Being Brickner : August 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

She Smiles ... Often. :)

It seems that days with our Waverly Maye keep getting better and better.  Now that all three of us are starting to figure this whole new way of life out, there seems to be less crying around the Brickner house (mom included ... even though it was only a couple of times when our sweet baby girl seemed to be inconsolable).  Waverly is starting to get to know us better, adapt to some sort of a routine, and in general, is more alert and is starting to get a little personality.  And perhaps even more importantly, my husband and I are becoming more confident as parents and in our ability to comfort and soothe our baby girl.
And even though my pediatrician informed me that the first smiles from our newborn are most likely gas, I can't help but melt everytime Miss Waverly smiles and bats those big blue eyes.  She has been smiling in her sleep practically since she came out of my belly, but for the past week or so, has been giving us those looks wide awake.  My mother-in-law informed me that my husband did the same, so perhaps it is genetic?  Whatever the case, I can't get enough of it and it brings a smile to my own face each & every time.  Love that Waverly Maye.
Waverly Smiling @ One Month.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Waverly Maye's One Month Report

Age:  One Month

Height:  20 Inches (Apparently either she shrunk since birth, or more likely, she was such a wiggle worm when they measured her they were off by an inch because at her two week appt., she was down to 19 inches!)

Weight:  8 pounds & 2 ounces

Milestones:  Waverly is becoming more alert by the day!  She can now look straight into your eyes (I love it!) and look at the toys above her swing.  She even smiles multiple times a day now, especially after she eats and is being held!  I know I am biased, but she can hold her head up amazingly well for a newborn. :)

Sleep:  We have adjusted into a solid routine at night and I am so proud of how far she has come.  She goes to bed in her bassinet by 8:30 each night and can normally sleep in about 4 hour stretches (which is a long time from where we started at!).  When she wakes up, she doesn't even cry and just makes her famous little grunting noises from her bassinet.  Either Daddy or I will pick her up, change her diaper, and then I will feed her in the pink recliner in her nursery.   After feeding & burping her, I bring her back to Dad to swaddle her and put her back down to sleep with the sleep sheep playing in the bassinet.

Eating:  Waverly is such a good eater and LOVES to eat as many times as she can.  She has signature moves when hungry that we have already come to know well - shaking her head back & forth and pushing her little head to your chest.  She had no problem learning to breastfeed and is already a pro!  Her favorite time to eat (lots) is at night right before she goes to bed.  Even though breastfeeding is definitely time-consuming and an adjustment, I love that time that we share together.

Favorite Moments:  There have already too many to list.  Waverly has been LOTS of places for being a newborn.  We try to get out of the house at least once a day and although she still doesn't like her car seat, as soon as we start driving she generally quiets down and enjoys our trips out (especially to the mall!).  I love to see her beautiful blue eyes wide awake in the morning and at night right before I feed her.  Without a doubt, her favorite time of the day is bath time and I can't get enough of watching her Daddy bathe her and how happy she is.

Worst Moments:  The worst moment would definitely be Mommy's fault and has nothing to do with anything cause by Miss Waverly.  As previously blogged, I (stupidly) locked my baby girl in the car.  Thankfully, we were able to get her out within minutes and cuddled our baby girl all afternoon.

Extra Comments:   Waverly's debut has certainly changed our world completely, and we wouldn't change it for anything.  It is harder than I expected it would be, but also definitely the best thing I have ever done.  I can't stop looking at her and how perfect she is, and am so appreciative of her coming into our lives.  I truly can't imagine life without her.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Baby Girl's Growth Spurt

Throughout my entire pregnancy and since I had Waverly, I can't even begin to count the number of times that I have been told to "cherish each moment because they grow every day."  And although it is hard for me to tell when gazing at my little beauty (which I do many hours of each day), I am certain that Waverly Maye is growing rather quickly just as I was told ... and it isn't only because the scale indicated it at our two week appointment.

I admittedly have spent any free time I have had over the past few weeks reading just about any newborn information I can get my hands on.  Whether it is baby blogs, message boards, or one of the several infant books I purchased at Barnes & Noble, I can't seem to get enough advice on what is going on with my baby girl.  So although I certainly hadn't heard of the "three week growth spurt" before giving birth to Waverly, all signs seem to point to this milestone over the past couple of days.   
Our baby girl has always been a good eater - such a good one that I truly can't think of a time when she has turned her head to the breast.  But since the end of last week, she has pretty much wanted to live on it.  It seems as though just as I finish feeding, burping, and changing Miss Waverly Maye, she is ready to head back to my chest.  I seriously have started to feel like a dairy farm, one that is constantly open for business and will service ANYWHERE, including the parking lot at TJ Maxx or the backyard of a friend's housewarming party. 

