Stella Marie Juarez


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Three Months!

Three months ago today I was high as a kite - mostly from sheer joy but also from a little morphine. My sweet Stella came into this world and made my life even better. I can't believe my little monkey is three months old. These past months have gone by so fast but at the same time I feel like Stella has been here forever. I can't imagine life without her.

At three months this is our routine:
Bedtime between 9 pm and 10 pm
Wake up at 6 am and nurse
6:45 am play in the swing and talk to mommy while I pump
7 am Stella goes down for a morning nap while I shower and get ready
8 am leave to drop off at daycare
9 am 4 oz bottle
12 pm 4 oz bottle
3 pm 4 oz bottle
(Naps between 9 am and 5 pm vary each day at daycare, unfortunately)
5:30 pm pick up from daycare and head home
6 pm nurse
7 pm evening nap
8:45 pm bathtime
9 pm nurse then bedtime
I pump twice a day at work (TONS of fun!) and so far it has worked out pretty well for us.

At three months Stella smiles all the time. She does lots of "talking" as long as you are paying attention to her. She has great neck control and holds her head up like a champ. She also is a big fan of standing up and has very strong legs! She likes her swing and loves her changing table but most of the time prefers to be held. She's only a LITTLE bit spoiled :) She is a Pampers only girl (Huggies resulted in a new outfit every day for a week at daycare). She switched from Nuk to Dr. Browns bottles and has been doing great (but the Dr. Browns are a pain in the butt to clean!). She also really loves bathtime!
She has been getting good reports at daycare. They told me she is the best behaved baby in the class and only cries when she needs something. The sweet teachers send me pictures during the day so I can see how she's doing.

And she's usually quite happy! Luckily daddy and grandma get to visit frequently throughout the day and she loves having her visitors.

She is such a joy to be around. The last three months have been the happiest three months of my life. I feel like I was made to be a mom and being Stella's mom is the best job I could ever have.

And mommy and daddy just LOVE how much personality Ms. Stella has!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Almost the Weekend!

I'm not sure I have ever been so excited about a weekend. Not only am I looking forward to getting to spend more than just a couple of hours with Stella but I am also EXHAUSTED from this week. I was getting a lot more sleep before work and this is going to take some getting used to. Waking up between 5:30 and 6 and going to bed around 11 may be normal for some but not us - Mama wants some sleep.

Last night was the first night that Stella was in a good mood after daycare. She made it from school to the house without screaming (a first!) and my mom came over and Stella actually just hung out with us for a while and was alert and happy. It was so nice to get to spend some time with her when she was awake and not crying.

I got to daycare this morning and the teacher said they needed to let me know that Stella threw up yesterday it was "very, very, very warm". I said "well, yeah, it came out of her body which is also warm...". She said it was abnormally warm and they felt like I needed to know. Not sure exactly what I am supposed to make of that. Other than that she got a good report. They said she loves tummy time which is great since we don't do much of that at home :) One of the swim coaches at the JCC came to see Stella and said she is very strong for her age. We think so too because she had pretty good head control when she was born and has been standing with all her weight on her legs for a while. Maybe she'll end up with some guns like her daddy!

This weekend we will be celebrating Stacey's birthday with a game night tonight and Saturday night mom and I are going to see 101 Dalmatians with Marisa and Anna. Other than that I hope to get some naps and lots and lots of snuggles from the cutest baby on the block.

Man, I love that punkin.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Trying to Adjust

This is week one of full time daycare and it's just as bad as I had imagined :( I knew before Stella was even born that leaving her and going back to work would be hard. But she surprised me and made it even harder. At two months she is so responsive and fun and I just want to be with her all day. Not to mention I feel like we have a pretty good schedule down and I know that will change with daycare.

We are both having growing pains. I hate leaving her. Dropping her off when she's smiling and happy is incredibly difficult. I just want to stay and play. Dropping her off when she's upset and crying is incredibly difficult. I just want to stay and hold her.

