Friday, December 23, 2016

3 weeks in....

My last post was I'll keep this one more positive!  Life is busy, but we are getting into a routine, and honestly, I am doing much better than I thought I would do during this dreaded phase.  Don't get me wrong, I am not dreading life right now at all, but newborn stage is hard.  it's unpredictable and chaotic at times, and I don't like either of those things:)

Stats for the Talley's after 3 weeks-

Brent - Brent took a whole week off to help us, but had to jump right in the week after.  His presence at home was invaluable - helping me, taking care of the house, running errands, playing with Emma....the list goes on.  I couldn't have done it alone.  Especially given the fact that I really was not physically well until about 2 weeks in.  I could barely walk around or run more than one small errand a day.  It was torture and really messed with me.  Brent took up my slack and "mommed" like a champion!  We are so grateful for him.
Brent also did this under an enormous amount of stress at work, and with some health issues on his side of the family!

Emma - Emma had a few days of being pretty annoying (in my opinion).  Oops - guess I'm not supposed to say that, but the girl got on my last nerve a lot at the beginning, which was really tough for me emotionally.  I in evidently felt horrible about feeling like that, and cried a lot.  I lamented the huge change that had occurred in her life, and it tore me apart.  She has been great though, helping a lot, being very affectionate, and for the most part - a good listener.  I think the change in schedule (Brent being home for a week, school being out, holidays...) also has her a bit "off."  We haven't roamed out as much, which doesn't help, so we are trying to get out when we can.  She seems so old and grown to me, and I am trying hard not to push her aside when Merritt needs me, or make her feel inferior in any way.  I never, ever want her to feel like second best.  Ahhh..cue the tears:)  I know she will love me even more for giving her a sister, but man....I miss the days when it was just us two:(

Getting out - We are living life as normal as possible.  You almost have to with a second child.  I have done drop off and pickup successfully at preschool, taken both kids on several errands, and even managed a quick date with Brent.  I have showered almost every day, and I do get dressed whenever we leave the house.  I've had several people comment about that - and I'm not saying I'm too good to go out without makeup or with sweats on, but I feel better and that helps my mood.  Lord knows, that helps!!

Sleep - Brent and I have been taking turns at night.  Neither of us sleep during the day - people that say that are crazy.  You try sleeping with a 4.5 year old in the house.  I have some reserve milk that Brent heats up for Merritt if she wakes up between 9pm and 1am.  That first shift is his, then I take over.  She was not sleeping well in her rib at all...actually not sleeping anywhere well during the night hours.  She would grunt and squeak and rustle all night.  She only slept if we were holding her on our chest.  I actually got pretty good at sleeping like that:)  The doctor mentioned it was gas and reflux, so we started giving her some probiotic drops daily.  I don't think they helped a ton, but I'll do anything.  She was obviously in pain during these incidents, and any sign of passing gas or pooping gave her immediate relief.  The last 2 nights have been much better and we are hoping we have turned a corner.  Last night, she slept from 8:30-1:30 in her crib!  Then she ate once and went down again in the crib until about 6:15am.  I actually got to sleep the whole night in my own bed....what?!?!?!  Brent is a master swaddler and I think it is he now has to do it every night, so we don't break the cycle.

Nursing - Merritt is a much better nurser than Emma was.  I think it is a blessing and a curse.  Gosh, I do not love it.  I mean, I love what I am doing, just hate being so tied down all the time, having to pump or feed, wear specific clothes, and all the other details I will spare the blog:)  I do love that it is FREE, and I love that it is going well and I'm not fighting it.  The doctor said her reflux had nothing to do with my diet and was probably tied to her immature digestive system.  Plus, babies that are Group B positive have more gas...which makes sense.  Either way, she loves the "boobie juice" as we all call it around here.  But I am glad to be able to give her a bottle for Brent and Emma to help.  I think it was hard for Brent not be involved at first. 

Merritt - I bet you thought I had forgotten about her!  Ha!  She is really a delightful baby.  She is laid back like her sister.  She is not into car rides yet, but we are hoping this changes.  She is gaining weight rapidly....she was 8 pounds 9 ounces earlier this week...and probably close to 9 pounds today if not over.  She is wearing newborn or 0-3 months clothing, and still in newborn diapers.  She does like a paci in the car, but is not addicted yet.  She poops ALL THE TIME.  The girl cannot have a feeding without pooping - and it is loud.  Like it sounds like we may need to have the carpets cleaned, that's how messy it could be.  But it never is, thankfully.  She did not like the wedge we got for her crib, but since we figured out swaddling, we think that will do the trick for sleeping.  She loves to be cuddled on your chest, and will sleep like that forever.  She has had a few baths, and really doesn't mind them.  She does hate getting lotion put on and changing clothes.  Her hair is a hot mess....she has 2 cowlicks and honestly I have no idea what to do with them.  She sort of has a mohawk...which may be interesting as we get older!

