Archives for the month of: June, 2016

IMG_6471IMG_6442IMG_6486-EditIMG_6416-EditIMG_6361-EditIMG_6337IMG_6323At the moment, this blog has ceased to be so much of a writing outlet as just a way to keep track of Josephine’s babyhood. I have really loved looking back on the details of Catherine as a baby, and I want to make sure I document things for Josephine, too, even though that has proved harder with two. That said, here are some photos from the first few weeks home with our new family member. The ones above were taken by Laurie, and I will treasure them always. The ones below are other random ones I took with my iPhone.

I haven’t found this newborn stage to be nearly as difficult as I remembered Catherine’s being. Josephine is a good sleeper, and usually just wakes either once at night or when I wake her (since during those first weeks, they need to be fed at least every 3, then 4 hours). With Catherine, I couldn’t really relax until she was in bed at night. But this time, I’m a little wiser, and I realized that those first few weeks when they just sleep all day are amazing, and after putting Catherine to bed (sorry Catherine!) Chris and I would watch our grown-up TV and just cuddle with Josephine until we went to bed. At one point, both girls were napping and I was luxuriously cooking dinner, and it was so quiet, Chris and I looked at each other and said, “This is almost too easy.”

Of course, we knew that would pass, when Josephine started being a bit more demanding. 🙂

Here are some iPhone pics. I’ve enjoyed every single second of this beautiful little brown-haired baby girl.

I have a to-do list, and it never ends…and these days, I move through it very slowly. That’s my way of saying, I would have liked to write the second part of Josephine’s birth story sooner. But here I am, and here we go!

I mentioned before that I fell madly in love with Josephine the second I saw her. Oh, that is so true. And this time, I had the added benefit of having parented a newborn before – which meant that I was a lot less worried, and everything seemed a lot less difficult. So basically, for the next couple of days in the hospital I just held her and stared at her, in absolute heaven. As the fathers aren’t allowed to spend the night in the hospital rooms in NY, it was just me and Josephine at night and in the morning. So nights were pretty lonely, but mornings – my favorite time of day – were heavenly. Because I’d just talk to her, nurse her, and get to know her in the quiet of our room, which overlooked the East River.

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Anyway…going back a bit.  After Chris and I were shown to our room – which we shared with a women for a few hours, until she checked out and we moved to the window side of the room, and then had it all to ourselves for the rest of our stay – sweet, patient Catherine arrived to meet her baby sister.  Catherine had been waiting in the waiting room since about 4:00am  – because my sister Mary gets excited about things like babies and didn’t want to wait at home – enjoying the snacks and toys Mary, Mom, and I had given her to keep her busy. But she and Mary and my mom were very anxious to see us, since we had the baby at 4:44am but didn’t get shown our room until around 7am I believe. Anyway, boring details to most people reading this but I want to have it all recorded for later.

So Mary and my mom thoughtfully wait outside the door while Catherine marches in with her little backpack to see her sister for the first time. She climbed up on the bed with us and was immediately a wonderful, loving big sister. She snuggled and kissed and loved on and cooed over Josephine. She covered Josephine’s hospital swaddle with her very best pony stickers. I still have that swaddle with the stickers on it tucked in a drawer. 🙂  I’ll show it to Josephine some day. The sister bond started the day she was born and I wish them a lifetime of friendship with each other.

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IMG_8953The sisterly snuggling lasted in actuality only a few seconds before Catherine rushed to the door wondering what was taking the others so long – “Come see my baby sis-tah!” she said excitedly.

So everyone got to meet and enjoy Josephine, though if I remember correctly in my sleepy haze, I was a bit hoggish with her and was enjoying holding her so much I didn’t think to ask others if they’d like to hold her as much as I would have. (The following pictures aren’t all taken in the hospital, obviously. Some were taken in our apartment during the first few days home.)

My dad came in to town that night, and they all spent the next day or two while I was in the hospital playing in the city with Catherine, rather than sitting in the hard hospital chairs, which is what I preferred, for their sake and definitely for Catherine’s sake and come to think of it, for mine and Chris’s, since we got some alone time with our new daughter and each other.

Even though it was sad that Chris had to leave at night, it was nice that he stayed very late – until around midnight. And it was during that time that we decided upon her name. Which I think will be a new post.

introducing JosephineOur beautiful Josephine Violet Cobb is here. We’ve spent the past nearly four weeks snuggling her, learning to navigate New York and basically life with two girls, and enjoying visiting family. I’ve been dying to share her birth story, among other things, on this blog though. And now she’s down for a nap, and James, Margaret, Chris, and Catherine are out braving the rain to see the Museum of Natural History, and so I find myself with some time – how much, I never know, could be two minutes or two hours – before Josephine wakes up, in which to write.