But I shouldn't complain, as I do realize that this is the kind of problem that you want to have.  I would rather her treat my breasts as a all-you-can-eat buffet than not want to eat at all.  And I must admit that the feeling of her really needing me (sorry honey, but more than anyone else, at least right now) is a really good one.

Waverly Maye @ 3 Weeks In a Short Break Between Feedings ...
Her cheeks her getting full. :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

"0" Month Report

Even though I don't feel "old", I certainly am reminded at how fast time has gone when my students laugh at my recollection of having a pager rather than a cell phone when I was in high school.  In fact, they don't even know what a pager is.  It is pretty unbelievable to me that I grew up in a world without social media/google/iphones, as I can't imagine my life without all three now.  (On a side note, my iphone has been my lifesaver during my late-night feeding sessions.)  So to the point, I must admit that I am rather addicted to my phone, partly so that I can visit sites such as Facebook, BabyCenter Message Boards, and my new obsession, Pinterest.

Pinterest has so many ideas that it can become rather overwhelming.  So overwhelming, actually, that I am thankful that I didn't discover it until after my wedding - or I would have had a major panic attack over all of the ideas it comes with.  And now that I am on to MAJOR baby brain, I have spent endless hours searching baby photographs, clothes, and creative ideas on the website.  One of my favorite ideas was to track baby's growth & progress over each month during their first year of life.  So naturally, this is the perfect place to do it.  The plan is to include a picture and brief description of baby Waverly each month until she is one year old ... and then she can look back on it one day.  Here is her first report, written by her mom all for her ...

Waverly Maye @ 0 Months
There are so many people who love you so much already and have been to visit you during your first month of life- you are one lucky little girl.  Everyone comments on how pretty you are ... they love your chubby cheeks, full lips, button nose, and of course, Mommy's favorite is your red hair.  You can be so sweet with your big blue eyes, and have also shown your big personality with those high-pitched screams.  Your favorite time of the day is definitely bath time with Daddy, and always enjoy breastfeeding with Mom as much as you can.  You don't like to put your clothes on, although Mommy is hoping that changes soon because she knows you are a true fashionista at heart (you showed us with how content you were during your first trip to the mall.)  You are so strong and can already hold your head up.  We love when you smile during your sleep and shake your head back and forth when you are extra hungry.  We just love YOU so much & can't get enough.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mommy's Mistake

I must admit that there are only two reasons why I am sharing this experience on my blog, and they include:
A - My pediatrician, who I happen to (already) really like & respect, informed me that the best way to emotionally handle what happened was to drink a glass of wine ... check ... and to write it down to share with Waverly one day.
B - I have had two (uneventful) days since my "mistake."  And now that I realize that I can overcome what happened and more specifically, can successfully leave my house with my baby girl - I am more able to talk about it.  So here goes ...

My husband returned to work last week, and since being cleared to carry the car seat on my own, I have been slowly getting used to leaving the house with just Waverly and me.  I had previously packed the diaper bag and fastened my baby girl into her car seat at the end of last week, but after realizing what a large task leaving the house had become, I picked up my mom to assist in the endeavor.  But this past Monday, I was determined to take Waverly out on my own.  All didn't go as planned ...

SIDE NOTE - Waverly does NOT like her beautiful hot pink & black floral print car seat, even though it is complete with a pink elephant toy hanging from the top.  I am SURE that one day soon she will realize how lovely it is, but at this point, she cries rather loudly every time we set her in it.

So this past Monday, I walked out the front door with Waverly (crying) in her pink car seat, my Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag, and three bags with baby items to return that day.  I secured the car seat in the back seat, like my husband taught me to, set the bags down, and APPARENTLY dropped my keys in the back because moments later I realized that I had locked my sweet girl in my steamy Mazda 3.  Of course (as I would in a smoldering vehicle), she continued to scream louder & louder, and I followed suit.  Thankfully, my husband was at his work with spare keys only 10 minutes away ... but as you could imagine, those 10 minutes felt more like 10 hours.  When we finally were able to rescue Waverly from the back seat and her mom's stupidity, she was sweating and certainly upset.  We rushed her to our pediatrician, and luckily, other than a fever that quickly subsided, our daughter was back to eating normally and acting herself. 

