Saturday, January 19, 2008

beyond words

I've been sitting here staring at this cursor, trying to find what I want to type. There just aren't words to say what I want to say. My heart is so full of love for Brett and for our new baby, who was finally born on Monday the 14th at 11:22 p.m. Contrary to what everyone (myself included) had guessed, it's a beautiful girl, whom we named Elanor.

She is amazing, and perfect, and snuggly, and sweet, and (in my most likely biased opinion) absolutely adorable and gorgeous.

I am working on a birth story; I'll post it in the next couple of weeks. There is a lot to say, but it's hard to get it written down because the computer is in Brett's studio in the basement, and since I wound up getting a c-section, my time at the computer is very limited these days. Sitting in this chair is not comfortable and navigating two flights of stairs to get from bed to the computer is not pleasant, either. But I am really going to make an effort to get it written down soon, before all of the details fade. There is so much I want to remember.

The synopsis is this: my water broke at 1 a.m. on Monday the 14th. We timed contractions for an hour, they were regular and stronger than they had ever been before. The doctor said to come in, so we got to the hospital and I was checked and was dilated to a 2. They finally admitted me at about 4:30 a.m. By about 8:30, I was dilated to a 4. When they checked me again around 1, I believe, I was at a 7-8. By 3 p.m., I was hovering just around 9 and was dying to push.

And push I did, until almost 6 p.m., with no progress. Around that time I finally caved in and got an epidural. Let me tell you, it was heavenly. More about this decision in the birth story...I have lots of thoughts about it.

I rested for a couple of hours and then pushed again for another two-and-a-half hours. (I'll do the math for you -- that's over 5 hours total that I spent pushing. Yeah. Yikes.)

Around 10:30, the doctor told me that the baby still hadn't progressed down and was essentially in the same place as he/she was at 3 p.m., and she advised a c-section.

So Brett and I looked at each other, and nodded, and within 30 minutes we were on our way down the hall to the ER, where Elanor was born at 11:22.

It was a very. long. day. We didn't get to our postpartum room until 4 a.m. -- suffice it to say we were exhausted. (And still are, really -- she's an amazingly calm baby, and is really fantastic at night, but the cumulative events of the past week combined with normal newborn behavior of needing to eat every two hours...well, it leaves new parents feeling like they've been, well, kept up for days and days on end. Seriously, though, we do not have it bad at all. I'm astonished that she is so good at night and that we're able to get a few longer two or three-hour stretches of sleep each night.)

Those are the bare bones; I have so many thoughts about it all and of course so much more detail to share. It's coming -- I promise!

For now, though, I want to go upstairs and hold my baby girl, smell her head, touch her cheeks, feel her tummy push against mine as she nurses, and just see her beautiful face again.

I'll leave you with some pictures.
Elanor, about 12 hours old

Elanor and her mama

The whole Walker family, Brett's mom and dad and sisters (note: I love how Brett's dad is touching him and Brett is touching Elanor; it is very sweet)

"Um, Papa, there is nothing coming OUT of here!"

Snuggling with her papa

Look closely -- her hands are all tangled in his beard.

This picture makes my heart melt. I can just see how much he loves her.


C said...

Congratulations again, a million times over! She's just perfect!

Kris said...

She's perfect. Enjoy every minute of her!

Kandace Knapp said...

Congratulations, Kathleen & Brett! You did it! Enjoy the tiny baby stage. :-)

Rachel said...


Daisy said...

When I read Brett's email it made me cry, and when I read this post it made me cry. Oh, how I wish I could see her. I am so very happy for you and Brett. Elanor is absolutely beautiful.

Isabel said...

Welcome to the world Elanor. I heart her already!!

Fluent Brittish said...

I heard about your good news from Isabel. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. Elanor is a great name. Hope all is well with you and your family, and may you have a speedy recovery!