Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bridget is 1 Month Old!

I can't believe that Bridget is 1 Month Old today! I have never been so exhausted in my entire life, however the thought that keeps going through my head is that (Lord-willing) there is no way this can be my last baby. Why you may ask? Well, Bridget has reminded me just how sweet, innocent, precious, and cuddly newborns are. There is absolutely nothing like holding your newborn baby, the one you have bonded with for an entire 9 months of pregnancy. There is nothing so amazing and miraculous of getting to meet them on the day they are born, then getting to know them more and more each day. There is nothing like the start of a new little life. There is so much hope and promise for who little Bridget will grow up to be. It has been so cool to see her own little personality, likes, and dislikes emerge. The only baby I ever knew so well was Lucy, so it has been interesting to see how Bridget is similar and different. So even in those moments in the middle of the night (and trust me, there has been LOTS of them), I actually kind of enjoy them in a weird sort of way. They are special moments that I cherish with my brand new baby.

I feel like I have had a different perspective this time around. Although I loved holding Lucy, I think I was a little preoccupied with what she was going to do next. When is she going to hold her head up? When will she roll over? How much weight has she gained, etc. etc. etc. With Bridget I am just treasuring the moments when she can't hold her head up and needs me to hold it for her. I'm treasuring the fact that she needs and wants to be held by me since I know that it won't last long! I'm treasure the fact that she doesn't weigh much at all so it is easy to hold her for long stretches of time. And as a result, I think I'm spoiling her too! ;)  I also
am more aware of how fast she will progress from infant to baby to toddler to kid. When I held Lucy, I just saw her as an infant. When I hold Bridget I think through all the stages (smiling, crawling, walking, talking, etc.) that Lucy has been through and get excited about seeing Bridget through all those same adorable stages.
Our attempts at professional photos were pretty laughable! :)

This past month has been a month of LOTS of transitions. I am transitioning from being a working mom to a stay at home mom. Although with Lucy I had a maternity leave, it was very short (5 weeks) since I started a new work at home job after she was born. Plus, during those first 5 weeks I was doing things like: quitting my old job, starting my new job, transferring Lucy's insurance from mine to Jason's. During these first weeks, I haven't had anything about work to worry or think about. It has been very freeing. I have always been worried that as soon as I didn't have a job to think about, I would get bored. Everyone laughed at this concern, but it was a real concern to me. I live by my to do lists, so I just assumed, if worse comes to worse and I'm bored, I'll just go through my to do list.... well  I can now report that on a GOOD day I may knock one or two of those items off the list, and typically I add 2-3 in their place! With the new space in my brain that is now freed up, I have been replacing it with answering these questions - "How do I keep my toddler entertained all day!?!" and "How can I survive, and keep my children alive, until nap time!?!" and "How many minutes until Jason gets home!?!" - no seriously, this is how my day goes.

This leads me to the next transition from being with Lucy for about 2-3 hour chunks at a time, to being with her all the time. She has done amazingly well. Not a hint of jealously (so far) with new baby "sissy" Bridget. She really dotes on her, brings her blankets, her paci, etc. She loves to be involved, which is normally the cause of my stress. I put Bridget in the swing, and next thing you know Lucy is pushing it (very hard), and setting it on a very high swing setting.... Bridget is crying? Lucy is right there about to stick a paci in her mouth. When we first brought Bridget home I was very nervous and protective of Bridget because she was so small and delicate - especially compared to Lucy, who all of a sudden seemed to me to be giant and very strong! I worked hard to keep at least a few feet of distance between Lucy and Bridget to protect the baby from sudden rough and unexpected motions from Lucy. After Lucy tossed a few objects with Bridget in the room, I then began to keep a watchful eye of not only where Lucy was, but also any objects that Lucy could toss in Bridget's direction - this made for a very tiring few weeks! Well as time went on, Bridget lost a little of her "cool/new" factor, which has helped Lucy ignore her a little more (yay!).

These days, a lot of my energy goes towards keeping Lucy entertained. Here a few ways I have attempted to do so. In the last four weeks we have: gone to the Evans Park numerous times, gone to Toddler Time at the Library, gone grocery store shopping at Kroger, Publix, and Walmart, gone to the Vital Records Office (3x - because they STILL haven't gotten Bridget's birth certificate correct), gone to the UPS Store, played in her baby pool almost every day, taking long baths for entertainment, read books, watched lots of PBSKids (no, I'm not ashamed...), painted, water-colored, colored with markers and crayons, made numerous crafts, played with play dough, cooked cinnamon bread, and played with her new sensory bin that is filled with an assortment of beans. Whew! I used to think that we had so many toys that she didn't play with - which was actually true since she wasn't home all the time, however now we use 100% of her toys and they are all necessary given her short attention span! We have also had many teachable moments that included time outs and spankings :( (I hear that this stage will pass (crossing fingers...). Even so, I've discovered that Lucy is even more lovable the more time you spend with her. I love getting to experience all of the moods, facial expressions, and new phrases that she says each day. She is such a fun little girl.

