Friday, July 30, 2010

Sylvie smiles... I think

I think I got the first real smile from Sylvie this morning. I can't say I'm 100% sure, but what I saw this morning was definitely different from the other smiles I've seen. She was laying on the couch, and I was talking and smiling at her. All of a sudden, she looked at me and opened her mouth into what looked like a huge toothless grin. Her eyes crinkled up. For the first time I really thought the smile was genuine rather than just wondering if it was. She did it two more times after that. Maybe she was trying to convince me she was doing it for real. She'll be 5 weeks old tomorrow, so I think the timing makes sense. Who knows, she's done some pretty convincing smiling earlier on, so it might not be her first. I'm going to go with it, though :)

I wish I had gotten a picture of it. My camera sucks, though, and I was more focused on soaking it in then trying to rush and get the camera. I guess you'll have to get smiling pictures some other time. It'll be worth the wait, I promise.

I just liked this picture. And even though I'm not a huge fan of purple, I like this onesie. I'm going to have to share a couple other pictures today. Hopefully I won't run out of pictures. Ha!

Here's Sylvia posing with her favorite book. She really does seem to like when I read this to her. This is Mommy's idea of a cute picture and a good time for Sylvia. Below is Daddy's. I don't think I need to say anything else.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Baby acne

My poor baby has acne. It doesn't look great, but my research assures me that it's not bothering her. Apparently it's normal for it to come on around the 3rd or 4th week, and it usually doesn't last longer than a month. She has it on her face, her head, and a little on her chest. When she's warm the redness gets worse. It gets worse when she gets upset and cries, too.

Speaking of crying, I made her cry for the first time yesterday (or maybe the day before). I felt so awful! I was changing her diaper and accidentally pinched a little bit of her skin. At first I thought she might not have noticed, but a few seconds later her face got all red, she took a deep breath, and cried so hard. It was such a bad feeling to know that I did that to her. I picked her up and hugged her and said I was sorry about a hundred times. She only cried for 10-20 seconds, but I felt guilty for the rest of the day. It's crazy the effect she has on me, I guess I should get used to it.

I guess I should give you a picture. It's kind of a theme anymore.

Sylvie and Blake were both wearing Iowa clothes, and I thought it would make a cute picture. I didn't end up getting either of the tiger hawks in the picture, but it's still cute. She also really loves her pacifier (not all the time, she'll let you know if she doesn't want it!). She's got a couple Iowa ones, that would have been appropriate for this picture. Although I'm sure there will be no shortage of pictures of Sylvie in Iowa gear. It's the pictures in ISU stuff that will be rare, but there will be pictures and I will treasure them.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Four weeks

Sylvie is four weeks old today. It doesn't seem like it's been that long. She's changed so much already. It's still weird for me to think that I'm a mom now. When we were at Blake's parents' house last weekend his nephew Alex knocked on the bathroom door and asked, "Mom?" a bunch of times. I opened the door and said, "Unless you're Sylvia, I'm not Mom." It really hit me then in a weird way that there's someone in this world now that will call me Mom.

Anyway, there are so many changes that I've seen in Sylvie. It's really amazing. She really focuses on my face now. I try to read to her everyday, and she will look at the book while I'm reading. I don't imagine it means anything to her, but I think it's neat that she'll focus on it. She can hold herself up pretty well, too. She also makes a lot of noise. She's a noisy eater (I guess that's not really new) and she's a noisy sleeper. It's cute.

I'm also trying to decide if some of her smiles are real or not. I know it's a little early, so it's possible I'm just another parent that wants to believe the smiles are real. One reason I think some of them are real, though, is that I'll kiss her cheek and neck and make noise and a lot of the time she'll smile when I do that. It's happened enough times that I don't think it's coincidence. Either way, it's awesome any time she smiles even when it's just gas.

She's awake a lot more during the day now too. It's so cool to feel like I'm actually interacting with her when she's so wide awake. We're working on the whole day and night thing, and she's doing really well. During the day we got about 2-3 hours between feedings and at night there are a lot of times when we go 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours between feedings. I guess that might not seem like a big difference but when you're trying to get some sleep, it really is a big deal.

Enough talk. Here's a picture.

We got two little t-shirts when we toured the Birthing Center (one pink and one blue) that say "I'm a St. Luke's baby!" I thought it would be cute to keep the shirt as a memento and have a picture to go with it. I thought this face was funny, too. Here's another one of my attempts to get a picture of her in it. And that is my foot making an appearance in the background.

Friday, July 23, 2010

All by myself

Today I went on my first errand by myself. I haven't left the house without Blake and/or Sylvia since she was born. I decided today that I wanted to go out and do something on my own today. Blake gets off at noon on Fridays, so I figured it was a good time.

