Monday, September 28, 2015

Isabelle: One Month!

Dear Izzy,

Whew, what a wild ride your first month has been!  You started it off with a bang by deciding to spend your first week in the NICU, and then despite how wonderful it was to bring you home, let's just say that first month was challenging on all of us ;)

Most of the time I just feel so bad for you because you always seem uncomfortable.  You are very cranky and spend a lot of the day crying, especially when you are not being held.  You aren't a very efficient eater (breast or bottle), so I think you get lots of gas and you may even have reflux.  Because the way you are always squirming around and crying, you look so pitiful.  I feel so bad for you and Daddy and I are trying everything we can think of to make you feel better.  We bought different bottles, gas drops, probiotics.  It's hard to say if anything helped a little bit, but there was definitely no magic cure.  Luckily we have had lots of help from our friends and family during your first month home.  We didn't even need to cook a meal for almost 6 weeks because so many people blessed us with food!

A few days after we brought you home you ended up with a yeast infection in your mouth and diaper area (just like Emma did), so you needed oral fluconazole for a week and nystatin for your diaper area.  And unfortunately as the weeks have gone on, more issues have come your way.  You have been diagnosed with hip dysplagia and will likely need to wear a Pavlik harness for a few months.  I'm sure that'll do wonders to add to your general displeasure with life ;)

And breastfeeding, wow, we are having a heck of a time with that.  You are really, really tough to nurse.  Either you do it for 2-4 minutes and then scream or you scream right from the beginning and never even try.  So Mommy has been doing lots and lots of pumping and you have mostly been getting bottles of pumped milk with a few nursing sessions interspersed here and there.  I'm not giving up though.  I will hold out hope that one of these days it will click and life will become that much easier for both you and I :)

Night time, yes, you definitely haven't quite figured out that night time is for sleeping and not for playing (or crying).  You are our first baby to make us feel truly sleep deprived little lady.  From 2AM-5AM you like to be awake.  Yup, three whole hours... in the middle of the night.  Thank goodness Daddy and I are good partners because we take turns holding you during that time so that the other one can get a little bit of sleep.  And to top it off, you don't like to nap either.  You are awake for obscene amounts of time for a newborn during the day.  Sometimes over 5 hours at a time with no nap at all!  And it's so pitiful because we can see that you're exhausted.  Your little eyes are puffy and red, and you are so cranky.  But you are a stubborn thing and you just won't give in.  You really, really like to be held, and really, really don't like to be put down.

And you (like your big sister Addy) held onto that umbilical cord for much longer than usual, probably in hopes that we'd put you back in the womb where you would much rather be ;)  It wasn't until you were almost 4 weeks old that it fell off.... and we never found it.  Yup, true story.  Aunt Tina came over one day, changed your diaper and said, "Oh when did Izzy's cord fall off?"  Grandma responded, "It was still on when I changed her last diaper."  So we searched high and low for that thing and never found it.  Our only guess is that Daisy got to it before we did, ha ha.

You have been to the doctor every week for your first month of life because you weren't gaining enough weight.  We feed you 3 oz of pumped milk every 2-3 hours, so it's not like you aren't getting enough food.  It's that you're burning too many calories because you are awake for way too many hours in a day and you spend a lot of those hours crying.  Most newborns sleep 16-20 hours a day.  You are averaging about 10.  We are trying hard to regulate your sleep, but you're fighting us every step of the way.  You are a persistent little lady, that's for sure!

Here are your stats from your first few doctors appointments:

Aug 18th: 8lbs 8oz, 20.5", HC 36.5cm
Aug 25th: 8lbs 11oz, 21.25", HC 37cm
Sept 2nd: 8lbs 13.8oz, 21.5"

And at your one month appointment:
Weight: 9lbs 6oz
Length: 22.5 inches
Head Circumference: 39cm

So finally, at your one month appointment you had gained enough weight that you didn't need to be seen for weekly weight checks anymore.  I really hope if you really have this unexplained "colic" that it ends soon, and if not, that Daddy and I figure out what is making you so unhappy.  It's so heartbreaking seeing my baby crying and tense so much of the time.  I just want you to feel better Izzy!

Now, on a positive note, we've noticed a few things that you enjoy.  Being outside is one thing that really seems to make you happy.  Addy was always the same way as a baby.  If you are seemingly inconsolable, taking you outside is often the ticket to calm you down.

Passed out at the pool

On our back deck

You also love lying on your changing mat up in your room.  I'm not sure what it is about that space, but you will sometimes lay there for 15 minutes just as calm and content as can be.  It's so wonderful to see, and it always makes me smile.

Once your cord fell off and we were able to give you baths in your little tub, you really enjoy that time too.  You seem relaxed and you rarely cry (until it's time to get out...then you wail!).  Therefore, bath time with you is one of our favorite times of the day.  Admittedly with your sisters I kind of dread it, because I'm tired at the end of the day, and it's chaotic, and the last thing I want to do is give them a bath.  But with you it's such a calm, serene experience that I love it.  I love to see you happy and content :)

Here are some of the pictures from your first month of life:

Addy is such a little mama to you already :)

Snuggles with Uncle Jay.  I'm sure you'll grow up to adore him just like your sisters do :)

First sponge bath at home... yup, in the kitchen sink.

Love this soft little elephant bath wrap that my friend Jess got you.

All clean!

A quick IPhone pic during Aunt Tina's photo shoot with you

Napping in your crib

Daddy the human jungle gym :)

Love a peaceful, sleeping Izzy :)

You and your sisters with your great-grandparents

The glow worm sleeper that all three of you girls have worn

Another onesie that all three of you have worn.  And yes, your Auntie is Awesome!

First smile caught on camera

Another fleeting newborn smile captured!  I adore this one!

All three of you in your sisters shirts 

You randomly found your thumb one day on your own!

Emmy occasionally takes an interest in you too ;) 

I have a very similar picture of your sisters in this same outfit.

Grandma came for a week at the end of your first month to help us, and boy was it wonderful!  She did a lot of those middle of the night marathon sessions with you so that Mommy could get some much needed sleep!

Trying to snag a pic in your PSU onesie.  You weren't pleased

But then we take you outside and you are calm as can be :)

Happy girl!

You gave us your first real, responsive smiles right when you turned one month old, and boy did God know what he was doing with those sweet gummy smiles.  They make every tough moment, every sleepless night 100% worth it.  Seeing you smile at me is one of the greatest feelings I've ever had and I want to never forget it :)

And then last, but not least, your official one month photos:

You are so strong already!  You can hold your head up better than any one month old that I've seen!  You even were able to sit in the bumbo for awhile...

...until this happened....

Then I got you dressed and tried to put you back in there.  It went swimmingly well as you can see ;)

Blanket time:

Well, there you have it.  Your first month in a nutshell.  It has been a struggle for you, but you are so tough and just the cutest little thing with that full head of hair.  And those brief happy moments that you have just melt everybodies hearts.  If there is one thing that this past month has shown us, it is how much our family is loved and how much everyone adores you already.  We have been so blessed by family and friends offering to help us out, more so than I ever could have hoped for.  Everyone is always asking about you and praying for you to feel better.  Someday soon I know that things will turn around and we'll hardly remember these tough days.  Even looking at these pictures makes me smile.  You are a blessing Izzy Leigh, in every sense of the word.  Mommy loves you SO much!



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Isabelle's Homecoming!

After over a week in the hospital, on Saturday August 15th we finally brought Izzy home!  And boy, was everyone excited!

It was a beautiful day, and it felt so wonderful to have the entire family home together!  Here is one last "Mopping Bird" song for your pleasure: