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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Second Week

Rachel's second week of life consisted of going back to the doctor for another checkup. She was back up to her birthweight exactly. The doctor said everything looked great. Rachel is a great eater as long as she can keep her hands out of the way. She takes to a bottle very well, which makes me happy because she has already been left with Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Lauren, and Deb. Matt and I still like to do things so it was very important that she could eat from a bottle. I also began letting her sleep as long as possible during the night. She will usually go 4.5 - 5.5 hours between her feeding. I am very happy with that because I get a decent amount of sleep. However, I resume our three hour schedule at 7 am. We went to church for the first time and she was excellent, pretty much just slept. Matt likes to take her outside sometimes, especially when she is crying. He says the change of scenery really distracts her and she usually calms right down. I try to take her on walks, mostly for me to get out and get some exercise. She is pretty much a really good, easy going baby who is fairly predictable. I feel like I have somewhat gotten this "caring for a newborn thing" down, at least more so than the "I have to keep her alive somehow thing" when we first came home. Her umbilical cord stump finally fell off, so she got her first real bath too. That was much more fun than the sponge bath.

Mika, the protector.

Hanging on by her swaddler's velcro. She is a squirmer.

She is so cute when she stretches.

Dad is brave to hold me without a diaper.

I didn't cry hardly at all.

The First Week

Here is a summary of Rachel's first week of life:

We left the hospital on Wednesday afternoon and she had her first of many visits to Josiah and Katie's house. Their two daughters were thrilled to have her over to "play." Rachel also had her first doctor's visit, just for a checkup. Grandma was nice enough to take the whole week off of work to help drive me places, run errands, and just help with Rachel and around the house. Thanks Mom! Rachel and I found our groove with breastfeeding and she eats every three hours. She got her first sponge bath and cried through the whole thing. I don't blame her. Other than that, I think all she did was sleep and dirty diapers. So, I will just leave you with some pictures.

Doesn't she look like an angel?

Daddy and Rachel snoozing.

Grandpa Schaefer and Rachel on Easter.

If only mine was smiling and the other two were looking at the camera.

In the beginning... Well, the beginning of Rachel

I decided to start this blog mostly so family and friends (especially those who live out of town) can see what is going on in our lives and have up-to-date pictures of Rachel. Since she is only three weeks old, I will start from the beginning of her life.

It was Sunday April 5, 2009 and Matt and I were at our friend's house (Josiah and Katie). I was 39 weeks pregnant and ready to have our baby. I had some of her white chicken chili for dinner and we decided to be proactive about this baby thing. Katie joked that we would go for a walk and walk the baby out. So, we proceeded to walk up and down her long driveway a few times. Well, of course, nothing happened and Matt and I went home. In the middle of the night, I kept getting up and noticed that I didn't feel good, but who doesn't at this point in their pregnancy. I brushed it off and kept going back to sleep. I woke up around 6:30 am, which is about the time Matt leaves for work, and thought to myself "Maybe I am having contractions." So, I called my Mom and she told me to start timing them. I timed them for an hour and they were consistently five minutes apart. I informed Matt that I was pretty sure I was in labor and that he wouldn't be going to work today. We were not in a big hurry because from what I hear, you just sit around at the hospital or they send you home because you come in too early. We both took showers and I packed my bag for the hospital stay. We also called the doctor, but they were too slow in returning our call. We headed up to their office at 8:30 am and I got checked around 9:00. I noticed the contractions were hurting more, but for the most part they hadn't been too bad. She asked me if I had planned on having an epidural and I said yes. She then told me that I was about 7-8 centimeters dilated and I need to go to the hospital immediately. We rushed over (thankfully it was only a two minute drive) and as the security/check-in person was trying to tell me where to go, the contractions got really bad. We found our way up to the third floor and was put in a labor and delivery room right away. So, I sat there for an hour and a half or so laboring the old fashioned way, with NO DRUGS. I was miserable and even cried a few times. The epidural finally came and yes, I do think that was the hardest part of the whole experience. The pain was gone and I was happy again. It took about 5 hours for me to finish dilating and after an hour of pushing, I heard "It's a girl!" Boy was I surprised. Most people thought we were having a boy and I did too somewhat. Matt cut the umbilical cord, which really surprised me. He was so great through the entire process. He was a proud papa. My Mom was up in the delivery room too and she was so excited. I was relieved to have that baby out of me.

Rachel Elizabeth was born on April 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm. She weighed 8 lb 6 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Like most newborns, she was puffy and red, but we still found her adorable. At the weight she was, I was very happy she was 5 days early.

This must be after the epidural. I am smiling.

One of our first family pictures.