Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2 Month Favorites

my wee babe is 2 months old! she has grown so much in the last 4 weeks and has become quite the fun baby. below are some of our survival tools for this past month:

Playtex Nurser Drop-in Bottles: my professional mother/cousin (she has 5 girls and we are only 2 days apart!) recommended these bottles and they are amazing! they keep air out, mimic the breast (apparently, although it seems that every bottle slogan says that now), and are BEYOND easy to clean. they are a hollow tube that you drop a liner in, which collapses as the wee babe drinks. then when she's done, you just throw the liner away and wash the nipple. no bottle cleaning! the liners are very affordable, and both Target and Wal-Mart make their own brand. although since Amazon has the Playtex ones cheap, i've only tried those.

Baby Bath Sponge: i didn't register for a ginormous baby bath tub because i didn't want to store one, so i ordered this baby bath sponge from Amazon for $7 and LOVE IT! Olivia seems to dig it to, as our bath times are always tear free now.  it's nice because it's easy to submerge with water to keep baby warm, and it's super easy to clean because all you have to do is wring it out to dry. and since it's so cheap, i won't care when it's time to toss out.

Baby Log iPhone app: there are a bazillion apps out there to help you track all things baby, but i use this one. it's not special, and i'm sure any app will do, but you've got to have something.  our 2 week pediatrician appointment was very detailed and they wanted to know everything! how often and how much was LW eating, how many wet and dirty diapers, etc. there is absolutely no way to keep track of this info without a place to keep it. since i pretty much have my phone on me at all times, it wasn't a question as to whether i should keep it all on my phone. i still use it even though i'm not breastfeeding anymore (now THAT was ridiculous to track) to track when LW last ate and her dirty diapers.

Dr. Brown's Formula Mixing Pitcher: when we transitioned to exclusively formula feeding i quickly realized i didn't want to spend a lot of time making bottles. i read about this product on Amazon (are we seeing a trend here?) and it got great reviews. basically, you can make up to 32 ounces of formula at once and keep it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. its awesome to just go to the fridge and have a bottle ready when you need it. the one thing i recommend is to mix half the amount of formula (with the full amount of water, of course), then add the 2nd half after you've mixed it enough so the clumps are gone. clumpy formula is gross.

Infantino Go Gaga Activity Mat: this is a new purchase, and another thing i didn't register for because i thought it was lame. but then i realized that Olivia likes to do her "calisthenics" and i figured she would like a little stimulation so i ordered it myself. we love it! it collapses so it's not yet another baby item cluttering the living room and the gym part comes off so the mat can be used later when i have a toddler.  

Graco Forecaster Swing: this has become a must have for cranky LW and for when mama Wood just needs a few minutes to use both hands for household chores, etc. there are 6 speeds, classical music, and nature sounds (which just sounds like a rushing river and loud, chirpy birds), and it's SUPER quiet. it's battery powered, but we've been using it for 2 straight months daily and i still haven't had to change the batteries. i definitely recommend a swing for all FTM's. it's worth the space it takes up in the living room.

and that's our second month!

Monday, April 29, 2013

mom of the year

i knew i was going to learn a lot from my itty bitty baby pretty quickly, as babies don't have a ton of patience. and while i think i'm adjusting quite well to diapers, sleep deprivation, and bottles, there are some things that i just didn't see coming when it comes to my attempt at being mom of the year:

  • Car seats are heavy. No seriously. HEAVY. they're heavy without the baby in them, which i noticed while carrying it in from the car one day while pregnant. i brushed it off as being pregnant and out of shape when i had to catch my breath. sadly, post baby, it's still heavy. and it's even worse with a baby in it. you better keep the number of your chiropractor on hand because you'll need to visit them frequently when your lower back starts to ache from the constant lifting in and out of the car, stroller, and shopping carts. i've already visited mine 3 times and know i'll be heading back for future adjustments.

  • Not all shopping carts are created equal. What, you ask? Different grocery stores have different size carts? YES they do, my friend. Unfortunately, you will not realize it until you've lugged your heavy car seat with your aching back and attempted to deposit your baby in the cart, only to realize it's too narrow to fit. i now know that i can only shop at Stater Brothers because Ralphs and Sprouts have stupid mini-me carts that aren't wide enough. and you have no idea how hard it is to carry a baby car seat in one hand and a 12 pack of Heineken in the other. not to mention it looks unsaintlike. 

