8.11.2016

Eleanor | 4 Months Old

Eleanor turned 4 months old last week... this has definitely been the biggest month for Eleanor developmentally. Girl wants to be on the move!
 Weight: 12lbs 9oz
Height: 25in
 Eleanor Joy likes...
mommy
toys 
(especially her brown+pint crinkle blankie)
diaper changes
her binky
naps in the ergo
watching Jack play
and her mommy
did I mention her mommy?
Eleanor Joy dislikes...
when mommy leaves
loud noises
being put down
anyone but mommy ;)
Health: Eleanor is now completely in size 3-6 month clothes and she moved up into size 2 diapers. Unfortunately, my gut feeling was confirmed at her 4 month wellness checkup and it looks like my little love has reflux. I knew Eleanor spit up what seems to be mass quantities of milk after every feeding and the burping issue that I mentioned before has only seemed to get worse. That fact and along with some other suspect systems (arching her back, interrupted sleep due to gas, screaming before and after spitting up, etc.) had me worried but I was praying it was simply me being paranoid. Ellie is such a sweet, happy baby most of the time it's hard for me to imagine anything was wrong. But when the doctor put her on that scale my heart just sunk. Eleanor isn't gaining weight at the rate she should be. I knew it...but now that it's been confirmed by her doctor we're taking some necessary steps in hopes that the reflux will subside. I immediately eliminated dairy from my diet and started Eleanor on a infant probiotic. I'm also just carrying her a lot more so that she can remain upright longer after a feeding in hopes of not losing her entire meal by spitting up. Praying that progress is made with these adjustments by her next weight check appointment in 2 weeks.

Nursing: No change here during the day.. Eleanor still nurses about every 3 hours. Nights, however, are a different story. Ellie and I flew to NY for my brother Justin's wedding and during our stay she started waking an extra time at night...about 5 hours after falling asleep instead of the 7-8 hour stretch she usually did. She falls right back to sleep after her first feeding and then wakes to eat again 3-4 hours later. Could be that the trip messed up her sleep schedule a bit, could be teething or the 4 month sleep regression, or maybe even another symptom of reflux! Who knows! I'm just thankful she goes right back to sleep with no fuss after feeding each time.

Sleeping:  I definitely don't think Eleanor is getting enough sleep during the day so she's been making up for it at night by falling asleep even earlier! She's out by 6 or 6:30 every night now! That's pretty darn early... Most nights she's waking up around 11 to nurse and then again around 3. She is up for the day by 6:30 usually. I can't complain --12 hours with only 2 night wakings is bliss compared to her brother who at one point was waking 8 times a night to nurse!! I still am not sure how I survived that one.

And despite my efforts, Eleanor is officially a tummy sleeper. She actually has been for a while now but I would gently roll her back onto her side or back. Now that has become pointless because as soon as I walk away she rolls back onto her tummy. She also still loves to sleep covered in a million blankets. I let her fall asleep that way and then I go in and remove all the blankets for the night. She is so cute when she sleeps it's hard for me to get anything done.
New this Month: So much! Eleanor did great on her first plane ride. Hardly made a peep and when she did she simply smiled and cooed at everyone who looked her way. I even had a gentleman tell me that she had given him baby fever ;)! She met lots of friends and family while traveling and was seriously just the best little traveling companion ever. Developmentally, Eleanor has been rolling both ways like it's her job! She enjoys playing on her belly and reaching for toys. She can even get her knees up under her like she's trying to crawl away (stop it! just stop it already!) Anything she grabs immediately goes into her slobbery, teething mouth. She also discovered her feet and toes this month, which is always cute! Also, girlfriend can talk! I always thought Jack was such a chatterbox at this age, but I think she's got him beat. She is always cooing up a storm to anyone who will listen. And those legs! Always kicking them making me believe she might just stand straight up and run away! She is a wiggle worm for sure. Also, I don't know if separation anxiety can be a thing this young... but Ellie definitely has it. When I leave the room she puts on the cutest sad face and just starts bawling. It's pretty much adorable...

Even with the reflux issues, Eleanor is such a happy, content baby. I feel so blessed to have her as my daughter. She is so easy to make smile and laugh. Every time she wakes up she smiles and looks at me as if I've been gone for years and she's just so ecstatic I'm back now! I love this sweet girl so much!
Happy 4 months, Eleanor Joy!
You are adored by each of us so very much!

