Sunday, August 25, 2013

One Month

Harper Olivia, I cannot believe that you are already a month old. It has been the fastest and best month of my life. I appreciate all the quality time we have got to have this month as a family. Both your dad and I fall more and more in love with you every day. 

The first week of your life we spent in the hospital while you received some preventative antibiotics. Looking back this was one of the best ways to spend your first week of life. It was the three of us night and day, no distractions from household chores or other things life throws at you. We were also pretty rested for first time parents, since we were at the hospital all day there wasn't much else for us to do when you slept but sleep ourselves. The first days of your life you got to meet some pretty special people as well...your Grandma & Papa James, Old Mama and Aunt Ellen came to visit as much as they could.

Here they all are getting to hold you for the very first time!

After 2 days in the hospital, in different rooms, on different floors we got to move to a new room and all be together as a family! Your dad and I were SO happy to be with you.

Everyone came to visit you and see you in your new room. 

You even took a nap with Papa :)

You also wore your first "real clothes", brought to us by one of our favorite NICU nurses. All off the NICU nurses absolutely loved you. One would even come in and just hold you while we ate, cause she liked you so much. 

Your one week birthday was a very special day, as it was the day we got to bring you home! We were so excited to get you home (and sleep in our own bed!). You also got to meet your brothers. It went so well, they loved you and did so good with you. Yuri followed us where ever we went with you the whole first week and Chewie greats you often with kisses.

Your dad stayed home your second week of life to spend more time with you. Also your Grandma and Grandpa Kozlen came to meet you!

I love all the little noises you make, you grunt in your sleep (or when trying to go to the bathroom), you make sighs at us. When you are awake you are so alert, taking everything in with your large, beautiful blue eyes. So many people that meet you, even strangers on the street, all comment on how alert you are at such a young age. The pediatrician told us you are such a calm & alert baby, in a good way. You now notice and fixate on things - like your brother or when your Aunt Ellen comes over. You sleep 3-4 hour stretches. You already have strong neck muscles and have started to head butt us. Ouch! :)

We have found that you love so many things...

Hanging out in your swing and your bouncy seat are top favorites. This ends up great for your dad and I, as it allows us to have many meals together. 

You love your hands so much. They are always up in your face, snuggled up under your chin, sucking on them. I love when you get startled by something - a bump in the road or sidewalk, your swing going fast - you throw your hands up and shake them. 

You love walks, they always put you to sleep :)

Your first walk around Greenlake!

You love snuggling and we love snuggling you back!

You love laying awkward - I think you get it from your brother Yuri. 

You love when we read you books. We often read to you at bed time and it is also part of you and I's morning routine.

You have had so many firsts this month.....
Your 1st doctor visit, at 1 1/2 weeks old you had already gone over your birth weight 

You and I went on our first grocery trip

You had a growth spurt...we survived, with a few tears from both you and I. 

We tested out the moby wrap around the house. We also wore it out a few times.

We took a walk in the Ergo 

That same night we had our first night out on the town. We walked up and down Greenwood/Phinney Ave at Seattle Summer Streets, had a beer at Prost and dinner at the Yard. You did so well!

You watched your 1st baseball game with dad

you took a bottle! and it only took about 30 seconds of trying from your dad. I was barely out of the room. Since then you have taken a few bottles from your dad. 

Your first month has flown by. We cannot wait to see what next month holds!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Harper Olivia Kozlen

Harper Olivia Kozlen was born July 11, 2013 at 6:47 pm. She was 8 lbs, 21 inches long and absolutely perfect.

Stephen and I were instantly in love. 

 I mean look at that face! So perfect. (the tiny one, not mine. ha)

Stephen wrote a great blog post about the labor. You can read it here. A few of my additions are below.
  • All the classes we took and none of the first steps they tell you are going to happen did for us. We didn't labor at home for more than 2 hours and there was no 5-1-1 (contractions 1 min long, 5 mins apart, for 1 hour). I woke up to contractions ranging from 9 to 4 mins apart (they are supposed to be consistant before you go to the hospital). Then within a half hour they went to 1 min long, 6 to 3 mins apart. Another half hour and they were 1 min long 2-3 mins apart! 

  • Chewie wanted to be near me when I was attempting to get comfortable on the couch. Comfort didn't happen but it was nice that he wanted to help me out

  • We were mins from walking out the door when I remembered how I wanted to get a picture of me in my last hours pregnant. In my mind this would have happened in the hours of laboring at home we didn't do. haha Instead this picture was taken seconds before/after a contraction when we needed to be walking out the door to the hospital. haha
  • In my mind it didn't take almost an hour to walk from the doctor's office to the hospital, it felt much quicker. But it did feel like it took an hour to get an epidural and in reality that was 15 mins. haha
  • I had no idea I was having back labor. Looking back at it now all the signs were there, as I could only get comfortable standing with Stephen rubbing my back, but since I had never been in labor before I had no idea that was what was going on! 
  • I had been very concerned with back labor and paid extra attention during all the classes on the best ways to labor and deliver with back pain. Too bad I was in too much pain to know what was happening. haha
  • Fun fact for you...When my mom delivered me I was sunny side up (back of the babies head facing the spine) as well, giving her back pain AND when my grandma had my mom she was also sunny side up! I knew this fact which is why I was paying attention in class, even though there isn't any proven correlation between how your mother gave birth and how you will. 
  • My nurse told me after we did some practice pushes and she thought Harper's head would be able to be turned with delivery that all morning both her and the doctor were sure I would have to have a c section. But with my stellar pushing skills (haha) and the fact that Harper was able to be turned as she was being delivered (she never did turn on her own when I was laboring down) we were able to deliver her vaginally as we intended.
  • My nurse was AWESOME. She was no nonsense, told us how it was and was really supportive and helpful. The doctor who delivered was also amazing. They worked so well together you could tell they were a team that enjoyed being paired up when it happened. 
  • Stephen was my rock. He was truly amazing and I will never forget the looks on his face while I was pushing. He was so excited and so proud of me it was unforgettable for sure.
  • I was unsure of how birth would go, I mean you really have no idea. I would go from thinking "yeah I bet I could do the whole thing natural" to "maybe I'll just get an epidural right off the bat". I really really wanted to stick to my plan of getting to 6 cm and deciding from there. My main reason was I didn't want to be stuck laboring in bed, especially since you have no idea how long it will take you to get to 10 cm. When the doctor first told us I was 3-4 cm the amount of pain I was in I was a little disappointed cause I was thinking there is no way in hell I can make it to 6 with this pain. Walking definitely got me to where I wanted to be and further. I am proud of myself for sticking it out and choosing to walk, even if it was miserable and took an hour. :) 
  • Looking back the whole day seem's so crazy and it feels like it went so fast. I labored for 8 hours and pushed for 2 (1 hour and 57 mins actually). I never once said I can't do it. I had my best friend by my side (oh and my mom, dad, sister and mama came and said hello for a while too when I was just hanging out waiting for her to turn). In the end I got to meet the most important person in the world to me. Worth it all I would say. 
After labor was an intense few hours/days. Stephen has also already done a blog on the whole experience you should go read here

I was able to hold our sweet Harper after she was born but she was quickly wisked away to the NICU. Stephen went with her and my mom came and sat with me while the doctor finished things up. Once I was able to leave the delivery room and be moved to my recovery room they wheeled me to the NICU to see Harper first. Here we are hanging out for the first time :)