Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tenley's First Week

(Written 8 weeks later.... )

Well, it's been a while since I've had two hands to type!  But I keep thinking of things I want to blog about before I forget how cute and tiny Tenley was in the beginning!  She's still cute and tiny, but getting bigger every moment!  Her facial features are more and more developed, and her little personality is really starting to shine!  She's done so many cute and memorable things, and I never want to forget any of them, but theres only room for so many penguins on the iceberg!  Ya know, in order for one more penguin (memory) to get ON the iceberg, if it's crammed to maximum capacity, one other penguin (memory) has to jump OFF to make room! lol.  Love that visual analogy.

But I'm determined to preserve as many penguins, er, memories as possible on here, so even if I don't ever get around to making an old fashioned scrapbook for T, at least she'll have this!  I still have all the stuff that was meant to go into a High School scrapbook and never happened, so here's hoping I can keep up with this at least! ;-)

Ok, so as always, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'm going to try to rewind down memory lane and make up for the silence of the past 8 weeks in one (probably long) post!

Sleeping on daddy's chest, hours after being born!

Learning how to eat with mommy, Saturday morning, 6/9/12 - T's birthday!

Getting to know each other!

My first sun bath with daddy!  6/9/12 

Already a Daddy's Girl! <3
6/9/12: Saturday (Tenley's Birthday) and Sunday are such a blur.  I actually don't remember a whole lot of anything about Saturday.  I must've just been recuperating and trying to get to know Tenley and learning how to nurse!  I was struggling a little with getting her latched on properly, so Saturday evening, we had a lactation consultant, Donna Hanson, come by. She was sooo nice and super helpful.  Immediately, she corrected my hold on Tenley, showing me how to hold her in a better position, "Cross Cradle" with the opposite arm, and use my hand on the side she was nursing on to help hold my breast in a position that Tenley could latch on to more easily.  Genius! lol.  Not at all what comes instinctually, but much better of a hold for T.  She also showed me how to do "Football Hold" which we also liked, because it made it easier for me to see Tenley's precious face while feeding her, and allowed us to have more eye contact time.  Nursing didn't come easily, and it HURT SO MUCH MORE than I'd expected.  Every time I'd latch her on, I'd stomp my feet and make a "chuffing" sound like a tiger! (learned that on "We Bought a Zoo!" Thanks mom!)

My right side is a little bit flat, meaning the nipple doesn't poke out as much as "normal" and makes it hard for Tenley to get ahold of it.  Donna suggested we try a nipple shield to help Tenley be able to get a good latch.  A nipple shield is a clear, flexible plastic circle with a pointed nipple shape in the middle.  You basically just stick it over your own nipple area and when the baby latches on, it gives her more surface area to take into her mouth to learn how to nurse.    I hesitated to even mention this because naturally, I felt a little bit of shame that my own body wasn't good enough or capable of feeding my baby and that I needed help from some artificial piece of plastic to do it, BUT since learning from this experience and talking with more women, I've found that Nipple Shield usage is actually very common!  If we all feel the need to hide it from each other, but we're all doing it, that's so silly.  Talking about things, and making them more well known to other women, takes out the shame and guilt over them, because that is the last thing women need, something extra giving us body issues!   Child birth and breastfeeding is certainly one of those things we as a culture, SADLY, know nothing about.  In the "olden" days, when women took care of other women in their families and towns, young mothers knew all these things, tips and tricks and what is "normal" and what isn't, because they'd been AROUND other women figuring it out their whole lives!  I think when births moved into the hospitals and everything became so private, we really lost something inherent to womanhood, and that is the bonds of knowledge that should be shared between us as we go through the Rite of Passage of becoming mothers!  Anyhow, off my soapbox! ;-)  Just know that I'll always share things that others might not, in the hopes of my experiences helping at least one person to feel better about whatever it is they are going through!

So, Saturday night, Donna was here helping, and Carol, our midwife, came back to check on us, and it was so fun, sitting around with these great, knowledgable women, picking their brains and learning from them.   I loved having all my family and my bestie (who is family too) here with me. My dad had gone back to North Carolina earlier in the week and was planning to make it back on Friday, the day I was in labor, and had her that night, but he ended up with a nasty tummy bug and the doctor in NC said he shouldn't come back and be around the baby for 10 days!  So he didn't get to come back, which was SAD, but at the same time, it gave me a lot more freedom to wander around shirtless as I was trying to figure out how to nurse Tenley and as I was healing from the labor/birthing process.   Luke and I prayed every night that whoever was meant to be present at the birth was who would be here, and that we would be OK with whoever that was, whether it was NO ONE but the two of us (and Carol, we hoped!) or us and Becca, or us and Caitlin and Mama Sue or everyone like it ended up being, thankfully!  Even though dad missed it, I know he was with us in spirit and it sure was nice to not have to worry about the clothes I had on!

Sunday morning, Becca had to leave.  I was so sad for her to go.  She had been here with me for two and a half weeks.  Not many adult best friends love you enough to leave their husbands, furry babies, jobs, and lives to come and support a friend/sister going through the biggest life change ever.   I don't have the words to express what having her here meant to me.  She cooked some of the most amazing food, all from scratch!  Her homemade bread was SCRUMPTIOUS!  She canned salsa and spaghetti sauce for us, made countless delicious meals, and I was SO proud to have her here and call her my best friend.  Not to even mention the incredible photographs that she took during my labor and birth, or what a source of strength she was for me during the times I thought I couldn't make it.  I am forever grateful that she loves me enough to come and stay 2 weeks past my due date to be here for the birth of my daughter.  Love you Bec!

