Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ada May - 3 & 4 Weeks Old

3 weeks on left, 4 weeks on right
Her belly button thing fell off in her 3rd week (2 & 1/2 weeks old) but it wasn't ready to. I guess it got snagged as I was putting her in the ring sling during a pterodactyl crying fit. We kept it clean & treated the icky with alcohol. I called her pediatrician about it concerned by its color and lack of healing 3 days after it came off on the day she turned 3 weeks old. They said to give it a week from when it came off & they were right (of course), at a week from coming off, almost 4 weeks old it was mostly healed & was totally healed up by 4.5 weeks old.

She definitely growing (see clothing...) in her 5th week (1 month 1 day) I had John weigh her on the bathroom scales & according to them she is 10 lbs exactly. I think that's pretty accurate, she's getting some cute little fat rolls ;) 

She doesn't look like a turtle as she roots around anymore so that name is gone. Her crying seems less and less as I'm recognizing her needs and likes/dislikes better so we haven't used her infamous pterodactyl name as often. Ada May seems to be the one sticking around!

We've started packing away the newborn things, except Target's brand which runs big. Honestly 0-3 is a little big on her but the NB was certainly too small (4 weeks).

At 4 weeks old she was blowing out of her diapers every poop. It was crazy messy & I was super frustrated (got to change perfectly clean sheets on our bed and clean & disinfect the couch all in one day!). On a whim I stuck her in a size 1 to see if they fit & they do! No more blowouts since. We are finishing up the last of the newborn size when I'm expecting only a wet diaper because with 2 in diapers right now I'm not going to waste a single one!! (Looking forward to Cora in cloth again soon, but that's just the one more thing that pushes my delicate balancing act of motherhood over right now, so disposable it is!)

Coming into the 3rd week I healed up & nursing finally got easy. Some residual soreness in the 3rd week as I healed but no new pain. At 4 weeks I still have to encourage a good latch for her, she doesn't willingly open wide but I'm not sore at all.

At 3 weeks she's doing better in bassinet. In her 4th week, she'll sleep there all night (between feelings of course, we're not sleeping through the night yet...) she's learned a frustrating trick though. She's swaddled up tight (my "burrito baby") and I keep a rolled up receiving blanket behind her to tilt her one way or the other so if she spits up she won't choke. Somehow she wiggles and squirms until she's flat on her back. No clue how she's doing this but it makes me nervous (woke up to her struggling with spit up & had to suction it out a few nights ago). At 3 weeks I started noticing that she fusses to be swaddled up for the night & goes to sleep earlier, about 10:30 - 11:00 each night. In her 4th week that was more like 9:30. She is waking for her first middle of the night feed about 12:45 am. Then again at 4ish and again at 6. If she seems to be gassy at all I'm giving her gas drops when I put her down for the night & that seems to help sleep go better.

Being swaddled, cuddles with Mommy, music, her swing, being carried in the ring sling.

Car rides, being still in the car, not being held, pacifiers.

What's New?
We had introduced the soothies paci in week 2. Well turns out she pretty much hates every paci. I still try giving it to her out of desperation but I always end up letting her suckle to pacify. 
She is doing great with head control & can lift it up and look around for short spurts of time. Now that her belly button is finally healed up, we will start regular sessions of tummy time. Her hair is looking more and more red! So far she doesn't seem to be loosing it, so fingers crossed it stays around!! 

Mommy & Postpartum
I am doing great. I actually have hit the ground running with my Doula business, have officially started that training & have gotten a new part time job! It was a very busy week 3 & 4! I will be keeping infants at a Mother's Day out program at a church in Denton 2 days a week. Cora & Ada get to go with me (free of charge - what a blessing!!) and this is certainly helping us out financially. I am sad that I won't be in my mom's Bible study this year - those ladies were my village last year! But I can't not do this, getting the job is a total God thing, a story for another day. 

Mommy & Daddy
We're working on getting back on track with house projects and such. Nothing major is going on yet but hopefully with cooler weather we will get some items marked off our list! We are enjoying the sweet time we have as a family of 4 and can't imagine life without Miss Ada Mayme in it!!!