7.29.2016

Eleanor | 3 Months Old

Eleanor turned 3 months old on July 4th. My sweet girl is growing up and changing so quickly that I've started taking notes on my phone so I can remember all the new developments and when they happened!
 3 month old Ellie likes...
naps in the Ergo
any and all baby toys
her binky
being wrapped up to her head in blankets
cooing and talking up a storm
her mommy
3 month old Ellie dislikes...
bath time
loud noises
not being able to see mommy
Health: No wellness checkup this month so we just did measurements at home. I weighed her right on July 4th and she was about 12lbs and 24in on the dot. Still in size 1 diapers and almost completely wearing 3-6 month clothes.

Nursing: Eleanor still nurses about every 3 hours during the day and only waking once to eat at night. I do think she has started teething this month, resulting in some fussiness and tugging while nursing. But she is still a great eater and likes to stick to her 3 hour nursing schedule!

Sleeping: Eleanor has actually slept straight through the night a couple times this month! WooHoo! Most nights though she is asleep by 6:30-7, waking once to eat, and then starting her day at 6:30 or 7. I can't complain about that! 12 hours at night is a dream come true to me!! I feel as though her gas issues have gotten a little better and she is stirring less at night because she needs to burp. Now if she stirs I can usually get away with just putting her binky back in and she'll settle herself.

For naps...I've been trying to ensure Ellie gets 3 naps a day. Less than that and this girl can't hang till her 6:30 bedtime! Naps are still a challenge though because she startles so easily and Jack tends to have one volume: LOUD! The easiest way for me to help her get a good nap is by wearing her in the Ergo. She absolutely loves it and in asleep almost instantly and will usually nap 1 1/2 to 2 hours in it every morning. Her second nap happens around noon (or whenever Jack goes down for his nap), and then her last nap is hit or miss in the evenings.
New this Month: A lot of new developments this month for little miss Ellie! She was able to meet Nana and Papa Carroll for the first time in June when they came to visit for a couple weeks. She definitely enjoyed all the extra snuggling and time spent in people's arms. This girl doesn't ever want to be put down if it can be avoided ;)! The day she turned 9 weeks old she rolled from her belly to back. She doesn't do it often but can now officially roll from belly to back and back to belly! Her hand eye coordination is really improving and she is expertly reaching and grasping for her toys. If her hands aren't busy playing with a toy, she's using them to explore mommy's face or trying her darnedest to fit both fists completely in her mouth. Also, this month she discovered the joys of the mirror. Put her in front of that thing and she'll smile and coo nonstop. Probably my favorite development this month though was hearing those first giggles! Ellie is ticklish right under that adorable little chin and also on her tummy. I can't help but blow raspberry after raspberry to hear this girl's sweet giggle!
Happy 3 month, Eleanor Joy! 
You are such a happy, smiley little girl. 
We are so lucky to call you ours.

6.17.2016

Eleanor | 2 Months Old

A little more punctual this month with little Eleanor's update, but hopefully I'll do even better next month. This little girl is growing so quickly it's hard to remember everything! She has the sweetest, most content disposition and brings so much joy to me, Steven, and even Jack!
 2 month old Ellie likes...
the ergo wrap
lamaze peacock
her binky
cuddling
lots and lots of blankets
silly faces and noises
her mom and big brother
2 month old Ellie dislikes...
tummy time
bath time
loud noises
gas
Health: At her last appointment Eleanor weighed 11lbs 1oz and was 23 1/2in long. She is super long and grew an inch and a half this past month! She is still in size 1 diapers and 0-3 month clothes although sleepers or anything with feet are starting to become too short for her.

Nursing: Not much of a difference this month with her feeding schedule. She is a great nurser and usually eats every 3 hours during the day with only 1 night waking to feed. The problem with her eating is the gas. It can be hours after she eats, and even though I've burped her numerous times, she still squirms in discomfort due to the need to burp. Sometimes at night I can tell she is so uncomfortable that I pick her up and burp her even though she's not awake or fussing.. just a lot of squirming and grunts. We aren't sure if it's her lip tie, something in my diet, or just her still immature digestive system. Hoping she grows out of it quickly and the lip tie doesn't need to be snipped.

Sleeping: Still a great sleeper! Most nights Ellie is asleep between 7-8 and sleeps a 6 or 7 hour stretch, waking at about 2am to nurse. After that we go back to bed until Jack wakes us up around 6:30 or 7. If she has more than that 1 night waking it's because of gas and I burp her but don't nurse her again. She was starting her nights sleeping in her rock and play and then I'd move her into bed with me to sleep after her nightly feeding, but now I usually just let her spend the entire night in my bed. I love co-sleeping with my babies!

