Tuesday, January 20, 2015

One Month Old!

On Saturday, Amelia turned one month old.  It is still hard to believe how much time is flying by.  It seems like it was just yesterday that we were waiting for her to arrive.  Now she is over one month old.  Time slow down, please!

As overwhelming as the first month with a newborn can be, it has also been so great.  Amelia has done so much in her short little life and she has been such a good baby throughout all of it.  To start out she battled 4 days jaundice and wearing a bili-blanket.  She attended 6 Christmas celebrations (and missed two).  She had her first sleepover at one week old.  She had countless visitors come to see her at our house.  Thank you so much to those who visited us, brought us food, and gifts.  Your support is so much appreciated.  She has been shopping at the mall, Kohl's, Carter's, Menard's, and Target 4 times.  She visited Santa.  She has been to three doctor's visits and she has attended church twice.  She has been out to eat 5 times.  Today she went to Park Nicollet to meet my great coworkers.  She is a very happy baby and we are loving every minute with her!

Here are Amelia's one month photos:

Nana gave me the monthly stickers that we are going to use and I am going to put her on the quilt made by Nana each month.  Apparently she looks like Ryan? :)  I think she is adorable!  (I may be biased).

One Month Appointment stats:

Height: 23 inches, 98th percentile (we have a tall baby!)
Weight: 9.8lbs, 50th percentile (totally average!)
Head circumference: 14.5inches (average)

Her appointment today went great.  She is growing very well and the doctor states that developmentally she is fairly above average.  The past few days she has really started grabbing and hanging on to everything in her play gym and she is turning her head from side to side and tracking us.  She can hold her head up for quite a long period of time and she loves when we read books to her!  I am already starting to memorize her books! 

As for me, I am doing very well.  The first week was the hardest in which I cried everyday.  Since then I have only cried periodically and usually it is because I am so happy or I just have overwhelming feelings of love for Amelia and Ryan too.  I am feeling well.  I gained 22 pounds in my pregnancy and one week post delivery I was 2 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight and now I am 10 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight.  I honestly eat all the time though.  Breastfeeding makes you so hungry! I am tired, that is for sure.  I really can't complain much though.  She only wakes once during the night.

This month truly has been great from the moment she was born.  I'll never forget the feeling holding her in my arms for the first time.  My heart burst with love.  My heart bursts every time she looks into my eyes while I nurse her, every time I get one of her new smiles that she has been giving, and every time she wraps her fingers around one of mine.  Not to mention every time she digs her face into my chest and every time I look at her sleeping in my arms.  I can't get enough of her. 

And ya know what else?  I never knew how much I more I would love my husband until I saw how much he loves our baby girl.  Now that makes my heart shatter.  Every time he looks down at Amelia with such a proud face, every time I hear him call her sweet pea, every time I watch him feed her, and every time that I look at the two of them sleeping together in the chair, her cuddled into his chest.  Our relationship is so strong and although our time is spent so differently than it was before, our love for each other has grown.  Now every night consists of putting Amelia into the bed next to us and rolling over and cuddling with each other while we giggle and listen to her make silly noises (or cry, ha!).   He is such a wonderful father.  

I am tired, I feel like a milk machine sometimes, and things can be very overwhelming at times.  You know what?  It is so worth it.  Waking up in the middle of the night and staring at her cuteness while I nurse her and the rest of the world sleeps.  It is worth it.  I cried the day she turned 5 days old and tomorrow she turns 5 weeks old.  I will probably cry.  It broke my heart the day I realized she was no longer going to fit into her newborn clothes and the days of newborn diapers were gone.  But although those times are hard and she is growing by leaps and bounds, she is growing and she is healthy.  I just need to savor each day because her newborn days are numbered.   I'm so lucky to be her mommy. 

Here are some photos since my last update.  

I love snuggle time with mommy in the morning.  

Happy dreams in mommy's arms.  

Happy girl! Like my shirt?  

Tummy time is tiring! 

Daddy is trying to get me to walk already?! 

I love my mommy! 

Look at me! 

Just studying my Nana!  

I just love to cuddle in with my Papa.  He can't get enough of me.  

Daddy loves to give me a bottle.  I am a pro at it! 