I am thankful that (as scary as the experience was), it ended up rather uneventfully.  But that didn't change how bad I felt for making such a stupid move before she even turned three weeks old.  The good news, however, is that I have learned my lesson and have left the house twice since, and both times have had a death grip on my keys before even thinking of closing the back seat that holds my baby girl.  And just in case of emergency (because obviously we have them), we also have a hide-a-key under that white Mazda 3.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Family Trip to the Grocery Store

While I was pregnant with sweet Waverly Maye, I must admit that I was part of a pregnancy blog online.  And when I say "part of ... ", I really mean that I had the app. on my phone and would read other people's postings in the July 2012 community group, pretty much on a daily basis.  The only two times that I posted were both dedicated to a name poll - getting unbiased opinions in order to help determine our baby girl's future moniker.  And even though my husband certainly thought it was weird that I cared about what other expecting moms had to say, and even made the assumption that some were creepy old men posing as pregnant women, I explained that it was an avenue to read about the number one topic on my mind without bothering those around me with the constant talk of my growing belly.

So throughout the many months of my pregnancy, I definitely read some interesting topics and opinions from my fellow July 2012 moms.  And of course, some I agreed with and related to more than others.  One subject that was discussed often was when it was appropriate to take your newborn baby out of the house.  Long before I gave birth to our baby girl, I knew that I could not be locked up in the house for long.  While I looked forward to and planned to relish in the first weeks & moments with Little Miss Brickner, I have never been one to be confined to my house.  I enjoy getting dressed for the day and even have trouble during my summers from teaching when I don't have a definite plan on a daily basis.  So, needless to say, I did not agree with the many moms who indicated that they would leave baby in the house until six months of age. 

Today, Waverly made her first trip to the grocery store.  It was the first official outing (other than the doctor's office), for our entire family - my husband, her, and I.  She behaved perfectly, and slept the entire trip, even in the frozen food aisle when it was rather cold.  It was almost as if she knew exactly how long we needed her to stay quiet, because her baby blues opened right as we got to the check-out line. 

So with each day comes new experiences that we are tackling together, and I am confident that our lives can continue beyond the four walls of our home.  Different, yes, but even better. :)


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mastering the Mall with Baby

It has now been two weeks and and two days since the birth of our Waverly Maye, and life is slowly beginning to settle into some sense of normalcy.  Our "new normal" is certainly different from our previous one, but in only this short amount of time, I can't imagine it any other way. 

At Waverly's two week doctor's appointment, our pediatrician was more than happy with her progess and more specifically, her weight gain.  Our baby girl is now almost eight pounds, and thriving.  She has started to smile, can now sleep in her bassinet, and is really starting to enjoy her bath time with daddy.

And perhaps one of the biggest milestones of the week?  Waverly experienced her first trip to the mall - the first of many, many trips to come.  After two weeks and our adjustment to a new routine, we were able to pack the diaper bag, fasten the car seat, and venture to Lynnhaven Mall with Li-li and Aunt Lexie.  As always (some things never change ... ), we started with H & M, and continued to Forever 21 and the MAC Cosmetics counter.  A change in our usual mall day?  Our visit to the upstairs food court was used for Waverly's feeding time under my floral print cover - a process I am still mastering.  I am certain I will have it 100% down for a return trip soon.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Waverly's Week One

It has been exactly one week since we brought Waverly Maye home from the hospital, and a week & two days since she was made her official debut into the world.
And to say the least, life has certainly changed.  Over the duration of my pregnancy, as you would expect, I definitely had expectations of what life with our baby girl would be like.  As any other expecting couple, we got advice on a daily basis.  We were told to "get our sleep while we could," to enjoy the last few months as "two before three," and of course, that our bundle of joy would bring a new meaning to our lives.  I appreciate the advice from those who have experienced what we are just beginning to, but the magnitude of the miracle we are so fortunate to welcome definitely cannot be explained.  I find myself (and my husband), staring at Waverly several times a day in disbelief that she is ours ... and wondering how we got so lucky.

Of course, the beginning of our journey has had its ups & downs.  The first night home was practically sleepless, as neither of us could put her in her bassinet (which is right next to our bed), without worrying.  So, we took turns holding her throughout the night to ensure that she was safe for the duration.  After watching a DVD entitled "The Happiest Baby on the Block" the next day, we were definitely more prepared for night two and she slept in three hour increments back & forth between the swing and bassinet.  Six days later, Waverly and her mom & dad are slowly settling into a schedule, and the sound of her cry (which can definitely be deafening), is no longer a serious cause of panic for us both.  She is becoming more alert, even giving us smiles at times, and diaper & outfit changes/bath times have all become more manageable as we all get used to what is the new normal. 

