Monday, March 28, 2011

One Month with Edith

I can't believe Edith is one month old already! The last 4 weeks have been a bit of a blur, but we have managed to survive intact. Mostly. The sanity has taken a smidge of a hit, but there's nothing wrong with a little crazy. It spices things up.

I posted two weeks ago about some things we've learned about Edith, and now we've noticed a few more things we can add to the list:

Two weeks ago, Edith strongly protested having her diaper changed but loved the bath. These days you can expect the exact opposite-- she lounges docilely while having her diaper attended to, but acts as though she's being tortured while in the bath. It will flip flop many more times, I'm sure. Yup. Kids are fickle.

Edith has a stronger grip with her left hand than her right. A leftie, perhaps?

Right at the 3 week mark, Edith's reflux really kicked up a bit. Add that to her tendency to be gassy.... well, let's just say feedings have become a bit of a challenge. Gone are the days of gaining a pound in a week. Now we're just focusing on making sure she gains weight at all. I'm working on it with her.

Edith smiled and laughed at her dad this week. The smiles are still few and far between, but they're awfully cute. Her grin is a bit of a wry one, tilting up more on one side than the other. I can't wait until we see it more often.

She is really tracking things well with her eyes now, and interacts a lot more with the people around her. I think she may be in love with the light box in the kitchen.

Edith's nasal cannula is the bane of my existence right now. Trying to keep the thing in is a full-time job. Edith is a smart cookie and has figured out that if she presses her chubby cheek against something she is able to pop it out. I put it in, she pops it out. Repeatedly. Often, the cannula ends up across the bridge of her nose, visor-like, a la Geordi Laforge.

Not that I have a problem with a guy who wears a banana clip hair accessory as glasses, but Edith is waaay cuter. Hands down.


Well, I think so, anyway. Happy one-month, Edith!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Favorites

1. I am so happy that another week has gone by. That means we're getting closer to when life will feel more normal again (a schedule is my friend). I'm taking it day by day right now-- each that goes by feels like some sort of victory.

2. Big helped me with the dishes yesterday. We had a good time. He is a really good worker and it makes him happy.

3. Pen got straight A's for the term. Good job, Pen!

4. I love the fact that Bud has really been bitten by the reading bug. He usually reads 200+ pages a day (and still has plenty of time to play-- he's quite the speed reader). It's just fun to see.

5. Ginger made brownies all by herself and even let Bud be her assistant. They turned out great.

6. Edith smiled and laughed at her dad this afternoon. So cute. She was so happy to see him when he picked her up. She laughed again just now, in fact. Awesome. I can't wait until she does it to me.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Favorites

1. I made it through the week with Rophone back at work! Barely, but I made it. Admittedly, Rophone is still doing all the drop-offs and pick-ups of the kids so I have it pretty "easy", but I'm still counting it as a victory.

2. Edith's 2 week appointment went well.

3. I know I haven't mentioned this before, but I have been experiencing high blood pressure/low heart rate issues since I gave birth (for the third time-- it happened after Bud and Big, too). Anyway, I was proactive this time and the blood pressure meds are doing their thing and I'm glad. The heart rate is still a little wonky, but I know that will even out over time. So, I'm glad for medicines that can make us feel better.

4. It's parent/teacher conference time again and all of the kids are doing fantastically in school. I'm proud of Pen and how involved she is with her own educational experience. She's not afraid to stay after to clarify things with her teachers if needs be, either to receive help or to make sure she receives a fair shake-- something I never would have had the guts to do.

5. A nice neighbor brought us some homemade bread this afternoon-- a built-in snack for the kids that they were eager to eat. Thanks, neighbor!

6. I managed to wash dishes, clean the bathrooms, and do several loads of laundry this week. It's amazing how the things I used to dread are feeling like sort of an escape-to-normalcy right now. But, whatever. I'll take it, and it gets things done.

