Monday, June 27, 2011

A new record!

I am writing this at 3:30 a.m. from my phone because I am so excited! Daniel just had his longest feeding stretch yet, fed him at 9p and then he didn't wake up til just after 3a...6 hours!!! Yay buddy!!! Maybe this is just a fluke, but if we are getting to the point of only waking up once during the night, I will be so excited. We'll see...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Favorite things about being a mom

  • This might sound a bit selfish to say, but there is something so satisfying and beautiful about being the only one who can calm him and make him happy when he's hungry.  It's seriously like a magic trick... his cries, even screams, immediately shut off once he's brought to the breast.  It's not even like he whimpers and winds down from crying so hard.  Nope, he's just immediately at ease and it makes me feel so good to be able to provide him that comfort.
  • I love to see his little tiny hands gripping my finger and I love listening to all his noises and watching all the faces he makes.
  • Daniel has this really sweet routine when he's done eating.  He pulls his head back away from me as far as he can (his neck is really strong) and has his eyebrows raised, and then he just let's go and totally relaxes and plops his head onto the boob and just nuzzles in and rests there.  
  • I could stare at him all day long (sometimes do) and just trace the features of his face with my fingers and admire this little person we created.  Sometimes I look at Cody holding him and see how tiny his little body looks when he's curled up like a frog on Cody's chest and am just in awe that we made him.  How amazing.  Holy hormones, I'm tearing up just typing this.
  • Marveling at the way God created women's bodies and what He enabled us to do. 
  • Being able to take a 12 week maternity leave.  I'm currently half way through my leave, time is flying, but I'm so so happy to still have 6 weeks left.  I feel like I'm really getting to know him and his habits a lot better at this point, so I'm so thankful I can savor our time together for a little while yet. 
  • Sleeping together...ok, I know some people would be aghast knowing he sleeps in our bed sometimes.  It's not very often...usually he's in his bassinet by the side of our bed...but sometimes he's a little fussy going back to sleep after his 4 a.m. feeding and it really seems to calm him to have him close to my body - hearing my heartbeat and feeling my body warmth.  I think it makes Cody nervous to have him in the bed, and before I did it myself I always thought it sounded so dangerous, but even in my sleep I'm very aware that he's there and I've never been nervous to roll over on him or anything like that.  More than anything, it just seems like he needs it sometimes for comfort and I love the extra bonding and physical contact with him.  Not to mention it's much easier to nurse. 
  • Going for our morning walks
  • Running errands and having people smile at us the way they do when they see sweet little babies.  And I think to myself, man - it's still surreal that I have a baby, that this is our child that people are smiling at so lovingly. 
  • The instant bond you have with other mothers.
  • Lots more, but Daniel is starting to get hungry so I better sign off for now....
Here's a pic I love, Daniel playing with Grandma:

Whoops girl

So Daniel and I ran to Target the other day and as we were in the check out line, I happened to look down and OMG! I realized I forgot to put in my nursing pads.  I was wearing a light blue shirt and had 2 dark blue circles.  To top things off, the cashier was a teenage boy and he must've noticed at the same time I did.  So while he was scanning all of our items and bagging everything up, he would not look at me and was totally red faced.  He even said "thanks, have a good day" while staring down at the floor.  Sorry to make you uncomfortable, buddy!  I wonder what he said to his friends later.  Haha, oopsy!! 

A few pics

We were back in NE last weekend and my mom's neighbor, Chrissy, loves to take pictures and wanted to snap a few of Daniel.  Here are a few of my faves:

Daniel, the first month

  9 lbs 13 oz, 21 inches 

Wow, I can't believe Daniel is over a month old now.  I have been slacking on keeping up on the blog, which I need to make more time for so years from now i can look back at this blog and be reminded of our first month together.

It's amazing how quickly the days pass by.  People ask me if we have a routine down yet, and I really haven't been focused on getting into a routine.  I'm more just reacting.  Most days Daniel is a great baby, but he does have his fussy days.  Mostly fussy b/c he is so gassy and some days it is really really painful for him.  We've been giving him drops to help the gas, and they do help a little, but they don't eliminate the gas altogether.  We have also been doing his gas exercises - bicycling his legs and similar movements - which seem to help him release the gas.  It's crazy - if you just heard his toots and didn't know any better, you'd swear there was an adult male in the room blasting those kinds of toots!   It's funny until he becomes red face, screaming baby and writhing in pain until the gas passes.  I hate when that happens.  Sad face.

