Saturday, March 31, 2012

Delaney: Weeks 7 & 8

I am finally catching up on blogging about Delaney's adventure thus far. It feels great since she's 9 weeks old and is growing up way too fast! I know every parent says that but it really is true......they grow overnight and it seems like each day she looks a little different and trying something a bit new. I want my little bundle of joy to grow up but in some ways I want her to stay just the way she is. I think this is a great age and I'm loving every minute of it. We've been blessed with a really good baby who hardly ever fusses unless she's hungry or over tired. She's really been a dream baby and it's no wonder I would like another one ASAP. I know crazy but it's been fantastic and I'm not getting any younger.

Here's what has taken place in the world of Delaney.

Week 7:
  • She met her cousins Lacey and Andrew and was a perfect little girl during their visit. Aunt Julie also got to visit with her. It's so nice to have cousins old enough to babysit....and she drives too. They are very excited to have a little one in the family.
  • She is starting to outgrow her newborn clothes and I've slowly started packing them away.....sniff, sniff. She wore her first 0-3 month clothes this week.
  • A dear co-worker of mine had her father pass away suddenly so we went to the Shiva. Many co-workers were there and she had many eager people waiting to hold her. Babies take away the sadness a bit since they are a nice distraction especially since my friend is 39 weeks pregnant.
  • We went to a book club members surprise birthday party. Barb turned 85 and I'm so blessed to have her in my life. She's like having another Grandma and she was overjoyed to meet Delaney and hold her for a bit.
  • Went on LOTS of walks - it's been in the 70's and 80's and it's only mid-March. Can you say global warming?!
Week 8:
  • Had a picnic lunch at the forest preserve and went for a good long walk. It was 80 degrees and we couldn't miss an opportunity to get some fresh air.
  • Found her thumb this week and was finally able to land it in the mouth. I think it was a fluke though because she can't seem to repeat it despite trying really hard to suck her thumb.
  • I marked the calendar, March 15th was the first night she slept 7 1/2 hours straight. I woke up in a panic and had to check to see if she was still breathing. It was great news but scared me too when I realized I didn't feed her at all that night.
  • She smiled for the first time that was NOT associated with passing gas but just shear joy.
  • Celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a nice long walk and visits with the neighbors. Of course she wore green too.
  • Got together with family so she could see her Uncle Steve again.
  • First road trip - we went to Indiana and she slept through the night when at the hotel. It seems to be catching on. Yippee! She was fantastic in the car and only got fussy when it was time to eat. She's a great travel buddy.
 Meeting Cousin Lacey for the first time. She was battling the flu for a while and had to patiently wait to finally meet her. Doesn't it look like they coordinated their outfits?

Meeting Cousin Andrew who is smitten over his new cousin.

All dressed up to attend the Shiva and meet some co-workers of mine.

Stretching and looking out the window. Here she is sporting her cozy outfit including her babylegs and thirsties diaper cover.

Happy 85th birthday Barb! So excited she got to meet such a special lady. 

Annie got her this outfit and she just had to wear it for the surprise party.

My dear friend Peg is overjoyed for us and her smile says it all. We are truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives.

Delaney and I all wrapped up in our moby wrap. Babywearing is the best!

Delaney enjoying the beautiful weather outside. She has started to reach for the bunny on her papasan a few times. 

Love those blue eyes! They are a darker shade than David's so I think she got them from me. At least 1 feature of hers is from my side!

All smiles as she celebrates St. Patrick's Day!

Cutest girl in a green dress. She doesn't need luck - she has the best parents! Ha Ha.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Delaney: Weeks 5 & 6

Time is flying by and I'm actually starting to forget about the 12 days that Delaney had to spend in the hospital. Hard to believe because I felt so helpless but now that life as we know it has changed for the better, I'm loving life. I'm recovering nicely from the delivery and feeling really good. No signs of postpartum depression which makes me very relieved.

Let's see what Delaney has been up to.

