Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Five Weeks of L♥VE

This week in the life of Violette...

Wednesday - 1 month check up and first vaccine at Pediatrician's Office
Dr. Bloom gave her an A+! But she was SO MAD at us for the shot... she "turned violet" and cried REAL TEARS! It was the first time water spouted from her eyes! I know that celebration shouldn't be tied in with tears - but this is a formative milestone, so we shall celebrate it! After about 20 minutes (and a mini anxiety attack from Mama) she calmed down. (Mama needed a donut after this one! Well deserved!)

Thursday - Her First Fall
Today Violette wiggled her little butt right out of her Fisher Price My Little Lamb. NO JOKE! It scared the $%#^ out of me! Thankfully she was just on the futon on my office and landed on the cushion... that could have been tragic! She will be strapped in from this point forward! The doctor said she was strong and was doing really well with her head movement but this is just RIDICULOUS!  She just startled herself and cried out for help, but when I picked her up she stopped right away so I knew that she was alright. Silly girl! Stop doing stunts!

Friday - Just hanging around the house with Mama
I thought I would dress her in her pink outfit with the printed violets from YaYa today - and she had a FIT! It fit her perfectly, nothing was itchy or pushing on her... there was no reason for her to freak out that much... I tried to take it off of her but she was so worked up that I couldn't get it off of her without her flailing about. LOL. Even her whales couldn't calm her down! It's literally the only thing we own that is that shade of pink which makes me think she just didn't like the color - I wrapped her up in a swaddle so she couldn't see it and she finally fell asleep from exhaustion. When she woke up she didn't seem to care that much. CRAZY KID.

We also tried another type of bottle today, the MAM bottle  because my cousin recommended it. We weren't impressed because she spit up HALF of what she drank both times we used it! (And as any mommy knows, pumped milk is like liquid gold... not something you want to waste!) She did like the MAM pacifier though... which was strange. We will have to stick with our Tommee Tippee Bottles for now - she really likes them but they leak a little bit so we were hoping to find something better. I think we might try Dr. Brown's next. If any of my mommy friends have a different recommendation we would love to hear about it!

Saturday - Lunch at Backwoods Inn with Grandma & Grandpa Sawyer
It was nice and quiet there and the food was pretty good. (Not worthy of a yelp review in my opinion, but Jeremy seemed to adore his Alaskan Crab Salad.) We decided it's a good place to meet up for future visits.  Violette was sleepy most of the time but woke up to eat in the middle and then fell right back asleep! Hopefully she will be more social in the future... at a month old we really can't do much!

After lunch we stopped at Vons for a quick shopping trip, but Dad wanted to stay in the car with Violette (who was sleeping at the time). Of course she woke up while I was inside and got pretty fussy. Jeremy got creative instead of calling me to hurry. He had a tent set up with swaddle blankets to protect them from the sun, and had Violette laying on his lap when I got back. LOL. So silly...

Sunday - Enjoyed another bath in her TummyTub
Her second time in the TummyTub - this tub is reminiscent of the womb and she is so calm when she is in there that we decided to make it part of an bedtime routine. This time Daddy and I were a bit more coordinated and prepared - and even took a picture! We will try to do a video once we get better at it.

Monday - Visit from Auntie Carla and Wonder Week Leap One
Carla stopped in after her morning at court to meet Baby Violette. (She had stopped by the hospital but Vi was still in NICU - so she missed her the first time around.) It was a nice visit and we were SO GLAD that she could come by. I was starting to get stir crazy... it happens when I don't see my friends for awhile.. :)

Today Violette hit her first leap in the Wonder Weeks theory. (It's a study with a book and an app that tracks 'fussy' stages of babies and deciphers the growth spurts and brain changes that cause the fussiness that couldn't be explained by environmental needs). It seems that her head circumference is growing right now, and I will notice her crying much more, but mostly wanting to be held or have us at arms reach for the next 9 days. (which explains why she wants to hold my hand when she sleeps, takes a pacifier, eats, etc!)

After this 'leap' we will notice that she is more aware of where we are when she hears our voice or noises, can focuses more with her eyes and see things farther away than before. Also her tear ducts will be fully formed (which we found out on Wednesday!)

Tuesday - Field trip to Santa Clarita
Today we met Margarita at Panera Bread for lunch (Vi slept through the majority of it... she really likes to sleep at Restaurants this little one. Once she can partake in real food I am sure that will change...). Afterwards we went to visit Dr. Good so that I could get adjusted (FINALLY!). Doctor Good got a kick out of Violette's entrancement with his paint color (it was a dark blue gray tone.. but she was enamored by it!). I was impressed at how every vertebrae in my back and neck seemed to pop with this adjustment! It sounded like I stepped on Bubble Wrap! I think that's proof positive that Pregnancy does a body BAD!

