Jul 29, 2010

It's Hard

I forgot how hard it is to have a baby.

I don't think I have to reassure any of you of how much I love her, because oh my goodness, do I love her.

But, man, is it hard sometimes.

It's hard when she's cried the better part of two days, and you have no clue why.

It's hard when she poops through her diaper and onto her clothes and no one is home to help you keep her feet out of it while you try to wipe it off your hands.

It's hard when you're walking around in a fog because you've gotten maybe four hours of sleep the night before (although, I probably shouldn't complain, because I actually slept in my own bed those four hours and not on the couch holding a baby. We are making progress in that department, slow though it may be.)

It's hard when your baby wants to be held. All. the. time.

It's hard when she won't really nap anywhere except in your arms.

It's hard when you have a panic attack over the fact that you have to go back to work in two months, and the thought hits you that you'll have to navigate your days on this little sleep.

It's hard when your husband is getting ready because he has to be at church tonight, and you're trying to clean up the kitchen, while your baby fusses, while your four year old spills her milk, while the dryer is beeping because the clothes are done, while the baby spits up, and you're stuffing bites of sandwich in your mouth as you run around taking care of each of these things (this may or may not have been me an hour or so ago).

Man, it's hard.

Jul 25, 2010

One Month Old

Jul 23, 2010

FFF - Fun Foto Friday

One year ago this week, this is where we were .... oh, how we miss that place!

Jul 19, 2010

3 Week Check Up

I thought I'd give an update on how we're doing at 3 weeks. But first, some sweetness ...

We took Ella for her 3 week appointment last week. She was 20 inches long and weighed 8 lbs., 5 oz. She finally gained her birthweight back, plus a bit more! I did a happy dance right in the doctor's office hallway. The doctor said she looks great!

Our biggest frustration right now is nighttime sleep. If Ella would follow a "typical" newborn schedule and wake up to eat every 2-3 hours, I'd be in heaven. However, our little stinker loves to be rocked to sleep until she's out like a light, then wakes up as soon as she's put down. It makes for some really long nights when I rock, rock, rock, put her down and then have to start all over again when she immediately wakes up. Sometimes it's an almost 2 hour process just to get her to sleep independently for 30 minutes. I have to admit, there are times my desire for sleep takes over, and I give up and take her to the couch to sleep with me - because, of course, she sleeps like a champ when she's being held! My hope is that if I keep trying again and again something will eventually click as she gets a little older, and she will get better at sleeping on her own over time. Fingers crossed, anyway!

Other than that, we were all really spoiled during the last part of the week when our friend, Sarah Ellen came to stay with us. I like to say we had our own personal Mary Poppins with us for a few days, because SE cooked three meals for us (creme brulee french toast, marinated pork chops, zucchini pie, and other yummy stuff!), helped with both girls, kept Ella from screaming in the backseat during our first outing to Target and Chili's, and even stayed up late one night to hold Ella so I could get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. I really almost cried when she left on Saturday.

This week we're looking forward to more visits from family - Ella will get to meet one set of her great-grandparents today - and Ella's first trip to church on Sunday. We're just amazed that time has already flown by so quickly that she will be one month old that day!

Jul 14, 2010

In the Past 2 1/2 Weeks I've. . .

-Fallen more in love with a baby

-Had to remind myself the difficult parts of having a newborn don't last forever

-Had to remind myself to savor the moment because time passes quickly

-Lost track of time sitting and staring at a baby

-Counted the day a success if I found time to get a shower AND wash my hair

-Been excited over baby poop

-Been reminded how quickly a package of diapers disappears

-Become reacquainted with baby spit up

-Tried not to laugh when the big sister became acquainted with baby spit up

-Enjoyed having normal sized feet again

-Successfully breastfed my 2nd baby better than I ever dreamed with my first baby

-Sat up breastfeeding at 3am and doubted if I could keep it up

-Developed mastitis and spent a day feeling horrible

-Stopped breastfeeding and started bottles

-Had "mommy guilt" because I stopped breastfeeding

-Enjoyed the freedom of a bottle

-Enjoyed the smell of a baby

-Slept for 2 to 3 hour stretches a few nights

-Slept for 5-10 minute stretches other nights

-Held a baby through the night just so we could both get some sleep


-Dealt with a 4 year old who needed more attention from Mommy and Daddy

-Had "mommy guilt" because I didn't feel I was giving my firstborn enough attention

-Been annoyed by a 4 year old who doesn't understand the meaning of personal space at times