  • You will be THAT mom who rides in the backseat. Oh yes you will, and it won't just be on the ride home from the hospital. you won't even realize or care that your husband has now become your chauffeur. you'd rather ensure your new child doesn't have a hissy fit and drive everyone crazy than sit in the front seat like a big girl.

  • It's very common to get to 12 noon and realize you haven't brushed your teeth. Pre-baby i would have thought that was the most disgusting thing possible. after 8 weeks, i'm just now starting to be consistent at brushing them by 9am. once you are up at 6 or 7, fed the baby, got your coffee, eaten breakfast, fed the baby again, put the baby down, maybe napped yourself or taken a shower, then fed the baby again, you too will realize how you have made it into early afternoon and just now THOUGHT of brushing your teeth. seriously, half the time my toothbrush hasn't even crossed my mind. luckily my husband leaves for work by 7 so he doesn't feel the wrath of my morning/afternoon breath. 

  • Co-sleeping doesn't sound so bad. i admit it, i majorly judged my friends who let the baby sleep with them in bed. i didn't understand how someone could be so risky, or even want to share the bed when they were so exhausted. and while i still don't sleep with Olivia amidst my pillows and covers, she has been known to sleep in her co-sleeper between Dave and I. a few times for a nap i also let her sleep next to me without it, but that was because Dave wasn't in the bed and i tore off all the bedding except for the flat sheet. we are both too worried about ever having her sleep without her co-sleeper until she's much older. especially after watching a Southland episode where a woman desperate for sleep, took an Ambien and ended up smothering her baby. awful. 

  • You will wear bodily fluids on a daily basis. No, seriously. i'm sure half the time i don't even realize i've got pee or spit up on me.  luckily, baby excrement can be pretty inert smelling (except when it's in the diaper pail- yikes that's ripe), and i know that was God's doing because otherwise mothers would run screaming from their children at the mere thought of a diaper change. God also made it so that you pretty much don't care. i have several pictures already of me wearing poop. but trust me, they don't come out at dinner parties.
of course there are many lovely things that accompany motherhood as well, but you don't need me to tell you those. hopefully you're coming here for a good laugh or trip down memory lane.  i'm sure the next few months will continue to provide me additional fodder for many posts to come.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

1 Month Favorites

i survived the first month with a baby! it may not sound like a big deal if you've never had kids, but everyone else will give me mad snaps for pushing through. the first month is hard for a lot of reasons: the HORMONES, the lack of sleep, the physical recovery from childbirth, and probably the most difficult, dealing with the emotions of having your baby with you and not quite knowing how to be a mom. some things come natural, but most don't and the emotions of not knowing what to do can take a toll. that being said, these things below really helped all of us get through the first month of Olivia's life.

Gerber Onesies: these may seem simple, but that's the point! don't waste a lot of money on newborn clothes because they are just going to get pooped on. we mostly use these for PJ's, because we swaddle LW and don't want her to get too hot. they wash well and have a big enough neck opening that LW doesn't totally freak out when getting her dressed.

Medela Quick Clean sterilizer bags: holy dishes batman! between bottles, nipples, and breast pump supplies if pumping, i swear i spent at least an hour of my day at the kitchen sink. these bags are awesome! you can do a quick wash with soapy water and then pack one of these bags, pop in the microwave with 2 oz of water for 90 seconds and BAM- you have sterile bottles! It's about $6 for a pack of 5, and you get 20 (TWENTY) uses out of each bag! Depending on how much you need to wash, you can make one box last an entire month. amazing.

Mam pacifiers: there's a lot of controversy about whether babies should have pacifiers for fear of nipple confusion (which i don't believe in) or developing an unhealthy habit and not being able to be without one. but on day 5 we gave in and gave LW a 0-4 month Mam pacifier i got at my baby shower. HEAVEN! sometimes babies just like to suck, and it doesn't mean you are depriving them from eating or love or whatever else extremists say. sometimes it's just comforting for them and that's ok by me. i ended up going to Target and getting newborn sized ones instead because LW has a petite face and the other ones were nearly covering up her nostrils. point for mom!

Aden + Anais swaddle blankets: these have SO many uses. we use them as swaddle blankets of course, light blankets in warmer weather, coverage on the floor for play time, rolled up at bed time to use as a bumper, and as a burp cloth in extreme situations. they are quite large and wash well.

