Friday, January 27, 2012

Spittin' Image!

I know, funny title for a blog post.  But, I have just been thinking so much lately about how Abbey looks like Luke did when he was a baby.  Their personalities though--well, that is another story.  Their personalities are night and day, which is a good thing for this household.  Mr. Luke has enough energy for the entire house.

Abbey at 10 days old

Luke at almost 4 weeks old
Abbey at 3 weeks old.

Luke at 3 days old.

Don't they look so much alike?  In fact, when Abbey was born, one of the first things I said was, "Oh my goodness, that is Luke!"  Poor girl, she is already getting compared to her brother--even when she was minutes old.

Aside from looks, I am noticing at 3 weeks old, there are already some defining differences between Abbey and Luke.
  • This girl is growing a lot more quickly.  She was born at 7 lbs, 6 oz and was 21 inches long.  Even after losing some weight after birth and with her jaundice, she is already just over 9 lbs and around 22 inches long.  Luke was a little over 5 weeks old when he weighed that much.  Granted, he was born at 7 lbs and had acid reflux--poor little guy.  He ate just as much or more than she does though! 
  • She is very calm most of the time.  This is amazing considering how loud our house can get with Mr. Luke.  Luke has always been energetic (even in the womb).  Abbey has been graceful and calm.  She was also very calm and graceful in the womb.  
  • So far, she wants nothing to do with pacifiers.  We weren't planning on introducing one to her anyway for at least a month since I am exclusively breastfeeding.  We gave one to Luke early on just because he was not easily soothed.  He loved his "paci". We thought he was "colicky", but we later found out (at 8 weeks) that he had acid reflux.  (Pacifiers are recommended for infants to use during naps and bedtime to help prevent SIDS.)  We had a rough couple of nights a few days ago with Abbey and thought a pacifier might help sooth her.  We have tried two different ones and she seems to gag on them and does not like them.  We will try one again in a week or so.  
  • During the rough nights a few days ago, she did not sleep for 4 hours solid.  My first thought was whether she had acid reflux like her brother.  She was very fussy and just wanted to be held constantly.  After two days of this, I wondered if it had anything to do with her not having a bowel movement in over a day and a half.  Just as I finished researching how to stimulate bowel movements in infants, she began pooping.....and pooping....and pooping.  I am not kidding when I say that she was like the play-doh factory laying on her changing pad.  Here is a picture in case you aren't familiar with the play-doh factory: 

She just laid there as she pooped with a look on her face of pure bliss.    After about 20 diapers worth of poop in one changing session, she was back to her old happy self.  And now I know how to keep Abbey happy--keep her digestive system going.  I tell this very long story to make a point--Abbey and Luke are also different in this way.  Abbey is a 1-3 poops per day child, whereas I believe Luke was trying to set the Guinness Book of World records for the number of diaper changes per day. I apologize if this illustration and story was a little graphic.  :-)

There are some similarities as well in their personalities.  I can already tell she is going to be a little sweetie pie, just like her brother:

Our household is so crazy right now.  Because Drew is taking his last two days of paternity leave (today and yesterday), we decided to try to start potty training Luke yesterday.  We have had a little "Cars" potty for Luke for a long time now, and have casually talked about it and let him sit on it when he wants to.  I think he has been ready for a while--we just weren't ready to devote the time and patience required for potty training.  So, we thought we'd pick the best time--when we had a newborn!  I know, the time doesn't sound ideal, but we decided to do the crash-course version of potty training this long weekend.  We put Luke in some underwear and covered the big rug in our living room with a tarp (after a couple of accidents on it).  After one day of potty training, I am pleased to report that Luke can control his pee on the potty.  He can pretty much go at will.   The only problem is that he also pees elsewhere.   I know though that it is not a simple process, and we are trying to give him lots of praise and reward him for keeping his pants dry.

Showing off his underwear.

You can see the nice camo tarp covering our living room rug in this picture.

Here are some pictures from the past couple of weeks of Abbey:

Her first "real" bath.  Her umbilical cord came off after only about 5 days, so we were able to give her a bath early.  Here, she is 12 days old.

At 2.5 weeks old after eating--very content little girl.

