Our baby is ONE MONTH OLD! Wow!
It’s amazing how much your life can change in just one month. Babies do that I guess. This has been the most amazing, beautiful, exhausting, challenging, and wonderful month of our lives.
(In retrospect we probably should have put a stuffed animal or something by her to help see how much she has grown.)
Here are a few highlights from her first month:
When she left the hospital, the pediatrician was concerned about jaundice. They discharged us from the hospital and wanted us to see our own pediatrician within 1-2 days to monitor her bilirubin levels. We have an amazing doctor’s office (thank you for the referral, Sarah) and the office was able to get us in the next day. Dr. Alt is amazing. If anyone is looking for an amazing pediatrician in our area, seriously go to Dr. Alt at Grandville Pediatrics. She spent so much time with us, explained anything and everything, treated us and Alice with such kindness and respect, and was just genuinely a nice person. It turned out that Alice’s weight had dropped to 5lb-1oz (birth: 5lb12oz / hospital discharge: 5lb6oz) and she was looking pretty orange (characteristic of jaundice). Dr. Alt had us get labwork to check her bilirubin levels. This was really sad, by the way. The way that lab technician’s get blood from a newborn is to prick their foot and *squeeze* blood drops out into a small vial. Babies don’t like this much. Anyway, Dr. Alt called us later with the lab results (another reason why she is so awesome) and explained the next steps. We got the biliblanket that afternoon and started her on the lights. Anyone who has had a baby with jaundice and has had to use the biliblanket knows that this is a huge pain. Alice was basically attached with a 4ft cord to a heavy little machine that had to be plugged in. We were basically stuck in one room all the time. It’s very stressful (or at least it was for me) to have such restrictions, especially when you are still trying to get the hang of caring for a baby. Lucky for us, and for Alice, she only needed the blanket for three days – but she did need two more heel pricks to check her levels (thankfully the other two pricks went easier than the first). While she was a super adorable glowworm, we were definitely glad to be done with it and know that the jaundice was improving.
Because she was such a small baby, she could only fit into preemie sized clothes (and diapers) for the first 2-3 weeks. We had a grand total of THREE items of clothing that would fit her, all of them being long-sleeve onesies. No pajamas, no pants, nothing warm. THANKFULLY our good friend Sarah let us borrow some of her daughter’s clothes and others were kind enough to pick up some preemie sized outfits for Alice. Preemie sized stuff is pretty hard to find, especially WARM preemie sized stuff at the start of spring. Now, it still amazes me that stores don’t only ever carry fleece footie pajamas for preemie sized babies – year round. Why would a baby that small want to wear a t-shirt? They are tiny and need to stay warm. Come on now. Anyway, we owe a major THANK YOU to everyone who helped out and loaned or bought her cute stuff to stay clothed and warm (the Albers family, Megan/Eric, Megghan, Frank/Katelyn, and anyone else I missed!). Even at one month she still can only wear newborn sized tshirt onesies and the newborn sized terrycloth footie jammies from carter’s. She’s spending a long time at the awkward stage where she is too tall for preemie stuff but too skinny and small for newborn sized stuff so her wardrobe is pretty limited. I can’t wait until she can fit in all the cute stuff people have bought for her…
Alice has become really good at pretending to be a sleepy, quiet baby when visitors are around. She has this somewhat unfair pattern of being overly sleepy, cuddly, and adorable when people come to visit and then as soon as they walk out the door she is wide awake, screaming, fussy, and won’t sleep for hours. She’s really good at that.
She can make eye contact and will look at us when we talk to her. Her favorite thing to look at is the windows when light is coming in through the blinds or curtains. She would stare at it forever if we let her sit there. She has also just started to be able to track items with her eyes. She lifts her head up all the time during tummy time and loves to headbang when she is hungry. On a particularly fussy night, we realized that loud white noise is her calming noise – not soft music or quiet rain sounds – but loud steady noise like the hairdryer. She had been screaming for a very long time and nothing would soothe her until I shut myself in the bathroom with her and turned the hairdryer on and put it in the sink. I swear to you, that girl was asleep within FIVE SECONDS of me turning on the hair dryer. FIVE SECONDS.
She sleeps well at night and usually only wakes up every 2.5-3 hours, which isn’t terrible. She is usually pretty good about getting changed, eating, and going back to sleep. I definitely appreciate that, Alice. Thank you.
My grandma made this really amazing quilt for Alice which she started several years ago. It is very elaborately cross-stitched so that even the backside looks clean.
Here is a collection of cute Alice pictures from the last month:
Plus, when Alice was about a week and a half old, Jenn came out and did newborn pictures. You can see the sneak peak of them here. There are super cute, although she was either crying or scowling in all of them. She is quite a scowly baby.
Derek and I went out without her for the first time on April 11. We had a groupon that was expiring for a painting class (love those!) so Aunt Tracey graciously babysat sweet baby Alice while we went to the class. Turned out we were the only people who showed up for it (kinda uncomfortable) but the good thing was that we got to pick which painting we wanted to do and we got done way earlier than expected. The whole experience wasn’t that bad, probably because we left her with someone that we love and trust and that we know loves her. If we sent her to a daycare or something instead, we would have felt differently about leaving her.