Goforth Visit

Aunt Kelly, Uncle Greg, Parker and Graham came to visit and meet Nora the week after she was born.  They arrived Thursday and stayed until Tuesday, so it was a nice visit.  I wasn't great about taking pictures, but I have a few.

Friday we kept Jack home from school so he could visit with his cousins.  Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Kelly and Uncle Greg took the kids to Creve Coeur Park (after striking out at their first few destination choices) and played on the playground and threw rocks into the lake (a favorite pastime for Jack and Charlie).

Friday night we celebrated my mom's retirement from Brentwood Dental Group with a nice dinner at our house.  We had prime rib and busted out the fine china (probably the third time it's been used since we received it almost 10 years ago).  Nora got all dolled up for the occasion.

We gave Grandma a new iPod (preloaded by Grandpa with her favorite songs) for her retirement

Saturday was unseasonably warm, so we ventured out to a playground.  Nora's first real outing.

Sunday we celebrated Lang Christmas.

Monday Jack had school and Jason and Greg squeezed in a fishing trip, so Aunt Kelly, Grandma and Grandpa took the other 3 kiddos to Pump It Up for some bouncing fun.  While we were waiting for Grandpa to pick Charlie up, we tried out one of his new Christmas presents, a game called Make N Break.  It was fun!
And burning some energy:
We had one more dinner with the Goforth clan, and then they headed home on Tuesday.  After their visit, my parents found these papers in their basement from a day when Jack, Charlie and Parker were playing school.  Jack was the teacher and was apparently teaching them about dinosaurs.  I love it!

First Week Home

The first place Nora checked out when we got home was the Rock N Play we borrowed from Aunt Kelly.  She looked so teeny in there!  We put this next to our bed and she slept there at night.  We didn't get a ton of sleep that first night home, but most subsequent nights she was pretty good about going back to sleep after she ate.  Some nights she was noisy and fidgety and would require some help going back to sleep.
The day after we left the hospital, we had a check-in with Nora's pediatrician.  She weighed 7 lbs, 3.8 oz, which was still below her birth weight, so I was instructed to keep waking her to eat every 3 hours or so (with maybe a 4 hour stretch mixed in if she'd go for it).  Other than that, everything looked great.

That same day, Nora had her first bath at home.  It was still a sponge bath since she hadn't lost her umbilical cord, and she wasn't a huge fan.

Nora got lots of snuggles from her brothers at home, especially Jack.  Jack wanted to hold her every chance he got.  Charlie liked holding her too but only for short snippets (like 2 minutes).

Some other pictures of our sweet girl getting settled in at home...

Here is Nora at one week old:


Our Hospital Stay

After my surgery, we spent a couple hours in recovery.  Mercy has changed since I delivered Charlie four years ago, and they now bathe the baby right in the room with you.  It's so much better that the baby doesn't leave your side!!  Here's Nora's first bath:

After we got all cleaned up and I regained feeling in my legs, they wheeled us up to our new room.  It was a pretty small room this time, but it was fine.  Pretty soon after we got to our room, Grandma and Grandpa Lang and Aunt Cyndi arrived to meet Miss Nora.

After school got out, Grandma and Grandpa Clayton brought Jack down to the hospital and Grandma and Grandpa Lang went and picked Charlie up at school and delivered him to the hospital.  We wanted the boys to meet their baby sister at the same time.  We had decided to surprise them, so we asked the grandparents not to tell them anything about the baby on their way over.  When I sent an email to my coworkers announcing her arrival, I made sure to mention that Charlie was at day care but didn't know the news yet and I asked that no one spill the beans to him.  What we forgot though was that my friend Carrie is Lily's teacher this year.  We didn't think to ask her not to mention it, so sure enough when Mia, Lily and Jack got off the bus, Lily was saying "It's a girl!!  Right Grandma, it's a girl?  I saw a picture..."  Shoot!  Grandma just avoided the question and Jack didn't say much until the ride up the elevator with Jason and Charlie - he asked "is it a girl, Dad?" and Jason again avoided the question.