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Let me start by sharing her birth. She arrived in nearly the exact same fashion as her big sister! My mom and sister Mary came up two days before her due date. We spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday hanging out and enjoying the waterfront and walking around New York.

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rollingEach night, we watched a little TV or a movie and then went to bed, wondering if that would be the night it happened. Mary took this picture of us on March 7, the evening of my due date.

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When we took this photo, I was actually frustrated because I felt anxious about capturing our family of three before the baby arrived, yet generally hate getting my picture taken. Luckily, Mary has a knack for bringing out the best in people in photos, so I knew she would get some good ones. And I feel like this photo captures how I was feeling the weeks before Josephine’s birth. Which is calm, happy, and very in love with my family.

That night we went to bed. Just like we did when I was pregnant the first time, with Catherine. And that morning, in the wee hours, at 2:00am – just like with Catherine, except that time it happened at 3:00am – I was dreaming that it was time, and that we were rushing around looking for my doctor to deliver the baby, when I felt a little gush and woke up. I knew my water had broken. And because Catherine had come just six or so hours after my water broke, I knew this baby would likely come much sooner! I questioned whether or it was my water or just a little pee 🙂 and even laid back down a couple times, just for a second. But deep down I knew it was time and that we needed to GO. So I woke Catherine up and moved her into our big bed just because somehow I felt she was closer to me that way. I told her what was happening, and kissed her and told her how much I loved her and that I’d see her at the hospital soon. She had a bag of goodies and presents for the waiting room, and most importantly, my wonderful mom and sister, so I knew she would be beyond fine!

Then we grabbed our bags and went downstairs to catch our Uber. Chris ordered a nice SUV. Perhaps just in case I delivered there? That was a good thing, because by the time we reached the hospital, my contractions were very painful. They’d picked up in intensity rapidly. I knew our baby would be here very soon! As I was quite vocal about my pain, the poor driver kept assuring me “Don’t worry ma’am, we’re almost there.” Lol.

We arrived, and I made sure to let the nurses know that the baby was coming – sooner than later. I could tell they were skeptical at first but I convinced them pretty quickly and they understood the situation and rushed to get me in the delivery room fast. Meanwhile, they were trying to stick a needle in my arm and a scalpel up “there,” at the same time I was having a very, very painful contraction! But I was extremely impressed with the nurses at my hospital. I couldn’t have been happier with how they handled things. I felt very grateful to them.

By the time the anesthesiologist arrived, I was staring at the door willing him to walk in. I did not have to be in pain for as long with Catherine. The second the contractions got unbearable, I got my epidural. But this time it was happening so fast, that I found myself in a strange zone for coping with the pain. I sort of swayed and lifted my feet one at a time slowly without even consciously choosing to do so. I also said the F word a lot. It seemed to help. Then the anesthesiologist arrived and gave me the epidural, and the obstetrician arrived and check me and I was ten centimeters dilated. It was time to push. This was at 4am. Just two hours after my water broke and woke me. We delayed pushing for a while, while the nurse arranged some things and Chris and I took a moment to soak in what was about to happen. I requested a mirror, like with Catherine. I made a little joke about how they must wonder why in the world I’d want TWO pregnant vaginas in the room. No one laughed, but I thought I was pretty funny. 🙂  Chris told the doctor that last time he’d held my leg, and he wanted to this time, too. I was really impressed with how he wanted to be involved. It touches my heart to think about it. But I suddenly found myself nervous to push. They told me “you HAVE to push hard” so I let go of my nerves and four pushes later, at 4:44am on May 8 – Mother’s Day – her head of dark hair came out and then her body followed right away.

birthI reached down and grabbed her and looked her all over.  WOW. She was stunning. I was madly, utterly, head over heels in love with this perfect, pretty little peanut. I was floored by how pretty she was! I was so proud of her. I looked over at Chris and he was crying. He asked to cut the cord, and did. Then I decided to give her the chance to nurse. This time, instead of letting the nurses assist as I did with Catherine, I relaxed and put our new baby on my breast. She found my nipple, latched on right away, and didn’t let go for an hour and a half. I just kept saying ecstatically to Chris, “She’s a champ!” and this isn’t something I normally say. 🙂 Even when Chris and the nurse took her to the table to weigh her I just stared after her saying “I’m soooo happy.” She weighed 7 pounds and 1 ounce, and was 20 inches long (though later the pediatrician’s nurse would measure her in their office at 19 inches). The nurse looked at her and said, “Wow, she is a little peanut!” And her hair! It is so long and dark and lovely!

photo 1IMG_8930So that’s part one of Josephine’s birth story. Somewhat graphic and quite hastily told, but it’s better I get it down quickly while I can. And I’ll be back for part two, which includes Catherine meeting Josephine, our hospital stay, and the first few days at home.