Baby Eleanor

Well, I have been meaning to write this post for two and a half weeks now, but as I’m sure you can imagine, things have been a bit busy around here!

Eleanor Grace Dixon was born on Sunday, June 20, 2010 (Father’s Day!) at 4:07 am.  She was three plus weeks early (surprise!), but she weighed a healthy 6 lbs 4.9 oz and measured 19.5 inches long.  Here are a few pics of the blessed event!

Smiling after the drugs (finally) kicked in!

Getting my first peek at her!

This is one of my favorites. It looks like she's wearing a turban.

We got to snuggle with her for a few minutes after she was born, which was so amazing.  Those of you who know the story of Frank’s scary birth will know how special these moments were for us.  Unfortunately, the nurses couldn’t get Eleanor to breathe and suck at the same time (her lungs were full of fluid from the early and SHORT labor), so she was taken to the NICU for observation.  Again, thanks to Frank’s situation, we were no strangers to the NICU and did not freak out.  In fact, the timing of her birth allowed Heath to run home and shower, relieve the babysitting neighbors (a god-send!), and wake Frank before he even had a chance to know we had left him!  Heath’s mom had flown in on the first flight out of DFW and was in Seattle by 9:30 am.  By the time they all descended upon the hospital, I had been assured by the NICU staff that Eleanor would be just fine.  They kept her in the NICU to make sure that she was feeding well and keeping her blood sugars up.  They let me start breastfeeding her that afternoon, but she remained on an IV as well through the following day.  I was discharged from my room on Monday, but Eleanor was going to have to stay another day to wean off the IV.  Luckily, the hospital has several parent sleeper rooms associated with the NICU and we were able to reserve one for Monday night.  With Mimi at home with Frank, Heath stayed with me at the hospital (although he did not volunteer to wake up every three hours and walk with me to the NICU to feed her…).

We were very lucky that Eleanor and I found a good rhythm early with the nursing.  Despite being a preemie (barely), her latch was great from the first feeding, and she did a great job maintaining weight and blood sugars.  She was discharged from the hospital mid-morning on Tuesday, June 22nd.  We were all so excited to have her home!  The past two weeks have been really great — mostly thanks to my mother-in-law (babysitter and laundress extraordinaire!) , who was able to stay until yesterday.  Eleanor has been an easy baby so far — she’s having to be much more easy-going than Frank was, because I can’t always attend to her every need right away.  For better or worse, Frank still takes more of my attention, because I am always so nervous he’s going to hit, kick, scream at, or try to lodge goldfish crackers in the mouth of Eleanor (all of which he has been caught doing, btw).  I guess he’s behaving exactly as I should have expected!

Here are some more pictures from the past couple of weeks:

First kiss for baby sister!

Mimi and the kids

We got this HUGE burrito for free just for bringing in our own "burrito"!

I'm trying to get some exercise!

Relaxing after the first bath!

Frank getting ready for first swim lesson (outfit of his own choosing!)

He loved it! Just like last year!

Eleanor went back to the doctor for her two week check-up on Tuesday, and she is up to 7lbs, 4 oz and 20.5 inches long!  She is doing amazingly well, especially considering my due date is still a week away!  Next week, my dad will be here visiting (Emmitt is beside himself!), and then Heath’s parents will be here the following week.  My mom will be here after that for about 10 days (including Frank’s 2nd birthday!).  We are so excited to have so many visitors lined up!  The weather has finally turned, and it’s absolutely gorgeous here!  More updates soon, I promise.  Take care, everyone!