Monday, December 30, 2013

Back to Work

First day back to work and I'm missing my baby intensely. I know he's being taken care of but I wish he was home with me. So, I'll add to my misery by looking at pictures of him for most of the day! These are from his photo session. Isn't he adorable?!?!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holy Water and HOLY, ICE!

Sweet Pea was baptized on December 8, 2013. This also corresponded with one of the worst ice storms in DFW history (at least my history in DFW). My family and Jess' family were planning on coming in to witness and celebrate this event in the little guy's life. Then the Icepocalypse hit. My parents came into town the night before the storm so they were only stuck at the hotel for most of the weekend - unbelievable! At least they got to spend some time with the baby and see how much he's already grown in just a month. (I can't wait to take him to Arizona some time this year - I hope.) The Atlanta contingency didn't have any problem with flights but David's flight was cancelled and delayed numerous times. He finally was able to get on a flight that arrived late on Saturday. We told Jess' family to not even attempt the drive - the roads were horribly dangerous and we didn't see the point in risking their lives for a 15 minute ceremony. Sweet Pea's Godparents, Bryan and Colleen, were great sports about making the trek to UD and we were fortunate enough to have Rachael, Donavon, their kids, along with my cousin Peter and one of his adorable kids, at the church as well. The ice remained until the middle of the next week and flights out were cancelled and delayed as well. I think it is safe to say that my family will not be travelling back to Dallas during the winter for years to come.

Sweet Pea was asleep through the entire Mass; therefore, he was wide awake and more than willing to cry during his entire Baptism. I was thinking we needed an exorcism instead. My mom helped me dress him in the gown that her grandmother had made into a Baptismal gown out of her wedding dress. Several generations in my family had worn the same gown and it is wonderful that he is now apart of that chain as well. Father Dan Dvorak did a great job and I think Jess and I were the only ones cringing and stressing out while trying to hush our newest little Catholic. All the crying wore him out (and maybe a bit of that sanctifying grace helped) and he slept for the next four hours straight. Go figure.

St. Luke and St. Andrew, please pray for our little guy. And welcome to the Body of Christ, Sweet Pea!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Month Two Update

Happy two month birthday little Sweet Pea!

Weight: 11 lb 8.5 oz
Length: 23.75 in.

Month Two felt much like Month One but looking back on it, a lot of growth and progress was made by both the baby and I. I am starting to get a little better at this taking-care-of-a-newborn thing, maybe. Did I say that in the one month post too? Probably by the time I feel completely comfortable, I'll realize that he is no longer a newborn or an infant at all! It struck me hard the other day that it is December and at the end of December I will be going back to work. I started to miss these days of being home with him and I was at home with him! Luckily, Sweet Pea will be in excellent hands at Aunt Rachael's house. We could not have asked for a better person to take care of him. I won't dwell on that inevitability anymore but share about his second month.

The Sweet Pea definitely started to be more alert and awake during the day. He's had some tummy and reflux trouble that has made him pretty uncomfortable for most of his alert time but we're trying out some Zantac to see if that helps. We started playing on the activity mat most mornings after Jess leaves for work. At first he couldn't care less about the toys above his head but loved staring at the window - light mesmerizes him. He's finally starting to look at the toys now though and, more importantly, he's looking at our faces! It is so gratifying to see his eyes focus on ours and, even more wonderful, he's starting to smile at us. I get the most smiles while singing to him while I'm changing him; Jess gets them by talking in this super high-pitched voice. But he saves his biggest, most gummiest, baby smiles for sleep and when we are not looking at him, the little stinker. I like to think at those times his guardian angel is playing with him.

He's definitely grown out of his newborn clothes and most of the 0-3 month old clothes (sometimes I wonder if it is because I've shrunk them - this 100% cotton thing is kicking my butt). The 3 month old clothes are still a little big but will probably fit in another week the way/weigh he is growing. Big events for month two were his first Thanksgiving, an infant photo session and his two month doctor's appointment (read: vaccines). Thanksgiving was spent at home with Nana and Grandpa Emerson coming up for a couple of days along with a quick visit from Uncle Matt and his girlfriend, Sarah. As always, the grandparents are Godsends when they make the trek up and Sweet Pea LOVES being held by someone all day.

I was super nervous about getting his picture taken...he can be a very fussy baby for hours and hours at a time and spits up profusely at most feedings, I wasn't sure if he would be able to settle down enough to get a good photo. I haven't seen the images yet but he was a good sport and actually fell asleep for some of it so I think we'll have some keepers. The doctor's appointment was the same day and, again, was a perfect angel until the shots. Don't blame him at all and even though it broke my heart to see him cry during them, he has the cutest sad face ever!

