Evie: 1 Month Update

While growing up, it felt like time passed by sooo slooowwwly.  I enjoyed my grade school through high school years, but they felt like they’d never end.  My parents always reminded my bother and I to enjoy ourselves because every year time would pass quicker than the last.

I didn’t fully understand what they meant until Evie was born.  Every Saturday morning Ryan and I wake up with disbelief that another week has passed.  This morning we woke up shocked to realize that our baby is already 6-weeks-old.

I enjoyed writing my weekly bumpdates and tracking Baby Szed’s progress, so I feel inspired to do the same for Evie.  But rather than weekly updates I’m sticking to monthly updates.  It’ll be a fun way for family and friends to stay updated from afar.

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Numerous people told us how tough the first month would be.  Exhausting, overwhelming, emotional, strenuous.  And they were right – it was exhausting and overwhelming at times, but what they didn’t tell us was how quickly time would pass.  Since we’re up at all hours, the days and weeks blended together and felt like one really long day.

We brought Evie home when she was three days old.  I was discharged on day two, but Evie had to stay an extra day because she was being treated for low blood sugar and jaundice.  We were so thankful for our wonderful nurses who got the hospital to let us board for an extra night {stay without receiving treatment}.  I’ll go into more detail when I share part II of our birth story.  It was an emotional 72 hours.

As with most of the other decisions related to Evie’s birth, Ryan and I hadn’t talked about whether we would breastfeed or use formula.  It was one of those made on-the-spot decisions, when the doctor handed her to me right after she was born, but I have no regrets about choosing to breastfeed.

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When she was born, Evie weighed 6 pounds and 2 ounces.  We’ve been to the pediatrician about every two weeks since coming home, to meet with the lactation consultant and to check on Evie’s progress.  She’s been gaining about an ounce a day.  At the last visit she had gained 17 ounces and weighted 7 pounds and 13 ounces.  There’s no concern that she’s not eating enough!

For the first month Evie was nursing for 45+ minutes every 2 hours like clockwork and I was pumping after each session.  It felt like my whole day was spent feeding.  During the second and third week, there were a few days when she would cluster feed in the early evening for about 4 hours straight.  Our pediatrician explained that cluster feedings are normal and typically occur because the baby is going through a growth spurt.  As a result, it helps to increase the mother’s milk production.  Nowadays, she typically feeds every 3 – 4 hours.

My momma bought us a few preemie outfits since Evie was born a month early, but she never fit into them because her limbs were too long.  The girl has got herself a pair of big feet!  She was drowning in the newborn items for the first two weeks, but now fills them out and is moving onto 0 – 3 months.  She’s still wearing newborn diapers but will be out of them soon, too.  Some mornings we wake up and swear that she’s grown an inch overnight.

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One of the biggest changes we’ve experienced since bringing Evie home is our bedtime.  We’ve been working on establishing a more consistent eating and sleeping schedule, as well as a bedtime routine.  Most nights we’re upstairs by 8PM and fall asleep as soon as Evie goes down.  Since day one, Ryan and I have shared evening feedings – he gives her a bottle around 12 – 1AM and I wake up around 4 – 5AM.  We’ve been getting a decent amount of sleep, but we’re ready for a nap when 4PM strikes.

The first two weeks Evie was sleeping for most of the day and depending where we were in the house, she alternated between the Boppy and Rock ‘n Play.  She woke up to eat, but oftentimes fell back asleep when she finished and would be out for a few hours.  Starting around the fourth week, her naps began to shorten.

At night she sleeps in the Rock ‘n Play next to our bed.  We still swaddle her which helps to reduce the chances that she’ll wake herself up because of the startle reflex aka hit herself in the face with her hand.  She’s sleeping for 3 – 4 hours throughout the night which is great, but we’re eagerly awaiting those 6 hour stretches!  She makes a lot of noises while she sleeps so sometimes it’s hard to tell if she’s waking up or just cooing/grunting.

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Ryan refers to the glider chair as the “magical chair” because Evie will instantly calm down when you sit in it.  It’s the glider chair that my parents used with me!  At first Evie wasn’t a fan of the rockaRoo, but now she’ll sit in it for about 15 minutes, rocking and looking around the room.  She’s had strong back and neck muscles since day one and can hold up her head for about 10 seconds without support!  She loves going for walks in the Ergobaby Carrier and will fall asleep within the first 10 minutes.

It’s hard for Ryan and I to remember what life was like before our sweet baby girl was born.  Charlie has truly taken on the role of big brother and has to know where she is at all times.  We all love her!

— Allison

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Thanksgiving 2014

Happy {day after} Thanksgiving!  I hope y’all had a wonderful holiday with your families and friends.

Yesterday morning while I was rocking Evie, I was struck with a strong feeling of thankfulness. Every year there’s something to be thankful for, but this year I feel more thankful than ever…

Ryan – for his devotion.
Evie – our little miracle baby.
Charlie – for his unconditional love.
Family – for their support.
Friends – for their generosity.
My body – for its strength.
My health – for defying the odds.
My career – for giving me a sense of fulfillment.
Travel – for making my life rich.

We celebrated at my momma’s house with a few family friends. I’ve been in charge of cooking the turkey and a few side dishes since high school and despite having 5-week-old, I kept that responsibility going.  I love spending time in the kitchen, especially during the holiday season.

Every year I mean to share a few of our favorite recipes, but for one reason or another, it never happens.  This year I wasn’t able to share any because of computer troubles, also why I haven’t shared Evie’s birth story {part II}.  Thank goodness I married an IT guy…  I think Ryan got everything back up and running.

