Thursday, June 30, 2011


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Two Weeks

Clare at two weeks old.

Likes: Milk. Milkmilkmilkmilkmilk. Diaper changes (!). Daddy. Sucking on her hands. Car rides.

Dislikes: Socks. Being moved when comfortable. Baths. Her swing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

Ben got to celebrate his first Father's Day this year! He got a card from Clare. Wasn't that thoughtful of her? We spent the day hanging out as a family, giving Clare a bath, and eating pancakes. Which Ben made, even though it was Father's Day. Oops. We had dinner with my parents, so Grandpa Ralph could have his Clare fix.

Ben has been so great through this whole experience. He is so attached to Clare. And he has been incredibly helpful to me. I couldn't do it without him!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bath Time

Clare had her first bath today.

I don't know what's happening here, but it doesn't seem so bad.
Hmmm...I am a bit concerned that you are pouring water on my head.

I am wet. What are you doing with that washcloth?

Fail! I am not happy.

This towel with a hood thing is pretty awesome, though.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Labor Story

On Monday, June 6, I went to bed early. I set my alarm for 4 a.m., thinking that would be plenty of time to get up, take a quick shower, and be out the door by 4:30 a.m. I was scheduled to be at the hospital at 5 a.m. to be induced. Ben was going to make pancakes so I'd have energy for the day ahead.

The night before.

At 1:30 a.m. I woke up. My stomach was killing me. What did I eat for dinner? I sat in the living room bent over. After an hour, Ben woke up. He got his stopwatch. He informed me I was in labor. Well. How was I supposed to know? I'd never been in labor before. My contractions were 3 minutes apart. We called Labor and Delivery. The nurse told me to wait 2 hours, and if they were still 3 minutes apart to call back. Oh, and they are really busy and wanted to delay my induction anyway, but if I am actually in labor I'll have to come in. I wanted to scream. I didn't want to wait two hours, but I was also relieved that I had finally gone into labor on my own and wouldn't need to be induced.

The cat has no idea her life is about it change. I am crabby.

 At 4:30, we called back. The nurse said to come in. We arrived at the hospital in Janesville at 5 a.m., right when I was scheduled to be there.  We were taken up to our delivery room. The nurse checked me - I was dilated to 6 cm. Yay! I continued having stronger and stronger contractions, but resisted the epidural. At 8:30, my doctor checked me. I was at 7 cm. Wait - 3 hours later and I was only at 7 cm? I caved. Epidural, if you please. I had to wait for them to push the fluids, so at 9:30 I was finally given the epidural. And lo, it was good. I felt instant relief. I should have gotten it earlier! At 10:30, I felt the urge to push. Everyone was excited. This baby will be here in no time! I pushed. And pushed. 11:30. 12:30. Really, it will be here in no time, everyone said. "You are doing a great job!" "No one pushes for much more than an hour!" "The baby will be here any minute!"

Yeah, not so much. My doctor came in and was extremely bossy with me, for which I will be eternally grateful. She told me this baby was coming out, damn it. I don't think she said damn it, actually, but that's how I heard it. At 1:30 p.m., she offered to use the forceps or the vacuum. I said I'd try a few more times. I pushed, and pushed, and I think I briefly blacked out. And then I heard it - the most beautiful sound in the world. My baby was crying! I couldn't believe she was actually here. The sound of her crying is one I will never forget. They put her up on my chest. She was slimy and gross, but I have never been so happy or so relieved. Ben cut the cord. Then they took her away to weigh her and do tests, and while I was fixed up Ben sat nearby with our little girl. Our daughter.

Little Clare. We think she's pretty special.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's a Girl!!

Clare Topinka Exley

1:45 p.m., June 7, 2011

9 pounds 1 ounce, 21 inches long

We are so happy to meet you!

Monday, June 6, 2011


A week late isn't so bad. Except for the fact that it is hot and humid. And I have a horrible, itchy rash on my hands, legs, and feet. (The less said about that the better.) Hey, at least I am not at work.

So. Tomorrow is the day. I am going into the hospital at 5 a.m. I will be given the dreaded pitocin. Hopefully, by the end of the day tomorrow, I will have a baby.

It is funny. When I was busy getting ready for the baby, I kept thinking about how nice it would be to have everything organized, and I would feel a lot more calm. Like with wedding planning - it was such a relief when it was over. Then I would realize that this is just the beginning. I have a whole lifetime of planning and worrying ahead of me. Sitting here on the couch today, thinking about the fact that tomorrow at this time I will (hopefully) be in labor, is just so surreal. I've tried to enjoy my last few days of peace and quiet, but I am ready. Finally. To meet the next stage of my life. To meet my baby.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Still Not Here

Well, Peanut, you are officially late. In school you would get in trouble, but right now there is not much I can do to punish you. I am just hoping you decide to come out on your own before I have to have you forcibly evicted.

Right now I am scheduled to be induced on June 7 if Peanut doesn't arrive before then. I have mixed feelings about being induced. I wanted to try to do the whole natural birth thing - no drugs, etc. However, I have heard horror stories about pitocin. I know, I know. I shouldn't listen to everyone's stories. Every birth is different. It is hard not to listen, though. I wish I were better and telling people to shut up.

I really didn't think I'd still be at work this week. I know I am not even a week late, but each day feels like a month! And really, all of the people coming up to me at work saying "You're still here?!?" are really not helpful. Because yes. Obviously. If I wasn't, you wouldn't be talking to me, would you? I know they are just being friendly, but UGH.