Thursday, July 7, 2011

The First Two Weeks

Wow, has it really only been about 2 1/2 weeks? Ben and I both feel like it has been a lot longer since we welcomed sweet Mary Hyatt into our family. Luckily, we have had tons of help as we have adjusted to our new "life with a newborn." My mom came and stayed with us the first week, Ben's mom came for a few days the second week, my friend Whitney came for a day, and we have been blessed beyond measures with great friends bringing us dinner every night. The first two weeks have been filled with tons of emotions. We have been completely overwhelmed with joy and excitement just looking at Mary Hyatt and knowing that she is ours, but we have also been completely overcome with exhaustion and frustration at times. We knew having a baby would be a huge adjustment and it would be difficult, but we just didn't know exactly how hard. I don't think anybody can prepare you. The first week was difficult because I was still in a lot of pain and was still trying to recover myself. I was also trying to exclusively breastfeed, which wore me flat out. Mary Hyatt would want to eat almost every 1 1/2 hours. Each feeding took almost 2 hours because she would get all snugly against me and fall asleep. If I tried to move her or lay her down, she would wake up and scream as if she were still starving. It was a battle trying to keep her awake to make sure she got her belly full. We finally started thinking that maybe she wasn't getting fulfilled. I started to pump and put the milk in bottles so that we could monitor her intake. That worked MUCH better for her. She ate quicker and was much more satisfied after each feeding. However, I couldn't keep up with her hearty little appetite. I just wasn't producing enough, so we decided we would supplement with formula when we didn't have enough breast milk.
So, the second week was spent trying to find a formula that would agree with her body. I think we definitely spent enough money on different types of formulas to keep Similac and Enfamil in business haha. Most of them made her spit up horribly or gave her a stomach ache. We knew she was hurting because she cried constantly and would arch her back as if she were hurting. She also had tons of gas and you could just hear her stomach rumbling. She kept us on our toes 24/7. We literally couldn't put her down or else she would cry, and we couldn't just sit and hold her, we had to stand and bounce with her. Our legs have definitely been getting a work out! So, because she wasn't feel great due to formulas and because she didn't sleep unless she was being held, our nights (and days often!) were very long. She would sleep for about 1-2 hours and then wake up. So just about the time we would be getting back to sleep, she would wake up. This past Monday we decided to switch formulas again. We chose one for babies with reflux and it has been much better. She has been a totally different baby with it. She still throws up occasionally, but for the most part it seems to be agreeing with her far better than any of the others. Her body is finally relaxed at times instead of being so squirmy and unsettled. She will lay on her stomach or back by herself for about 10 minutes without having to be held. Her sleeping habits haven't improved that much, but she is at least sleeping about 2-3 hours consecutively a night. However, last night she did sleep a solid 5 1/2 hours!! We were so proud when we woke up this morning. I kept freaking out wondering if she was ok because she was sleeping so long and I was use to waking up every hour. I'm hoping this will continue and she will become a great sleeper. It sure does make her mommy and daddy happier! :)

This week has been my first week at home with her all by myself while Ben is at work. For the most part, it has been great. I'm realizing how hard it is to get anything done with a baby though. If I don't get up at 6 and get a shower before Ben leaves for work, you can pretty much bet I won't get one that day. I have been able to get her to nap on the couch for a couple of hours each day, and during that time I run around like a crazy person trying to get things done. I'm slowly learning that I'm gonna have to stop caring as much whether the house is clean or the laundry is done. I have ventured out a few times with her as well. She LOVES to go places. She usually sleeps perfectly or if she wakes up, she just looks around as if she is trying to take it all in.

The last few days, we have noticed a huge change in her alertness. I love the way she looks up at me right into my eyes when I am feeding her. She has started to track objects/sounds a little too. I've been shaking a rattle in front of her face and then I'll move it to the side and shake it again. She has started to turn her head to follow the rattle. She is also starting to eat a lot more too! She is definitely a growing girl! At her first week doctor appt, she hadn't gained any weight. She weighed 7 lbs 2 oz. She weighed 7lb 7 oz at birth, but had lost a little before we left the hospital, and still hadn't gained it back during the first week. We went back the second week and she was back up to 7 lbs 7 oz, so our pediatrician wasn't concerned. I can't wait to go to her next appointment to see how much she has gained.

In just 2 weeks, we are have already learned so much about our baby girl. She loves to be swaddled. Whenever she isn't swaddled, her arms will flinch sometimes and she freaks out and thinks she is falling. She likes to be all snug and tight to make her feel secure. Mary Hyatt loves going outside and she loves to bounce. Pretty much anytime she is fussy, we head outside and start bouncing and she usually calms down. She loves baths. After her bath, she is always so relaxed and calm. She loves laying on her belly. We don't let her sleep like that during the night, but during the day if I'm sitting with her I'll put her on her belly for some tummy time. She loves noise. We have found that she sleeps best if we leave the tv on and have a high powered fan blowing in the background. She also has a lamb that plays different sounds and her favorite is the sound of the ocean. Mary Hyatt LOVES her pacifier, but only the one that came from the hospital. I have so many cute paci's, but she won't take any of them. It has to be the big giant green one.

Overall, we are loving every minute getting to know this precious bundle of joy. Though some days and nights seem really long and we get completely exhausted, we are so thankful and feel so blessed that God chose us to be her parents. I have had a couple of moments where I've just stared at her and started crying happy tears because my heart is so full of love, and I feel so lucky to be her mom. She has already started to outgrow some of her newborn size onesies in the length, and when I took them out of her closet my heart hurt knowing that she is already "growing up so fast." haha Maybe thats all just a combination of my hormones realigning from the pregnancy.

Anyway, this post has gotten forever long and most of you probably don't care about all of the details (I've been writing it over the course of several days during any moment of free time). We are starting to get the hang of this new lifestyle and I know it will continue to get better and better. We love you Mary Hyatt more than words can express!

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