-Had to be firm with a 4 year old who is still learning to share Mommy and Daddy

-Took my 4 year old on an ice cream date

-Missed being a part of the "real world"

-Bounced back better with the 2nd baby

-Watched more HGTV and Food Network than anyone should

-Been blessed by meals brought to us by our church family just when we needed them

-Been blessed by the helpfulness, love, and availability of family

-Fallen more in love with my husband as I've watched him with our girls

-Had to ask forgiveness when I've been too snippy because having a newborn is stressful

-Had to forgive as well because having a newborn isn't only stressful for Mommy

-Took a family trip to Bi-Lo because I just had to get out

-Planned a trip for Mexican food next week because it's been TOO long :)

-Been amazed at what a big girl and big help my 4 yr old has been

-Been proud of the way we've all adjusted to our new normal

Jul 10, 2010

My Girls

The cuteness around here has almost been more than we know what to do with lately!

Jul 5, 2010

Ella's Birth Story

On Thursday, June 24, the day before my due date, we went to the doctor for our weekly check-up. I had made a little more progress, and while my doctor was hopeful I would go into labor on my own, she told us she would go ahead and make an appointment for induction the following week. She warned us the maternity center had been booked up lately, and it was likely we would not get an appointment within the next few days and could also be bumped if enough girls were there in spontaneous labor. I was still hopeful she would be able to schedule us for the following Tuesday or Wednesday (the 29th or 30th), which were her next on call times. So, when she called that evening and said the earliest she could schedule for was Saturday, July 3, at 7:00 am, I was disappointed and cried.

On Friday, June 25 we didn't have anything planned for the day, and Camryn and I were going to run a few quick errands, so I hopped in the shower and decided just to pull my hair into a ponytail instead of washing it. I did decide to shave my legs quickly though - thank goodness! :) We had a pretty low key day, took good naps in the afternoon, and were headed to Chick-fil-A for supper. While Jason took a shower, Camryn and I played a game of Pretty, Pretty Princess. After we finished, I told Cam we needed to go upstairs and fix her hair so we'd be ready to go soon. When I stood up, my water started to break, although I wasn't 100% sure that's what it was. (Remember, I was induced with Camryn, so didn't have to experience the real signs of labor). I decided I could have lost control of my bladder somewhat (isn't pregnancy so humbling?) and changed pants. I rounded up Camryn to head upstairs again and only got halfway up when it happened again - this time in a very convincing way. I went back down and told Jason what happened, and he told me to go ahead and call the doctor's office. The nurse felt like I should head on to the hospital, so we called for our awesome Jamie to come over to stay with Camryn while I took a quick shower - I was not going with dirty hair! I was pretty proud of how calm we stayed. When I got out of the shower, we packed some last minute things. While Jason went to get gas, I made Camryn a sandwich and laid out the clothes she would meet her baby sister in.

We got to the hospital, and as we walked into the maternity center, Jason reached over to hold my hand. I laughed and joked that this was a great Friday night date since we had a babysitter and all! We were checked in by 6:30 ish, made calls to family to let them know we were there, and got settled into our room. I was not having very regular contractions, and the nurse was having a hard time tracking them. She called to report to the on-call doctor, and he suggested starting Pitocin to get the contractions regular. After that we hung out, watched a little Gamecock baseball, and waited for things to get going.

I had decided I wanted to do a drug-free labor. I was actually doing pretty well until around 9:45 pm. The contractions were really hard and were wearing me out, and I started getting concerned I was going to be too tired or in too much pain to push when the time came. So, I gave in and asked for the epidural. I had to wait until I'd gotten enough IV in me, so I still had to ride out a few more, which was no fun after I decided I wanted drugs! By the way, the guy who did the epidural was Dr. Doolittle, which everyone we were texting during the process had a field day with ... they asked if I was delivering a litter of puppies, and if so, they wanted one!

Pretty much as soon as the epidural was in, the nurse checked and said I was complete and ready to push. She told me she thought I was doing really well and could have made it without the epidural, but at that point, I had no regrets! Around 10:45 pm we started setting up to push and started around 10 til 11. It was actually a pretty easy process, and Crissy, the nurse who had been with us the whole time was fabulous. Dr. Solomon, the on call doctor from my practice, came in around the last 15 minutes or so to complete the delivery. Once Ella's head was out, I had to stop pushing because her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. They got that corrected, and she was born at 11:27 pm! We've been smitten with our new little one ever since!

**I apologize this ended up being so long. I obviously don't know how to tell a short story!