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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Life in the hospital

In short, it was great.

In slightly-longer: 
  • Vera met these people before she even came home:  Grandpa Victor, Grandma Cathy, brother Griffin, Grandpa Tim, friends Martha, Carrie, Carrie, April, Cate, Bren (also the world's best babysitter).  Maybe some more - sorry if I've missed any visitors.
  • The nurses at Salem hospital birth place are awesome.  Full stop.  
  • Vera stayed with us in the room from 7am until about 10pm each day.  Then we put her in the nursery between night feeds.  We love her and want to be the best parents we can for her, so sleep when we can get it is good.
  • Vicki was up on her feet within 12 hours of the surgery.  She walked around the maternity wing on day 3 and did multiple laps on day 4.
  • Vera bottomed out on weight after about 2 days (something in the 8lbs and change range) and then started gaining again.  Woo hoo!  V and v are both good at the feeding/eating relationship.
  • I stayed with Vicki all the nights she was in the hospital after delivery.  On the first night, she was in pretty bad pain and said it was just nice to know I was there.   And, this is one of the only times in our lives that its likely to be Vera/Mom/Dad for a while.

How to have a peaceful dinner

Vicki is doing this to keep Vera quiet.  Go bouncy seat and some vigorous tapping.


The belly button fell off today

For those of you non-parents out there, this is like the parental pride equivalent of college graduation for twelve day olds.  Nice job v.

About Girly Colors

I didn't think I'd like them on Vera.  But pink and purple are awesome in the hands of today's baby clothes designers.  Hooray for three things:

  • Not being condemned to a life of greens and yellows just to avoid shockingly girly girl clothes.
  • The color brown, which looks great with pink (who knew) and is also one of Griffin's favorites, creating a more favorable impression of the new one.
  • The Hale family - nearly all of Vera's current wardrobe is right from them.  Thanks guys!  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vera Nicknames

Here's some names I've "test driven" while addressing Vera over the first 11 days.  Note that what I call her at any given moment has a strong correlation to the words that Carters, Gap, et. al. print on the front of baby onesies and pajamas. 

Keepers:
  • V
  • Peanut
Maybe:
  • Sweetie
  • Flour (We used to call Griffin our lil sack of potatoes, so Vera is our lil sack of flour.  Plus it sounds like flower)
  • Cutie
  • Cupcake
Yikes (if I may):
  • Petunia
  • Rosebud
  • Doo doo (we had a vet who called one of our cats this, endearingly)
  • Sweet Angel (great nickname, but its what I call Vicki)

The Thriller

Vera does this thing with her arms where she holds them out in front of her face like she's dancing to the number one album of the 1980's.  Its so freakin' cute.  We usually swaddle her with her right arm out, just because she seems to like it so much.

About the Delivery

Vera's 11 days old on this, the day I started bloggin'.  So here's a back-dated recap on the delivery, which for the record was.....

September 18, 2012, at 10:10 AM

This is the first blog I've ever written.  But its not the first one that I've every read, so I'm using a "jump break" so that you don't have to read this whole post if you don't want.  It could get long.  Short story:  the delivery was text book c-section.  9lbs 3oz.  Vera and Vicki both did beautifully.  Click "Read more" below to, well, you get the idea.

We left the house at 6:40 AM for Salem Hospital.  It was a Tuesday. 

About the Sequential Birthdays

In my immediate family growing up, we had "pairs" of birthdays, which was kinda cool:
  • Dad and Chris are the 25th and 26th (of Aug and Feb)
  • My brother Brian and I are the 19th and 20th (of Oct and Sep)
  • Kate and Mom are the 11th and 12th (of Dec and Oct)
And now, this continues with the Hendrixes of 20 Willow:
  • Vera and I are the 18th and 19th (of Sep and Oct)
  • Griff and Vicki are the 11th and 12th (of Jan and July)
Neat Neat, as PK would say. 

Before she was born....

