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.
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!
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