Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eli's Second Month: 10.14 - 11.14

***The pictures in this post are grainy b/c I had to resize them to upload them faster.  Click on the flickr link at the below to see ALL of Eli's 2nd month photos in much better quality!  :)

Wow!  Eli has changed so much this month -- it is unbelievable!  He is such a cutie!  He is smiling and laughing now, especially in the morning with mommy!  I'm going to miss this time terribly when I got back to work in three weeks!  :(


       What a change!!!

We have had a month full of visitors and it has been so much fun!  First my Aunt Margot, Uncle Scott and cousin Jim came to visit.  They live in Illinois.  They made the trip for just one night and stayed with my parents.  We had lots of fun hanging around and cuddling with Eli.

Eli's great uncle Scott holding and talking to him!

My mom's sister and Eli's great aunt Margot giving Eli some special love!

Next, Mike's parents came in from CA!  They arrived on Saturday, October 22nd and stayed through the 29th.  Eli loved meeting his Oma and Opa!  Eli calls Mike's parents Oma and Opa because that is what he called his grandparents.  It means grandma and grandpa in German.  We got to explore KC with them, had lots of tasty food, and spent the majority of the time just hanging out at our house and loving on Eli.  They were so good with Eli -- baby pros!  Eli soaked up all of their attention and love.  I learned a lot from Mike's mom that week -- 1. He likes a good firm pat on the back 2. He loves listening to nursery rhymes via iphone and 3. He is happy hanging out in the Baby Bjorn.  Eli misses his Oma and Opa so much and he can't wait for Christmas to cuddle with them again. 

Eli's first cuddle with his Oma.

We met Mike's parents at the airport and handed Eli over for a quick picture -- love at first sight!

Eli and his grandparents at Nelson-Atkins.

He loves to cuddle and play with his Oma and Opa!
The following week my BFF and her hubby, Carrie and Tyler, came to KC from Indianapolis to meet and snuggle with Eli.  We were so thrilled to spend the weekend with them!  Carrie and Tyler are naturals when it comes to holding and playing with babies!  They'll be such great parents when that time comes!  ;)

My bestfriend Carrie and her husband Tyler -- made the trip from Indianapolis to meet precious Eli!

Care loving on Eli!

We've also had visits from our friends Amie, Ashley and Matt, and Lindsey and Andrew.  Everyone thinks he is so cute and loves to cuddle with him.

My friend Amie (from GU) and Eli!

Eli's First Halloween was fun!  He was a little monkey and, boy, was he cute!  He didn't want any candy though -- just sweet tasting breast milk!  :P


Eli with daddy and co-workers babies at his work!  Kiddos go trick-or-treating around to all the cubes.  How fun1

Eli with his friends at bf support group.  He is in the second row between the pumpkin and the hamburger!

Eli's Likes:

What did Eli dig this month?

1. Feeding.  He gained 3 lbs this month and had a growth spurt during his 6th week.  His favorite place was snuggling up with mom at the breast.  At my weekly support group they call this the 4th trimester.  I'm going to miss meeting this need when I got back to work and am praying that my supply will stay while pumping at work.  I know it can be done from listening to other working bf'ing mommies.
My Chub Rock!  Drowsy -- We call this "milk coma."  :)

2. Cooing and Baby-Talking.  Eli is talking up a storm!  He is especially verbal in the mornings while on his changing table.  Funny, huh?  He will mimic us too!  So sweet!

3. Baby Bjorn.  Mike's parents pulled this out on their visit and discovered that he would spend up to an hour in this just as content as could be.

4. Working out with Daddy.  Mike says he is going to patent a work out for parents and infants.  He can work out all of his muscle groups using Eli as a weight.  Eli doesn't mind being daddy's dumb bell  :)  They usually do this when I go to bed at night.

5. Being and looking outside.  When Eli cries I can take him outside and he will stop crying on the spot.  He loves to look around and feel the soft breeze on his face.

With grandpa on the swing -- loving this warm November weather!

On the swing at grandma and grandpa's house with daddy!

  6. His mobile.  I've moved it above his changing table and he loves to watch the sports balls move around and around while we are changing him.  He even fusses a little when it stops!

7.  Fist chewing.  Eli started to chew on his fists just recently.  He also has begun to drool.  This made me concerned thinking that he was possibly starting to teeth already!  But after talking with other mommies this behavior seems pretty normal for his age -- Thank God!

