Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Callie's First Month

Callie turned ONE MONTH OLD yesterday!  Let me tell you that with Caeden, that first month was super long, but this time it flew by!!  Since she has changed so much week-to-week, I'm going to break this blog post down by weeks...So I know it will be kinda long - sorry!  But this is for my records, to remember each week.  If you have ADD, you might want to read part of the post, take a break, and come back to read the rest. :) Anyway, here's what Callie's first month was like:

Our first two days were spent in the hospital.  Although I could have been discharged the day after delivery, the hospital wanted to keep Callie a little longer since she spent some time in the NICU.  They had her on an IV most of that time, which made it difficult to hold her...but that definitely didn't stop us!  After her first 8 hours in the NICU, they allowed her to "room in" with us.  She stayed with us the entire time, unless they had to run tests or take her vitals. Caeden came to visit us and was so excited to meet Callie!  He truly loved her from the very beginning.  When he first saw her, he immediately started unwrapping her swaddle and looking at each finger, hand, toe, foot, etc so closely....he was so curious!  He held her right away and did a great job!

Day One
(You can see her tiny IV in her right hand)

First Family Picture

Caeden inspecting all of her
tiny body parts

Caeden's first time to hold Callie

Of course, we were SOO excited to finally bring her home and be a family of FOUR!  

When we first came home, Caeden woke up from his nap to find us all there and wasn't too excited at first.  He said he wanted mommy & daddy to come home, but not Callie.  HOWEVER, ever since that one comment - he has not said one other negative thing about having her here.  Just those first few minutes were a little rough.

Reid was home with us that first week, and my mom came to stay with us also.  It was great because with 3 adults here, one of us was able to take care of Callie while another one played with Caeden and another one took of care of cooking & cleaning....all the bases were covered!

I woke Callie up for all of her feedings this week - she was just a very sleepy baby.  For this first week, I woke her & fed her every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night.  I did this to hopefully establish a good milk supply and to help her gain weight.  Caeden had major weight loss issues and I didn't want to let that happen with Callie.  After she ate, she was always awake for a few minutes, but never very long....Maybe 10 minutes tops...then it was back to sleep!

As some of you know, as much as I love Caeden, he was a very hard baby.  He had to be swaddled all. the. time.  He also screamed bloody murder at EVERY diaper change. He didn't like to sleep (especially at night), he spit up a lot, had a hard time gaining weight (which meant us supplementing with formula his entire first year), and usually cried a total of 2.5-3 hours a day.

Callie....the total opposite!  While Caeden was on the abnormal side of being difficult, Callie is on the abnormal side of being easy.  She truly hardly ever cries....not even when she's hungry...just when she's in pain...and even then, it's a quiet cry. She will sleep swaddled, unswaddled, in her sling, in her crib, in our arms, wherever and however.  This first week she only spit up ONCE, she slept GREAT, and during diaper changes she just lays there and looks around.  God was so good to us!

Now, since she left the hospital with a moderate level of jaundice, we had to go to Callie's pediatrician when she was 3 days old.  At the appointment, we found that her bilirubin levels were down (great news!), but she had lost over a pound in 3 days (bad news!).  Even though my milk was just coming in that day, the pediatrician wanted us to start supplementing with just a small amount of formula.  This was hard for me at first, but after seeing how lethargic she was and almost not responding to anything - it scared me and we did it. We only gave her 1/2-1 ounce after nursing, so it wasn't much.  We went back two days later and she had gained 3 oz - YAY!  So we were told to continue supplementing and to come back in one week for another weight check.

She also had her first sponge bath this week:

As for me, I was doing much better this time around too!  I was pre-treated for Postpartum Depression this time, so my mood was a TON better and I was actually enjoying being a mom this time!  My physical recovery was also so much better (I was even able to sit on the couch the day after I delivered!)   :)

After the first week, my mom left to get back to her family.  We both cried our eyes out when she had to leave.  I started getting nervous and sick to my stomach the day before she had to leave.  I knew we would be fine - I just hate change and I hate good-byes!  Reid had planned to take off work this second week too - so I was VERY lucky to have him home for TWO FULL WEEKS!

Becky (Reid's mom) was also going to come the next day and stay with us this second week.  However, due to an unexpected visit to the ER, she came down a night earlier than planned.  Again, it was great to have 3 adults during this week to help out with every aspect of being  a new mom to two kids!

After going to the ER, I was diagnosed with a severe UTI - I had never had one before and I guess I let it get too bad before coming in.  This whole weekend, with my mom leaving and me feeling awful, all while still taking care of a one-week-old, my mood was pretty down.  I honestly felt like I was falling into my postpartum depression again - it didn't just feel like the typical Baby Blues - it felt worse.  I was really worried, but had people start praying.  Two days later, I went to the doctor because I was bleeding much more than I should have been and there was suspicion that I may have been hemorrhaging.  After spending a few hours at the doctor and doing lots of blood work, they gave me a prescription-dose of Motrin (which is supposed to clot my blood and stop the bleeding) and a prescription-dose of Iron (due to me being very anemic).  Seriously, within 24 hours, I felt like a different person - physically AND emotionally!  My mood improved and I was feeling much more "normal" again!

This week, since Callie was starting to gain weight, I stretched out her daytime feedings to 2.5 hours, but still woke her to feed her every 3 hours at night.  When we went back for her weight check this week, she was still gaining more than 1 oz a day!!  Since she was taking less than an ounce from the bottle each feeding, the doctor said she probably didn't need the formula anymore.  So she told us we could stop the formula, exclusively breastfeed her, and come back for another weight check the next week!  Thank you Jesus!  An answered prayer that we didn't have to continue the formula!

