ONE MONTH already (January 11th...I know I am so late)!! You are growing up WAY too fast baby girl! This month has been so fun. You stay awake for longer and longer periods of time every day, but tend to go straight to sleep if we are around too many people (4 or more). I have finally been able to get you on a 3 hour schedule (Eat, Wake, Sleep) and you are doing really great. You absolutely love to eat; you are eating between 3 and 5 ounces at every feeding, which is a lot for how young you are (so I am told). You are already almost too big for your newborn clothes and diapers. You LOVE to pee all over the place when we are changing your diaper, we have to change your outfit at least 4 times a day. Daddy and I don't like that very much, but at least you are getting good use out of all your cute clothes. You are sleeping between 3 and 5 hours at night, and you go STRAIGHT back to bed after your middle of the night feeding, which is wonderful! You recently discovered your lips and your tongue and you love to explore them while you are eating, which results in you spitting milk all over the place (including mommy and daddy's faces).
Your neck is already SO strong, you can hold your head up so well. You like tummy time a lot and are actually starting to take naps on your tummy because sometimes you sleep much better that way. You are still so eager to move around, it is so cute to watch you try and scoot. You smile in your sleep so much and it just melts my heart every time. You learn something new every single day and it is so fun to watch. Daddy and I love you so much and you have brought so much joy into our lives. All the sleep deprivation, pee, and spit up is totally worth it! =D
I recently got a free baby magazine in the mail. I don't even remember signing up for anything like that, but whatever. Inside the magazine there was a coupon for a free photo session and 10x13 portrait from Sears. I didn't think much of it at first, but then I saw some pictures on facebook of someone who got their babies pictures done at Sears and they were pretty cute. What the heck? It was free. So, I decided to call and make an appointment.
Besides getting the free stuff, I wasn't planning on getting much else. However, I thought if I REALLY liked some of the pictures, I would just pay to get them on a disk and then I could print them out later.
The appointment was scheduled for Thursday at 6pm. I brought a few outfits for her and some bows and hats, I washed her hair and got her all ready in her car seat and we were off. One thing that I have learned since having a baby is it takes twice as long to get out the door as before, and it is twice as much of a hassle. So we get there and Eleanor is dead asleep and will not wake up for anything. Finally, I coax her awake with a bottle and we are ready to take the pictures...the camera breaks. Yes, the camera at Sears Portrait Studio just breaks. They tell me we will have to reschedule after they can buy a new camera.
That Saturday we do it all again, and this time the camera is working and Eleanor is actually wide awake and happy, which is great. We take the pictures and it was really fun. It takes them a total of 10 minutes to edit the pictures and then they call you over to look at them. Some of them were pretty cute, so I just ask "How much would it be to get some of these on a disk?" and her response "$200 for a disk of the pictures, or $25 each shot". I was shocked! How on earth can they charge that much just for a disk of pictures?
Needless to say, I did not buy any of the pictures besides the free one that I already got with the coupon and one other print. However, they put all the shots on their website so you can view them and order them later if you want. So, I decided to put my favorites on here, despite the "Sears Portrait Studio" written all over them. Enjoy! =D
You are one week old today (December 18th)! Your daddy and I have definitely had to adjust to life with a third person in the family, but we have loved it so much. Your first week of life has been pretty eventful. You have had 4 doctor's appointments. During two of them you had to get your heal poked (no fun), and during another one you had to get a cast on your right leg. That might sound traumatic, but you were so great and didn't even fuss. Your favorite things to do are sleep and eat, of course, and you are dang good at both of them. We actually have quite a tough time getting you to even wake up long enough to eat sometimes. Daddy and I's favorite things to do are hold you and look at you. You are so gorgeous and we can't believe we don't have to give you back. We love you so much baby girl, and we are so excited to get to know you better!