Stella doesn't seem to understand why she has to drink from a bottle and why there is so much noise when she is trying to nap. She is not eating as well as she was and she is sleeping very little. That part is hard too because I spend my entire day counting down the minutes until I get to see her and when we get home she is either incredibly cranky or asleep. Last night we got home and she ate around 6 and went down for a nap at 7. She slept from 7 until 9:45 at which point I had to wake her up for her to eat. She ate and then went right back to sleep until this morning. The poor thing is just exhausted but it means that Martin and I didn't get to spend any time with her - she didn't even get a bath!

Yesterday her report from her teacher was "she just cried and cried and cried." Which almost made me cry and cry and cry. I talked to the other teacher this morning and I asked that they work on getting her some good naps - swaddle her and use her sound machine. Today will be better, right?

I'm not sure I'll ever adjust to not being with her during the days but hopefully it will get easier to drop her off.

In the meantime I will just keep pulling up pictures to get me through the day and continue throwing myself the pity parties :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

She's Here!

I know, I know, it's been months. But I've been VERY busy.

Stella Marie was born November 3, 2009 weighing 6 pounds 6 ounces. She is everything I hoped for and more. We scheduled a c-section and it was great. I was able to get a good night's sleep the night before and we woke up excited and totally freaked out that Tuesday morning. When we got to the hospital my blood pressure was through the roof. The nurse kept saying "Laura, you MUST calm down". I was so scared! The worst part was definitely the epidural. He had to do it twice and it wasn't fun but luckily it didn't take too long. The procedure itself was pretty crazy. It took no time at all, I felt incredibly sleepy and I just remember laying there thinking if I closed my eyes I would fall asleep and would miss the whole thing. I heard the doctor say "Wow! Look at all that hair." Then I knew she was here but I heard nothing and started to freak out. The nurses were all telling me how pretty she was but I still never heard her cry. They popped her over the sheet for me to see her for one second and I remember thinking, holy crap that baby is dark. Turned out the cord was wrapped around her neck which is why she wasn't crying and why she was so dark (blue). They worked on her for a minute and I finally heard the most beautiful sound in the world. My baby was crying. I couldn't believe she was here. Martin left my side to watch them give her a bath and do the measurements. I was so desperate to get a good look at her. When I finally saw that precious face I think I experienced every emotion you can have. I looked up at Martin and I will never forget his face - he looked so happy and SO proud. The moment you see this little creature that you helped create is something nothing can prepare you for - it's truly amazing.

They rolled me out of the operating room to go to recovery and I saw all my family in the waiting room. I gave them a wave as I rolled past them but I just wanted to hug all of them. I was so excited to share this moment with my family that I love so much. It was a very emotional day. I was just so happy. Watching each of my family members hold my daughter for the first time was such wonderful thing.

The rest of the hospital stay was fabulous. We had an awesome suite, great nurses and I recovered from the c-section surprisingly well (seriously, it was nothing!). And yes, it's true, you will simply stare at your new baby for hours for at least the first month!
Bringing home baby was exciting. I couldn't wait to get her in our house, see how the animals reacted to her and get her in all of those adorable clothes we had waiting for her. Turned out nothing fit her because she was so petite!

The first night home was horrible. She cried well, screamed, the entire night. My milk had not come in and she was starving. I was exhausted and miserable that I couldn't fix it and make her better. We took her to the pediatrician the next morning (thank goodness their office is open on Saturdays!) and they gave her some formula which made her immediately happy and me immediately burst into tears. That's what hormones, exhaustion, frustration and relief will do.
The first month was pretty rough. Stella didn't sleep more than two hours at a time at night, slept very little during the day and breastfeeding was very painful and difficult. Most days I never got out of my pajamas and went days at a time without a shower. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and yet the most wonderful thing at the same time.

These days Stella is sleeping 6 to 7 hours at a time, breastfeeding is actually an enjoyable bonding exercise and she is an absolute joy. She is smiling and cooing and getting prettier and prettier every day.

