Thursday, July 30, 2015

10 Things I've Learned About Parenthood Recently

1) There is nothing more frustrating than walking and rocking your baby to sleep and then they are instantly wide awake as soon as you put them down.

2) It really does take a village to raise children. I'm not great at letting people help me, but I've been so lucky to have friends and family who want to come visit and help.

3) Bringing new parents a meal is an amazing gesture. It's even better when you bring a hot meal for that night and a freezer meal for later. I'll be doing that from now on. I also will forever insist that new parents not write me a thank you note. It's hard to get those suckers out in a timely fashion.

4) Everything is new to you as parents, but everything is also completely new to baby. When they cry they don't necessarily know what they want either.

5) Showers are the elixir of life. It's amazing how much better you can feel after a 15 minute shower.

6) You will do anything to make your child happy. To hear them cry, especially if you know they are uncomfortable, is heartbreaking.

7) You never realize how quickly three hour spans are until your life revolves around them. I can't tell you how many times I've been trying to figure out why the baby is crying then realize that it's been three hours since she last ate and she is hungry. Sometimes it feels never ending.

8) You will do a lot of things you said you would never do. You will give you child a bottle/pacifier, you will snap at your spouse in the middle of the night, you will buy all kinds of random stuff in hopes that they will sleep/eat/calm down.

9) You will become that crazy parent who is very tuned in to who holds, touches, and cares for your child. I'm already starting to steel myself for the day I have to take Anna Grace to daycare.

10) You will love your child more than you ever thought you could. You will do anything to make them happy. Everyone tells you about this indescribable love, but you don't understand it until you feel it.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Anna Grace - 1 Month

I want to start by taking my hat off to all those moms who blog on a regular basis once baby makes their appearance. It's a struggle for me to remember to brush my teeth twice a day, no less sit down and blog. I'm going to try to be better about writing down all these experiences because I don't want to forget them. 

Anyway, I can't believe our little Anna Grace is a whole month old. I swear I just started doing my weekly bump updates. I wasn't sure how to go about these new updates so I borrowing this style from Mrs. Southern Mama. The major takeaway is we are completely in love with the baby and time is going by way too fast. 

Weight: 8 lbs. 3 oz.

Height: Not 100% sure but probably between 21 and 22 inches. At her 2 week appointment she was 20.5 inches and she is definitely longer now.

Hair: Anna Grace was born with a ton of dark brown hair. Her hair is one of the first things people comment on and they are shocked to hear that she looks just like me when I was born, dark hair and all. Unfortunately it has already started to fall out. (Fingers crossed that it grows back soon.)

Eyes: Her eyes started as grey, but have slowly been changing to blue.

Clothes: She is still wearing all her newborn clothes, but I think will be graduating to 0-3 months clothes very soon.

Diapers: We are buying newborn size diapers as fast as we can. She isn’t much for making dirty diapers, but she loves to pee one or two times between each feeding. Everyone warned us, but good grief we go through a lot of diapers and wipes.

Sleeping: We have been putting her in both her crib and her Rock ‘n Play and she likes them both. Baby’s sleeping routine changes quite a bit still. She has started doing 4 hour stretches at night, which is wonderful. After her 9-10pm feeding I head to bed and Andy puts her down. He gives her a bottle of breast milk around 2-3am and then I take the morning shift which ends around 6:30-7am. During the day her sleep schedule is all over the place, which makes planning things a little hard. 

Eating: Anna Grace has always been a champion eater, even with a couple hurdles. After two trips to the lactation consultant we figured out she was tongue tied, which was making nursing difficult for baby and painful for me. So we elected to have a very simple procedure done and it has helped so much. She eats every three to four hours. Baby has taken a bottle of breast milk with no trouble at all, which has allowed Andy to feed her in the middle of the night. (This gives me the chance to sleep longer than two hours, if I was lucky, which was a killer the first two weeks.)

Baby’s favorite things: Being swaddled with her arms out, eating, car rides, laying on her changing table and looking at her diaper wreath, sleeping with her arms above her head, being walked around or rocked to sleep, Soothie or Nuk pacifiers, Dr. Brown’s bottles, Rock ‘n Play, and she doesn't hate bath time.  