Sweet Pea, most of the last month has been spent researching if what you are doing at any one moment is typical of babies, i.e. being my most anal, obsessive self. I've spent hours reading books, blogs and community boards to get some insight into you and what you should/shouldn't be doing. It's hard for me to relax into the gray area of baby life and being a mommy but I realize that I need to 'go gray' or go crazy! I think because there are extended times during the day, most days, that you seem so uncomfortable that I am constantly worried about you but you are a great baby. You have definitely been crying a lot more - you want to make sure your opinion is heard and it is, probably by most of our neighbors too! You have the cutest crying face though, starting with your bottom lip sticking out in a precious pout, so it makes the crying pretty adorable to me. You don't like your baths very much yet but you don't cry during diaper changes anymore unless you're hungry too. And we better not try to burp you while feeding soon as we remove the bottle, the little tea kettle in you goes off in 2 seconds flat until that bottle is put back in your mouth. One thing that soothes your crying is the Christmas tree lights - you are fascinated by them. I might keep the tree up for the next year!

You can hold your head up for the most part; it gets very bobbly still when you are tired and you use it as a weapon when you are angry and crying. You have head-butted your dad too many times to count - I guess you are both hard-headed! Sleeping in someone's arms is still your favorite, but since we started giving you the antacid medicine, you've been able to settle yourself down to sleep for a few naps a day. You've been so good about setting your own schedule that I hope you are able to put yourself to sleep eventually and we can start putting you in your crib without 'sleep training.' That will need to happen soon as your bassinet is starting to get a little tight and you, little dude, like to spread those arms and legs out. Car rides and walks are tolerable right now but I hope by the spring you'll be able to enjoy the outside more.

You sleep for a 4 hour stretch at night and then a 3 hour stretch that can turn into 5-6 hours if I bring you into bed with me before feeding you again. You cuddle up right next to me or your dad and seem perfectly content to spend the morning there until you get hungry again. You've definitely learned how to get what you want by using my love of sleep against me! When sleeping on people you have started rubbing your face back and forth against their body like you are trying to bury your nose into them. You usually end up with your face dug deep into an armpit but, despite my worry that you aren't able to breathe like that, you seem perfectly content.

Last, but not least, you have survived the Icemegeddon of 2013! Unfortunately, it has coincided with your baptism weekend but I'll have more on that in the next post.

Love you!

Bath Time
Watching Dad watch football
Tears after vaccines  :(

Sunday, November 10, 2013

One Month Old!

Weight:  9 lbs 7.5 oz
Length:  21.5 in
Can’t believe it has already been one month since Sweet Pea's birth! In some ways it has gone by super quick and in others it feels like years since I was pregnant. There has definitely been a learning curve for this new momma; between the hormones, baby blues and complete lifestyle change, it has taken some adjusting. There have been days that I’ve cried more than the baby! He seems to be adjusting to life on the outside a lot better but I’m trying to catch up. We’ve been fortunate to have tons of help in the first several weeks and he's has been a great baby so far. He really only cries when he’s hungry, naked or his tummy is upset (some days are better than others for his tummy).
Since birth the Sweet Pea has looked identical to his dad when he was a baby – a true mini-me. My mom thinks he looks like my brother and me when we were babies and my mother-in-law thinks she sees a little of me around his nose and mouth and certain expressions he makes, but all I see is Jess! He’s been on a self-initiated schedule of feeding every 2.5 to three hours since he was born. The last week or so he’s been giving us four and some random 5 hours of sleep at a stretch during the night and it is much appreciated!

Sweet Pea, you have changed so much in this last month already. You’re definitely still a newborn, trying to work out being in this new world but there are some things about you that I didn’t expect until later. You are so strong! Within a few days of your birth, you were already able to lift your head while on your tummy and turn it. Your grip is super strong and when you’re on my chest, your arm grips my upper arm so tight that it’s hard for me to even move it! Sometimes you even manage to grip your bottle – I have to watch out because you won’t let it go so that I can burp you! And if someone does have the audacity to take your bottle away before you’re done, you cry bloody murder until it’s back in your mouth! A few days before your first month birthday you managed to turn over from your stomach to your back (and did it in front of your pediatrician so that it is legit!). I think it is your hatred of being on your tummy that motivates you – I guess I should add that to the times you cry. But since then, solo tummy time has been nonexistent since you immediately roll over. Luckily, you like laying on people’s chests so we’ll have to count that as tummy time.
Nothing can soothe you as quickly as your paci but when something else is wrong, like your tummy is upset, you will keep spitting the paci out until your issue gets resolved. You look like Maggie from the Simpson’s when you’re sucking on it. (I wonder if you’ll even get that reference!) You love falling asleep with it but spit it out when you’re ready for serious sleep. Then you throw your hands above your head and stretch out for a couple of hours. Like I mentioned above, you love cuddling on a person’s chest to go to sleep and would probably prefer to be carried 24 hours a day. You’re starting to focus on things around you more and more. I love it when you stare back at me and can’t wait until I can get you to smile at me. Most of your smiles right now come when you’re sleeping and they are so adorable. When you are awake you seem very serious. When I’m feeding you, I’ll look at you and talk to you until you look away, then if I look away and look back you’re staring at me again. It’s become a little game for me. We haven’t tried putting you to sleep in your crib yet, even for naps. It seems so big so we keep you in the MamaRoo, the bassinet, or Dad likes keeping you in bed with us. We’re going to have to get a bigger bed because, for someone so small, you take up a lot of room!

