Zoe – 1 Month

Our little girl was born March 13 and the first month just flew by. Time -please slow down!!!

She is a great baby!! She hardly cries and if she does, it is because we change her diaper, she poops or she is hungry. Other than that she is a happy baby and loves to observe the things around her. Oftentimes she just lays there and looks around. She also loves to ride in the car or being pushed in the stroller.

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  • Weight and Height:
    • at birth: 6 lbs 11 oz – 19 inches
    • when we left hospital: 6 lbs and 5 oz (-4%)
    • on day 5 (1st pediatrician appt): back to birth weight 6 lbs and 11 oz – 19 inches.
      Our pediatrician was amazed how quickly she was back at birth weight. Magic breast milk!
    • at 2 weeks (pediatrician appt): 7 lbs 12 oz – 20 3/4 inches
    • at 3 weeks: 8 lbs 1 oz
    • at 1 month (pediatrician appt): 8 lbs and 8 oz – 21 and 1/4 inches
  • Diaper size: Newborn
  • Clothe size: Newborn

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  • Sleep:
    • During the night: she sleeps in our bedroom in the Fisher Price Newborn Rock n Play Sleeper. And during the day she sleeps in a bassinet in our living room or in our arms. She prefers our arms, for sure!
    • From the beginning she understood day/night and slept well at night.
    • The first 2 weeks, we woke her every 3 hours at night for feedings and she fell asleep right after. During the day she wanted to be fed every 2-3 hours.
    • After 2 weeks we fed on demand, which was about every 2 hours during the day. At night I fed her around 10/11pm, then my husband bottle fed her around 1/2am and then I got up around 5/6am with her.
    • She sleeps better/longer wrapped as a burrito. She loves shushhhing noise and being rocked in our arms.
  • Health:
    • She is a healthy baby and I’m glad she has no diaper rash.
    • She has dry skin and mild infant acne, but nothing serious or anything to worry about.
    • Her right eye has sometimes some yellow discharge and is a little crusty. We remove this with warm water and a paper towel.

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  • Work outs:
    • We started walks after 2 weeks, when the weather finally warmed up. The first week we walked 10 miles and felt great! The baby sleeps better on those days and I’m just glad to get out of the house and soak in all the sun.
  • Milestones:
    • back to birth weight on day 5
    • at 2 weeks: we introduced the pacifier, she took it like a pro.
    • at 3 weeks: Daddy started to bottle feed breast milk. She is using Tommee Tippee bottles with no hesitation. More sleep for me – yeah!
  • Nicknames:
    • Squeeks
    • Knoedel (German word for dumpling)
    • Baby Weisman
    • Sharknado (she sucks so hard on my nipples and won’t let them go)
    • The little One

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  • Zoe likes
    • feeding time (breast and bottle)
    • being rocked and sleep in our arms
    • bath time
    • driving in the car
    • stroller walks
    • her pacifier
  • Zoe dislikes
    • diaper change
    • changing clothes over her head

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  • Baby essentials (aka things we could not live without):
    • Pacifier (Nuk): Even though she barely cries, it helps her to sooth and fall asleep easier.
    • slow flow bottles for feeding breast milk (Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature): My husband is feeding her once a day a bottle and those work great!
    • disposable nursing pads: The first few weeks you leak quite a bit and the pads are very helpful. I use the Lansinoh brand since they could hold more than the store brand. I also tried washable ones as well, but those were a little smelly if they are full.
    • Lanolin for sore nipples: My nipples were so sore, this helped a little bit to make them feel better. I preferred the Medela brand over the Lansinoh, because the Medela was easier to apply. It is not as thick as the Lansinoh brand cream and the easier to apply the better since my nipples were so sore and sensitive.
    • Moby wrap: After “baby’s breakfast” I carry her around in this wrap. It’s great, because I can use both of my hands to prepare my breakfast while she sleeps. This wa given to me by my sister in law, I have not tried other carriers yet.
    • Halo SleepSack Swaddle: Unlike a traditional swaddling blanket, which can easily become unwrapped, the HALO SleepSack Swaddle uses strong, adjustable fasteners to get the perfect, secure swaddle in just a few steps. Simply place your baby in the sack, close the zipper, and secure the wrap snugly around baby’s torso with the fastener strips.
    • “Gentle Giraffe”: Sound machine soother. This one is great! Even though we have a very easy baby, sometimes she has a little tough time to relax for her sleep. We turn on this “giraffe” and within seconds she relaxes and falls asleep.
    • Backpack diaper bag: A friend suggested to get a diaper bag that is actually a backpack and not carried over one shoulder. And I’m so glad I got a backpack! Not only does my husband prefer to carry a black backpack, but also it is easier for me to have both hands free while carrying her in her carrier. No bag sliding down your shoulder.
    • Graco Travel System + car seat carrier: Great brand, good quality. It’s so easy to get out of the house with this. The jogging stroller runs smoothly and fits in my Honda Civic. And the car seat carrier is wonderful! Super light weight and perfect for going grocery shopping or walk around. Totally recommend this brand!
    • Car Seat Cover: I needed something that protects Zoe from sun and wind while we are out. I really like this cover, it wraps around any car seat and you can partially or fully cover the baby while still being able to sneak into very easily.
    • Fisher Price Sleeper: We use this sleeper for nights only and she loves it. I was a little worried in the beginning because it was not a flat surface and might be a risk for SIDS, but my pediatrician said it is ok. During the day she sleeps in a bassinet , but we can tell she is not as comfortable as she is in this sleeper.
    • Bobby pillow: This pillow is a great help while breast feeding. So much easier than a regular pillow, since the c-shape goes around your stomach and there is no gap like you have with a regular pillow. Plus it offers more use in the future.

