Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Holland | One Month

It feels so strange to be writing monthly posts again!  I looked back 4.5 years on this dear blog and read a few of Jude & Sloane's posts so I could remember how I structured them!  It worked well then so I decided to stick with the same set-up.

I know everyone says it but this first month flew.  The hospital stay was incredibly short and the following weeks felt like we were living in fast forward.  Each Friday I took a weekly picture in her nursery and marveled at how quickly the days were going by.

Holland's stats at:

Weight: 8 lbs 8 oz
Height: 21"
Head: 14.6"

2 Weeks
Weight: 9 lbs 5 oz (79%)
Height: 21.5" (93%)
Head: 14.75" (96%)

One Month:
Weight: 10 lbs 7 oz (80%)
Height: 22" (91%)
Head: 15" (95%)


Just like her brother and sister, Holland loves to eat and already has cheeks and rolls to prove it.  She had a great latch from day one and once we got past the overproduction drama, we both settled in quite nicely.  The biggest issue now is reflux.  She eats way too quickly and almost immediately spits up so we've been doing lots (and lots) of laundry.  At her one month appointment the doctor wrote a script for reflux, which should hopefully make it less painful for her.

Right now she is eating every two hours during the day (sometimes three, other times it's every single hour - yeesh) and crashes almost immediately afterward.  Usually when she's cluster fed all day it's because she falls asleep five minutes into nursing and I can't get her to wake up.  Those days can be frustrating for everyone.  After her last feeding we swaddle her and put her down around 9:30p.  She usually wakes up at 3a to eat and then again around 6.  I really enjoy the 5-6 hour stretch of sleep and it keeps me from feeling like a zombie the next day.

I pump once every three or four days so we have several bottles in the fridge if necessary but I decided not to freeze milk this time around.  I found out very late with the twins that I have excess lipase, an enzyme in the milk that changes the taste after it's thawed.  For now, I just dump whatever milk isn't used and my only plan to freeze is if I know I'm going to be away from her for a few days.  When she does have a bottle it's three ounces.

Nursing was a little stressful for me with the twins ("Are they eating enough?" "Should I be nursing them more/less?") but with Holland I'm just letting the doctor's scale be my guide.  Since she's gaining weight and staying on track with her growth, I'm happy.

I don't want to say this transition has been a piece of cake because that sounds obnoxious, but Michael and I have both been shocked at how nice it is to have a singleton this time (especially when that singleton is easy and her siblings are quite a bit older).  The first month with the twins was incredible but so much work.  This month has been so much fun.  I must point out that my amazing mom stayed with us this first month and her help was invaluable.  Along with playing with the kiddos, she made sure the grownups were fed and weren't living in a dump.  She went home the other day so we'll see how "piece of cake-ish" I'm feeling at Holland's two month update.  :)


If there were an Olympic event for sleep, Holland would win a gold medal.  I've googled, "How much sleep should my baby get at __ weeks" as well as asked her doctor at every single appointment if she's ok.  When she's not eating, she's asleep.  I knew that would be the case for the first two weeks but she was well into her third week before she would stay awake for more than a minute at a time.  We've taken full advantage of this and have gone on several outings and errands while she snoozed through it all.

We stopped swaddling her when she got home from the hospital and after two weeks of waking up every two or three hours at night I said to Michael, "I wish there was something we could do to prevent her from moving her arms at night - that seems to be waking her up."  Michael politely reminded me there was this thing called a swaddle that we could try again.  Clearly sleep deprivation had set in for me.  We swaddled her the next night and she slept six straight hours.

Holland sleeps in the Dockatot at night and it's been amazing for both of us.  She's comfortable & cozy when she sleeps and I don't have to leave the bed when it's time to feed her.  For a tired/lazy mom, that is HUGE.  When she's consistently sleeping through the night we'll move her to her crib, but for now I absolutely love having her close.

She occasionally takes a pacifier but not always.  While the pacifier fixed all things with the twins, Holland has to be in the mood for it, otherwise she spits it out and looks at us like we're crazy for even thinking it might help.

Dear Holland,
What an incredible month it's been!  You entered the world with a terrifying screech but have been the most laidback baby ever since... unless you're hungry or need a diaper change and then the screech makes a dramatic reappearance.  One month later and it still shocks us with how loud it is.  Maybe you'll be an opera singer someday?  Your falsetto is astounding.

Before you were born I imagined what you'd look like and I always pictured dark hair.  Sure enough, you have the darkest hair of the bunch.  I'm so curious to see if it stays or if you'll lose it like your siblings.  The biggest surprise is your eyes - they are so unique!  They're almond shaped and the deepest blue.  You have your brother's lips and your sister's scowl.  It's fun to see the similarities but I also love how different you look from them.  You are clearly your own person!

You absolutely love to be held.  While you sleep great in the Dockatot or Rock 'n Play, your best sleep is in someone's arms.  Not to name names, but your Gaga held you every chance she got this last month and it seems like that made both of you so happy.  When you are upset you like to be walked around the house and within minutes you're asleep once again.

You wore newborn clothes for two weeks before your long body and chubby stomach decided it was time for 0-3 months.  Sometimes I think if I stare long and hard enough I can actually watch you grow - it's all happening so quickly.

You are noisy, sweet girl.  When you eat, sleep, or have a bowel movement, everyone knows it.  It's pretty funny, though we'll have to work on these things as you get older.  Not the most feminine traits but hilarious for the rest of us.

Jude & Sloane adore you.  Sloane loves helping in every way possible and Jude is on pacifier duty at all times.  They both love to hold you (though you're heavy enough now that they struggle) and they talk about you constantly.  They enjoy introducing friends to you and are quite protective of their baby sister.

