Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ellie's First Month: 6.20 - 7.20



One month later...
Weekly Pics...

My favorite picture of the month..

Preface

I will admit that when I was pregnant I would worry that I might not love Ellie as much as I love Eli.  Eli filled my heart with so much love, I sometimes thought it was impossible to have that much love for another child. Well, on 6.20.13 my heart literally doubled in size.  It didn't fluctuate and give some of Eli's love to Ellie -- it doubled.  My mom told me this would happen.  But it was hard to imagine before I met her.  I loved Ellie the moment I found out I was pregnant but she was intangible and it was a different "faith" type of love.  However, holding her in my arms and getting to know her this last month has been the BEST times of my life and I am so grateful to God for allowing me to be her mother.  

Hospital Stay

Overall our hospital stay was awesome.  The nurses were all very nice; however, we had different nurses every 12 hours so it was hard to create any type of rapport with them.  Ellie slept most of the time.  She liked to sleep on us -- just like Eli.  She was still so tiny and puffy.  


Like I mentioned in Ellie's birth story my mom just missed her birth, shortly after my dad and Eli arrived and later my sister and her daughter came.  These were our only visitors the entire time we were in the hospital. Wouldn't have it any other way.  The first few days with your infant our so special and important that I feel (at least for me) it is best to try to get as much rest as possible while taking care of your baby.  That being said, to each their own, right?!?!

Ellie passed her hearing test and the nurse said she was a rock star during her heal prick for state testing (which all came back negative).  We did send her each of the two nights to the nursery for a few ours so we could rest easier. 


The biggest difference between our hospital stay with Eli and this one with Ellie was that my recovery was SO, SO, SO much easier.  I could walk around the room, go to the bathroom on my own, and change Ellie's diaper if needed.  Also we had Eli at Center Point in Independence and Eli at St. Luke's East.  I definitely liked SLE better.  I love their "Rooming In" policy and that the baby gets to stay with you the entire time you are there.  However, I did like that at Center Point you get the same day time nurse and night time nurse the whole time you are there.  


Mike and I were ready to leave on Saturday at 2:00.  Ellie did well in the car on the way home (wish I could still say the same about the car at the 5 week mark!). 











1st Week: Welcome Home and Getting to Know our Precious Bundle of Joy

Once we arrived home with Ellie, we knew "life as we knew" was gone.  We just didn't know exactly how gone it was.  There is no "What to Expect" book for when you have two little ones at home.  However, the first and second weeks went very well.  Much better than the "survival mode" we were planning for!I love the way Ellie smelt as a brand new baby.  I wanted to bottle her scent up so I could keep it for the years to come.  I love that she so contently sleeps on my chest and nuzzles into my breast when hungry.  I love her chubby little face and her sweet, soft hair.  I vow I will never forget these first precious times with my baby girl.  

Ellie slept a ton and was pretty content when she was awake.  Mike was home so he could help with Eli so that I could focus on getting to know baby Ellie.   We saw the Pediatrician this week and Ellie looked fabulous!


The meals that my sister set up for me started to roll in this week!  I can't say enough how much I appreciate these meals.  What an amazing gift for new parents -- to be fed and to enjoy some time together as a family.






2nd Week: Sleepy Week

Mike was still home this week and him and Eli did lots of fun stuff together!  They were off each morning doing a new a fun activity -- gymnastics, splash parks, the pool, feeding buffalo, parks, etc. Ellie stayed home with me and slept.  :)  I began to worry about how much she was sleeping -- I swear it was like 23 hours a day.  Shouldn't complain right?  At our two week dr. appointment I asked if this was something to worry about and they assured me she would be more awake in the days to come ('twas true!).  We celebrated the Fourth of July at my parents house and had a few neighbors over for fireworks that evening.

  

3rd Week: Just the Three of Us

Mike headed back to work.  I was so sad.  We had such a great time as a family the past two weeks.  I leaned on him for so much during this time and I knew things were about to get difficult!  

My sleepy baby began to stay awake a little more this week and along with that came the crying.  Oh, no!


We survived Mike going back to work, thanks to my mom coming 3 days to help out!





4th Week: A Whole New Meaning of "Beautiful Bouncing Baby"

The fourth week of sweet miss Ellie's life is the week I sent Mike this email with the subject: I have a feeling...

that the next few months are going to suck.  Suck. Suck. Suck.  I'm not sure we will have much fun at all.  BUT, we do have TWO beautiful babies that need us and need us to be kind to them.  Lets pray and try are damndest to nurture and love them through this extremely difficult time.  3 months is a short period of time in the scheme of things and we CAN do this!  

I am just so thankful I have you and Eli and Ellie to make my life what it is.  It may not be all peaches and cream but it sure is great.  

I hope one day we can look back at these times and smile.  Or at least laugh our asses off thinking about how we didn't blow our brains out!  Ha!

Love you.

It truly became survival mode.  Ellie was awake often through out the day and crying.  Generally, Eli is a high needs child but now that Ellie is around he is super needy (or maybe I just didn't notice as much when it was just me and him).  Mike was back to work and my mom wasn't at my beckon call 24/7.  The house went from being super clean to super messy.  My anxiety began to rise as Mike was already working some late hours and I didn't know if I could handle two fussy kids on my own.  