8. Bouncing, bouncing, bouncing and more bouncing

9. Swinging in the Johnny Jumper -- he loves this and falls asleep in it quite often. 

10. Napping with daddy!  He gets his love of sleep from his dad!

Eli's Dislikes:

1. Eli still isn't very fond of being changed when he is sleepy.

2. Being awake in the carseat -- he hates this!  I better have a binky ready for him or I'm in for it!  I've had to pull over a couple of times to settle him down and/or feed him.

Two Month Milestones:

Social Smile :)

Lots of baby talking going on - cooing, Ah-goo, etc

Little giggles here and there

Batting at toys

He can hold his head steady when upright

Lift head momentarily when on stomach

Here I go!

I said momentarily!

Breastfeeding Update:
After my one-on-one consultation with the St. Lukes LC's we decided to treat me and Eli for thrush even though there were not any true sign of it except for the pain I was experiencing.  Usually if thrush is present mom will have shooting pains in her breast while feeding and baby will have white spots in his/her mouth.  Neither Eli or I had this.  However, I had unexplained nipple pain -- no trauma and good latch.   And, because Eli was on antibiotics and he been since birth they (the LC's) felt that our best best was to treat for thrush (thrush is a yeast infection of the breast -- very, very common in bf/ing moms).  I was skeptical at first because I didn't have the exact symptoms but was willing to try anything to stop the pain.  After about a week of treatment -- ta da!  NO more pain.  Thank the Lord!  BF'ing has gotten so much better and is truly something I look forward to each day.  It makes me feel good knowing that I am providing for Eli every nutritional thing that he needs.  I'm so glad I was as dedicated as I was and I wouldn't have been able to do it with out the loving support of my husband. 

Two Month Doctor Visit Stats:

Eli is now...
24 inches -- thats 4 inches in two months! -- 84 percentile
13 lbs 8 oz -86 percentile
Dr. thinks he looks awesome and seems very healthy.  We mentioned how much Eli was crying and he asked if Eli spits up a lot and if it smells sour.  True.  So, he put Eli on some meds for reflux -- these seem to be working already because he is crying a lot less.  Our poor baby had heartburn the last month and we didn't even know it! 

The number one question people ask... 

Are you sleeping? YES.  (Mike more than me but thats okay.)

I've made a sleep chart on excel to chart when Eli is sleeping, awake, feeds, and is fussy to see if I could see a pattern.  Eli sleeps on average 15.5 hours a day and still eats every 2-3 hours.  At night he can go up to 5 hours with out feeding.  He was going to bed at 11 like clock work but after his immunizations he sleep all day and now he is going to be at 8 -- yay!!! 

What are we looking forward to next month?

Eli's continued growth and development. 

A tasty Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house. 

Christmas shopping for a child!

We are so blessed and falling more and more in love every day with our beautiful son!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Eli's First Halloween! Boo! :o

I made a voicethread of Eli's first Halloween.  Click the link below to see and hear about our fun weekend!  Make sure you turn the volume up on your computer! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eli's First Month: 9.14 - 10.14

The original purpose of this blog was to document our pregnancy (hence its name: mike and ali plus one) and I had so much fun writing weekly posts about Eli's milestones and other pregnancy ups and downs.  Now that Eli has arrived I want to continue to blog but with a different agenda and timeline.  My desire is to share Eli's treasured moments with friends and family -- near and far.  Mike's family resides on the west coast and this has been a great way for them to be stay involved in our lives throughout the last nine months.  In additional to Mike’s family, we've had over 3,000 site visitors from 10 different countries!  We love how interested people are in Eli's life.  We want to continue to share the joy that our son brings us.  I highly doubt I'll be able to create weekly posts but I plan on making a post at least once a month as well as "event" posts for things like holidays, birthdays, etc.  This is my goal -- we'll see if I can achieve it!  If you are a regular reader -- thanks for sharing in this journey with us!  It has been nothing short of a miracle and Eli is our pride and joy!