Wow, this has been such a fun, and exhausting, three weeks! You had your first Christmas and you got to meet your grandma and grandpa Carter and all of your Carter aunts and uncles. You even got to meet Uncle Travis, who is on a mission, through Skype! It has been hard to get you on any kind of schedule yet because all we have been doing it driving around to be with family for the holidays. You have probably been in the car more than out of the car these last few weeks. Because of all this driving you have decided to sleep all day and stay awake all night. But who can blame you, the car is so soothing.
You are such a great baby though, and everyone who meets you falls in love immediately! I am very excited for all the excitement of the holidays to be over so we can get you on a schedule and you can get used to what life is really going to be like. You make such fun faces and have even started smiling already, though I don't think you actually know you are doing it. You got your cast off last week and your little foot looks so great! You like to try and scoot and roll over (because you could do those things when you had your cast) and you get so frustrated when you can't do it. You have changed so much since you were born and you change more and more every day. Daddy and I can't get enough of you and we feel so grateful to have been blessed with such an amazing daughter.
This was at the doctor, that's why she has no clothes on. =D
When Eleanor was born one of the first things I noticed was he right foot; It was unusually flexible and shaped a little funny. As people came to visit and meet our baby girl I mentioned her foot to some of them, I just couldn't help but wonder about it. Most people just shrugged it off and said it was probably nothing. Then the pediatrician looked at her. He came into my recovery room after doing his examination and told me everything looks great and she seems very healthy...except her foot. He said she would need to go see a foot specialist as soon as possible to decide what to do about it. This news really upset me. No one wants to hear that their newborn baby is not absolutely perfect. I immediately called the doctor and scheduled an appointment for that Thursday (she would be 4 days old). Before the appointment my mom did some research on newborn foot conditions, and it turns out many babies have foot problems when they are born, and most problems can be completely corrected. That made me feel a little better, but I was still dreading the appointment and praying that my little girl would not have to have surgery or something like that.
Unfortunately, Peter had a final at the same time as the appointment, so he wasn't able to be there with me. Fortunately, my sister-in-law was SO kind to come and help out that day and she was able to go to the appointment with me, thank goodness! After waiting like an hour and 45 minutes (it was sooo busy), the doctor came in and looked at Eleanor. It took him an entire 2 minutes to look her over and then he said "alright, lets take her to the back and get her casted". Just like that, my 4 day old baby was going to get a cast...and he didn't even give me any time to process the news. Thankfully, I have the best baby in the entire world and she was an absolute angel while they were putting the cast on her. I think I would have been a wreck if she was upset by the casting, but she was great. The cast went from her upper thigh all the way down to past her toes. The doctor said she would need the cast for 3 weeks, but because babies grow so fast, each week she would need to come back and get the old cast cut off and get a new one put on. He also said this process should not hurt her at all, and she should be completely fixed with no lasting effects after the casting was done. That was a huge relief!
Honestly, I think Eleanor enjoyed having the cast on, it gave her the ability to scoot and roll over which she utilized frequently giving me a few heart attacks. Besides the fact that the first cast rubbed a blister into her thigh, it didn't seem to be painful for her. Though it did make dressing her and changing her diaper a bit challenging, and some of her cute outfits with little feet wouldn't fit over her huge cast. But overall it was a much better experience than expected.
This face shows how Eleanor feels about her cast...HAHA!
We went to the doctor on week two to get her third and final cast. They cut her old one off and then the doctor came in to look at her foot. He said it looked great and she didn't need a third cast. That was completely unexpected and such a pleasant surprise!! I went home and put her in an outfit with feet right away! Then I laid her on the floor and watched her fuss as she came to the realization that she wasn't able to scoot or roll over any longer...she gets REALLY frustrated about it now.
Peter and I are so grateful for modern medicine! It is wonderful and amazing all the things they can do and all the problems that can be fixed easily. I'm so thankful that Eleanor will not have any problems walking or running in the future. We just love her SO much...including her little feet! =D
I went into labor on Saturday December 10th, 2011 around 6:30pm. I had been having contractions since I was 32 weeks along, but these contractions were different.
