Friday, March 30, 2012

Audrey's Newborn Pictures

Once again, Amy at Tickled Pink Photography did a smashing job of Audrey's newborn pictures. We had a challenging time getting this spirited girl to cooperate- she would just not sleep!! After seven hours and two separate sessions, Amy managed to get some pretty amazing pictures. I am forever grateful to her for her patience and talent in capturing these precious moments for us.

Here are some of my favourites!

I love my little family so much!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trials and Tribulations of a 4 week old

Well this week hasn't been without it's challenges but there have been good moments too!

Last Friday, I could feel the beginnings of mastitis coming on again!! I took a bunch of remedies that my midwife suggested I take if I felt it coming on and rested all day Saturday. Thankfully I think I managed to keep it away but I sure felt awful for a bit there. It is quite challenging taking care of a little one when you are ill so luckily it happened on the weekend again so hubby could take over most duties except feeding.

Since I believe that part of the mastitis is brought on from poor breast feeding latch (somehow this has turned into a breast feeding blog!) I hired a Lactation Consultant (LC) to come assess our technique and give us advice on how to do it better. (I swear this job exists!!)

The LC came to our house and was quite helpful. She gave us lots of tips and I felt more confident that we could solve the problem by the time she left. One thing that she advised us to do is skin-to-skin with Audrey (lay her almost naked on your chest) which will help trigger the eating reflexes. It was then that we noticed she had a red rash on the top of her back & base of her neck. She suggested that we get it looked at since it didn't quite look like a normal baby rash or baby acne. We also noticed she had a few spots on her chest.

We took some pictures and emailed them to our midwives for suggestions. They confirmed that it is contact dermatitis (a form of eczema) which we think is from the dryer sheets that I had just started using. I am feeling some mommy guilt because I never use dryer sheets but picked some up because Audrey's clothes and blankets are all static-y from the dryer.

So since Saturday, Audrey has been really fussy and her rash has gotten worse. Once the midwives confirmed what it was, we stopped using the dryer sheets and re-washed all her clothes. We have also been giving her back and neck lots of air time so she has been naked (with a diaper) for the past couple of days. We have a space heater in her room so that it is warm enough for her to only be lightly draped in a blanket and we have just been hanging out in there day and night to allow the rash to heal. The worst of it is at the back of her neck and top of her back which is irritated by fabric and when she turns her head back and forth.

Late night sleeping on Mama

Relaxing in her pool chair... aka bouncer
Note the scratch mittens so she doesn't itch her face!

It's hard to see her fussy and uncomfortable but it will pass. I have already seen an improvement in her skin over the past 2 days so she is on the mend.

The good things that have happened the past few days:

- Audrey had her longest sleeping stretch ever- 6 hours!! It would have been amazing except that she was sleeping on my chest the entire time so I didn't get the most restful sleep myself.
- She smiled at me for the first time!! There have been a few times before that she smiled but we were pretty sure they were gassy smiles. This was definitely a smile at Mama so it made my day especially when we were having a difficult time dealing with her skin.
- Our families have been so amazing and helpful! Lots of phone calls to check in, visits to snuggle Audrey and give me a break, and plenty of food to keep our bellies full. We are truly blessed! They are all exciting about babysitting too!!
- My first time away from Audrey since she was born... to go to the grocery store!! It was a short but nice break to not be on baby duty! Of course she slept the entire time for her Daddy!

A few more pictures of my cutie!!

Sleeping in the Moby- for the moment!

Baby Burrito

Singing Happy Birthday to Daddy!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Audrey: One Month!!

Wow- that sure went by quickly!! She's a growing girl!
We fall in love with her again every single day!

I still find it hard to believe that she is really here.
However, she quickly reminds me in the middle of the night!!

Having her is everything and nothing like I expected  :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

~Three Things Thursday~

1. I didn't make it to the stroller group walk yesterday morning but I did go in the evening to the Running Room so Audrey and I could walk around the lake while hubby ran. I figured I would be walking by myself but there ended up being a couple other moms and babes walking at the same time, including my half marathon running instructor. Seeing all the runners has me itching to get back out there- soon!!

