Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I have to say, today I celebrated the best birthday I've ever had. I got to spend it with the people that mean the most to me, and spent it loving on my sweet little angel.

Mom and Dad were camping in Commerce where the great outlet stores are, and we happened to need baby clothes. We really waited to get any clothes past 3 months until we saw how big she was and how fast she's growing. I'm glad we did! We ended up with several newborn outfits that she never had a hope of fitting into. If you had told me that I was going to pop out a 9 lb baby, I would have laughed! Anyway, now that we know that she's following an average growth pattern, but is already in 3 month clothes, we needed to shop.

We had a rough night last night (she's had an upset tummy for a few days and has been VERY fussy most of the day and particularly at night) and woke up a little late. We got ready and headed to Commerce for the day. Emma slept the entire way there. We had lunch with Mom and Dad and then went outlet shopping with Mom while Dad babysat the dogs. Emma started to fuss in the Carter's outlet so I walked outside with her. I put her in the sling and she INSTANTLY fell asleep! It was awesome. We shopped for a couple of hours and she slept soundly in the sling the entire time. I think it really must feel like she's back in the womb again. It keeps her right up against me fairly tightly and she can hear my heartbeat. She was OUT.

We had a shopping spree and then went to dinner. It was Emma's second time in a restaurant (the first was for a quick lunch and she slept through it). She started fussing again (again, because of her stomach - she would typically be content to sit in her carrier and look around). I put her in the magical sling and guess what? Passed out instantly again. It's earned it's rightful spot in the diaper bag - I won't go anywhere without it again! We had a great dinner with her in the sling and then went back for an ice cream cake - my favorite!

We just got home from our adventure. I think it went well, all things considered. I think the next time we venture out we will make sure that Emma's feeling better and is in better spirits to make it easier on ourselves. I'm so proud of her though!

Here are a couple of pictures of how I spent my birthday. We got the sunglasses today, to match her Daddy. She prefers to wear them on her head, like Mommy instead.

Monday, July 27, 2009

5 Weeks Old

My big chunky monkey had her one month check-up today at the pediatrician's office. She's my big girl! She weighs 10 lbs 1.5 oz! When we went for her first appointment a few days after coming home from the hospital she was 8lbs 1oz. She's gained a full 2 lbs!! As a breastfeeding mom who's never had to supplement with breast milk, it's the best feeling in the world. There's no way to monitor how much she's taking in at any given time, so to see that she's growing so well with just my milk is so incredible to me. It really makes me feel good. Now I really know that I'm doing what's best for Emma and I have proof now!

She did beautifully at the doctor's office. They were running over a half hour behind, so I ended up having to feed her in the waiting room. As they say, stuff happens! She didn't even cry this time when I had to strip her nekkid and weigh her. My, how things change in a month's time! Her thrush is all cleared up and we can stop the 4x a day medicine - thank GOD! She's been a trooper, but she hates that stuff. I don't blame her. I MAY have tasted it to see what I was doing to my angel. It was bad. Trust me.

Emma had the second in her series of 3 Hep B shots. She only cried for a minute and was asleep before we left the office. The doctor told us that she'd see us in a month and to keep on doing what we're doing. We were SO happy to hear such good news.

Emma's grown so much over the last week. She' LOVES tummy time and is getting great at holding her head up. Today she smiled at me for the first time intentionally! Well, she smiled at my hair, but it counts! She's a hair girl. I think it's the contrast between my dark hair and the surrounding area. I have a feeling that she'll be pulling it and have her fingers in it in no time!

Here are some pictures of Emma from this last week. She's getting so big. Tomorrow is my 28th birthday - I already have the best gift that I could ever ask for. It will be the best birthday of my life.

Hanging out on Mom and Dad's bed in the Boppy Bouncy Chair

Still loving the bath!

One of my favorite pictures ever - this is her "just got my belly full" look.

In her swing for the first time.

In the boppy chair again - her favorite place to be (other than in Mommy's arms, of course!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Brad, Emma and I ventured out to my OB's office this morning for my appointment. Emma was an angel. She slept through the whole thing. True to form, we had to wait a full hour past my appointment time to be seen, but it was a great and informative visit. The doctor confirmed that it IS in fact thrush. She was able to identify it right away, which made me feel better.

