Friday, July 11, 2008

Meet My Family: Chloe

Chloe is my oldest daughter, she is 3 1/2 years old. Technically she is 3 years, 5 months and two weeks. Even more technically, she is 1261 days old, counting Leap Day. Or 30, 264 hours.

But who's counting?

Chloe was born on a freezing cold January day in 2005. I was currently 3 days overdue, miserable, gigantic, nervous, terrified, and frustrated.

My contractions began around 9 PM on a Monday evening. I was vegged out on the couch, I had barely moved from the sofa for three straight days I was so tired and miserable. On the tube was a marathon of Made episodes on MTV. The contractions made me uncomfortable, but I just wasn't sure if it was the real deal or not. The Hubs had to get up at 5 AM to go to work, so he gave me a quick kiss on the head and went to bed with a cheerful "Wake me up if you have a baby!" The next three hours were spent getting in and out of the bathtub, timing contractions and drinking water. Still unsure if it was the real thing, I called my doctor. "Drink another glass of water and call me in an hour." I still was feeling crampy, a little uncomfortable, but not that bad yet. I was grinning to myself at how strong I was. This labor thing is no biggie! But then I started to panic a little thinking I was about to pop a baby out on my living room floor. I went and woke The Hubs and said "I think it's time." And did he jump out of bed, throw together our bags and herd me out the door?

No. He sleepily asked if I was okay, then resumed snoozing. I spent another hour timing the cramps, cleaning the kitchen and reading horrible stories about childbirth-gone-wrong on the Internet (caution: not advised!!!!). Finally at 1 AM I was feeling ready, pretty certain I was in active labor. I shook The Hubs a little harder and demanded he get up. When he realized I was serious, he set to getting us out the door. We were in the middle of a harsh winter, it was snowing heavily and very icy outside. He ran out into the pitch black night to warm up the car and I sat inside and rejoiced a little more about how easy-peasy this childbirth thing was going to be.

I wish I had some great story about getting stuck in a snow bank and delivering our child in the warm car while the rescuers dug us out. But the truth is we drove one block over to the brightly lit hospital, where we were informed I was not even in real labor. We settled in for a long night/day.

The next three hours we walked all over the hospital, I was given induction medication, we called our family.

The next three hours I cried about how hungry/exhausted/in pain I was.

My water broke.

The next three hours were full of hard contractions, terrible back pain, lots of visitors.

More contractions. Pain medication that made the world spin and made me throw up.

7 PM...I hadn't eaten in 24 hours, I hadn't slept in 36 hours, my body was battered and bruised and I just wanted to give up.

2 more hours of pushing with all my might.

A doctor's threat "Julie, if you don't push this baby out in the next five minutes, we are going to have to do a C section"

6 minutes later...........

Chloe Joy entered this world. A perfect 8 pounds 9 ounces, thick, dark red hair, deep brown eyes, and wailing her little lungs out.

Chloe is my quiet girl. She had a speech delay for several years, and even now she is soft spoken. Shy and reserved at first, then happy and full of life when she is comfortable.

Her hair falls down her back in thick, auburn locks. Her eyes are the exact shade of dark chocolate and they twinkle when she is happy. She delights in ordinary things, and is very easy to please. Very rarely does she misbehave, she sleeps like an angel every night. I get so much joy in watching her play, she has such a rich, vivid imagination. She falls asleep every night with a stack of books in her bed and walks out of her bedroom in the morning with yet another stack. She is so sweet, she "lubs ebbybody so much!" and says the silliest things. She brings so much light and laughter to our family.

On the other end of the spectrum, she hates change. She doesn't like to leave a place if we've been there for more than a few minutes. She also gets frustrated easily. Wants to do everything by herself. Fights with her little sister. Cries easily. Sometimes too shy and quiet, she would rather sit on the sidelines. Gives up easily. Is super picky.

But the sweet and sour all combine together to make this fantastic, well balanced, beautiful and happy little girl that I am incredibly proud to call my daughter.

Name: Chloe Joy
Age: 3 1/2
Loves: Books, music, cartoons and movies, her cousins, the park, ice cream, fruit, bathtime, drawing, the Library
Hates: getting dirty, bugs, taking naps, tags on her clothes, plain milk, getting her hair brushed, sharing her toys, sparklers
Favorite Food: Apples
Least Favorite Food: Cooked vegetables
Favorite cartoon: Dora
Favorite Book: I'm a Big Sister
Favorite Color: Pink

Enjoys long walks, running errands with Daddy, quiet time with Mommy, making up stories, all holidays and family get togethers, riding her trike, blowing bubbles, going for ice cream, and dressing up like a princess.