Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy baby

It may be rough getting up with the baby at 3 a.m., but it has its rewards.

Molly has been smiling a lot lately, especially in the middle of the night. Usually I see it right after she stops nursing, when she's lying on her side with her eyes closed, waiting for me to pick her up to pat her back. Sometimes she grins to herself with her lips closed. Sometimes she has a big open mouth grin. One time she even made a little "heh heh heh" sound that seemed like a laugh. I would love to know what private happy thoughts are racing through her brain.

We had a quiet weekend, just Daddy, Mommy and Molly. Our big event Saturday night was a trip to Wendy's for dinner. Molly slept through the whole thing. In fact, she did so well that we decided to extend the outing with a trip to Blockbuster. She was still sleeping when we got home. Success!!!

The next big challenge will be to keep her out through a feeding and a diaper change. I'm not exactly sure how that works. Where do I go to feed her? What if I'm in a store with no place to sit down? What if there's no diaper change station in the bathroom? I have a whole new level of respect for breastfeeding moms.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Growth spurt

At some point late in the night, as I was flipping through baby manuals to pass the time while nursing, I read that babies tend to go through a developmental growth spurt at 7 to 10 days old.

That might explain why my baby, who had settled into a nice routine for a few nights, is now cluster feeding (nursing constantly for hours on end) and totally unpredictable again. I think she's just super hungry because she's growing.

Yesterday Molly had her second visit to the doctor and everything looks great. She weighed in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces, which is well past her birth weight. That means all that nursing is doing something!

Also, she smiled for the doctor and generally behaved like an angel. He seemed pretty happy with everything we're doing, except he said we need to be a little more vigilant about clipping her finger nails (apparently mommy's manicure didn't get them short enough) and he wasn't thrilled about using the little rocker chair, which we've been calling "the bucket," for entire nights of sleeping. He said things that hold her up at an angle like that can compress her belly and cause reflux. Man, this sleeping thing is hard. There are so many rules. Now we're trying again to get her to sleep on flat surfaces again. This afternoon she took a long nap in the Moses basket, which was great. She just had a long feeding and she's been sleeping for almost an hour (in the bucket, but who cares!) She's so cute!!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


It's been a big second week of life for little Molly.

On Christmas Eve, she was awake and alert for longer than she's ever been before. Her eyes started opening wider and she looks at faces and smiles a lot.

Also, Monday we had our first mother-daughter manicure. I used a little nail file to smooth out her itty bitty fingernails.

We spent the evening connected by Web cam to Oma's family Christmas party.

Christmas morning we checked in with the Kirkwoods via video phone, then Grandma D showed up with Christmas ham and gifts.

Molly met her uncle Craig for the first time and spent almost the entire day asleep in the arms of her family.

Today Molly had her first recreational expedition out of the house -- a trip to Blockbuster and JoAnn Fabrics. She slept through the whole thing, but her mommy really enjoyed getting out of the house for the first time in a week.

Then, when we got home, her cord stump fell off. Yay! Looks like the sponge bath this morning was her last. Now she can get wet so we can give her baths in the little tub.

Also, another first today: Molly wore socks for the first time. She also wore her first pair of pants briefly before Daddy took them off. We all know how Daddy feels about pants!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Some Pictures from Today

Wonderful night!

Hi everybody! I'm back!

Molly had a great night last night. Jim and I got in bed around 10 p.m. Molly got me up for nursing and diaper around 11 p.m. and again around 2 a.m. Then I didn't hear a peep from her until after 6 a.m.! We nursed and diapered again and she went right back to sleep, and she's still sleeping now.

The nights have been getting better since Thursday, when I had a teensy breakdown. Molly had me up until 3 a.m. without more than a few minutes to doze at a time. She wanted to nurse constantly and she fussed whenever I laid her down in the bassinet attached to our bed. The only thing that finally got her to sleep was lying on my chest, as I reclined on pillows in bed. That's not exactly a very restful sleeping position for me and I was nervous about her rolling.

The next night we decided to make a more deliberate attempt to have her in bed with us (thank you Anna and David for talking us through that decision and for the support!!) She slept for four hours at one stretch. It was amazing. We figured out the side-lying nursing position, too, and Saturday night I woke up from a relatively deep sleep and was a little surprised to realize I was still nursing her. Pretty cool.

The drawback is that I don't sleep as well when Molly's in the bed. And the side-lying position is not as comfortable for me as other nursing positions. Plus, we were baffled as to why Molly would sleep in a Moses basket or her "cradle rocker seat" during the day but had to be next to us to sleep at night.

It turns out she doesn't have to be next to us at night -- we just weren't putting her in the right container. Last night she was sleeping soundly in her cradle rocker, so we decided to leave her there. Jim detached the bassinet from our bed and put the chair on the floor there instead. It worked like a charm. I did bring her into our bed between the two nighttime feedings -- she seemed like she needed to be snuggled -- but for most of the night she slept in her rocker and we got some much-needed, deep sleep.

