We made our first trip to Eyota this past weekend (Sept. 17-19) to visit Mommy’s family and friends. Grandpa and Grandma got some good cuddle time in Friday night, and Anna got to meet their puppy, Copper, for the first time. He’s only 6 lbs, but he looked big after being used to Anna!
Unfortunately, Friday night didn’t go so well; Mommy and Daddy forgot the sleep sack and didn’t bring Anna’s bouncer (aka her bed) either, so she was a little out of her element. AK proceeded to cry from about midnight to 5 am, when Daddy finally figured out that she was constipated, and managed to help her by reading up on these things online. She slept peacefully after that, but Mommy and Daddy needed to sleep most of the day to make up for it. Thankfully, Grandma Sherry and both aunts jumped in to help, so Anna still got the bath she needed before her big party that night.
Saturday night was an “open-house” for people to come meet Anna Kateri and to see great-aunt Kel-lee and cousin Xander while they are visiting. Lots of family and friends showed up. Thank you all for coming! We had a great time and it was so good to see everyone!
Saturday night was a huge improvement in the sleep department; we were back to our normal 3-hour intervals for feeding, and Anna managed to sleep well in between, thankfully for Mommy and Daddy. We left to come home right after church that morning, and had an uneventful car ride.
Check out all of the pictures from the weekend here! Some highlights are below.
Anna gained 9 oz in the past week, putting her at 5 lbs, 4 oz this time. Way to grow, little girl! She’ll be wearing all her newborn clothes in no time.
We didn’t want to pay for professional pictures – at least not yet – so I improvised, using our comforter and the beautiful blanket our friend Karen made for Anna. The morning sunshine pouring into our bedroom helped us get some nice lighting, and voilà: sweet pictures of our baby girl. Seriously, though, it’s not exactly difficult to take good pictures of a sleeping newborn! Here are a few of my favorite shots.
Today was Anna’s next weight check, and she is now 4 lbs, 11 oz! We are so happy that she’s made it past her birth weight. She was 4 lbs., 3.8 oz. when we left the hospital and 4 lbs., 5 oz. at the last weight check one week ago. She must be eating well (and keeping down more of it than we thought)! We can’t wait to see what she’ll be at next Thursday. Hopefully she’ll hit the 5 lb. mark!
In only 11 short days, Anna has managed to travel quite a few places! There have been two trips to the hospital (one for a lab test and the other to see a lactation consultant) and two trips to see her doctor in White Bear Lake. Those aren’t as exciting to talk about, though.
Everywhere we go, people (mainly women and children) seem to adore her (as most newborns everywhere are adored), always asking how old she is and commenting on how tiny she looks. Our first “big” trip was to Target last week when Anna was only 4 days old. Mommy and Daddy enjoyed taking her out in public and managed to fit the car seat in the shopping cart on the first try. Mommy especially enjoyed the trip, as she hasn’t been to Target (or any store) for over 2 months!
Saturday was Anna’s first camping “trip”. Mommy’s family goes to Lake Elmo every Labor Day weekend, and our little family was able to join Mommy’s family for a good part of the day. Anna was held by everybody and enjoyed the little bit of sunshine she got. We were even able to spend some time with Great Uncle Joe & Great Aunt Kari and their three girls, who drove up from Eyota to meet their new tiny relation. It was so good to see everyone! Thank you so much for the cute clothes Anna got!
Sunday morning we made our way to church, where everyone around us asked us questions and made comments about our little Anna Kateri. She even had an adoring crowd of three young girls afterward who wanted to see her. Anna also got to meet Fr. Creagan, who has followed our “miscarriage” story and been praying for us throughout the pregnancy.
The most recent fun outing was last night (Wednesday), when Mommy took Anna to her book club, which was meeting for drinks at Dixie’s in St. Paul. There were quite a few people there, so hopefully everyone got a chance to hold her if they wanted to; it was baby mania! (For those of you who don’t know, in Mommy’s book club there have been 6 babies born this year!) Anna got to meet Torin Cahill, born just 6 days after her, and tried to impress him with her cute pink sleeper. Of course, both babies were sleeping pretty much the entire time.
Mommy, Daddy, and Anna also went for a short walk last night to try out the stroller. It was a beautiful evening and we are hoping to get some good use out of the stroller before the winter comes!
