August 25, 2014

7 Quick Takes - the "Lola is one month old" edition

Technically six weeks today. But let's see if we can squeeze the first month of Lola's life into some quick takes, shall we?

1. The first two days: After latching on right after birth (and subsequently nursing for 1.5 hours) Lola slept a five hour stretch that night in the hospital. No amount of tickling or prodding would wake her but at the 5 hour mark I was either going to dump water on her head or something like that. She awoke on her own, ate like a champ, and went right back to sleep. Just a glimpse of her personality thus far...We only had a couple visitors in the hospital (mostly family) which was nice and the nurses totally left me alone because they figured I might kind of know what I'm doing by this point (I fool people well). I wasn't super looking forward to the hospital stay because everyone just bugs you with all the testing and coming in and out but I must say, it was nice. Two days and two nights of pretty much just me and Lola. Mike stayed the first night and my mom stayed the second but then I kicked everyone out so my baby girl and I could eat and sleep. We got to go home the morning of the second day and baby Marathon Maniac and I got all decked out for the trip home.

Caption: life is good.

2. Week One: My mom stayed for the week to take care of the big kids, fold laundry and make us dinner. Um, can I get a *spoiled*??? I spent the week nursing and napping. Lola spent the week eating and sleeping. The first night home she surprised us again by another 5 hour stretch of sleep, followed by waking only once after that. I was starting to get nervous that she was only tricking me by being super awesome and then she would wake up in a couple weeks to be terror baby or something. Time would tell. During this first week I told myself I would start off right away by teaching her to fall asleep on her own. Pretty much every sleep issue the other kids had I had created myself and I wanted to try things differently, from the get go, with this one. I never believed all the stupid people who said "lay your baby down drowsy but awake and they'll fall asleep." I thought they should be shot. Or at the very least have their mouths washed out with soap for saying such silly things. But right when she woke up I would nurse her, talk to her for a bit, and the second she showed any sort of being tired, I would swaddle her and lay her in the bouncer...awake. Taking advantage of how flipping tired newborns are (they can only stay up for 45 min to an hour max up until about 2 months), she would fall right asleep and I crossed my fingers to see if my plan would work in the long run.

3. Week Two: There are always two days I am guaranteed to cry: the day we come home from the hospital and the day my mom leaves. Cried the day we came home (4 kids. hormones. realizing that my life has forever changed once again. happiness. craziness.) but I actually didn't cry the day my mom left. Of course I missed her (and the laundry folding) however I had this confidence and peace that I could handle it. I mean, I've been through everything already (save for something huge) and I had my plan of taking things a day at a time. Plus our normal routine of life helped Lola just fall into our family instead of taking over our family. She was still super laid back and I had to wake her every three hours to eat. She would wake once-twice a night and slept in a cradle next to our bed. She never cried, not even during bath time or diaper changes. I was still holding my breath and waiting for her to come out of this awesomeness. I kept up with putting her down awake but sleepy and if she would fuss I would pat her tummy or leave her for a minute to see what she would do. After a couple moments of whining she would inevitably drift off to dreamland.

4. Week Three: Our pediatrician pretty much told me we would have the most laid back child. I don't know why I thought she would be high maintenance. Maybe because of all the running, I thought she would need to be bounced all the time or something. I think me being off dairy from the beginning was a win, too, because she is my only newborn not to spit up or cry and gag or grunt or have reflux. I started back up running/working out during this week and took it day by day to see how things went. Logged 20 miles this week and the next and it feels so good to be back out on the road again. The dreadmill was getting a little booooring.

Coolest birth mark ever? No need for a tattoo. She's got one of her own.

5. Week four: On Lola's four week mark she started smiling!!! She is so beautiful and I'm in love. I don't bond with my babies right from the start (OK that sounds's more like they are something I just add to the TO DO list) but after a couple weeks the nursing hormone bond kicks in and I am attached. She is my new little buddy and her snuggles are warm and comforting and make my arms feel full. During the first four weeks, here are some places she's been: out to lunch for mama's birthday, Crystal Mountain to cheer on White River 50 finishers, church, Costco, the Market, grandma and grandpa's house.

Chilling at the mountain.

6. How the kids are doing: Pretty much from the get go they fell in love with their sister. They want to hold her and help and best things about #4 is that I don't yell at them every five seconds to be quiet. Lola actually sleeps better when they're yelling in her ear. Avila went through a jealous stage around week 4 - mostly because I could never put her to bed because I was nursing in the evening and because wherever I went Lola came too. But we talked about the fact that not only is this time just a stage but we all have to sacrifice for this little one to be in our family. Loving her means getting up at night and adjusting from how life used to be. But the rewards will outweigh all that and we are so excited to see how she will continue to bless our lives. Plus Avila can't wait for the tea parties and the bunk bed sharing to come.

7. How mom and dad are doing: Busy but hanging in. Actually more than hanging in given the fact that we have a newborn. It's weird this go around - life hasn't stopped as much as with the other babies. Maybe because it's summer and things are slow and crazy anyway. Maybe because she just has to fit in. Either way, I've had to stop and remind myself that I just freaking gave birth and I have four kids and one of those kids is a newborn and just let go. To let myself say no to anything extra and use this time to focus on what's important (like napping in the sun and forgetting about the stupid laundry). Running/staying active until Lola was born helped me to recover physically super well and getting in my running now helps with everything, too. Plus I'm trying to eat super clean which helps me not go crazy from the combination of hormones (how many times have I used that word in this post?) and the lack of sleep (but she did sleep an 8 hour stretch last night WAHOOO) and the life changes. Michael loves his little girl and I love watching him light up when he gets to hold her at night. I forgo my "no holding while sleeping rule in the evening so he can get some good baby time. ;) Because there's nothing in the world like a daddy with his baby girl.

So there we goes. Supposed to post this last Friday but screw that. I don't even know what month it is so let's pretend it's a Friday. Peace Out.

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