June 18, 2011

Dear Audrey - One Month

Dear Audrey,

You're one month old today.  What a joy you are.  Your daddy and I are so blessed to be given the opportunity to be your parents.  You're a very good baby, but we would love you even if you weren't.  Some days you sleep with one eye open just to make sure I don't put you down, but other days we can lay you down when you yawn and you will put yourself right to sleep.  You're quite the Houdini; often times popping your little hand out of the top of your swaddle a few seconds after we're convinced we've finally got you wrapped up tight.  You love to have your hands by your mouth but they distract you and you don't sleep for as long when you have access to them.  Mommy doesn't like that, at least not at night.  You still don't wake up happy, but that's because you usually wake up hungry.  I look forward to when you see me and understand that you don't have to scream your head off anymore, because I will feed you.  You're still not sleeping in your crib, because you seem to be congested at night and all of your little snorts and gurgles scare your mama too much for her to be comfortable with you sleeping in another room.  It's really hard to get you back to sleep in your bassinet after you eat at 5:30/6:00 so daddy usually lets you lay with him in our bed.  You sleep fine when he does this.  Sometimes you have a hard time getting back to sleep after you eat at 4:00, but mommy won't let daddy bring you into our bed in the middle of the night.  I have to have some boundaries. 

This past week you've started to really look at things and, I think, get excited.  You're at least engaging things more than you were.

We think you look like a little cartoon bug.  Actually, your daddy makes really cute faces that I've always said make him look like a toon bug.  You look a lot like your daddy and are already making funny faces with your lips/mouth like he does.  We call you toon bug, bug, cricket, nugget, punk (short for punkin), and monk (short for monkey), along with the usual angel, beautiful, etc.

Like I said, you have your daddy's pretty mouth, and I'm pretty sure you have your daddy's nose.  You have your mama's chin (I'm sorry, blame your granny Annie) and your mama's round head (also sorry).  You even have your mama's ear ripple - weird, huh?!  We're not sure whose eyes you have yet, they seem bigger than either of ours.  The very first moment I held you, you had your left eye wide open staring at me.  So funny.  Your big, wide eyes are kind of your signature feature at this point.  They stare right at us, big as quarters, even when you're so so tired.  I'm not sure why you don't give in when you're sleepy.  Perhaps you're processing your mental to-do list like your mama does when it's time for bed.  I hope that's not the case.

Sometimes when you're dissatisfied with your current situation you move your hands like you're trying to doggie paddle.  You're funny about a pacifier.  I think it's your first love/hate relationship.  Daddy blows in your face to get you to stop crying.  This stresses mama out, because it also gets you to stop breathing!  Daddy holds you like a football and flies you around the room.  This also stresses mama out.  I will learn to loosen up.  In fact, I'm already better than I was.  We've only given you two baths.  You would have had a third one by now, but daddy is out of town and mama is nervous to do it on her own.  Daddy is actually much better at this task than mama is.  Right now Sampson and Lola still pretty much ignore you and me both, but I think they're starting to come around.  Soon enough the three of you are going to be buds.  Your daddy thinks it's so cute when you sneeze (it is pretty cute), you still get hiccups pretty often like you did in my belly, and your cough is so adult sounding!  And scary!  When you're done eating you purse your little lips together tight and pout out your lower lip.  You're a very very happy baby; so content with just about everything.

We pray that you will be beautiful, kind, and that you will have favor with God and people.  You are already making people smile and we pray that will always be the case.  Thank you so much for being such a precious girl.

We love you very much,

Mama and Daddy

June 7, 2011

I am the mother of a two-week old

**never got around to posting this last week**

I am the mother of a two-week old.

Amazing.  How did that happen?  Two weeks has passed?  And we're doing it... we're really doing it.  Never before have I felt the need to live in a "one day at a time" mentality.  But seriously, how else would you survive the pressure of bringing home 6lbs 6oz of life and nurturing her and meeting her needs... for a very very long time to come.

