We could never describe the miracle that it was to see our little baby girl come into this world. Labor was a challenging, intense and unifying experience that not only taught us more about ourselves and our relationship, but also taught me more about myself as a woman and the resilience and strength of the female body; it is amazing.
And as for our baby, no ultrasound in the world could’ve prepared us for how beautiful she is, how much she could make us laugh and how much we would love her! Just holding and looking at her makes every hour of labor, every hour of lost sleep completely worth it Here is an attempt to keep a record of her first 7 days of life through pictures, videos and ridiculous commentary by Ryan peppered throughout.
Day One: 7/6 & 7/7 (she was born at 11:44 p.m. on 7/6, but we didn’t take any pictures for about an hour-at least not any decent pictures)
The first 24 hours were a total whirlwind–although there’s no surprise there. We had an hour with our little girl immediately after the birth, and then she and Ryan moved to the other side of the room for her bath and myriad of “really important” antibiotics, etc. (Psssssshhhh.) It seemed like it took ages until she was finally swaddled up and given back to us. I immediately new I was in trouble; I’m hooked on this little peanut! Even though sitting in a hospital, waiting for various nurses to come in and poke and prod me and our baby, was incredibly boring (Ryan went a little stir crazy, even with so many free movies!) I was satisfied to just hold Elliott and touch her soft little head and face. Also, it is impossible not to kiss her 1,000,000 times a day.
RYAN: Um, yeah, it kind of felt like the Hospital staff didn’t even attempt to read our birth plan. Two separate nurses tried to come and scrub our little wiggler with stiff ole terrycloth towels and I just pushed their hands away and snapped in a Z formation saying, “Oh no you didn’t.” It was rather boring in the hospital, they don’t care much for fathers and so I was left to fend for myself in pretty much every regard. Consequently I would have to leave my girls and go downstairs to get some food. For the life of me I could not get my appetite back so I just nibbled on this and that and squirmed for two days. The futon they provided was only 5′ long so that was fun to sleep on. I’m working on fixing the photos that we took in the first few hours.
Day 2: 7/8
Trapped. In a hospital. We just wanted to sleep and hold our brand new baby! But the hospital just wanted to poke her and make her cry. Ryan is a great Dad. He can calm Elliott down in 2 minutes tops! Just swaddle her up, and put her in a choke hold. I mean, side hold… We were able to take her home around noon, and then we sat there. And looked at her. And let the reality punch us in our stomachs. (oof). Our friend Kat was kind enough to bring us lunch so we didn’t have to separate, and then my parents arrived around 5:30 to see their brand spanking new perfect grandbaby. After only a few minutes it was easy to see they were as enamored with our little Elliott as we were. Too bad I don’t like to share her 🙂
For her first night sleeping at home, we thought we’d try a co-sleeper, but between Elliott’s discomfort and the inadequate size of our bed, it was not successful. I ended up just holding her all night long (I’m ok with that).
RYAN: First day was surreal, as I imagine it is for most people. Sometimes I don’t think I have achieved a full recognition of what it means to have Elliott here with us. Then there are times that I am acutely aware of what she means and I am full of confidence and excitement to think of all the times we’re going to share as we move forward. I just want to contribute, you know? Emily is so great with Elliott and they, of a necessity, get a lot of time together through feedings and things like that. I just try to be available for whatever I am needed or wanted for.
Day 3: 7/9
Elliott’s first full day at home! We woke up to a delicious breakfast of chocolate gravy and biscuits made by Mom and Dad Hudson, and to a beautiful little baby girl, fussing away in her little bassinet. She’s so easily satisfied though, just swaddle her, feed her and burp her, and she’s the happiest baby on the block. She slept well for her first night, but Ryan and I ended up letting grandma and grandma watch her for a few hours while we got a couple straight hours of sleep. The rest of the day was mostly oohing and ahhhing at our brand new baby. She sleeps most of the day, but that doesn’t stop her being absolutely adorable. And when she’s awake, OH MAN!
RYAN: There is no better comfort food that chocolate gravy and biscuits, it always makes me feel amazing inside, and not just my stomach. Many thanks to mom and dad for helping out so much with the peanut.
VIDEO Elliott’s Kung Fu:
Days 4-7: 7/10–7/13
The next few days kind of mix together in one sleepless, euphoric blur, with subtle differences, of course. Elliott has at least four different smiles we’ve discovered so far. My favorite is the open-mouth grin, followed closely by the half smile/smirk. I love it when she starts to look around when she hears Ryan’s and I talking, and I love how floppy she gets after she eats (milk coma).
Grandma and Grandpa Hudson have been keeping us very well fed, so Elliott’s experiencing a variety of flavors and seems to enjoy them all so far. We had our initial pediatrician’s appointment on 7/11, and Elliott had maintained her hospital discharge weight and length of 8 lbs and 21.5 inches long. Our one-week check-up was on Wednesday, and by then Elliott had gained 1 ounce and had grown 1/4 of an inch! She also experienced her first tongue depressor at that appointment, which resulted in mostly gagging.
Ryan has been a life-saver at night, taking turns with me so I can get a few hours of sleep. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him. He’s amazing. But enough talk; you want pictures! and videos!
Here’s a link to a Youtube video my Dad took:
Well, there you have it. This is our baby; and we love her. We think you should love her too!
Sleepy, but enamored,
Emily & Ryan