I went back to work last week. Everyone at work was eager for news and pictures. While it was good to get back into my projects at work, I was sad to leave Nanc and Evie at home.
To help with the missing-ness, Nanc and Evie video chatted with me during lunches. Well, they video-ed, and I chatted. It was almost like that scene in 2001?
Anyhow, enough of me whining. Nanc also survived hanging out with Evie all day while I was at work. Stop inside for a lightning fast post of pictures and video. And then I have to go to work. Oh-- also, Nancy's brother Kevin is coming to visit and help out this week. She is picking him up from the airport soon. Yay!
Yeah, really. There's no more text here. Watch the video and look at pictures. She's growing so quickly!
Sorry to have abandoned the blog for the last two weeks (plus whatever time B.E. [Before Evelyn]). Thankfully, Matt has been taking good care to post and keep y'all, our family and friends, updated.
Evie turned two weeks yesterday (1/21), and we celebrated by going to her doc and getting the newborn screen test, part II. (Yes, that's more poking the heel for blood for those that are counting.)
I'm doing well, if not a little sleep-deprived and groggy. This is a whole new shebang to figure out and, for those that know me well, it IS tricky for me to function with little sleep. But do-able and worth it.
Evie is a dream. Seriously. I enjoyed being pregnant (yeah, I did; color me crazy), but that has nothing on being her mother. Even in the wee hours of the morning, as my chin is dropping to my chest and I can barely keep my bloodshot eyes open, all I feel is a flush of love for her.
Today is Matty's first day back to work, which leaves Evie and I alone together. Just us girls.
There was a bit of fussy time and what felt like a marathon burping, then changing diaper session. But we got through it by late morning and finally got some good napping in this afternoon. (For Evie, not I.)
After a late lunch, Evie and I took a stroll around the block and enjoyed the beautiful weather. (Yeah, sorry family, but it's 75° with a bit of a breeze. Thank you, TX!)
She is now enjoying more nap before we rinse and repeat this wonderful game. (Again, I am not napping with her - what? am I stoopid?!!)
Evie's Auntie Aubyn gifted her with a cute lil' t-shirt, which I couldn't resist pairing with some legwarmers and snapping some pix. Can you stand it? I can't promise to impart any decent fashion sense to my daughter, but I am totally getting the pink princess vibes!
No promises on future posts or frequency, but I'll do what I can when I can.
For your consideration:
Here are some baby pictures of Nancy and I. Let's try to figure out what features came from what parent.
Go at it! Post your best guesses in the comments section.
Evie's been home for one week, and what a week it's been. New pictures inside...
There have been ups and downs this week, along with a huge learning curve for her parents to get over. We're still working things out on our side, but thankfully Evie has been patient.
Thursday was a long day for Nanc and I. For the past several days, we had been falling into a specific routine with Evie. On Thursday, Evie had other plans, and decided to sleep a lot more, and not feed nearly as much. This sent Nanc and I into a tizzy of uncertainty and worry. We were microanalyzing every cough, cry, and snort. Were there too many diaper changes or too few? Were the lights too bright? Oddly enough, the only relaxed person in the room was Evie.
Finally, we wore ourselves out at the same time that Evie decided that she'd caught up on her sleep and was mighty hungry. Mom and Dad were so relieved, even though there was nothing wrong. [sigh]. What a difference a day makes, huh?
We just got finished giving her a bath. She's still getting sponge baths even though [tah-dah!] Evie's umbilical stump fell off yesterday. Her belly button is getting smaller and smaller by the minute. It's almost magical. There are pictures of this new belly button on the sidebar.
Another 'first' of note: She's started to interact with things with her hands a bit. Instead of flailing around or just staring at an object, she's started reaching out and touching. Of course, this could be random, but I did catch her doing it a couple of times today.
We got a visit from April from Green Baby Diaper Service. She was so nice and brought us an emergency supply of diapers to get us through to our normal delivery day. I'm sure that we've been making a standard amateur new parent mistake, and changing the diapers too soon. Often when Evie's on the changing table, she will feel the need to make us change her diaper two times in a row. We're getting better at waiting her out now, and making sure that she's done before we start.
Today was a megatrip to Babies R Us. Well, for me anyway. Nanc and Evie called in 'newborn' and stayed home. Even though my first few trips to BRU were massively overwhelming, this one went pretty well. I had a specific list of items to buy, and I was familiar with the layout of the store from when we worked on the registry. One of the new items that came home was a glider chair for the nursery. We had test naps with Evie in it today.
Speaking of the nursery, I'm still painting it. I'm working on the trim now, and I will be starting in on the mural soon. Everything about this painting project is taking much longer than I had hoped. The delays have been for the best, since my ideas are still changing. Now that I'm painting for Evelyn instead of 'Baby Collins', my head is full of new designs. Who knows what will end up on those walls?
