We are loving our newest little one! She is the sweetest, tiniest little thing ever, and she has impressed us so much the last few weeks.
Eliza is just over 3 weeks old now and she is holding her head up by herself for 10-20 seconds at a time (it's hard work!). She looks all over and high-contrast things in the house (like black frames against our white walls) catch her eye and she just stares. She has started spending more time awake during the day. It's darling and fun to see her so awake; mostly, I'll admit, because she doesn't really need to be entertained a lot yet. I'm enjoying it while I can! :o)
As perfect as her delivery was, there have been a few bumps in our road to recovery:
She has been a lazy eater since she was born, but her latch is getting a lot better. Because her mouth is so tiny, even when she has a correct latch it's still tiny, and causes a lot of pain!
Thank goodness for the job training I did for WIC, for a job as a lactation consultant that I'll start this fall. I am so grateful for the chance to learn so much about breastfeeding right before I had Eliza! It has given me so much confidence...and, not to mention, a 150-page handbook (and 2 additional books) all about nursing.
Anyway, because she was tearing me up a bit I ended up with mastitis. That's healed now, and as she's grown we've had to use our nipple shield a lot less. Sorry if this is TMI for some of you; you might just have to get over it and accept that nursing is natural! :o)
I also had some awful headache pain right after Eliza was born. It ended up being a spinal headache, so I went in for a blood patch. Basically, the epidural went in just a bit too far and they had to fill the punctured space with blood that they drew from my arm. Sounds weird, right!? It was more painful than the epidural initially was during labor, but I was also, ya know, in labor and dilated to a 7! The blood patch completely got rid of the headache, but left me with awful back pain for about 2 days. One of those days happened to be when my mother-in-law was leaving in the morning, my mom was coming that night, and Mitch had class all day. Thank heavens for my friend, Juanee, who came to rescue me and help me out with a very cranky, demanding Nathan until Mitch got out of class! This is the same Juanee who came over in the middle of the night when my water broke. What an angel that girl is! :o)
Eliza also developed pink eye that we assume she got while we were in the hospital. Because she was early and has basically no immune system, she just can't get over it! It's been about 3 weeks now and she's had it once in one eye and twice in the other. We have antibiotic cream and we are going back to the doctor to ask about it (and for a weigh-in) on Tuesday. Our pediatrician is awesome and very insightful, and is all about educating parents, not lecturing or demeaning them like our last pediatrician was! I've been putting breastmilk in her eye as well, which has proven to help heal things like pink eye. Told ya, nursing is normal and natural!
As far as sleep goes, I'm not obviously getting as much as I'd like, but baby E has been doing 4-5 hour stretches, which is awesome. She had a growth spurt last week and just ate all night long, but now we're getting back to "normal". Her only hopes and dreams are to weigh more than 4 lbs! :o)
Nathan is almost back to normal after this whole adjustment, but it IS really obvious when he hasn't gotten the attention he needs/wants.
As a reward for reading this far, here are pictures from some newborn shoots we did in the last week or two!
|Love this one. Wearing his Carhartt like daddy :o)|
|These next pictures, on the green rug, are meant to hang in their room. I usually wouldn't pick such a bright color (or bucket) for pictures, but it is one of the main colors in their room, so why not?|
|I photoshopped a lot of her pink eye away, but you can tell which eye it was the worst in at this point. She did have it in both the day we took these pictures. My kids just don't make taking pictures easy!|
|She still had a lot of "vernix" on her skin at this point (thin layer of hair that protects babies' skin in utero). I wanted to get a shot of it before it started disappearing!|
|cuddled up on a beautiful blanket her GG made her :o) Nathan has one too!|
|She looks SO much like newborn Nathan in this picture...kinda freaky...|
After almost 2 hours of shooting, and MULTIPLE feedings, Eliza gave up on me and just bawled. There was nothing I could do to calm her down! So, I decided we'd try again another day because I was nowhere near satisfied at what we'd gotten.
I can't believe how much she's grown already! That binky isn't quite as big on her face as it was in this picture :o)
|We love our swing!|
|baby lashes :o) Hers are actually quite long when they're not crusted over with pink eye! I hope she keeps em!|
Newborn photo shoot, day two: this time I took pictures during naptime (so Nathan wasn't in the way; I was home alone with both of them at this point), I used a heating pad under the blankets/fabric instead of a space heater in the room (I usually bring both on newborn shoots and let the baby choose), used one light and a bunch of natural light instead of three, and used all fabric instead of any of my backdrops. This made the setup and takedown MUCH easier for me!
|These flowers are NOT meant to be big; her head is just that small! All her headbands and flowers are huge on her. I found the small pink flower and the elastic headband in the photos above at a shop in town after searching high and low.|
Well, that's about it! I really need to get better at taking pictures more often; she's changing so fast! I really appreciate having a nice camera and several nice lenses (not to mention being completely comfortable in full manual modes all the time) and a newborn at the same time! This wasn't the case with Nathan, and it really makes all the difference!