Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sweet Baby

When Claire was two weeks old I took her to get some pictures taken at a local portrait studio. Can you say precious? She held her hands in my favorite picture (above). It is so much fun getting to know her. It is overwhelming at times when I realize that she depends on me for so much. Nothing feels more right than holding her and feeling her little body in my arms. I am blown away at the incredible blessing that she is.

Claire 2 weeks

It is so amazing to see how much Claire changes every day! I took her in for her 2 week check up and was shocked at her weight! She was 7lbs 11oz when she was born and lost down to 7lbs 2oz when we left the hospital. Two weeks later she weighs 8lbs 10oz! Needless to say she is a wonderful eater and partakes whenever she can! Her days and nights were switched for about the first two weeks. During the day she was impossible to wake up - I tried everything including stripping her down to her diaper and putting a cold cloth on her face - NOTHING. Not even a twitch! Then come about 11pm she was wide awake and ready for some interaction with her mom and dad (who were collapsing into bed exhausted from 18 hrs of staring at her and marveling at how beautiful she is). She is still a sweet baby who only fusses when she (what else?) wants to eat! She gets that from her Mom!

December 30th 2005 - Claire arrives home with Mom and Dad for the first time. The first thing we did was give Claire the grand tour of her first house! In addition to Mom and Dad her Gram and Uncle Bobby were also here for her big homecoming. We were so blessed that Claire arrived in the middle of her Dad's vacation so we were able to spend a lot of time together as a new family. What sweet memories we have of her first days!

A new Shirley is born!

Claire Louise Shirley was born December 28, 2005 at 10:13am at Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham, AL. We were anxiously awaiting her arrival that was scheduled for the next day (induction). As I was tossing and turning on the night of the 27th trying to get some sleep I realized that my water broke! We got to the hospital about an hour later, I got my epidural about 2 hours later at 5.5 centimeters and several hours later after an hour and a half of pushing little Claire entered into this world and we will never be the same. She weighed in at 7 lbs 11oz and 20 1/4 inches long. Her sweet calm demeanor was apparent from the very beginning. As long as she can nurse she is one happy baby. We spent the next two days in the hospital and came home for the first time as a family instead of as a couple. I cried the first two nights we were home - not post partum depression - I cried because I loved her so much! I'm sure my hormones played a role but the truth is I have been completely smitten and consumed with love for her since the first time I saw her little face right after she was born. Giving birth and being a mother is the most amazing experience I could imagine. Rhett jokes that I've been training for this my entire life! It is a dream come true.