Last week my mom was here to cook, clean, do laundry, and take care of me so that I could take care of the baby. Bryan worked last week but, blessing of blessings, he was able to take this entire week off. He doesn't cook like Mom does, but he is a champ with the laundry and the cleaning and the cuddling of the little one. She will be two weeks old tomorrow and, so far, I haven't had to do any solo parenting for more than an hour or two at a time.
(That will change on Monday. I'm employing a strategy of Frantic Denial in regard to said fact.)
One of the great things Bryan has been doing this week is taking Camilla after she eats in the morning (usually around seven. Or eight. Or nine. We are nothing if not flexible.) so that I can get a couple extra hours of sleep. He holds her while he drinks his coffee and says Morning Prayers, and I stretch out in the bed and wake up feeling considerably refreshed, usually just in time to feed her again.
But this morning I woke up and didn't hear her crying for food, so I seized the opportunity and dashed into the bathroom for my standard morning hygiene routine, which I'm generally forced to complete in bits and pieces these days. Moments later Bryan knocked on the bathroom door.
"How is she?"
"What do you mean 'how is she?' You have her!"
"Uh, no, you have her."
I could hear from his voice that he was joking. I was 100% certain that if I opened the door, I'd see him standing there holding Camilla. In spite of that, in the three-tenths of a second before he gave himself away by chortling, my heart flipped over. I literally stopped breathing. It took me several seconds before I recovered and could laugh along with him.
She's thirteen days old and I already love her that much.
A comment left my sister a few days before Camilla was born had some of you wondering whether we actually did know that she was a girl. Nope. My sis was just expressing her own personal wishful thinking about the sex of the baby. (Although most of the family was convinced that Camilla was a girl, just like most of us were convinced Daniel was a boy. It could be a coincidence, or we might simply be very good guessers. Time - and future children - will tell for sure.)
I explained a long time ago how we'd decided not to find out the baby's sex ahead of time. In retrospect, I have no regrets about that decision, although I don't think I'd have regrets if we'd decided the other way, either. It was exciting to hear "It's a girl!" in the moment right after she was born, but I was on such an emotional high that I would have been plenty excited anyway. (I was a little relieved that it wasn't a boy, since when I went into labor we still didn't have a boy name that either of us was enthusiastic about. I'm personally convinced that we knew instinctively it was a girl, and that's why none of the boy names felt like they fit.)
Camilla, incidentally, was the name of Bryan's paternal grandmother who died this past August. We've always liked the name on its own merits, so it was on our list of possibilities anyway, and when his grandmother passed away we decided that if we were ever going to use it, now would be the time. As for Claire, it's a name I've always loved, and we thought it sounded good with Camilla. (Interesting coincidence that I just now discovered: This Italian blessed, named Camilla, was a member of the Poor Clares.) I did have St. Clare of Assisi in mind when we picked the name, although we spelled it with an 'i' because I happen to like that spelling better. (Bryan couldn't care less about spelling.)
Camilla has a nickname already, given to her by Bryan at four in the morning a few days after we brought her home. He'd gotten up to change her diaper and, a little sleepy and punch-drunk, kissed her as he handed her back to me to be fed. "She's my muffin," he said groggily. "My blueberry muffin." (Hopefully he won't be annoyed with me for sharing that.)
I doubt that in his semi-consciousness he was expecting the name to stick, but it has. We've dropped the "blueberry" but the baby is known ubiquitously as "Muffin" or sometimes "the Muffin." It's not a nickname I ever would have picked off a list, but it seems to fit her very well.
She's beautiful and she's snuggleable and she's thriving. We went back to the pediatrician on Tuesday and he declared her problem-free. She was up to 7lb, 10oz (guess that oversupply is doing its job!) and her jaundice is almost gone and the goop in her eye which was worrying me is apparently due to a plugged tear duct, which is no big deal and seems to have resolved itself for the moment anyway.
We are settling in.