  • Things we thought we need, but didn’t:
    • bottle sterilizer: I didn’t know you only need to sterilize before the first use (unless you have well water). You can also easily sterilize in a pot of boiling water.
    • food/bottle warmer: Pumped breast milk can be stored up to 5 days in the fridge. We usually take the bottle out of the fridge an hour or two before the feeding and feed her the bottle at room temperature. She has no problem taking the bottle and it safes us time.
    • mittens: Zoe was born in March and it was still cold, so I bought 2 pairs of mittens, just in case. For me, the mittens didn’t work. It was much easier to use her socks! I put them over her hand and over her sleeves and they never came off.

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We had a wonderful first month!! I’m soo thankful my husband was able to stay at home with us and we got to enjoy our little girl together. We established new family routines and grew closer as a family!

 

 

I’m Back!

During my pregnancy I was not able to run or walk, it just didn’t feel right. She was heads down and very low the whole pregnancy. I did what was best for me and the baby and relaxed and enjoyed my pregnancy.

Luckily giving birth was “easy” for me (you can read more HERE) and I felt great the very next day.  I took it easy for 3 weeks but then the nice weather came and I just couldn’t hold myself back. We pulled the stroller out and started to walk last week!wpid-IMG_20140116_201422.jpg

  1. The first walk was on Wednesday with my running friend R and we walked a nice 3.5 mile loop. The weather was perfect and at the end we stopped at the best ice cream shop in town. We celebrated our first walk and I felt amazing!
  2. Two days later on Friday I walked with another running friend for 3 miles and again enjoyed every second of it. It feels good to get out of the house and enjoy the warm temperatures and also a good conversation with a friend. Zoe loves our walks as well. She always falls right asleep. Once we are home, she sleeps even better the rest of the day. That must be all the fresh air!
  3. And since all good things come in 3s, we walked another walk on Sunday with running friend #3. This time we did 4 miles and it was hilly! Pushing the stroller uphill definitely is a strength workout!

All together this makes 10.5 miles in less than a week and I couldn’t be happier. It was great to get out of the house to enjoy good company and great weather! This makes for a happy mommy and a happy baby!

On April 24 I have my 6 week check and can’t wait to get the “all clear for running”. Until then we will continue to walk, I have a ” walk date” with a friend tomorrow and a mommy group walk on Friday set up.

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts – 3 weeks postpartum

Just some random thoughts after being a mom for 3 weeks:

  • I’m very happy and enjoy being a mom. Lucky for me no baby-blues or postpartum depression.
  • Our baby is very easy going and makes us very proud. She barely cries, only when we change the diaper or she is hungry. She is just a happy baby!
  • I’m also extremely lucky to have my husband home for 5 weeks. Not only is he a big help, but I also enjoy our family time. We both grow into the role as a parent together and I love seeing how great of a dad he is.

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  • My recovery is going extremely well. Many of the “postpartum symptoms” do not apply for me. I believe the quick labor and delivery play a big role in this and I could not be more thankful.
  • This week we introduced the pacifier and it is going well. No confusion with breast feeding.
  • Zoe is gaining weight fast! On her 5th day she was already back to birth weight and 3 weeks after being born, she gained over a pound.
  • The weather is finally better and I started walking with the stroller. I had a great time and can’t believe I walked 10 miles this week. Zoe and I enjoy this time and another nice benefit is Zoe sleeping even better on days we spent time outside.
  • Had my first meeting with a mommy group and enjoy it! We went on a walk and talked about babies – LOVED it!
  • Our dog is doing great with the new addition. He hardly cares about her and is just happy we are at home more. We also tried not to change too much for him. He still is allowed to sit on the couch and sleep in our bed. I know – spoiled dog!!
  • Best time of the day: When she sleeps in my arms after the first feeding in the morning!

