Friday, June 26, 2009

Wow- One Month Old!

Wow, our baby is a month old!

Helen Grace has been sleeping in her crib in her room this week, and while we aren't getting more than three hours of sleep at a time, the sleep that we are getting is a little better quality. She has either been sleeping in a cradle in our room, or she and I have been sleeping on the couch in the den with the swing or Boppy chair close by. I didn't realize how much I missed my bed- although the kitties are mad that I'm back and using my pillows again! We have set up the AngelCare Movement Sensor monitor in her room, which will set off an alarm if she stops breathing, so we feel much more comfortable with her being upstairs by herself. Also, we are learning her noises, so we can tell through the monitor if she's just making her normal grunting noises or if it's a 'hungry' shriek.

Helen Grace is eating like crazy, and she's now up to 7 pounds, 10 ounces. So exciting! I have about reached my wit's end with breastfeeding, but I'm determined to make it to the 6-week mark before I make a decision about whether to continue. I would like to feel like a woman again and not just a cow (heehee!), although it really is a neat connection with her.

We've noticed that after she finishes a bottle, her breathing is very raspy and sounds liquid-y, and sometimes she'll gag or cough. Also, she has started spitting up a good bit, and her nose gets stuffy at times. After talking to a nurse at a new mom's group yesterday, I took her to the pediatrician today, who has scheduled a 'modified barium swallow' for next week. He wants to first make sure that everything is making its way to her tummy correctly and then determine if it's just acid reflux causing problems. Luckily, the procedure doesn't sound as scary as I first thought. We bring a bottle of formula to the appointment, the speech therapist adds the stuff to her bottle, she drinks it, and then they take some x-rays/scans to see where the food went. Keep your fingers crossed that she doesn't throw a fit!

Several people have asked how Rebel and Mocha are doing with HG's arrival. They are completely different cats! They used to run and hide when someone knocked on the door, but now they run to the door to try to get any possible attention. Bless their hearts, they need lovin'! We've tried to still give them plenty of quality time, but apparently our hands- and laps- have been a little full lately.

Big progress for me in the last week or two...I am so relieved to have finally been able to stand up without being reminded that I have had a c-section. Yay! It has taken a solid three to four weeks to get to this point, and man, I'm happy that part of this experience is behind me! I am hoping that as time passes, I will continue to 'forget' certain parts of her arrival so that we can look forward to adding more children to our family in the future! It was definitely all worth it though. Helen Grace and I were cuddling on the couch one day, and just as I had drifted off to sleep, I felt the lightest touch on my cheek. I realized it was her precious little hand. My baby girl's little hand. What a breathtaking moment. I am in love with this child with which we have been blessed!

One month old- holy cow! June 25, 2009
Their favorite time of day
She loves her car seat- conks out every time...after she screams like crazy getting into it. Mama love it too since it allows me to take a quick shower or eat a meal some days. :)
Isn't this the cutest?! HG loves napping on her granddaddy. This is the other way Mama gets to take a shower! Thank heavens for ALL of Helen Grace's grandparents that keep us sane!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

First Father's Day

We had a great time celebrating Father's Day yesterday with all the great- and grandparents, and how fun to see John and my dad as first-time dads and granddads! Helen Grace was conked out during the entire brunch celebration so the grandparents were a little disappointed that we didn't get to pass her around, but we had a fun weekend with HG quality time for all. My parents kept her on Saturday afternoon so that I could have some sanity time and get a pedicure. Then, Helen Grace made her first trip to Byhalia to see Bubba and check out the storm damage from last Friday. And finally, Grandma Jeanne and Geggy kept her yesterday afternoon so that John, CB, and I could see a movie- and have our first real conversation in almost a month! It was a wonderful weekend, and we are all so thankful for our daddies and all they do for us!

