Saturday, April 25, 2015

Two Months

Little bug, you got better at so many things from month one to month two. You still gave us a hard time every chance you got, but it's hard to be out in this cold, cruel world! I understand, baby girl.

Here's what I wrote about your second month:

Lip and tongue ties corrected at 6 weeks
Reflux diagnosed and medicated at 1 month
Started smiling around 6 weeks
Love having your cheeks squished, "Cheeks and chin and nose!"

Still hate your carseat

We saw your first little smiles this month! What a blessing! You were stingy with them, but that made them all the more precious. You especially liked when we would squeeze your cheeks and say a little rhyme. It made you smile most of the time. Once we figured out you had reflux, things started to get better within days of starting your medicine. You didn't make Daddy bounce you for 4 hours every night anymore.

Just the other day when we were taking you for a walk (you're 7 months old now), your dad and I talked about how the last time the weather was nice enough for a walk was when you were so tiny, and you SCREAMED the entire walk around the block. I'm glad we're past that phase!

It took us a lot of time and research to decide to correct your lip tie and posterior tongue tie. Even after we did, it still took you two weeks to have a comfortable, sustainable latch. It's been a tough road for all of us, and you HATED the stretches I had to do to keep the tissue from growing back. It was the best decision, but it wasn't easy. Knowledge bomb: Few worthy things in life are easy.

Going back to work was exhausting and rewarding at the same time. You loved being with the "big kids." Your face always lit up when you saw them, and they loved doting on you. You hated the commute until you were four months old, though! We had a tough time with the car seat, and mommy tried lots of things to make it better!

At two months old, you weighed 13 pounds, 1 ounce (89th percentile) and were 23.2 inches long (86th percentile). Still growing strong!

Here's your sweet, squishy, two-month-old self:

Love seeing you grow and change!

One Month

I've been keeping notes about you, sweet baby. I started this when you were about three months old, and I finally came up for air.

Here's what I wrote about our first month with you:

Crying a lot
Sleeping OK
I can't remember anything because I was a wreck

It makes me laugh to read that! I WAS a bit of a wreck the first few months, but you are so worth it! I think you slept at night pretty well after the first week. By 8 weeks, you could sleep 12 hours, but the first month I was up once or twice with you every night. We also let you sleep in the swing as much as you wanted. I stressed about this decision so much! Why?? Because that's what new moms do.

Other things I can remember about your first month if I try very hard (and clear away lots of cobwebs):

You love your hands. You like to put them in your mouth, and you started sucking your thumb almost immediately after you were born. Thankfully, that was not a consistent habit. You also like to grab onto everything; you're happiest when holding onto something.

You make all sorts of sweet newborn coos and gurgles. Gurgling is your favorite sound to make.

Changing your diaper calms you down (when often nothing else will).

You're only so-so about taking a pacifier.

Daddy loves to bounce you, and you love to be bounced. You love it so much, you cry from 4 PM-10 PM every night just so you can be bounced by your dad. He's going to be in such good shape.

We're getting you on a pretty good eat, wake, sleep schedule. You seem to never want to stop eating. It takes you 40 minutes to get through a feed, and that's when I stop you!

You take short (30 min) naps, only in my arms or the swing, and I have to rock you to sleep. You don't want to miss a thing!

At one month old, you weigh 11 pounds (90th percentile) and are 22 inches long (87th percentile). You're growing and gaining weight like a champ!

Here you are at one month old!

When looking at these pictures very closely, they all look different. When I brought them into the blog, though...I realized they're pretty much the same. Cute, of course, but not much variety!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Week One

As previously stated, Evelyn, you came out a little angry at the world. High needs baby? Just a touch. Colicky? Maybe.

We had latch issues, reflux issues, nap issues, and just about every other "issue" you can imagine. I had my hands full. I thought I had practiced enough, read enough, prepared enough, but nothing could have prepared me for the emotion of bringing you home. I was a mess!

At five days old, you weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz. (not quite back to birth weight of 8-13) and were in the 84th percentile. By two weeks old, you weighed 9 lbs. 3 oz. and were in the 86th percentile.

Here's your precious little self all ready to take on the world!