Our Hospital Stay

After spending 3 hours in our delivery room we were moved to the 'mother and baby' side of the maternity ward.  Mike got our room put together and organized our stuff.  We met our nurse, Natty, who was very nice.  Her first goal for me was to get me to urinate.  I couldn't urinate after I gave birth and my enlarged bladder kept my uterus from contracting smaller.  I had tried to go before we left my delivery room but was unable to -- I felt like I had to go but I just couldn't.  So I tried again but to no avail.  Natty said that if I wasn't able to go the next time I tried she would have to but a catheter in.  I definitely did NOT want to have another catheter.  Natty gave me 2 Tylenol 3's and 800mg of Ibuprofen for the pain and a couple hours later I had a successful trip to the bathroom.  The reason I could not go in the first place was after two hours of pushing I was so swollen "down there" that I could not relax the muscle enough to release my urine. 

After I finally peed, I was able to completely focus all of my time and energy on my precious, precious son Eli.  Mike and I took turns holding him and we couldn't get over how cute he was!  I was pretty much bed ridden the first 24 hours after labor so Mike was in charge of all the diaper changes -- he did such a great job and didn't complain once about the sticky tar-like poop he was dealing with!  However, Eli screamed and screamed and screamed during his changes -- poor Mike.

Mike and Eli around 5 hrs old :)

Midnight was approaching and I knew that they would take him to the nursery to be weighed and bathed.   The nurse asked if we would like to leave the baby in the nursery for a few hours so we could get some sleep but I declined because I really wanted to "room in" (which means keeping the baby with you as much as possible).  Once they took Eli, Mike convinced me to sleep while he was going to be away (it has been 20 hrs since I had slept)  -- but I was still too full of adrenaline to get any decent sleep, of course Mike was snoring within minutes!  Typical male.  J When Natty brought Eli back, Eli's hair was dry and so much lighter!  He was clean and so cute!  After we cuddled with him a while we put him back in his mobile crib and for the most part his slept well the first night (I wish I could say the same for me, every little sound I heard woke me straight up!  Welcome to motherhood, right?).  We actually had to wake him up to breast feed every four hours.

Eli after his first bath.  His red mark is from the internal monitor placed during labor.  He also had several scabs on his scalp due to rubbing against my pelvis for 2 plus hours.  Poor guy!

The next morning I looked at myself in the mirror and saw complete exhaustion.  I literally looked like I got hit by a train.  But, I still couldn't truly sleep.  I was still too enthralled with my beautiful, precious Eli.  I could stare at him all day long.  That morning Eli was taken to be circumcised.  Mike and I had varying opinions on whether this should have taken place and since he insisted that Eli be circumcised I made him go with Eli to comfort him during the procedure.  Mike let him suck on his finger and said Eli only let out a few cries.  Mike came back saying we had a tough little guy and was proud to announce that Eli needed the second largest ring for his penis!  Ha!  Shortly after he was circumcised he saw a pediatrician and received his renal ultrasound (see below for results).  The pediatrician said we had a very healthy boy on our hands!

Eli and I -- day 2

Later that day we received the most beautiful flowers and balloons from Mike's parents!  My parents visited and brought us chick-fil-a for lunch.  Aunt Libby came to visit too and with news that Eli is going to have a GIRL cousin in February!  For the most part, that day we just enjoyed our precious son, slept when we could, and took advantage of being taken care of by our nurse Larrie and the other hospital staff.  We also asked all the questions we could think of to prepare for when we wouldn’t have the luxury of a call button. 

Eli with our day time nurse Larrie -- we love her!  She was soo good with him!

By Friday we were ready to get home yet still a little nervous.  Before we checked out we had to watch a movie about shaken baby syndrome (so sad) and fill out some paper work.  Once that was completed they wheeled Eli and me (while Mike carried our things) to our car and we were headed home.  :)

Our new (and improved!) family before we left the hospital.

Welcome Home 

Mike, Eli and I headed home around noon on Friday the 16th of September.  It was a cool, dreary day in KC.  We were not prepared to have Eli all bundled up for the ride home because when we checked into the hospital it was 80 degrees and sunny -- so we did the best we could with the receiving blanket we had with us.  Eli enjoyed his first car ride by sleeping the whole way home.  :) 

Eli headed home for the first time!