Let's see, what else.  In the beginning he was eating about every 2 hours.  This is 2 hours from the start of one feeding to the start of the next.  So by the time he eats, we burp, change diaper, etc, we have about an hour and 15 minutes til the start of the next.  Yikes.  Recently we've got some longer stretches out of him and it seems like it's never less than 3 hours, and sometimes he'll even be fine for up to 4 or 4 1/2 hours. Turns out that breast milk digests quicker than formula, so breastfed babies get hungrier sooner.  Makes sense given that he is CONSTANTLY pooping.  Seriously, I can't keep the kid in a clean diaper it seems like!

Speaking of poopy diapers, we definitely have learned our lessons the hard way of getting peed and pooped on and have come up with some good methods to keep ourselves (and our carpet) safe during diaper changes.  However, that little stinker has impeccable timing.  One time, for the very split second that I lifted his legs up to remove the dirty diaper and get the clean diaper under him, he squirted poop (mustard yellow, mind you) out over the rim of the changing station and all over the carpet.  I tried to stop it with my hand, but of course it didn't work and I just ended up with poop all over my hand and arm.  Oh well, I'm already over having perfectly white carpet and unstained upholstery :)  He's totally worth it.  If anything, it just makes me laugh.

Most mornings we get up and go for a walk in the stroller before it gets too hot out.  Daniel usually really likes the stroller and it usually lulls him right to sleep.   And I really appreciate being about to get some fresh air and some exercise.

Some days I can get quite a bit done around the house, but other days not as much.  He has times when he just really doesn't want to be put down, which usually is just fine with me unless we have to go somewhere and I'm trying to get ready, then it becomes a challenge.  But I've started just wearing him around the house in the Baby Bjorn carrier and then I've got both hands free, usually that works.  Yesterday we were going to my work to visit so I had to get myself ready (which doesn't happen very often these days!) and I actually straightened my hair and put on my make up while he was in the carrier on my chest.  Worked well, I just had to pick lots of my hair off of him afterwards!

  • Eating! It's his favorite thing to do.  He is a LOUD eater.  Omg, so many noises, it's hilarious.  Sometimes I'll call Cody when I'm nursing and the first thing he says is "Daniel's eating, huh?" I really should record it b/c I'm going to miss the sound of it someday.
  • Sleeping is a close second in favorites.
  • Being held (especially laying on the chest of whomever's holding him) and having his back or bottom patted
  • Pacifier
  • Stroller
  • Tummy time (usually)
  • Looking around while he's on his back - usually at the ceiling or towards the light.  I think he can focus on me, but sometimes I'm not sure if he's just looking past me. 
  • Bath time - I found that he only likes bath time if we leave the tub water running.  He loves the sound of it. In fact, sometimes when he's fussy I'll just go stand by the sink and run water and it calms him.  But he hasn't made a single cry during bath time once we made this discovery.
Dislikes (not too many):
  • Gas
  • Getting strapped into the car seat.  Omg, he screams sometimes, but then once the car is in motion he is good.
  • When I clean the gunkies out of his eyes - he has a lot b/c he has clogged tear ducts so it builds up pretty frequently.  Dr said the mattery eyes will come and go for the up to a year, but that it's very normal. We just massage his tear ducts and it usually clears itself up within a few days. 
  • Diaper changes - he doesn't hate it, but doesn't love it. 
  • Changing clothes - again, doesn't hate, but doesn't love.  And usually makes him annoyed with me. 
  • Tornadoes.  Within the first week of coming home from the hospital, we were in the basement with sirens going off twice.  Ok, Daniel didn't know the difference, but mommy & daddy were not fans of envisioning trying to protect our baby from flying debris or worse.  Thank God our area was not hit - our hearts go out to those in Joplin and Sedalia who weren't as fortunate.
What calms him when he's fussy:
  • Being held coupled with some or all of the following: walking around, bouncing, swaying, having his bottom patted, back patted, hearing mom/dad's voice, running water, vacuum cleaner noise
  • Eating

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Shuffle

This morning I did the know that run/walk thing that you giggle when you see people doing because they could probably just walk faster?  That was me.  But at least I was exerting a little more energy than just walking, so I'm considering it a success.  It didn't surprise me that I would have to jog that slowly given the minimal exercise I've had the last few months.  What did surprise me was that it wasn't comfortable to rely solely on the built in bra in my workout top like I've done all my life.  Yikes and ouch! (ok, to be completely honest I was slighly pleased that I had something to bounce around - ha!) 

