Friday, January 27, 2012

Ella at 1 Week Old

Introducing Ella Hazel DeGaetano
January 19, 2012
7 lb. 4 oz., 18.5 inches

Ella Hazel is officially one week old and we are one week wiser on how to manage two children. I know it feels overwhelming to bring home the first baby, but I must say, it is even more challenging to have two children to deal with. Of course, it might just be especially hard because they are only 16 months apart so I have two in diapers, two that don't speak, and two that cry! We are adjusting though, and with my mom's help we are slowly adjusting into this new phase of life. I am hoping to continue the blog updates about Ella, just like I did with Jack. Of course, my time is less available, since I'm basically breastfeeding all the time. So for the first month, I will update once a week and then it will be once a month. Oh, and don't worry I haven't forgotten about Jack, he will get a post update at 18 months (only two months away).
Nicknames: Hazelnut, Sweet Pea, Ella Bella, Little Cloven Hoof Princess

Weight and Length: She started at 7 lb. 4 oz., but dropped to 6 lb. 12 oz. at her first doctor's appointment. Ella's length started at 18.5 inches at the hospital and was measured at 20 inches at the doctor's office...for some reason I think she was measured wrong at the hospital, or could she really have grown that much in five days?

Temperament: Well, she is still so little it is hard to say. She sleeps a lot. In fact, she was pretty jaundice so she was especially sleepy. Even now I still have to wake her up for feedings. If I didn't, I think she would sleep at least four to five hours at night. I am hoping that is a good sign for our future (maybe we will have one child that likes to sleep through the night). Since she sleeps so much, she hasn't been too much trouble. She usually just cries for food and if we have a hard time with the latching process she can get really upset. However, I have noticed that she will let you know when she is mad. The cry becomes very intense, almost to a point that she gets worn out from crying. It is really cute.

Items/Toys That We Love The Most: She is still too little to care about much. I have noticed that she only likes to be swaddled in a blanket. Whenever I try to use a swaddle that Velcros she will begin to cry and will not stop until I remove it. If I had tried to swaddle Jack in a blanket then he would have squirmed his way out of it. Ella, however, lays pretty still or if she does move her arms out, then it doesn't seem to wake her up. I think I might also become a huge fan of my baby slings/carriers. How else am I going to make dinner with Jack pulling on my pants and Ella crying? So I figure it will be used a lot more than it was with just one child.
First/New Experiences: Everything has been new and different with Ella. She is so different and her needs have been so different. First of all, the delivery was very different that my first, but I will write about that later. Fortunatemly, she was healthy and able to be in my arms right away. That meant we were able to try breastfeeding immediately and she was good at latching. Then it was fun to be able to have her in the hospital room with us. Plus, we left after just 24 hours, so that was new and special for us as a family.

We also noticed that one of her feet was all the way bent backwards. Of course we were concerned, but my doctor suggested that we give it time, because it might have just been bent from being in the womb. After speaking with the hospital pediatrician, we were even more concerned because we thought she had a club foot. An appointment was made for two days later to go to a pediatric orthopedist. We did a lot of research on the Internet and only grew more worried. I thought I would have to drive up to Morgantown, WV (about a two and a half hour drive) to see this specialist each week. We had anticipated her having a new cast every week to help straighten out her foot. The good news is that the specialist said it was not club foot. It was just bent from being squished in the womb. Each day we need to do stretches to help put it into the correct place and we are hoping that it will improve around a month's time. I included the picture below to show what it looks like.

We also had different complications with her and jaundice. I guess I didn't worry so much about the jaundice with Jack, because he was in the hospital so they treated it with the bilirubin lights. She stopped pooping on Sunday (at four days old) and didn't poop again until late Monday night. I was concerned that I was not giving her enough breast milk, so I decided to supplement. I used a system that would allow me to give a little formula while she still breastfed. This would allow her to still stimulate and increase my milk supply. So far that system has been working good and she began to poop. Fortunately there has been a tremendous support system in town with my friends. I feel encouraged to keep it up and I am already decreasing the amount of supplemental formula. Hopefully I will be able to breast feed on my own.

*I took some pictures in hopes to find one that I like enough for a birth announcement. I would like to get those ordered this week and sent in the mail as soon as possible. Here are a few of the pictures below.


AMY_BELL - said...

I love her!! She's so cute and I can't wait to see her again :)

Taylor's said...

She is a doll!

You look amazing, you are amazing!!!

Congratulations! I remember . . . 1. Put the parenting books away until she's at least 6-8 weeks old. Don't let it stress you out at this stage.
2. Take the word "SHOULD" out of your vocabulary. Don't feel like you SHOULD do anything. Just survive and get through and do what you can and want to do right now.

and last but not least . . .

Soak up those adorable children of yours to the fullest! Congratulations again! Her name is beautiful!

Travelin' Tracy said...

She is a cutie Amy and we are glad you were here at the beginning!

Catherine, thanks for the advice. It is hard not to stress out about the house being a mess or if she is getting enough to eat. I'm trying to keep my cool. I think it will feel like a victory to get through the first month. Then I have to stop and remind myself, that since we will probably only have two kids I should relish this time when she is so small...because that won't last long!

Update in February

One might think that having several snow days would give me the time to write in my blog, but I have been spending a lot of time working on ...