Monday, January 28, 2013

Introducing Nora

Our sweet Eleanor Jane made her entrance about two weeks earlier than expected on December 29. Here are a few pictures and thoughts from the last few weeks.
Happy birthday, Eleanor Jane!
I'm one happy mama.
Newest addition to Team Miller
Tuckered out. Jake had been on high alert for far too long.
Proud big brother.
Labor and delivery were awesome (as much as one can say that pushing out a baby is awesome), especially compared to Joseph's birth. Once again, my doctor was out of town, but I actually got to meet the doctor who delivered Nora beforehand, and he was totally supportive of my desire for a non-epidural, non-C-section birth. My water broke at 5 am on December 29, I timed my contractions while we got everything packed up and ready to go, called the doctor, took Joseph to a friend's home (thanks, Wallentines!), and made our way to Albert Einstein Hospital.

My nurse, Vivian, was awesome and spoke English and was also supportive of a natural birth. I love being in the top tier of a two-tiered medical system! My labor wasn't progressing well when I was in bed, so I walked around my room a lot as the contractions became more intense and frequent. They didn't get much closer than around 2-3 minutes apart, so I was given a small drip of pitocin to get things going. My nurses brought out a yoga ball (didn't even have to ask for it) that I sat on as contractions cranked up. Jake was fantastic. He held my hand through each contraction, and as back labor started while I was on the ball, he applied pressure on my lower back through the contractions. After awhile, I started getting a little lightheaded (I remembered this from Joseph's birth) and knew that the urge to push wasn't far away. I got back into bed, and Jake was told to go up to another floor to change into scrubs for the delivery. I told him to go FAST, because things were happening.

I was moved from the labor room to a delivery room, which was more sterile and surgical. I had started to feel like pushing, and the doctor and nurses encouraged me to push, but I tried to hold back because Jake wasn't in the room yet. I had pushed a handful of times when Jake got in (it felt like an eternity, and I was freaking out a little that he wouldn't make it in time. Also, the nurses all spoke Portuguese). I pushed about three more times, and BLOOP, out came our Nora. She went immediately to my chest, which didn't happen with Joseph, and we got to marvel at our new precious girl while the doctor and nurses finished with me. Both Jake and I laughed at how much she looked like Joseph.

We called our families via Skype later that day, and got a bit of interesting news. Nora was named for two of Jake's aunts on the Miller side (and possibly Jane Eyre), and when we called Jake's dad, he was overjoyed, in part because December 29 is his mother's birthday, and the two women we named our baby for were her sister and sister-in-law. Joseph was born on my great-grandma's birthday and his middle name is her father's name. Our kids' grandmothers have connections in the spirit world apparently.

My hospital stay was pretty good (probably worth an extra post, as the differences between Brazilian and American post-natal care are interesting), and we had to stay an extra day because of some minor jaundice. We were released on New Year's Day.

My mom arrived one week later, on January 7, and her help has been invaluable. These past three weeks have been wonderful with her here, and I know Joseph really benefited from her presence. We ate good Brazilian food, went to the park, had great talks, laughed about poop as only moms can, and were sad to part.

Nora is already very different from Joseph. She sleeps far more and doesn't startle or wake up as easily. Joseph wasn't sure about her at the beginning, but he seems to be adjusting and getting more excited about her as the weeks wear on. She sleeps pretty well at night, and usually wakes up to eat around 3 or 4 and then again about 6 or 7. Because she was a little early, she was kind of skinny when she arrived, but we've fattened her up in the last month, and it's fun to see her get too big for her newborn clothes.

6 days old. I felt a little like I was putting Joseph in a dress because they looked so much alike.
3.5 weeks. Look at those chunky legs and cheeks!
She's starting to smile occasionally and starting to spend more time awake. She loves the sling my mom made and usually falls asleep in it. She's kind of a puker, so I'm glad we have a washer and dryer in our unit. We're so happy to have her as part of our family and can't wait to see the wonderful person inside.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Posts and Afterlife Economics

I have a string of posts scheduled, but I wanted to start with this brilliant youtube clip, posted by Greg Mankiw.  It all makes sense now...