Sunday, July 5, 2015

One Week of Eloise Marie

((Written on Thursday, June 2nd, 2015))

I have officially been a mama bear for one week today and it has somehow felt like the fastest week of my life full of the longest nights I've ever experienced. All I keep hearing from moms who have gone before me is that I need to soak up these early months of her life because though they are challenging they will be some of my favorite moments ever. So that's what I've been trying to do, to focus on the sweet parts of being a new mom & remember that the hard stuff ... Like the absence of sleep & my buck wild emotions ... will pass. 

Eloise is a sweetheart baby. She has a gentle demeanor and doesn't cry much, she mostly squeaks or whimpers when she wants something. Today someone said she sounds like a baby lamb making the "baaaa" sound. Shaun and I can't seem to get anything done with Eloise around because we are so enamored by her cuteness. We photograph every minute of her day and the moment one of us walks away from her the other one is already excitedly saying, "Babe! Come look at how cute Eloise is!" And then we do. We come back and adore her. Oohing and awing over the perfection that she is. It's funny too because mostly she just sleeps. I've never in my life thought sleep was so adorable. 

We say that Eloise is "jet-lagged" right now because she seems to have her days and nights mixed up. She is up all night and sleeps most of the day, like us when we arrived to Spain. It's easy to type about but actually that part of being her mama has been really stretching for me because I am the one who feeds her during the night which means I'm up every 3ish hours, and I struggle to sleep in between that time because of anxious thoughts about her. I think last night was the first time I slept more than 3-4 hours in a 24 hour period and I woke up feeling like a brand new person. I love the daytime with her because there are people around and though I've found it difficult to nap I feel energized by sunshine and friends. Usually by the time the sun is setting I am holding back anxious tears and Shaun is praying with me and Eloise that our nights would continue to be blessed as I learn to breast-feed, and that we would all stay healthy and be able to sleep well. I don't think I've ever prayed as much in a week as I have been praying this week. I feel as dependent on Jesus as Eloise is dependent on me & Shaun to keep her alive. If we don't meet her needs Eloise will die. Literally. And if Jesus doesn't meet my needs, I too feel like i will die. Even if physically I remain alive, my heart & soul & mind & strength will be gone if Heaven doesn't bend to sustain me right now. 

I will say that every day has gotten a little easier and my emotions have continued to feel more and more normal. The emotions are more intense than before, both the good and the bad, and I cry daily for no reason, but my friends tell me that I'm normal, and even if they're lying, I appreciation the consolation. It helps. 

Yesterday we had our first well-baby appointment and we literally cheered when the doctor told us that Eloise was healthy. She feels so fragile and we love her so much, all we want is for her to be healthy. 

Since Eloise is sleeping as I type this and it's likely that won't last much longer I'll go ahead and wrap up this post with some final things I'll want to remember as our little darling grows. Everyone says she will change and grow quickly so this post is my attempt to bottle up this first week's goodness so we can continue to treasure it for years to come. 

7 things to remember about 7 days of Eloise Marie ~ 

1) Eloise likes to pee when her diaper is off which makes diaper changing that much more adventurous. It's not uncommon to find me, Shaun & Meredith changing her diaper together to see if we can conquer the wild pee as a team. Even if she has already peed, or poo-ed her diaper, the moment she feels the freedom of no diaper she pees again. To date she has peed on our bed, our couch and on her daddy... Multiple times. One time she even pooped with the diaper off. It was hilarious but we would be okay if that stayed a one time thing. 

2) Her favorite way to sleep is on her Daddy's chest. We call it sleeping in his "kangaroo belly". We love it as much as she does because it is so stinkin cute. 

3) She is a wiggly girl. She likes to have her legs in the "criss-cross applesauce" position, as our God-daughter Lily says. And whenever she gets the chance to stretch out tall on our bed she kicks her legs like she is riding a bike, really fast, getting her little feet caught on each other with each peddle which makes a flicking sound. We love the flicking sound. We felt her doing the same movements in my womb so it is extra sweet to see her doing them now. 

4) She is a champion breast-feeder. She learned to latch quickly & by the end of week 1 has been having full feedings. Full feedings means she sleeps better too... Which means we sleep better. Praise the Lord for that. 

5) Eloise loves to be with her Auntie Meredith. Every morning Meredith comes to get her from me at around 5am after she has finished nursing and Meredith looks after her until she wakes up again around 8am. Her Auntie helps with diaper changes, burpings, bath time and she holds Eloise every chance she gets. 

6) Eloise has already been out of the house 4 times. She has been to the YWAM LA campus, Ross - Dress for Less, Starbucks, and to the barber shop to sleep while her Daddy got his hair-cut. She either rides in the stroller or her Daddy wears her in a wrap on his chest. I think she prefers being on Dad's chest. 

7) On the second night of being home with Eloise I was looking at her adorable feet and realized that they didn't get stamped at the hospital. I immediately started to cry (hormones anyone?) thinking that we needed to stamp them immediately so we could know how little they were before they grow. I literally felt panicky as if they were growing right before my eyes. (I'm laughing as I type this because of how crazy it is.) It was around 3am and I was trying to find an ink pad in our house to stamp them right that second. Obviously I didn't find one. So then I got on Pinterest and tried to find out other ways to capture a baby's footprint. Eventually I came to my senses and realized what a nut I was being so I relaxed and decided to ask Shaun & Meredith for help getting her feet stamped then next morning. They laughed at me when I told them about my 3am crazy sesh and then together we got ahold of some black paint and pretty paper and managed to stamp her little feet so I could frame the footprints and remember them forever. The footprints are precious & the whole endeavor was raging with postpartum hormones which I think is worth documenting just so I can laugh at myself some more later. 

And now for some newborn photos by our incredible friend Sarah. If you don't know her you should get to know her and if you ever need a photographer you should hire her today. There's nobody better. // @sarahgrunderphotography


Amanda Olivieri said...

Jess! Sweet friend! I love this so much. Eloise is absolute perfection. And your attitude about LEGIT CRAZY postpartum hormones is amazing. I cried sooooo much in the beginning, it was ridiculous. So yes, it's totally normal! Even though the first few weeks are the very hardest, when I look back now, I miss them so much. I'm so glad you're cherishing these sweet times with your girl! Sleep will come back eventually, I promise! Love you!

Carly Cristman said...

Oh my goodness, I love this post. I love you guys. I love this sweet little baby girl. I love YOU. You're such a strong momma, even if you cry daily :) You're doing an amazing job and it's ok to be a little emotional when you're sleep deprived. It makes your blog posts even better, and I didn't even know that was possible! Love you mama! I can't wait to come back and snuggle you and precious baby Eloise!!