Well, it's been two weeks since you joined our little family (or it will be in an hour!) and I finally have the time and the energy to write you a little something as a first-time mom.
Wow. I'm a MOM! Unbelievable! Can I just tell you that it's a role that I never really considered and yet wholeheartedly love? Even at 2 a.m. when you just won't go back to sleep because you've got a gas bubble that's causing you some serious pain, or because you slept all day and 2 a.m. is party time... I love being a mom. Partly because it's made me value what little rest I can manage to squeeze in between your feedings, but mostly because of the way you look at me when your eyes are actually open. I know you can't really see me yet, but you can sense me and that just sets my heart all aflutter.
Two weeks ago today, your dad and I headed to the hospital and began the process of bringing you into the world. We checked in at 8 a.m., and they broke my water at 9 a.m. By 10 a.m., I had had enough of the pains of labor and got an epidural and some other pain medication that made my hearing all "tinny" and left my eyes working in slow motion.
Your dad kept himself busy by attending to my every whim.... including (pre-epidural) helping me to the bathroom. And quite frankly my dear, if that's not love, I don't know what is. He also made sure that I had all the ice chips I wanted and was also there to hold my hand and look me in the eyes while "coaching" me to breathe during each contraction. All of this while wearing a surgical mask so that he didn't get anyone sick.
And it was during those contractions that the nurses and doctor started to get concerned about your safety, as your heart rate would plummet during each contraction. And by "plummet", we're talking NOSEDIVE... as in going from 150 bpm to 30 bpm. The doctor told us to prepare ourselves mentally for a C-Section as it was likely that the cord was being pinched with each contraction which would cause problems if we continued to try for a regular delivery. Not the type delivery we expected or wanted, but your safety was important so we adjusted our expectations.
The doctor also gave me a shot to stop contractions and about an hour later, we re-started the pitocin drip and apparently, the cord had moved and was no longer being pinched because your heart rate was solid and even during the contractions. Even better, while I'd been stuck at a 5 for HOURS, things started to move along rather quickly and I moved from a 6-10 in just a couple of hours! It went quick and the next thing I knew, the doctor was telling me to push!
Funny thing about an epidural... sometimes it doesn't numb everything it's supposed to numb and the result is NOT OKAY. And maybe someday when you're old enough to understand a bit better, I'll tell you all about it. For now, just know that I have never experienced that kind of pain before and hope to never experience it again. But, we got past the NOT OKAY part, and a mere 35 minutes later, ended up with a beautiful baby girl.
I could not believe it. I could NOT believe that you came out of me. That you... our perfect, beautiful, healthy baby girl that was part me, part your dad... were actually here after all this time! And then my waterworks started as I watched you get your nose and mouth suctioned out and I remember holding out my arms hoping the doctor would get the hint and I wouldn't have to say what I wanted to scream: GIMME!
And then there you were... in my arms after your daddy cut the umbilical cord. And it still didn't seem real. God you were so beautiful!
After you got cleaned up, Daddy and I realized that we probably ought to give you a name. Now, I want you to know that your Aunt Kaycee will probably try to tell you that you were named after a cat that we had on the farm growing up. THIS IS A LIE! Just remember that your Aunt Kaycee is a trouble maker, okay?
The real story of where you got your name is rather simple. You dad and I had been throwing out names for months and had a list of about five that we both somewhat agreed upon, but none of them had really caught my heart. Then, when I was about six months pregnant, I was watching the USA Track and Field Championships on TV and the woman who won the 800-Meter race (and is the five-time champion in the event) was named Hazel Clark. And, no... you weren't named after her and her athletic prowess. I just loved the name. I mean... it's beautiful!!! And even if it is a bit old-fashioned, we think that it's a strong name for a woman who can do or be anything she wants to be. Which is what we hope for you.
So... now your middle name. It's not a family name like a lot of people's are. Your dad loved the name Reese, but not as a first name. Actually, you came awfully close to being a Chloe Reese, as he discovered that name while shopping at a high-end baby store downtown and one of the clothing line manufactures name was Chloe Reese. We decided that we'd use Reese as a middle name long before we knew what your first name would be. So, no... it wasn't a family name, but it is now.
Of course, we had to actually meet you before we knew that Hazel Reese was the right name for you. We had a couple of other names on our list that we were prepared to use if Hazel didn't fit. Luckily, though, Hazel Reese was all we could both think of when we first saw you. And that's where your name came from. It's a strong name that belongs to a girl/woman who can do anything... that's your namesake.
It's been two weeks since you joined our family and made us whole. And in that two weeks, you have completely changed in your looks. You're no longer a newborn with a touch of jaundice.. but are instead a robust and healthy baby girl... 95th percentile in height and 50th percentile in weight. Who knew that your dad and I would produce a skinny tall baby? In two weeks time, you've gained 4.5 oz, and grown over two inches!
You make the most amazing faces and I could spend hours watching them. You do a GREAT Robert DeNiro and if we ever get that on camera, we will make sure to show it to the first guy you bring home to meet us.
November 5, 2009
November 5, 2009
And even though they say that babies your age don't smile yet... and that it's probably just gas... I don't care. Your smile of contentment - or gas - melts my heart. My favorite expression of yours doesn't happen much anymore, but when you were first born and learning how to breastfeed (we were BOTH learning) you used to latch on to the nipple, and then it was as if you couldn't believe that you were actually allowed to do that... like it was something that should be illegal because you would move your eyes from side-to-side rapidly, much like the Pink Panther cartoon with the eyes moving in the dark... I could almost hear the theme song.
We never would have guessed it, but your Tweet nickname while you were still in my belly could not have fit you better! You make the most adorable chirping noises throughout the day. I think that "Tweet" is gonna stick around for a long time.
You are definitely your father's daughter at this point. I mean, really... besides the fact that you have hair and the wingspan of an eagle and clearly have my kind of upper-body strength, I'm not sure what I've really contributed to your genetic code. Although, you do sleep a lot like I do.
You look just like your father, including the amazing facial expressions. I knew the first time I saw your Robert DeNiro that you got that from your dad... who thinks that he can make a face like Tom Cruise. I'll just say that your DeNiro impression is MUCH better. You also have your daddy's feet and toes and he's convinced that you have his calf muscles... but I gotta think it's a bit too early in the game to make that judgement.
Your dad got to give you your first daddy kiss today since he's finally feeling better. Trust me when I tell you that he could not wait for this moment and I'm so glad that we captured it on camera. Hazel, your daddy loves you more than anything and not being able to kiss his baby girl for fear of spreading germs to you was devastating for him. But he has done so many other things to show you how much he loves you that I know that you won't hold these two weeks against him.
Well, it's getting late... and you should be ready for a feeding at any minute, so I guess I'll wrap things up. I just wanted to check in with you while I had some time... weird how time becomes so impossible to take advantage of nowadays. Between feedings and naps, I'm lucky if I brush my teeth once a day.
We're hoping that things calm down in the coming weeks and that you continue to be the wonderful baby that you already have been. Thank you for that. And thank you for coming to be a part of our family. I can promise you that you'll never regret it. Why? Because Aunt Helen sent you this wonderful cookie bouquet last week and we've put the cookies in the freezer and will hopefully hang on to at least one of them to celebrate when you're old enough to enjoy one!