Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Phoebe's first few days (in pictures!): part I

I think I'll share picture in two or three waves, with no real rhyme or reason to them other than that we had multiple devices to take pictures with and so far I've only downloaded the pictures from one device. 

So, these are the pictures from the camera. 

Months ago when I was still very much pregnant with Phoebe, we were discussing her impending arrival at the dinner table—how we needed her to stay in for so long (and she did exactly that; bare minimum sort of lady, I guess) but also needed her to get out in a timely fashion. And thus it was that my children were introduced to the idea of "induction." 

My due date was December 2, but Phoebe would have been induced on November 25 whether she wanted to be born then or not. For health reasons. The kids needed an explanation of what an induction was and since we tend to get a little...rowdy...around the table sometimes I explained it thusly:

"It's basically when the doctor decides, 'We're gonna yeet this fetus!' And they give the mother some medicines that help kickstart the process."

We thought the phrase "yeet this fetus" was so hilarious that we decided to save it for the birth story. But then I wrote the birth story and completely forgot to title it "Operation: Yeet this Fetus" (the post about our preterm labour scare could have then alternatively been called "Operation: Keep this Fetus"). Anyway, it was particularly funny because we often referred to in-utero Phoebe as "Phoebe the Fetus."

So here are some more details about her "yeeting," hospital stay, and homecoming. 

First of all, here is the single picture Andrew took during the labour and delivery. 

I think he was too in awe of how quickly everything went down to really think about taking many pictures. I mean, Alexander went fast, that's true. But literally all Andrew had to do was snap a few pictures and he was here. Phoebe's labour was technically faster than Alexander's, though we were at the hospital for longer...because we left for the hospital before I'd experience any recognizable contractions. Had we waited for me to have contractions...this baby would most definitely have been born while driving along the highway (because the route to the hospital is under construction so there's no where to pull to the side for an emergency; we would have had to just keep driving (and thank goodness this happened in the middle of the night when it only took us fifteen minutes to get to the hospital because when Andrew drove to the hospital in the middle of the day it took him over an hour to get there)).

Anyway, things seemed to be pretty slow going. 

Sure, they checked me in and I was at six centimeters. But then contractions were just boringly every five minutes or so. Sometimes eight minutes. And I just had to lie there attached to an IV. Very boring.

Andrew realized that in our panic to leave the house he hadn't grabbed his laptop (so he could work on the revisions he needed to do). He considered going home for it but ultimately decided there wouldn't be time for that. And he was right!

He said the only two contractions closer than five minutes apart were...the two I pushed for.

Here's Phoebe!

Usually they let the mother hold the baby for a while before they do the weighing and measuring and everything, but they had to take Phoebe away, anyway, so they could help her clear her lungs a bit so they just weighed and measured her then.

At some point they gave her a bath. I can't remember if this was before or after they brought her back to me. At some point they were finished working on her but I was still getting stitched up, so I told them to let her Daddy snuggle her for a minute. So he really got to snuggle Phoebe before I did! But I didn't take any pictures because I was sitting in stirrups still.

Here she is looking all sweet:

And here we are doing some skin-to-skin snuggles, feeling a little worn out:

And here's Andrew looking like someone dragged him out of bed in the middle of the night (oh, yeah...that happened):

We did this delivery on one hour of sleep. So. It was a long day.

Here's sweet new Phoebe:

Here's Phoebe looking a little like Alexander:

Let's see...



One of Phoebe's funky ears:

So, Phoebe was breech into the third trimester, which I didn't think was a huge deal. Zoë was as well and no one made a big deal over it. But we had her "you've been home from the hospital for a day so how about you have a check up with your pediatrician" appointment today and for whatever reason they're all worried about her hips because she was breech. So we'll be watching for hip stuff and will maybe do an ultrasound in a few weeks just to make sure she didn't start growing funny.

I honestly didn't know that was a thing.

Anyway, she unbreeched herself (Operation: Unbreech this Fetus) and flipped to be head-down and when she did that she really lodged herself in my pelvis. Like...really...lodged herself down there. 

She wasn't quite presenting right even when we arrived at the hospital (she was cephalic, but sideways) though she did manage to turn before delivery (thank goodness).

Anyway, as I said, she was lodged in my pelvis for weeks and weeks. So long that her ears came out rather misshapen. We're going to watch them to see if they correct on their own; otherwise there are ear-molding devices we can have fitted so she doesn't grow up with weird ears. We'll see.

This is just showing what a little koala bear she is. She likes to grab onto things—like my arm. My hand is like that because I'd just finished tilting her to help her burp/choke/cough out more amniotic fluid. She grabbed my arm with her little hands, little sweetie.

Here's Andrew, showing off how well Phoebe enjoys diaper changes (she hates them, by the way):

Here's a little baby yawn for people who like baby yawns (I know I do):

And here's Phoebe asleep:

I really need to write more about the hospital stay. I was an...adventure...

Spoiler: We broke a bed!

But I'll write more on that later because this is clearly turning into more of a photo dump. I'm just...tired...and people want pictures...and I'm still figuring out how to type one-handed while holding a baby. I used to be really good at it, but I'm a little out of practice.

Anyway, we stayed at the hospital, repeatedly set off the alarms, broke a hospital bed in the middle of the night...and...

Then we came home! 

The kids were all excited to meet Phoebe. 

The cat has no idea what to make of her and won't come near her. 

We say she has the Phoebe-jeebees. 