Well, that's it for this dispatch. Somehow it became 4 a.m., and I should get to sleep. Enjoy the pictures.
Yay! No more blood tests for Evie for jaundice. Her billirubin levels have dropped enough that we don't have to visit the lab every day.
We're still keeping a close eye on her, but it seems like the worst of it has past, and the yellow tinge has faded. As of today, her levels were down to 11.6. At their highest the other day, her levels were above 16. (These specifics are included for those family members in medical professions.)
We're still keeping up on frequent feedings, and play time in sunshine.
Short post tonight.
And all is quiet...
I suppose one of the benefits to being up at night is quiet time to post these updates.
So many 'firsts' as darling Evie grows each day. She gets stronger with each passing moment. She's arching her back, and trying to support her head. Also, she's got a very firm grip these days.
She had her first bath at home the other day. It was only a sponge bath, since we're still working on getting that umbilical cord to fall off. It's starting to come off now, and I predict that she's going to have a very cute belly button.
Another first was her first trip to the pediatrician's office. He gave her a once over, checking her heartbeat, looking in her ears, and checking inside her mouth. Her official weight is now 7lbs 8oz, so she's regaining her weight nicely. A little weight loss right after birth is normal and expected, so it's good to see that she's now putting on some weight.
We've been having lots of fun. She's very interested in high contrast patterns, so we've got a couple of black and white patterns and contrasty toys that she's very interested in. We have so much fun in those 20 minute sessions between feeding and nap where she's alert. Her expressions are fantastic. Because she's still so young her eyes don't always track together correctly, so sometimes she ends up with a silly cross-eyed expression.
We also started using her cloth diapers. Up till now, we'd been using the newborn disposables that the hospital gave us. There's a bit of a learning curve, but there are several upsides to the cloth diapers. For instance we know when she's ready to be changed. Evie lets us know pretty quickly when she needs a fresh nappy. With the disposables, we were always guessing. Also, it's much easier to tell what exactly has occurred in the diaper. Normally, I wouldn't care, but her health care folks are obsessed with the frequency and type. We have a little log book, just to record this sort of detail. I can't wait to show it to her first boyfriend. "Oh, yes, and here... this BM resembled a stone-ground Dijon mustard."
Things are starting to settle down into a routine, and that's good for all of us. Once the doctor says that we don't have to feed her every two hours, I have no doubts that she'll sleep most of the night. (huzzah!) And Dad will be happy not to have to rouse her out of a dead sleep. Since we're all starting to get into the flow of things, we're also getting the housework and other things done now too. For instance, yesterday I was able to take down the Christmas tree and other decorations.
She's still on a two hour feeding schedule. Also, she's had to visit the lab a few times over the past few days for blood tests. She's got a bit of jaundice, and our doctor is keeping a close eye on her. Evie's billirubin levels are still high from birth, but we've been working on getting them lower. In addition to the frequent feedings, which should help flush her system, we play in indirect sunlight for a while every day. Jaundice is pretty common, especially with breastfed babies. While we're concerned, we're trying hard not to worry about it. At least that's the mantra that I keep repeating. Luckily, we've got a lot of sunlight in Texas, and Evie's low-tech light therapy seems to be producing results.
I haven't been able to manage a full photo session with her (yet), but here are a couple of snaps that I've taken over the past few days.
Mom and Evie are both tuckered out, and are sleeping, so I thought that this would be a good time for a quick update.
If you were expecting an article about knitting, pez, or something other than cute baby, you will be sorely disappointed. Besides the baby being the main focus of our life right now, we're using these web updates to keep all of the far away Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts and Uncles, Nieces and Nephews, and friends involved with Evie's daily changes.
I started feeling like poop this evening, and I blame it on the flu shot I got yesterday. I'm feeling much better now, but it was ladies night as I tried to get a little sleep and recuperate.
It's been a day full of victories and stresses. Being a new parent is hard. Aunt Rachel was on the receiving end of my worries, as I chatted with her today about Evie's lack of poop. Nancy's milk had come in, and we hadn't had a soiled diaper (that's fancy talk for poop) since, so I called Rachel this afternoon. Rachel calmed me down. By the end of our conversation, Evie had filled a diaper. Ten minutes later she had filled another diaper. And yeah, I mean filled! That kid has some comedic timing.
Nanc has been having some frustration too, as we try to get Evie fed. Because of the jaundice, our pediatrician recommended a two-hour feeding schedule, which has been crazy hard to meet. Apparently no one has told Evie that she has to be hungry every two hours. We've looked to books and the internet for tips on getting through this, but everyone seems to have contradictory advice. It would be great if there were only one optimum way to take care of a baby, but that's not to be. We're muddling through, and it seems that there's a wide swath of acceptable practices. We're doing the best we can, and Evie seems just fine with it. She's being so patient with us.
