2 Months

Dear Zoe,
Today you are two months old. I can't believe how fast it went by. It seems like just yesterday I was holding you in my arms for the first time! You have gone through so many changes in the past month! I can't help but be proud of what you've accomplished.
Towards the beginning of the month you started to giggle in your sleep. It is a high pitched, deep belly giggle that never fails to make me laugh. It is literally the cutest thing ever and I want you to know it brings me so much joy. This month also marked the beginning of reactive smiles from you. As much as I loved your precious smiles while asleep or your "gas" smiles, nothing gives me more pleasure than when you find me funny. And honey, I'm glad you won't remember all the silly things I do to get a smile out of you. I make funny noises and contort my face, dance around, sing or talk funny...anything to make you smile. I do it so much that I even sometimes do them when you're not around...but I don't mind being silly if it makes you happy. You've just started to make noises when I talk to you, as if you're trying to talk back. I will continue to talk to you, sing to you, and read to you to give you lots of chances to use your voice. I love to hear your little noises!
Your hands open and close so much more now. You have really learned how to grasp things if we hand them to you. You have discovered that you can calm yourself by sucking on your fist and you can entertain yourself while shaking your keys- your favorite toy. You like to hang on to my shirt or my fingers when breastfeeding...or if you're bottle feeding you hold on to my fingers. You have become more interested in play time. In fact, yesterday, I put your frog on your tummy and your little hands came up and grabbed it, all by yourself! I was so proud of you! You also got a new rattle this last week that you like because the handles are small enough for you to hold. You love that you can shake it all by yourself, but continue to be surprised that it makes noise when you move. Your playtime brings me endless amounts of joy as I watch you learn and develop.
You love the sound of your Dad's voice. I love to watch you stare at him while he talks to you. I hope you are always that attentive to what he has to say. He is really good at calming you down when I'm at my wit's end because you won't stop crying and I don't know what you want. I know you remember his voice from all the times he talked to you in my belly. I suspect you'll be a Daddy's girl, just like I was with Grandpa S.
This last week I had to go back to work. I want you to know, honey, that if there was anything I could do to stay home with you, I would. I am still working on trying to be home with you. Be patient with me and know that I love you so much and I will always miss you. I even made my schedule so I could have one day week day to have you all to myself...otherwise I would miss you too much ! I am so proud of the way you handled this week! It started out with your first shots. Sweetheart, you were so brave. You cried only while you were getting the shots and calmed right down afterward. You were hardly even fussy for Grandma D as she watched you for the first day...your legs were a little sore from the shots and you wanted to be held a lot, but you didn't get a fever and you didn't cry too much. After a scare two days before my first day back to work- when you refused to take a bottle for your Dad- we spent the whole next day getting you used to it again and you took it just fine for Grandma while I was gone. I spent the whole day worrying that you would be too fussy or that you wouldn't eat or that the change in our little routine would freak you out. I didn't get one call to come get you- not even when we changed things again and you went to Cole's on Friday! This week, we got you on a real bedtime schedule and you are already used to it. You've been sleeping longer at night- going 6-8 hours between feeding. This has let me sleep a little more and I'm so thankful for that! You're still learning to try to sleep in places other than home, but I'm sure you'll get it and be a little less fussy in the evenings from being so tired. I'm sure it will take all of us a little time to adjust to this new routine, but we'll do it together.
Today was your first day at the movies and I'm sorry to tell you that I will not take you again until you're old enough to want to watch them. You did not like that you woke up in the dreaded car seat, in the dark, by the ever so loud speakers. You pooped through your clothes in the middle of the movie, then peed on your second outfit not 30 minutes later as I was going to put the new diaper on you. Then you cried as I tried to get you to breastfeed in the dark. I'm sure we made some people mad. It's not your fault that Mom sprung that on you. I think you decided that you'd had enough newness for the week and let me know that THIS you would not deal with. Here's where I'll admit that I'm new at this Mom thing...and I'm sorry we have to do things by trial and error. I promise I'll know what to do next time.
I have learned that you have an opinion all your own...even if you can't talk yet. You hate your car seat unless we are moving. You love baths but hate to be cold afterward. You like to fall asleep in my arms as I gently pat your back or your bum. You don't like to be put down to sleep in the day time- your eyes pop right open if we put you down...even if you're fast asleep. You like to snuggle me when I come home from work to pick you up...like you're letting me know that you love me and missed me. You're quick to let me know if you don't like what I'm doing. You like to be swaddled to sleep at night. You have no patience when you're hungry and you sometimes fight sleep even though you're exhausted like you're afraid you're going to miss something. Every day I marvel at how much you've grown, how fast you learn, how strong you are, how brave you are. I love you so much baby! There are days when you cry so hard that you choke, days that you vomit all over me and yourself, days that you poop through everything, days that, no matter what I do, I can't get you to deal with being put down for five minutes without crying. Through all of this, know that I'm learning too. I get frustrated too when I don't know what you want. I want to cry with you during the hard things like shots and different schedules. Know that, no matter what happens, I will always be there for you to help you through it. I will always try to stay calm and be patient as you try to tell me what you need. I will always hold you when you cry. I will always admit that I'm still learning. And, even though I have to leave you now to go to work, I will always come back.