Life in general - We feel much better as we end this third week!  We are not travelling for Christmas and are looking forward to some time together as a family, as settling into our new normal.  I am feeling much more like myself - emotionally and physically.  I don't cry as much at all (man, I was worried for myself at the beginning!), and I am currently wearing some pre-pregnancy jeans, which makes this mushy body mama feel a lot better right now:)  I am managing really good on little sleep, and embracing it.  I have tried hard to have a positive attitude the whole time, because I know life could be soooo much worse.  I know the pain and heartache and loss that is out there, and I am grateful everyday for what I have.  I may be tired and delirious and stressed, but I have a beautiful, healthy family.  I have a God that loves me and pours Himself into my life through the people He has surrounded me with, daily.  Merry Christmas, indeed!  Here's hoping you experience that same sense of Love in the next few days as we celebrate Jesus' birth.

11 days in...

I started this post almost 2 weeks ago....and am just now getting to it to finish.  I will preface it by saying that life is much, much easier, but it is slow going.... :)

I have been meaning to blog, but somehow every time I sit down (which is a lot with a newborn), I manage to not have my laptop.  I'm finally in the house alone (well...Merritt is asleep and the cat is sitting next to me....but it's quiet, for now), and I have a second to breathe.  That's sort of how it feels -like taking a deep breath.  The last 11 days have been a whirlwind - mixed with intense gratefulness, joy, pain, and sadness.  Having a newborn is tough - really tough.  And when you add an energetic 4.5 year old and the loss of a pet, it's been an unbearable week and a half.
I'll start with Swerve, our beloved brother cat (Sunflower is his sister), that we had to lay to rest Thursday.  He had gone downhill quickly - especially when we were in the hospital having merritt and the first few days at home.  When we took him to the vet, he had stopped eating and was barely moving around.  We had tried all different options for food, but nothing worked.  Lab tests revealed kidney failure (probably chronic kidney disease), and possible cancer.  It was such a struggle to hear and also to have to make some sort of decision.  We could spend thousands trying to diagnose what he had, with a very high probability that it was incurable (according to the vet), or we could get some fluids in him, and let him feel a little better for a day and let him go with some dignity.  Swerve has always been our sweetest cat with Emma - always letting her play with him, torture him, etc...  He was extremely loving and had such a great personality.  I had rescued him and his sister 11 years ago from the lake, and was supposed to find a home for them since Brent and I were getting married a few months later and already had a dog.  I managed to persuade Brent that they needed to be together and stay with us:)  They were part of our original family - you know, when you took pictures of your pets because you didn't have kids yet?!?!?  Saying goodbye to him was like saying goodbye to Daisy all over again, like a part of our early marriage was gone.  In some ways, it is.....we have 2 kids now and life is very, very different.  We are not footloose and fancy free - doing whatever we pleased, whenever, and only having the responsibilities of jobs tying us down.  We miss Swerve terribly, and being in the thick of newborn stage makes it easier AND harder to deal with. 

One last snuggle with him.  He always acted like he hated my forced affection, but I know he really loved it.  I say this because he never tried to escape it, and sometimes even purred while I held him.  Tough guy exterior....but big softie inside:)

Monday, December 5, 2016

My 36th birthday

What a blessing to have spent my birthday with this girl.  I truly treasure the bond we share as mother-daughter, and the precious months we've had together since leaving work.  Thank you, sweet Emma, for bringing so much happiness to my life, and for teaching me the selfless and joyful servitude of motherhood. 

We lunched at our favorite - Jersey Mike's, and got some hugs from Mister Clint.  Then relaxed at Silverspot with candy to see Ruana.  We ended with Shiki Sushi takeout and cupcakes from The Cupcake Bar with my sweet parents.

Miss Merritt Elizabeth Talley

Early last Wednesday morning, the day after my very own birthday, God answered my prayer with a clear sign of labor when my water broke at 2am.  We called my mom, packed a few last minute things, and headed to UNC.  I was only 1cm, but the potossin quickly worked and by noon, I was at 8cm.  I did have a few hours of pushing and resting, as Miss M was "sunnyside up" (face up) and was having a hard time getting past my pelvic bone.  But some resting in odd positions and after 2 hours she had turned.  The delivery nurse had to run and get the doctor fast, and she barely had enough time to get her gown and gloves on.  It was that quick....and painless, thanks to my epidural. 

Merritt Elizabeth Talley
Born November 30, 2016
2:36 pm
7 pounds, 3 ounces

The Talley Family