hello baby

It has been quiet here for a bit and after this post will likely continue to be for a while. Why?

Two words: baby Eloise.

Like her oldest brother, Avery, Eloise surprised us early, spending several weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) before finally coming home. 

Eloise was born across town at the same hospital as Dorian. Hospitals, as it turns out, are full of data visualizations. We were at the hospital for some routine tests when the adventure began. The machine they hooked me up to drew data on paper. While to me, it just looked like a lot of peaks and valleys, apparently to the doctor, it depicted "active labor." Interesting. But we only looked at that particular graph for a matter of minutes. It was the following ones that we stared at for weeks on end in the NICU, alarms periodically blaring.

In the first image, the bottom graph (right hand side) shows contractions every minute. The second image is a snapshot of ventilator stats. The final image depicts the stats consistently tracked while in the NICU: heart rate (green), oxygen saturation (blue) and respiratory rate (white).

In the first image, the bottom graph (right hand side) shows contractions every minute. The second image is a snapshot of ventilator stats. The final image depicts the stats consistently tracked while in the NICU: heart rate (green), oxygen saturation (blue) and respiratory rate (white).

Spending time in the NICU is a strange experience. The ups and downs are of course scary (when I learned that the treatment for the first several days wasn't working and Eloise would have to be intubated and put on a ventilator was one of the worst moments of my life). There's also a strange tension of emotions. On the one hand, you have professionals taking amazing care of your baby around the clock. But it's difficult every single time you have to leave and aren't able to take your baby with you. Being there is stressful. There's a feeling of guilt, though, whenever you aren't there. Having been through the process once before made it familiar, but not any easier. The day we were finally able to take Eloise home was a glorious one.

And now that Eloise is here with us, the data visualizations don't end. There is the temporal data I'm recording in a list (old-school-style, with my fancy tools of a pen and spiral notebook) on feedings and diapers. There's the Jawbone UP app on my phone, a daily reminder of my interrupted sleep and how little sleep and steps I'm getting in general. There's the automatic graphing that our high-tech scale does of my weight (just what every recently pregnant person wants to see, right?!?). Even one of the bottle packages had a graph on it! 

The first two images are from Jawbone UP, which tracks my sleep and steps; the first image depicts a night of sleep (and wakefulness, shown in orange—feeding times) and the second image shows my total sleep and steps for a given day. The third image is a screenshot of my weight over time collected via our Withings scale (y-axis scale/labels intentionally not shown; if I could annotate the peaks, the first would read "Dorian birth" and the second "Eloise birth," perhaps I'd also draw a "goal" line somewhere near the bottom!). The final image is from a package of Dr. Brown bottles—great use of color and text in graph to highlight the Dr. Brown line.

The first two images are from Jawbone UP, which tracks my sleep and steps; the first image depicts a night of sleep (and wakefulness, shown in orange—feeding times) and the second image shows my total sleep and steps for a given day. The third image is a screenshot of my weight over time collected via our Withings scale (y-axis scale/labels intentionally not shown; if I could annotate the peaks, the first would read "Dorian birth" and the second "Eloise birth," perhaps I'd also draw a "goal" line somewhere near the bottom!). The final image is from a package of Dr. Brown bottles—great use of color and text in graph to highlight the Dr. Brown line.

There are certainly many more stats that I could be tracking and visualizing. But I'm not going to. Rather, I'm going to spend my time staring at this beautiful, tiny creature.

Her loving big brothers and father have been doing the same.

Welcome, Eloise, we are so very happy you are here!

Eloise Noel Knaflic
Born February 19, 2016
5 pounds 3 ounces

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