Hello everyone! I know I've been a stranger. I just felt like I should enjoy my last week home with Zoe and didn't want to lose any time with her to jump on the computer. We are doing fairly well. I have lots to report and, of course, some pictures to share so lets get started huh?
First, Zoe has really started to react to toys more. Her two favorites are her keys and her frog. She kicks her legs when she gets excited and smiles a lot. She has also started "talking" a lot more. We get to hear all kinds of noises from her these days as she responds to us talking to her. She becomes more fun day by day. Here are some pics of her playing:
Yummy Keys!
Look Grandma, I have a bow in my hair!
Smiles for the camera! (Look at those chunky legs!)
Hands are yummy too!
Getting to know you... (her cousin)
By the way, I sewed that tag blanket myself! I'm so proud! :)
Ok, on to the next bit of news.
As my last week with Zoe neared it's end, I decided to leave her with Love and go to a movie with the girls. For some reason, she decided to refuse the bottle (something she's taken easily since birth) and scream the whole time I was gone. Luckily, the movie time was wrong so we went to lunch instead and Love was able to bring her to me to feed her. I, of course, began to freak out worrying that she wouldn't take a bottle anymore just as I was supposed to go back to work! So we spent all day Sunday bottle feeding her. We went through 4 different nipples before we finally found one that didn't gag her. (She has a bad gag reflex!) My Mom had found a nipple that is similar in many ways to a breast, smaller nipple with a wider base and it compresses like the breast to make the transition easier for babies. Unfortunately, we didn't have a bottle that fit, so we went to the store and found the right bottle and, lo and behold, she took it- after a lot of patience, bouncing and encouragement from me. Well, that saved the day and I felt a little better knowing she should eat fine while I was at work.
Yesterday was my first day back to work. My time with her went by so fast! It was over before I knew it and I just wasn't ready. I wasn't prepared for how difficult it was. I can't even begin to describe how it felt to have to leave her! I am lucky to have a Mother-in-Law and Sisters-in-Law who are willing to keep her for me while I work. However, there is nothing to ease the pain of leaving your baby- who you haven't been away from since birth- to go to work. Poor Love watched as I cried most of Sunday night as I prepared her things and neither of us slept well. He was crying with me as he felt my pain and worried with me as we wondered how she'd do with the change. I cried again as I left her with Grandma, cried on the way to work, and cried several times during work. I knew she'd have good care from someone who loved her, but I worried that she'd freak out like she did for Love, or that she wouldn't eat. I cried because I wanted to be there to comfort her after her first shots*. I cried because I'm selfish and want all her smiles, noises, sleep times, awake times, and even fussy times to myself. Somehow, I did make it through the day. Once work was over I couldn't get home fast enough. I missed her so much! I will admit I felt much better once I arrived and found that she's been pretty good. She ate well and wasn't too fussy considering she'd had her first shots that morning. Today was easier. It was still hard to leave, but I know we need my income and I know she's well taken care of. It was especially nice not to spend the day expecting a phone call that she'd had a major freak out. She's been a little more fussy the last couple days once I get her home and I suspect it will be a bit of an adjustment for all of us, but we'll make it. Tomorrow is my day off and I look forward to spending the whole day with her. I'm still hoping I can either make more money soon and pay off debt quickly so I can quit soon...or try to find a job I can do from home with her there. Pray for me!
*As I mentioned, Zoe had her 2 month shots yesterday. Her appointment went well. She's grown another 2 inches to 23.5 inches and another (almost) 2 pounds to 11 pounds 11 ounces! I was amazed! I knew she had grown a lot...she sort of sprouted overnight...but never expected those numbers. Then came shots time and the nurse began by trying to give her a dose of Tylenol. Well, it was cherry flavored and Zoe threw it right back up...twice! So we opted to wait and give her some of the kind we had at home (grape...which she took just fine). (I have to say, though, that the nurse gave it to her laying down and straight down her throat...what did she think would happen?) Anyway, so the nurse let me give her the oral medicine (don't remember the name) that she had to take (since I know how to administer it without her vomiting). Then came the hard part. I made Love hold her down and sat there helpless as she cried through her three shots. She got shots in both legs and was not a happy camper. She did pretty well though, I'm proud of her. She was pretty good for Grandma, but came home pretty fussy and it got progressively worse so I held her all evening and then we both took a warm bath to relax her muscles. We ended up in bed pretty late, but she went 7.5 hours between feedings so I got a full 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep!
Well, it's getting late and I'd better get in bed. I will try to post more often. Unfortunately, I can no longer post from work...so that makes it hard, but I'll really try my best. For now here's some more pictures of Zoe. Take care!
Taking advantage of the space...
The following are some of my favorites of the professional pictures we had taken of Zoe a few weeks ago:
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63d765a3-6271-11dd-a4dc-001517306680w 6493b0c7-6271-11dd-a4dc-001517306680w
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Ok, so that was actually most of them...I just couldn't choose! (We had the same problem when we ordered...yikes!) Longest post ever, right? Hopefully this will tide you over until I can post again.