2. The weather is supposed to be a little more winter-like (now that it's spring) so I am not sure how many walks we are going to be able to do in the next week. Sun, please come out and Snow, stay away!

3. The new sectional is growing on me. It's comfy. The cat has been banned to a towel though in hopes of keeping it somewhat hair free- I am dreaming I know!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Week 3: Audrey

Audrey had her 4 week check up today (she's not quite 4 weeks yet!) and she has gained almost 2 pounds since birth!! Little pork chop! Guess that explains the endless feeding sessions (hers not mine)!

We are taking things pretty easy around here. We have gone on a few walks when the weather is nice. Audrey is usually pretty happy as long as she is moving! I keep joking that I was too active during pregnancy so she always needs to be moving! The swing has been a lifesaver!

We've tried the Moby wrap a few more times. She seems content in it for a little while and then is ready for a change. I love how snuggled up against me she is in it!

We still have lots of visitors wanting to meet and spend time with the little one. It's funny to see people fight over her!! "No, it's my turn to hold her now!" It's sweet!! I don't blame them!

We seem to have a few good nights here and there where she sleeps for a 4 hour stretch between feedings. It's often followed by a night of hourly wake-ups so I am trying to not get too used to it! And it's funny that I used to complain about a couple middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks in pregnancy!! Oh how times have changed!

In non-baby related news, our new sectional was delivered today-- I haven't decided if I like it or not! I feel like it's too big... I think I need to do some furniture re-arranging. You know, when I get some free time!! Haha!!

Hoping to make it to the stroller group walk tomorrow- all depends on when Audrey eats since walking with a screaming baby isn't fun!! I could really use some fresh air and adult interaction right now!!

I just can't believe that Audrey is almost a month old! Time is going by way too quickly and it makes me sad! She's changing every day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

~Three Things Thursday~

1. We have taken it easy this week so I feel much better!! Even doing nothing I am amazed at how quickly the days fly by! Noooooo- slow down!!

2. The good news is that Audrey is growing. The bad news is that she is starting to grow out of some of her newborn clothes, such as the sleeper we brought her home in :( This mama is sad! The one consolation is that means she is growing into the clothes that are in her closet! Can't wait to put her in some of those adorable outfits!

The sweater and hat are still huge!

3. Audrey made her first visit to the hair salon yesterday! When she wasn't her grand appearance, I made an appointment for a hair cut and colour. Of course the day after I made the appointment I had to message my stylist to cancel as "something was happening!" Part of me was happy that she came, but I really needed to get my hair done so as soon as we had things somewhat figured out, I booked my sister to "watch" Audrey while I had my hair done. Thankfully she slept the entire time, waking up at the very end to feed. I feel so much better now with my roots covered and an inch taken off!

New hair (bad picture)

P.S. still having problems commenting on blogs. I don't know what is wrong with my Blackberry but it's really pi$$ing me off because I want to comment but it won't let me! First it wouldn't let me submit comments and now it's a profile issue. I so want to throw this thing in the garbage!! Plus I heard iPhone has a really cool app that let's you record your baby's feeding times since I can't keep track of them all!!
I'm not eligible for an upgrade for 100 years though....

Monday, March 12, 2012

Week 2: Audrey

Daddy (aka hubby) went back to work this week so it was just us girls (and Milo the cat) at home during the day. At first I was nervous because hubby was extremely helpful during the first week but I knew we had to get used to being on our own during the day.

Monday was a pretty relaxing day since our visitor had to cancel last minute. We just hung out during the day- Audrey ate, pooped and slept- typical newborn stuff!!

Tuesday was a big day- we had a midwife appointment where we found out that Audrey has surpassed her birth weight and is now a whopping 7 pounds!! We also had her newborn photos re-shoot which I already talked about! That ended up being a super long day which was pretty tough on both of us.

