Thursday, 18 June 2015

Quinn - 4 months

Holy moly Quinn! I was just reading back through your 3 month post and can't believe how much you've changed in just one month. I love watching you develop, learn and grow, but I am finding it hard at the same time. With you, our family is complete, so we are saying goodbye to each stage for good. And it's time to say goodbye to the newborn stage and let the fun continue as your little personality emerges and you begin to explore and interact more with us and everything around you.

Again we celebrated you being 4 months old with a trip to Public Health for your immunizations. I promise milestones won't always be celebrated with needles in your thighs. You of course did great! And you continue to chunk up. I was so happy to find out you weighed 12 lbs and 15 oz and were 24.5 inches tall. And then just a week later at your 4 month check up with our doctor you were 13 lbs and 3 oz. Happy and healthy!

You still spit up A. Lot. I couldn't count the number of times I've told you "it's a good thing you're cute" because some part of you constantly has baby barf on it. Some days it drives mommy a tiny bit crazy for all the bibs, burp cloths, blankets and clothes we go through, but thankfully you aren't in any discomfort and usually have a big smile on your face even though you are soaked. The doctor said it is quite normal for some babies and you should grow out of it soon as your core strength continues to build. I think we need to work some sit ups and planks into our play time.

You are definitely getting stronger though. You roll from your back to your tummy quite often. Most of the time you get stuck there and aren't too happy about it, but sometimes you figure out how to roll back again. 
My favourite part about this age is your giggle and babbling. I've tried several times to get your laugh on video, but you seem to have a bit of stage fright and freeze up every time I put my phone in front of you. You do love to laugh though and I can really get you going right before bed when I am getting you changed after your last bottle. You like the boo game, when I pretend to eat your hands and feet, silly voices and dancing. And you've become quite the talker. I wish I knew what you were telling, yelling or growling at the rhino, duck or yourself in the mirror when you are sitting in your chair.

You have a lot of friends already Quinn. We are so lucky to be surrounded by incredible moms and their awesome kids. I try my best to fit in some sort of play date at least once a week for you and your brother. A lot of the time it's because I need some honest mommy talk, but it's always because I love watching you two socialize with other kids. Amidst the chaos the sweetest moments happen all the time.

We took you swimming for the first time a few weeks ago and you didn't seem to mind it at all. You were so adorable in your little bathing suit and several other swimmers commented on how cute you were. In fact, just seconds after two other moms told me they loved all your hair, you spit up in the pool and I tried to stop it from floating towards them while they politely swam in the opposite direction. That was about the third time you had spit up so I figured it was time for us to get out and changed while your dad and brother enjoyed a few more trips down the waterside.

Now that you are more expressive, it's so awesome to watch you react to Brooks. You clearly love him just as much as he loves you. You always give him a smile when he comes to say hi or kisses your hand. You are extremely patient when he gets in your face a little too aggressively and giggle when he tries to make you laugh. He has honestly shown nothing but love, pride and a need to protect you since the day you arrived. The other night we were playing with a dragon puppet and I pretended it was biting your feet. The game came to a screeching halt and Brooks quite seriously and sternly said "no dragon. That my brother."

You are really getting the hang of the jolly jumper and even though you are still too small for it, you seem to like it in the jumperoo/exersaucer too. Just like your brother did, you usually spend some time in your jolly jumper before bed and Brooks and the dogs are usually a very captive audience.

We haven't given you any solid food yet, but we have started bringing your to the table with us in the bumbo chair while we eat. You are getting more and more interested in what we are eating all the time and the plan is to give some rice cereal a try right after you turn 5 months old. 

Sleeping continues to come very naturally to you. We are so so lucky!! You nap for an hour or two in the morning depending on what we are up to and then again for 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon. You are usually asleep for the night by 9 p.m. I am still needing to settle you one or twice in the night before you are up between 7 and 8 a.m., but that's no big deal at all.

Your hair is actually starting to lay down a bit in the front. You still sport a sweet rooster tail most of the time, but a bow or headband is almost always necessary to keep your bangs out of your eyes now. 