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  • Breastfeeding
    • is hard and painful, but it does get better! What really helped me was to surround myself with people who also breastfed and who are supportive of breastfeeding. All of them had a painful start and every single one confirmed it will get better and it is worth it. Honestly, I had days, I wanted to quit, because it hurts so much, but knowing it will get better, helped me. And I’m so glad I stuck with it! It really does get better!!
    • I started pumping on day 5, my breasts were so full and pumping made me feel better. I saved this milk in the freezer, just in case.
    • After 3 weeks my husband started to bottle feed my breast milk to Zoe. We use the Tommee Tippee bottles and had no issues. I will breast feed the baby at around 10/11pm and go to bed. My husband will feed her around 2/3am and then I will breast feed again at 5/6am. This gives me a lot of sleep. LOVE it!!
    • Don’t spend money on sterilizer and bottle warmer. All of the items (like bottles or pacifiers) only need to be sterilized before first use. Then you just wash with soap and water. Sterilizing is easily done in a pot of boiling water. Also, we don’t warm up the pumped breast milk. Breast milk is good for 5 hours at room temperature, 5 days in the fridge and 5 months in the freezer. I usually pump in the morning and store the milk in the fridge. When I go to bed at around 10/11pm, I will take the milk out of the fridge and keep it at room temperature until my husband feeds Zoe. She takes the milk without any issue. Saves us some time!
    • My first public breast feeding was at Costco – Opps! I tried to cover as much as I could and also sat in the corner. It went well and feedings definitely get easier.

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March 2014

March was filled with excitement and anticipation. I was full-term March 3 and my due date was March 24. This month is all about our girl’s arrival!

  • March started off with a lovely baby shower (details HERE) my running buddies organized for me. It was such a nice afternoon and I’m soo thankful I have met those ladies through running!! Can’t wait to be cleared for running and meet up with them every Saturday again.
  • We also got another snow storm! This time I loved it. Since I don’t have to worry about work and my husband can telework, we both enjoyed a lazy day at home watching the snow fall and drink tea!
  • I deep cleaned our old wash machine without any toxic chemicals and it looks like new again. How I did it HERE.
  • We booked our first family vacation! My sister, brother in law and 2 kids will visit us from Germany in August/September and we decided to rent a house in the Outer Banks for 1 week. I always wanted to do that, soo excited!!
  • Weekly pregnancy and baby bump update:
  • The best moment of the month: Arrival of our baby girl Zoe!

wpid-IMG_20140319_181939.jpgZoe was born on Thursday March 13, 2014 at 8:02 pm. She surprised us 11 days early. Her weight was 6lbs and 11 oz and she was 19 inches long. She is a healthy and happy baby and mommy and daddy couldn’t be more excited and proud!

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How am I doing with my 2014 goals?

  • Running:

    • go on nice walks with my girl and start running when the doctor gives us the green light
    • get a gym membership with daycare
    • get into a running routine
    • run a few local races (5k, 10ks, …) and a fall half marathon

    Running is on hold until the doctor gives me the official go (hopefully on April 24). I’m very sure I will be cleared at my 6 week appointment. I recover really well from giving birth and already feel like I could go for a run! For now we stay with walks though.

  • Family:
    • Baby Bucket List (things we should do before the baby is here):
      • quality time with my husband (at least 1 date night per month – movies, dinners,…) - CHECK!

      We went for a nice Mexican lunch/dinner on a Sunday afternoon and then strolled through Walmart to get a little shopping done. Food was great and shopping was relaxing.

      A week later we went to see a movie “About last night” and had ice cream afterwards. The movie was fun and I enjoyed it, but it’s not a must see movie.

      We celebrated my husband’s birthday at our favorite Seafood Restaurant. Zoe came with us and she was great! She slept through the whole dinner.

      • meet up with friends – CHECK!

