06 May 2011

Dominique Dalia Lincoln

I was going to post this photo a month ago and talk about baby preparations, my thoughts on pregnancy, and my fears of being responsible for a tiny human.

I never got to write that post. My daughter is apparently as impatient as I am. She was born on April 8th, just over three weeks early. Since she measured small in the ultrasounds indicating a later due date, and most first time moms go past their due dates, I was planning for a May baby and concerned that I would actually be carrying her until mid-May. I still had long lists of things I needed to get done before the baby came.

So, when I went into labor on the 8th, I was in denial. I was in denial when I went to the doctor’s office, to see if it really was my water that broke in the middle of the night, or if my pregnant body had finally lost bladder control. I planned to drive myself there and called B to simply let him know I was going. He was in the middle of getting his hair cut, and left right then to drive me. He pulled up with the hair trimmed on only half his head, like he was going back to a bad 80s look. I nearly lost bladder control laughing at the sight of him.

I was still in denial when we were sent to the hospital. I thought the doctor would tell me it was not actual labor, that I would have contractions for weeks to come, and simply send me home. I was still in denial when I was admitted to the hospital, thinking they would simply monitor me for a few hours and send me home. I even left clothes on under my hospital gown, convinced I’d be sent home. Good thing B insisted on taking the car seat, and the hospital bag he forced me to pack over the weekend.

Labor was surprisingly quick: 26 minutes of active labor, and 24 minutes of pushing. All natural. I did ask for an epidural, thinking that the excruciating pain I was suddenly in would last for hours and hours to come. The nurses and doctor thought I would be laboring for much longer and were just as surprised as I was when it was time to push just as the anesthesiologist got the catheter in my spine. Our impatient little girl was born red and screaming at 6:10 pm.

And now she's here. She weighed 5 lbs, 15 oz at birth, and got down to 5 lbs 5 oz. I never knew how people could hold such tiny babies; the youngest child I’d ever held before her was a 7 month old. But there I was in the hospital holding, feeding, and burping a tiny baby. Now that she’s over 7 lbs I find her easier to hold and work with. Although, it might simply be because I am used to her.

I was in awe of the tiny clothes we had, but she swam in even the smallest clothes we had. I didn’t think they could make clothes any smaller. They do.

Here she is at two weeks, looking cuter and cuter.

And sleeping at three weeks - notice how her arms are starting to get chubbier.

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