I made a doctor's appointment and, sure enough, the pediatrician felt that due to 1. the way she like to be held -- facing out, sitting up, tipped forward and 2. a swallowing thing she does when she is not feeding and 3. that when she burps she cries -- she has reflux.  Poor babe!  We started her on Zantac but had to quickly take her off of it because of a rash she developed.  After researching a bit I started to think that maybe Ellie has MSPI - Milk/Soy Protein Intolerance.  So currently, I am only eating turkey, pears, squash, potatoes and rice -- the things we do for our children!  :)  I hope to see an improvement in her behavior soon but know it can take up to four weeks?!?!



More Reflux/Colic Info:

Ellie needs to be constantly bounce when she is awake or she will cry.  I know it is okay to let your child cry some but she is still so tiny and I can't take much more than a minute or so.  So, if I have to set her down to get Eli something or clean up a spill  or put my hair in a pony tail, I do my best to make it quick and get right back to her.  Thankfully, depending on the day -- she still sleeps more than she is awake.  Her fussiest time is when Mike is home and we can rotate who is bouncing her! Ha!

She doesn't spit up but there is "silent" reflux in which the baby still spits up the food into their esophagus but it doesn't come all the way up to their mouth.  I think she must have this.  But there is no definitive test or at least we aren't quite there yet. 


Ellie's Likes: 

Sleeping (especially on your chest when she was brand new)
NursingPacifierBouncing
Walking around facing out
Swaddle - its a love and hate relationship, we started enforcing it (dispite all my efforts not to) around 4 wks
Play gym - for maybe 5 minutes
Being wornMusic
Being submerged in warm water - for maybe 5 minutes
Transitioning from inside to outside


Ellie's Dislikes:

Zantac
Laying flat on the ground
Changing clothes
Being left alone for more than a few minutes


Ellie's 1 Month Milestones:

Briefly lift her head while laying on stomach
Social Smile -- we have all seen a smile from her reacting to us!
Looks in our eyes -- from day one!
Hold her head steady while upright
Follow objects with her eyes
Possible -- batting at objects under play gym

Sleep:

What would a blog post be from me with out the subject of sleep in it!?  :)  Fortunately, she has been a little miracle child when it comes to night time sleep.  From the very beginning she would have a good four hour stretch to start out the night and then wake every 1-2 hours to nurse and go right back to sleep.  We had some trouble at first getting her to sleep in her crib and currently she sleeps in her crib during her first 5-6 hour stretch of sleep. 

By four weeks:

10:30 Bedtime
3:330 - 4 Wake to nurse
6ish - Wake to nurse
7:30-8 Awake

NOT COMPLAINING!  (Eli on the other hand... but that is for another post :)

Transitioning from One to Two: My Thoughts:


This could be because I have a fussy baby but I think it is harder than from zero to one.  At least in the first month or so.  With one, yes your life is somewhat over but at least you can sleep when your one child is sleeping.  With two, you are truly sleep deprived and taking care of two young ones is HARD!  

Breast Feeding and Tandem Nursing: 

Ellie caught on to breast feeding right of the bat and has been a champ ever since.  I only had slightly sore nipples for a day or two.  It has been amazing.  So much different from my first go around with Eli.  So glad I kept at it with him though and can't believe we have made it to 22 months!  Proud of myself.  However, part of my does wish that I would have weaned him before Ellie.  It is just so sad to see him want milk when I am nursing her.  We made a grand attempt to wean him on my birthday weekend when my parents took him for a couple of days but he returned from their house with a high fever and crazy hives and just wanted some milk -- so I gave in after four solid days!  We will try again this weekend! 

Back to Ellie and the boob :) .  She is so different than Eli who could be at the boob all day long.  She nurses for 5ish minutes and is done for 2-5 hours.  I started to worry a little bit about my supply dropping but she is getting what she needs because she is growing like a weed!  On average, she gains around an ounce a day.  I must have some fatty milk!  :)  I know how much she weighs because I attend a breast feeding support group at SLE at 10:00 on Mondays.  It is an amazing support for women looking for breast feeding advice and parenting support.  I loved it with Eli and have enjoyed it so far with Ellie.  It is just so nice to know you are not alone in the journey of motherhood.  


Eli and Ellie: A Comparison

Not sure how long I will keep this category because I know comparing your children is probably not the best thing.  It won't compare which baby is "better" in this or that, but more to focus on the fun and interesting ways they are alike and different.

The main difference this month is Ellie is already crying -- we didn't notice it get bad with Eli until around 5-6 weeks, Ellie on the other had was 3 weeks.  Also, Ellie looked into our eyes right away and Eli didn't until around 4-5 weeks.  Eli was an aggressive nurser and wanted to be at the breast all the time while Eli is laid back but nurses fast and pops off herself after about 5 minutes.


They both gained about an ounce a day in the first month -- my little chubbers!  Both of them like to be held on their armpits and bounced.  Eli and Ellie have the most adorable little mohawks!  I think they look alike.  They both like to be swaddled and bounced like crazy... And, I love them both to death!





What I've learned...


Never say never...
Traveling with two is harder than with one (everything is harder with two)...
God doesn't give you more than you can handle...
That my heart could double in a moment...

I am Extremely Blessed because...


I have a healthy daughter (besides reflux)
I'm in love with two beautiful children
My husband took TWO full weeks off to help me and continues to help as much as possible
Eli loves his sister

XOxo,

Ali -- officially mama of TWO!

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