My first time at church.  I slept through it!  

Grandma Rose came to visit me! 

I have baby acne.  Bummer.  

I love my grandpas! 

Mommy tried to tuck my arms in.  What was she thinking?! 

Like my kitty outfit?  

This is my favorite place to be.  

Mommy likes to take pictures of me.  Obviously.  

We snuggled all afternoon!  

Time in my play gym and reading books makes me so happy! 

Mommy was taking too many pictures.... 

She tried again later.  Then the kitty started tickling me with his tail!  

I'm not sure what to think about that.  

Playing in my gym with daddy!  

First time in my bumbo chair!  I can hold my head up pretty well, but I am not totally ready for this yet.  

I promise I won't watch as much TV as daddy does.  

I am happy tonight! 

Love from daddy before he heads to work.  

I gave mommy some big smiles and then I had a huge diaper blow out.  She didn't know what was coming! 

This is what we do best.  


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Welcome to the world Amelia Roselynn!

Meet Amelia Roselynn!  Amelia was welcomed into this world in the wee hours of the morning on December 17, 2014 at 3:44am.  She was 8lbs 1.1oz and 21 inches long.  The nurses immediately laid her on mommy's chest and she wailed and screamed for a long time!  In fact, we haven't heard her cry like that since she was born.  She was a very healthy baby.  She is our everything!  Amelia's first name was chosen as a favorite by mommy and daddy and her middle name is named after her grandmothers - Grandma Rose and Nana Deanna Lynn.  She is very lucky to be named after such wonderful women and her own grandmothers.

If you are interested in hearing our birth story, here it is.  Ryan and I went to our appointment on Monday, December 15.  We started out with a non-stress test that went well and then went to the exam room to see my physician.  My physician came in after about 20 minutes to tell us that she had just been talking to the OB department at the hospital and that we could go in to be induced either that night or the next night!  To say the least, we were very surprised and weren't expecting her to tell us that!  She told us that because I continued to have gestational hypertension (higher blood pressure) that she thought it was a good idea that I was induced now instead of risking becoming pre-eclamptic (very high blood pressure and other concerns).

Ryan and I decided to schedule our induction for that night, I mean, why wait around, right?  We went home for a couple of hours to gather any remaining things and ate supper and headed back to St. Louis Park to... HAVE A BABY!  Before we left the house, I kissed Ryan and told him that when we return to our house, it won't be just us anymore.  We will be a family!  It is safe to say that I was freaking out a little bit on the way to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 7pm and once they finally got everything ready to go (5 IV sticks later...) at about 11pm, I received my first dose of cytotec that helps to dilate the cervix because I was still only about a fingertip to 1cm dilated.  I didn't really make any progress and I received another dose at 3am and 11am.  During this time I was hooked up to the monitor and I was having contractions, but they weren't that strong.  At about 1:30pm the doctor came to check if I had dilated anymore.  She said that if I hadn't dilated much more that she was going to use a foley catheter balloon to insert into my cervix to help dilate it.  I wasn't very excited about that so luckily when she checked me, I was 3 cm dilated!  Yay!  She immediately broke my water.  Woa.  That was weird.  It definitely felt like a warm gush of fluid and when I got up a little later, it just kept gushing. 

It is safe to say that breaking my water got the party started.  Except it didn't really feel like a party.  It felt horrible.  The contractions immediately became super intense and painful.  The only thing I could do to help the pain even a little bit was to stand up.  Laying in bed was awful.  I just remember laying there bawling and crying out for my mommy.  Yes, I still do that.  Now to think I'm a mommy!  Crazy.  I sat and rocked on the ball quite a bit too, but still didn't touch the pain.  I kept putting off getting the epidural because I still wasn't really progressing that much and I was afraid that getting the epidural would make it worse.  Ryan was very helpful throughout all of this and rubbed my back, got me water, and said very encouraging words.  I am very thankful for him.