It was so sweet when they walked in the room and saw me holding her in my hospital bed.  I don't think they knew what to think at first; I'm sure she seemed so tiny to them.  Neither expressed disappointment that she was a girl, which was a relief!  Charlie wanted to hold her, but Jack was very timid that first day; he held her for a minute but quickly wanted us to take her.  I think he was nervous. By day two Charlie had changed his "I want it to be a boy" that he was saying before she was born to "I wanted it to either be a boy or a girl."  So sweet.

 After a little while, Grandma and Grandpa Clayton came back to meet Nora and get some snuggles in...

Saturday morning Jason took the boys to Breakfast with Santa at Jack's school, after which they came to the hospital.  They had packed bags, as they were instructed to do in the sibling class we took at the hospital, so they had lots of craft activities to keep them busy during their visit.  They spent some time making pictures on card stock to put in Nora's hospital bassinet, which was very sweet.

Jack gained some confidence overnight and wanted to hold her a lot while he was there.  He was all about washing his hands so he could hold her again and again.  From there on out, every time he visited, he washed his hands as soon as he entered the room so he could hold his baby sister.

Saturday afternoon Jack had a soccer game, so Grandma and Grandpa Lang picked the boys up, took them to soccer and brought them back to their house for the night so Jason could hang out at the hospital with us.  Grandma and Grandpa Clayton visited again, and Cyndi came back with Uncle Todd, Mia and Lily, who were both smitten with Nora immediately.
Sunday the boys visited again with Grandma and Grandpa Lang, and Aunt Cyndi came back with Paige so she could meet her new cousin.  Grandma and Grandpa took the boys to Build a Bear to make a bear for Nora, which they loved.

 We also started to get a few pictures of Baby Girl with her eyes open!

We had a slow start to breastfeeding.  In Nora's first ~36 hours, I only got her to latch one time.  I was starting to have anxiety about it, even though the nurses didn't seem concerned; they recommended I do skin-to-skin contact with her when I couldn't get her to latch.  On Saturday I asked that they bring the lactation consultant in, who assured me I was doing everything right and the babe just needed to figure it out.  They brought me a pump so I could get my milk production going and told me if it made me feel better, I could syringe-feed her some of that milk (I did and it did make me feel better that she had something in her tummy!).  That night the nurse gave her a pacifier to practice sucking and I think it helped.  Saturday night Nora weighed 6 lbs, 15 oz.  They said they still weren't worried, but the 7% of her birth weight that she had lost is the maximum end of the range they like to see.

By the time we left the hospital, she was latching at every feeding attempt (every 3 hours), but sometimes it was taking up to 10-15 minutes for her to get latched on correctly.  Sunday night Nora had started gaining weight back, which was a relief!

On Sunday night after Jason and the boys went home, Nora had the most awake time yet.  She spent a solid 20 minutes awake in her bassinet, and a lot of the time she seemed to be staring at the pictures the boys drew for her:
On Monday Nora had her ultrasound.  The on-staff pediatrician told us that her kidneys looked normal but the "collecting system" looked dilated on both sides, but more so on the left.  He called our pediatrician and together they recommended we start Nora on a prophylactic antibiotic (Amoxicillin) to prevent urinary tract and/or kidney infections, for which she's at a higher risk.  We were disappointed the issue hadn't resolved itself, but still the prognosis could be a lot worse!

Shortly after we got Nora's ultrasound results on Monday, we were released to go home. Jason picked Charlie up from school and they came to pick us up.  Unfortunately, I expected a baby the size of Jack and Charlie, so I packed 0-3 month clothes for the 'going home' outfit instead of newborn.  It was a little large on poor little Nora, who left the hospital at 7 lbs, 3 oz.

 Heading home in her car seat!!