Swaddle Pods: yes, it looks like a baby string bean or baby burrito. but they WORK! after 1 night home, i realized that Olivia is a ninja and can easily bust out of being swaddled in a blanket all night long (swaddling w/blankets works better during naps for us). I sent Dave to Babies R Us and he picked up a two-pack of these Swaddle Pods. they have zippers and are made out of really stretchy material so LW can squirm all she wants, but she ain't gettin' out. babies actually look REALLY cute in them and i think LW looks just like the model in the picture above:
Snuggle Nest: the other item Dave picked up when i sent him to BRU was the Snuggle Nest. since i was so sleep deprived and could sleep better with LW next to me, i wanted to make sure she was safe in our bed. this kept her close, but obviously safe from being rolled over on. it even has a nightlight and music function, but Dave threw away the instructions so i haven't figured out how to put in the batteries. now that she's not in our bed, we use this in her pack n'play. i think she felt like the p&p was too big for her and wouldn't sleep well at all. now she does!

we aren't that far away from finishing up month #2 so stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

big baby, sad mommy

my Little Wood is 8 weeks old today! time has flown by, and i can't believe how much she has grown developmentally and physically! a few weeks ago i went to dress her in her going home outfit, because it's so darn cute and she was only 5 weeks. but much to my chagrin, it was too small for her! it took me by complete surprise because i see her every day, and it didn't seem like she had grown that much. but she snuck up on me and outgrew her clothes before my very eyes.

here she is next to her once baggy outfit:
she mostly outgrew it in her length, and as you can see she is one gangly baby. we've always known her legs were long, but apparently she's growing in her torso too! the outfit she is wearing in the photo is also probably on it's last leg. it's getting a little too snug around her growing midsection. it makes me sad that she's already outgrowing the first things i bought for her, but i'm excited to see LW with some meat on her bones!

here are a few more things she's outgrown, all newborn sizes, in the last 2-3 weeks.
(p.s.: that's not a stain in the lower right hand corner of the picture, just my shadow!) i'm excited for LW to wear some new outfits, but surprisingly the jump to 0-3 month clothes is quite drastic. most are still too long, and some are definitely too wide. Note to FTM's: the Target Circo brand is made for extremely WIDE babies. i bought a newborn sized onesie the other day because it was so cute, and it was still too wide for LW, nearly 8 weeks along. ahh, baby problems.

more to come on Olivia's new outfits!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Third Trimester Favs

i wanted to start posting my monthly baby favorites, but realized i never finished my pregnancy favs. it seems a little silly to post something that feels like forever ago, but here goes!
the Preggle pregnancy pillow: yes, this is making its second and final appearance during the third trimester. i am fully convinced this is the sole reason i slept extremely well up until delivery. though quite large, it's just what a large pregnant lady needs to give her hips some relief during those last heavy weeks!

Preggatinis book: the last trimester is hard for a lot of reasons, and abstaining from alcohol when you are SO CLOSE to being able to have it is hard. my husband was so kind to offer to make me one of these whenever i wanted. i have to say the Momosa (OJ + non alcoholic sparking wine) was my favorite.

Bandini bras: they looks like a sports bra, but they aren't! i wore these almost exclusively the last trimester because my favorite Victoria's Secret Incredible bras were started to dig into my rib cage and belly. they have no wire, but only offer decent support. but i didn't really care at that point. and lets be honest, no one is looking at your chest during the 3rd trimester.

Leggings: more elastic clothes? yes please! those maternity shirts sure know how to work with leggings at all times. don't get me wrong, i had some regular maternity pants that looked like regular people clothes, but if i could get away with leggings, you can bet i would. there are a few brief points in life where someone can wear them and not be judged and pregnancy is one of them.

Carefree Panty Liners: ok girls, let's be honest. pregnancy does all types of things to your body. and just because you don't get your period doesn't mean that everything is hunky dory down yonder. i know you catch my drift, and i'm just glad i kept a stash of these in my purse at all times to keep myself feeling fresh!

The Happiest Baby on the Block: the third trimester wouldn't be complete without a little reading preparation. this was my favorite book and is SO useful. the husband and i have used all 5 of the "S's" with LW and they WORK. enough said.

