Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Page: Videos!

Did you notice the navigation bar up top?  We just added a new page for videos!  So grab your popcorn and enjoy the cinematic wonders of little Chloe cooing, wiggling, and giggling!

Wordless Wednesday

Our week in digital


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chloe's 1st Month

What a whirlwind!  We brought Chloe home the night she was born and quickly stumbled into parenthood.  She was so sweet and smiley already that it made those days that just blended together because we didn't know morning from night so worth it.  You really just don't get how big the emotion love can be until you have your first child. Now we do.

At her first visit with a pediatrician on the Monday after she was born (she wasn't seen at the birth center like babies born in hospitals would have been), she checked out wonderfully!  They were slightly concerned about her weight loss so we went back in two days later for another weigh in.  She had lost over 8% in the first 48 hours,which technically is normal but since it was closer to 10%, they wanted to keep an eye on her.  Well, we did good; she gained 8 ounces in two days!  He would have been happy with just 2 or 3.

As with all new parents, we had our struggles. Tripping over ourselves trying to learn as we go figuring out how to take care of this little person that is ours.  One of the hardest things we experienced was nursing.  She was spitting up a lot (we were blessed with quite a few projectiles) and showing signs of either reflux or a food allergy.  So I adjusted her position, made sure she was upright for 20 minutes after every feed (this made for long and close together nursing sessions and very little rest for Mommy), and even cut out dairy from my diet.  Still, we were both a mess and very fussy.

After a meeting with my lactation consultant, Chloe was diagnosed with a posterior tongue tie which basically prevented her from having full movement of her tongue.  (Here is a great site with more info about tongue ties)  As a result, she couldn't get a strong latch which is what made her gassy, fussy, and messy.  Our pediatrician, Dr. Agarwal, met with us and we weighed all of the pros and cons of having him perform a Frenotomy (release of the tongue by cauterization of the frenulum).  We decided that going ahead with the procedure was the best for us.  While it was difficult knowing she was going through something like this already in her life, we knew that if we were to do it, it had to be now when she was so young that she would be less affected.  Dr. Agarwal was great with her.  It was done in under 5 minutes and he took such great care with her afterwards.

For the next two weeks, we noticed immense improvements!  She was in much better spirits after feedings and we were doing much less laundry.  Yesterday was our follow-up appointment and it has healed beautifully with no re-attachment.  Success!  I am still dairy free, but overall, we are sure the problems were from the tongue tie.

A few things we have learned about Chloe so far:

  • She is a professional snuggler! (and currently a momma's girl)
  • Smiling contests are her favorite thing, second to milk. Her new nickname is "Milk Monster"
  • She loves to be naked and really enjoys the bath.
  • The dogs barking don't bother her at all. (phew!)
  • She absolutely hates a wet bottom.
  • Sitting still is no fun - we have to be on the move!
  • Her favorite toy is her plush Sophie the Giraffe.
  • She's no dummy and really doesn't care for a "dummy" (pacifier)
  • She has a keen sense of when it is mealtime for mommy - what a perfect time to decide she is hungry, too!

We're doing more and more tummy time and she is so strong, doing push ups, holding her head up so well, and starting to springboard on our lap!

We also are now out and about most days, running errands, on social visits, or simply walking the dogs.  Chloe does great in the car seat, stroller, and carrier (her favorite).  In fact, we think she prefers to be out or having company over!  A perfect excuse for moving around and snatching plenty of snuggle time.

This past week, Simon has started giving her one bottle a day.  They love their special time together!

Now at one month, she is technically sleeping through the night (experts call that 5 hours).  She is setting her own routine, in bed by 8, up at 1 and finally at 4 before she turns back into a milk monster.  Boy we are lucky and crossing our fingers this pattern sticks since it is perfect for both of our work schedules and regular 5 a.m. alarms.

At her one month check-up yesterday, she weighed in at 10 pounds 7.5 ounces and measured at 21.5 inches.  Growing so fast, we're barely keeping up.

Here are some of our favorite photos from her first month.


Hours old, flashing her first smile

Our first day together

Jack standing guard


Our sleepy little angel


First doctor's visit and meeting Grandma and Grandpa Andresen


Snuggling with Mommy and Daddy


First sponge bath


Showing off her snuggling skills


Chloe's big photo shoot!

Always posing, even in her sleep


Regular walks with the dogs and a visit from Grandpa Jim



Spending more time awake



Her first bath in the tub


A tired mommy and hungry girl 

Can someone say model?

First attempts with the dummy

Cloth diaper bubble butt!


One of her many faces and first bottle with Daddy


Sleeping through our first meal out - Thank you, Chloe!