        Meet all my running ladies at the baby shower they threw me. What a lovely group of people!! We had so much fun!
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        I also met up with a good friend for lunch. She lives about 1.5 hours away and with busy schedules it was tough to schedule a get together. Finally, we were able to meet up for lunch. So nice to catch up! I believe it has been 1 year since we have seen each other last.I also met up again with some of my running friends for breakfast at one of our favorite places! Knowing the baby is coming soon, I really make an effort in seeing my friends more often and I love it!
    • Breast feeding at least for the first 6 months: The first day was tough and I was worried we might not be able to get it before I have to leave the hospital. It is amazing how quickly a newborn learns to breastfeed. 24 hours later, we got the latch and I felt confident, we could do it at home. It’s certainly not easy and VERY painful in the beginning. But it helps to talk to moms who breastfed and all had pain in the beginning and all enjoyed it once the initial pain was gone. After a week I could already see big improvements, right now I feel confident we can make it to the 6 month mark.
    • start baby swimming: Baby girl has to be 6 months, this is something we will start in the fall.
    • find a mommy/play group: Found one in town and we met up for a walk. It was nice to get out of the house and talk about babies for an hour :) I’m planning on meeting with them at least once per week.
    • learn to cook. This month I tried:
    • creating a budget and stay on it (we have to adjust from 2 incomes to one)
      •  Up until now we had 2 incomes and 2 separate bank accounts. My husband paid the mortgage and utilities and my income was for “fun stuff” like going out and vacation. Since I’m not working anymore, we combined our checking accounts this week and also created a big spreadsheet with all our monthly expenses. It helped me to get an idea where we are financially. We have to make some adjustments on how much we put into savings each month, but overall we should be good (as long as keep an eye on our spendings).
      • I exchanged all change we have collected over the last several years and got a xbox giftcard for my husband. Buying games will be a luxury in the future, but with the gift card he should be set for a little while. Playing at night is his stress relief and he probably need this once the little one is here!

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How did March turn out for you? What was your best moment this month?

Zoe’s Birth Story

Our little girl decided to arrive a little earlier than expected. The due date was March 24, but in the evening of March 12 I started to feel light cramping. The first contraction I felt was at 8:13pm and from that on every 10 minutes. I was surfing in the internet and at first not sure if it is a contraction or just mild cramping. After the third contraction, I told my husband (who played on his xbox next to me) to enjoy gaming as long as he can. He looked at me and I told him the baby might come.

We both didn’t think that it will really start and thought it is just false alarm. The contractions slowed down a little and then around midnight we went to bed. I didn’t track the contractions at night, I just tried to get as much sleep as I could. I did feel them, but they were still not bad, again just like mild cramping.

At 4:40am I got up and they were again 10 minutes apart. My husband went to work and I told him to stay close to his phone. In the morning the cramping/contractions didn’t really get stronger and they were every 10 minutes apart and only 30 seconds long. We learned to go to the hospital once they are 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long for 1 hour. Mine were all over the place, some were 7 minutes, then 13 minutes apart. I was texting with my best friend in Kenya and around noon we decided to call my husband to come home.

The contractions were still mild but I felt more comfortable to have him home, just in case. I still couldn’t believe we might have a baby!

When my husband was home and I called my doctor. She asked me to come in and check how far I am. When we arrived there, I was still 1cm. They strapped me on the “contraction machine” and after 20 min they told me to move to the side and drink orange juice. They wanted to wake the baby up. That was the point were the contractions got uncomfortable. I also got a little nauseous from the orange juice.

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After 20 minutes like that, they checked again and I was 2cm dilated. The midwife told me there is a lot of pressure going on and most likely my water will break. I could go right away to the hospital or go home, relax a little more, have dinner and then come to the hospital. My biggest fear was to be late to the hospital and I asked her how would I know when to go to the hospital. She said, you will know, trust me. So around 3:30pm we left the doctor and went home.

At home I had some noodle soup, which really made me feel nauseous. Around 6pm I told my husband to call the doctor and tell her we are going to the hospital. I wasn’t sure if it is the right time, but I felt better knowing I’m at the hospital just in case it started. The contractions were shorter and more painful, but not as painful as I thought they would be.

We got our stuff and arrived at the hospital at 7:10pm. My husband had too many bags so he couldn’t push the wheelchair. That means walking to the Labor & Delivery area. It was quite a long way and we finally made it. I was pre-registered, but still had to fill out a short form. Once I was done, I could fell a little pop and warm water running down my legs – my water broke in the hallway!

I immediately got the room next to the registration and changed my clothes. While waiting for my midwife to show up, I didn’t feel contractions, I felt the urge to push. After the 2nd or 3rd push, I told my husband to get the midwife, I don’t think I should push at this point. At the same time, she came into the room, checked me and looked shocked. I was 9.5cm dilated – only 4 hours after I left her office earlier that afternoon.