Last night everyone brought their appetite because there were hardly any leftovers.  I’m not typically a big fan of leftovers, but I make an exception for Thanksgiving leftovers.  I’m hoping to remake a few dishes this weekend while the Thanksgiving ingredients are still in stores so we have some things to munch on and I can share the recipes with y’all.

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Question:  Did you travel for the holiday?  Where do you typically celebrate?

Question:  What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

— Allison

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10 Things to Make Life with a Newborn Easier

Some may disagree, but I don’t think there are ever bad days when you’re home with your baby.  Sure, there are tough days, like last week when Evie was hungry every hour, for four plus straight hours.  Or when there’s a poop explosion.  But we’ve quickly embraced laughter as the best way to keep our sanity.  It’s hard to believe how quickly the first month passed so we’re making our best effort to enjoy every moment.

10 Things to Make Life with a Newborn Easier

Our family and friends have been a tremendous help over the past month.  Between sending cards and gifts, coming to visit, and bringing over dinner, we’ve been spoiled and are eternally grateful.  In addition to the wonderful people, we’ve found a few wonderful items that have made our lives as new parents a bit easier.

This post is not sponsored and there are no affiliate links.  Ryan and I created this list based on our personal experience.  All of the items were purchased with our own money or were gifted to us.

1.  Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

The Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat was rated the best overall infant car seat by Consumer Reports for balancing crash protection, ease of use, and vehicle fit.  It comes in a multitude of colors and there are numerous travel systems and strollers to fit every lifestyle.  We chose one of the jogging strollers and the car seat easily snaps in {no adapter needed}.

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2.  Boppy Newborn Lounger

The Boppy Newborn Lounger was a lifesaver the first couple of weeks and we will continue to use it as Evie grows because of its recessed interior.  We place it on the couch or our bed while Evie’s sleeping and we need to do something {like write this blog post}.  There’s a big warning on the bottom stating that babies should not sleep in the lounger, but we never leave her unattended.

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3.  Fisher Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper

We purchased the Fisher Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper to use before we put Evie in the beautiful wicker bassinet my momma gifted us.  The sleeper has an extra deep, inclined seat that can vibrate {batteries required} which I think makes her feel more secure than the bassinet.  It primarily stays next to our bed, but can easily be moved throughout the house because it folds in half with the click of a button.

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4.  aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets

Evie loves to be swaddled and the aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets are perfect.  They’re breathable and lightweight which reduces the chances of overheating.  They’re huge which makes it easy to swaddle babies of all sizes.  And they can be used not just as a swaddle blanket, but as a nursing cover, burp cloth, or a blanket for tummy time.

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5.  Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier + Infant Insert

The Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier is magic.  Within moments, Evie is asleep and stays asleep the whole time that I’m walking.  With the colder temperatures quickly approaching I have a feeling that I’ll be doing a lot of baby wearing around the house.  The adjustable padded shoulder straps and wide waist belt make it comfortable for people of different sizes to wear.  The Infant Insert is designed to use with babies 7 – 12 pounds.

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6.  Philips AVENT Soothie Pacifiers

Philips AVENT Soothie Pacifiers are BPA free, adhere to the American Academy of Pediatric guidelines, and are sized and shaped specifically for a baby’s mouth.  Additionally, they help promote the natural development of teeth and gums.  I loved my binky {I kept it an embarrassingly long time} and Evie seems to be following in my footsteps.

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7.  Nursing Tank Tops + Bras

The week before Evie was born I purchased a few nursing tank tops and bras from Target.  Our doctor suggested that I bring one of each to the hospital to make breastfeeding easier and I’ve been wearing them everyday since.  They’re comfy and are very affordable in comparison to other nursing tops.  Additionally, they’re prefect for pumping – they’re supportive enough to hold up the bottles which gives me to two free hands to do something else.

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8.  Hospital Grade Breast Pump

Since Evie was born a month early, we had not yet purchased a breastpump.  The day before we were discharged from the hospital, we visited the lactation center and spoke with one of the lactation consultants.  In addition to purchasing a personal pump, she suggested that we rent a hospital grade pump.  Hospital grade pumps have a more powerful motor which results in a higher level of suction and more efficient pumping.  Although it isn’t a necessity, we thought the pump paid for itself {prices will vary} and kept it for the first month.

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9.  Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Baby Bottles

When creating our baby registry, I read great reviews about Dr. Brown’s bottles but was warned not to buy too many bottles of one brand because babies can be picky.  Apparently we lucked out because Evie took the first bottle, a Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Baby Bottle, without any hesitation.  Dr. Brown’s bottles feature a two-piece internal vent system which create a “positive-pressure flow” similar to breastfeeding.  As a result, babies feed more comfortably and feeding problems like colic, spit up, and gas are reduced.

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10.  Chux Disposable Underpads

After Evie’s first mid-diaper change accident, we realized that washing the changing pad cover after every accident would be exhausting.  These pads were recommended by our pediatrician and they’ve been a lifesaver.  Chux Dispoable Underpads are multi-purpose disposable underpads that are latex-free, highly absorbent, and come in a variety of sizes.

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A few other things that have come in handy…

Disney (Children’s) Radio on Pandora – it plays all of the classics such as Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, as well as newer hits from movies such as Frozen

Gerber Birdseye 10-Pack Flatfold Cotton Diapers – we use these cloths as burp cloths because they’re big {but thin} and catch more spit up than over-the-shoulder burp cloths

Bulb Syringe – the hospital gave us a couple to take home, we use it to remove spit up from her mouth

Olive Oil – a natural and cheaper alternative than bottled nipple cream, use to avoid uncomfortable cracked nipples

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Calming Nourishing Lotion – with the harsh cold temperatures arriving, this lotion has helped to keep Evie’s skin soft

— Allison

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