Medela Double Action Stretch Mark Cream: told you this would be featured in the 3rd trimester if i didn't get any stretch marks on my belly and I DIDN'T! i can't say the same for my boosies, but i also never put any cream on there because i didn't feel them getting any bigger. let this be a lesson to all of you- don't neglect the ladies. the good thing is most of the bad ones are on the underside, and the way my boobs now look, they hang low enough that i can't even see the underside anyways! ahh, pregnancy.

and that's all folks! my last post on pregnancy. thank you all for reading along with me. it's baby talk from here on out!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Olivia's First Easter!

i've always been a big photographer, scrapbooker and all around memory preserver. now that i have a baby of my very own, i want to make sure that i can document as many "firsts" as possible, since i know this time will fly by!

At just over a month old, Olivia celebrated her first holiday, Easter.  it was a bit of a dreary day, weather-wise, and we kept the day low-key. we attended the Easter Sunday service at church, then came home to rest before family came over.
First holiday as a family :)
Waiting to go to church

Easter service at church
Dave really wanted to make sure Olivia had her first Easter basket so the day before we went to Target and willingly dropped 40 bucks on our Little Wood! Dad probably also got some items for himself, seeing as how it's hard for a 4-week old to eat Cadbury cream eggs!
my dad, step mom and step sister came up to give Olivia an Easter basket and then we went out to dinner to celebrate.
Me, Olivia and Grandpa
Easter basket from Grandparents
by the time i got around to photographing Olivia with her Easter baskets, she was a bit cranky and tired. oops! these are the fun memories though, right?

i can't wait for Olivia to celebrate all the big holidays this year! she's already a ton of fun, and i know she's going to make my favorite holidays even better!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Crying over spilt milk

now that my breastfeeding journey is coming to a close, i feel i finally have the emotional stability to tell my story. i never thought i would be writing something like this when Olivia was only 7 weeks old, but you know the saying, "the best laid plans are laid to waste." and for me, this was no exception.

i'll start out by saying that i truly believed that because i so deeply wanted to breastfeed, that i could just do it. i embraced the La Leche League belief system that all woman could breastfeed and that very few woman had actual supply issues that kept them from doing so. i threw out all the free formula i got in the mail, didn't register for any non-Medela bottles, and did my share of breastfeeding classes, book reading, and research. i told everyone i knew that i wanted to breastfeed for accountability. i was so excited to partake in something so "natural." i didn't realize that there was much more to it than a willing heart and a pair of boobs.

my breast feeding journey didn't start out the way i had planned, and since becoming a parent, i realize that not much does follow the way of our intentions! when Olivia was born, she had rapid breathing and was immediately whisked to the far side of my delivery room for monitoring. after she settled down, i was able to spend 10 minutes with her before she was taken to the transitional nursery for 5 hours. i desperately had wanted to nurse her right away, because that's what everyone says you're supposed to do to establish a good breastfeeding relationship. i was a little worried i wasn't able to, but my maternal instinct was already rearing it's head and all i was truly concerned about was her being healthy. when i was finally able to spend time with her, it was 10pm and there were no nurses around to help me. i buzzed my less than helpful and attentive nurse and she showed me the football hold and told me that LW wasn't really nursing and couldn't i tell? "see," she said, "her cheek muscles aren't really moving and you can't hear any swallowing." i was already starting to feel awful about my abilities to properly nurse. she told me a lactation consultant would come around the next day.

around 11am the next day, a LC arrived and spent a reasonable amount of time with me. she ascertained that Olivia didn't have tongue tie (good news) but that she had a high palette, which made it difficult for her to latch because her mouth was so small, and i have slightly retracting nipples.  she gave me a nipple shield and it seemed that LW was able to finally grab on to something. i tried nursing all day and it "seemed" to be going well, but i couldn't really tell.

the next morning the pediatrician made his 2nd appearance and when we told him that Olivia wasn't really producing that many diapers, he was concerned. he suggested supplementing with a 1/2 ounce of formula to prevent her from being dehydrated. i had to suck back my tears until he left. i was devastated. all the books and websites and avid breast feeders had "warned" me this might happen, and to not give in. when my newly on-shift nurse arrived, i cried. she was super understanding and reminded me that i needed to make sure LW was taken care of.