Just had to include this pic from my Saturday date night on the couch with Helen Grace...I am trying to savor every moment of her being this tiny and wanting to cuddle with her mama!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

0th Birthday Party

On Thursday, June 18th, Helen Grace's original due date, we had a 0th birthday party for her! As her grandparents say, she is now +3 days old. :)

Bubba, her great-grandmother, and Geggy, her grand-godmother
All the "Grand's"
Three generations of girls!
Grandma Jeanne
Proud parents with the "birthday" girl

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our Little Piglet

You never thought you'd hear 'piglet' in the same sentence as 'Helen Grace,' did you? Well, it's official...our little girl now weighs 6 pounds and 7 ounces! She's also grown half an inch. Yay!!! That makes Mama and Daddy so happy- and relieved!

Our third week with Helen Grace has flown by, and we are still learning what works and what doesn't work to make our princess happy. While we had mild success with the swing one night to help get her to sleep, she soon changed her independent mind and it hasn't worked since that night. She will sometimes be content in her vibrating Boppy seat, but she likes cuddling with Mama on the couch the best. She *must* be wrapped in her pink 'burrito' blanket though- a must have for any newborn.

Helen Grace and I have started venturing out of the house by ourselves more often, and we are slowly getting braver. Today, I took her to get some professional pictures taken so that we can remember her at this itty bitty stage. She did very well, especially after we got a bottle in her. I am learning that I need to add at least an additional hour to my preparation time in order to get us both out of the house on time...and prepare myself mentally for at least one terrible diaper and/or vomit at the very last minute. I have been carrying around an extra outfit for her in her diaper bag in case of any disasters while out in public, but I'm beginning to think that Mama ought to carry an extra outfit as well!

Helen Grace survived her first tornado this weekend! The weather started getting nasty around 4:30 or 5:00 on Friday afternoon, so we took cover in the downstairs guest bathroom with lots of pillows...and HG promptly threw up as soon as the power went out. Lovely! Well, at least I couldn't be completely grossed out by the throw up since I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face! Ugg. We were lucky- the power came back on in the middle of the night, and I really wanted to kiss the man from the power company who got it working again. Taking care of a newborn in the dark was not a fun experience.

We found her belly button this week! She lost it very early on, and I was traumatized that I had not been able to recover it when it fell off (I'm such a terrible mother, etc.); however, as I was looking for an outfit in her makeshift closet (a.k.a. her Pack-n-Play) the other day, I found it! It must have fallen down into the Pack-n-Play as I changed her that day. Such a relief! Now that I know where it is, I don't really know what to do with it, but I just feel like a better mama now that I know where it is. Is this just the hormones talking?! :)

We are looking forward to celebrating John's first Father's Day this weekend. What an exciting and rewarding day now that we have experienced parenting from this side of life! I just hope that HG and I can express to him how appreciative we are for all he does for us!

I'm three weeks old! June 15, 2009
Finally asleep in her burrito in the wee hours of the morning
Giving Daddy a High 5
Tummy Time
Rebel was DYING to get on the playmat with her and swat those dangling toys, just dying!
Cuddled up after a bath

A day in the life of the Toohigs...welcome to my world. Don't they look just like peas in a pod?!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Busy Second Week

Helen Grace has been with us for over two weeks now- wow, time is flying! I still just look at her and can't believe she's really all ours. We are so blessed! We've had a busy week.
  • Helen Grace has had her first bath, and I promise she didn't scream much while she was wet. She just had a fit when Mama was trying to take pictures of her afterward.

  • She got in the pool for the first time at her daddy's end of the season soccer party...well, her feet did anyway! She wasn't really a big fan of the water, but we'll give her a break this time. I know she'll be a water baby in no time if she's anything like John! She has a really cute bathing suit too, but it completely swallowed her so a onesie had to make due.

  • We went on our first "unsupervised" trip- all by ourselves!!!- to Sonic. She does great in the car, but I have started driving like an old lady with her in the car with me. I never thought that would happen!

  • We've been able to get out and see the real world a little. Last night, we got out to Taco Bell! She caused a big scene there as the manager made a huge fuss over her- said she needed to order the Grand Supreme! :) My mama helped us make our first trip to Target today, and she was so zonked out that we were able to make it to Lenny's for lunch too.