Things I love:  all the little grunting sounds you make during feeding; the wrinkles in your forehead when you look up; your hiccups and sneezes and the sound you make when you lose a sneeze is so cute; your cuddliness; and the flashes of personality that are coming out when you’re awake. Can’t wait to see what the next month brings!

Love you!

Getting jiggy with Halloween
First pediatrician appointment

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sweet Pea: The Intro

Overall, my pregnancy had been going very well. I had the usual nausea, heartburn, aches and pains that everyone experiences but nothing to really complain about. My belly did look enormous compared to how far along I was – I looked like I was having a kindergartener. Also, in my third trimester, I began having trouble with high blood pressure. At 37 weeks, my doctor said that inducing at 39 weeks would probably be a good option if my blood pressure remained high. I was completely against/afraid of being induced based on what I’ve heard and read from other people. I didn’t want a prolonged labor with a lot of pain and I read that inductions resulted in a high rate of c-sections and I was definitely not a fan of anything that might slice my stomach open. Plus, my husband was only able to get a couple of days off from work for the birth and I knew a c-section would require more help than that.

However, if there is one thing I learned in the years it took to get pregnant, it was that certain things are just not in my control. It is a hard lesson for a control freak like me! I prayed and talked with God through weeks 37-39, asking for the ability to let go and the guidance to make the right decisions for my baby and myself. By 39 weeks, I was physically ready to get that baby out of me: I hadn’t had a full night’s sleep in 8 months (though that wouldn’t matter once the baby came anyway) and I was worn out from carrying the baby around. At that point I thought I was ready for whatever my doctor suggested.
Flash forward to early in the morning of 10/7/13 at my doctor’s appointment. My blood pressure turned out to be at an all-time high and despite not even being dilated a centimeter, my doctor wanted to induce…that day! This threw me for a big loop since I thought an induction, if needed, would be scheduled for later in the week. I called Jess in a panic and told him that we had to go to the hospital that morning. He was still driving into work! By the time he got back home and I got packed, we didn’t arrive at the hospital until 11 am. Then the wait began…

12:40 pm:  I started on medicine to soften my cervix.
4:15 pm:  I was 50% effaced and barely 2 cm dilated.

4:40 pm:  Pitocin started
8 pm:  Contractions had been intensifying for the last hour; the nurse checked and there was no change in dilation. I was so frustrated and disheartened by that news. I thought inducing with no dilation was a bad idea in the first place. My idea of a good labor would have been having the option to be at home for the first part of it, being able to walk around a bit and not tied to the hospital bed. This was not what was happening and I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Again, I just wanted that baby out and to get the whole thing over with!

9:30 pm:  Told Dr. I wanted a c-section now rather than go through another 12 hours or more of labor and potentially end up having a c-section anyway. Jess' parents and sister had arrived in the afternoon for the delivery and really supported me in my decision. I know my own parents would have liked to have been there but the Dr.'s decision to induce threw everything off.
10:40 pm:  Sweet Pea is here!  7lbs 10 oz and 21 inches long. He was born with brown hair and stormy blue eyes that we wouldn’t see until a few days later.

My doctor told me during the c-section that I had made a good choice because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice. Though I felt like a major weenie opting for the c-section instead of going through with the labor, after hearing that I probably would have had to have a c-section anyway, I felt that God was answering my prayers and protecting Luke during the delivery.
The recovery from surgery was actually a lot better than I could have hoped for. Plus, Nana Emerson, Jamie and my parents came to help out during the first 3 ½ weeks. That helped out tremendously especially since they, amazingly, all took the night shift so Jess and I could sleep. Ah, memories!