Week 5:
  • We discovered that she likes the swing and it soothes her during the afternoon when its hard for her to settle down.
  • Instead of putting her into the baby bath tub, we decided to have her join me in the tub and she LOVED it instantly! She loves the water and pushes her arms and legs like she wants to do the backstroke. I think we have a natural born swimmer, which is good because I don't want to pass my fear of deep water onto her. I look forward to her taking swimming lessons early so she isn't traumatized like I was when I started lessons.
  • Daddy left us for the first time to go to a concert. We did well alone but were excited to have him back to help with those diaper changes since he does most of them.
  • We also had her first big outing to the library. Since she's a newborn they gave us a nice gift including a doggie board book, wrist rattle, and good information on reading to a young one. We had custom book shelves built for her nursery and I've loved filling it with books. I hope she loves reading like I do.
  • I also left Delaney for the first time to go scrapbooking and it was great to get out of the house. Cabin fever was really getting to me and it was nice to get out for a bit. I am really feeling like my old self which is great! It was also my first time pumping outside of the hospital or our house so I was a bit worried about that - with good reason, I didn't have enough batteries and the pump wouldn't work! I should have tested it before I left.
  • Eating like a champ! Still every 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  • Wearing newborn clothes.
  • Sleeping well and love to be swaddled, it calms you.
  • Celebrated my 1 month birthday!!!
Week 6:
  • Went to the doctor for a weight check and was so happy to hear she was gaining 1 1/2 oz/day! We are now weighing 8 lb 5 oz. This goes to show that breastfeeding is really going well and the best thing for her especially as we try and catch up from being born early.
  • Visited my co-workers who couldn't get enough of her. She is the cutest after all! I tried to get her a job while we were there and I know she's going to have a successful career someday.
  • We also left her with a babysitter for the first time. OK, it was my parents but it counts! David and I went downtown Chicago for a few hours and I finally got my birthday dinner from Joe's Stone Crab. I was in the hospital on my actual birthday but it was nice to get my favorite meal. I even had a glass of wine and it was bliss. I never even cried which is good for me since I can cry at the drop of a hat. I knew she was in good hands and she was an angel the whole time we were gone. The grandparents loved every minute of it.
  • Delaney attended her first birthday party. Her buddy, Parker, turned one and she was all dressed up for the occasion.
  • She began playing a little bit with her first toy, a flower, which David has named "Patty Petunia".
  • The weather is warming up a bit and we went for our first stroller ride to the lake. She slept the whole time but we loved getting outside in the fresh air and the dogs LOVED it even more. They've gotten a bit neglected with the weather being cold and the babies arrival. Now that it's warming up we are going for lots of walks which is great for everyone.
Kicking back in my swing in my Daddy's man cave.

Sleeping on my Daddy's chest on a lazy morning.

Look at how long her hair is. It's beautiful.

Smiling because it's February 25th and she is 1 month old.


Starting to get tired of all of these pictures.

Delaney and her sock monkey buddy.

Stretching out on her Grandma's quilt she made her.

Sitting up in her crib. She is yet to sleep in it but she will someday soon.
Don't worry - I will remove the bumper!

All dressed up for her first birthday party.
I think Parker thought she was beautiful.

Pooped from all of the partying. Time to get her beauty sleep.

Cuddling up in her Rock and Play Sleeper with the blanket the auxilary ladies from the hospital made for her. It's the perfect size for her right now. Isn't she so peaceful looking?

Weeks 5 & 6 are behind us and she's growing up so fast! Slow down baby girl!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Delaney: Weeks 3 & 4

We are finally home and settling into a nice routine consisting of lots of diaper changes, feedings, and cuddling. She had her 2 week doctor appointment and we were ecstatic to hear that she weighed 6 lb 6 oz and was 19 1/4" long. She is growing and thankfully breastfeeding is going well.

Week 3:
  • Pediatric appointment - weighs 6 lb 6 oz and is 19 1/4" long at 14 days old.
  • Started tummy time and did well but still prefers her back.
  • Used up those yucky disposable diapers and started cloth diapering!!!!We chose to use Green Mountain Diapers newborn prefolds and covers to start with. Also using cloth wipes in a wipe warmer with my special concoction of coconut oil, Dr. Bronner's soap, tea tree oil, and lavender oil. I really love preparing her wipes and they clean her up so well.
  • She got her first bath - it wasn't the fun activity I hoped for. We used the puj tub we got and she screamed so we made it a quick bath.
  • Delaney got her newborn pictures taken by the talented Carrianne Photography and we were bubbling over with pride as she was a perfect angel during the shoot. So happy we were able to reschedule her photoshoot because of her early arrival and hospitalizations. They were worth every penny and I'll treasure those pictures forever.
  • My parents came to visit Delaney again now that she is out of the hospital. My mom finished making a beautiful quilt for Delaney and wanted to bring it to her. It works perfectly in her nursery and she used many of the fabrics from her bedding and adding some others. It has an elephant, giraffe, and bird on it.
  • My brother and his family met Delaney and her cousins were ecstatic to finally meet the baby from my belly. My oldest niece was a bit of a baby hog but very motherly with her. She is going to be a great mother someday!
Week 4:
  • Ventured out to Buy Buy Baby for some baby supplies and to make some returns. We went in the middle of the day when everyone was at work so we kept her nice and healthy. She also made her first visit to Portillo's and slept right through our dinner.
  • Delaney also got a visit from some good friends of ours as well as her Grandma Wilma and her Great Aunt Patsy. Grandma is very excited to have another grandchild since her other 3 are all teenagers now. She kept trying to persuade us to name her Lily but that was a nice we considered for our dog Stella so I couldn't do it. I think she likes Delaney though.
  • Continuing with tummy time but gets easily frustrated and rescue her by flipping her back to her back. We'll keep working on it.
  • Breastfeeding continues to go well and we no longer need Daddy to supplement with a bottle of breast milk. Yeah!
  • Sleeping well and still wants to eat every 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
I LOVE the quilt my Mom made for Delaney.
It's just perfect and I know she will treasure it always.