Zoe Smiles

Here is a video (taken on my camera- which is crappy) of Zoe playing and smiling.  Please, kindly ignore the Olympics in the background, my voice, the fact that my living room gets no light and the spit up at the end.  Also, I have taken some new photos of her, but it took me forever to load my first video so it will have to be another day that I post those.  Also, I had to change my blog setting so the video would fit and now my header is not centered.  Guess it's time for me to create another one anyway...

Weekly Pics

It's been a fun week with Zoe for the most part. Grandma N and Uncle A came up for Zoe's blessing last weekend. The blessing, given by Love, was beautiful and we were grateful to all our friends and family for attending. Here are a few pictures from the day:
Grandma took a few pictures of Mom and Baby:
Zoe's getting better at playing. She's learning to hold things better and also got some new toys.
She played until she wore herself out
Things have been getting better for the most part with the colic and the acid reflux. Last night was rough as I was up with a screaming baby until 1 am...but most days are good and I can deal with that. Until next week!

1 Month

Dear Zoe,
A few days ago you turned one month old. It has flown by impossibly fast and I find myself eyeing the day that is swifly coming when I will have to leave you and go back to work. My baby, you have no idea how hard that is going to be for me. I am tearing up just thinking about it.
This past month was full of learning. For me, learning how to be a Mom. For you, learning how to function in this new place. It hasn't been easy, but I'm so glad to be by your side as we take on the newness together. Already I know you are smart and strong. You follow things with your eyes like a champ, you love to exercise, look at bright colors, and listen to me sing and read to you. You're learing to grab onto things, learning to calm yourself, and starting to develop a schedule. Plus, you've been able to hold your head up well from practically day one! You are a snuggler. In fact, you are curled up right now in a sling over my shoulder as I type. I can't wait to see you grow and learn and experience the world. Since this month was spent doing a lot of learning on both our parts, I would like to use the rest of this letter to tell you how you came into the world.
From the day you were born I knew that you had a tendancy to do things your own way in your own time. I was scheduled to be induced on June 30th at 5:30 in the morning. You decided that wasn't soon enough and started labor at 1:08 am...a mere two hours after I had gone to bed. I had experienced cramps before...but nothing like this. I immediately began to time them...and they kept getting worse and worse. Finally, shortly after 2 am, your Dad woke up to me crying and I told him my contractions were 7 minutes apart. After another contraction we decided we'd better get up because I wanted a shower and we needed to wake up Grandma N. I went and woke up grandma and ended up have two more contractions 5 minutes apart. After another contraction at 3 minutes apart, we decided to bag the shower and headed to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital sometime after 2:30 am. Can you believe they make a laboring mother stand there and fill out paperwork contractions and all? Finally we were sent to a room. They actually asked me if I'd like a wheelchair and I was relieved to say yes. Walking into the hospital was bad enough. Once we got to our room, my nurse came in and checked on me. She was the nicest lady! I was dialated to a 6 and things were progressing well. I told her I wanted the epidural as soon as possible since I was already in a giant amount of pain. Zoe, when you grow up and have children, take a birthing class. The breathing techniques they teach you was the reason (besides encouragement from Grandma and Dad) that I made it through un-medicated contractions. The nurse came back and said, "Well, do you want the good news or the bad news first?" I said, "The bad news." She told me the bad news was the anesthesiologist was in the middle of a ceserean and it would probably be another 45 minutes before he could do the