She said that we all apparently have small amounts of yeast on our bodies naturally. They search for warm, moist locations to grow. When I got a cracked nipple when I first started to breast feed (sorry if it's TMI!) the yeast decided to have a party. Once it started to grow in my milk ducts, it spread to Emma. On the plus side, I don't have to take any more medications to clear it up - just have to keep using her prescription topically. If it got much worse before we started to be treated, it could have developed into mastitis. It's still a possibility, but not likely.

Emma was so great at the appointment that we decided to make a quick stop at Babies R Us to buy her a swing. The one that we have is SO fast that it's a little scary for me AND for her. Mom and Dad bought one for their house that she LOVES, so we had to get the same one. They had it on sale, so we stopped in. She slept through that trip too! I nursed her in the car and then we headed home. She slept the whole way home and then ate again while Brad and I had Chick-Fil-A. It's amazing the things that you learn to do one-handed!

As I type this Emma is asleep cuddled up next to me, touching. We were able to get a one hour nap this afternoon, but after an hour she decided that she had to be touching me in order to not scream. She's getting to be a mama's girl already - not sure if it's a good thing or not! We had a rough night. She slept most of yesterday afternoon and ALL evening, deciding to wake up around midnight. We got a total of 4 hours of sleep and then had to get up early for the doctor. We're hoping she sleeps a little better tonight after such a full day. Keeping our fingers crossed!

Monday, July 20, 2009

One Month Old

Where has the time gone? I cannot BELIEVE that we have a one month old baby girl. It seems like yesterday that we were just coming home from the hospital and struggling through those first few days. We were struggling to get nursing down, couldn't get Emma to sleep for more than an hour at a time, couldn't get swaddling down to save our lives, and were struggling to get her weight up. MY how times have changed!

Emma is nursing like a champ. She's sleeping SO much better. In fact, last night she only woke up twice to eat and went straight back down after getting her belly full. Our latch issues are gone and we've really gotten to know one another and have worked out our differences on that front. We've figured out the perfect swaddle for Miss Emma and she sleeps in her co-sleeper like an angel - for the most part.

She weighed 9.8 lbs according to our bathroom scale when I weighed her a few days ago. I'm sure she's at least 10 lbs now. She's graduated to a size 1 diaper. They gave us only size 1 in the hospital because she was so big, but they swallowed her. We have only been using newborn diapers ever since we got home, but her little booty was starting to bust out of them.

Brad told me tonight that she takes after me. Unfortunately, he didn't mean it as a compliment. We've come to determine that Emma has NO patience when it comes to food. She goes from not seeming hungry at all, to so starving that she can't remember ever having eaten before. Her "I'm hungry" cry is more of a blood-curdling scream. She seriously sounds like she's in pain! Hopefully we'll be able to teach her a little more patience once she's old enough to reason with. I'm going to have to pull out all of my best behavior modification tricks early! I knew those college education classes would come in handy at some point!

We've had a bit of a tough week on this end. I started to develop some severe breast pain and Emma was having a tough time stomach-wise. She was just not herself and was pretty fussy. All she wanted to do was nurse and would SCREAM if I put her down. She would occasionally let Brad or my mom hold her, but I could barely even take a 10 minute shower without Brad coming to get me because she was hungry. I think it was a combination of a growth spurt and her stomach hurting.

Long story short, she's got thrush. It's basically an oral yeast infection. The yeast moves to the gut and takes over, causing excess gas and stomach upset. It completely explains the fussiness and stomach ache. After spending the morning on the phone with her pediatrician and my OB (on a Saturday, no less) she was prescribed an anti-fungal and it was determined that I likely have thrush in my milk ducts as well. I go to my OB tomorrow for them to determine whether it's thrush or mastitis. I'm hoping for thrush. We both have to be treated at the same time or we risk passing it back and forth. Ick.

Here are some pictures that we took yesterday and today. Yesterday was Brad's mom's birthday. We haven't taken Emma out in public yet, so they brought us lunch after they ate and came to our house for cake and ice cream. Yesterday was one of those days when Emma wanted to be attached to me all day, but was very well behaved for her visitors. If you'll notice the first picture - Emma's swaddled and asleep on her tummy. We don't let her stay that way for extended periods of time because of the SIDS risk, but she LOVES to sleep on her belly. The last picture was one that Brad took today on the way to visit my parents. She likes to sleep in her car seat and her head tilts forward and sits on the straps of her car seat. I put the lambswool covers on the straps to protect her little neck. Needless to say, she HATED them and I had to take them off as soon as we got to Mom and Dad's.