At 3 weeks old...she loves her tummy time just like her brother.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our Life at One Week Postpartum

Today I learned that skinny jeans are not easy to put on a newborn.

We are starting to get the hang of this becoming a family of 4 thing.  Luke is adapting, we are starting routines, and Abbey is growing!  She was born weighing 7 lbs and 6 oz.  Today, naked but with a clean diaper on, she weighed 7 lbs 11 oz.  I am guessing the diaper weighs a couple of ounces, tops.  She is also very long!  She is in the 75th percentile for length at 21 inches.  Her head circumference is in the 50th percentile, and her weight is in the 25th percentile.  She is long and lean.  We are working on the lean part though with her constant feedings!  She still has such a sweet demeanor, and is a great self-soother.  The first week, we had to put a lot of effort into waking her up every two hours in order to try to get her to eat.  She was very jaundiced due to the trauma of her birth (bleeding/bruising under skull from the vacuum), so we needed her to eat very regularly so she could have frequent bowel movements to get rid of the bilirubin (which causes jaundice).  Newborns' livers are underdeveloped and unable to get rid of bilirubin quickly.  Jaundice causes newborns to be extremely sleepy and hard to wake, which makes getting her to eat frequently extra difficult.   It can be very serious if the bilirubin count continues to climb, even causing brain damage. Praise the Lord though--at her one week pediatrician visit, the doctor said she looked great!  In fact, he said he doesn't want to see her until she is six weeks old.  She was back up to her birth weight and her color looked great!  We are so thankful!  Now, she eats constantly and I think she must be going through that 7-10 day growth spurt. 

Our sweetie pie!

One thing Drew and I noticed shortly after she was born (when we first saw Luke) was that Luke seems like a giant now!   Every part of his body-eyes, head, nose, mouth, legs, etc.- just seems huge.  We both swore that he must have gained 5 pounds and grew several inches taller since we got to the hospital.  I guess when you have a tiny newborn, your other child just seems larger.  One of the things we were very concerned about with the birth of Abbey was being apart from Luke for a little while.  Luke has been handling things well.  The first week he began acting out a bit.  We think he was just wanting some attention.  Luckily, he has had both grandparents to play with him pretty regularly for the first week.  I think this has helped him to feel special.   Since Mimi and Papa left early Wednesday afternoon, Drew and I have been spending some quality time with Luke.  Because Abbey's feedings and diaper changes are starting to become more routine, we are able to spend more time with Luke.  Luke is so fun to play with!  He loves pretending.  His favorite things to do are to cook you a meal at his kitchen, create wonderful towers, houses and roads, along with stories with his Lego blocks, or play with his cars.  Of course, he also loves to read just before naptime and bedtime.  We just love our little guy so much!

Creating something with his play-doh
Daddy is enjoying his cuddle time with his daughter, as well as his fun playtime with Luke.  Luke and Drew have really bonded a lot over the past month since Drew has had so much time off for the Holidays and then with Abbey's birth.  In fact, I would say Luke is now becoming a Daddy's boy (he has always been a momma's boy).  Here is daddy getting a little cuddle time in with his daughter in between pretending playtime with Luke:

Lastly, since we took pretty regular pregnancy belly pictures, I thought it would be fun to do a side-by-side of Abbey in my belly (38 weeks pregnant) and Abbey outside (about 1.5 weeks after birth).  The postpartum photo was taken 18 days after the belly picture.

38 Weeks Pregnant
11 days old (born at 38 weeks 6 days gestation)

Pregnancy amazes me!  God is amazing!  It is still so surreal to me that this little being that I now hold in my arms was being developed inside of me for the past 9+ months.  Thank you, Lord, for your wonderful creation and the special healthy daughter you have given us that we now hold in our arms!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Excited to Announce the Birth of Our Daughter, Abbey Lee!

Abbey Lee born on 1/3/2012 at 2:48 am (7 lbs, 6 oz and 21 inches long)

I am really glad I documented Luke's birth story on this blog, as I have already referred to it several times to recount the details of that day.  So, I decided to document Abbey's birth story via this blog as well.