7. Rophone came home a little early today. It's been a rough one. Thanks, Rophone.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Edith had her two-week appointment today-- a little late (she's actually 18 days old), but the doctor wanted to give her a chance to get back to her birthweight since she lost extra while in the NICU. Ha! Anyone who knows me and the milk I produce will laugh that the doctor thought she'd need extra time. 

Anyway, he was quite impressed with her growth in the past 10 days. I knew that once I was able to get my mitts on her out of the NICU and could really get going on the nursing that she'd be just fine. As long as I have a kid who likes to nurse, their growth won't be a problem.

Her growth percentiles are based on a 20 day old baby (apparently my pediatrician's program has trouble calculating the number of days in February), so I guess that means Edith's percentages are really a little higher... not that they aren't in the 'overachiever' bracket already.

Weight: 10 pounds 6 oz (93.5%)-- remember, she weighed 9 pounds 7 oz. at birth.
Height: 23 in. (98.5%)
Head: 14.9 in. (80.6 %) a half inch bigger than 10 days ago!

My doctor's theory is that a bigger baby is stronger and will take bigger, deeper breaths, and be less likely to need oxygen and monitoring. I think we pretty much hit the baby's growth thing out of the ballpark, so hopefully we're well on our way to being tether-free!

Oh, and all of my family and friends might want to start on some sort of weight-training regimen to prepare for when you get a chance to hold Edith. I don't think Big weighed this much until he was a month old, and you all know how he turned out. Just sayin'.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Two Weeks with Edith

It's hard to believe that Edith is two weeks old!

We have learned a lot about her already:

Edith is a bit of a heavy breathing gulper while she eats, which means she's also a stellar burper and farter. Unfortunately, they don't escape the confines of her body very effortlessly. She'll get the hang of it. 

Pooping can also be a bit of a challenge at times, but as long as she furrows her brow, flares her nostrils, and purses her lips into a little 'o', she usually finds success.

We love how Edith looks without her nasal cannula (not something we get to see very often)-- but it's kind of like when a long-term glasses wearer takes them off and you can't get used to how they look.  I can't wait to get used to Edith without the cannula and to be able to give her poor skin a break from the sticky things that hold it in place.

Edith is a pretty mellow baby, but hates to have her diaper changed. She finds it to be a terrible ordeal and lets you know it. Really lets you know it. 

In the bath, on the other hand, she lolls back and chills. Seeming to almost fall asleep. She had her first bath in the tub today and it went smashingly. Oh, and when Edith's hair is freshly washed it's a little bit curly. So cute.

I don't know if it's a byproduct of the time she spent by herself in the NICU (I couldn't be by her side 24/7), but Edith really enjoys her alone time. You can tell when she needs to just be by herself. 

Even though Edith was my biggest baby by far, she seems to have the smallest hands and feet of any of my kids. Instead of having meaty paws like her siblings, her hands seem almost... dare I say... dainty? It's not what I was expecting. 

She is doing really well-- we hardly ever get startled by any beeps from her monitor (knock on wood), and most of those are false alarms or to let us know her leads have come loose. We hope it continues that way.

We've learned that we all love Edith and we are glad she's here. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Favorites

Woah! I almost forgot.

1. We made it through the first week home! 

2. I made banana bread this morning-- it felt good to do something normal (besides the dishes and laundry I've done) and it tastes good, too.  I am looking forward to establishing our new norm around here. I feel like we're all housed in some sort of weird post-partum bubble. I don't know how John Travolta did it. The bubble thing, I mean.

3. I've got a cute baby sleeping on me right now. She keeps puckering her lips into a little Cheerio while she sleeps.

4. We're turning in our cable boxes and getting rid of TV. I know I'll miss a few shows temporarily, but I'm excited.

5. We've had some really great weather this week that has allowed the kids to spend a lot of time playing outside. They've been playing hard and having fun. Awesome.

6. Because of all the time he was able to spend outside, and because of his perseverance (I mean, the kid practices and practices), Big was able to make a shot in the 8 foot hoop. Several, in fact. Definitely an event to be celebrated.

