Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1 month report

Ellie turned 1 month yesterday. I can't believe we are at the 4 week mark!

We are learning more about each other each day. I can't wait until she starts laughing and playing. Right now she smiles on occasion, like a real smile..not a gas smile. It's the sweetest smile ever (I'm sure every parent says that). She likes this mirror that I bought her. It's bright colors with zebra print trim. She will stare at that for about 15 to 20 mins which I think is good for a newborn. She follows things for just a second and I have this book called white on black. Its a black book with white shapes, like a bottle or bird, she likes that too. I'm trying to read/or tell her a story every day and let her listen to music at least an hour a day instead of the TV. She's going to have a very diverse music knowledge. We go from Beyonce to Beach Boys to the Mamas and the Papas to The Beatles to Aretha Franklin.

There is this one song that I went through a span of listening to every single morning on the way to work and singing at the top of my lungs. It's Selena's, I could fall in love, I swear to you it calms her down. I don't know if she can recognize it from the womb or it's just a coincidence but one day she was screaming I would turn the song on and she would shut up! I tried to get it on tape but I suck at video recording, all I got was her being quite while it was on. It's probably all in my head but I think she remembers.

Since this weekend we've reverted back to our crying games. Poor thing. It's definitely gas related. She wakes up in the middle of a nap screaming and then falls back to sleep. Last night, she pooted, burped and sneezed at the same time, it was impressive. It scared her so much you would have thought we were torturing her. I'm sure it hurt a little too.

She stays hopped up on mylicon, mylanta or gripe water. We have a system down. It's mylicon for most occasions, if she's spitting up a good bit we give her the mylanta instead because it's suppose to coat her stomach and esophagus (we use this as a second choice because it has less mylicon in it, then just giving mylicon) and then at night before bed if she's really fussy we give her gripe water. It seems to calm her down a good bit. All of this is as needed, of course. I try not to give her too much. I don't know why it bothers me but it really disturbs me to have her take so much medicine but as my mother says, you want her to feel good not be in pain and if I have something that helps, I should use it.

I've been reading and apparently this fussiness is very common and usually peaks at 6 weeks. I sure hope hers does. The other night Jay asked me when I thought she would stop all of this crying stuff, I said, I don't know but I hope so soon. Then I was thinking, dude you are only dealing with it like 6 hours a day now, you don't even know the half of it and I'm pretty sure we are getting some kind of payback from when he was a baby! There are so many parents out there on blogs who are just as frustrated as we/I am. I take comfort in knowing that I'm not alone. You can hear the desperation in their blogs or posts. I feel their pain. It's so damn irritating and frustrating and then you get mad at yourself for being so irritated because she can't help it. It's a vicious cycle. It'll get better though, I know it will. At least she's not as bad as what they say Jay was like. That's a blessing.

She's eating about 25 to 30 ozs a day now. I think that's a lot for her age but she acts like we are starving her. Damn, formula is expensive! I think we are wasting a lot too. I've got to start watching what we are wasting.

She also is outgrowing the smallest of her clothes :( It's too soon. She's very long so the onesies with the footies are the ones that are getting the closest to being put up.

That's all I've got right now. Here's a picture of her yesterday. She was pretty grumpy so I didn't get many good shots. She always does the best when there is no flash!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Sweetest Thing

She's here!!

Sorry it's been awhile, I've been kind of busy. This will be long so settle in.

Eleanor Louise Hawkins made her debut on 12/18/12 at 5:32 p.m. via c-section. She's just beautiful. Everything that they say happens when your baby is born is not a happens. A whole chamber of my heart that I did not know existed has filled up with love. I didn't know you could love something so much. It's terrifying and wonderful all at the same time. To quote the song below, my heart is now ruined for the rest of all time.

What's in a name? 
Her name was finally revealed. I can't believe I didn't slip. Back in August, my sister Katie, text me and said that I should name her Eleanor and call her Norah. That's what started the Eleanor discussion. Jay didn't like it at first so I started calling her that just to mess with him. At that time he was DEAD SET on Margaret/Maggie. I have a first cousin named Margaret/Maggie and just couldn't do it. So Eleanor started to grow on him. It met all of our requirements, it was traditional, not in the top 25, had tons of possible nicknames, a Kardashian hadn't used it yet, it was a royal name (wasn't a requirement but that's where Jay wanted to start when we started looking) and it just happened to be the name of one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite Jane Austen movies- Sense and Sensibility, it was also a name in a Beatles song (something that I kept going to for reference because both of our fathers love the Beatles so much) . 
So when he decided that this was his favorite, I started having reservations, mainly because he wanted her nickname to be Ellie. That sounds way too much like Kelli. I can just see a lifetime of someone calling our names and the other going, "did you call me?". I really didn't want that but in the end he's the one thats going to have to answer that question the most so if he's okay with it, I guess I am. So we were still undecided until our last trip home. I was leaning towards it but just still didn't know. 
Then I guess what put me over the edge was a song. Music is such an important part of my life and I often turn to music for my answers. It was only fitting that a song led me to my conclusion. 

