Oh, my.

Lucy Jane is one week old today, and she is just amazing. And motherhood is so much more amazing, exhilarating and exhausting then I ever thought it would be. With more spit-up, too. How come nobody ever tells you that when you buy those cute baby outfits they're going to have yellow milk stains decorating the collars about ten minutes after the baby puts them on?

Anyhow. I've been working on and off on a big post about labor and delivery, but I'm not quite ready with it yet. Let's just say that I had, um, a slightly unrealistic view of just what I was in for, and I didn't end up with exactly the birth I'd dreamed of or planned for...but what everyone says is true. They hand you the baby, and even though you spent the past hours clawing at your husband's forearms begging him to please make the pain stop and mentally swearing that you were done with the business of reproduction until the scientists figured out how to do it through mail order, they hand you that baby and it's all completely worth it. Completely.

And my husband was amazing, and the nurses and lactation consultants at Pennsylvania Hospital were wonderful, and my doula was a trooper and oh boy I'm glad it's over. It felt wonderful to pack up all of my maternity clothes, put all my pregnancy books in a box, and look at my daughter asleep in her crib (where I swear she's spent a grand total of forty-five minutes of her life because she's usually being held by one of her grandmothers) and know that I'm finally a mother!

And Lucy is an angel, except for between the hours of 12:30 and 2 a.m. or so, when she screams until she's the color of a strawberry and will not be comforted by any of our tricks. Last night we walked her, fed her, changed her, rocked her, burped her, patted her, sat her in her vibrating bouncy seat, and couldn't calm her down, and wound up sitting side by side in the bed with Lucy shrieking in my ear and Adam reading aloud from T. Berry Brazelton's CALMING YOUR FUSSY BABY, trying to diagnose her cry.

"Would you say it's shrill and rhythmic or low but building?"

"I'd say it's awful. What does T. Berry say to do when it's awful?"

Of course, I haven't slept more than three hours at a stretch since the Blessed Event, and breast feeding's been a bumpy road, although I can definitely see things from LJ's perspective....if I had something twice the size and consistency of an underripe Casaba melon being shoved in my face, I'd scream and bat at it with my fists, too. But I am persisting....and I'm lucky to have my own Mom here, burping and changing the baby and cooking about two weeks' worth of food for us. She's leaving tomorrow and I know I'm going to cry like a baby when she goes.

But I think I'm getting the hang of this motherhood thing. Last night Adam hugged me, and I wrapped my arms around him, closed my eyes, and started to burp him.

More pictures soon. Meanwhile, one note....I'm so grateful for all of the notes of support and encouragement, and I'm really touched by the offers of gifts, but Lucy Jane is a very lucky little girl, and we've got absolutely everything we could need, in duplicate. If you'd like to do something for her, please feel free to make a donation or drop off a toy at your local children's hospital. And thank you all for thinking of us.

Jen