Holland, you have been the absolute best addition to our little family.  You've taught each of us so much already and I stand amazed at how easy this transition has been.  I never knew what we were missing but now that you're here I can't imagine this precious life without you.  Your sweet face brings us so much joy and I'm excited to watch you grow.  I so look forward to seeing your first smile.  Until then, darling girl, I smile enough for the both of us.

Love - Mama 

One month
Three Weeks
Two Weeks
One Week


First bath at home

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Holland's Birth Story

The night before Holland arrived was some of the best sleep I'd had in a long time.  I was so ready to meet her that the typical pains and discomfort didn't keep me up like they had for the past few weeks.  Since the c-section was scheduled for noon on Friday we didn't have to wake up at 3:30 am as we did with the twins.  When it was time to go we loaded up our bags, took some final pictures as a family of four, and left around 9:30 to make it to the hospital by 10.

The drive was fine but the nerves I hadn't felt before suddenly kicked in.  We found a perfect parking spot (I've always considered that a good sign) but it felt so odd walking into the hospital in broad daylight, knowing we were going to have a new baby in two hours.  

Once we checked in they took us to a labor & delivery room and had me put on the infamous gown.  From there, I was asked tons of questions, got my IV, four dozen wristbands (or so it seemed), and met several people who would be with us during the surgery.  Then it was time for my epidural.

Epidurals make me extremely nervous due to my scoliosis and this one was especially hard because they wouldn't allow Michael in the room.  The anesthesiologist could not have been nicer and talked me through it all.  Even though it wasn't my first time, it was definitely comforting to be reminded of each step along the way.  Once it kicked in, they helped me lie down and then I waited and waited... and waited for Michael.  They finally let him come in and my eyes filled with tears - it was then I realized how anxious I was.  I remember saying, "I'm pretty scared." I wasn't sure if having a repeat c-section would make me less nervous (I knew what I was getting into) or more nervous (I knew what I was getting into) but it was quite clear I was the latter.  

Michael knelt down and grabbed my hand.  Surgery started and I just stared at him the entire time so I wouldn't think about what was happening on the other side of the sheet.  The doctors were chatting about everyday events and the anesthesiologist must've seen my face because she leaned down and said, "It's good when they chat.  We worry when they're silent."  A few minutes later she told me I was about to feel a lot of pressure. I guess Holland was in the perfect position because I felt one push and my doctor said, "That's all we need. I've got her."  And then we heard the loudest screech.  I'm not sure anyone has ever made an entrance quite like Holland.  The whole room cracked up and several of the ladies wished us luck with her in the future - HA!

They cleaned her up and Michael went over to the scale while they took her measurements.

Holland Claire Haynes
April 7, 2017
12:21 pm
8 lbs 8 oz

As soon as she was cleaned up they brought her back and put her on my chest.  It was hard for me to see her because she was so close to my face but I asked Michael who she looked like, if she had hair, how much hair, etc.  They repositioned her so I could get a better look and I remember thinking she was absolutely beautiful.  

My doctor asked if I was still certain I wanted a tubal and I quietly said yes.  But in that moment, I wanted 40 more babies.  Michael cleared his throat and said a firmer "YES" for my sake (and his) so the doctor got to work.  

After she finished they wheeled us back to our labor & delivery room for a few hours to recover.  I tried breastfeeding and Holland was an absolute pro from the beginning, just like her brother.  Both sets of grandparents came in to meet her and passed her around the room.  Everyone commented on her dark hair and sweet face.  Michael and I could not stop smiling.

We stayed in the hospital for three nights and it was an amazing experience - the nurses were all incredibly friendly and so helpful.  Jude and Sloane met her on Saturday and it was pretty much what we expected:  Sloane was head over heels and Jude took a little bit to warm up.  "Mom has a baby in her belly" was a little too abstract for him throughout the pregnancy so actually seeing the baby was a bit of a surprise.  By the end of the visit, he was comfortable with her and couldn't get enough. 

I'll be honest, the time we were in the hospital felt like a mini vacation.  There were so many quiet moments of just bonding with our new daughter and it was such a sweet time for the three of us.  I missed the big kids terribly but knew they were having so much fun with their grandparents.  

My milk came in on day two and it turned into quite the ordeal as my body was prepared to feed twins again.  There is pain and then there is MISERY and I reached that point by Sunday evening so I borrowed a hospital pump for some relief.  It didn't work itself out until I'd been home for several days and had taken to heating pads, ice packs, pumping, NOT pumping, cluster feeding, and finally cabbage leaves to decrease my supply.  I know it's a great problem to have, but I am very thankful my body has since adjusted. 

One of the biggest differences between this c-section and the last was the recovery.  With the twins they had me in bed for 24 hours (with my epidural) before I was allowed to get up.  This time?  They had me up and walking around my room six hours after surgery.  Not going to lie, I was a little disappointed because I was very much looking forward to 24 hours of pure laziness, but I knew this would be better for my recovery.  I did more walking in the hospital than I did the first two weeks with the twins.  

Holland is incredibly laidback and has the sweetest disposition.  She has made the transition from four to five so easy and fun.  I'm embarrassed to admit how obsessed I am with her but it is such a good feeling since I was originally scared I would have a hard time bonding with her.  Instead, I have a hard time sharing her with anyone - whoops!

I'm so grateful Michael and I get to do this again - something I never expected to happen but the absolute best surprise of my life.  I have huge dreams for this girl and cannot wait to get to know her more.  Sweet Holland Claire, you are loved, you are loved, you are LOVED.


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