Pics from the Day

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We gave Clara a bath today and she was perfectly cooperative. She didn’t cry a bit and she’s now back to smelling like a baby (or more accurately, what Johnson & Johnson thinks smells like a baby).

Then we dressed her up in girly pink clothes and she had to endure her artsy dad snapping photos of her for fifteen minutes. Here are a few faves.


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A Week and a Couple Hundred Pictures Later…

Clara turned seven days old this morning and already several things are clear:

  1. I’m going to need an external hard-drive to store photographs. At the current rate of shutter snapage I will have eleventy billion "Aw, isn’t that cute!" poses by the New Year.
  2. Becoming a dad activated an enzyme in my sympathetic nervous system which will now allow me to sleep through natural disasters, a jet plane buzzing our roof, or a screaming baby a scant five feet away. Throughout our marriage, I’ve been the light sleeper; able to be nimble and alert at a moment’s notice. Lately: not so much with the nimble alertness. After several terribly frustrating nights of Laura trying to wake me up to help with the baby, and my full-on grogginess rendering me as useless as a bucket of doorknobs, I went to our friendly (but still over-priced) neighborhood Tom Thumb and bought the strongest coffee I could find. Now, when it’s clear that I’m going to need to be up with CJ for a bit, I brew it up and hunker down.
  3. Clara digs Radiohead. About a month ago, Laura put together a New Dad gift basket for me and in it she included a really sweet find. Rockabye Baby takes the music of contemporary bands and reimagines them as lullabies. We got Radiohead and Tool, so whenever I take Clara in to her nursery to change, I hit play and she loves it.

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Welcome to the World, Clara Jane Rhea!

Howdy Friends and Fam! Sorry it’s taken a while to get a post up…I’m just going to copy and paste the e-mails that Laura and I sent to our co-workers and you can definitely expect more updates in the weeks to come.

For now, you can see some pictures here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/brianrhea/ClaraSFirstDays

From Laura:


Clara Jane Rhea
Born November 13th, 2007, 9:45 a.m.
9 lbs., 7 oz.
22 inches long

A precious, perfect, beautiful, adored, God-breathed little miracle!

I am completely overwhelmed by how much I love her – I don’t feel like I can contain it most of the time!  The moment she was born was the most surreal of my life, and most joy filled!  Brian wept; I laughed and we looked at her in awe and wonder laying on my chest.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers, sweet encouragement and support through this sweet time in our lives!

So that’s the basics :) If you want to hear more, keep reading!

For those of you who know we had planned on giving birth at the birth and women’s center and see that we delivered in the hospital…Clara was in posterior (backwards) position, and after 26 hours of natural labor, my body had only made 5 cm of progress.  The contractions were trying to turn her rather than push her down.  Seeing that my body was worn out and not progressing anymore, my midwife made the wise call to transfer us to Baylor where we could get some extra help from medical interventions.  We always trusted that what was meant to be would be, according to God’s perfect plan and provision, and I am so grateful to God we had those options there when we needed them and they helped us have a safe and healthy delivery!  About 6 hours later, Clara was born and it was glorious!!

We stayed in the hospital for 2 and a half days and learned lots from the nurses!  I had lost a significant amount of blood, so they released us only on orders of strict bed rest.  The doctor said, “See how pale she looks?”  Brian’s response: “She always looks that pale!”  *L*  Clara, on the other hand, is perfectly healthy and happy!!  She is a really easy-going baby except for a period of several hours in the night when she can’t be consoled – but what is normal at this point?  We’re hoping that isn’t!  I can’t get enough of her…if she is gone from my sight for even a short time I miss her like crazy and get so excited when I get to see her again!  We could spend all day just staring at her…

Love,
Laura

From Brian:

Wow…what a crazy several days!

Well, Laura started going in to labor in the early morning hours on Monday, but we thought it could be false or pre-labor so I went ahead and came in to work since we knew she had an appointment in the morning and we’d find out more then. Those of you who saw me scrambling to leave at about 10:00 know that the midwife said, "Looks like a baby today." BIG thanks to the teachers who covered my classes!

Later that afternoon after a lot of walking and encouraging the labor along, we made our way to the Birth Center. Twelve grueling hours and only four centimeters of progress later, the midwife made the call that natural labor just was not going to be strong enough to bring our baby in to the world. Baby was posterior and despite a lot of very painful maneuvering, she just was not turning so labor was not progressing.

We were transferred from the Birth and Women’s Center to Baylor downtown at 4 a.m. and after an epidural we were able to sleep for an hour or so. Steadily, the pitocin began to kick in and Laura started pushing at 9 o’clock in the morning on Tuesday. I held Laura’s right leg and her mom held her left for about 45 minutes as we encouraged her through the delivery.

When she was born, I am not ashamed to admit this, I completely lost it. Being right there and anticipating her arrival for so long…when she was finally with us there was more joy than I could possibly contain and it erupted in absolute happiness and weeping. I will relive that moment for the rest of my life…it is the best feeling I have ever known.

See you all soon!

Much Love,
Brian

One Week “Overdue”

So, we’ve been telling ourselves all along, "October 31st is just an estimate, babies develop at much different rates once they’re born, it stands to reason that they do the same in the womb. Our baby will be born when they’re ready to be born and in God’s perfect timing." But still. To see the 31st come and go was a bit of a let down no matter how much we’d prepared ourselves for it.

And now, here we are one week later, still waiting on this little baby to show him or herself. We’re doing well, praying for patience and just trying to enjoy the anticipation. It’s like the ultimate in waiting for Christmas except that it’s better than any gift we’ve ever received and we have no idea when we’re going to be allowed to open it.

Laura went to the midwife today and there wasn’t much progress to report. They did a stress test on the baby and everything looks great! Healthy, presumably happy, and obviously very comfortable!