  • My parents have my great-grandmama's rocking chair at their house, and Helen Grace was able to be yet another generation to be rocked in that chair. We figure that it must have rocked at least four generations of Moores!
I'm two weeks old! June 8, 2009...Happy Birthday, Auntie Em! Pool Party First time in the pool
First Bath

Enjoying Goodmama's rocking chair with Spif

First solo trip with Sonic!
How I spend most of my time...

One thing that I meant to mention in my first post after the hospital that desperately needs to be said over and over and over...the nurses at Baptist Women's Hospital are phenomenal! Nurses have a VERY difficult and thankless job, and after spending a week in the hospital, I am eternally grateful for their dedication to their job and their patience with and compassion for me and my family. I mean, who really WANTS to help someone go to the bathroom, take care of their incisions, and deal with their complaints of pain and tireless questions- just to name a few! Each one of them spent so much time with me to make sure I was comfortable and knew what was going on, and they truly celebrated each little milestone with us. They didn't make it seem like just a job, even though I know they all were juggling their personal life with their professional life like all of us do. What an inspiration! I cannot thank them enough for getting all of us through that crazy ordeal. Nurses, you are my heroes!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

First Week

How fast time flies! Helen Grace turned a week old this past Monday, and it has been a wonderfully exciting week! She has been a very easy baby so far and really doesn't fuss other than when she's hungry. John and I are still figuring out a way to manage her feeding schedule so that we can both get enough sleep, and that's been a challenge but we are taking it day by day. He is such a great daddy and a HUGE help to me- I have no idea how I could do this without him, and it's stinkin' adorable to watch him with her. Such an amazing new phase of our relationship!

I am muddling my way through breastfeeding. I feel like it gives HG and I some much needed bonding time since I missed basically her whole first day of life, but it doesn't come naturally to me. Also, it doesn't make it any easier that everyone- lactation nurses, pediatricians, friends, etc.- has different opinions about it. You just have to listen to their advice and figure out what works best for you and your baby. One thing I have learned is that Fenugreek is a must if you need help with milk supply. Also...close your ears, boys...if you want to have any freedom while you are pumping, find a bra that you can hook up with your pump so that your hands are free. It has given me so much sanity back! (Let me know if you need help finding one.)

Helen Grace has had a busy schedule this week. She conks out in the car and didn't make a peep on any of her outings, even when my doctor's appointment included a two-hour wait. We'll see how long that lasts!
  • Wednesday we went back to the hospital to see the lactation experts so they could weigh her and make sure mama was doing everything right. She had gotten back up to 5 pounds 2 ounces, so something is working! We were so excited!!! We were a little nervous about taking her back to the hospital that we worked so hard to get out of, but they let us leave with her! :)
  • Thursday we had to go back to my doctor for a checkup, and all was well. My incision is healing well and my swelling in my legs and feet was minimal. (Another "close-your-ears-boys" moment...if you have a c-section, make sure you have a ton of granny panties on hand. I had no idea of what to expect, and these are a must. Enough said.) Next appointment in 4 weeks!
  • Friday we took her to her first pediatrician's appointment, and she's gained another pound or so- yay! She checked out perfectly and has to go back at 2 months for her shots. I need to start preparing myself now for that. We couldn't even make ourselves take off a band aid on her arm, granted it felt like it was super glued on. We asked the pediatrician to be the bad guy and peel it off, and he gladly helped us out.

We have been completely overwhelmed by our friends and family's love and support during this time. Thank you so much for checking on us, bringing food, sending flowers or cards, coming to meet her, etc. Helen Grace is so blessed to have this circle of friends to watch over her and love her as she grows up, and her mama and daddy are forever grateful.

I'm one week old!

Helen Grace and her daddy have a nightly ritual- a nap on the couch.
What a cutie patootie!
I still can't believe she's mine! I get to keep her!

Her first doctor's appointment...I was cheesing out her daddy with the pics, but I had to document this milestone!