week 1

We all survived our first week as a family of four. and we should celebrate because the first week did not result in a trip to the hospital like last time! It amazes me how much Eloise has changed in just one little week. She has definitely put on some weight. Her newborn diapers are getting smaller already.

The first two days were pretty much non-stop nursing. While I am completely and totally for breastfeeding, those first few days before the milk arrives are challenging (at least for my babies). Eloise never seemed content the first few days and always wanted to nurse more to fill her little belly. Thankfully by about 48 hours my milk started coming in and so she started becoming more and more content.

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Eloise loves tummy time and can already hold her head up quite well. Her neck muscles have gone from average (according to the newborn nurse) to super (according to Matt and me). She still needs some support, but really can hold her head up on her own.

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Eloise had her first bath at home this week. She didn’t really love it, but I don’t think most babies do at this stage.

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Eloise has very long, narrow feet, toes and fingers. They might chub up, but for now they are skinny and narrow. Eloise has darkish hair, but it is definitely lighter than Greta’s was at birth. Her eyelashes and eyebrows are very light, so her hair may end up lighter than Greta’s. Her eyes are of course blue, but who knows what shade they will end up. Eloise has a little dimple under her right eye. She can really only see it when she is crying right now.

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Greta and Matt went shopping and bought Eloise her first dress. Greta had to look through every single dress in the store before deciding which one to get. She has now worn it two days in a row. Greta adores Eloise and wants to hold her multiple times a day.

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Eloise met lots of family this week. First she met my dad, Grandaddy, since he was staying with us. On Saturday of last weekend most of Matt’s family came down to meet her.

Eloise is a pretty content baby for the time being. She likes to be held (what baby doesn’t), likes to nurse and likes to sleep. She is a pretty deep sleeper, which I guess is to be expected since when she was in the womb it was quite noisy around the house. Eloise gets upset extremely fast, one second she is totally fine, the next she is screaming hysterically. She is a squeaky baby and makes some funny sounds. Here is one funny sound. She sounds like a cat (you need to turn the volume up to hear it). The first time she did it I thought it was Albert, but alas it was Eloise.

Eloise’s birth story

Since Greta was born almost 2 weeks before her due date, I was expecting this little one to arrive early as well. Apparently she had other plans. For the last few weeks of pregnancy I had many false labors. I would have 2-5 contractions and then nothing. They mostly happened at night. I guess the contractions were doing a little something because at 38 weeks I was 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced and at 39 weeks I was 3-4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. I never made it to my 40 week appointment, so who knows how far I had progressed in that last week. My due date was Wednesday, Feb. 24, and most of the day came and went.

I woke up at 11:45 pm with what I thought was my water breaking. After a few minutes of laying in bed I decided I should go investigate, so I dragged myself out of bed. I determined it was indeed my water breaking. I got back in bed to rest for a little while. I told Matt but told him to sleep as much as he could cause who knows when we would be leaving. After just a few minutes I started to feel contractions. At first they were maybe 10 minutes apart (only 1 or 2 contractions), then they were 5-6 minutes apart within about an hour. I woke Matt up and said we should start getting ready. Matt went and gathered the last few things we needed, like the camera, phone & charger. I mostly just laid in bed with Greta, snuggling my only baby for a few minutes longer. I got up a couple of times to go to the bathroom.

At about 1:15 am we woke up my dad, who would be staying with Greta. Greta had woken up at some point and I tried to get her back to sleep, but that wasn’t happening. About 1:30 am I called the midwives and told them my contractions were about 5-6 minutes apart and lasting 30-45 seconds. I told her we would be heading to the hospital soon. She didn’t seem to indicate that she would be there right away, but eventually. That didn’t seem like a big deal. The contractions were definitely getting more painful. I went in to the kitchen to get a glass of water and was hit by a pretty painful one. I said we need to leave. We said goodbye to Greta and headed to the car. By the time we got out of our neighborhood, the contractions were quite painful and coming much quicker, like 3 minutes apart. Everything just happened so darn fast, weren’t they just 5-6 minutes apart.

Matt drove cautiously since the roads were wet and it was hovering near freezing. We certainly didn’t want to loose control on some ice. The ride to the hospital was pretty miserable. I told Matt to run a red light (which he wouldn’t do) and I said I wanted out of the car. I was doing quite a bit of screaming. I told Matt that it felt like I needed to push, but I held my legs closed and squeezed as hard as I could not to push. The hospital is about 15-20 minutes from our house. I told Matt I didn’t want him to drop me off, but would rather walk in with him. That might have been a mistake, but I didn’t want to be alone or with some people in the ER. The walk isn’t very far. We parked and got our bags and started walking. About half way there, I was hit by a really painful contraction and pretty much dropped to the ground screaming. Thankfully there was some nice man in the ER (he was either there himself or with family, I don’t know), who came running out with a wheelchair. Matt pushed me in, it was about 2:05 am. Thankfully they didn’t make me stop at admissions, probably because I was screaming and yelling and telling them I needed the baby out. The security guard took us to the elevator so we could go right up to the maternity floor. We walked right into a room and I got into the bed. Matt took my pants and shoes off and I clung to the edge of the bed claiming I couldn’t move. Eventually someone convinced me to lay on my back so they could check to see how far dilated I was, result was 10 cm, ready to push. I asked if I could push, and they said if I needed to.

They put the baby on the monitor to check her heartbeat at 2:07 am. After a couple of minutes the midwife walked in. She decided she should go ahead and come in. The whole way to the hospital I was hoping she was really coming because otherwise she wouldn’t be there to deliver the baby. I started pushing soon. After they finally got me to stop screaming and focus on pushing, her head emerged and it hurt like heck. After about 6 or 7 total pushes there was a baby on my chest (2:23 am, yep, just about 18 minutes after we arrived at the hospital). Matt said it’s a girl and cut her cord. They wiped her down a little, weighed her (they were concerned about her blood sugar since she was big, but it was fine) and wrapped her up and gave her right to me. I think she latched on to feed right now, but my memory is a little foggy. Since the placenta still hadn’t been delivered and I needed a little stitching up, I gave her to Matt to hold for a few minutes. After the placenta was delivered and the stitching complete, I held the baby and she nursed for about an hour. I had to answer some questions and fill out paperwork, since I kind of skipped that part on the way in. I also got my hospital bracelet, oops.

The nurse then gave Eloise her bath and checked her over. Her blood sugars were tested 3 times while we were recovering and they keep going up, so no problems there. While Eloise was getting warm under the lights the nurses got me up to clean me up and use the bathroom. While I was sitting on the toilet I got quite dizzy. They put some awful smelling salts in front of my face to make me feel better. Then it was time to get up, except I stood up and promptly fell over. I don’t remember anything but sitting on the toilet and the waking up on the floor. Apparently I passed out and some nice nurse caught me. Then I wasn’t allowed out of bed by myself for the next few hours. Thankfully there was no more passing out. It started snowing outside about 4:30 am, so Eloise got to experience her first snowfall at just a few hours old. Before I left the hospital they did some bloodwork and my iron was low, so now I have to take iron until my 6 week checkup (at least). I’m feeling much better than I did when I left the hospital and the color is returning to my face, so I suspect my iron is going up.

Overall it was a much better experience than Greta’s birth, which I think is mainly due to the speed and the personnel. The staff at this hospital was super! Eloise was only out of my room for about 45 minutes total during the whole hospital stay to get some bloodwork done.