this was the first time i realized that a commitment to breast feeding can sometimes jeopardize your child's health. if i hadn't decided right then to make sure my child's health came before my desire to only breastfeed, LW could have ended up hospitalized for dehydration (and i know this happens because i've heard first hand about it). this is by no means a judgement on people who decide to take a different route than i did when listening to their doctor. however i personally could not justify it.

to abate my fears, my nurse showed me how to supplement the formula with a syringe and straw, so that LW would still practice her breast feeding skills and not be at risk for nipple confusion. she wouldn't even notice what was happening. but i did- and no matter what i told myself, i felt awful. i hadn't wanted to even touch formula, and here i was, supplementing in the first 30 hours of LW's life. i felt inadequate and crippled. everyone had told me that babies stomach's were the size of marbles and that the small amount of colostrum i had would surely be enough. but it wasn't, so what was wrong with me? i had pumped what little colostrum i could relinquish, and it was about a 1/4 ounce (less than 8ML). it almost made me feel worse to actually see how little i had.

everyone assured me that my milk would come in over the weekend, days 3-4 and not to worry.  i kept up hope, but still worried. as soon as it came in, i could stop supplementing. when i got home, the syringe and straw didn't feel so easy anymore. it was near impossible to get it into LW's mouth where she would do all the work and suck the formula out. after a few attempts, we started just squirting it directly into her mouth. i cried every time i had to attempt the syringe because she would unlatch when i accidentally poked her in the mouth. when she got frustrated she would bob her head and grab at my breasts, ripping off the nipple shield. i don't think i've cried so much as i did those 4 days at home. the worst part was, i would nurse for an hour+ each time, and she would cry and root after each session because she was still hungry.

as the weekend ended, i knew something was amiss. there had been no change in my breasts at all- no engorgement, no let down sensations, no happy baby at the end of a marathon nursing session. only a hormonal wreck of a first time mom who realized that her breasts were letting her down.

i signed up for a breast feeding workshop and was elated at the though of some help and encouragement. the LC weighed Olivia before and after a 40 minute feeding and i was horrified to learn she had only taken in a 1/2 ounce in all that time. add to it the fact that she had lost 9 ounces of her birth weight and had not gained any back in a week, meant i left the workshop in tears. my husband was so encouraging, but let me know that breast feeding was something i may have to just let go of. i wasn't ready to hear it and sobbed the entire way to the health food store, where i would purchase Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle supplements in hopes of increasing my supply. we committed that day to supplementing after every feeding to get LW's weight up to par. prior to that i had fought every supplement because i had wanted to be enough for her alone.

when Olivia was 9 days old, we weighed her again at the Mother Baby Assessment Center in our hospital. she had only gained 1/2 an ounce in 2.5 days since we were last there. i was beginning to feel worse than a failure. i had been taking the supplements but wasn't noticing much of a difference in LW's satiation at the breast, or when i pumped.

the stress of even the idea that breastfeeding wouldn't work was beginning to consume me. i spent hours on the internet trying to read other people's stories of how they overcame supply issues, or how i could produce more. i couldn't sleep well enough to feel rested, which i'm sure only made milk production worse. i knew that if i didn't overcome this, i would be entering into postpartum depression. that day, i made a private appointment with a LC for the following Tuesday. but when i made it home, i didn't even think i could make it that long. i wanted to quit, and quit right then. Dave wouldn't let me, telling me he would be disappointed in me if i didn't make it to my appointment, which was right around Olivia's 2 week birthday. it hurt to hear him say that, because all i wanted was a way out. but i realize now that he didn't want me to look back and regret quitting, but to do it when i was emotionally stable (as if that's even possible in postpartum days!).

i reached out to a La Leche League leader in my area, who pretty much verbally vomited the same things i had read in the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: very few woman have supply issues, just keep putting the baby to the breast, don't supplement, feed on demand. she made me feel worse than i already did, because if most woman don't have issues, then either something was wrong with me or i wasn't trying hard enough. she couldn't really say much when i told her that LW wasn't even producing enough diapers- the tell tale sign that babies are getting enough breast milk.