It's so true when people say, "enjoy it, they grow up too fast" and it's happening even faster the second time around. Quinn, I hope you always know that even in the hustle, bustle and sometimes stress of our days we are "enjoying it" and loving you each and every second. And we thank you for your sweet and somehow knowing smirks that melt that hustle, bustle and stress away. We couldn't love you more!!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Well ... that was crazy in the most incredibly awesome way (Quinn's birth story)

It's 3 am on Tuesday, February 3 and I just brought you into my room. You're sound asleep, but the hospital noises are keeping me awake. That's ok though. Sitting here, holding you and beginning to write your birth story is exactly what I want to be doing - no matter what time of day it is.

Quinn, you were born at 10:27 pm on February 2, 2015 and your arrival was nothing like anything your dad or I could have ever imagined. After three days of off and on labour, back and forth to the hospital, back labour, 8-10 hours of labour, an epidural and over an hour of pushing before your brother joined us sunny side up, with his arm above his head and the cord wrapped loosely around his neck - your dad and I expected a similar experience welcoming you. 

We couldn't have been more wrong. If your birth is any indication, you and your brother are going to be very different little people. Both absolutely amazing, but very unique. 

After a false alarm to the hospital at 2 a.m. Monday morning, neither of us were eager to head back until we were sure it was "go" time. Another doctor's appointment on Monday at 9 a.m. showed things were progressing, but slowly. So we headed home to try to sleep and relax.

Around supper time my contractions started to be consistent and strong, but the last thing I wanted to do was go back to the hospital only to be sent home again. Finally, I reluctantly decided we should head back to the hospital around 9 p.m. After a stop for coffee, we arrived at 9:21 p.m. and I was 3-4 cm dilated. The nurse went to admit me, get a labour room ready and prep for my epidural. We were thrilled to know we were staying and ready to settle in for what could still be hours and hours of labour. 

Wrong again. Immediately after the nurse left the room, my contractions started to pile up one on top of the other. It felt like I had about 3 or 4 back to back to back. I was distracted during my next contraction when my water broke. Yuck. With Brooks, I didn't experience my water breaking until the doctor broke it after my epidural and at about 9 cm dilated. I had hoped my water would break this time around as an indication that it was time to go to the hospital. In hindsight, I didn't need to experience that feeling. I wanted a shower immediately. Your dad called the nurse and after confirming that I did not wet the bed, my water had indeed broken, they hurried me into an adult sized diaper and scurried me down the hall to the delivery room.

I was told to go to the bathroom to try and pee and get fully undressed and in the hospital gown. As I grimaced through another contraction while washing my hands and looked in the mirror, I just knew there was no time for an epidural and began to panic.

The next contraction on my way out of the bathroom nearly knocked me to the floor and I painfully crawled up onto the bed so the lab tech could take my blood. Talk about high stress job. The poor guy dug around in my right arm trying to find a vein while I tried not to move or yell during what seemed like dozens of contractions. He finally gave up and moved around to try the left side and that is when I told the nurse I felt like I needed to push. It was also at that time I realized she had already turned on the bassinet warmer and my hopes of an epidural vanished. You were on your way.

Once my blood was finally taken, the nurse checked me and confirmed my suspicions. I was fully dilated and I was not getting an epidural. They quickly began to set the room up for delivery.

I was slightly terrified, started to cry and told your dad I couldn't do it. He quickly assured me I could do it and I was doing it. He held my hand, and although I could see the disbelief and slight nervousness in his face, he did what he does best and calmed me down. The nurses were incredible too and before I knew it, they were laying you on my chest barely an hour after we had arrived at the hospital. I honestly didn't even push. You and my body did all the work, I just listened to your dad and the nurses and did my best to help to slow what was naturally occurring with my breathing. It was really amazing.

My doctor arrived two minutes too late and looking quite shocked to see you were already here. But probably not as shocked as we were.

You were 7 lbs 6 oz and 21.5 inches of perfect. After getting over the surprise of all of your hair, the next thing the nurses commented on were the size of your feet. They are big. Very big for a petite little girl. 