Sunday afternoon, the Brannans and the McKnights came to meet Miss Tenley and that was so much fun to show her off to our friends!  Wish we'd gotten a picture of that! :-/  Ooops!  I've been getting so mad at myself for missing out on photo ops when every single person has a camera (aka iphone!) in their pocket!  There is no excuse! lol.  I did get this one Sunday after everyone left!  She was so tiny back then! aww!

Sweet daddy rocking Tenley!
I don't remember a whole bunch else besides that on Sunday, other than I'm sure Grammy and Mama Sue and Caitlin had her the whole time, because they knew they had to leave the following morning! :(((

6/11/12  - Mom, Mama Sue and my sis had to take off bright and early Monday morning!  I was SO sad to see them go and I felt completely lost and abandoned that they were going and leaving me with this tiny baby to take care of! How was I going to do it without their help?!?!  

Getting in some Mama Sue snuggles before time to leave!

Saying "See you later!" :(

Four Generations! Plus Caitlin! ;-) 

Our first posed family photo!

Luckily, I had Tenley's first doctor appointment later that morning to think about and get ready for, and to keep me from totally falling apart!

SO TINY in the carseat for the first time!  And not a fan! :(

Doing better once we were in the car! 
 The doctor appointment was AWFUL!  They had to prick her heel for the PKU blood test and whatever else and it took the nurse a MILLION years to squeeze all the blood out that she needed.  I HATED it.  :(

After the horrendous doctor appointment, mommy needed a sonic drink!
  It was SO much bigger than Tenley I had to snap a pic! 
Tenley's nails were really long, and I hadn't had the courage to trim them yet, so after the appointment, I noticed she'd scratched her face. :(  I put her little tiny socks on her hands so she wouldn't do it again before I was able to take care of those sharp nails!

Our first week home together was a whole lot of this:

Indy loved his baby right from the beginning!

Tenley and Indy love story time!

The highlight of our first week was our attempt at taking Newborn Photos on Saturday the 16th.  It was a total fail.  Tenley refused to go to sleep or stay that way once I finally managed to nurse her to sleep.  She wouldn't let Hannah pose her at all and she cried for the vast majority of the several hours we tried to get her pics.   :(   Luke was wearing a black dress shirt for our family pics, and so of course, that would be the time Tenley decided to spit up for the first time ever! Haha!  I had even asked Hannah, who has 3 children of her own, if all babies spit up, because ours never had... it wasn't probably 15 minutes later that Luke had spit up all down his dress shirt!   Ten also decided to poop all over the white fuzzy backdrop you see above, AND then she peed on the second backdrop Hannah laid down.  But we did get this one sweet photo and several great family pics too.  Hannah agreed she'd come back the next day, even though it was Father's Day, and we could try again.

The next day, Luke's First Father's Day,  we had plans to go over to his uncles house to see his aunt, uncle and their kids, his mom and dad, and his mom's dad.  We were a little nervous about our first outing with Tenley and wondering how we would handle all those people wanting to hold her and touch her, and of course, being worried about germs and whatnot! But, we were counting on her staying awake from being passed around from person to person and figured that would help make her extremely tired so that she'd sleep really well when Hannah came back to take her pictures.

Tenley started getting sleepy around noon, so we figured that putting her in her carseat would wake her up, because she usually hates it!  But no, she fell right to sleep.  We stopped at Walgreens to get a few things, thinking she'd wake up if we got her OUT of the carseat to take her in, we tried that, and NO, she stayed sound asleep!  She even slept through being put BACK in the carseat and she never does that!  So, instead of heading to his uncles, as planned, we called Hannah and said she was sleeping, so could she meet us at the house right then!? Hannah said yes, and so we zoomed home.  Wouldn't you know, by the time Hannah got to the house, moments after we arrived ourselves, T woke up and was screaming again and refused to sleep for us?   Hannah did her best to get some cute pics, but we were still relatively unsuccessful.  By the time Hannah left, everyone had left from Luke's uncles house too, and so we messed up our whole day and still didn't have any amazing newborn pics to show for it!!! I was soo mad and emotional I just cried and cried!  I think I cried way more AFTER Tenley arrived than I did while I was pregnant for sure!

Later that night, we decided to attempt going to our very first restaurant.... Chilis!  Luke's fave.
We took the scenic route on the way there and T fell asleep in her carseat, so we thought we might have a chance!  We went in, got our table, Nastasha, a former band kiddo, was our waitress, which made it fun, and T stayed asleep, ooooh about till the minute our food came! Then she woke up and cried and cried!  So Daddy stuffed his food in his mouth and took her outside to walk around!  I wouldn't exactly call it a "success" but at least we had our first attempt out of the way, which made for less anxiety every other time we've gone out to eat since then!

Not sure that you can tell, but this is Tenley sleeping in her carrier on the table at Chilis!

What would've been 43 weeks!  This was before we left the house on Father's day, to try to head to Luke's Uncle's house!

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