Naps are pretty much a disaster. Not because I think she's necessarily a bad napper, but because she really needs it to be quiet to enter into that deep sleep. Jack storming around the house startles her awake time and time again...even if I put her in a separate room from us. A lot of days I put her in the ergo wrap when Jack and I go outside to play and she sleeps a good hour or two in there. Usually takes at least 2 other short 45 minute or so catnaps during the day.  
New this Month: Eleanor has so many cute expressions! She is such a happy girl and smiles and coos at everyone.. especially her mommy and big brother! She follows Jack with her eyes all day simply mesmerized by everything he does. She is not a fan of tummy time but is very good at it. She not only pushes up onto her elbows but can completely straighten our her arms while pushing up..but she doesn't tolerate it for long. This girl loves lots and lots of cuddles and never wants to be put down if we can help it. She also loves to be wrapped up head to toe in blankets. I pull her soft, muslin blankets all the way up to her cheeks and her eyes instantly start closing and she drifts off. It's not uncommon for me to catch her snoozing with her hand gripping her blanket up to her face. It's seriously the sweetest thing! Not only has she been gripping objects with those hands, but she also has discovered that they are loads of fun to stick in her mouth and so the slobbery fist sucking has begun ;)
Happy 2 months sweet, beautiful girl! 
You bring us all so much joy!

5.26.2016

Eleanor | One Month Old

So I'm almost a whole month late on writing Eleanor's one month post, but at least I remembered to take the pictures! Now let's see if I can remember all the details from her first month...
Weight: 9lbs 12oz
(exactly 2lbs smaller than her brother at one month)

Height: 22in
(but 1 whole inch taller!)
Eleanor likes...
her mom ;)
being held
lamaze peacock
sleeping
diaper changes
lotion massages
car rides
binky

Eleanor dislikes...
bath time
tummy time
daddy holding her
(sorry Steven!)
the baby swing

Health: Little Ellie is healthy and strong! I can't believe she's gained a whole 2lbs since birth! She was in newborn clothes and diapers until 3 weeks. Then we had to move up to size 0-3 months clothes and size 1 diapers.

Nursing: I thank the Lord that Ellie and I haven't had any of the nursing issues I had with Jack. No clogged ducts, no mastitis, and no need to use a nipple shield! Just some crazy engorgement the first couple weeks. Eleanor does have a moderate lip tie, but since she is gaining weight fine her pediatrician doesn't think it will need to be clipped. It does, however, cause her to swallow a good bit of air while she is nursing resulting in a ton of burping on her end. I feel so bad for her and work really hard to help her get out all that air! 

Eleanor came out of the womb a pretty schedule little lady. I nurse on demand but quickly noticed she was nursing every 2-3 hours during the day, but that I needed to wake her at night to nurse to meet the 3 hour time frame. After just one week though, after we saw that she weighed 8lbs 1oz (gaining back her birth weight and some!), they said I no longer needed to wake her at night to nurse every 3 hours. She now only nurses once at night and about every 3 hours during the day.

Sleeping: She is an amazing sleeper (crossing my fingers it stays this way)! After I got the okay to let her sleep as long as she wants at night, she quickly worked her way up to a 6 hour stretch. So she usually goes down between 7-8 and sleeps 6 hours, wakes to nurse, and then goes back to sleep for another 4 hours or so. We don't have any sort of nap schedule. She naps whenever her crazy loud brother lets her nap during the day and instantly passes out any time we go for a car ride. It isn't uncommon for her to take a 3 hour nap or longer some days and the rest mostly 45 minute or so catnaps here or there.
Steven and I are pretty amazed at how different Jack and Eleanor are from one another, and every day I think how amazing it is that they are such individuals created so uniquely. Eleanor is a very content and happy baby. She nurses and sleeps great. It is pretty rare that you hear a cry or even fussing from her unless she needs to be burped. Such a blessing after dealing with Jack's witching hour when he was an infant! She has easily put herself on a nice feeding schedule and doesn't comfort nurse every 45 minutes like her brother did... what a relief! She is quick to smile and coo and simply always a joy to be around.
Happy one month, Eleanor Joy! We love you so very much, sweet girl!