Big Sister
Let me first say that Cora is a good big sis!! She loves Ada, gives her kisses, likes holding her and helping me however she can. This is still a huge adjustment for her and the new normal for her hasn't been established yet. She still isn't particularly fond of my attention being divided and as much as I try to give Cora special attention Ada needs a lot of my time and she *needs* it since we nurse & she physically needs me. Cora is having trouble remembering our rules about hitting and biting. Fortunately it's just me she's acting out on & it's only when I'm nursing Ada. We've introduced timeouts to her & she seems to get that it means she's in trouble. She's also not feeling well - she has developed an issue with her knee (more on that later) & is in pain and then she picked up a tummy bug while we were at the doctors office checking on the knee. This was her first tummy bug & it broke my heart seeing her sick & helpless like that. I also have a whole new level of love and awe for my mom after having cleaned up the epic mess that was & I can mark "being puked on" off the mommy list of been-there-done-that. 

Playdate with Angela's girls

Looking Forward to
Fall!! We're so ready to take the girls outside & not melt. Poor Cora loves playing outside and has only gotten to a handful of times since Ada was born, primarily because it's so stinking hot! 
I'm loving my tiny baby snuggles but with starting a new job, school, trying to get my doula business in gear so I can hopefully do that full time a year from now - I'm looking forward to us finding the new normal for our family of 4! I finally feel like I've got my bearings & am at least treading water as a mom of 2, some days are better than others I will admit, but I've even gotten brave enough to run some errands with both girls & just me! 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Ada May - 2 Weeks Old

Ada is very healthy. She seems to be a bit gassy, but not as bad as I recall Cora being. We've started using some gas drops for her and that seems to help quite a bit.

At her 2 week appointment (which was actually at 2 weeks + 1 day) she was recorded to be at 8 lbs 8 ounces (65%) which is above her birth weight of 8 lbs 1 oz! Height was 21 inches (20 3/4 inches at newborn exam with Pediatrician) and 37 cm for her head (94%). At her 2 week appointment her umbilical stump was still attached but beginning to separate (recording for my knowledge because I never can remember when other new moms ask... it's such a sleep deprived time of life!)

As long as we're satisfied with how she is doing, we won't take her back to the Pediatrician until 2 months old. :)

"Squeekers" "Turtle" "Ada May" and most recently "pterodactyl" for the screeching sound she makes when she gets really worked up over something ;)

She's still in Newborn but has outgrown her Gerber brand NB size clothes. We actually ended up borrowing some NB clothes from a friend to get by until the next size.

NB sized diapers

She's nursing well! It's still occasionally painful but that is improving. She's latching better, for which I'm very grateful. Her eating pattern is slowly moving away from the newborn phase of constantly eating if awake to more of a 3 hour schedule.

*knock on wood* she really sleeps pretty well. I figured out that we have to use the velcro swaddles (many thanks to Angela for allowing us to borrow more of these too - yay for not needing to wash laundry every 2 days just to get the good swaddles clean!) to keep her tightly wrapped at night. As long as she is tightly wrapped, she'll sleep good 4 hour chunks of time! Right now she goes to sleep after a dream feed at midnight and stays asleep until 3 or 4 in the morning and wakes for another feed at 6 or 7 in the morning. If she is gassy though she squirms and squeeks and isn't comfortable in her bassinett and keeps me awake.

Fun things we did
Wednesday Newborn Photos

Thursday Daddy returned to work - Mommy survived with the rescue of Grandpa! That night John's Aunt & Uncle came to town and we all went out for dinner (and Mommy learned that eating out with 2 kids under 2 is stressful!)

Friday Mommy survived another day all by herself with the girls! With John's family still in town we went to his cousin's softball game and then out to Denny's for dessert afterwards (a less stressful time, restaurant choice is important!)

Saturday Jacob & Stephanie came to town to meet Miss Ada May. We spent the day at my Dad's house
Sunday Ada's first time at church! Lunch with the family at Grandpa's house!

Monday Ada joined Mommy on our first outting together alone to the Denton County Birth Network Meeting while Cora played with Daddy at home.

Tuesday Playdate with Miss Angela and her girls!

Her swing, being held by mommy (& seems to sense me leaving the room).

She is a bit fussier than we recall Cora being and isn't as easy to soothe. We gave in and started trying pacifiers. She really dislikes the paci we gave Cora so we have tried the soothies by Avent and while she isn't great at taking a paci, this is the one she prefers (that we've tried... I'm sure there's one out there she'd take but I don't love the idea of her being hooked to a pacifier like Cora is so I'm not busting my rump to find the perfect match.). I find it interesting that the soothies don't seem to affect her suck etc because they were the nail in the coffin for Cora's proper latch that led to breast shields.

Car rides, being still at any time, being held by anyone other than mommy (she tolerates Daddy, Cora and Grandpa but not a whole lot), bouncer (on both bounce or vibrate feature).