It feels so good to know that two weeks have gone by and we're really doing this.  I guess in actuality, "one day at a time" is more accurately lived as "three hours at a time," because that's the rough schedule we're cycling through these days.

Eat, play for a bit, sleep, wake up and scream like food may never come, eat, play for a bit, and sleep.

I'm finally beyond the anxiety I felt every time we were 15 minutes away from her next mealtime... when she starts to make little noises like she is waking up and will be screaming for my boob soon.

I was surprised at how much these two weeks were really about recovery.  I didn't feel like there were any REAL surprises with the labor and delivery (I had several mom's give me very detailed play-by-plays of their own experiences), but I really felt in the dark about so much of these past two weeks.

I had no clue I would hurt like this.  I know everyone is different, but it was a real challenge for me.  There were some days it hurt to sit, it hurt to stand, it certainly hurt to pee, and it definitely hurt every time she was hungry.  Gah!

I feel like I was so stinkin fortunate during the pregnancy, and really, during the labor and delivery.  No issues, no complications, for the most part it was pretty smooth sailing.  I know many moms don't have the pain I did during that two-week recovery period, but I feel like this was my trade off for how simple the ride has been up to this point.  Not to say I deserved to have a hard two weeks postpartum, but it helps me to manage it knowing that many moms struggle for most of their pregnancy or labor for 30 hours or push for 6 hours.  How could I complain when I've clearly been so fortunate?

How did people do this parenting thing without the internet?  How did people do this without google?  The list of random questions we've googled in the past two weeks really sums up how every little thing that happens during the day can raise the questions, "is this normal?  is this okay?  what do I do with this?"

My recent google searches:

How long does engorgement last
Blocked milk ducts
Can I overfeed my newborn?
How to get a proper latch
Keeping baby awake during feeding
How do deal with fast milk flow
Projectile spit-up
One breast seems to be fuller than the other, always
Umbilical cord bleeding
Minimum time breastfeeding
My infant won't feed for more than 10 minutes
My newborn won't go to sleep, not fussy, eyes wide open
Postpartum recovery, how long for stitches to heal
Treating belly button after cord falls off
My infant acts hungry every time she's upset
My infant eats every two hours
How to bathe an infant
Heat rash
Baby acne
How to treat baby acne
Is it safe to put lotion on a baby's face?

This has been a very humbling experience, but I am super proud of us for doing it and ever thankful that Audrey is patient with us.  I swear I can see her smirking at us when we're scrambling around clearly clueless about how to handle so many of these random daily scenarios.

But other times it's obvious we must be doing something right...

June 3, 2011

Motherhood Exposed: Our first solo outing

We had a play date last Wednesday, but a friend picked us up, so mom and babe have not been out unsupervised, until today!

Today is national donut day and the Dunkin Donuts right around the corner was calling my name loud and clear.  Because I haven't taken her out on my own yet, I also have not installed the carseat base in my car.  Here's what our morning looked like:

After she was fed and satisfied, I put her in her bouncy seat and went out to repark the car from the street to the driveway.  I peaked my head back in to check on her, she still looked happy.  I grabbed the carseat base and went out to install it.  Peaked my head back in to check on her, she still looked happy.  I grabbed the stroller frame and threw it in the trunk.  Came back in, still a happy girl.  I put her onesie on her, strapped her in the carseat, and began the task of looking all over the house making sure I had everything we needed.  I grabbed the diaper bag, the baby carrier, my wallet, keys, her sunhat, an extra blanket.  I looked all around before deciding we were done, I had everything we needed.  I grabbed her and everything else and, using my right foot, held the cat back while getting us and everything else out the front door.  I locked the front door, proud of myself for doing it and walked around to the far side of the car.  Tossed the diaper bag and carrier through the passenger window onto the seat, and set her carseat in the base.  Walked around to the driver side of the car and realized I had forgotten something.  My shoes.  I was barefoot!

I got my shoes and off we went to get a big ole coffee and a free toasted coconut donut.  We did it!