5.19.2016

Eleanor Joy

Welcome, Eleanor Joy!
Born April 4, 2016
7lbs 12oz
20 1/4in

Much to our surprise, our dark haired beauty arrived 4 days after her due date, throwing her momma off quite a bit! With Jack being 2 weeks early, I guess I expected something similar with Eleanor, and everyday I was pregnant after 38 weeks was mentally, emotionally, and physically challenging! I had severe morning sickness with this pregnancy until about 16 weeks.. throwing up all.day.long. And then late into my second trimester the whole family came down with an ugly stomach virus. And when my third trimester came around, I experienced such terrible restless leg syndrome that it wasn't uncommon for me to average 2-4 hours of sleep a night. It was a rough pregnancy to say the least! And although I started having contraction at 38 weeks, this little lady decided she was comfy as could be right where she was.
On Sunday night around 8:30 I started having mild contractions. This wasn't surprising since my contractions had been coming and going for the last two weeks. Sometimes they would last for hours --keeping me up all night -- only to completely disappear by morning. I always knew they weren't the real deal because they were never very painful and always irregular. But on this night, after about 2 hours, I noticed that they were coming closer together (about every 6 to 10 minutes.. but still irregular). Something in me just knew this really was it and I called my midwives. Unfortunately, the midwife on call was a fill in covering for another midwife who was on maternity leave... I had only meant this lady once and I know she wasn't up to speed on the details of my last delivery and how quickly Jack came for a first pregnancy. She asked me to wait a bit longer and call her back when the contractions were coming at a more regular interval...
I was actually pretty surprised she didn't tell me to go ahead and come in because I knew this baby was coming.. With my next contractions I got on my knees and prayed that God would let me know when the last possible minute I could leave for the birth center was so that I wouldn't have this baby in the car. Two hours later I called the midwife and informed her that as soon as my mother in law got to my house to watch Jack I would be heading to the birth center.

As Steven and I drove to Bellevue I thanked God that this little girl decided to come in the middle of the night so that traffic wasn't too intense! We have a bit of a commute to the birth center but were able to get there in just under an hour. I knew when I got into the car that I was already in transition. My contractions were coming every 3 minutes like clockwork and it took everything within me to relax through them. I started to feel a little bit panicky because everything seemed to be happening very quickly.

(Side Note: With both of my pregnancies I decided not to wake Steven while I labored at home because I figured his sleep was more important than helplessly watching me breathe through contractions. So when I woke him up at 2:30a and told him we had to go to the birth center NOW he totally thought I was kidding.. little did he know he'd be a daddy all over again in just 2 hours!)

We arrived at the birth center around 3:40 and basically after this it is really just a blur. Everything happened so fast!
Since I was Strep B+ they had to administer an antibiotic. I sat down trying to relax during the contractions (which were now coming what seemed to be one right after the other) while they tried to find a good vein for the antibiotic. I feel like this took a really long time, but then again my concept of time at this point was probably pretty warped. All I know is Eleanor arrived 50 minutes after I got to the birth center and less than 5 of those minutes were spent pushing. So I'm pretty sure I sat there for at least a half hour as they tried to give me the antibiotic (2 failed attempts.. now I do remember that clearly). Once the antibiotic was administered I quickly got into the tub. The midwife kept talking about how when I got comfortable in there they would leave and let me relax and have some space to labor... As soon as she was done uttering that sentence I informed them that my water just broke. They come over and checked the water to confirm (after first asking me if I was sure...) that my water did indeed break.

The contractions really were coming one right after the other at this point. I kept trying to relax in between them, but there really was no "in between." Almost immediately after my water broke I told them that I needed to push. Again, I'm not sure they believed me at first, but after checking they confirmed that I was fully dilated and could push. I was already feeling a little panicked since the car ride that this was happening all too quickly, but now I was honestly afraid. I asked if she was sure I could push but I really didn't have a choice, Eleanor was coming whether I pushed or not. All of the pushing this time around seemed to be involuntary as though I had no control over my body! Pains were coming so quickly I didn't have time to breathe and I just remember starting to cry. I also vaguely remember saying I can't do this and Steven reaching over and putting his hands on my back and telling me I was doing great. Minutes later the midwife said she could feel Eleanor's head.. and then all of a sudden she was here...

4:33am

I remember thinking she had the biggest eyes and so much DARK hair! Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
I didn't want to let her go but I finally decided Steven could hold her while I showered off real quick. I was shocked that everything had happened so quickly and praised God that He lead me to leave for the birth center when He did...50 minutes later and this little girl would have been born in the car!

After 2 hours of monitoring, the midwives sent us home (which I know many people think is crazy, but I love it). I was so happy to finally have my baby girl in my arms and be able to go home and rest in my own bed. I kept thinking she is so petite and perfect and DARK! What a surprise after having her very blonde brother...
Unfortunately, when I think back to Eleanor's birth the dominate emotion I remember most is fear. I feel as though the midwives didn't listen to me this time around.. not believing me when I told them I needed to come in the first time...or that my water broke...or that I needed to push! And all of this made me question my body and instincts as well. Also, just the speed of the labor was frighting for me (and knowing I was already in transition while en route to the birth center!). From start to finish, my labor was only 8 hours and less than 5 minutes were spent pushing! Actually, Eleanor came so quickly that she had some bruising on her head from the pressure. But she is a beautiful, healthy little girl and I had no complications with the delivery and am beyond thankful for that.

Welcome to the world, Eleanor! Your father, brother and I absolutely adore you!


All photos by ADN Designs.