When I hear her cry early on and Saturday morning and thing "I do NOT want to be up" all it takes is for me to see her face and I'm immediately happy to be awake, sharing those early hours with her.

Stella is the most wonderful gift imaginable. I spent my whole life wanting to be a mommy. I can honestly say that being Stella's mommy is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me and so much better than I ever could have imagined. It's like every day is Christmas morning. I wake up excited to see her, to see that toothless grin and to get those special snuggles.

Motherhood is not for everyone. You have to be willing to be pooped on, peed on, thrown up on and let's not even start on what it does to your body. But it is for me. I feel like this something I was made to do. I am so proud to be Stella's mom!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


In the year 2014 your baby will start kindergarten.

In the year 2025 you'll be teaching your child to drive a car.

In the year 2027 you will be watching your child graduate high school.

Crazy huh?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

V Day

We have reached 24 weeks which is considered V-day..In other words, viability day!...If for some reason Stella made an early appearance, there is a very good chance of survival...of course, we want her to stay put for a while but this is a big milestone!

"This is another big week for your magical growing baby! Just take a look at the checklist for this week: 1) ears: done; 2) fingernails: done; 3) (if you have a boy) testicles: taking their 3-4 day trip from the abdominal wall to the scrotum; and 4) lungs walls: secreting “surfactant”. What’s that? Well, surfactant is sort of what it sounds like: a surface-activated fat whose main purpose is to assist the your baby's little lungs during inflation (as in, filling with air, not getting more expensive). Just in case you’re curious, your submerged baby is still breathing in amniotic fluid, preparing and rehearsing the lungs an oxygen-filled life outside the womb. By the end of this week, your child will be weighing around 2 lbs and 14 inches long. Your cutie-patootie may even be a little more plump, but isn't anywhere near their full baby-fatted cute-self. Most of the “filling out” is coming up in that long awaited (and slightly dreaded?) third trimester. Woo-hoo! Get ready! In the past few weeks, the top of your uterus has risen above your belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball.

This month has gone by pretty quickly and the third trimester will be here in another three weeks. Pretty crazy. Next month I will have my glucose screening test and at that appointment I will schedule the 4D ultrasound. That should be super fun! We will get a glimpse at what she really looks like and I can't wait to see her sweet little face.

I am feeling pretty good these days thanks to a new mattress which is helping me get great sleep. I still feel pretty tired most of the time but I'm trying to enjoy this time before I get even bigger and getting around gets harder!

We had our first meeting with a pediatrician last night which went great. I liked the doctor a lot. She is young and has lots of experience with babies. She and I seemed to have the same views on many of the issues we discussed and she was able to answer all of my questions.

We have a busy month ahead of us. We have scheduled our hospital tour, breastfeeding class and childbirth class for next month.

At some point we really need to get crackin' on the nursery!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Halfway and a Sex Change

We are 20 weeks!

"This week you're carrying about 10.5 inches and 10.5 ounces of solid baby-miracle-goodness! Their little delicate bones continue to ossify and toughen while their itsy bitsy finger and toe pads are finishing up. Your little monkey now has teeth buds, although they’re hidden beneath the gum line. And finally! Their limbs have reached their relative proportions—no more alien baby! Their cute pink lips are more defined, and might be helping out in a bit of prenatal thumb-sucking. If you have a little boy, then their tiny testes are descending, though they have not yet passed the abdominal wall. What’s more, eyelashes and eyebrows are also visible. At this point, your little one really looks like a miniature baby—and we do mean miniature as your little swimmer currently weighs a mere eighth of their final birth weight. With half the pregnancy behind you, the most significant gains are yet to come!"

We went for our big ultrasound last week and found out that momma and baby are healthy and growing. But we also found out that our son is actually our daughter. It's a girl! It took a little while for my brain to switch gears but we are super excited.

So hopefully in (less and not more than) 20 more weeks we will be meeting our little Stella Marie.

I have a feeling it's going to be a long summer. The heat is already killing me and it's only June. We have a lot of painting and housework to do before she gets here so my plan is to stay busy until November!