Monday, March 12, 2012

Ups and Downs of the First Month

Jayney is one month old!... and a few extra days because that is how long it took me to finish writing :)

I can’t believe how fast the days go. It really feels like we just brought our little JJ home from the hospital and now here she is a month old already.  We are loving being parents to our happy little baby. I would like to think that is because we are adjusting so well and felling very competent in our skills taking care of Jayney. But if we are being honest I think Jayney is the one doing the work to make our life go smoothly. She is seriously a super easy baby! Of course she is still a baby and that in itself comes with challenges but as far as baby’s go we could not ask for one that is any better!
Awake and happy - 3 days
The first few weeks with Jayney have had some interesting ups and downs. One of the first lows was when we came home from the hospital the swelling in my feet seemed to peak about the time I made it out the front doors to get in the truck. This meant I was glued to the couch for the first several days we were at home. I had such bad swelling even standing to take a ten minute shower was seriously painful. I had mentally prepared myself to have some discomfort from tearing/stitches but that was very minimal compared to surprising amount of pressure and puffiness I had in my feet. This time left me with a strong feeling of familiarity with my last few weeks of pregnancy; taking frequent trips to the bathroom as the fluids which caused my leg swelling slowly were processed out of my body. This was definitly one of the things you don’t know about when you are thinking about having a baby!
Relaxing on the couch - 4 days
Another low in the first week or so was waiting for my milk supply. It was super nerve-racking to feel responsible for feeding this little girl and not have the resources to do it adequately. We ended up visiting the lactation consultant for a little assistance (and more importantly encouragement) getting things going. We were worried because JJ had dropped from a birth weight of 8lb 13oz to 7lb 14 oz. I knew that a drop is normal but was concerned because JJ was on the higher end of acceptable range of weight loss at almost a whole pound! Then once my milk came in we went from dealing with no supply to having a significant oversupply! I felt like my body was totally out of control.
Cute Valentines Baby - 8 days
This was tough for me because I didn’t feel like I had any control over my body or my day. I was used to being able to just sleep or eat or do whatever I wanted when I felt like it. Now here I had this little person that was putting me on her inconsistent schedule. Since she had lost so much weight I was told by our doctor that I had to wake her up every two and a half hours to feed her even if she was not asking to eat. This was painful for everyone! I wanted to let her sleep so bad so I could too, JJ was irritated with being woke from her peaceful slumber and Dusty had a hard time watching us both be upset by the waking. Jayney was so sleepy we would have to strip her down to her diaper and brush her skin with a cold wet washcloth to try to keep her half way awake. Then because she was sleepy and not super hungry yet it would take her an hour to get enough to eat, often leaving me with just under an hour to sleep/get anything else done after getting her changed again.
The stinky cord stump fell off - 10 days
Sometimes she wouldn’t even give us that long because she would finally really wake up and be hungry after not feeding well just a little while before. Being new to parenting, we didn’t always know that was what she wanted. After all, she had JUST finished eating minutes before, how could she want more already? So I would go through the guessing game of burping, diaper changing (typically several in a row) and cuddling all with no effect on her crying. I felt incompetent as a parent and doubting every decision I made. This left me feeling stretched emotionally and physically; the only thing for me to do in a day was sit around and feed her without much more than a few minutes here or there to go to sneak down the hall to the bathroom or grab a granola bar on the go. I am so thankful that this phase didn’t last long.
Happy bath time - 13 days
This stage really switched from a low to a high for us at Jayney’s two week doctors visit. Her weight gain was going back up again and she was growing about an ounce a day! This change made it so we could go three hours in between feedings and since she takes so long to eat this meant almost four hours from start to start! Hearing this news from our doctor I thought hurray we might get some sleep! It got even better when our doctor said just one time each day we could even let her go for a four hour stretch from the end of one feeding the start of the next if she was sleeping and not wanting to eat. I was so excited I thought I was dreaming!
JJ trying to stay awake - 17 days

So much hair! - 23 days
Since that two week appointment things have been smooth sailing in the Walsh family! It is amazing what sleeping for more than two hours will do for your mental state! Once we started sleeping more we have had several highlights in the last few weeks including successful trips to the grocery store, a shopping trip for mom, parts runs all over Spokane, a 9 pound 7 ounce, 22 inch long healthy baby at her one month doctors visit, an awesome daytrip to see Pullman friends, our first nice dinner out as a family of three, going to Church together and a family birthday dinner at Great Grandma Slater’s house.
First nice dinner out together - 24 days

Goofy happy face -24 days

Surprise face -24 days

I am so cute! - 24 days
I think our baby Jayney is now trying to spoil her parents. She is making our life easy as her caretakers. At one day short of five weeks Jayney is now regularly (the last three weeks) sleeping about four hours between feedings. She is still feeding very slow (about 45 minutes) but is getting to where she will fall right back to sleep at night without having to be rocked forever like the first couple weeks.  I’m glad to report JJ had no “confusion” issues and will happily suck on whatever you put in front of her be it bottle, pacifier or nipple. She has changed her patterns to have just a few very full poopy diapers a day which is much better than the three or four in a row at each feeding!
Jayney is one month old - 29 days

Not a big fan of her bumbo seat -29 days
Oh look my hand! -29 days
Serious trouble with this pouty face - 31 days
We love yellow and green! - 31 days
 JJ is getting much more vocal each day. She now will make all kinds of funny noises and grunts which are unrelated to the poopy diapers. I have never heard a baby make so many grunting sounds as Jayney likes to in a day. She hardly every cries and when she does it is more like she is yelling at us. It sounds she is saying “Aaahhhh!” fairly loud.  When she does this it is almost always in short single bursts, rarely is it the long continued up and down lilting cry that typically comes to mind when you think of a crying baby. Sometimes I think she yells just to test out her voice. It is pretty funny to hear her little yells because they are surprising not only to us but judging by her faces sometimes to JJ too. They are certainly a lot less wearing on her parents’ ears than traditional crying.
Visiting our friends in Pullman - 32 days

What you mean I'm not big enough to be a coug yet!- 32 days

Family dinner at Great Grandma Slaters - 33 days
I think the most exciting thing that has happened in the last week or two is she now is getting much more interactive. She is having longer awake times during the day and really watches what we are doing. She can hold her head up on her own and look around for short spurts of time. I love watching her “track” us around the room. She is definitely a daddy’s girl! If she hears Dusty’s voice in the house she starts looking for him and when she finds him she will hardly take her eyes off him. She has started to make happy faces when we make faces at her first. We have even gotten a few genuine grins upon prompting, not just random smiles like in the first few weeks. … and as any parent will agree those first two crazy, sleepless, emotional weeks are totally worth it when you see a happy baby smiling back at you!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Professional Newborn Pictures of Jayney

Here are some of Jayney Joy's new born pictures! We are very thankful that my parents are both great photographers. My mom took these (except for the very last picture) when JJ was six days old. :)

I can't believe how fast she is growing and changing. Here is the proof in pictures. The first is the one my mom took in the newborn photo shoot and the next is one I took at 28 days, quite the comparison!