It was really nice to have Mike home with me for an additional five days after our hospital stay.  (However, if you are a first time mommy I think two or three weeks with your hubby is ideal.  Mike was so helpful and for the first time in our relationship he did ALL of the housework!  This was great because it allowed me to rest, recover and focus on getting a good start to breast feeding.  HUGE props go out to my wonderful husband and Eli's super dad for that first week at home – he was nothing short of an angel to us.  When Wednesday the 21st rolled around I was in tears and Mike was terribly sad to leave Eli and go back to work.  I had no idea how I was going to manage without him.  Luckily, my mother came over Wed, Thurs, and Fri to help me.  I tried to sleep when she was over but I've never been much of a nap taker and it is hard for me to sleep when the sun is out.  So, while I rested and fed Eli my mother did household chores like the laundry and the dishes.  Thanks, Mom!

The following Monday was my first day totally on my own and we survived!  Eli was still sleeping the majority of the day which allowed me to shower and get a few things done around the house.  This day also marked the start of two full of my church delivering dinners to Mike and I!  This was such a blessing and it allowed us to not have to worry about what is going on the table and just focus on spending precious time with Eli.  Thanks to everyone from Outreach who “meal” ministered to us!

Amber (and many others from Outreach) brought us dinner and a spice cake!  Yum!

Eli and I have enjoyed our time together at home during these first precious weeks.  I thought I’d be able to get on somewhat of a schedule but I was kidding myself.  I was lucky to get a shower in the first weeks and now I’m lucky to get a load of laundry done.  J  However, as time passes things are getting easier.    We still really enjoy a visit from grandma every so often – Eli loves cuddle time with her and I get to do some things around the house.

Eli and me - 2 weeks.

Kidney Update

Turns out our little Eli is a miracle baby!  The morning after he was born he received a renal ultrasound to check his kidney.  If you remember, just two weeks before his birth his right kidney was quadruple the size of his left.  Well during the ultrasound the technician couldn't tell the difference between his left and his right kidney.  They were both normal sizes!  Unreal!  His right ureter was a little swollen though so we went to see a nephrologist (kidney specialist) at one week and assured us that Eli's chances of having to have surgery were very slim to none!  Mike and I were completely relieved and we both sung praises to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for healing our son!  So many people had been praying for him and if you are one of them let this be a testimony to you!

Eli is on antibiotics for two months until his immune system really starts to kick in.  Then at four months he will do a return visit to the nephrologist and, hopefully, that will be it!  Again, praise God!

Eli at the nephrologist wearing his urine catcher bag -- notice daddy is trying to comfort him with his finger!  What a good daddy!

 Eli's Firsts



Tummy Time.

Face plant.  :)

Taste of Fame.

A really neat tradition my school does!

Play date.

Eli 2 weeks, Cooper 8 months

Eli's Likes 

He loves being swaddled really tight.  Daddy does a very good job of this.  We really like the fleece swaddle me.

This is a teddy bear my mother had made for Eli out of his great gma's robe and his great, great grma's button.  What a precious gift!

He loves his bouncy seat.  Especially when we bounce it even more for him!

He likes going on walks.  He especially likes moving in his car seat -- whether it be in the car or in the stroller or just carrying him in it -- as long as we are moving he's good!

So content.

He also likes being held under his armpits and bounced up and down.

When he is awake he is constantly looking up at the ceiling and his favorite pass time is glaring at the ceiling fan in our living room! 

He loves to sleep on mommy and daddy's chests. 

Bath time.  The first couple of baths he loathed probably because he was cold.  However, once his circumcision ring and umbilical cord fell off he loved his baths because the warm water made him happy (it also made him pee!).   After his bath he loves to be blow dried!

Sad to admit but he likes the Telly!  Obviously it is just the colors but it will occupy his attention for a few minutes. 

Eli's Dislikes

Eli hates getting his diaper changed!  He screams bloody murder and Mike and I feel so bad for him.  This has gotten a little bit better as time goes on. 

Gas.  Poor Eli has terrible gas and cries and cries until he passes it.  I talked to the peditrian about this and he said it that it is very common for babies under 6 weeks of age because they do not know how to control the rectal sphincter yet.  So they push and push with out any relief.  Poor Eli!

Getting naked.  Eli doesn't mind being naked it is getting there that he doesn't like.  He also doesn't much like getting dressed either.

Taking meds.

Eli's funny face after taking vitamins. 

Month One Milestones:

By four weeks Eli can:

Lift his head briefly when on stomach - 1st week

Smile - not socially but spontaneously while he sleeps or if you tickle his cheek - 2nd week

Focus on faces - 3rd week = briefly, 4th week = more

Hold head steady while upright - 3rd week = briefly, 4th week = more

Coo- 4th week

Follow an object 180 degrees - 4th week

What we are looking forward to next month:

Eli’s Oma and Opa (Mike’s parents) are visiting for one week starting on October 22nd!