Wednesday my mom and sis came to visit us. While it is nice to chat and visit with them, unfortunately that means I can't nap when Audrey does so it was another long nap-less day for this mama. We also went to Costco which was uneventful.

Thursday we went for Audrey's first chiropractic adjustment. Since birth can be a traumatic event on a baby, things can get out of alignment so we knew we wanted Audrey to get an adjustment pretty early on. Our chiropractor is one of our best friends and I was skeptical of chiropractic until I met him and he started treating me so I trust him with my daughter's spine. The adjustment is so minor yet makes a huge difference. This ended up being another long day since the clinic is at the other end of the city so the commute is a b!tch! Audrey also didn't sleep well that night which meant I didn't get any sleep either.

Friday we went to visit Audrey's other Grandma! She broke her ankle last month so can't drive right now. She lives pretty close by so that's nice.

And then sh!t hit the fan that night... A and I went to have a nap around 6pm as we were both tired. I didn't eat dinner as tiredness won over hunger. I had crazy chills so I had tons of clothes on, plus a heating pad and a magic bag. I woke up around 10pm feeling terrible- I was boiling, had a headache and felt nauseous. I got up to go to the bathroom and felt so faint. I ended up fainting on the toilet (fell back instead of forward thankfully!) and when I came to I laid on the cold tile because I was so warm. I called hubby and he got me some water and helped me back to bed. We figured it was from lack of food (I didn't eat much that day) so he got me some food. A couple hours later I got up again to go to the bathroom and the same thing happened except that I laid on the floor before I completely passed out. I also had a fever of 100.3 F. We now knew it wasn't just hunger/exhaustion but something else.

Long story short- I have mastitis, which is inflamed breast tissue. I had to get antibiotics to help get rid of it and the symptoms are flu-like which I had pretty much all of them. Geez just when we thought we had this whole thing figured out I have to get this! Not impressed but apparently it is pretty common so trying not to beat myself up about it.

So that's my boob story! Hey, runners share all right? :)

So I spent most of the weekend in bed!! How exciting is that!! I am just thankful this whole thing happened on the weekend since hubby pretty much took care of me and Audrey all Saturday except for her feedings.

Ok here are more pictures!

Mommy and Audrey

I want to eat the camera!!

Audrey's first walk

Sleeping during her first walk

Daddy and Audrey... and Milo

First bath- didn't cry!

She LOVES her swing!

Another walk

So the goals this week are to sleep at least once every day during one of Audrey's naps and to not try to do it all. I thought I was taking it easy last week but with the long days out I really wasn't. It's so hard to be "lazy" but I know I need to be to make sure I stay healthy. Physically I feel my recovery is almost 100% now but with the sleep deprivation and sore boobs I feel like I still won't be back working out until 6 weeks. Now someone please tell my sweet hubby to stop bringing treats home- because I sure can't!!!

Also I have been reading up on blogs during my many nursing sessions but unfortunately my stupid blackberry doesn't always allow me to comment and I don't get much time on the computer these days.  Must get iPhone!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First Lesson Learned in Motherhood

In my short time as a mommy, I have learned many things but the one that sticks out (other than unconditional love!) is that your kid doesn't care what your plans are, she is going to do things her own way!

First, I couldn't control when Audrey was born, no matter what I tried to get her to come out or how many times people told me when she should come out! She came out when she was good and ready! Thankfully she did come on an even day like I wanted, but again that was only because she was uncooperative.

Secondly, she didn't care what my birth plan was. She did things the way she wanted to and we just had to roll with the punches, which we did.

Thirdly, she doesn't care how badly I wanted sweet sleepy newborn "Anne Geddes" pictures. If she doesn't want to sleep, she isn't going to sleep! We booked newborn pictures with the same photographer that did our maternity photos, Tickled Pink Photography, for when Audrey was 8 days old. I have been dreaming about these photos since long before I was pregnant. Amy does amazing work and I knew that having professional pictures of your newborn is priceless since they are little for such a short time.