I kept going with the contractions and around 5:30pm my sister-in-law Rachelle showed up.  We had always planned on her coming for the labor.  She is an OB nurse and would be very helpful for me as well as Ryan.  Ryan has a history of severe vasovagal syncope (he passes out watching people in pain, sight of blood, sight of injury, etc.) and we were worried that if it ended up that he could no longer be in the room or if something happened, there wouldn't be anyone there for me.  Having Rachelle there was indispensable and not really because of Ryan because he did wonderful and had no issues, but because she was so helpful when I really didn't know what to do.  She gave me wonderful advice and helped me make decisions.  She is very knowledgeable about OB related things and I valued her opinions more than the nurses at the hospital.  She was great company for Ryan during the long labor and she was so encouraging and helpful to me as I pushed.  I think one of the reasons that my pushing stage of labor went so well was because of her.  I will never be able to thank her enough for being there for us.  Someday it will be neat to share with Amelia that her Auntie Rachelle was there too and helped her enter this world.  Thank you Rachelle. We love you.

So sometime around 6pm or so I couldn't take the pain anymore and instead of doing the epidural yet (because I still hadn't dilated much more), I decided to try a small dose of fentanyl.  I was nervous because I didn't want to get zonked out from it, but I don't think it really touched my pain.  Although Rachelle thinks it did make me sleep a little bit.  I'll take her word over mine at this point.  :)  Around 7:30 or so, I had enough.  I was dilated to 4cm and I wanted the epidural.  Rachelle made a really good point that for some people it doesn't stall their labor, but it relaxes them and helps them progress.  Let's do it!  I was miserable. 

Finally at 8:45pm they got the epidural placed, which was no walk in the park either.  But... instant relief!  Why had I not done this earlier!?  The only problem I had with the epidural was that my left side was A LOT more numb than my right.  I still couldn't feel on my right side, but my left was like a brick.  It was a really weird feeling.  Whatever, I didn't have the pain like I did before!  Within an hour after receiving the epidural I had progressed to 6cm dilated and by 2 hours after that I was complete.  It is safe to say that the epidural was what I needed and it relaxed me so that I was able to become fully dilated.  The nurse had me labor down for the last hour and at about 1:30 we started with the pushing.

I was so scared to start pushing because I didn't know what was going to happen and I was scared I was going to "rip."  I was so excited though.  I couldn't believe that I was this close to holding my new baby!  The epidural I had was perfect because I could still feel when I was having a contraction, but they weren't painful.  I always knew when it was time to push again because I could feel the contractions starting.  I pushed for about 2 hours and it all went so much better than I thought it would.  Towards the end of my pushing the doctor told me that she could see that she had so much hair that I could put it in pony tails already.  I started crying.  It wasn't long and she was in my arms.  My experience was really good and my nurse was great along with Rachelle and Ryan too.  Both of them were so encouraging and helpful.  Ryan did great!

Amelia Roselynn made her appearance at 3:44am.  She had quite a bit of a cone head that was gone within hours after birth.  Her right ear was flapped over and her right eye was pretty swollen, but she was very healthy!  She had a full head of dark hair and adorable chubby cheeks with a very defined chin.  They immediately placed her on my chest and that is where she stayed for about 2 hours.  We did our first nursing during that time too. 

Since then things have been going very well.  Amelia is officially 3 weeks old today and I can hardly believe it.  I remember bawling the day she turned 5 days old.  Where has time gone?  We are loving every minute with her. 

When we first left the hospital she was diagnosed with neonatal jaundice.  She had to wear a bili-blanket for four days and a nurse would come to our house every day to check her weight and take her blood to have her bilirubin level monitored.  We also had to supplement with formula using the syringe and finger method (because I didn't want to introduce a bottle) because one of the ways of getting the bilirubin level lowered is by literally pooping it out.  The more she ate, the more she would poop.  My milk hadn't come in yet so she needed formula as a supplement.  Her bilirubin peaked on day 4 at 17.6 and by her 1 week appointment had gone down to less than 8.  When she first left the hospital, her level was right on the border of normal/abnormal and had the pediatrician not prescribed the bili-blanket and supplementation right away, it is likely that she would have ended up in the hospital a day or two later.  It was hard having her constantly hooked up to the machine even though we could still hold her, it just wasn't very easy.  Ryan and I put it in perspective for each other and said that things could be much worse.  We are fortunate and thankful that there wasn't more to it.