Today is one week since Anna’s birth, and we can’t believe how fast the time went! Besides the heel pricking (for her) and the sleep deprivation (for us), things are going well and we’re so happy to have her home with us.
Some quick updates:
Yesterday and today she has consistently been eating at least 1.5 ounces, sometimes 2, every three hours. Considering that she started out at just one third of an ounce, we’re happy with where she’s at just one week later.
She gets the hiccups A LOT. Actually, she gets them pretty much every time we feed her, unfortunately for her because she obviously does not enjoy having them and they cause her to spit up.
She has her nights and days mixed up. Not that it matters a whole lot yet, except it keeps us up too. We’ve noticed that she sleeps very soundly when she’s being held or when she’s in the car seat (she loves being swaddled). This means she gets a lot of heavy sleep during the day, when visitors (and, let’s be honest, Mommy and Daddy) are holding her constantly. However, even in the sleep sack she sleeps a lot more lightly when lying in the bassinet at night. She whimpers every few minutes, waking us up because we never know when the full-out cry will come!
She hates being naked (changing her diaper and clothes or during a bath), but she looooooves having her hair washed. It’s so cute to see her staring up at us while we shampoo her head of hair!
She was finally able to meet Aunt Beth and soon-to-be Uncle Jeff when they came to stay on Thursday night. Beth, Jeff, and Aunt Traci (who lives with us) were super helpful by taking care of Anna while we got a few things accomplished around the house. They also made us and bought us a few frozen meals and some cookies – thanks, guys!
Also, thanks to all of you who have brought meals and gifts over! They are all SO appreciated! Every minute less we spend on food prep means one more minute to spend with our little girl, watching her make cute facial expressions in her sleep or singing her songs when she’s awake.
Alright, enough typing… back to enjoying time with Anna!
Wow, we can’t believe it has already been a week! I know people would like updates on Anna, so I will try to give you all the highlights I can remember from this week. I’ll start with just the health information, as a lot of people are interested in all of it.
Anna was born pretty small, even for her gestational age (36 weeks and 6 days – a preemie by just 12 hours!), which meant she had to be closely monitored in the hospital at first. We were worried about NICU stays and not being able to go home with Sara, but she seems to be about as healthy as she could be. We are so thankful!
Her blood sugar was fairly low right after birth, which meant she needed to be in the nursery for a few hours. John got to give Anna her first bath there, while the nurses fed her high-calorie formula to get her blood sugar levels back to a healthy level. Once that was accomplished, she came back to Sara’s room and was able to be held by most of her family (grandparents, two of three aunts, and an uncle).
On her second day, her bilirubin levels came back too high, so she needed to be put in a “bili bed” to prevent jaundice. Thankfully she was able to stay in the room with us; however, we couldn’t hold her, and she was not a fan of the bed. We had a lot of friends and family visit, so she got to meet a few more people! She weighed in at 4 lbs, 3.8 oz that evening.
On the morning of her third day (Tuesday), Anna’s bilirubin looked better and she was able to be off the “bed.” She passed her car seat test (they monitored her heart rate and breathing for one hour), which was great. The last thing to do before leaving the hospital was to get an ultrasound done on her lower spine, as there was some concern that she may have had an abnormality. All of this being accomplished, Anna and Sara were both discharged from the hospital and we all made the trip home!
The next day, a home nurse came to test Anna’s bilirubin again with a simple skin test. Because her levels came back questionable, we were sent into Children’s Hospital outpatient lab to have Anna’s foot pricked for the full blood test, which is more accurate. This was probably the hardest part of the week for me. I had to watch her scream bloody murder as the lab techs pricked her little heels (already bruised from other tests) not once, not twice, but three times before they got the amount of blood needed. So sad!
Anyway, the levels came back a little better than expected. So the next day, we went in for a check-up with Anna’s doctor. Everything was great: the ultrasound on her spine had come back negative (good), and her weight was now up to 4 lbs, 5 oz (yay!). However, we had to get another bilirubin reading, which meant another two heel pricks. Our sweet little girl is going to have a complex about her feet, I’m sure of it. Happily, though, the levels came back in a good range again.
That’s about it for the health story – let us know if you’re curious about anything. We are just so thankful and so happy that she is continuing to eat well and that she is so healthy! Thank you for your prayers!