Baby’s Dislikes: Being wet, gas bubbles, being held facing my shoulder unless she is being burped or asleep

Baby nicknames: Baby girl, pup (unfortunate crossover from Camden), we mostly just call her Anna Grace

Baby Milestones: Everything is new and different. We slowly watched Anna Grace become comfortable with everyday things. We feel like she literally grows in front of our face. She is not a fan of new experiences initially and can be fussy until she determines if it’s a good thing of not. Unfortunately baby suffers from serious discomfort from gas. As she grew her generally fussiness and pain from gas grew as well, to the point where she was either sleeping, eating, or crying pretty much all day and night. We tried everything we could think of: gas drops, massage, tummy time, laying her on an incline. Finally we took a trip to the doctor and we are being treated for silent reflux, which helps control her discomfort. We hate giving her something at such a young age, but if it means she isn’t in pain, then that’s what we’ll do. 

On a fun note, Anna Grace moves constantly. Her hands and legs are always on the go, even when she sleeps. She has been able to lift her head since the second she enter this world and she "bobble-heads" away from our shoulder all the time. She has a love/hate relationship with tummy time. Sometimes she likes it, sometimes not so much. 

Our Bernese Mountain Dog, Camden, has been amazing with Anna Grace. We gave him a swaddle blanket so he could get used to her smell before we brought her him from the hospital. As soon as the pup entered the house he was in love. He sleeps in her nursery when she is in her crib and leads people to her when they come to visit. Camden is a little confuse why he isn't getting all the attention but he is doing great.

Anything else new: Baby girl has everyone wrapped around their finger. Nana, my mom, comes over for a short visit everyday, which frees Andy and I up to run errands, shower, or nap. Lolly, Andy’s mom has visited from the coast a couple times and loves Facetiming. We have also Facetimed with my brother, who is working in DC this summer. My sorority sisters came to visit and it was so fun to catch up, and introduce Anna Grace to one of their little boys.

However, no one is as in love with her as Andy and I. There are no words to describe all the feelings we have experiences this first month of parenthood. There have been many tears, lots of laughter, sleepless nights, and overwhelming pride in getting to know and show off our daughter. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Baby and Life Update

Yesterday marked two full weeks home with the baby. I feel like we've had Anna Grace for forever, but also like we just brought her home. There is nothing that can describe how wonderful it has been to have her home. It's been really hard, exhausting, and frustrating, but also incredibly rewarding and we love her more everyday.

Here are a couple details that I want to remember about these first two weeks.

Baby at 2 week doctor's appointment:
Weighs: 7.6 lbs
Length: 20.5 ins

After two visits to a lactation consultant, AG is a nursing champion. As you can see from her stats she is growing like a champ. I'm doing a little bit of pumping when she does a small feeding and everything is going well.

We took the pup and baby on a walk the other day around the block. We talked so much about going on walks as a family of four while I was pregnant so it was fun to actually do it.

Baby girl is super strong. She has been able to lift her head since day one and bobble heads anytime we try to lay her on our shoulder. Her arms and legs move constantly, even when she sleeps. Tummy time has been really fun because she moves around so much. We are pretty proud.

We spend a lot of time just watching Anna Grace's facial expressions. She can go through every feeling in 10 seconds and it shows all over her face. It's so entertaining.

Camden loves Anna Grace! From the second we brought her home the pup has been obsessed. He follows the baby around the house and sleeps in her room any time we put her in the crib. When she cries the dog comes to find us with a look of "the baby is upset, fix it now". I can't wait for AG to start toddling around, I just know they will be best friends.

My mom, Nana, is in heaven being a grandmother. It's so sweet to see how she lights up when she holds the baby. She has been a lifesaver by coming over to watch Anna Grace while we either run errands or, more importantly, sleep.

We are still getting the hang of this parenting thing, but we are enjoying every second of it. Now I'm off to nap. ;)
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