Vera's already 11 days old, so here's some of the background you might want to know about from before she was born:

Her name:
  • We decided on the name a long time ago (when Vicki was 3 or 4 months pregnant), and we've been telling people about it for 5 or 6 months since then whenever they ask.   
  • Vera is with long "E" sound.  Like "veer", not like "very"
  • Charlotte was Vicki's mom's name.
  • Hendrix is a nice way to end a three part name, IMHO
  • Vera and Vicki have the same initials:  VCH
  • The name Vera reminds us of Vera Wang and Vera Bradley, both of whom we think of as entrepreneurial creative driven women.  I think I'd like to have a Vera Wang suit sometime.  
  • Some names we didn't use but considered:  Violet, Clare, Kate, Clara, Chistine, Catherine, Elizabeth, Lila, Meadow.  Okay, not Meadow.      
The Pregnancy:
  • Was good.  Nothing crazy to report.
  • Vicki did have itchy feet, some early-on queasiness, and a giant, giant, giant (yes, triple giant) belly which appeared to be one of those over-sized playground balls that they used to sell at Kmart and Walmart from those really tall metal cage things
  • The playground ball sized baby made Vicki's abs very very sore in the final few weeks.  
  • We were really debating vaginal vs. C-section for this delivery, until the nurse called with the 38-week ultrasound results.  Vicki played the voicemail over the speakers in the car and we laughed and high-fived as the nurse described the results. 
"Hi Vicki its Nancy.  I think you were calling about the results of the ultrasound from last week.  So they're in....   Now, keep in mind this is preliminary and there's about a plus-or-minus error of 1 pound.  But the baby's measuring about 4200 grams, or 9 lbs and 1 oz.  So that puts her in the 96th percentile.  So that's the result.  See you for your office visit later today."
  • You could tell she was trying not to laugh or sound a little surprised.
  • About an hour after this voice mail was received, Vicki had a checkup, a conversation with one of the OB's, and Vera's scheduled C-section date, time, and doctor.  Thank goodness for modern medicine and very supportive doctors. 

Vera's got a big brother, Griffin, whom you can read all about on his blog.

The Opener

I am so stoked to have a daughter.  Every parent just wants a healthy baby, and I'm no exception.  And I'd be lying if I told you I didn't really want a girl for baby #2.  Vera melts my heart.  In so many ways, she's the perfect addition to the other three of us (and the cats).  

Vicki is still the blog master of "Adventures With Griffin", and I've always enjoyed guest-posting.   So I'm doing the blog one for Vera.  Here it is.  

My intent is a few things.  I suppose these are typical blog fare, but lets just review so we're all on the same (web) page to start:

  • Archive for v (that's what we've been calling her) to read when she's older
    • Yeah also I'm pretty sentimental, too
  • Organize my thinking and process the father-of-two role as it happens
  • Practice my creative writing, including building my funny muscles
  • Prevent idle conversation about "how the kids are" so my regular blog readers and I can talk in person about the details too cumbersome, embarrasing, or disgusting to write in the blog.

The title is based on a famous Jimmy Hendrix song, only I slightly tweaked it. I think it evokes the type of confusion that I will foresee myself experiencing while raising a daughter.  Such as which folds are you supposed to wipe, when, and in which direction.  

Also it was the most creative thing that I could come up with 11 days after she was born.  I'm a lil' tired.

Welcome aboard, blog reader!  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What we emailed when Vera was Born


Here's the email that we sent out when Vera was born.  Just posting it to the blog for the prosperity sake.  We sent it to about 138 people and got almost as many well wishes in response, which I would read to V and v while we were on vacation with free babysitting I mean, still in the hospital after the delivery.

Also, if you ever have a kid, do like we did this time around and compose this email (and add its many addressees) before you go to the hospital.  Then after the kid pops out, snap a pic and just pencil in the weight, date, and length, and you're good to go with just a few minutes of distraction from your newly expanded family.
______________________________________________________________________________
Subj:  Just a normal Tuesday..... :)

Hi Everyone,
    Griffin's little sister has arrived!  Vera Charlotte Hendrix.  Born Tuesday Sep 18 at 10:10 AM,  9lbs 3oz,  21 inches.(thank goodness for c-sections). Vicki and Vera (both VCH!) are both healthy and happy.  Thanks so much for prayers, thoughts, and well wishes.
-The Hendrixes
PS:  Vera is pronounced with a long E sound, like Vera Bradley or Vera Wang.  Like the word "veer", not like "very".