My mom has been here since Friday and I've been able to get out for a couple walks while she stays with the baby - Cody had a big catering weekend and was working all weekend, so it's been really nice to have mom here to help watch the baby so I can get out for walks or to run errands. 

Yesterday was Cody's 31st bday, so we're going to take advantage of having Gramma J* here and are going downtown tonight for a dinner date.  The restaurant opened fairly recently in a really old, historic building and we've been wanting to get down there to try it:

*We're still working out what we're going to call mom...this is the latest.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I didn't realize this was an option until just the other day, so I just now added the "Follow By Email" option on the blog.  If you enter your email address, it will email you every new post we make.  My mom had been asking about this since I started the blog, and I am just now figuring it out! :) 

Introducing Daniel Jack Lewis

Born May 16, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.
Weighed 7 lbs, 0.5 oz
Measured 19 inches long

The Labor Story
I had high hopes for Saturday May 14th - to do some final touches to the nursery, finally get the hospital bag packed, finish thank you's from shower gifts, etc.  Instead, I woke up at 7 that morning throwing up and having diarhhea and feeling like I had the flu.  I was worried that me being sick was posing some sort of risk to the baby, so I called the clinic and they told me it was one of two things: prelabor (apparently some women experience flu-like symptoms as pre-labor and it's the body's way of preparing itself for the child birth) or a flu bug that had been going around.  Since my due date wasn't until May 31st and since I had been in for a check up on Thurs May 12th and they told me I was not dilated at all and that the baby was still "way up there," I figured it must surely be a bug.  Nonetheless, I forced myself out of bed for long enough to pack our hospital bag just in case.

After pushing lots of fluids and sleeping tons, I felt completely fine by Sunday May 15th.  We got up and went to church, made brunch afterwards, and went to Cody's cousin's graduation party that afternoon.  I got a lot of questions from his family about how I was feeling and whether I felt like the baby was coming soon, and my reply was that I thought I still had a long ways to go. 

Went to bed around 11 p.m. on Sunday night and at 1 a.m., I woke up to myself wetting the bed - or at least that's what I thought was happening.  I was hesitant to tell Cody I just peed the bed, but didn't figure I could hide it and didn't want him rolling over into it :)  He asked if I thought it was my water breaking, but I wasn't feeling any sort of contractions and it really just felt like I wet my pants.  Ugh - I was so embarrassed.  He convinced me to call the clinic to report what happened and I was apologizing to them that this might be a false alarm and I may have just wet the bed, but they told me to come to the hospital anyway just to be sure.  So we threw our final items into the hospital bag, somewhat feeling like this could maybe be really happening, but somewhat feeling like the hospital would send us right back home after telling me I had bladder control issues. 

We got to the hospital right at 2 a.m. (the doors they told us to come in were locked, wtf?!?, so we took a fairly long walk around the outside of the hospital to the right set of doors.)  Thankfully I was in no pain and was able to walk around just fine.  When we got into our Triage room, the nurse told me to undress and put on the hospital gown.  As I was doing this, another gush of fluid came out all over the floor of the triage room.  Eek!!!  Quick, I told Cody, help me clean this up so they don't know I peed on their floor!  So we scrambled to dry the floor before the nurse came back in.  She checked me then, and sure enough it was my water breaking.  What a relief - it wasn't a faulty bladder after all!! At that point, I was at 2-3 cm.  She said the baby was very low, but my cervix was still behind his head (or something like that).  She hooked me up to a couple monitors and we heard the baby's heart beating steadily and then another monitor showed that I was actually having contractions.  The nurse told me I was in the middle of a contraction right then and asked if I could feel it.  Oh....that's what the nagging feeling of pressure was that I'd been having off and on for the past couple weeks.  Who knew that was what a contraction felt like?! 