I didn't realize when this photo was taken that you were smiling, but I see it now that I know what you look like when you smile!

And just like that...back to your natural state at this age.

Can't wait to see what you'll do next...maybe a nap or two first?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bringing Home Baby

Well, it couldn't last forever. At some point, we had to enter the real world of sleepless nights and cooking and cleaning for ourselves (aka parenthood). We snapped a few pics to commemorate the day.

Miss Priss does not like having her clothes changed. She was extremely angry and screamed her head off the entire time my mom and Michelle were getting her ready to leave the hospital. It didn't help that they had to stuff her into this newborn-sized outfit like a sausage. She's no petite thing.

Daddy is laughing because she's screaming louder than he's ever heard a baby scream before.

I didn't realize it then, but that was the first moment we saw her true temperament. Some babies you can swaddle up and they'll drift off to sleep with a coo in their flat, expansive beds. That was not our experience. Evelyn wants what she wants. Around 4 months we let her CIO and things got better, but that's a long time to have a tiny, screaming thing bossing you around. 

We're smiling in these pictures, but Evelyn was still fussing through this whole process.

We went outside for a second to get to the car, and she stopped crying for a few moments. It took her until 4 months to tolerate her carseat as well. She definitely was not calmed by the car. And of course she wasn't sleeping if she wasn't being held. There's far too much in this world to observe to sleep through anything.

We finally got home, and I left the bustle to steal away in her dark, quiet room. It took about a minute before she looked like this.

Alice thinks Evelyn is great because she's always on the floor, very smelly, and perfectly lickable. And now there's the bonus of E acting as Cheerio supplier.

Wildcat, like any good cat would do, tries her hardest to pretend that Evelyn never came into existence. She's in complete denial. Conversely, E tries to squeeze all of her excitement out into the cat. She thinks Wildcat is the most amazing thing and just can't get enough. 

There's a certain peace you only get from being at home. Somewhere in all of this, we didn't document the can of soda that fell on the floor and exploded in the kitchen. Forgotten are the words I yelled at anyone and everyone in sight (hormones, y'all). We just caught these sweet snuggles and first meetings as our lives changed forever. I'm glad it took me six months to get to writing about it because I can appreciate it all so much more now!

Hospital Stay with Baby

I started composing this post immediately following my last post, and here it still sits, months later...this is my reality. 

Just a few more things to share from Evelyn's birthday story. After all the excitement and frenzy died down, we were able to move to our room and spend time resting and visiting with family. Amazingly, we were gifted a hospital suite from Chase's parents, and it was perfect. We had LOTS of people there, but we could have privacy in our own room and separate, gorgeous bathroom. Chase had a comfortable, queen-sized bed to himself, and we ate gourmet meals. It was worth every penny...that we didn't have to spend. THANKS BOB AND DONNA!

Everybody wanted to watch as Evelyn had her first bath.

And of course EVERYONE was so excited to get their hands on her! We had a visit from Kylie at some point as well, but I couldn't find a picture anywhere! She will be in many future pictures with Evelyn, though!

Mrs. Val

Aunt Susan

Danny, Ronda, Ty, and Taylor

Aunt Ronda must've been operating the camera.

I was sad we hadn't gotten a picture of the three of us together, so Chase took this selfie.

Uncle Dustin and Jane

We asked Jane, "What's the baby doing?" Her exasperated reply to our obvious question was, "Sucking!" No pun or irony is lost on us; there have been many moments since when she has been quoted.

Aunt Michelle

Beth stopped by to say hello, and it was really special to see her!

Daddy with his fun t-shirt. I mean, it's so true.

And our food...!

Our stay there kind of spoiled us. Everyone talks about having difficult birth experiences for one reason or another, but the hospital was the easiest part of having a baby for me. Maybe I expected the worst and was pleasantly surprised. The all-night childcare was definitely a perk! We had a great time in the hospital and made wonderful memories there that we will cherish forever.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Well, It's About Time!

Since my last post, a few significant things have happened: I had a baby, that baby turned one month, I went back to work, she turned two months, three months, we had Thanksgiving and Christmas, she turned four months, five months, I stopped working, and she's almost SIX MONTHS OLD! Needless to say, I've had no time until now. I'm DETERMINED to share something of this precious babe!