On Thursday night, 12/29/11, all things were pointed to active labor within a few days.  I won't go into the details of why I suspected it would happen soon, because it involves details (TMI) I am sure you would not enjoy reading about.   Then, on Sunday night, 1/1/12, I started having contractions that were 5 minutes apart and getting stronger.  I called my doctor and they told us to head to the hospital.  Little Luke was a trooper, as it was very late at night and we brought him along.  He enjoyed hearing Abbey's heartbeat on the monitor at the hospital.  After I arrived to the hospital, my contractions got further and further apart and the pain subsided.  We ended up being discharged around 2am on Monday (1/2).  I just didn't understand--it felt like it was going to be the real deal--like this was going to be the day of the start of active labor.

Later on Monday, I called my mom (around 6pm) and explained to her how I really hoped my water would just break so I knew if it was going to be the real deal.   I had also been telling Drew over the past few days that I wish my water would just break if I was going to go into labor.  Drew, Luke and I walked a few miles that beautiful afternoon. I ate an entire philly steak and cheese sandwich at 6:30pm, laid down on the couch because I started feeling funny and my vision was not normal (seeing spots, etc).  Then, around 7:15pm I felt a strange "pop" inside my belly against the inside of my skin on the side of the couch where I was laying (left side).  It was a strange feeling and I wondered if it was my water breaking. I made my way to the bathroom and, sure enough, my water had broken. This was it!   I was wondering if I was going to regret eating that philly cheese steak.  :-)

We got to the hospital and when they checked my dilation, I was at 3cm and 70% effaced.  I suspected it would be around that since that is about how far dilated I became after my water broke with Luke.  However, things progressed so much more quickly after this with Abbey's birth.  Within a few hours, I was already dilated to 6cm.  I was able to labor by walking around up to this point.  The nurses just required me to be back in my room periodically to check on Abbey via the monitor.  Also, I had to receive antibiotics via IV upon arrival and every four hours due to testing Group B Strep positive.  When they checked on her when I was around 6cm dilated, we noticed her heart rate was dangerously low with each painful contraction.  Our little girl who normally had a heart rate in the 140's would experience a heart rate in the 50's during these contractions.  So, at this point, I was bed-ridden for a while.  They continued to have me lay on one side then switch to the other side to try to lower her heart rate.  They also placed the oxygen mask on me and continually monitored her heart rate.  Unfortunately, I found it extremely difficult to labor naturally in the awkward positions they had me in.  Plus, I was suspicious we may have to deliver her pretty quickly due to the heart-rate issues.  So, as I approached the transitional phase of labor (8-10 cm), I found the epidural very necessary!   I am so glad I opted for this because the delivery part of labor (Stage 2) was crazy and painful.  When I was fully dilated, they had me do a test push and in one push I pushed her from Stage 0 to a Plus 1 stage.  So, the nurse called the doctor and it was time to deliver her.  As I pushed, her heart rate went down to the 50's and stayed there.  It was extremely scary.  They had to use a vacuum to extract her because she was stuck in the canal and they needed her out rapidly due to her heart rate and thus oxygen level.  I ended up having a third-degree laceration (a tear in the vaginal tissue, perineal skin, and perineal muscles that extends into the anal sphincter (the muscle that surrounds your anus)) due to the necessary rapid delivery.  They had a lot of difficulty with the vacuum and our little girl went through a lot of trauma to arrive into this world.  When she finally arrived, she was beautiful.   But, our poor little girl not only had a conehead, but also a little cap and some bruising where the vacuum was sucking her out.  It made me so sad for her.

Abbey Lee was born at 2:48a, on Tuesday, January 3, 2012.  She weighed 7 lbs and 6 ounces at birth and is 21 inches long.  She is beautiful and has the sweetest temperament ever!  She is amazing at soothing herself and is a trooper and quick healer.  We are so in love with her already!  Here are some pictures from her birth day. 

We left the hospital after Abbey's 36 hour check up with the pediatrician (she had to stay until then for monitoring due to me being Group B Strep positive).  So, we have been enjoying recovering at home.  We've enjoyed beautiful weather for the past few days, so we also have been taking walks around our neighborhood as a family of four.  Here are some pictures showing Abbey's journey home and our first day at home.