i'm proud to say i made it to my appointment! i have to admit, i went with the intention of quitting as soon as it was over. the LC could tell i was on the verge of losing it. we nursed and weighed Olivia again and this time she took in 1 ounce, instead of 1/2 like the week before. obviously, Olivia was growing and was only going to need more, and even this clearly wasn't enough. the LC looked at me and told me that any milk Olivia got was good. it didn't matter if i could exclusively breastfeed or not. she told me if all i could handle was nursing 1x per day then pumping, that was ok. she said it was my baby, not hers, and she wasn't going to tell me to do something i couldn't. she diagnosed me with a lactogenesis disorder, or a milk production problem.  she gave me a way out and made me feel like i could finally let go.

after that appointment, i felt a weight lifted. this WAS my baby and my body, and i knew them both best. i knew there was something wrong with my milk production, no matter what any La Leche League leader told me (which, coincidentally was to nurse EVERY HOUR. that's not even humanly possibly as a new mother, and especially not emotionally possible for the wreck that i was at the time). because the stress of exclusively breastfeeding was gone since i knew it wasn't possible, i moved to only pumping.

even then, i would pump 5-6x per day and still only get 5-6 ounces for the entire day, less than a quarter of what Olivia still needed. i started to walk down the road of depression again when my milk supply wouldn't increase, no matter how much i pumped or how much fenugreek i took. pumping made me feel almost embarrassed in a way, watching my ugly, not quite working nipples be tortured into giving up droplets of breast milk. when i found blood in my preciously stored milk (which is completely normal and not harmful for baby), i decided my days of breastfeeding/pumping were done. it was like the blood signified everything i was willing to put aside to just make it work- and it made me feel horrible. so yesterday i packed up my pump, bottles, and flanges. i put them out of sight and don't plan on looking at any of it for a long while. it's all over.

formula feeding was never the issue for me. i don't think it's poison or that it contributes to obesity. if it was truly unsafe, it wouldn't be on our shelves. it really wasn't even about Olivia. i was mostly thinking about myself and what breast feeding was for ME. my sweet baby doesn't care how i got the liquid in her bottle, only that i love her enough to give it to her when she needs it.

and let's be honest- when she's in kindergarten i'm not going to be looking back and constantly thinking about how i couldn't really breast feed. this was something that i needed a little more perspective on. the real issue is that i was truly uninformed about breast feeding. sure, most woman can breast feed in some form- but it's not true that most women can exclusively breast feed. many women have supply issues. once i started having issues, all my girlfriends started coming out with the problems they had as well. where were they all when i was standing on my soapbox, proclaiming my imminent success as a breast feeder, while secretly judging people who gave up? and on top of it, i had major guilt about all the breast feeding supplies we'd spent money on that would be useless to me. we had JUST bought a $250 breast pump! no one told me about the possibility of this not working! as Dave puts it, the books i read on breast feeding were selling something, an idea that sounds perfect but that is rarely ever obtained. i dealt with feeling duped and stupid because i bought into it.

i ran the gauntlet of feelings the last 7 weeks. emotionally, i had times of resenting my new baby, my body, and my husband. physically, i was exhausted and bitter at my anatomy. and spiritually- that was the worst of all. i was so angry at God- he KNEW how much i wanted this one thing more than anything. then i realized that was the problem- breast feeding had become an idol for me. it was an all consuming worry, and it pushed me away from God as i struggled to make it work. i went through the stages of grief: denial, in that i never thought it could be happening to me; anger and bargaining with God; shameful depression; and finally today, acceptance.

i wanted to finish this post as i let my milk dry up. the physical pain is what i wanted from the beginning- to signal an imminent, successful breast feeding journey. instead it's a bittersweet end to something that i need to move on from. i started writing this in the throes of my post partum hormones. now, 5 weeks later, i'm finishing it. when i went back to read what i started, tears started streaming down my face as i remembered the anguish i was feeling. i never want to feel that way again, and am so glad i am on my way to accepting God's plan for motherhood, even though i'm still a little sad about it now and then.  i can finally put down the breast pump and spend time with my Little Wood.

Olivia Dell: 1 Month

So, I'm a little behind in my updating apparently! Olivia is now 7 weeks old but I fully intend to give monthly updates and will still start with her first month. I promise to be a little more on time in the future, but i think it's safe to say i've been just a LITTLE busy the past month!