Precious baby hands

Looking tiny in the big swing
It was kind of chilly for a week or so after Bridget was born so we had to get some warm clothes for her! 
As for me ever being bored, that is pretty laughable. In the roughly 30 minutes of down time I have each day, I admit that I have been watching the Bachelorette on I used to think that my ultimate dream would be both kids napping at once, but I think I honestly prefer them being awake at different times so I can give each one a little bit of undivided attention.

So back to Bridget and a run down of her first month of life....
From the moment she was born we noticed that she was very content. She didn't cry much at all even when I felt like she had reason to. The Monday that she was born, my mom took Lucy home and Jason and I stayed in the hospital that night. I had noticed that she didn't want to eat too much, which I heard was normal. But then around 6 pm, she had projectile spit up that totally scared me. Turns out, since she was pushed out pretty fast, not all of the amniotic fluid got squeezed out of her stomach. I felt so so so bad for my little angel baby who continued to have horrible spit ups all night long. I was terrified that she would choke so the nurse spent a lot of time in our room that night helping us out and encouraging us that this was pretty normal and she'd be better in about 24 hours. I immediately started praying that she would get better and that it really was amniotic fluid and not a sign of some other digestive issue.  We had some friends from church visit us during the few days we were in the hospital. We also enjoyed visits from a few deacons and pastors who visited and prayed over our family. This time we did get the free newborn photographs done and they turned out pretty well, but were insanely expensive and I couldn't justify purchasing them - especially since we are now on one income.
Yay double stroller! 

That first week my mom helped out by taking care of Lucy so I could focus on Bridget more. We also had some more friends visit and bring us food (THANK YOU!!!!!!) I think we needed the food even MORE than we did with Lucy. I think we would have starved without it - lol.

At her first doctors visit on Friday (4 days old), Bridget was back up to her exact birth weigh - 6 lbs. and 13 oz. I remember the doctor visit being such an ordeal the first time, and this time I took her by myself and just carried her in in my arms! I did have another mom scare when Bridget had a few boogies in her nose and couldn't breathe very well when she was nursing. After reading some about it online, there was really nothing I could do but wait for them to come out - the doctors had advised not to use a bulb syringe in her nose until she was older. Anyways, that made me really scared about her getting sick - after seeing how tiny her nose was and how just a little something in her nose could actually pose a problem. I had planned on sending Lucy back to daycare during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of Bridget's life after my mom left and Jason was back to work, but when I realized Lucy could potentially get sick there (which she normally did at least 1x per month), and then get Bridget sick, I opted to brave two kids on my own when Bridget was only 1 week old. I was REALLY scared and nervous. With God's help, somehow I made it through and Lucy didn't seem completely miserable! I was worried about Lucy because I couldn't really get out of the house those first few weeks. I also couldn't take her outside because it was too hot for Bridget and we didn't have a monitor yet.

Over Memorial Day we packed up both kids and ALL their stuff and headed to the Lake House. I knew that Lucy deserved some fun time after being cooped up in the house with me all week, and sure enough she had a ball! I enjoyed not having to cook or clean!

At her second doctor's appointment at 2.5 weeks, Bridget weighed 8 lbs and 3 oz. I was so relieved she was gaining weight well!

Jason has been a HUGE help this entire time and most days comes home and immediately does something fun with Lucy. They go on bike rides, color with chalk, and she even helped him wash his car yesterday!

Precious baby toes 
All in all, Bridget has been a wonderful baby. The word I have used to describe her over and over again is sweet, she has such a sweet, precious temperament. She loves to just look around and silently take it all in. At around 3 weeks she did discover crying and learned that she could use it to get what she wanted! However, she will only cries on rare occasions - when she needs to burp, when she is REALLY hungry, and when she is REALLY tired. When she is just a little bit hungry she grunts - this lasts for about 10 minutes until she will cry from hunger. The hardest part of parenting her so far has been that she has been very difficult to get on the Babywise schedule. From the get go, she liked to be up really late. At first that was okay, like when my mom was here she would stay up late with Bridget until about 11 or 11:30 while I slept from about 9:30 or 10. Well, once she left we found out that WE had to stay up late with Bridget. She would be so sleepy all day long then in the evening would really perk up, be really wide eyed, and want to play. I have tried for a few weeks to get her on a more balanced schedule of being awake for brief periods throughout the day, but so far she still likes to sleep most of the day and be awake for one long chunk in the evening. Her nights have been pretty good and she eats every three hours - so I wake up 2x a night with her.

Dear Bridget - my heart doubled in size when I met you for the first time and I've been falling more and more in love with your sweet sweet personality ever since. My favorite thing to do these days is hold you and watch you look around wide-eyed at your new surroundings. You love fans just like your sister did and I've had lots of sweet moments holding you as you stare at them :) You are so soft and have that wonderful newborn smell (that's sometimes tainted by spit-up...but that's ok) and I love to hold you cheek to cheek. You're little life is full of so much hope and promise and I can't wait to watch you grow up. Your dad and I love you so much and thank the Lord for giving you to us to take care of. We are incredibly blessed to be your parents. Love you baby girl.


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