Caeden playing with his sister!

Love this sweet face


After the second week, Becky left also.  This meant the two days before Reid went back to work, we were completely on our own...and we survived!  This was the weekend before Halloween, so we actually did several fun things as a family of four.  This included making caramel apples, going to a small pumpkin patch, and painting & carving pumpkins!  We also went to church that Sunday, which was Callie's first time in God's house - at only 2 weeks old!  She slept the whole time in her car seat - it's amazing to me that babies can sleep through that loud blaring music!!

Reid went back to work this week, so I was on my own.  I wasn't too nervous, and again - I survived!  But that's all I did - no housework, no cooking - just surviving!  Luckily, we had some amazing friends bringing us dinner every other night so I didn't have to cook!  Words cannot express how appreciated this was!!

Callie lost her umbilical cord when she was exactly two weeks old, so she got to have her first "real" bath this week - she did great and loved the warm water!

On Monday (Reid's first day back), my sister Amber came to visit for a few hours. Emerson got to see Callie for the second time - and this was good company for me.  The hardest part about this day was that Caeden didn't like playing by himself.  The down-side to having Ella around his whole life is that he's used to having a constant playmate.  So when I was tending to Callie (which was a lot), he complained that he had no one to play with.  I felt like I was either feeding Callie or playing with Caeden all day - exhausting!  The rest of the week got better.  Yes, Caeden watched more movies than normal, but I also tried to play with him throughout the day too.  We're still trying to figure this whole thing out. 

Callie was awake more this week - maybe staying up for 20-30 minutes after each feeding. At her weight check this week (which was based on breastfeeding ONLY), she had continued to gain 1 oz a day!!  YAY!!!  I was also told I didn't have to keep waking her up at this point.  So, at 2.5 weeks old, Callie was going 3-3.5 hours between feedings during the day....and SEVEN HOURS at night!  Seriously?  Caeden didn't do that until he was 12 weeks old!!  I was thanking Jesus every day for my sleep!  This means we fed her before we went to bed (9/9:30pm), she would wake up once at night (4/4:30am), and then sleep until around 7:30/8:00am!

She did start to show signs of being gassy, but it didn't seem based on what I was eating - it just was happening every afternoon & evening.  She never gets extremely fussy or screaming - just seems very uncomfortable and discontent.  So, we just did lots of holding during this time!

We also celebrated her first Halloween this week!  Big brother Caeden dressed up as a fireman and Callie was his fire dog!  She just slept while we went Trick-or-Treating! 

Caeden continued to love on Callie!  He sings to her, likes to give her the pacifier, holds her, wants to lay down by her, and just likes to talk really close to her face! 

 Playing with baby sister

Caeden cuddling with Callie
He loves this!
He always says, "I want to lay down with Callie!"

At the beginning of this week, Callie's Uncle Rhett & (soon-to-be Aunt) Jennifer came to visit.  They got some cuddle time with Callie and lots of playtime with Caeden....they also brought us dinner....again, very much appreciated!!

We also had family pictures and Callie's newborn pictures taken at the beginning of this week.  Both kids cooperated wonderfully (with Caeden having been bribed).  I'm excited to see the results!  Hopefully they'll be posted soon!

I also took Callie to meet my 8th grade Cell Group girls this week.  They were having a bonfire at one of the girl's house and were all so anxious to meet Callie.  They had made her a special blanket and gave it to her that night!  They took turns holding her, and timing each other to make sure no one got to hold her longer than anyone else!  :)

Callie continued to gain weight :)  and was still going 3-3.5 hours during the day between feedings....and 7-9 hours at night.  Her night feedings were slowly getting longer!  This baby is just amazing!  She still continued to be gassy in the evenings, but we just continue to love on her and hold her - as this seems to always help!

I have cherished many small moments of this month - including the nighttime feedings, looking into her eyes, putting on her tiny clothes, holding her while she sleeps, watching Caeden cuddle with her, and kissing her face all throughout the day!  I love both her and Caeden more than I could ever know how to express!

Just for fun, here are things she is doing at One Month:
  • Holds her head steady when being held upright on our shoulder
  • Focuses on and studies our faces
  • Recognizes Mommy's and Caeden's voices
  • Responds to sounds, usually by turning her head or getting really still 
  • When on her tummy, she can lift her head briefly and turn it from one side to the other

Callie Ann - We already love watching you grow, develop, and learn each day.  You are so precious to us and we each cherish every moment with you.  WE LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall Fun!

Before Callie was born, we had taken Caeden to the Right Choices Corn Maze so we could have a full afternoon/evening at the pumpkin patch.  We knew it would be harder to get out after Callie arrived.

But we didn't want our Fall Fun to end just because SHE was here!  Here are some ways we've continued to enjoy Fall, even with a newborn:

Made Caramel Apples

Went to a small, local pumpkin patch...

*These were the pumpkins he picked out for Callie!*

Painted and Carved our Pumpkins

This is what Callie did while
we worked on our pumpkins!  :)

Caeden's first time to help Daddy carve!

Love the look on his face!

Caeden's First Jack-O-Lantern!

And went Trick-or-Treating as a 
Fireman & his Fire Dog!!

She had fun trick-or-treating! 

It's definitely easier to get out with the second baby....and I'm glad we've continued our family fun, even with a newborn!