Thursday, May 31, 2012

[Babycakes] Family and Nursery Photo Shoot

Yesterday was an awesome day.  Ashlynn and I headed over to our photographer's studio (a super sweet pool house) to finally get Ashlynn's "newborn" photos.  

I had contacted Amanda before Ashlynn was born to set up the shoot for sometime around her due date, May 21.  When she came early - April 18!- I contacted Amanda and asked what she usually did for preemies.  She normally prefers to shoot newborns within the first 10 days after birth since they are usually the most sleepy, and thus cooperative, during that period.  We decided we would wait a few weeks and let A gain some extra weight, and in the meantime do a little at home family and nursery session.

Amanda came over the day before Mother's Day, when A was three and half weeks old.  I'm so excited to finally share these pictures with you all!

(Be forewarned... photo heavy!)

...and of course the nursery!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

[Wednesday's Weekly Check-In] Week 6

Weight: Since she was 7lb 10oz on Monday, May 21st, I'm guessing she's most likely in the 8lb ballpark now.

Medical Issues:  After watching her more closely and doing some symptom research, it seems our little Pip has Silent Reflux.  The back arching and grunting has been going on for as long as we can remember.  We originally just thought it was baby stuff and growing pains.  Then two weeks ago, she starting getting really fussy after waking up and again right before she was going to eat.  I thought it was a let-down issue (which it could still be), but now after a weekend of more spitting up, shrill cries and needing to be burped, frequent hiccups (also from day 1), it seems she fits the bill.   

On Friday, I thought she was starting a growth spurt - again she may be - but after the weekend of the symptoms getting progressively worse and a baby that needed to snuggle 24/7, I've called the pediatrician.  She agreed it sounds like reflux and suggested I make a few changes.  I've cut out caffeine ::tear:: and dairy ::full out sobs::.  

I'm hoping to see some changes by the end of the week. 

Sleep:  Mostly good.  On average, she'll get a four and half hour stretch.  However, on Friday night she slept from 10:30pm to 6am!  It's just too bad that I wake up every hour or two.

Clothes: Newborn. Mainly onesies and summer pieces.  It's been too hot for long sleeve sleeper pjs.

Visitors:  Auntie Abby (my BF) came over on Friday.  It was so nice to have some adult interaction while the Husband was at work.  Sometimes I think I might go crazy from singing, and subsequently making up my own words to, nursery rhymes.

Crying: Our little happy sleepy baby has become a bit of a crier.  However, she doesn't really have a colicky cry as she does just a loud one when needing to be burped or uncomfortable from the reflux bothering her.  It doesn't last long, but it sure breaks my heart to see her pain.  Overall, I'd just classify her as fussy.


We finally started Tummy Time for real this week.  Up until now, we've been doing it while she lays on our chest and she works on lifting her head.  I finally broke out the playmat and starting giving her a little time each day on her belly for her to hold her head up and even scoot along a bit by pushing with her legs.  Some days she lasts longer than others, averaging about five minutes before she's had enough.  

Friday, May 25, 2012

[Giveaway] Shabby Apple Winner

Congratulations Kristal!  You'll be contacted shortly...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

[Giveaway] Reminder!

The Shabby Apple $50 Gift Card Giveaway ends tonight!

Please enter here to win!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

[Wednesday's Weekly Check-In] Week 5

Weight: Ashlynn was born weighing 5lb 1oz, she was discharged from the hospital at 4lb 12oz and got back to her birth weight at 10 days old.  Six days later, she gained six ounces.  So at just over 2 weeks she was 5lb 7oz.

On Monday, we had our 1 Month Check Up.  We had high hopes she continued to gain an ounce a day which would have brought her to 6lb 9oz.   The Husband went all Price is Right and guessed 6lb 7oz and I was aggressive with 6lb 12oz.

7lb 10oz!!  We both stared at the scale in disbelief, in 30 days she nearly gained a whole 3lbs!  What a little beast!  Guess I can stop worrying about how breastfeeding is going... We are so so so proud of our little slob growing so big.  She also grew two full inches and is now 19 1/4" long.

Medical Issues:  While it's hard to be 100% sure, due to the shrill cries we get during and after eating I think we are battling some gas issues.  Trying harder to take more breaks for burping before the pressure builds up and causes her to cry out.  

Doctor seems pleased with her color, no more jaundice testing!