One of our favorite bands released their new album in late September/early October. After about a week or two of trying to convince me that Eleanor was the name. Jay had been listening to the new CD at work and came home one day and said there was a song on there that one of them had written for their daughter and her name was Eleanor and it was a sign. I just kind of wrote it off. Then on one of our trips home Jay played it for me. It was so beautiful, I knew it was time to give up and give in. It was a sign. This band is about one of 5 that we actually agree on and we pilgrimaged to Colorado for my 30th birthday to their concert. It had to be a sign. The universe was telling us to name her Eleanor. Below is a link to the song.

As for her middle name. That wasn't decided on until the week of her birth. I've only truly known two grandmother type figures in my life. My great-grandmother, Nanny, who died when I was in the 6th grade, and Jay's grandmother, who I only knew for a short time but was so loving and special to me and obviously Jay. She was the kind of grandmother everyone who doesn't have one wishes they did, she reminded me of Nanny. One of my grandmothers died when I was very young and the other was not the grandmothering type. While I didn't spend a WHOLE lot of time with my Nanny, she was still all I've really had growing up. Well they both share the name Louise.   My great-grandmother's first name, Jay's grandmother's middle name. I really really wanted to use it but it had already been used by Jay's sister on our niece. We were so torn. Finally after combing the name book and not finding anything we liked as much and had as much meaning, we decided to ask Jay's sister. She gave us her blessing and now it's history. So Thank You Robyn, I wouldn't have been able to use it if you hadn't have said it was okay. 

Okay so now you know how we got to the name. 

She's a beautiful little girl. I'm sure I'm just a little biased. She looks like her Dad from the nose up and has my mouth and chin. I think her eyes are going to be blue. Jay thinks that they are turning Hazel like his. We shall see.

We are learning more about each other each day. She's been a little fussy but we are working through it. It gets better every day. The poor thing has such a problem with gas. We are doing everything possible for it but it's just not enough sometimes. She's pretty pleasant but she has about 2 or 3 hours a day when she's just fussy and there is nothing we can do to help her. Her birth weight was 8 lbs, as of last week she was already 9 lbs and I think she's gained some since then. She is VERY serious about eating. I would expect nothing less of my daugher. She's got a very long body and short legs, just like her Dad. The newborn clothes are starting to get a little too short for her. 

So far the biggest disappointment has been the feeding part. I wish I had been more educated and prepared for the breastfeeding part of it. I knew the bare minimum going in and should've armed myself with more knowledge. She started to refusing to breastfeed the night before we came home from the hospital. She would buck back and scream at the top of her lungs.  The nurses were frustrated just like I was. The pediatrician said she wasn't getting enough and to supplement with formula until my milk came in. Well, it never came in. Looking back and researching, there were some things I should have been doing to help it come in that I wasn't and didn't know about but it's too late now. She's eating around 25 to 28 oz a day now, even if I started back today I wouldn't be able to keep upI can't keep with that. I was only going to breastfeed for about 8 weeks but I still am disappointed that I didn't make it happen. At least she got about 3 days of the colostrum, though. I feel like I've let her down somehow.

I'm doing great. I have days that I think I can do more than I can and I regret it later. I've never dealt with healing a surgery wound before so I don't know quite how to act. I feel so bad when Jay has to do everything and quite frankly sometimes I just want it done my way (when I say this, I'm mainly referring to the loading of the dishwasher, I'm a little particular about it) :)

I've been pretty emotional. I'm sure it's the hormones and lack of sleep. I keep thinking, man I can't wait until we get back to normal and then I realize there is no old normal anymore. I knew this going in but it's really setting in now. Jay and I were in such a routine and rhythm now it's all been turned upside down. It's a good upside down but for someone who doesn't like change it's an adjustment and I find myself already nostalgic for being able to stop and do whatever I want. 

I also for whatever reason last week found myself nostalgic for being pregnant. There was a lot to hate about it but I missed her being there for some reason. When I was pregnant she only relied on me and no one else, now anyone can take care of her and I have to share her with the world.  It's a selfish thought,  I know. Everyone on the internet says it's just the hormones and this is normal. I haven't felt that way this week but it was something that I've been going through. 

Last but not least, I have a wonderful husband and best friend. Jay has been SO great. I realize that some women are not so lucky and for the life of me don't know how anyone can do this on their own. I have a new found respect for anyone who has. He took off two weeks to be with me, he has done almost everything around the house and all of our errand running. The sweetest thing he's done for us is slept with me on the couch for the first two weeks. She hasn't been going in her pack and play so it's been basically the swing or me for sleeping. So we've been living on the couch in the living room. Well Jay has a REAL problem with waking up. He can't, basically.  So because of this, up until this week he's been sleeping close so I won't have to get up and go physically shake him if I need him in the middle of the night. I think that is a sweet gesture. The second night here I was literally standing by him, with Ellie screaming in my arms, yelling his name and I had to shake him several times before he would wake up. It's crazy. The poor guy, he just can't help it. I'm glad one of us is a light sleeper!! 

Well I'll try to update more later. Gotta go try to catch some Z's while she is sleeping.