Violette has a little rash on her face because she spit up and daddy was too sleepy to notice so she got put back to bed right on top of it... (Yikes!) Her face was not happy in the early morning, all broken out and scratchy! I washed her up really good in the morning and treated it with Aquaphor all day. After bath time tonight it seems to be doing a lot better.

This Leap is proving to be right on - she is determined to be held at all times, so I decided to break out the baby wearing wrap that Jeanna gave me... I had to watch a few you tube videos to figure it out but alas... with a little tweaking I think I have got it! She slept right on top of me while I was doing dishes and prepping for dinner in the kitchen. SCORE! I think it will be pretty helpful in the next week or so.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One Month of L♥VE

It's official. My little girl is One Month Old... but where has the time gone? It seems crazy that a whole month has gone by in the blink of an eye. I'm certain the lack of sleep sped things along a bit, as did spending our first week in NICU. But it still seems a little crazy that she is already 1/12 of the way to her first birthday!

Knowing this fact, I think it best for me to talk about her milestones this month. As we all know, her life started with a bunch of challenges - the most of which included blood oxygenation issues, a hole in her heart and a heart murmur, and a touch of jaundice.

I am grateful to share the news that this past week we visited our Cardiologist and were told that the hole in her heart has closed perfectly, and the heart murmur is so slight that she has been given an A+ and has 'graduated' from needing her own Cardiologist!

The blood oxygenation is still being regulated by herself - through her hyperventilation - which still scares the crap out of her mom (who knows that babies should NOT do that!) but her dad has come to see it as her normal breathing and has been really calm about it. Just this morning we visited her Pediatrician, Doctor Bloom, for her one month check up! The doctor was impressed at how strong she is - lifting her head up like a pro! She will be controlling it on her own before you know it! She is also focusing on objects and is hitting all of her milestones on or before schedule!

As for her specs, she is growing right on track! She is gaining about a half ounce per day, putting her at 9 lbs 9 oz, and she gained a WHOLE INCH in the last two weeks - putting her at 22 inches long. She is an excellent eater according to all of her doctors.

This month we are going to try to tweak her schedule and get her to sleep the larger sleeps during the night time hours. The doctor is confident that we can do it since everything else is on par. :) Then mama and daddy can start sleeping semi-normally again as well! (instead of the shifts that we have been taking for the last month!)

She is still sporting her newborn clothes and diapers, swimming in the 0-3 months clothes so I honestly don't even bother to put her in them. She has been cycling through the 7 onesies I had in newborn size and it's working out just fine. We are hoping she can wear her size one diapers this week so that we don't have to go back to the store to buy newborn diapers. I actually went through her drawers yesterday and sized them so that its easy to transition from one size to the next, I hope that it proves helpful in the weeks to come.

As for personality - she certainly has her likes and dislikes! She does NOT like sponge baths, but really enjoys time in her TummyTub! She likes to sleep in her crib BUT only when her Pandora Yurima station is playing. She enjoys her dad's "White Boy Shuffle" as he lovingly coined the dance he does when he calms his "little fuss-bucket". And stares at him when he makes faces at her... (check out this face!)

She also loves to spend awake time looking at the whale picture in her bedroom... It's a print of a mommy, daddy and baby Orca swimming in a teal blue ocean... it's her favorite spot in the whole house and it calms her right away. (if you caught her awake time video on facebook - that is what she was looking at the whole time)

As for me, I am recuperating nicely from my C-section, still get winded when I do too much (like my Santa Clarita trip last week where I was surprised with Violette's welcome message in Inside SCV!)

The main issues I still have are pain in my lower back (I still feel as though top and bottom of my body aren't quite attached) and excruciating pain in my hands - I have been told that its related to breastfeeding and possibly a vitamin deficiency. I started taking vitamins to fill the need but it isn't helping as quickly as I hoped. Other than that most of my pregnancy symptoms have dissipated aside from the occasional acne breakout. 

I rarely get time at the computer these days, strange for me since I used to spend 18 hours or so a day on it!

It's been especially difficult this week because Violette has been rather 'needy' of her mommy, not wanting to let me go at all during the day! She opens her eyes mid sleep to make sure I am still beside her - and if I am not she screams as though she has been abandoned! It's literally the only time she screams that loudly... my little Violette turns violet! I think she realizes that she gets me all to herself at this time of day and she is taking advantage of every minute! 

I was grateful to finally be able to send out her announcements featuring her amazing portraits by Laurie Sachs... (I hope you all have gotten yours in the mail by now! but here is a sneak peek for those who haven't!) 

It was a lot of fun to make - and we used Pantone's Color of the Year (Radiant Orchid) just for fun! I also had a few minutes to finally throw together this image that I was inspired to do from Pinterest...