Sleep:  The doctor said we no long have to wake her for feedings and we can let her dictate her own meals.  While she sleeps a bit longer, I've been getting about 3-4 hour stretches.  12 or 1am to 3 or 4am and then again until 6am.  I'm actually being woken up by the pressure of my milk supply more so than a hungry baby.

Clothes: Newborn.  Some footless one-pieces are even looking a little short!

Visitors:  Our friends, JC and NC, came down from NJ to hang out with A (and us) for the afternoon on Saturday.  NC even brought us some fancy (and DELICIOUS) arugula pesto mac and cheese, salad, and lemon ricotta cookies.  I love friends visiting.  I really love friends visiting who also bring yummy food.

Crying: As I mentioned above, we've been battling more cries recently.  I think most of them have to do with gas as she stops as soon as a burp or other gas passes.  She also loves laying snuggled on our chests, which is another option to help calming her.  Lastly, I finally watched the Happiest Baby on the Block dvd my neighbor lent me and the 5 S's do work, and fast!  (swaddle, side/stomach, shush, swing, and suck)


Ashlynn turned 1 Month Old on Friday!

We also had our first outing, 'Mommy and Me' style.  Since I rented a hospital grade pump from the hospital (she was so early I never had a chance to buy my own), it was due to be returned over the weekend.  Thursday, I got showered and dressed and made our way down to Babies R Us.  We made a return, picked out some clothes, grabbed a new pump, and checked out.  We even threw in a stop at the post office for good measure.

With the new confidence under our belts, we went out Friday to return the rented pump and swing by my office (right down the road from the hospital) to meet my boss and coworkers.

While getting out of the house is a bit of a chore (schedule looks like: feeding, shower/dress, feeding, change baby, pack up what is coming with us, eat something, feeding, get to the car and go!... be gone long enough to be home for, you guessed it, a feeding!), it is SO nice to get out of the house and feel like a functioning human again.  Today we are going back to the post office and maybe we'll even swing by Starbucks or so to treat ourselves (er... myself).

Friday, May 18, 2012

[Giveaway] $50 Shabby Apple Gift Card

Want to win $50 to Shabby Apple?!

Here's your chance!  Shabby Apple is an online retailer known for their modest cuts and lady like styling.  If you haven't been by the site to check them out in a while, they are more than just the vintage style dresses they started as, now carrying maternity items, active wear, children's dresses, and loads of accessories from shoes to nail polish.


1. “Like” Shabby Apple on Facebook 
2.  Post a comment here stating your FAVORITE item at Shabby Apple and leave your email address so you can be contacted in case you win!

* Contest will be open until Midnight EST on Thursday, May 24th. Contest winner must have a US mailing address.

* The winner will be randomly selected (from and announced on Friday, May 25th. 

...Not a winner or don't want to wait until next week to shop?  For 10% off your purchase use coupon code: strawberryswingandotherthings10off 

Good Luck!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

[Wednesday's Weekly Check-In] Week 4

Weight: No doctor appointments this week, but she has her 1 month check up next Monday.  We are hoping to see her around 6lbs 8oz by then.  That way she'll be continuing to gain roughly an ounce a day.  Considering how much bigger she looks in her car seat and that newborn clothes are fitting her without any problems, we definitely think the weight is going in the right direction.

Medical Issues: None (known)

Sleep:  (see diet).  Due to the change in eating habits, sleep has changed as well.  Sunday and Monday were rough where the Pip just wanted to go all nocturnal and stay up from 2-5am (my usual 3 hour stretch of sleep!).  

Clothes: Newborn.

Visitors:  Nana came over on Friday to help me clean the house before our little family photo shoot on Saturday. So appreciated.

Crying: I'm starting to learn the difference between the hunger cries, 'I need to burp' cries, 'I'm messing my diapee cries, and the 'somebody please snuggle me' cries. 

We finally introduced the pacifier on Monday.  I was hesitant to start using one until she showed strong signs of having breast feeding under control.  After a few fussy nights where she just wanted to be held or prolonged nursing sessions with some comfort nursing, we figured I'd stop being the human pacifier and we'd give her a real one so I could sleep.  She took it right away, and seems to be a big fan, soothing herself quickly.  Still looking for that extra sleep though...

Milestones:  So many firsts!

First Photo Shoot
First Stroller Ride
First Cluster Feeding Session
First Blow Out
First Pacifier
First Time Peeing all over Mommy immediately after a bath, thanks sweetie!