Being the huge nerd that I am, can you guess where I went? That's right. The library. I've been reading to Sylvia quite a bit, not that she really pays attention, of course. I wanted some new books to read to her. Mostly for me, she doesn't seem to care too much. Although I think she likes Green Eggs & Ham. That or she just seems to have gas every time I read it to her. Since she gets pretty active when I read that one, I picked up a couple Dr. Seuss books plus a few other random books that I thought looked fun.

I really liked going into the children's section. I probably had a stupid smile on my face when I went over there. It was nice to go over there and actually have a reason. I hope Sylvia likes her new books. I'll probably read to her tomorrow, we'll see what she thinks of Horton Hears a Who. I always liked that one.

You may wonder what the deal is with this picture. I did when I found it on my camera the other day. While I read to our daughter, this is what Blake does when I'm sleeping. He was swaddling her and saw that she was looking towards the TV. Family Guy was on, like always, and he thought it was pretty hilarious. He took a couple pictures of her "watching" family guy. She does seem to look at the TV when there's a cartoon on, I'm guessing maybe the colors are more attention getting than regular shows? I don't know. Maybe it's just because cartoons are on a lot of the time. We're grownups around here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hot and sleepy days

Like I said before, we had our first trip home to Maquoketa this weekend. It went pretty well. Blake had a bachelor party to go to, so I hung out at my parents' house with Sylvia. Some of my family came over. My grandparents, Debbie, Terry and Janna, Kurt and Lana and their girls, and my cousins Chase and Cooper. Most of you probably don't know who those people are, but besides my grandparents and Debbie it was the first time the rest of them were getting to meet her.

My parents live on a farm in a really old farm house. They don't have any air conditioning. Wow. It was up to 85 degrees in their house by late afternoon. We had Sylvie in a really cute outfit, but I couldn't leave her in it. She was in just her onesie pretty quickly. Here's a picture of her in it.

That's not the best picture I could have gotten, but I think you get the idea. Blake bought this for her for her first trip to the farm. I thought it was pretty hilarious. My mom thought it was so cute, she had to get it out and show everyone. She wore it to see Blake's family the next day, but she had pooped all over the original onesie, so she had to wear a different one.

We ate outside where it was a little more bearable, and Sylvie got to hang out with us because it was nice and shady out. She slept for a long time. I'm not sure she woke up at all while people were at the house. I think it was partly the heat. She was up pretty much until 3 am that night, though. Luckily, my mom was awesome and sat up with her most of the time.

It was Bruce's (Blake's dad's) birthday this weekend, so we went to their house Sunday. Once again, she slept all day. I was dreading coming home, the ride and trying to get some sleep. Of course, she woke up right before we left. She fell back to sleep on the way home, though. It really surprised me when she feel asleep around midnight. We're getting back to normal, we had a pretty good night last night. I hadn't realized that even though we don't actually have a schedule here at home, we at least have a pretty steady routine.

I don't have too many pictures of Sylvie with her eyes open, so I thought I'd share this one with you. She's so adorable when her eyes are wide open. She's also wearing another cute outfit that her dad got her. He's so funny and such a good Daddy :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Our first overnight trip

This weekend we're going to head to Maquoketa. It'll be our first night away from home. I'm looking forward to it; we'll get to see both of our families at least for a little while. I think Sylvia will be meeting some relatives on my mom's side that she hasn't met before, and my aunt Cindy will be stopping by to see her again.

Blake went to the store for diapers yesterday, we seem to go through approximately 700 a day. He came home with a lot more than he went for. What I liked best, besides the pretzel M&Ms, were the outfits he picked out for Sylvia. I thought it was cute that he went shopping for her of his own free will. The funniest part was that he picked out a little denim overall dress for her and told me it was for her first trip to the farm. My parents will definitely get a kick out of seeing her in it. I'll be sure to take pictures.

Speaking of pictures, here's one from last night. Blake wrapped her up before her bath. She really loved her bath, I would have taken pictures if it didn't take both of us.

Here's one more for you. She's starting to like her swing, and I love how blond her hair looks in this picture.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hello there, belly button

Little Sylvie is growing up! Her umbilical cord nub fell off today. I have to say I'm happy about that. It started out sticking straight out, and I was afraid I would hurt her when I changed her diaper or her clothes. Then it was going sideways, weird but better. Then it was just hanging there kind of loose.

Today I went to change her diaper for the fifteenth time, and there it was! She has a belly button now :) I would have taken a picture of the nub, but it was gross.

