby

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