Earlier in the week, at my 37 week appointment, I was dilated to a 4 and 100% effaced. The nurse told me if I got my membranes stripped I would go into labor that night. Unfortunately, Peter had two finals that week and we wanted to prolong labor until at least the weekend. I was sentenced to the couch. I knew our baby girl was not going to wait until Peter's second week of finals was over, so we decided the best time to have her would be between his two finals weeks After Peter's final on Thursday (his last final of his first finals week) I decided it was time to induce labor.
First, I went to my OB and had my membranes stripped. Then, it was three days of being very active. I ran up and down the stairs, I went on walks, I did jumping jacks, I tried everything I knew of to make labor happen. Finally, on Saturday my contractions started. They were moderately painful (more uncomfortable than painful) and 3-5 minutes apart. Then, my water started to leak and I knew it was game time. Peter was at work, so I texted him after 2 hours of contractions and told him it was time to go the hospital. He was happy to get off work without having to do his side work. Ha.
We arrived at labor and delivery around 9:45pm and got comfy in the delivery room. The nurse made sure my water was actually broken, started me on pitocin, and then we played the waiting game. Peter and I watched Tangled and ate snacks (well, I snuck snacks because I wasn't supposed to be eating...oops).
All I have to say is I am glad my water was broken and they couldn't send me home because I was stuck at 4cm for a LONG time. My contractions were all over the place; I would have no contractions for like 6 minutes and then all of a sudden I would have like 12 in a row, it was really strange. My goal was to wait until I was dilated to a 6 before I got my epidural because I was afraid it would slow down my progress. However, because I wasn't progressing on my own the nurse kept turning up the pitocin higher and higher, and my contractions were getting more and more painful. Finally, I decided I would just go ahead and get the epidural. Peter held my hand because I was a bit scared of the needle. However, at that point the contractions were so painful, I really didn't care about a few shots. Then I was numb and nauseous, but at least I couldn't feel the contractions.
About 15 minutes after I got my epidural the nurse checked me and I was dilated to an 8. 30 minutes later I was dilated to a 10 and about ready to push. The epidural did exactly the opposite of what I though it would do, it regulated my contractions and made me progress so quickly. I wish I would have known that sooner, I would have gotten in right away.
Unfortunately, right when the nurse said I was ready to push she also let me know that it was time for a shift change (6am). I was pretty disappointed because that nurse had been with me this whole time and I really liked her. She said she would let the new nurse know that I was ready to push. After my first nurse left a more elderly woman came slowly shuffling into the room. She seemed nice enough, but I think she might have completely ignored the first nurse because she made me wait an hour before she told me to start pushing. I have no idea why she made me wait and I was getting so impatient with her. Eventually, she came over and had me start to push (7am). The doctor came in after about 30 minutes of pushing and Eleanor was born at 7:43am on December 11, 2011.
Pushing was definitely hard but honestly I couldn't have asked for a smoother delivery. I didn't have to push all that long and Peter stood next to me and held my leg and talked me through every push, he was wonderful. Eleanor came out pretty quiet and took her time getting around to crying, but once she started crying...dang that baby could cry. Peter cut the umbilical cord and stayed with her as they weighed and measured her. Then, they wrapped her up and brought her over to me and laid her on my chest. She was screaming her little head off, but as soon as she snuggled up to me she stopped crying and I got to just lay there and hold my new perfect little girl. Peter and I couldn't wrap our minds around the fact that we were parents, and that the little baby inside of me for almost 9 months was now in our arms. As the minutes and hours passed by after her birth, I was shocked that my love for her just continued to grow and grow!
Eleanor has been such a blessing, and an amazing addition to our family. Peter and I can't stop staring at her. She is absolutely gorgeous in every way and we have never known love like we do now. Peter had two more finals to take, on top of having a new baby, which left him ridiculously sleep deprived, but that didn't stop him from helping out in any way he could. Peter is the best dad a little girl could ask for and Eleanor is the best daughter a mother could ask for. I can't thank Heavenly Father enough for my perfect little family, I feel so blessed.
Thank you to everyone who took time to visit and meet baby Eleanor. We are so grateful for all your love and support.