Thawing out

So like a lot of you, we are just starting to thaw out after near record setting snowfall and frigid temps. It was so cold that the schools have been closed all week and even Jeff’s company was for two days. But Odette’s preschool reopened today and Jeff was sadly expected to return to work himself. That leaves just me and Briar at home today. I was given strict instructions to do nothing but take care of myself and her. I can handle that. I figured since she is eating away and soon drifting off to sleep (I hope anyway.) I decided to blog one handed via the WordPress app on my phone. Formatting might be funky and pictures strange sizes but I’m trying to make due.

It is absolutely incredible to think that Briar is now 5 1/2 weeks old. Crazy business. In so many ways it seems like she was born yesterday, but then there’s all those ways that make it feel like she’s been around much longer than she has.

Briar is doing very well. She is eating well now after giving us that scare that landed her in NICU for six days. She is growing and changing a lot. It is amazing to see her development. She is up to about 7 pounds the last time we weighed her and is finally fitting into newborn size clothes. She eats about every 1 1/2 to 3 hours during the day and is learning to take a bottle from dad. She sleeps between 2 and 3 1/2 hours at night most of the time. Odette and I love to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider to her and play Pat a Cake. She is getting more and more used to tummy time and has a really strong neck. She tracks things with her eyes and with her entire head. It is fun to interact with her and watch her participate. Now that she’s past her due date we are able to put her in the Moby wrap and she likes that most days. She also likes to sit in her bouncer for a little while and watch the animals move. The sound of the hairdryer calms her down when she’s worked up and she absolutely hates getting changed or taking a bath. My girl seems to be like me and likes to be snuggly warm.

That sure sounds like it is all sunshine and rainbows here, but I will let you know that this adjustment to a family of 4 has been hard hitting like the foot of snow and frozen wind chills. Holy cow is having a newborn hard work!! We’ve been kicked onto our butts many times. Thankfully, just like the weather outside, we are starting to thaw out. I’m feeling more like myself again and less like I’ve been buried under a mound of snow and run over by a plow. I’m slowly adjusting to little sleep, eating dinner one-handed while feeding Briar, showering every few days, and my “me time” being spent listening to the hum of the breast pump. I am getting into a new rhythm and enjoying it more each day.

Briar is a dramatic one, beginning with her unexpected arrival 3 1/2 weeks early and not stopping since. She is having trouble with reflux and gas and spends most of her awake time upset. We have gone through a gamut of things to find the tricks that work for her. She doesn’t like car rides, her Mamaroo bouncer thing, or sleeping unless she is on someone’s chest or being held. There were days when she would cry from about sun up to sun down unless she was eating. When she does sleep she wakes very easily and often and needs a lot of soothing from us. Maybe all newborns are like that? We don’t know, but we do know that it was/is hard. One thing that has seemed to help us all is that we had Briar’s tongue tie corrected last week. It was something that the doctors, nurses, and lactation consultants went around about for a while to decide if they would recommend the surgery or not. Ultimately the pediatrician saw our exhaustion at our one month appointment (which was actually moved up a few days early because of our call for needing advice and suggestions getting Briar to sleep) and requested that I seek the advice of another lactation consultant and look into seeing an ENT about Briar’s tongue tie. It seemed to be possibly causing latching and feeding difficulties and leading to no sleep for anyone. We went last Friday for a consultation with the ENT and had the 3 second surgery performed that day in his office. I’m not exactly sure how much it has helped or how much time and adjustment for us has played a role. But things are improving. She’s sleeping more, feeding for longer chunks of time and less often, and even has happy awake time regularly. Praise God!

It is such a wonderful feeling to be holding this little life in my arms. I kiss her cheek about 172 times a day. She is so stinking cute and incredible. We all love her to bits and can’t imagine not having her in our family.

Life around here is on the up and up. I’m confident of it. Sure there will be many more sleepless nights ahead of us, but the most difficult times are behind us. The thaw is here. Soon our home will be warm and glowing once again.

I will leave you with random pictures of our days.

Visiting Santa

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Peeking in on little sister. She sleeps better in this where she’s more upright.

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Christmas

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Hanging out. Doing the baby thing.

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Pre tongue tie surgery. Best picture I could get. Basically she had extra skin under her tongue that prevented her from lifting it much or sticking it out past her gum line.

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Post surgery

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Trying to keep warm in the bath.

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Sisterly love

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Hope you are all staying warm!
Sarah

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