Immediately it got a little crazy and equipment got rolled in and 2 nurses showed up. She told me, she is sorry, but it is too late to get any pain medication. NO!! I was shocked and worried and mostly scared. I couldn’t think long, then I felt like pushing again. And 15 minutes later our little girl was born! Only 40 minutes after we arrived at the hospital!

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During this pregnancy I always said, I don’t have a birth plan, things will come differently anyways. But the only thing, I want to make sure is, that I get all pain medicine I’m allowed to have! Well, this didn’t happen and looking back at it, I’m glad the way it went.

As soon as the baby was born, the pain was gone and I felt great! They put her on my chest and I couldn’t believe she is here! I was happy and excited and shocked and still couldn’t believe this tiny human was inside me just minutes earlier.

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Zoe was cleaned and measured and soon we tried to breastfeed. I couldn’t sleep all night and had to watch her all the time. I was scared she stops breathing!

The next day, I felt even better! I was not sore and I also didn’t need any pain medication after giving birth. I think the fact everything went so quickly made it much easier on my body. The biggest challenge was to learn to breast feed her. In the beginning I thought I could never do this by myself. I was a little worried. But it is amazing, how quickly we both improved and the next day, we felt ready to go home.

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We are so blessed and proud to be parents to this wonderful and healthy little baby girl. She is a good baby, she eats and sleeps well and only cries if we are too slow to change a diaper and she gets cold. She makes the funniest faces and I could just stare at her all day long.

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Baby Announcement Card

Our Bundle of Joy is here!

We welcome with Love… Zoe!

Zoe was born on Thursday March 13, 2014 at 8:02 pm. She surprised us 11 days early. Her weight was 6lbs and 11 oz and she was 19 inches long. She is a healthy and happy baby and mommy and daddy couldn’t be more excited and proud!

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I am doing really well and I’m amazed how a body can recover so quickly. Right now we are adjusting to our new routine and I feel we are doing really well. Soon I will post our birth story, but for now, please excuse me, I have to snuggle with my baby girl!

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Three Things Thursday

1. House Cleaning (aka Nesting)

When my husband moved into his house friends of ours supported him by giving him their old washer and dryer. We have this washer and dryer now for 5 years, but who knows how old t actually is. So I decided to deep clean it this week as part of my nesting.

I’m in the very early phases of being a “good house wife” and don’t know much about cleaning and DIY. I did some internet research with the goal to avoid any toxic chemicals, especially since we will soon wash our baby girl’s clothes in there as well. I found vinegar and baking soda are natural magic cleaners. I bought both for less than $3 and got started:

  • Set the washer to large load and hot water and press start
  • while water fills in add 4 cups of vinegar
  • when washer starts to agitate, wait for 1 min and then add 1/2 cup baking soda
  • wait another minute so all is well agitatet and then STOP washer
  • let the water/vinegar/baking soda mix sit for 1 hour. During this time use a clean cloth dipped in the vinegar/baking soda water to wipe down your washer. Give attention to the top of the washer, the knobs, the top of the wash bin, and any bleach or fabric softener dispensers.
  • after an hour resume the washer and finish the washing cycle
  • start another hot wash cycle (just plain water) at this point and allow it to run through completely. That’s it and it really works!

wpid-IMG_20140310_154828.jpg2. Vacation 2014

My sister, brother in law and their 2 kids will visit us in August/September for 3 weeks. I’m soo excited to have family visiting me and meeting our baby girl for the first time. This is their 2nd visit in 9 years – so a big deal! The first 2 weeks they will do local day trips and we will hang out as much as we can.

The 3rd and last week, we decided to rent a big house in the Outer Banks. I always wanted to do that, but haven’t done it before. This will be our first family vacation with our baby girl. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. Doesn’t this house look fantastic?

3. Final Countdown

Officially our baby girl is due on March 24, which is less than 2 weeks from now. We have everything ready, car seat installed and inspected, hospital bags packed and parents-to-be are as ready as they can be at this time. The only thing left is to wait! Not my strength!! I thought it would be fun to ask you all about the “estimate arrival time”. Here are some facts:

  • official due date (based on 1st sonogram): March 24
  • full moon: March 16
  • growth scan shows baby’s growth is on target
  • I’m feeling great, no labor signs, still able to sleep, no Haxton Bricks or contractions
  • I’m nesting (for a while now)
  • last week: 0.5cm dilated
  • she is my 1st child

I have a feeling she will be late. I also had a dream a few weeks ago and all I can remember is that she was born April 2. So, that’s my prediction. What do you think? Will she be early/late?