Monday, July 13, 2009

3 Weeks Old!

My sweet angel baby is 3 weeks old today. Wow, it's flown! In some ways it seems like it was yesterday - my water breaking, the hospital, coming home, those first really painful first days. In other ways, it seems like it's been forever. We've really gotten the hang of breastfeeding and it's becoming second nature now. I've really relaxed about it and she and I have really gotten to know one another over the last 3 weeks.

Emma's growing so much already. I weighed her yesterday using our bath scale (weighed myself, then myself with her, subtracted.) She weighed 9 lbs 2 oz - over her birth weight! I guess we must be doing something right!

She slept for a total of 9 hours last night - the only tough part was from 2 AM - 5 AM when she was wide awake. At least when she's awake at night she's pleasant. She's awake, but not crying. I suppose we can't expect much more from a little one who's used to being in the dark inside her mommy and is just learning to live in the world. We're hoping for a little more consistency from her - she's usually a great sleeper one night and then we have a terrible night the next night. We're feeding on demand now, so I can't really schedule her feedings. She eats when she's hungry, which changes from night to night. We're working now on changing OUR schedules so that she's at least getting used to a bath at the same time, the lights out at the same time, getting up in the morning at the same time, etc. We're hoping it works!

She loves her pacifier. We're trying to use it sparingly - when she has the hiccups, in the car if she's hungry and can't eat, or at night when she's falling asleep. I would try to limit it more, but the paperwork from her pediatrician advises using a paci when babies are falling asleep because it reduces the risk of SIDS. They say to leave it out if it falls out, but to put them to sleep with it. Unfortunately, Miss Em wakes up when it falls out if she's not completely asleep :(

She's getting so much more head control lately - she's so fun! She likes to lay on my chest and push with her legs and hold herself up with her arms. She's so strong! Her Daddy played "head, shoulders, knees, and toes" with her this morning and she loved it. It was precious to watch. She's also discovered my hair in the last week. I can't get her to fall asleep if I'm holding her and my hair is down because she stares at it with wide eyes. She's even tried to grab for it once or twice and can track it very well if I move in front of her. She's so smart already!

I can't believe that she'll be a month old next Monday. She's already growing too fast for my taste. Brad goes back to work the first week in August and it's already killing me to think about. Emma and I will miss him!

Here are some pictures of bath time tonight. We've been using some techniques that Kathi Frankel taught us and she's SO relaxed in the tub. She doesn't so much like the "getting dressed" part, but we're working on it. :)

We've also noticed that she's got some waves in her hair when it's wet before we brush it. We're thinking she may have her mommy's curls one day when she has enough hair to see them!

Enjoy the pictures! Claire - the naked pictures are coming, I promise!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Let me outta here!

This has been a great week. We've gotten a little more sleep, or maybe just gotten more used to the LACK of sleep! Emma's sleeping the occasional 3 hour stretch at night, but her norm is about 2. She's the most pleasant baby in the middle of the night - she only wakes up to eat or when she has gas/needs to be changed. She has never been one to cry for no reason.

I've been getting a little house-bound lately, so we've started taking field trips. We rode with Brad to the county office to turn in paperwork for our insurance. We've also made a few trips to Sonic for a happy hour drink run. Emma loves the car, unless she's hungry!

Today we took her for her first walk in the neighborhood and used her stroller for the first time. She had a blast - so did Lucy! Once we got back we loaded in the car for a trip to Sonic. Emma had a great time until she decided she was hungry on our way back. Luckily, we only live a couple of miles from Sonic and were home before she knew it.

We also had a really awesome visit from Kathi Frankel and Erin DiChiara. Erin's an OT and Kathi's PT that works with babies in the NICU. They are starting to work with typical babies in homes to offer support to moms with new babies. I was MORE than happy to have them come and offer us suggestions. It was awesome. We learned a lot about infant sleep cycles and how to get Emma to regulate her own system to nights and days. Kathi showed us a better and much more natural way to swaddle Emma that makes her much more comfortable - she wants her hands by her face all the time and she's been able to have them that way for 9 months now. The new swaddle is much more comfortable for Emma and she sleeps a little longer that way.