Sylvia's been up for a few hours today already, I'm hoping that will mean we'll have a good night tonight. She wasn't really into the whole sleep thing last night, so we walked around quite a bit. Also, her bassinet rocks back and forth, she likes that a little.

I don't know if I've shared Sylvia's talent for pooping on me with you yet, but she's really good at it. She hasn't done it since Friday, so I'm pretty sure I'm due. She's pooped on my three times since we've brought her home. Blake's never been hit. I didn't know something so small could get such distance with poo. Also, she seems to know exactly when the dirty diaper is gone but the clean one is still missing. That's when she pees all over and makes me change her clothes. I'm not sure why, because she definitely doesn't seem to like that very much. It might have something to do with the fact that I'm still not very good at changing a onesie. It seems that I always get her clothes stuck on her head. It's hilarious when she doesn't even get angry, sometimes it seems like she thinks it's as funny as I do.

It wouldn't be a good blog without a picture, right? I don't think I've taken any more since last time, but I'll pick another good one from the ones I've already taken.

Here's a sleepy picture. I was holding her and taking the pictures at the same time, it made for an interesting angle.

Ok, you want one more? This one is a little more Blake than Sylvia, but I like it. This was after her first bath at home. Blake's rocking her towel and she's rocking the faux hawk.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I remember my first beer

Last night I had my first beer since finding out I was pregnant in October! It's been a long time coming. When I was in the hospital, Blake's sister Heather brought me a six pack of Summer Shandy. It's delightful if you care to try it. I didn't really feel right having one in the hospital, and I haven't really had the occasion since we've been home.

We went to Russ and Jacqueline's house for dinner last night. I decided it would be a good time to break out a beer. My What to Expect book said that one drink is fine when your breastfeeding, but it's best to have it right after a feeding in order to give your body a chance to metabolize it. I fed Sylvia right before we ate, so I thought it would be a good time to have one. It wasn't quite as amazing as I had hoped it would be, but it was definitely good.

It was nice that we had a chance to go hang out with Russ and Jacqueline last night, our air conditioning stopped working yesterday afternoon. It was above 80 degrees in our house. I think we're going to get it fixed tomorrow. It's not very hot today, so that's lucky for us. I was worried about sleeping last night, but it wasn't too bad with the windows open. It didn't seem to bother Sylvia much either.

Picture time! This picture cracks me up, I love it.

Ok, one more. This one is just sweet. Also, thanks to MB for the cute onesies :) She's almost outgrown them already!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Finding time to post

I haven't posted much since we've come home from the hospital (it's once for those of you who are counting). It's not that I never ever have time, I just always seem to find something else I could be doing. It's amazing how fast the days go.

Sylvia eats about every three hours, so my days are usually measured in those chunks of time. Usually, it's suddenly five or six o'clock, and I wonder where the day went. This may be a little because sometimes I dread night time. It's not even that Sylvia is a fussy baby or anything, I just worry that I'm not going to get any sleep. It doesn't help that I feel the need to make sure she's breathing approximately every five minutes. This is the main source of my anxiety at night. This is apparently very normal, but for the first couple days we were home it made me a nervous wreck. Luckily, I checked it out in my What to Expect the First Year book and found out that irregular breathing is very normal for newborn babies. It is not fun to watch or listen to, though. Sometimes it seems like she's not breathing at all, and I get the urge to poke her or "accidentally" nudge the bassinet to get a response from her. This is slowly getting better, and I don't wake in a cold sweat five minutes after I drift off. My grandma assures me that this is just a sign that I'm a good mom :)

So far, I have to say I really enjoy being a mom. It's weird to look at her and think that I carried her around for nine months and now she's ours. I've gotten so much more comfortable with her; I wasn't very experienced with babies before this. Everyone was right, though, when it's your own you just kind of take to it. It's not like you really have a choice in the matter.

Anyway, I'm sure it will be time for a feeding soon, so I should probably wrap it up. It wouldn't be a good post without at least one picture though, right?

I love this picture of Sylvia. She's on our bed in this one but don't worry. She wasn't sleeping there. I just put her there because I liked the colors with her little white onesie. It's amazing how much she's already changing, and she's only a week and a half old.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hello, Baby!

It finally happened! I'm sure that those of you who read this already knew that Sylvia was born a week ago. It's been an amazing week getting used to having a baby, and I thought it was about time to write a little bit about it.

So here's how it happened. This is going to be a long one, sorry.