The left side was taken the day before she was born (MY BELLY IS HUGE!!!!!!!!) and the right was taken when she was 2 weeks old - (Doctor said we had to wait before letting her out in the sunshine).

Not much else for computer time - I must say that I HAVE NO IDEA what new mommies did before smart phones and tablets... and social media of course. Maternity Leave must have been a lonely existence - though I still crave adult time - it's awesome to be able to see what everyone is up to, chat with friends and share daily photos of Violette on my Instagram. Seriously even taking a photo with a camera seems difficult - as you miss the moment you are trying to capture just pulling the camera out and pressing Power! Thank goodness smartphones are always on your person and feature digital cameras and video cameras and Pandora apps and Instagram apps... LOL. It makes being a one-able-handed mommy much easier! Thank God for technology and progress!

Well guys, sorry for the REALLY long post - but I wanted to update you all on the first exciting month! Perhaps she will let me have some more "hands free" time in the coming weeks! (One can only dream!)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Post Pregnancy Bliss...

It's no secret that pregnancy didn't agree with me. In fact some might call it my arch nemesis as it turned an otherwise happy individual into a bitter grumpy mess.
I still have no idea why any woman would like it... or volunteer to do it more than once! But "to each their own."
I thought it would be fun to compile a list of what I don't miss about the last 9 months... Warning: most are food related as this foodie suffered much!
Lack of sushi (it was tragic when our fav restaurant barely recognized our faces last week. )
Inability to consume deli meats without "nuking" them. (Gross! I do love a good ham sandwich every once in a while)
Food rules. (There are quite a few foods that are 'off limits' these days. Some people can just ignore the rules, but as I was already high risk we didn't take any chances. Gosh I missed food freedom!)
Caffeine (I gave this up months before pregnancy because I knew we were "trying" and wanted to be ready to cut it out completely when the time came. It was rough... but it's for the best now that I'm sleep deprived and sometimes require a boost to care for a newborn in this sleepless stupor)
Not being able to look at chicken on a dinner plate. (Though my thoughts were that it was intensified because of our random pet Bitsy, I have since become more tolerant of others eating chicken again. I even ate a little orange chicken from panda without wanting to vomit. Baby steps!)
Morning sickness for all but 3 of the 39 weeks that I was pregnant. (Note: some weeks I was blessed to only have gotten sick once!)
Aches and pains ( to be fair I do suffer fibromyalgia, so it's possible that I experienced more than most in this region)
Teeth issues (Yes. Even the girl who brushes and flosses regularly has to get antibiotics shot into her gums because of deficiency during pregnancy.)
No Champagne.  (OK so it's not like I drink wine or champagne regularly anyways, but it truly sucked to not be able to celebrate and toast friends accomplishments with a bit of bubbly.)
Not fitting in my clothes. (Still experiencing this though not to the same extent. I'm still about one pant size bigger than when I got pregnant.)
Weight gain. (Still have about 15 lbs more than when I started)
Not being able to wear tennis shoes. (My feet widened a bit during pregnancy even though they didn't swell like most women. I've swelled a bit more post partum but have been able to put on my real shoes for a few hours lately!)
Not being able to lay flat in my bed. (I slept on the couch for the last 3 months almost because I couldn't breathe... and am happy to report that I am back to bed! Though my csection makes getting up difficult... it's a vast improvement! )
Early labor. (Seriously folks. This was not fun... AT ALL. It was not a drill or even braxton hicks. And almost losing her at 34 weeks was terrifying for both Jeremy and I. Even with my initial risk factors we were totally unprepared. Thankfully the drugs, the doctor and the crazed Dovey worked together to keep her in until full term. Twice is too many scares for me!)
Okay... there's more of course but I think that's enough negativity for now.
Even though the last 9 months were torture, Violette is worth it. When she smirks at me it makes my heart happy. But thankfully Jeremy and I are still on the same page about only wanting to do that once!  She is destined to be our one and only and we are okay with that. We heart this squishy little face.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Big Day

