Looking Back on Newborn Ellie

My little Ellie-girl turns 3 tomorrow, May 18th. So, I’m looking back at the first e-mails we sent out to friends and family in those first few days. And tomorrow, I’ll begin looking back at the annual birthday letters I’ve written as she’s grown, the “intentional gift” I like to pause and take time to do each year for my kids’ birthdays. (Yes, I know I’m running a little behind this year, but she’ll never know.)

“When your heart beats for a special someone, then your heart is full of love.

When your heart has room for everybody, then your heart is full of love…”

-Mr. Rogers song

We have a new person in our family to love!

Her name is ELIZABETH KATHRYN MANDERS. She was born at 12:57pm on Monday, May 18th at Parkland Hospital. Dr. Daddy Dustin delivered her safely into the world, and was proud to announce to Mommy, “It’s a Girl!” The crowd went wild! (all the nurses, and GareBear and Beffa who were in the delivery room to experience all the excitement). She weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces. Mommy and baby are great, and big brother Michael James was very excited to meet his little sister yesterday evening. He was actually very into her, super sweet in stroking her, kissing her, singing to her, and loving her. We are tired, but couldn’t be happier!…

2 Elizabeths!

MJ meets his sister

So, our sweet little Elizabeth is 4 days old today. And, of course, we are in love! We just returned from a check-up, and are happy that she is doing so well. (By the way, she was 20 inches long, but with extraordinarily long monkey toes!)

After trying out several nickname options (including MJ’s “Goo” suggestion), we have settled on “Ellie”, and think it fits her properly. I’m sure she won’t mind being called “Elizabeth” or “Ellie Kate” or “Ellie Belly” or “Little Miss Ellie Girl”, though she doesn’t answer to much right now. She is a sleeper, eater, and pooper (takes after Daddy).

After not hearing her cry much at all in the hospital, we were a little shocked to be awakened frequently by her wails of hunger on our first night at home together…a rough night for Mommy and Daddy. But I’m happy to report that last night she went for longer stretches, and Mommy was a bit more high-functioning. (Though I’m still looking forward to an afternoon nap.)

I am adjusting to being the mother of 2 children, and apparently there is a learning curve in even counting them up correctly at the end of the day. On our first night at home, Dustin was getting MJ in PJ’s, GareBear and Beffa were cleaning up the kitchen, I was straightening up the house, thinking about what MJ needed for school the next day, when I was startled by a sudden glimpse of movement coming from the baby swing. I turned to see an actual baby in there, and realized that I had totally forgotten about her existence – OOPS! Bad Mommy!  (Luckily, this oversight seemed to go unnoticed by her, and I tried to make up for it with some snuggly skin-to-skin time yesterday.)

MJ is adjusting better than we could have imagined so far. He has chosen to “crawl” like a baby into his classroom the last few days, and tells us that he is a big baby, not a big boy. (Though he certainly seems leaps and bounds bigger to us since we have come home from the hospital.) He prides himself on helping Mommy change Ellie’s diapers – throwing the dirty one away for me, running to get the powder, handing me the clean diaper. He helps to awaken Ellie by tickling her feet when she falls asleep nursing. And generally seems very smitten by her..

And here’s a little song I wrote in those first few days chaos – kinda sums up the experience which I barely recollect now. Writing and humor has long been my ticket to staying sane amidst the madness!

Our New Baby Things

(To the tune of “My Favorite Things/ Raindrops on Roses”)

Lots of pink roses, and blisters on nipples, 

Bright orange poopies, and warm baby blankies,

Pink paper packages tied up with strings, 

These are a few of our new baby things…

Girl in white onesies, and bright camera flashes, 

Cream-colored spit up and tiny blonde lashes, 

Butterfly mobile with bright-colored wings,  

These are a few of our new baby things….

When her jaw bites, when her wails ring, 

When we’re feeling sad

(that she just went back to sleep, and now there is a toddler see-sawing on our heads as we “rest” in bed), 

We simply remember, “Our daughter is here!” 

And then we don’t feel so bad!