All the kids have said something to the effect of, "It's my turn to hold the cat. I"

They're so used to bickering over who gets to pet the cat when that they're having trouble channeling that energy onto a baby. I mean, obviously the bickering part they have down. It's really a terminology thing.

Another thing I'll blog about later...

Anyway, here's Rachel with Phoebe:

And here's Zoë with Phoebe:

And Ben with Phoebe:

And Alexander looking a little unimpressed with Phoebe (even though we stuck a little owl hat on her head so they would match):

And finally, here's patient Miriam with Phoebe:

This baby is probably the most-held baby in the world. I'm not even sure Grandpa had a turn to hold the baby until today! I passed Andrew Phoebe during storytime with the kids and he paused and said, "I think this is my first time getting to hold Phoebe all day!"

Lots of baby holders in this house!

Alexander likes holding Phoebe more when he sits beside Mommy on the big comfy chair and we hold her together:

Here are the kids saying goodnight to Phoebe just before bed (she's like, "What?! Why isn't anyone holding me?!"):

And here I am, pulling off a radiant I-haven't-slept-in-days look in the early morning light on Tuesday morning:

Our pediatrician only does baby well-visits first thing in the morning so her appointment was somewhat early (I believe her next appointment is even earlier). This is to avoid mingling these new babies with any sick-patient appointments (most especially COVID patients, who they only see in the late afternoon). Anyway...

Here's Phoebe and Daddy outside of the doctor's office:

It's so beautiful outside! I keep wanting to go for a walk but then remember how worn out my body is. Like, just walking from our car to the doctor's office was like, "Phew!" It hurt, man. I thought I wasn't very sore but, as it turns out, I just hadn't had to walk very far yet.

I wasn't allowed out of my room at the hospital (due to COVID; no patients in the hallways) and then I've just been walking around the house. So this felt like a marathon, but I made it!

Zoë was very disappointed that we were returning to the hospital so soon after coming home, so I explained that we weren't going back to the hospital. We were just popping into the pediatrician's office for a quick check up. 

She was very eager to hold Phoebe when we came back, but we let Grandpa have a turn. Zoë just sat beside him ready to take over. Alexander, meanwhile, is very interested in doing a photoshoot with Phoebe. He wants her to dress up as a pumpkin. And he was unimpressed that her jammies seemed a little too big and asked me if I even had clothes that fit her (he was much happier with this nightgown than the zippered sleeper she had on yesterday).

Perhaps we'll get around to a photoshoot tomorrow. Today I had to finish a big work project (like really had to) so that was mostly what I did today (but now I can rest).

Here's Zoë pleased to be taking her turn:

She is the proudest big sister. Just don't tell her "no" when she asks to hold the baby because she quickly moves from proudest to poutiest.

It's too bad we didn't do a photoshoot because the lighting was perfect!

This is a little blurry, but I don't care. I love when babies giggle in their sleep.

Here's some more holding upstairs...Benjamin with Phoebe:

He was pleased I let him hold her while I finished up a homework assignment (such a responsible helper, he was):

Zoë also wanted to prove that she could be a responsible helper. So I told her that she could hold Phoebe while I put away some of our hospital-stuff mess. It started out okay.

She held Phoebe both gently and firmly enough, with her elbow resting on the arm of the chair and Phoebe's head resting in the crook of her elbow, with Phoebe's bum safely in her lap...

I got down on the floor to sort through a bag and...

"Ew, no!" Zoë screamed. 

I looked up to see her arms fly away from Phoebe as she scooted out from underneath her. Phoebe was spitting up on Zoë. Somehow Zoë managed to scoot her whole body out from under Phoebe while Phoebe did her thing. And then Zoë grabbed a burp cloth and just held it against Phoebe's mouth in disgust.

When I took Phoebe Zoë checked herself all over and found, much to her relief, that Phoebe hadn't gotten any spit up on her. We talked about how when you hold a baby, getting spit up on is simply an occupational hazard. You have to be willing to take the spit up if you want to hold the baby. You can't just throw the baby off your lap because she's spitting up...

So...her help was a little less helpful. I still have hospital mess all over my bedroom floor. 

But that's okay. We'll get it taken care of eventually. 

In the meantime, we're just relishing this sweet face:

(Also, I just realized there aren't a lot of pictures of my best helpers holding their sister. That's because they're so very helpful that I'm not even there to take pictures of them holding her because they hold her while I'm doing things like going to the bathroom or stopping a Zoë tantrum or working or reading stories to the little kids or...whatever...and they just take her walk around the house with her because they're, like, teenagers. Which is kind of weird. And kind of amazing. They're wonderful helpers and I will take more pictures of them in the future. As I keep reminding all the people whining about wanting their turn to hold the cat baby: Phoebe is here to stay, folks. There's plenty of time for everyone to have a turn hold her.)


  1. Great pictures of everyone...even Grandpa, yay! The one of the six kids together is great as is the one of Alexander and Phoebe in the owl hats. His face! :)

    I know you are busier now than ever, but one day you really need to change your blog header photo because the baby in *that* picture is now four and a big brother... :) :) (I was going to try using YEET in that sentence, but don't think changing out a blog picture is quite the forceful thing as your "yeeting" link described.)

    Welcome home, Phoebe!

  2. Thank you! Great post and great pictures!

  3. Congratulations! So good to see Reid in his happy place! Am I imagining things, or does she look like Karen? I guess time will tell. Such a sweet family!