Saturday, September 13, 2014

She’s Here!

Less than a day old. Look at that face!!
She finally made it! Atalie Joyce Wallace was born on Monday, August 25th at 10:10pm. And no, I did NOT have to be induced. I woke up early Monday morning with contractions. Praise the Lord! I’ll save the rest of the story for a special “birth story” post, but we’ll just say it was a long day and worth every second. 

With Dr. Huebner, who oversaw the delivery
(a midwife actually delivered Atalie)
We spent the first three days in the hospital. It was a blissful state of day running into night and hanging out getting to know our new little one. Besides the nurses asking multiple times a day if she had pooped yet, there was little to get frustrated about. Although the nurses did have some great things to say. I need to do a post on all the different “advice” we were given while in the hospital, some of it was pretty funny. Our room was like a hotel room with a huge walk in shower and kitchenette. All the lights and thermostat were controlled on an iPad (it sounds cool until you are in a state of exhaustion trying to turn on the light by the bed in the middle of the night). The food was amazing, I’m not kidding. Steak, chicken, fish, pizza - it was all delicious. And the desserts, oh man, superb. I’d heard that Redleaf had good food, but it exceeded my expectations. Steven ordered most of his meals from a delivery service because though my meals were free, it was expensive for him to add on a meal.

Our hospital room. Yes, I know, it’s fancy. (And that’s Louise, our doula)
The wing of the hospital we stayed in. Would you guess this is a hospital?
We got back to Nanjing on Friday after spending a few hours at the US Consulate that morning to get Atalie’s passport and citizenship all sorted out. I was so nervous how Friday would go, but everything was super smooth (besides being at the Consulate’s Office forever), and Atalie slept basically the whole day making it super easy. She wouldn’t even wake up to eat, I had to “zombie feed” her as I like to call it. She’s talented, what can I say! One high speed train later and we were in a cab headed to our home. 

Atalie’s first Burger King experience, she slept through the whole thing
Since being home, the weeks have flown by. How has it already been two weeks since we got back? My full time job right now is producing milk and making sure Atalie eats and sleeps. The first week was a little hard adjusting to life with a newborn, but everyday got better. She actually cried more in the hospital than she did her first week at home. All I wanted to do all day was stare at her. It’s still hard to believe that she is ours. We made her, I grew her, birthed her and the hospital let us take her home. Madness. Beautiful madness. 

After that first week home, our sweet little newborn started to have fussy spells. Over the past week and a half, there have been a few really hard days. Overall, she does great and usually gets into her groove eating and sleeping. I can’t say she is more or less fussy than other babies - in fact, based on what I’ve been reading she’s pretty textbook, normal newborn fussiness. It seems about every other day or so she has a prolonged spell of fussiness. Tuesday this week was pretty bad, I had at least five meltdowns. Fortunately, when the worst is over she’ll take a really long nap and twice now I’ve been lucky enough to have her do that at night. Last night, she was fussy and catnapped from 6:00pm until midnight. But when we finally got her to sleep at midnight she slept 5 1/2 hours!!! I actually woke her up because I really needed her to eat (if you know what I mean). 

Our friend, Nikko, came over and took newborn pictures for us
And breastfeeding is improving. We definitely still have our challenges, but she is getting better at latching and I’m getting more patient. We weighed her ourselves at two weeks old (we haven’t been able to make it back for a check up for her yet) and she already put on over a pound! Pretty impressive. So, I think it’s safe to say that breastfeeding is going quite well. By the way, you should see Steven’s design for weighing the baby at home…I’ll give you a hint, it involves a duffle bag, large tupperware lid and a luggage scale. 

Gotta get snuggles with both the baby & Sam

How I spent most of the first week at home (notice Sam also got some cuddle time)

My mom gets here tonight and I’m ready for the daytime reinforcements. Steven has started going back to work this past week and it’s just easier when there is someone else at home. I’ve also learned to switch my mentality from “I should get something done today” to “if I don’t get anything done but hold and feed my baby, that’s ok”. It’s made the days I don’t get anything done easier to swallow, although I haven’t really had much to get done (besides laundry). Friends have been bringing us meals, our fridge and freezer are full and Steven has been awesome at keeping up with dishes. 

Our first family selfie, taken just after arriving home
Life is different with Atalie here, and I love it. It’s hard for me to imagine life without her, even on the hard days. The sweet moments we do have are pure bliss and help to make the hard days bearable. I love getting to know her, loving her, rocking her and falling asleep with her in my arms (sometimes unintentionally).  

One of those blissful moments

Steven getting work done and snuggling with Atalie, a true multi-tasker

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