In the beginning...I was induced on September 3. Nobody wants to know every detail of a birth story, but there are a few things I want to remember about Evelyn's birthday. We "picked" the date for her birth because Chase's birthday is June 3 and mine is November 3. Of course I could have been in labor all day and night and not had her until the fourth, but we thought we'd give ourselves the chance. My goodness, I was ready to meet her! Scheduling the induction meant that we had a chance to get everything ready and packed. We also could let family know in advance. We have a lot of family. We're blessed that they were all so excited to meet her and all wanted to be there! Nerves were taking over in the morning, and things progressed slowly and steadily. Basically, the first time I said, "Ow, this kind of might hurt," the nurse asked, "Are you ready for your epidural?"

"Yes. Yes I am."

This is the part of the story where people start to hate me. And by people I mean everyone who's had a difficult labor. Once the epidural started, I was HAPPY. I did not know how much pain I was experiencing until I was more comfortable than I've ever been in my life. It felt like stepping into a piping hot bath for the first time. I took a nap, and in the afternoon the nurse came back to check my progress. She decided not to tell me what it was because she needed a "second opinion." Panicked, I told my mom, "This is it. I haven't made any progress, and they're going to have to start discussing other options." I just knew it was the worst case scenario. The more experienced nurse came in and checked and said, "Yep, you thought right, nine and a half and plus one." Looking at me, she said, "Let's start trying some practice pushes."

We were ready!!!!!!

Practice pushing is code for real pushing, and about an hour later we had this sweet thing looking back at us.

When I first saw her as the doctor held her up, I said, "She's huge!" My doctor responded, "Yeah, she's a lot bigger than I expected!" Those rolls, my friends, are credited entirely to Blue Bell.

This daddy was so excited! He was jumping up and down and crying and clapping! I just love him.

This picture of Chase reminds me so much of my favorite picture from the night we were engaged. I think it's the relieved peace that comes with knowing the most anxious part is over.

8 pound, 13 ounce Evelyn Elizabeth rocked our world. She was curious and wide-eyed from the get-go, and everyone remarked how alert she was. 

SO MUCH more to come, but there's a little lady awake in the other room who needs her momma.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pregnancy Pics: Weeks 23-40

Amazingly enough, I'm actually writing this blog BEFORE Evelyn's arrival. I'm shocked that I managed to get this done before I went into labor, but having a baby right after a 3-day weekend has its perks. We've been so busy getting prepped for the big day, and I've had lots of extra time to get everything done! It's refreshing to feel so ready. 

Here are all the photos we've taken of my pregnancy progress (actually, NOT EVEN CLOSE to all of them...Chase was ambitious with the weekly photographs). Weeks 32 and 33 are missing because we were in Vegas, and then took maternity pictures.

And from above:

I ran out of energy to do a collage from start to finish, but I included the pictures from my previous post for comparison's sake. Culling through and choosing which pictures to use, and then actually making the collages took about three hours. That's a lot of swelling time for my cankles.

Pregnancy is so beautiful, and I loved every moment...right up until the first moment of my third trimester. I may have "birthing hips," but my rib cage is another story. I've had this nerve pain on the right side of my ribs for the last ten or so weeks. The more I sit, the worse it gets. Sleeping? What a joke! I've been cranky and fatigued and a downright pleasure to be around, I'm sure. My sweet husband...he needs an award for putting up with this hot mess. Oh, and hot, I forgot to mention hot. I've never been hot this much in my life! I'm one of those people who takes a sweater everywhere. Not. This. Summer. Oh, right...back to Chase. Could any man be more tolerant and long-suffering? I mean, I already knew this because he married me, but he's been even MORE obliging and gracious. I won the husband lottery, and I hope he knows how much I'm thankful for him!

Really, I am thankful for such a smooth, drama-free pregnancy, but this emotional desire to be free from this weight on my chest runs much deeper than logic. It's hormonal. 

It really helps when strangers at the grocery store ask if you're having twins, too. 

Dear, sweet, beautiful Evelyn. COME OUT, ALREADY! It's much more fun out here!