Tummy time!

Proud Daddy cuddling in her nursery.

Cozied up while sleeping. 

Beautiful blue eyes like your Mom and Dad. Let's hope they stay blue.

My First Bath - and not so happy about it.

Trying to find her fingers to soothe herself but still haven't mastered that.
We ended the bath quickly and got her bundled up once again.

I think this picture says it all....I love my new job as Mom!
Both my fur baby and Delaney bundled up for the afternoon.

Cousins come to visit and just love little Delaney.

Look at those smiles. Everyone is excited for her to be home.

So there you have it, weeks 3 and 4 have passed and we are loving our new life has a family with little Delaney. She's our angel baby and we can't get over how blessed we are. We are looking forward to what is to come.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Delaney: 2 week

By the time Delaney was 2 weeks old, she was finally home and no longer at the hospital. Thank goodness because 12 days at the hospital was no fun! Writing about the first week of her life brought back a lot of memories both very positive and some I wish I could forget. We were able to bring her home on February 6th which was the best day for us. The very next day she started to breastfeed like a champ! It was like everything clicked and we were both much more relaxed being at home. We decided to have her sleep in a bassinet so that it would be easier to feed and change her in the middle of the night. Plus we quickly learned that the mobile it came with worked wonders. She loved looking at the lights, teddy bears, and listening to the music. She continued to eat every 3 hours and with David home too, we settled into a nice routine of him changing her diapers and clothes while I was in charge of feeding and pumping.

David unfortunately lost his job in August and has spent a lot of time trying to find the right opportunity but it just hasn't happened, its a tough job market. By the end of December we decided that he would stay at home with Delaney and that the job search would continue but we would need to ensure it was the right opportunity for us to put her into daycare. This has turned out to be a great decision because we are both home with her together which allows both of us to bond with her. Teamwork has allowed but of us to get sleep and we are learning about how to care for a newborn together. We've always joked about him being a stay at home dad but never thought it would happen because financially it's difficult to do. Losing his job was a blessing in disguise and I'm excited that when I return to work, Delaney will have the best care possible from the best Daddy around!

Hanging out with Daddy after he helped to bottle feed me.

Such a little peanut but I keep eating so I get stronger and stronger each day.

Mommy finally got a good nights sleep and is so happy to be with me.

My sock monkey friend kept me company in the incubator.
This was my mommy' view for many days as I got stronger.

It's February 6th and I'm finally going home!!!
My 3rd and final trip home.

When we got home my Mom swaddled me and kept me nice and cozy.

Week 2 was an emotional week and we couldn't be happier to be home as a family.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Delaney: 1 week

It took me a while but I finally wrote Delaney's birth story and all about her arrival - 4 weeks early. If you missed it you can read all of the bloody details (just kidding) here.

After spending 2 days in the hospital, Delaney and I were released on Friday evening and were finally on our way home as a family of 3. We arrived home around 7:30 pm and we were excited to introduce Tanner and Stella to Delaney. We videotaped this special moment and they were both great dogs and welcomed her with open arms paws (lame joke). David and I then looked at each other and weren't sure what to do next with Delaney. We then got the bassinet ready for her to sleep in and began the routine of feeding her every 2 to 3 hours. In the middle of the night we noticed that she was very cold to the touch and tried to warm her up with skin to skin. We then got out 2 thermometers that we received as gifts and took her temperature - we began to panic because both of them were reading low and she was still very cold to the touch. It was a long night worrying about her but we knew we were going to see the pediatrician at 8:00 that morning.

At 7:30am we got her all bundled up and headed to the pediatrician. Overnight her coloring turned very yellow and looked like she had spent the night somewhere sunny. We had her bilirubin tested and it was very high. The doctor decided that because of her temperature and bilirubin levels that she needed to be readmitted into the hospital. This was heartbreaking but I knew as a mom that it was the right thing to do. Our doctor made arrangements with the hospital to have her admitted into the special care nursery (NICU) and even got a room for me so that I could stay at the hospital with her and continue nursing her. Lots of special approvals to make this happen because she was discharged but given it was only 12 hours they made an exception.