More tummy time - gearing up for a push up!

Jean shorts on a baby are just too cute!


Helping Daddy with the laundry

At Inn Mommies, with our Doula Kelly Sunshine

Loving being naked at the doctor's office

Our happy girl, one month old with her pal Sophie

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Welcome Chloe Eloise Kane! A birth story

On a stormy July night, our little girl finally joined the family.

Contractions started on Thursday afternoon and slowly progressed through the night.  Early Friday morning, we went in for our first labor check with one of the midwives, Marinah, and I was only 1cm. Home we went to go back to bed.  A few hours later, around 10:30 a.m. contractions had gotten more intense so we went in again for another check.  Connie was now on call and we met her at the birth center where a mom had recently had her little girl.  This time, I was only 2cm! So once again, we headed back home.  I did my best to get more rest, sleeping in between the contractions when I could and taking a nice, hot bath.  Contractions became very intense and around 2, my water broke a little. Around 4, Simon felt like it was time to check-in with our Doula, Kelly again.  I clearly was experiencing much stronger contractions now.  After Kelly listened to me through one, she agreed.  It's time to head to the birth center.  So we rushed to beat traffic and made it there at 4:45 to meet Kelly and Connie.  This time we were there - 6cm!  I was so happy we didn't have to go home again!

Once admitted into the center, I got in the tub and labored there for a while. Around 7, Connie had to leave for a family emergency and Wendi came and relieved her as my midwife.  When Wendi arrived, she checked me and I was no 9cm!  What a productive couple of hours!  To help me dilate quicker and labor her down some more, we moved to the bathroom and I sat backwards on the toilet with some pillows on the tank.  This did the trick, not long after I was ready to push!

To get some assistance from Wendi, we started on the bed.  Simon sat next to me holding one leg and Kelly stood by helping me hold the other.  Wendi sat cross legged on the bed in front of me.
Also present was my nurse Amy, plus another nurse and midwife (Emily) who are new to Babymoon Inn and were assisting and learning the ropes.  In the living room was my mom.

I pushed for a while on the bed and then moved to the birthing stool for a few contractions.  I wasn't a fan of this and the bed seemed to be working so well, so I decided to stay there.  We decided to take a break from pushing and I labored with a birthing peanut in between my legs to move her down even further.  This was so painful but it really worked!  Back to pushing and after a total of probably a couple hours, here she was!

I won't go into all the details but this was amazing to feel, experience, and see (Kelly held up a mirror so I could see her crowning).  Wow!

Out and onto my chest, I cuddled with our little baby girl while we let the cord pump, giving her all of that quality cord blood. After some private time with just the three of us, we decided to call her Chloe Eloise.

We fell in love with "Chloe" before we even knew she was a girl.  While wandering around the Biltmore we perused Pottery Barn, just for fun.  On a dining room table display, there were place settings set up: "Jake, Olivia and Chloe."  Simon, look at this! I exclaimed.  What a serendipitous moment, I think that if it's a girl, her name should be Chloe!  We both just absolutely loved the name and how we discovered it.  Throughout the pregnancy it remained in my top 3 and as Simon's number 1.

Picking a middle name was hard.  To choose a family name or something that just goes with her first nicely?  For the first name Chloe, we both agreed it should start with a vowel and be equally girly.  I found "Eloise" on a name website and loved how it sounded.  Also, it is a derivative of the Greek word for "Sun" - how fitting for the little girl I called Sunshine while in my tummy!

We hung around for a few hours, relaxing, cuddling, nursing as everyone except our nurse trickled out.  We were both in perfect health so as soon as we were ready, we went home.  It was 12:30 a.m.

I felt like royalty with all of these amazing women present.  Throughout my labor, I had all five Babymoon Inn midwives, including Pam who I had spoken to over the phone on Wednesday when I had some early signs that labor was approaching, two Doulas (Dianne was on vacation in Mexico but had been texting me during my early labor while I was at home), and two Nurses!

Skipping the pain meds and interventions was the best decision I could have made.  Luckily, we had zero complications throughout the pregnancy and birth that allowed us to do so easily.  And the pain management? Between Simon, Kelly, and myself, it wasn't really that bad in the end.  Yes, it was intense, but completely manageable!  I will do it again in a heartbeat!

Oh, and I also credit her almost perfect Apgar score to the lack of interventions: 9,9! Good job, Chloe!

The experience was wonderful, and I remember a lot of laughter, smiles, positive energy, and amazing support and encouragement.  We are so blessed to have found Babymoon Inn and to have been able to have our natural un-medicated birth as planned.

July 19th, 9:18 p.m.
7 pounds, 2.5 ounces
19.75 inches