Height/Weight: i'm going to use our 2 week numbers because we don't have a scale at home and the last time she was weighed was at her 2 week appointment. Olivia has not only gotten back to her birth weight, but she surpassed it! She weighed in at 6 pounds, 4 ounces! This was a HUGE victory, because she had lost just under the 10% mark, weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces and due to breastfeeding difficulties, was not gaining weight. We committed to supplementing after every feeding and she put on 9 ounces in 5 days! Poor little girl was hungry. I plan on posting about my breast feeding struggles in the coming weeks- it definitely wasn't what i thought it would be. As for height, she grew 1 inch in 2 weeks, coming in at 21 inches!

Feeding: i'll keep this section just to frequency and amount, because breastfeeding was a very raw subject to me during the 1st month. Olivia was eating every 2 hours and after about the first 2 weeks we started to get the hang of knowing when she was hungry, how much to give her, etc. because she was so tiny and needed to gain weight, we were waking her up every 3 hours to feed during the night. after about 3 weeks, i let her wake me up on her own, and wouldn't you know it- it was still every 3 hours! she was pretty much eating 2-3 ounces during this time, and we were using Enfamil Newborn until i switched to Gerber Good Start Gentle to supplement, because of it's closeness to breast milk.

Clothing: it's no surprise that Olivia is a petite gal! every one told me not to buy a lot of newborn sized clothes or diapers- so i didn't. turns out that we are still in both newborn diapers and clothes (and as i write this we're at 7 weeks!), and they're even a little bit big on her. i know i will look back on this and miss her tiny body, but i also want her to fill out and start wearing some more cute clothes! we are basically just rotating the same 10 onesies or so, since i don't want to buy anything else. however i gave in and bought a newborn sized Easter dress, because a girl's gotta look cute on her first holiday! more on that to come in her 2 month update.

Sleep: what's that? oh, you mean how's Olivia sleeping? a lot better than me! i didn't realize that sleep deprivation could truly be used as a torture method until i had a baby- but it's real and awful. the first few nights home i thought i was doing ok, until i woke up the 7th time and it was morning. i would just start crying, and i'm sure i scared Dave a few times. breastfeeding was going horribly and i just didn't know if i was doing anything right. Dave would take Olivia and send me back to bed, where a few hours of sleep helped put me back together until the next night.

anyways, this is supposed to be about Olivia's sleeping patterns! i'm blessed that her days and nights weren't all that confused, seeing as how she pretty much slept all the time during the first month anyways! but i'm sure my new mother status was not helping because i would snap awake at every fuss and movement. we put her in a pack n' play the first night, where i realized that she just would not sleep. i'm sure having all that space after being in the womb was discomforting. so i gave in and we bought a "snuggle nest" and put her in bed with us. that's right- we were co-sleeping! i never thought i would see the day. but the snuggle nest kept her out of harms way and she slept better. we did not. the snuggle nest took up most of the bed and now we could just hear her even more because she was right by our ears. definitely no sleeping through the night at this stage! she was waking mostly every 3 hours to eat, and i had a few delirious sessions of diaper changing that resulted in accidents!

Milestones: Olivia is fabulous at making eye contact with mom and dad, and she definitely recognizes my voice if i'm across the room. she is not a fan of tummy time during her first month, but seems to like it better when she's in her crib. she can scoot her legs and somehow manages to turn around. within her first week, she was also able to turn herself on her side while sleeping! we were actually relieved because i was nervous about her sleeping on her back. she spit up a lot the first few days she was born and even choked a few times. having her lay on her side meant she couldn't choke in the night. she also likes to practice what we call her "calisthenics." she starts pumping her legs and goes crazy! we like to think she'll make an excellent runner or dancer one day!

Firsts: first bath at home, and first bath while not crying! i was so proud when we made it through a whole bath without even a fuss. Olivia also went to her first church service and survived the LOUD worship! she also had her first doctor's appointment, ride in the stroller, trip to a restaurant (the Olde Ship in Santa Ana- yum), ride in her swing, trip out with mom alone, play date with her future husband Seth, and attended her first baby shower as a guest. most of these were done while sleeping! she had a busy month. Here are a few of those moments:
On our way to our First Dr. Appointment!
First Swing Ride

First Bath at Home
First Play Date
First Ride in the Stroller

First Bath without Crying!
First Trip to the Olde Ship
 And that's Olivia's first month! i'm glad to say we survived and am looking forward to the coming months and watching her grow. Here are a few more pics from our 1 month photo shoot!