Many people have asked how breastfeeding is going.  It is going very well.  I think they started me out very well at the hospital by doing lots of skin to skin and breastfeeding right away in that first hour after birth.  Believe me, there was many episodes of crying from both me and Amelia and wondering if we would ever get it to work right.  I remember having the feeling that I was inadequate as her mother because she was looking to me to feed her and it wasn't always working well.  Ryan was so helpful throughout it all and always helped to calm me and Amelia so that we could make it work.  He would tell me, "She is only [2] days old, she doesn't know it yet either."  Throughout the process we have figured out that she will absolutely NOT feed if she has to burp or has a dirty diaper.  Many, many tears were shed, but now I can say that it is going so well and it is so so worth it.  It really is a lot of work and there has been a lot of times that I think it would be SO much easier to just give her a bottle - or have Ryan give her a bottle!  But that is not what we want for her at this point.  The hospital also had me start pumping after my second nursing session and I have been pumping ever since.  At first we would just syringe feed her the colostrum that I would pump in the hospital and upon returning home, but soon after we were able to start storing it.  We have quite the supply frozen already (about 75 ounces) and in the last two days I have started to make a lot more with each pumping session (and I pump between every feeding).  We will be set!

Ryan makes fun of me because I might be paranoid about every little thing ("Is green poop normal?"  "Do you think she is sick?"  "We should take her temperature."  "Is she eating enough?"  "Her feet are cold."  "She has a diaper rash."), but I really only want what is best for her.  I just love her so much and I don't want anything to happen to her.  I want to be a good mom and I hope and pray that I am doing okay and I will continue to.  Becoming a mother puts things in a whole new perspective.  She is three weeks old and I already look at some things so differently.  Love is a powerful thing!

This has been quite a long post, but I will leave you with some photos of what Amelia has been up to these last three weeks.  We sure love her.  Enjoy! 

I met my Papa and Nana within hours after being born! 

And my Grandma Rose too! 

I was excited to leave the hospital and see my new home!  

I had to wear this thing for 4 whole days, but I didn't really mind it at all.  

My cousin Alaina was VERY excited to meet me.  She even asked if she could pet me! 

I love my daddy so much.  

This was my first trip to Target at 3 days old.  I've been there 3 times since! 

 Meeting my Grandpa Randy and Grandma Julie.

Since I was born at Christmas time, we had to go see Santa.  I might not like him next year. 

This is how I love to lay with daddy. 

My first sponge bath.  I wasn't really a fan this time.  

Just hanging out with my daddy.  It is what I do best.  
Mommy and Daddy say I was the best Christmas present ever.  

I even got to meet my Great Grandma Violet. 

4 generations.  

Christmas at 8 days old is a breeze!  Next year I will want to open my own presents though! 

Hanging out with Papa is the best! 

Mommy tells me she loves me ALL the time.  

I am always so content.  My daddy is a pro at this.  

Look at all my Christmas presents!  As soon as I can get out of this chair, I am going to play with them! 

I thoroughly enjoyed my second sponge bath.  Let's do this again!

Like my outfit?!  Mommy says I'm pretty! 


I am showing off my first big smile!  I just don't know it.  

Mommy loves when I make this face.  

This was my first time doing tummy time.  I don't mind it!

This is where I sleep every night.  Right next to my mommy.  

Doctor's appointments = Snoozefest.  Like my hat?  Sometimes it covers my eyes and my mommy freaks out.  

My daddy thought this was pretty funny.  I'm so chill. 

Better get a picture with mommy.  She is the one always taking photos.  

Out to eat for New Year's Eve!  The fajitas were good.  

This is how my daddy and I celebrated the new year.  Snoozefest. 
 Happy New Year!  I am 2 weeks old.  

 Seriously mommy?!

 I like my play gym.  I can grab my rings and my rattle! 

 Just chillaxin in my bouncy seat.  

 Milk coma in mommy's arms.  

 Nap time.  Somebody tucked my arms in?! 

My first bath in my tub!  I really enjoyed it and then fell asleep afterwards -- see above pic!  

 Tummy time!! I'm so strong!  

 My last time in newborn diapers at 3 weeks old.  My mommy could hardly believe it.  

These fools put socks on my hands!