Everything else is going great. Alan, Tessa, Lex and Eve brought us lunch yesterday and met Molly for the first time. Jim DJ'd a mini-rave dance party in our living room and Lex and Eve boogied down. What fun kids! Molly's going to have a great time with these guys once she's big enough to party.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

More Pictures

Below are a couple of pictures from David, Anna, and Lucy's visit. I've also added more pictures at the picture link on the right.

Bathing and Visitors

We gave Molly her first sponge bath last night. It was much less traumatic than I thought it would be. She screamed pretty good at the hospital when they gave us the demo. Anna has a couple of pictures of the process on her blog (see links at the right).

It was crazy to see the differences between Lucy and Molly. It is hard to imagine that she could possibly change that much in a matter of months. Makes me realize I better get started on the baby-proofing soon.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pediatrician Visit

We took Molly to visit the pediatrician this afternoon. Boy, the things they do with those thermometers. She weighed in at 7lbs 8oz which is 5 oz heavier than her last weight at the hospital, so she's gaining her weight back (yay!). She's feeding like a champ, so it isn't really surprising. Julie and I being the analytical (or anal retentive) type, have charted all her feedings and diaper changes so we can make sure she's on schedule. I'm pleased to see we can be geeks even at parenting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We're Home

We got home from the hospital this afternoon and everyone is settling in nicely. Hopefully in the next day or two we can get the whole story of the delivery posted. In the mean time, try this link for more pictures of Molly.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Here are some pictures. Once we all get back from the hospital I'll post a bunch more to a gallery some place. But for now, here you go:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Molly Elizabeth Kirkwood

She's here! Molly Elizabeth was born at 11:41 pm on 12/16. She weighed in at 7 lbs 14 oz and is 21 inches long. Mom and baby are both doing fantastic. No time for more posts as I need to get back to the hospital. I'll have pictures and more details soon.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More waiting, thank goodness

Our ultrasound went great this afternoon!

Amniotic fluid was borderline low at our last ultrasound, so the midwives have been watching the baby carefully. If the fluid was low today, they were prepared to induce labor.

However, our little girl scored a 9.9 amniotic fluid index, which is well within the normal range. (She was 6.5 last week and anything 5 or below is risky). That means no need to induce!

In fact, there's no other testing on the horizon that we know of. We're finally back to a plain, old normal pregnancy. We have one week to our due date, and I still think she might hang on a little longer than that.

My Braxton Hicks contractions have gotten a little stronger and more frequent, and I'm just starting to get a little uncomfortable with all this weight to carry around ... just a little, no complaints! Still, I feel normal enough that I made it through a yoga class last night.

The snow's coming down pretty hard here right now, so we're hunkering down for an evening at home: hot cocoa, movies and maybe some baby room decorating. That's so much better than going to the hospital and inducing labor in a snow storm. Phew!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Still waiting

No baby yet. She's kicking like she's ready to pop out the front, but still no signs of labor.
We'll keep the updates coming.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Bags are Packed

We got our car seats professionally installed this weekend by the excellent folks at the Westminster Police Department. They even took the time to go over all the details of making sure the baby is properly secured, and signs for when it is time to get a new seat and all that sort of thing. Plus we got to share some woodworking stories since he'd recently cut off the tip of his finger on a table saw. Julie also packed her bag for the hospital, so I think we've got all the most important things ready to go. I won't go so far as to say we're prepared.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

By request ...

Belly photos:

At our breastfeeding class last night we practiced with dolls -- how's that for an image. The lactation consultant encouraged us to practice more at home, perhaps with stuffed animals. Now where did that monkey go?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Big belly

It's getting much harder lately to bend down and pick things up. And today we had a laugh when I tried to get out of my big purple chair and couldn't quite do it. Baby's getting big!

I've spent the past several days assembling baby gear: swing, bouncy seat, bassinet, mobile, stroller frame, etc. It's funny that somewhere in the instructions for every single item there's a warning that says "ADULT ASSEMBLY REQUIRED." As opposed to...? What, the baby can't put this together herself? Silly people.

So we've officially made it to full term -- 37 weeks. I have only two weeks of work left, unless I decide I'm feeling good and I'm bored and I want to keep going. My midwife said labor usually starts so slowly that I would have time to drive myself home safely, even if contractions started at work. And my coworkers very eagerly made a plan for how they will get me and my car home or to the hospital on a moment's notice if I need it -- they're very excited about this. Still, I think it would be nice to have at least a day or two at home to get ready before the baby comes.

I think we've got a while to wait, though. The baby is head-down but she hasn't dropped yet and there are no other signs she's on the way. I have a feeling that she's not going to come out for a while, and I don't mind. I haven't nearly reached the point where I'm sick of being pregnant. In fact, I think I'm enjoying it more now than I was a couple months ago. It's so much fun to feel her move around in there!