April 07, 2010

Things I've learned the last 2 weeks

Pregnancy is the easy part.

Use the restroom when baby starts exhibiting wake-up for feeding cues.

Keep water bottle full and close by at all times.

Take it slow.

Pray lots. God even hears the little prayers such as "please let her stay asleep. please"

Sleep when able. Ask Josh to take baby away if needed.

Swings are necessary items to have. So are pacifiers. (I realize they recommend holding off for 4 weeks if BF, but we were desperate...and she hasn't exhibited any problems with latching or sucking during feeding, especially as evidence by her weight gain.)

Posted by Anna at 01:11 PM | TrackBack

week 2

So tomorrow my baby girl turns 2 weeks old. Last night I went to a BF support group and she weighed in at 8 pounds 8.4 ounces--a gain of 6.4 ounces since last Thursday. I could tell she had gained weight just because her hands and limbs are starting to fill out. Her cord stump fell off on Sunday. We survived a couple of days without my parents while they went to visit some family, and then they spent Easter afternoon/evening with us, taking us out to dinner--my first venture out with the baby. It's nerve-wracking to be out in public and hear the coughs around. I just want to put her in a bubble.

My parents are awesome. and that's an understatement for all they did for us last week. My dad fixed stuff around the house and my mom caught up our laundry, dishes, and general house-cleaning. We'll never be able to pay them back...hopefully we'll be able to do the same for Grace many years in the future as they have done for us.

She seems to have fallen into a 2.5-3 hour feeding schedule, so that's been nice, and every once in awhile she'll sleep for 3 hours at night. I take the little blessings where I can get them. She's also starting to pick up fussy times--the hardest ones are the 11:00 at night ones where we both just want to sleep and she does too, but she fights it. Josh was a champ last night, letting me doze while he worked at soothing her. I know at some point we'll have to let her probably cry it out...but that "late" at night... my nerves just can't handle it. I just hope she doesn't get attached to any sort of sleep prop dependent on us...but since she generally still goes down okay during the day without anything more than a pacifier or the occasional swing time, it seems to be okay right now.

Posted by Anna at 12:24 PM | TrackBack

April 01, 2010


Here's hoping I can get some thoughts down from this first week of motherhood.

The night before you were born was long as I kept having contractions and had trouble sleeping longer than 30 minutes or so at a time. The morning was nice after they broke my water and gave me the epidural, I dozed for a couple of hours until about noon when amazingly enough, I was ready to give birth. We started the pushing process a little bit sooner because you're heart rate started to slow as you began your "descent." I had to have oxygen, which was rather nice to have for pushing. Pushing wasn't the long process I had been warned of...it was rather easy with epidural and I just seemed to know what to do. You came rather quickly. I wasn't even aware that I tore and needed stitches, which was rather nice.

Day 1: I stared in wonder at this little sticky person laying on my tummy...amazed that you were really mine. You didn't really come out looking like I expected--you actually had hair and it was dark. You did come out rather long though. You responded to my voice so quickly and daddy's too. I didn't have any magical feelings the first time we put you to my breast, but we did discover you had a nice strong suck and latch. I was pleased to see how you responded to Daddy's voice and calming hold. The first hours passed in a surreal like state, with frequent checks. You had your first bath last night and didn't seem too impressed with it. The first night was rough though--I learned about "cluster feeding" as you would wake up and want to eat every hour or so. It was exhausting and I felt very overwhelmed at the thought of the just the next 24 hours. "Am I really ready for this?" "I thought newborns were sleepy-heads..." I started praying for just little bits of peace...and God provided. It was funny when you got distracted by Daddy's snoring. I also discovered that even an hour of sleep can go a very long way. The nurse came in after you fell asleep on my shoulder and offered to take you to the nursery so I could get a longer stretch of sleep. You went down so easily, I accepted and off you went. It felt good to sleep, although I started to miss you and be anxious to have you back after just a couple of hours. I knew I needed a bit of time to help myself heal though. We talked to lots of people, although Daddy did most of the communicating. The doctor saw you in the morning and pronounced you to be perfectly healthy.

Day 2: Grandma and Grandpa got in just before you turned exactly 1 day old. I was beginning to realize I was going to be very very grateful to have help for the first week. They stuck you heel for routine blood draw and you became very unhappy. I was mentally on edge to hear you cry so, but I knew you needed this done. You were still cluster feeding away, but the nurse told me that was good because it meant milk would come in faster. I was also becoming grateful that we had another day in the hospital just for my mental recuperation. It was beginning to feel impossible to have any moments to eat or use the restroom since you kept wanting to eat and eat. We sent you to the nursery again for a few hours this night and then you came back rather hungry. The night went a little bit more smoothly, although you were still cluster feeding. I was beginning to feel a lot better in the morning about being a mommy and was beginning to feel anxious about getting home so you could have a little more peace from pokes and prods. You had jaundice and they had to do another long heel stick where they kept squeezing and squeezing. We left the hospital before lunch and you liked the car ride. You really like movement.

Day 3: Home. It was nice to be somewhere comfortable and introduce you to your new surroundings, especially on such a beautiful spring day. Grandma and Grandpa went shopping and you and I napped the afternoon away. You love snuggling on my shoulder or in Daddy's arms. You aren't a fan of diaper changes though. You're eating schedule is slowly starting to regulate, and my milk was in and you seemed much happier with this. We survived our first night, although you had me get up many times. Frequent diaper changes in the night are rough, but this will get better with time I know. And I didn't sleep through any of your crying, so that's good, but I am still so exhausted. We had to take you to the doctor for another heel stick to make sure your jaundice wasn't getting worse. I was really nervous having you in a pediatricians office with sick children going down the hall. After we got home you snuggled on my shoulder for a nap. You did well during the day but at night you got really fussy. I left you upstairs with the family while i took an early evening nap and you did well with Grandma and Daddy.

Day 4: The neighbors T.P.ed our yard and put up balloons, signs, and a little bunny to welcome you to the neighborhood. People honked as they drove by on their way to the school down the street. You slept a little better, giving me more than an hour of sleep at time. The home visit nurse came by and helped us get better at breastfeeding, as well as providing us with lots more information for us to sort through and begin to process. Grandma and Grandpa are such a huge help--preparing all sorts of good meals, giving us a bit of a break, and Grandpa has done numerous home repairs around the house.

Day 5-6: The days are starting to blur together. you only woke up once in the night (between midnight and 7). I was slightly nervous, but decided to take it as a blessing. You did eat more frequently during the day and had another fussy time at night. You like your new swing and we went on a walk one afternoon when it wasn't so windy. I'm starting to have more energy and feel slightly more confident about this motherhood thing. It's also been interesting just to note my increased paranoia, protectiveness. Wanting to keep you safe from that creepy kid we passed by on the sidewalk and hoping the spiders and ladybugs don't pester you in the house.

It's slowly becoming more real that I am a mother...for the rest of my life. This isn't temporary. I'm already sensing a growth closer to God--and gratitude for his answers to even menial prayers for a little bit of sleep. I begin to grasp His perfection as I realize what an imperfect parent I am and will be, but God is OUR perfect Father. You are so needy an totally dependent on me, even as we should be with Him.

Posted by Anna at 01:13 PM | TrackBack