It was finally here. The morning of December 21st... and Dovey and I were very nervous. Yes the csection had been planned for months, but we didn't realize how jittery we would be until the night before. We watched a tv show together and when it was time to go to sleep, we both sat and enjoyed the silence one last time before we would be parents. 
We woke up an hour before the alarm went off and nervously prepared... and checked... and double checked that we had everything - and then we headed over to the hospital. 
We arrived before business hours so we had to enter thru the ER. Funnily enough their computer system went down right as we were checking in and so for the first hour that we were there I had to wear a bracelet that said I was born in the year "179." And we sent my bloodwork with handwritten stickers! Thankfully it came back up before the surgery and our nurse Mary was able to properly document everything.
It all happened so fast! I was wheeled in... they gave me the medicine, did all the verbal confirmations of equipment and names of those in the OR.
They went out to get Dovey (who was nervous... His face was all red and he was trying to distract me. He asked what I wanted to do when it was done and I said "eat sushi." Everyone in the OR laughed.) And then the doctor started. It seemed only a moment passed and the baby cried! Then Dovey was take to tend to her and oversee the measurements and clip the cord.
I heard them call out "8 lbs 5 ozs" and "20 and 3/4 inches" and "8:42am."
They set her next to my face for a moment but I wasn't able to hold her yet. I only saw her for a moment and they took jeremy and her off to the nursery so they could finish me up.
Overall the surgery went well. My anesthesiologist was really nice and was listening closely to me every step of the way. I barely whispered things I thought were strange and he jumped to fix them. Dr. Medrano put me at ease but kept his no nonsense doctor hat on right up until he was sewing me up and made jokes that he couldn't find his keys and other silliness. :) He then told me everything was great and I may be out in 2 days instead of 3! Then they wheeled me off to recovery until the feeling in my legs came back.
It was only 45 minutes or so but it felt like forever before they told Dovey that he and the baby could come back. They set her next to me again while I was wheeled upstairs. (not in my arms... awkwardly sitting up beside me. I still couldn't properly see her face or snuggle her.)
Finally we made it to my room and almost immediately my mother and father in law arrived. Debbie held the baby first, and then finally it was my turn. I was going to try to feed her... and then she started hyperventilating and coughing... and she sounded like she was under water. I asked the nurse if that was normal and she called my attending who rushed in, swooped up the baby and whisked her over to the nursery.
While she was there my brother and sister came, and my friend Alicia. I told everyone that the baby was sick and they had to take her away. Jeremy kept running back and forth updating me and they contacted her doctor who recommended she go down to NICU. Jeremy and I still didn't know what was going on, just that she was having trouble breathing and that they pumped her lungs to remove the fluid... and that she didn't have enough blood oxygenation so they had to monitor her.
I waited patiently in my room. Jeremy went with the baby and all the visitors left after a bit. I kept asking the nurse if I could go to the NICU but they told me I had to wait until they could remove the IV and the cathedar. It was 9 pm before they were allowed to do that and jeremy took me straight down to see her.
I didn't understand how something that looked so perfect could be in the NICU. She was beautiful... and not nearly as tiny as the babies on either side. I looked at the monitor but couldn't see the problem. Her heart was good...  she just hyperventilated a bit. The nurses let me hold her and she seemed pretty stabile to me. We stayed for 2 hours before they decided I needed to go and sleep. Of course I didn't want to leave, it was very strange to have the tiny person who spent the last 9 months inside me not even in the same room as me.
The next morning I was up every few hours when the nurses would check on me. They said I could go see the baby whenever I wanted, just to call them for a wheelchair. I waited for Dovey to wake up and called the nurses.
When we got downstairs to the NICU the doctor was making their rounds and so we waited to talk to them while spending time with Violette.  The doctor said she still needed to stay, though she was able to regulate her blood oxygen by her own hyperventilating, they noticed additional irregularities in her heart beat and needed to order an ekg.
The next morning we met with the cardiologist.  He said she had a hole in her heart (that would possibly mend itself) and a heart murmur that we needed to check on when she was one month old. He seemed optimistic though and said the baby would be released to our room the next morning.
I was sad that I hadn't been alone with my husband and my baby at all and she was already a few days old! I told Dovey that I didn't want any visitors on the third day. NONE. I just wanted to spend time with the baby without interruptions.
When she finally came back to the room with us we were so relieved. We would finally be able to spend time getting to know her.
Everything was going well until about 9pm. She had been doing great! I had fed her three times and we noticed only that when she spit up after burping that it was formula. (The NICU had given her formula because they said I wasn't pumping enough milk.) The nurse came in to meet her patients at the shift change and she examined my wound and then the baby. When she checked the baby's tummy she spit up again.. and then it was everywhere! Next thing we knew she was whisked off to the nursery again to get her little stomach pumped. They had given her too much formula at the NICU and her tummy was overfilled. :( Seriously.
Needless to say I was DONE with this hospital stay and wanted to take my baby home. I was not going to let them put her back in the NICU after that. We were told that NICU babies have different protocol and are treated differently... even when they are full term. It just took one nurse to not read the chart to make that mistake. Seems we had that nurse.
Sidenote. The nurses in the nicu are all VERY young... at most 23 years old. Though many seemed pretty good at their jobs Dovey and I spotted about 2 that were way too immature or innept for it. Grrr.
The next morning both my doctor and hers came to check on us and we were both released. We didn't actually get to go home until 1pm on Christmas Eve, but we were sooooo ready!
Finally! A fresh start with our baby girl. Welcome home Violette Elora!