Saturday, September 22, 2012

Letters to Lydia: One Month

August 4, 2012

My dearest Lydia, 

I still have a vivid memory of seeing you for the first time. As you were finishing your exit, they placed your head on the right side of my lower stomach and I remember thinking "Who is this?! She/he doesn't look like any of us!" When I picked you up to move you to my chest, I saw that you were a girl! Of course you were, I had known all along ;) Later, I was shocked to hear that you weighed 9lbs 8oz! Of course, it felt like you were that big, but I still couldn't believe it! You had no neck - just a big roll of fat. And super-long fingernails. During your first 24 hours on the outside, I don't think you opened your eyes once - very different from your big sister and big brother. We could tell you had been sucking your thumb on the inside, as you quickly found it after being born. But after we showed you the breast, you were more pleased with finding comfort and food in mommy and quickly dropped your little habit. You were definitely an overachiever in the elimination department. Your daddy was a champ changing all those sticky, black poos! And when they weighed you on your third day, sure enough, you had dropped a whopping 15oz - and immediately started looking like an Abel. We just had to get rid of all that fluid build-up first. 

Your brother and sister met you on the evening of your birthday. They were in awe. When we told them your name, Zoe confused it with Olivia, and turned it into Alydia. She called you that for the first day or so until I came up with the idea to give you a nickname in an effort to change her mind. It worked, and that's how you became our little Lydi-bug! 

Your first month was pretty normal for a newborn - you spent your days eating, sleeping, and pooping. In the eating department, you struggle with latching on properly but you are still able to get what you need. You have a characteristic "squeak" when nursing that, while at home is cute and funny, can actually be quite loud and embarrassing when we are out! :) During the first two weeks there were bouts of colic in the evenings but I tried to remind myself that your little system was just working itself out, and sure enough, the "colic" disappeared. You proved difficult to get to sleep for a while. We found what worked was giving you a pinky finger to suck on while walking the halls with our little swaddled bundle. If we tried sitting down in the rocking chair, forget it. Thank you for helping me lose some baby weight :) Once we got you to sleep, however, you were a champ at sleeping long stretches early on (thank you for that, too!) Later in the month, we realized you despised the baby swing and the bouncer and our routine of getting you to sleep proved difficult after Daddy went back to work. But, then, I found you a new swing and it worked like a charm! You started having content awake time and napping in it and mommy was actually able to accomplish things again - like feeding the rest of the family! 

There was an outpouring of love with your arrival. Even as the third child, you received so many beautiful gifts and sentiments from so many lovely friends and family members! We also received lots of delicious meals, which was very helpful this month. Your Daddy and I are so thankful for the support network we have. Among some of the visitors you've had this month are Grandma and Grandpa Abel, who met you on your first day. Grandmommy and Granddaddy, Auntie Jo, Auntie Abi (from AUS!), Uncle Graeme and Aunt Carol Wilson, Aunt Leslie, Hannah, Laura, Bethany, and Carmel to name a "few." We also celebrated your first month birthday with Uncle Daniel and Auntie Lindsay and their four, as well as Uncle Peter and Auntie Karly and the girls. 

You are loved, sweet girl, and we are so happy you're here! 

P.s. How could I forget?! You started smiling at just 3 weeks old, a major highlight for the month :)  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Letters to Lydia: Two Months

Dusting off the ol' blog to write monthly updates for Lydia. Who says the third child doesn't get much attention? I want to savor the little things and writing these letters will help me with that. I have Lydia's first month highlights, but it's not quite ready to share. So we're starting with 2 months. 

Dearest Lydia, 

Today you are two months old. It's hard to believe you're that old already but we couldn't imagine our lives without you. It's also hard to believe that my first baby girl started school today, too! You all grow up too fast! A few highlights from the last month are:

You have really started kicking! Every time I watch you I think back to how active you were on the inside. Such a little miracle you are. 

Though you started smiling at around three weeks, this month you have been very liberal with your smiles - capturing the hearts of many! Anyone who meets you comments on what a smiley baby you are. For example, when our lactation consultant came for a visit, you not only smiled, but also gave her a giggle immediately when she held you. Shortly thereafter, you also pooped while she was holding you - such manners. I guess you were feeling pretty comfortable around her. ;) And one night while the rest of the family was at Bible class, you and I had a belly laugh session that lasted a few minutes - it was adorable.

You love ceiling fans. 

Tummy time is coming along, though I think you're my laziest baby as far as this is concerned. You're getting there, though. And with the breastfeeding "olympics" we've been trying, you're getting very strong. 

In terms of sleep, you are definitely a third child. You love to sleep. You seem to fall asleep more easily when there are lights on and noise in the background. I usually take you into the living room while the older two are running around like crazy and it doesn't take long for you to drift off. At nap time I wrap you up and carry you in my arms during the hustle and bustle of getting Zoe and Colby down for naps, and you often fall asleep by the time I've sung one song! Very convenient, baby girl! Thank you :) Night time sleep has been unbelievable thus far. Over the last month, I can count on one hand the number of times you've woken up more than once a night or before 4am (after being put down around 10). Many mornings we don't see you until 5 or 5:30. Go, you! After your early morning feed, I roll you onto your tummy in our bed and you sleep soundly there for the rest of the morning, it's completely adorable. 

This month I have been conflicted over how to deal with your eating and sleeping. After meeting the lactation consultant I was told that your eating and sleeping patterns are very unusual for someone your age. You have started a slight descent on the growth charts, however, when you are awake you are the sweetest thing - alert, happy, and cute as can be. You don't cry very much either! We think you must be doing alright. As suggested though, I will try to squeeze in more feedings, but I won't push it too much. We have an appointment at the Newman center in Toronto later this month to try to figure out your latch problems/possible tongue tie?! Breastfeeding has never been easy for your momma, but you are worth the effort! 

Lastly, we took you on your first big road trip! We visited Grandmommy and Granddaddy in Mansfield for our traditional labor day weekend (shrimp boil included). You traveled like a champ and didn't skip much of a beat while we were there. You even got in your first trip to Target!

We love you, sweet Lydia!