Mommy & Postpartum
I feel great! I have to remind myself that I just had a baby and I need to take care of myself and rest. This postpartum has been much easier than my last!

What's new?
We had given her a pacifier once with the newborn pictures & she took it fine. It was the same brand paci we used & found to work well with Cora (and didn't create latch issues). Well this week she's decided that those pacifiers gag her & won't take it (of course I'm desperate by the time I'm offering the paci, so that's frustrating) so, we've introduced soothies which she loves & I find highly ironic since they're the style of pacifier that caused all of Coras latch issues.

Big Sister
Cora is still doing great as a big sis! It was a surprise to her that Ada keeps coming home with us after we take her out of the house. She waves "bye" to her whenever we leave somewhere. She seems to feel the lack of undivided attention, when I'm giving Ada most of my attention by nursing Her or changing her etc- basically the all day, everyday sundries of tasks with a newborn Cora acts out a bit. Thursday she closed herself into our room where she can't open the door to get out. She knew good & well what she was doing since she was crying that she was closed off from me before she even got the door closed. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Girl Mom

I am guest posting on Beth's blog about being a mom to girls! 
(I've got some photos of my girls I haven't managed to share here yet in the post!) 

Hop on over and check it out!

Happy Birthday Momma!

In honor of my mom's 4th birthday in Heaven my experience mothering without my momma.

Two years ago, as I was anticipating Coralie Elizabeth's arrival I was so nervous to enter the world of motherhood because I didn't have my own Momma. Everyone I knew about my age had their mom & as they birthed their own babies their Mommas were there helping so much in those early weeks. I couldn't imagine going through this drastic, life-changing transition without her. I had never imagined growing up, that as I welcomed my first child, my mother would only be present in Spirit and Namesake.  

In those first few weeks and months, I felt closer to Mom than I had since our Father called her Home. I realized that part of her was in me, more than just her DNA - all those years of observing her raising my baby brothers and I had become a part of me, just as ingrained as my genetics. I saw her in the faces I would make at my own baby, the little songs I'd hum through the mundane tasks of diaper changes and endless laundry. These chores I found myself not minding because it is all just a part of caring for this little Blessing. I also realized, As much as I missed Mom and wanted her here, she had taught me what I needed to know and I stood on my own two feet and owned motherhood (...most days haha)!

I think that it's really easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day lives and to forget the big picture. Now that Cora is older, noisier and messier, it's easier to forget that she's a little sponge! When she makes a mess or does something very child-like (but still quite aggravating) it is so easy to get frustrated. I know that every mom has been there, you don't want to be mad but you are because now you have one more mess to clean up! On days like this I try really hard to remember that how I react reflects on my daughters more than just today... I'm raising future mothers! I see so much of my mother in me (more and more each day!) and one day, Lord willing, I will watch my daughters as they raise their daughters and sons and I'm sure I will see myself in them and their parenting. I pray that the reflections of myself are positive and what I want to see when I look in the mirror of time. 

Our baby girls are influenced by their surroundings at such an early age. Cora who is barely talking is already practicing her Momma skills with her baby doll (and occasionally sissy when Mommy doesn't stop her less-than-gentle comforting techniques quickly enough!). This last December we gifted Cora "Dolly" at Christmas. We thought it would be a fun toy since we were about 2 months along with Ada. Little 14 month old Cora had no idea I was pregnant, hadn't ever seen me with another baby (much less an infant) but she instinctively knew how to sweetly rock Dolly and put her in the car seat carrier! She cared for her "baby" the way I cared for her. Dolly is still her favorite toy, while I swaddle Ada, Cora tightly wraps Dolly in receiving blankets. Just about everything I do in taking care of Ada is mirrored by Cora. It is so sweet to watch and such a conviction that her little feet are following in my footsteps! 

Becoming a mother of two connects me to my own Mom in such a new way. More than once I've mentioned to my Dad or a brother about "how did Mom keep her sanity?!". I look back on some of what must have been the days she spent in the trenches of motherhood with much more guilt for what we put her through, but also an abundance of grace and compassion for some of her reactions. If my babies do what we did, oh goodness - if I only have half the graciousness my mother did I will consider it a success!

The other night my husband and I took the girls for a walk. As we walked an area my own mother walked many times, it struck me how much she would have loved being a Grandma to my baby girls. Tell your daughters you love them! Remember that your words and actions are molding future Mommas. The days are long, but oh how short these years are!