Amy came to our house on Saturday with her whole set up which is a ton of stuff! I had fed Audrey just before Amy came but she was only slightly asleep. Once set up we tried to settle her into some of the cute poses but she was wide awake. I fed her again and got her good and sleepy. Amy was able to get a couple shots of her, but she didn't stay asleep for long. The key to the amazing poses is a fast asleep baby that lets you move it around without waking up but Audrey just refused to go there. Finally after trying for 3 hours to get her to sleep, she had enough and started to cry.

We decided to re-schedule to a few days later at Amy's studio to try to get more cute poses. We did manage to get a bunch of great family photos after a good long feeding which put Audrey to sleep for 6 hours. Yes, 6 freakin hours!! We went to hubby's parents' house for dinner that night and she slept almost the entire time!! Little stinker!

Fast forward a couple days to the re-shoot- Audrey is now 11 days old. The plan was to arrive at Amy's and feed her until she was dead asleep. I fed her, but she was only doozy. We tried posing her but it was like a repeat of the previous shoot- she kept getting more alert! We tried and tried and finally after about 3 hours, and 3 feeds we were able to get her to the sleepy state where Amy could pose her. She got some great shots but unfortunately it didn't last long. This little girl sure made us work hard!! Two shoots- 7 hours combined!! Amy is one patient woman- I would have given up long before!

Here are a couple teaser pictures- they are so precious it almost makes me forgive A for being so uncooperative!!

Love newborn yawns!

Fast asleep- for now!

Precious little bundle

I can't wait for the rest of the pictures! Amy is so talented that I know all her hard work will pay off!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Week 1: Audrey

Wow, the past week (or 10 days) has flown right by! I still can't believe we have a baby!!

So far life with Audrey has been amazing! She has been a great baby and I pray it continues. We have had a few challenges so far but nothing unmanageable. Breast feeding took a few days to get established but after seeing the issues that other women have dealt with I know that we are very lucky!

Surprisingly,  I have been adjusting well to the lack of sleep. I can usually get a couple hour stretches in between night feeds so in total I get around 6-7 hours of sleep. Some nights are worse and others are a little better. We have a bassinet in our bedroom that works quite well. We tried putting her in her crib but I actually found that I went running to her room before she was ready because I heard her make a squeak whereas with the bassinet beside my bed I can tell if she is just being noisy or if she is ready to eat.

I have recovered quite well from the birth. The first 5 days I was sore and had to stay on top of the Motrin/Tylenol schedule. I was bummed because I felt like I was never going to feel good and I really wanted to get out for some walks. Finally on day 10 I feel about 90% better so we went for Audrey's first walk around the neighbourhood!! Felt great to get outside for some fresh air.

We also took Audrey to meet our running group last Wednesday. They had the Fibre1 Chill Challenge and hubby and I made the last minute game decision to attend. I wasn't ready to walk but I found a couple other people to join me at Tim Horton's while we waited for our spouses to finish running. It was nice to show Audrey off and get out of the house!

We have had lots of family visits. Everyone is smitten with lil' A! People fight over whose turn it is to hold her! Not that I blame them!!

Hubby has been off work since she was born so today is our first day alone. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a tad worried. Hubby has been amazing at helping out with diaper changes, reading to her, bringing her to me for changes and just snuggling her which gives me a break. He is an amazing father and I love watching him with her! She already has him wrapped around her little finger!

Audrey likes to show us who is boss. We had booked her newborn shoot for this past weekend and tried as we could, she would not cooperate. Firstly she needed to be fast asleep so that the photographer could put her into all the cute little poses. She was wide awake!! I tried feeding her which gave us about 10 minutes but then she woke up and was mighty unhappy. Her tummy was a little upset and she wouldn't settle. So re-takes are in order this week! I hope she behaves this time as I just love newborn pictures!

And since I know everyone loves cute pictures of babies...

Wide awake Audrey

Mommy and Audrey
(note the wall collage in the background)

Audrey napping in her crib

One of her many cute expressions!

Mommy and Audrey cuddling
Daddy and Audrey snuggling