epidural. The good news was that he was at the hospital. It definitely was bad news because all I wanted was to have a little relief from the constant pain. The nurse gave me a small painkiller through my IV (which I never felt take effect) and we waited. I just closed my eyes and concentrated on breathing and staying calm through each contraction. Finally, over an hour later, the anesthesiologist came! To be honest, I was more scared about the epidural than any other aspect of labor, but it was nothing. The "burning sensation" they warn you about when the medicine goes in was nothing compared to the contractions at that point. I didn't even care about a needle in my spine by then...all I wanted was relief from the pain. Half an hour later I really started to feel better. My legs went numb and the cramping went away. For a while, all I could feel was the tightening of my uterus...and eventually, I couldn't even feel that. It was awesome.
I spent the next few hours either talking with Grandma N, Grandma D, Grandpa K and Dad or resting my eyes preparing for later. I also got a new nurse (who was accompanied by a med student) and had to say goodbye to our amazing first nurse. Second nurse was nice too, but not in the same way. After a few hours of waiting my nurse came in and informed me that, unfortunately, the epidural had drastically slowed down labor. I wasn't contracting often and I had stopped dialating. So, they decided to put me on Oxytocin to get things going again. They started me on a high dose to get things moving. As we were waiting for things to progress again, you had several small drops in heartrate, I had to be put on oxygen and the medication had to be turned down. A few hours later, the nurse came in to say my doctor would be there to break my water soon. They decided to try turning up the medication again, since I had already spent hours laboring. Again, you wouldn"t be rushed and, suddenly, the high dose of medication began to cause a major drop in your heartrate. You gave us all a great scare as your heartrate dropped clear down to 60 bpm! I was frantic as the nurse chased you around my belly with the monitor, looking for a heartbeat. We couldn't get a clear one so she decided to go ahead and break my water herself so she could put a monitor on your head. After turning down the meds again things settled down and we were back to waiting. Labor was long as we waited for one tiny peice of cervix to move out of the way and for your head to drop down into the birth canal.
With some help from the nurse, we finally got that peice of cervix to move out of the way, but still your head was not dropping. So, the pushing began. Zoe, Mom worked really hard for two whole hours to get you here. I pushed through nearly every contraction for that entire time working to get you here. It was hard and I was so tired. Grandma N and Dad each held one leg as they watched for contractions and counted out how long I'd have to push. Soon, the doctor came in and I knew the end was near. I kept pushing as they prepared my bed and the room for delivery. Finally, your little head began to crown and Dad and Grandma both started crying as they noted how much dark hair you had. I tried to concentrate on pushing with renewed effort as they mumbled through their counting and Grandma N yelled to Aunt K, "Take Pictures!!!" After a few more pushes your head came out and everyone gushed about your chubby cheeks. One more push and you were here! I laughed through my tears as the docor exclaimed, "Whoa, that's a big baby!" Dad and I cried together as the nurse put you on my belly and took your vitals and we listened to your cries. I couldn't get over how beautiful you were and I was so happy that you were finally here. Then they took you over to the warmer to get your skin nice and pink and make sure you were ok. It seemed like forever before they wrapped you up and brought you to me. I finally got to take a good look at you, kiss you, and hold you. Zoe, you are my little miracle. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew I would love you like I had never loved before. As I was holding you for the first time, I loved you instantly and I always will. I'm so glad to have you in my life.