She's been sleeping pretty good, but we've also had several wonderful hours every day of 'alert' time. During alert time, she's awake and interacting with us, and her beautiful eyes are constantly moving, taking it all in. I've got a little video of her right at the tail end of alert time before bed tonight.
We've been so busy that I haven't had time to sit down and take any pictures, but I'm hoping to get some good ones tomorrow. Her jaundice is almost gone, and she gets prettier every day.
Tomorrow is a big day for Evie. First, we're going to start bathing her every day, so that should be a fun new routine for her. Also, she has her first appointment with her pediatrician. She's seen him at the hospital, but this will be the first time that she'll visit his office, which means a car ride! Luckily his office only a few blocks away (across a major intersection from our neighborhood).
Okay, it's time for me to take a nap, too. Maybe pictures tomorrow? Also an update on her first doctor's visit.
One last note, she's started gaining weight. She's put on a few ounces in the past couple of days. Yay! I will give you an exact weight once we get it from the doc. We've been weighing her at home, but I'm not sure that our scale is 100% calibrated.
--I still don't know how we got so lucky. I'm so glad that Evie has joined our family.
Nanc and the baby were discharged from the hospital on Friday. Let's get you up to date.
Most importantly, mother and daughter are still doing fine, and they're both sleeping sweetly in front of me right now.
Evie has just a little touch of jaundice, which our doctor tells us is pretty normal. She should be fine in a day or two with a little bit of indirect sunlight. Also, she's on a two-hour feeding schedule through the weekend.
Friday was a big day. We were approved for discharge, and finally left the hospital around 1pm. Our hospital stay was great, but we were eager to get our newest family member home and start taking care of her for real. Nancy and Evie got a free wheelchair ride out to the car, and Evie got her first taste of cars and car seats.
At the (wise) suggestion of one of our nurses, I brought the car seat up to the room for a test fitting before the big event. This was a pretty good idea, since there was a bit adjustment to get her snug and secure. The ride home was quiet and uneventful. Evie slept the whole way. The hospital is only a five minute drive from home. But still. It was nice and Evie had a good ride.
Driving with a sweet innocent in the back seat was also a new experience for me. It's a little nerve-wracking right now, but I'm sure I'll get used to it soon.
When we got home, we introduced Evie to the cats. They are interested and a little confused. Mostly, they seem glad to have us back home, even if we are spending all of our time with a little pastel bundle.
Over the next few hours, we converted our bedroom into baby central. Since the baby was almost a week early, and we are both highly skilled procrastinators, there was some work to do, but now everything is set up.
After getting a little bit of food in my belly, I shut my eyes for a minute, and somehow four hours passed. Now it is Nanc's turn to sleep, although I'm waking her up for breastfeeding every couple of hours.
Feedings are going well. Evie has already built up a little callous on her upper lip from nursing, and Nanc is trying hard to get her callouses built up too. Things are still a bit sensitive as they both get used to feeding. We're hoping that Nanc's milk comes in tomorrow.
Hang on a sec ---
-- Sorry about that. Just had to quiet a fussy baby (BURP!). Now where was I?
It's been a big, full day (and night) and it's good to be home. Sure, we could probably use a few more hours of sleep, but you won't hear any complaints from me.
Phew! We made it through the first night at home!
last, a bonus video, from when we were still in the hospital.
After lots of discussion, agonizing decisions, and beta testing, Baby Girl Collins/Cheerio now has a name. She is now known as ----
(Click 'Read more' for the exciting conclusion !!!)
I would like to introduce
(But you can call her Evie!)
Tip: If you click on the video while it's playing, the video will open full size in a new window
At least that's what her nursery paperwork says now. We're pretty sure that it stands for baby girl Collins. Mom and Dad are still working on figuring out the baby's name (and baby ain't talkin').
Oh yeah, and first pix are inside! Click the 'Read more' link...
There's so much to tell you about our beautiful new girl. Most importantly, she's healthy and happy. Every hour brings us new joys and experiences as we go through the sleep-deprived tribulations of parenthood. Words cannot even begin to describe...
We made it through the first night. As I write this, Nancy is sleeping a few feet away. We've had feedings, and changed our first diapers. We've had some mixed results with swaddling, but we're getting better.
B G Collins was born yesterday at 3:17 pm, weighing 7lbs 12oz, and measuring 19 3/4" long. She's got a bit of blonde hair, like her mother.
On to the pictures. This is just a taste. I'll have more updates, pictures, and cute baby videos soon. Well, maybe after a nap.