7. Rophone is doing the dishes and making dinner as I type this (one-handed). A fabulous thing I think we should work into our new norm more often. I love my husband.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011



Bud really wanted to call the new baby Edith in real life, but since we didn't, I decided it would be great to use it here on the blog.

I have been so caught up in the moment with Edith, that I have been a tad remiss at taking pictures of her. Between feeling like I've been hit by a truck and being worried that maybe I've tightened the cannula too much on one side and her nose is going to grow crooked, well, let's just say I've been absorbed. 

I have found myself kind of wishing that we could skip ahead a few months, to where maybe things are a little less scary and our life has found more of a rhythm. But, I think I'd be better off just taking each day as it comes and try to enjoy. I will try to be better at capturing the moment, instead. 

That's my plan. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Favorites

It was quite a week. As usual, there have been some less than fantastic things intermixed with the favorites, but the favorites definitely win out this week. By far.

1. I had the baby!!!! Yeah, this one definitely tops the list. Sunday night was crazy and memorable, and the end product is so worth it.

2. I'm not pregnant any more! Some of you may think that this is the same as #1 on the list, but it's not. Anyone who has lived through the last few weeks of a pregnancy knows this. I'm going to go cut my toenails to celebrate!

3. We finally are all back together at home after spending most of the week in the NICU with the baby. The whole NICU thing sucked, but I'm glad an observant nurse noticed that something was wrong. 

4. A definite favorite around here is getting to do this:

5. My kids were fantastic and helpful during what was a hectic and out-of-sorts week. They all acted more maturely and flexibly than I ever could have hoped for. 

6. Great neighbors stepped up and made maneuvering our week possible. So much willingness to serve. Thanks neighbors!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Home at Last

The baby was finally able to come home today. Wow, so nice. The family is back together (with a new addition) and it feels like it's supposed to. Although, admittedly, with the little munchkin on oxygen and monitors for her heart and breathing, it isn't quite what I hoped or thought it would be. 

I am so grateful to Rophone for all he has done since I had her-- getting the kids where they needed to go (or arranging for someone else to do so), holding down the fort, and finding places for the younger kids to be when not in school so he could be with me and the baby at the hospital. He made the 20-25 minute trip (each way) to the hospital at least 3 times a day. 

Yup. Rophone is a fabulous partner and I'm so happy to be back together, tag-team parenting the way we know how. Even though there is worry and anxiety where the baby is concerned, all feels right with the world again. 

I quickly took some pictures today after we arrived home (not good ones) to document the first time the older kids got to meet their new sister. The baby was hungry when I made the attempt, so she managed to cry herself into a lobster-y state. 

Here's one to document her take-home outfit:

The light wasn't great, but the kids' different reactions to holding their sister for the first time just had to be documented. 

We are so happy that everyone is home together at last!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Well, I no longer look like I swallowed one of these:

Actually, it still looks like I've swallowed one, but it's sprung a major leak. Giving birth to a 9 pound 7 ounce, 21 inch long baby will do that to a gal.

Yup. After having consistent contractions all weekend, I had our not-so-little, little baby late Sunday night. It was an intense experience, as things progressed a little more quickly at the end than I thought they would. 

When we arrived at the hospital I was dilated to 4 cm, so I thought we had plenty of time for me to receive the necessary antibiotics before the baby's arrival. It was quite leisurely at first-- I spent some time walking around, hung out in the bed for a while, gabbed a bit with the nurses and midwife (pausing to breathe through contractions as I went, of course). 

But then, when I was dilated to a 7, my water broke and everything leapt into overdrive-- I went from being dilated to a 7 to pushing within 5 minutes! It was absolutely insane and crazy. Let's just say there was a lot of swearing, and it was all on my part. After about 15 minutes of pushing, our baby girl made her grand entrance. 

So much for thinking I had plenty of time. 

Our not-so-little, little baby has been having some issues keeping her oxygen levels up and so has been spending a lot of her time in the NICU. But they think her issues are being caused by reflux and have started her on medication to hopefully resolve the issue. Our fingers are crossed that we'll be able to go home soon. 

We sure are glad our baby is here. Now I just need to come up with her blog name...