... and she finally found her thumb.  She's been trying to suck her thumb since birth, but always had a hard time getting it to face the right direction to actually get in her mouth.  She finally got it!

[Wishlist Wednesday] Baby Friendly

(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Just a few items for summer I'd consider adding to my closet.  Easy tops that wouldn't be impossible to nurse in, nor hard to wash out inevitable spit up.  To be honest, most days are spent around the house in gym clothes, but I'm hoping we'll soon be getting out more and that'll require showering, brushing my teeth, and putting on clothes that I don't plan to sleep in.

Baby steps.

What's on your wishlist?

Monday, May 14, 2012

[Holidays] First Timer

My first Mother's Day was amazing!  After a great Saturday with perfect weather, fresh flowers, a professional photo session (more on that later!), and our maiden voyage around the block in our Britax B-Agile stroller, Sunday topped it.

The Husband let me sleep in and when I did wake to nurse A, she ate right away no fight or issues at all.  Actually, she spent almost the whole day cluster feeding, switching from side to side each hour with no problems and we barely used any bottles to supplement!  We've had some major feeding issues on the left side ("I can't turn left") but she seemed to completely forget.  The Husband made me some dippy eggs an toast for breakfast - a favorite I gave up during pregnancy (under cooked eggs).  I was gifted a trip to the spa to pamper myself and he's still looking for the 'perfect' gift from A. With her arriving early, he hasn't had too much time to get out and shop, so he gets a pass.

We just had a nice quiet day at home, lots of snuggles and minimal fussing (though we did get our first blowout, ha!) and I was doted on nicely having meals cooked for me, house cleaned, and even my first Sam Adams Summer Ale of the season.

Hope All the Mommies and Mommies To Be were just as spoiled!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mommies out there!

Being that this is my first Mother's Day, it really has taken on a new meaning and it is just so much more than I ever could have imagined.  And in light of that, it makes me appreciate and love my own Mom more than I could have ever thought.  All she's done for me and the love she must have felt (and hopefully still does) is something I could have never imagined or understood, until now.

Thank you, Mom.  For the all the opportunities, support, and love you gave without me ever asking.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

[Wednesday's Weekly Check-In] Week 3

Weight: Ashlynn had her 4th pediatrician appointment on Thursday. She's a total beast and gained 6oz in 6 days, she's up to 5lbs 7oz!  I actually wouldn't be surprised if she's closer to pushing 6lbs today since she's been eating more than usual this week.

Medical Issues: At Thursday's doctor appt, our pediatrician wanted us to get her bilirubin tested again to make sure it's coming down from the 13 range we last tested it at a week before when we stopped using the Bili Blanket.  We had blood drawn for 4th time and it came back at 14.  The doctor didn't care that it had gone up, but she was upset it hadn't gone down in a week's time.  She suggested doing a 48 hour period of formula to help flush it out from her liver.  Apparently, breast milk doesn't do as good a job eliminating it.

We did the formula flush over the weekend.  I was a bit hesitant as we just saw a lactation consultant and were starting to make a little progress with nursing, I didn't want to be set back.  I tried to nurse one feeding on Saturday before giving the bottle of formula and boy that was a mistake.  Poor girlfriend had her first projectile puking session - Happy Cinco de Mayo!  We stuck to the formula only the rest of the weekend.  

On Monday (5th time pricked in the foot!) her levels were dropping, clocking in at 10.4. We are back on track with breastfeeding, she's doing a fab job and eating a lot more this week between the nursing and the bottles we still give her. Hopefully those are all good signs the jaundice is gone.

Sleep:  Not quite as great this week.  Starting to get pretty fussy if put down before she's truly out, so there has been lots of cuddling.  The last 3 days I think she started a growth spurt, instead of us waking her to eat every 3 hours, she's been ready closer to every 2.  Hopefully, she grows a bit and falls back into her old habits of sleeping from 1am-5am.  I'd love to start getting more than 2 or 3 consecutive hours.

Clothes: Newborn!  Yup, I put away the preemie clothes.  The onesies were snug and the neck openings were tight on anything going over the head.  The newborn clothes are still big in width, but she's starting to get closer to filling them in length.  I'm pretty excited about this as now we have options for 'getting dressed'.

Visitors: Nana and Pop-Pop, and some more neighbors with delicious meals.

Crying: Someone's been a bit fussy this week.  I think she's hitting a growth spurt, but she's been a bit clingy and just wants to be held... or fed!

Milestones:  Starting to successfully nurse!