Around 3 a.m. we got moved into the room I'd labor and deliver in.  It was about this time that I lost my mucus plug (I really despise that name of that, for the record).  From 3-5 a.m., we had to take care of some hospital paperwork, go through some questions with the nurse, and then just kind of waiting for this to progress.  At this point, my contractions are manageable and I still have the "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" mentality - I was going to tough this thing out:, one contraction at a time:

I had requested a room with a jacuzzi tub in it because I had prepared myself for doing this the good ole natural, unmedicated way and was told that soaking in the jacuzzi tubs can help you relax.  Got in around 5:00 a.m. and the tub felt good for about 10 minutes, I even had a People magazine that I was starting to read.  But not long after I got in the tub did the contractions start getting more intense and more frequent.  They were about 4 minutes apart at this point.  I couldn't focus on People, and needed Cody to help me breathe through each contraction.  I eventually wanted to be in a different position to work through the contractions, so after about 40 minutes of soaking, I ditched the tub:

Before and after the tub I used the birthing ball (which I really liked rocking back and forth on that, by the way) (note: "liked" is a relative term here!):

By 6 a.m., the contractions were coming so close and so intensely (Cody had been breathing with me and coaching me through them and helping me to try to visualize myself somewhere else: honeymoon, beach, etc.) that we called the nurse in to check me.  I was at 5-6 cm.  WHAT?!? That's it?  The pain of each contraction was literally taking my breath away and I was moaning and whimpering and nearly in tears by the time each contraction got to it's peak.  I was dreading each contraction when I felt it starting.  And I started questioning why I felt the need to be so tough.  By 6:20, I had made up my mind that I wanted the epidural, but of course you don't immediately receive it.  Waited for about 30 minutes for the anethesiologist - and the contractions during those 30 minutes were the most awful since I was so ready for the epidural at that point and didn't want to fight the contractions anymore. 

Within about 5-10 minutes, the epidural had taken effect and LIFE WAS BEAUTIFUL again:

From 7:30-10:00 I laid in the bed and relaxed, closed my eyes a little, sent some texts, forwarded work emails from my phone, etc.  I could feel pressure when a contraction was happening, but it wasn't painful at all.  I seriously did not regret for one second (and still don't) getting the epidural.  It was so much more enjoyable that way.  People had mentioned the enjoyable thing to me before, but I brushed it off thinking I'd enjoy it just the same if I did it naturally.  Ha - Wrong answer. 

At 10:00, the nurse checked me again and I was ready to push she said!  I looked at Cody wide-eyed - it was really happening - we were really about to meet our baby!  It seemed so surreal.  Like it was happening to me, but not really happening to me, if that makes any sense.  No - that doesn't really.  But I don't know how else to describe it.

By 10:30, I was starting to push.  My contractions were still about 4 minutes apart, so I had a nice break in between each push.  Cody had one leg and nurse Meri had the other leg.  Both were awesome coaches.  We were so so lucky that it happened to be my OB's day to be in the hospital, so he actually got to deliver the baby.  The chances of that happening weren't real good - so thankful it turned out in our favor!  At 11:30, I gave my final push and Daniel entered the world.  The picture at the top of this post is from right after they cleaned him off.  Here's a picture right after he was born and the nurse is handing him to me, an indescribable moment.  I don't even know how to try to begin explaining that rush of emotions.

Daniel is named in loving memory of Cody's father, Daniel Lynn Lewis, and his middle name, Jack, is in honor of my two grandpas: Gerald "Jack" Meyer and John "Jack" Mack. 

Catching Up

Well I fell off the blogging wagon a bit, but for good reason I think - Daniel Jack Lewis arrived 15 days early on May 16th, 2011.  In lieu of one super super long post to catch up, I think I'll start posting little bits of pieces of the past few weeks.  Cody had to work all weekend, so mom came down to keep me company and help me out.  It's been a huge help already and I'm able to get some things done I've been wanting to do for weeks.  So here goes with updating the blog...