Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Month One

Penelope turned one month old on Monday, and Hugh and I celebrated the best thirty-one days of our lives. And then I cried and asked him to stop time, because I'm certain that we brought her home from the hospital and then I blinked and it was the end of May. 

No surprise, really, as I have cried at least once a day since April 28th - happy tears, overwhelmed tears, exhausted tears, am-I-doing-this-all-wrong tears, how-can-she-be-so-beautiful tears - but mainly just very happy tears. They come mostly during our late night nursing session while I watch her in disbelief that I get to keep her forever. From the second Hugh placed our daughter in my arms, my heart has felt like it would burst with love.

I know I am biased, but I am fairly sure we've created baby perfection with this one. Here's what she's been up to this month*:


Your first month has been a busy one. You were born, all 9lbs, 5oz of you, very dramatically, but everything turned out just fine and you are healthy as can be. Because you were so big and, in the end, had to come out very quickly, you had significant bruising on your head and face and hemorrhages in your eyes, but by the end of week two, it all cleared up and you looked perfect. 

Two hours old. Bruised, swollen, and still the most beautiful thing we had ever seen.

And, your hair. I would be remiss not to mention that crazy, beautiful head of hair. During your ultrasounds, it was the subject of much speculation, as the techs could see it billowing around your head. After you were born, people were stopping by the nursery to get a peak at it. And when you meet someone new, it is always the first thing they comment on. I'd be lying if I said I didn't love every single wild strand of it on your head.

You have been entertaining visitors since day one - your Grandmother, Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Lofton, Cory and Cara, Sheena, and Aunt Mandy, Uncle Matt, and cousin Charlie while we were still in the hospital, and then your Great Aunt Chris, sweet Sheena and Addie, your Grandmother (again - she can't get enough of you) and Grandpa, and your Grammy and Poppi since we've been home. You've made me proud with your hostess skills and been such a cheerful girl with our company, even when you are off your schedule.

At your two week check-up, you weighed 10lbs, 5oz - a full pound over your birth weight! I'd guess you are about 11.5lbs now, mainly because you are a super eater and have outgrown all your newborn clothes (as of day 10). You are serious when it's time to eat and don't waste a second- you nurse seven times a day for 7 - 10 minutes each time - all business and then you're done. I was worried at first you weren't eating for long enough, but your last check-up showed you were gaining about an ounce a day, so now I am trusting that you will eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. We think you have a touch of reflux, which your daddy and my baby books assure me is totally normal. Fortunately, it seems to be nothing 10 minutes of upright time and a few rounds of burping can't fix.

For all of your sleeping, naps and nighttime, you go down swaddled and drowsy but awake and, for the most part, put yourself to sleep. After two really rough nights at the hospital during which you didn't sleep a wink (being born is very confusing), you turned into a champion nighttime sleeper. You have gone from 2.5 hour stretches of sleep at night on day 3 to a solid 5 hours followed by another 3 - 4.5 hours. We have even had a few stretches of 6+ hours, which cause me to jerk awake in a panic and throw my hand on your chest to make sure you're still breathing. You are still in the pack and play in our room at night. I suspect you would sleep better and longer in your crib, but it just seems so far away from us right now.

Your daytime sleep started off great, took a downturn around week three, and is now getting better every day, thanks to the help of your Aunt Maria and some re-reading of my baby sleep books. You take four solid naps a day lasting from 1.5 - 2.5 hours. At least two of these are in your crib. The other two are sometimes in mama's lap (because I know you're only going to be a newborn for a little blip in time) or in the car seat if we are out and about.

 You are most epic stretcher of all time. Watching you wake up is endlessly entertaining.

Speaking of out and about, we've been mostly hanging out at home this first month, per your pediatrician's orders, but you have ventured out to a few of our favorite restaurants. These are the places we ate once or twice a week while you were growing away in my belly, so you have been greeted like a little ten pound celebrity whenever we walk in - everyone is so happy to see you on the outside!

First dinner out!

Developmentally, you are changing so much every day. You have been strong from day one, which we mainly attribute to your size. You have great head control and are holding up your head on your own for 20+ seconds during tummy time. You are also bearing weight on your chubby little legs. You are tracking everything within your sight range (18 inches) as of week three - mama, daddy, your rattle, Fletcher - it's so fun to feel like you are starting to see us. This morning you noticed your feet for the first time, and spent three minutes staring at them perplexedly. In the last week you have started cooing, especially during your morning awake times. Your voice is the sweetest sound to our ears. 

This month has been the most wonderful of my life. Becoming your mom and seeing your Daddy with you have so far eclipsed my loftiest expectations. Watching you grow is bittersweet for me; I am excited to see what you will do next, but I so love you exactly as you are right now. I'm doing my best to just soak in every second, because I know we'll be celebrating your next month in another blink. 

I thank my lucky stars that all of our waiting ended with you, Pen. 

I love you,

One Month Stats
Weight: 11.5lbs, estimated
Clothing: 0 - 3 months
Diapers: Size 1
Eating: Nursing 7 - 8 times per day, 7 - 15 minutes
Things you love this month: Miracle Blanket, MAM pacifier, bouncy seat, neighborhood walks in the stroller, bath time. 
Things you don't love: Being buckled into the car seat, getting out of the bathtub, 6:30pm (your fussy time),
First tub bath - May 21st
First outing - May 12th, Rooster's Beak for dinner
Milestones - holding head up, tracking objects and people, bearing weight on legs.

*This is mainly for my own record, so my apologies if you aren't interested in the developmental milestones of my kiddo. But seeing that I was recently talking on my phone while frantically searching the house for said phone, I felt it would be best to jot this down somewhere tangible.

Friday, May 11, 2012

On Mother's Day.

The last two years, Mother's Day has been a hard one - a reminder of the baby we were hoping for. But this year, everything is different. Wonderfully different. While it may be a Hallmark holiday, to us it's a chance to celebrate this dream come true:

Our little family, five days old.

To my darling girl, you were worth every second of the wait. I just can't believe I get to be your Mama forever.

And, a happy, happy day to my own Momma. Having this baby has made me want to call you a hundred times a day to thank you for loving me.

Three generations. 

I hope your weekend is peachy, my friends.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Daddy's Girl.

I hope to be back later this week to tell you all about Penelope's birth and the perfect little bubble of love that was our first week home with her. 

But today our favorite guy is back to work and our house is feeling a little lonely.

We miss him already.  Tick tock, tick tock...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

And Then We Were Three.

Penelope Catherine was born at 4:23pm on April 28, 2012. 

9lbs 5oz, 21.5 inches.

Perfect in every way. 

Our hearts are hers.