Kathi also showed us a great way to bathe her. She put a blanket in a tub of water and wrapped it around Emma once she was in the tub. She fell right to sleep - check out the picture! Quite the change from her bath that morning with all of the screaming!

Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Emma's bath with Kathi Frankel - wow!

Wanting a little privacy while she eats apparently!

Milk Coma

Napping with Grandpa

Precious in her new swaddle

My Anne Geddes baby!

Ready to walk!

Monday, July 6, 2009


I've made an executive decision. I've decided it's pointless to wear lipstick anymore. It just comes off on Emma's head and is darn hard to wipe off. I CANNOT keep myself from kissing the poor child! What's worse, Brad can't either! I keep thinking he's going to inhale her sweet little head one of these days. Luckily, she doesn't seem to mind.

We've had a pretty good few nights over the last week. Emma's sleeping a little better and I've been able to relax a little on her feeding schedule and feed her more "on demand" now that she's gaining weight sufficiently. We're learning slowly but surely some very important things about her. For one, she HATES having her arms swaddled. If she's awake enough, she makes it her nightly mission to free her arms from the blankets and then scream because she wants someone to hold her. She's much happier being held while she sleeps than being put down - something we're working to correct! She only allows us to swaddle her and REALLY sleep (for 2-3 hour stretches) if she's in a milk coma. She's a little bottomless pit at night. She eats and eats and eats until Brad and I are both certain she's about to burst, and then screams for more.

She had her first "big girl" bath today. She HATED IT! Brad and I went as fast as we could, but the screams were almost more than I could take. It broke my heart! We're hoping she turns out to be a water baby once she gets used to the idea. We'll see. As I type this she's tuckered out in her co-sleeper next to me from all of the wailing. :(

She's our precious little angel and we don't know what we ever did without her - even though we are functioning on WAY less sleep than any human naturally requires to live! Here are some pictures of the last few days. When people come to visit she's almost always asleep. I had Brad take these to prove that she does in fact open her eyes some!

My absolute favorite - staring right at her Mommy.

Holding her own pacifier like a big girl!

Asleep in her co-sleeper after her bath - worn out!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Quick Update

I've got to keep it quick because Emma's in the pack and play next to me and is starting to wake up, but thought I'd post a quick update. She's doing great! We had our 3rd pediatrician appointment of the WEEK today! They were keeping a close watch on her weight because she was down to 8lbs 1.5oz at our first doctor visit. Today she was up to 8lbs 4.5oz and the doctor was pleased with her progress. Now we don't have to go back until her 1 month appointment!

Miss Thing has her days and nights VERY confused, so we're really not getting much sleep around here. It's to be expected, but it's hard to function with 2 hours of sleep. We're working on turning her little clock around, but it's pretty hard to keep an 11 day old baby awake when she doesn't want to be.

Breastfeeding is going well, for those of you who might be interested! She's still getting the hang of latching on, mostly because she's pretty impatient and doesn't like to wait for the let-down effect. We must be doing something right because she's gaining weight back like a champ! I'm proud to say that I haven't had to supplement with formula and that my milk supply is great. It's taken it's toll on me and is VERY difficult and frustrating to stick with at times, but very rewarding.

Emma's had a few visitors over the last week and has done well. She's not nearly as overstimulated as she was when she was born and is great at trying to sleep through visits!

She's got her Daddy wrapped around her little finger - he's so in love with his little girl! It's been the most amazing thing to watch. He's great at helping me out at night when she's crying. He gets up, swaddles her, rocks her to sleep, and puts her back in the co-sleeper. He's the best and most dedicated Daddy in the world. I couldn't be more in love with him than I am right now.

Emma's belly button fell off 2 days ago! She's been given the all-clear for a real bath on Monday - we're excited to see what she thinks!

My recovery is going fairly slowly. I'm getting a little better, but it's a slow process. I'm still in quite a bit of pain and it hurts to get around. The pediatrician was surprised I was even able to walk. On a VERY plus side, I'm down to 11 lbs LESS than I was BEFORE I got pregnant!!! I've got to say - breastfeeding can do awesome things!

How we spend our days - eating and burping!

My Aunt Claire cutting Emma's nails - I wasn't brave enough! Check out her feet!

Sleeping Angel

Daddy's Girl!