Warning~This post is long and long overdue! I don't have time to put these pics into the story. :)Gracie!
Sleeping on Grammy's lap!
The girl loves her new sister!
Gracie enjoying the pleasures of summer.
Mommy and baby. Check out that neck! She's been tryng to hold her head up since day one.
Karis~ 4 weeks old!
I've just got to update my blog! It's been difficult for me to determine what I should do whenever I have a few moments to myself...laundry? the checkbook? quiet time? sleep? blog? Last week, I told my husband that I felt the bulk of my prayers have been about asking God to help my children sleep, pass gas, or (in the case of my 3 year old) to get potty trained. Later that day, I turned on the radio and heard the speaker say that the number one indicator of your spirituality is the quality of your prayer life. I changed the station!
Karis turned 8 weeks old yesterday. It's so hard to believe that so much time has passed! Karis is such a good baby! She rarely has times of inconsolable crying, and if she does, there's always a reason~ she's hungry, she needs to burp, or she wants her diaper changed. The first few weeks were really difficult, however. I think my easy delivery sort of added to how hard it was once we got home. I wasn't prepared for the days that followed. On top of being totally exhausted and sore from my c-section we had the following 'issues' going on...
Week 1- Karis developed breast-fed jaundice. Her billirubin levels continued to increase at the time that they were to supposed to peak and then decrease. We took her to the hospital everyday for a week for heel pricks. She spent about a week on a billi-blanket, which kept her from having to be hospitalized, and thankfully 'did the trick' to rid her body of dangerously high billirubin levels. During that same time period, I lost feeling in my left index finger and thumb, and had terrible pain in my left shoulder and arm.
Week 2- A couple more trips to the hospital and pediatrician to monitor the jaundice situation. I had my stitches removed, made a visit to the chiropractor, and later developed a UTI
Week 3- Karis was still yellow, but was declared, "Out of danger!" Praise the Lord!!! I had an MRI, and made a visit to the neurologist. I also had a dr's appt because I was still having UTI symptoms. My parents returned to Ohio this week as well. It was so hard to see them leave. I wasn't sure how I was going to function without their help. I cried a lot and often! Gracie would say, "Aw, Mommy! Don't worry. Your mommy and daddy will come back. It'll be ok."
Week 4- I had a second MRI, and then a nerve/muscle study (the latter was not fun at all) I felt like I had been run over by a truck! The good news, however, was that I got good news. All the tests came back within normal ranges, and my arm problems were deemed pregnancy related. Apparently pregnancy hormones, thyroid problems, and diabetes can cause inflamation internally that can cause a disruption of the nerve passages. I do have some problems with C6 and C7 in my neck, but nothing that would require surgery. The Dr. said that the further I got from delivery, the better I'd feel. Sure enough, six weeks to the day that I lost feeling in my hand~it returned to almost normal. Praise the Lord! That was such a relief, a help, and answer to prayer! (FYI~It's really difficult to snap sleepers when you can't stand to touch anything with your index finger and thumb!!!)
Weeks 5-6- The girls and I spent two weeks at my parents house in Ohio. We missed 'daddy', but it was such a blessing to spend time with family. I loved seeing Gracie interact with her cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. She had a blast! She got to go swimming in the "big" pool, play in the tree house, and eat what seemed to be an endless supply of cupcakes! It was nice to always have an extra set of arms to help with Karis so that I could more easily care for Gracie's needs. We had a great time.
Week 7- We had some doubt as to whether or not we'd ever make it back home. Our usual 8 1/2 hour trip turned into 12! Between stopping to nurse Karis and stopping everytime Gracie said, "I have to go potty!" We had a few delays, but eventually made it! On my first day home, flying solo, I felt like I had regressed back to week 4. I called one of my friends late that afternoon for moral support. I told her that I felt like, "One ADAM 12." I NEEDED BACK UP! But, the next day was better, the following even easier. We (the girls and I) actually made it to the swimming pool mid week for a play date with friends. Woo-hoo!
Week 8- That takes us up to the present. The latest development is that Karis is now wanting to nurse every one and a half to two hours. This started last week. She used to nurse every three hours like clockwork, and would go 4-5 hours between feedings at night. Last night, I was up with her 4 times! I don't think this a growth spurt issue. Do you? I'm thinking I may need to supplement. I'm open to suggestions! She's kind of a lazy nurser. She starts off strong and then falls asleep about 7-10 minutes in. After that, she's sort of just nuzzling, not sucking and swallowing....She is growing, however. At her 4 week appt., she was in the 50th percentile for weight and height. I've already had to purge her wardrobe because she's too long for 0-3 month sleepers.
Gracie still loves, loves, loves her baby sister. She makes up songs about her, wants to hold her, and is really quite helpful. She is expert on telling me what she thinks Karis needs. "Karis needs mommy's milk." "Karis needs to burp." etc. Last week, Karis was having a particularly tough time, and I really couldn't figure out what was going on with her. I asked Gracie to pray for her and this is what she said...First she started to sing her little meal time prayer, then she switched gears and said, "Dear Jesus, Thank you for my baby Karis. And Jesus, her tummy hurts. Please heal her and make her tummy feel better, in Jesus' name Amen!" It was such a precious moment!
Today is our 26th Wedding anniversary! Gracie just recently recognized me in our wedding pictures. She couldn't wait to show her daddy what a beautiful princess bride that mommy was. Last night the pictures grabbed her attention again. She asked, "Are Karis and I in your tummy in this picture?" To which I replied, "No Baby, you were in my heart!"