She spent Saturday and Sunday under the lights and we got lots of support from the lactation consultants because she still wasn't catching onto breastfeeding and was quite an ordeal to get her to eat. We settled into a routine after she was readmitted and fed every 3 hours on the dot. If she wouldn't breastfeed well we would then give her a bottle of pumped milk. We had to be fast because she needed to spend as much time as possible under the lights.

As a new mom, having your child back in the hospital is devastating. I was exhausted and hadn't slept since Monday night. The nurses kept urging me to eat and sleep but I couldn't do much of either. They were becoming concerned because I looked like a train wreck. They gave me as much attention as Delaney and I felt well taken care of while we were there. David even went out and got me my favorite deep dish pizza - Gino's to cheer me up. I would get a little bit of sleep but every 3 hours I had to set my alarm and be back in the NICU to feed Delaney. David went home to be with the dogs since we had already sent my parents home who watched them for our earlier hospital visit. He needed his sleep and I managed to sleep a little that night during our feedings.

Sunday came and in the afternoon the doctor discharged Delaney because her bilirubin had dropped and she was eating better and appeared to be maintaining her body temperature. So off we go, back home for a second time. I was feeling more confident about feeding her and I thought things were looking good.

Monday morning we are back at the pediatrician's office for a check up and when they took her temperature it was reading in the 96 range - not good! They used multiple thermometers to be sure and that's when I heard the dreaded words......."I can't ignore this and she will need to be readmitted back into the hospital." I maintained my tough facade and we headed home to pack our bags once again. I got home and that's when I lost it. Laying in bed holding my baby and sobbing....this was not what I expected and I felt like a failure because I couldn't understand why I just couldn't take care of her. My hormones were out of whack which didn't was one ugly cry!

Back to the hospital we go but this time we were admitted onto the pediatric floor. We got a room with a bed so we were able to stay with her but it was not the same positive, nurturing environment we had in the NICU. It was down right depressing and the doctors kept talking about potential infection and possibly needing a spinal tap in addition to many tests. The next 3 days were the worst ever. I stayed around the clock to feed Delaney while David went home to sleep - it hit him really hard too and he couldn't handle being in the hospital all of the time. I felt terrible for him because he was helpless and saw not only his daughter getting iv's and being in the hospital but he saw his wife falling apart and hanging on by a thread.

Come Wednesday we couldn't take it anymore and they had pretty much ruled out infection and knew we were just dealing with complications of her being early. She needed to build up her brown fat so that she could maintain her body temperature which would in turn help with her jaundice and feedings. I became obsessed with measuring how much she was eating, weighing her before/after feedings, and logging all of her body temps. I am pretty sure my records were a million times better than the doctors and nurses because its all I could think about.  When our favorite doctor walked into the room on Wednesday morning, David had a long conversation with her about our concerns with being on the pediatric floor versus in the NICU where the nurses were better trained on providing care to a preemie. Part of me was like David enough - let's just deal with the cards we were dealt but it ended up paying off. The doctor went to the head of nursing and we got Delaney moved back to the NICU. I finally felt like she got the care she needed and was able to get some sleep because I knew she was in good hands. The only downside to this move was that I didn't have a room to stay in anymore and had to leave at night. I was actually OK with it because I knew I was no good to her until I got some sleep. I set my alarm so that I could continue to pump and let's just say I never heard it go off. I woke up 8 hours later and almost flipped. I guess I really needed that sleep.

What a roller coaster ride her first week was but so happy she didn't have anything more serious wrong with her. At the time it felt like the world was ending but looking back I know it was only a bump in the road.

2 days old and sleeping after her food coma

Delaney going to the pediatrician office on day 3
Her winter hat was a little big but she was still adorable.
This was before we got the "back to the hospital" news.
Her newborn outfit was plenty big on her.

Daddy holding his little girl on day 5.
Another newborn outfit that was swimming on her.

Day 5 and she was in an open bassinet - not good because we lost time she could have been in the incubator fattening up. She looks so peaceful though.

Day 6 and she had to have an IV put in her arm.
I was not happy to learn she has veins like me and it took 5 sticks to get one in.
It was put in for precautionary reasons only which made me even more mad because we never needed it. She's our little trooper!

Day 7 in the incubator. Starting on day 6 we weren't allowed to take her out of the incubator at all, not even to feed. Everything had to be done in the incubator which made feedings and diaper changes very difficult. This picture honestly broke my heart but honestly she loved the incubator. She was toasty warm.