Even though she has only been here a little over a week, I don't remember what life was like without her.  One look into her big blue eyes can seriously make you forget about anything else, and how I really would do ANYTHING for her.  Now, I just can't wait for week two, three, four, ...  

On the way home for the first time!

First family photo with our house decorations.

Daddy & Waverly taking a nap.

Waverly's First Bath.

Getting more alert everyday!



Friday, August 3, 2012

Waverly Maye Is Here - Her Birth Story ...

Even as I sit here and type in my living room (surrounded by baby gadgets, bottles, blankets, and an overwhelming sense of the color pink) ... I can hardly believe that I have a daughter.  I am someone's mother, and that someone happens to be a beautiful, perfect and all-around pretty amazing baby girl.  Today marks her one-week birthday, and there doesn't seem to be a better time to make the official progression from my pregnancy blog to WORDS ABOUT WAVERLY - an official online record completely devoted to her.

After 10 months of pregnancy (I am still trying to figure out why it is referred to as a nine month journey ... ), I was MORE than ready to meet my baby girl.  As I previously posted in my pregnancy blog, I really did enjoy being pregnant.  However, during that "tenth" month - every twitch, mild cramp, or food craving I had was attributed to the on-start of labor.  Needless to say, that was never the case, as my due date came & went as I was still sitting in the recliner in my living room with a rather large belly.  And although (as most preggers probably do) - I anxiously aniticipated the excitement of my water breaking in the middle of Target or waking up in the middle of the night with piercing contractions ... I was perfectly content with the plan when my OB-GYN scheduled an induction for the Tuesday after I was due to give birth. 

My husband and I walked into the hospital at about 8 PM on the day I was scheduled to recieve Cervadil overnight to help me dialate.  I had my bright floral suitcase and a huge smile on my face, already securing a place in my head for baby girl's birthday for the following day.  I was clearly oblivious of what was to come.  I was immediately attached to multiple wires and pretty much tied to the hospital bed to monitor me and baby. The Cervadil did not work, so I was hooked up to Pitocin the following morning.  And although the IV did it's job in jump-starting some pretty intense contractions, after multiple checks by several different nurses and a visit from my OB-GYN, I was still hardly dialating at all.  We finally made the joint decision to take me off the Pitocin and try again the next day, although I was still to stay in the same hospital room that I had originally thought would be a short pit stop before meeting my baby girl.

The following morning, I was instantly put back on the Pitocin. This time, the contractions were even more challenging than the day before, most likely even more mentally than physically as I was so frustrated from my apparent lack of ability to dialate, even after all of the pain.  I gave into the Epidural after about three hours that morning, and the relief it brought was more than welcomed.  However, as we said good-bye to nurse after nurse, as their shifts were changing, and had multiple updates of little to no progress, it was certainly clear that this journey was going to be a long one.  By 5 PM that evening, there finally seemed to be an end in sight.  A final check was set for 6:30, and with the most likely result of a continued lack of advancement, a C-section was our final route. 

Our baby girl certainly seemed to have a mind of her own, and perhaps it was at this point that she decided it was finally time to make her fashionably-late debut..  With what seemed to me as a small miracle, that final check indicated I was 9 centimeters dialated and could push within the hour.  And although the final "pushing" stage of labor was what I had been most nervous about all along, the thought of an end to this 48-hour journey (and beginning of a new one with our daughter) was enough to motivate me. 

I pushed for about 45 minutes and will never forget the experience, even though I don't know that even just one week later I can recall the actual feeling of it all.  I know that my husband was right next to me the whole time and I couldn't have done it without him, that the first time the nurse mentioned sight of my daughter's head I was more determined than ever, and lastly, that any modesty I had ever had was out the window. 

At 9:01 PM, Waverly Maye Brickner was born (7 lbs., 8 oz. & a full head of red hair!).  The entire process, starting at when we found out we were pregnant back in November to the last few minutes in the delivery room before she was born, was all a blur and all that mattered was that she was here.  From that moment ... as my husband & I smiled at the sound of the lullaby playing through the hospital & the cheers from our family in the waiting room, while gazing at the beautiful baby that we had created ... I knew that my life had new meaning and nothing would ever be the same. 
 In fact, I am not sure how life existed before Waverly Maye.