It was the most intense experience of our lives and while we enjoyed the first private moments of getting to know you, we kept looking at each other and asking, "can you believe that just happened?" Sometimes when we asked, the question included some colourful language and laughing. We still ask each other that when we reminisce about your birth and will probably continue to ask for years to come. 

Quinn I hope one day you are blessed with having kids and I hope reading your birth story and your brother's will somehow prepare you for what you absolutely can't prepare for. I hope you can stay calm, find the humour in it and have a partner as supportive and loving as your dad by your side.

Thank you for giving me this story to write. I would do it all again, exactly the same, in a heartbeat.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Quinn - 3 Months

Before you were born Quinn, your dad and I talked about the first few months of your life and reminded ourselves that it may be a struggle at times. That we may be exhausted, emotional and irritable, but that we would get through it together. None of that is a reflection on you, but simply the truth about bringing a newborn home and for us (mostly me) adjusting to life as a family of four.

And now here we are. You are 3 months old. And aside from a couple hormonal weeks for me. It's been a breeze. Thanks to you and your sweet, easy going nature.

You may very well be THE BEST baby. Hope I didn't just jinx us, but so far it's true. You hardly ever cry. And really only fuss when you are hungry, tired or gassy. All of which are usually quick fixes.

You are already very independent. This trait has come in quite handy when your brother needs my attention, but may bite me in the bum as you grow older. You are super content to be sitting in your chair or playing on your mat as long as you are still a part of the action. Your favourite thing to do is talk to the baby in the mirror when you play and I wonder if your babbling and squeals are in response to all the hair she has. It makes sense, because you definitely sound shocked sometimes.

Your weight was in question again at a 10 week doctor's appointment, but a stronger round of thrush antibiotics and a little more formula gave us the all clear again at your 12 week appointment. You are now 10lbs 7oz.

We've increased your formula intake to four 6 ounce bottles a day and with that you are pretty solidly sleeping through the night. You go down between 9 and 10 pm and often require no soothing until 5 or 6 am and then may sleep until between 7 and 8 am. You love love love to snuggle and are most relaxed and cozy with your swaddle blanket up around your face.

And you still nap like a champ. If we stay home you go down in your crib for a morning and afternoon nap, but you also handle the disruption if we are out and about in the morning doing something for your brother. We met a lot of friends at the park on your 3 month birthday during morning nap time and you were happy as a clam dozing on and off in the stroller while the big kids blew off some steam.

I may have to cut the feet out of your sleepers. Not only do you have big feet that seem squished into the space designated for them, but you are tall. You've only just started to fill out the body of 0-3 and 3 month sleepers and don't seem big enough to go up a size. I always wondered why someone would choose to buy the sleepers with no feet and instead contend with the annoyance of baby socks or cold tootsies, but now I get it.

Hair. It's still thick and lush except for the slightly rubbed off patch on the back of your head that looks like a bad comb over. And I almost think it is getting long enough that it is starting to lay flat a little bit more each day.

You and Brooks continue to interact with each other and become better and better friends. He has to say good morning, good night or good bye to you and always asks where you are if you happen to nap longer than him. And if you are fussing or crying he runs to your side to tell you it will be ok. And you totally make his day if you treat him to a smile or some cooing. 

You have become more and more vocal and we've even gotten you to give us a slight giggle a couple of times. Unfortunately, I haven't caught it on video yet, but I am sure we will have proof soon enough. You think almost anything is funny.

You are moving around more and more. You seem close to possibly rolling over onto your tummy and enjoy lifting your legs up in the air to kick the toys hanging from your play mat. I love that you are getting more and more active and stretching your little body out, but I sure wish you would unclench your fists. Hahahaha. You constantly have one or both of them cocked as if you are going to punch someone in the jaw.

Quinn I will say it again. You are THE. BEST. The pride I/we feel already is incredible and you are just doing basic baby stuff. I can't imagine how much better it's going to get. We love you so much!