She is, without a doubt, the bees knees.
Everything about her is truly perfect. And, while I'm a tad bit biased, I can literally stare at her for hours and not get tired, or go cross-eyed or even feel just a teensy bit like I'd rather be sitting outside on a patio somewhere, pounding margaritas. I'm totally content to just BE with her. Which is good, because there is going to be a lot of togetherness for the foreseeable future.
I know that many of you want the obligatory birth story, so here goes a rather abbreviated version. Most everything I do for myself (showering, eating, breathing) is rather rushed right now, as Kate rules the roost around here, and my boobs (and self) are called into action alarmingly often. So here is Kate's brief birth story.
On Saturday, I started having a few Braxton Hicks contractions. I didn't have any pain, and I was stoked my uterus was starting to show signs of evicting its little resident. That night, I woke up several times with painful contractions, but without any sort of pattern. Starting around 8 a.m. on Sunday, my contractions started for real as I eased into early labor with them ranging between every 20 minutes to every 5 minutes. Again, no real pattern but each one getting stronger and more painful.
By about 5 p.m., my contractions were regular, painful and I was pretty sure this baby was coming sooner rather than later. Ben was fantastic throughout the entire day. He held my hand, helped me breathe when the contractions were at their worst, and watched an entire marathon of Band of Brothers on the History channel with me. What sacrifice!
By 10 p.m. I was ready to head to the hospital to get checked out. I was tired and my contractions were varying between every 5 and 7 minutes, so I was done waiting it out at home. My parents had just driven into town and were planning to meet us at the hospital later as things progressed. Turns out that once I was checked in, I was only dilated to a 3, so my doctor (SANTA WAS ON CALL!!) told the nurse to have me walk around the hospital for a half hour before I could have my epidural. Talk about incentive... I practically jumped out of bed so that I could get that damn needle in my back. As soon as we started walking, my contractions got much, much worse. By the time I was back in bed and checked, I'd gone from a 3 to a 4.5 or 5. Plenty far along for my epi -- hurrah!
After this, timing and other details get fuzzy, but I got my epidural around 1:30 or so, slept for several hours and then was told around 8 a.m. it was nearly time to push. Apparently, I am a kick-ass pusher because less than 30 minutes after I got started I was told to STOP PUSHING and wait for Santa to get there. He waltzes in and talks about his weekend of golfing while I'm panting and trying NOT to give birth until he is in position. At this point, I hate Santa and everything he stands for. As he jokes with the nurse I'm literally feeling that Kate may make an appearance whether someone is there to catch her or not, and I say a little "Um, excuse me?!" which I don't know if they heard or not, but all of a sudden Kate is being delivered, Santa is laughing in a jolly Santa way, and I get to see her for the first time.
She is perfect.
Ben and my Mom get to go with Kate to get her all cleaned up, and I get to hang around with Santa as he does a little (okay a lot) of repair on my body. I personally blame his inability to get his gloves on quickly enough to gently deliver my baby, but who knows. Perhaps this is a sign of Kate's personality or of things to come. Just as she barreled her way into the world, hopefully she will have that type of fearlessness throughout life.
We've now been home with Kate since last Wednesday afternoon, and every moment is still a whirlwind. Each day ends, and I've accomplished almost nothing to speak of, but have a very happy, well-fed baby and that makes me feel like its been a good day.