After my doctor's appointment on the 22nd, I had figured I would have a while to wait before we met our baby. It turns out it wasn't all that long. Last Friday night Blake and I went to his softball game as usual. Afterward we went to Bushwood and had pizza with some of the guys from the team. We got home around 11:00. Blake thought it would be funny to send a text to his friend Russ saying, "Katie's water broke. PSYCH!" It was funny, for about 10 minutes. I was laying on the bed, and I felt something weird. I got up and it felt like I was peeing my pants, but I couldn't do anything about it. After I told Blake what I thought might have happened, he ran around like crazy getting things together while I assured him it wasn't what I thought it might be. When I called the birthing center, they told me I better come in and they would check to see what was going on.

Well, there's really no suspense about what happened at this point, so we'll just say we ended up not coming home like I thought we would. On the way to the hospital, I wasn't feeling any contractions. I started thinking I was feeling some while we were waiting to find out if my water had really broke. They continued when we were moved to our room. One of my nurses checked to see how dilated I was, about 1.5 centimeters. They suggested I walk the halls a little bit to get things going. I let Blake sleep, there wasn't a whole lot he could do at the time, and I knew I would need him later on.

At about 5:00 they checked my cervix again. No change. I was disappointed because they told me we were going to start pitocin. I wanted to go natural, and I new that pitocin would make it more intense. They started my IV at 5:30. I woke Blake up around 6:30. Time just seemed to go so fast. It didn't feel like we had been in the hospital that long.

Contractions got more and more intense as the morning went on, and they got closer and closer together. I tried to remember that the more intense they were and the closer together they were, the closer we were to meeting our baby. Breathing was huge for me. Well, I realize it's huge for everyone; you kind of need to do it to live... but long slow breaths were what got me through just about all of the contractions.

I'm happy to say that I made it through without any pain meds. They waited three hours after the pitocin was started to check my cervix again. I was worried that nothing had changed. If it hadn't, I was worried I wouldn't be strong enough to make it on my own. Luckily, when they checked me, I was dilated to a 6. That made me feel really good, I had just about made it to what they told me was the worst of the contractions, and I knew I could handle more as long as things were progressing that way.

I labored the majority of the time standing, swaying helped me a lot with the pain. When they started to get intense enough that I wasn't sure I could stand through the peak of the contraction, I used the birthing ball. It was pretty awesome. I would definitely suggest it to anyone that can move around during labor.

Once I started feeling pressure, the nurses had me get on the table to check my progress. Dealing with contractions while I was flat on my back was not fun. The nurses told me I was at an 8 and if I thought I could handle it, turning onto my side for two or three contractions would probably get me the rest of the way there, and I could start pushing. At this point I was really feeling the urge to push, but I had to wait. That was pretty awful. Blake and the nurses were awesome, they kept me breathing through the contractions and helped me to not push.

I got through three (I think) contractions on my side and after checking me one more time, the nurse said I was ready to start pushing. For me, pushing was really scary. I never wished I had drugs at this point, but I was scared of how much the actual delivery was going to hurt. I pushed for half an hour. It was painful and scary, but I knew that the end result would be worth it. When the nurse told me I was doing so well and that she could already see a nickel sized area of the head, I said, "That's good?" and the nurses and Blake laughed at me. I thought if it already hurts this much and only a tiny bit of the head is showing, how badly is it going to hurt when the head actually comes out?! Turns out quite a bit but not as bad as my fear had made me expect.

The doctor came in just a few minutes before Sylvia was born. They put my feet in stir-ups but still pulled my legs back during contractions when I was pushing. I say this not to gross you out or give you nightmares, but to explain that Blake, who was not planning on watching the birth, really had no choice. I asked him later, and he said that he was actually kind of glad that he did see it. They asked me if I wanted a mirror... ummm, nope. I had no desire to watch, and I don't feel any different about it now. If how much it hurt was any indication of how gross it was, I'm thankful I didn't say yes.

Anywho, I was so happy when they told me if I pushed really hard on the next contraction, I would have that baby. That's definitely good motivation. I gave it all I had on the next contraction, which was a lot more than I would have thought given that I hadn't had a wink of sleep. I felt her head come out and the nurses told me my job was done. I didn't feel like it was. I knew there was more in there. Apparently you're not supposed to push after the head is out, though. The doctor maneuvered her shoulders out, that didn't hurt like I had expected, and the relief was awesome. It felt even better once the afterbirth was out.

We did skin to skin contact pretty much right after she was born. They wiped her off a little, which was nice. She was so pretty and her eyes were open. She had a good strong cry right away, and that was relieving.

I guess that's pretty much the birth story. Believe it or not, this is probably the short version of the story. It was so great to get to see Blake hold her. I'd had her for nine months, and it was nice to get to see Blake finally get to meet her. Here's a picture of the first time he held her. If you're wondering, his shirt says Proud To Be Awesome.