My Aunt Margot, Uncle Scott and cousin Jim are coming from Illinois to see Eli this Friday!

A precious 6 week old monkey (AKA) Eli will be trick-or-treating to a few lucky homes on Halloween!

And, of course, watching Eli grow and learn – I’m especially excited to see him socially smile!  J

Beginning Breastfeeding: ups and DOWNS

Notice that I have written "downs" in all caps -- that is because, for me, breast feeding has been the most difficult thing about being a mom.  Let me preface the rest by saying breast feeding was one thing that I was super excited about.  I had read books, listened to podcasts and attended classes and support groups to prepare for this special time between Eli and I.  I knew the multiple benefits of breast feeding and was 100% committed to it.  Thankfully I was because if I hadn't been 100% committed I wouldn't have lasted longer than a week. 

We tried to get Eli latched and feeding with in the first hour of life but he wasn't having it.  Once we got to our post partum room I knew we needed to get down to business and get him latched and feeding.  He was wide awake but it was difficult to get him to the breast with a wide open mouth.  Both Mike and I wished and there was a lactation consultant to meet with but since we didn't have him during normal business hours we were out of luck.  Once we got him latched, we did have several successful feedings in the first 24 hours.  At this point I didn't have much to give but I knew that was completely normal -- baby's stomachs are very tiny and only need the rich colostrum that our breasts give the first 24-72 hours.  The next day the lactation consultant met with us and thought his latch and suction was really good.  I felt some discomfort but for the most part was happy with the process.  This lasted for another day - day and a half. 

By Saturday night (day 3) my nipples were so sore I wasn't sure I'd be able to continue to feed off of them.  (cracked, blistered, bleeding)  Thank God for Mike and his support.  He knew how committed I was and he also wanted Eli to have the benefits of breastfeeding (he learned them all at the class we attended in August).  Mike called around trying to find a lactation consultant to talk with at 4 a.m. and luckily he found one who assured us this was not uncommon for new breast feeding mommies.  In order for Eli to still eat and I to have some relief we manually expressed some milk and Mike fed it to Eli via spoon.  The next morning we met with the lactation consultant I saw at the hospital and she was impressed by how much milk I had and he was taking in.  She said that his lips needed to be rolled out like a fish because they were sucked inward while he was feeding.  She also said that we needed to have my OB write a prescription for All Purpose Nipple Cream (I definitely recommend this to all bf'ing mommies!). 

On Monday I attended my first BF support group at St. Lukes East with my mom.  It was great to hear that most of the moms in the room experience the same pain and nipple trauma I was experiencing.  Also, I really liked the LC that heads the group -- Marjie.  She is very empathetic and knowledgeable.  I walked away feeling a lot better about breast feeding.  That day I also got the nipple cream which has pain medication, antibiotics, antifungal and ibuprofin in it.  After a few a days of applying this to my nipples they were in much better condition and breast feeding was less painful than it was previously but it was still pretty uncomfortable.

I've continued to breast feed through the pain.  I am so thankful for my Monday support group because I'm not sure I would have made this far if I didn't have other mommy's to lean on and gain encouragement from.  I'm praying that as time goes on the pain will decrease. 

I'm also very thankful for Eli's healthy intake and that he comes off the breast so satified.  I do love that when he cries because he is hungry I can offer my breast and watch him become so content in an instance.  I love when he falls asleep after a good feeding and I can cuddle with him on my chest and watch my sweet baby while he is in dreamland. 

My Recovery (just in case you were wondering...)

Without going into too much detail:

1st week – I could barely walk.  Bled quite a bit with a few clots.  Very, very sore. 

2nd week – I started to feel better but was still very sore and bleeding but not as bad.  Sits baths helped quite a bit and I took 1-2 per day.  Started to feel very dry in perineal area which I guess is very normal for breast feeding moms.  Walking and sitting are still uncomfortable.

3rd week - Around day 16 I began to really start to feel better.  Only spotting.  Walking and sitting are fine almost always.

4th week -  I’m feeling back to my old self.  Well, almost.  Barely spotting.

Me - 2 weeks post partum.  I did get one small strech mark on my side.
 To view all of our first month pictures click the link below: