Tuesday, September 30, 2008

pretty rough

Judith's had a pretty rough day today. She seemed ok this morning, when she and I went for a four mile walk (well, Judith rode) with a good friend. Since we got home from that outing, though, she's been pretty fussy. She's had a low-grade fever for most of the day, and she hasn't wanted to sleep for very long - something startles her awake every 45 minutes or so. And then she hasn't wanted to go back to sleep - with some periods of inconsolable crying. Needless to say, it's been a pretty rough day for me too. I'm pretty sure this is all a reaction to the immunizations that she got yesterday. I'm praying that she'll be able to sleep for most of the night, because I think that would really help her. It's not fun to see my little girl so unhappy.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Two-month checkup

Well, Judith is officially growing! She weighs 11 lbs, 6.5 oz (60 percentile) and she's 23 inches long (75 percentile). And the doctor said it's really my fault that she eats for such a short amount of time - he said that it all depends on how quickly the mother's milk comes out. So I guess I'm just a fountain (or maybe even a power washer)!

Then Judith had 5 shots. I know that in the long run it'll probably be ok (the debate on immunizations is still undecided in my mind) but watching her react to that first shot...and then watching the big drops of blood pour out of her leg...that was not ok for me. Naturally she screamed for a little while, but she was sleeping when we left the office...and the nurse said "is she ok now?" And I thought "well, we won't know if she's ok for a while! There's all this junk that you just shot into her that her body has to fight." But of course I didn't say that.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

status update

Wow - I skipped a day yesterday for the first time since I started this blog...perhaps now that the sleeping saga has ended I don't have a specific thing to write about every morning! So an update on that: Judith has slept for 8 hours for the past four nights in a row. And for the past three mornings she's woken up at the same time - so my day is a lot more predictable. It makes everything so much easier! Although it's hard not to take that for granted. For example, this afternoon/evening she didn't want to eat at one of the normal times - she just wanted to sleep. And it sent me into a panic - "she's not going to get enough food" "She's not going to sleep tonight" etc. Fortunately, Lance was here to be the voice of reason. (And why does it matter anyway, right? It's not like I have much of a life outside of Judith right now!)

Tomorrow morning is her two month checkup (how did 8 weeks go by so fast!?!). I'll finally have an answer for all those people who ask "how much does she weigh now?" (as if I weigh her every morning!) I also hope that the doctor can reassure me about how much she eats (10 minutes max!), because I still have worries about that, despite reassurance from a number of people. It's so much more official coming from the doctor. On a sadder note, she also has her first shots tomorrow. I've been taking extra Vitamin C to help her fight any reactions to the immunizations, but I'm still a little stressed that she might have issues...so many scary stories!

That's it for the update...more as it happens!

Friday, September 26, 2008

hanging out

Yesterday Lance was home sick with the beginnings of a cold (he went in today, so I'm hoping the extra time off held off the cold - Judith and I don't want to get sick!) and he spent a lot of time hanging out with Judith. For whatever reason she didn't want to sleep more than an hour at a time yesterday, so she was up a lot more than usual. It was quite providential that Lance was home!

I took some pictures of them together...and as I was downloading them this morning, I saw this one and just loved it...just looking at it makes me smile and relax. At the same time, it's also a very clear picture of how yesterday felt - Lance looks as exhausted as we were feeling, and Judith looks wide awake!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I just wrote Judith's story in her scrapbook. I wrote it in first person, as if I were telling her the story, so that as she gets older, she can read it. (See my blog on September 15 for the story, if you don't know it.) And it just reminded me (again) about how important it is to tell these things. Her story is such an example of the power of love, faith, prayer, and patience, and I don't want to forget how miraculous it is. Each time I tell the story, I remember. And I hope that whomever I'm telling it to can be encouraged/inspired/whatever by it.

I pray especially that Judith will be encouraged by her story...that whenever she doubts herself or her worth, she can read it and know how much of a gift of God she is.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

8 hours again!

It appears that Judith's sleeping pattern has now changed to 8 hours straight at night. I am extremely thankful, and pray that my body adjusts quickly, so that I can get 8 hours too! Last night she ate at 10:30, fell asleep immediately, and woke up at 6:15. Now I'm hoping that we can establish a routine that starts at the same time every day...but we'll see.

And I guess I'll need to find something else to blog about, because the sleep saga seems to have ended.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

sleeping - night #6

8 hours again! Well, actually 8 hours between feedings...it took her about an hour to go to sleep last night, so really only 7 hours of sleep. But then she ate for 10 minutes and went back to sleep for another three hours, so I guess it's more like 10 hours of sleep. However you do the math, Judith slept through the night again, and I am grateful. Since we didn't do anything specific to "help her sleep" last night either, I'm (again) waiting to see what tonight brings...I'm thinking three might be the "magic" number to tell us whether this is going to be a pattern or whether the last two nights were a fluke.

Monday, September 22, 2008

sleeping - night #6

Judith slept through the night last night (10:00-5:45)! (Of course she did, because we'd just decided last night to hold off another few weeks on "helping" her learn to sleep through the night.) I was thinking that the last few days had just been to crazy to be getting her on a schedule, and so we probably weren't training her at all, and we might as well wait another couple weeks until she was a little bit bigger and older and more ready. And then she went and did it on her own!

Her evening was pretty normal - she "tanked up" just fine - on her own really, because she's been wanting to eat every two hours for the last day or so. And then she just slept - which is amazing! I only woke up twice during the nights, although at 5:00 a.m. when I woke up for the second time, I had to get up and check to make sure Judith was still breathing! And when she woke up, she only ate for her normal 10 minutes, so it must not have stressed her out too much to go all night.

Now I'm really curious about what tonight will be like!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

night #5

We made the decision (yes, Lance actually voiced his opinion!) to let her sleep until she woke up, and just feed her at that point. She slept for 6 1/2 hours (poor, tired girl!) and woke up ravenous...she ate for 20 minutes!...and then slept for another four hours.

And now, after these five nights of "experimentation" I'm starting to think that I should go back to doing what I did last night (which had been my routine up until five days ago) for a few more weeks and then try this again. Yes, I'm tired at the middle of the night feeding, but I don't really mind losing 1/2 an hour of sleep if I can get five and four hours on either side of it. And it would take away my fear about not feeding her enough. On the other hand, her eating for 20 minutes in the middle of the night is not normal - usually I could hardly get her to eat for 5 minutes - and so I was thinking that she was probably just nursing for comfort to go back to sleep. If that's the case, then I'd just as soon train her out of that as soon as possible.

We'll see what tonight brings.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

sleeping - prelude to night #5

So tonight is pretty messed up. We had family over (which is good) and so Judith was pretty much just UP for the last 5 hours, (which is bad). She's SO tired! I'm not sure if that's good, because she should sleep longer to make up for sleep lost, or if it's bad because she's too overtired and will just wake up looking for comfort. I guess we'll see. Daddy was able to help her sleep (finally!) a few minutes ago, which also complicates the issue - should I wake her to feed her again so she can make it through the night (she last ate at 8:30, so she definitely needs more to make it 'til morning), or should I just let tonight be what it is, and feed her when she wakes up, however many hours away that is. Guess I'll play it by ear. (See how much Lance is rubbing off on me?!) Update tomorrow.

the Daddy Dance

Sometimes, when Judith is screaming, the only thing that quiets her is dancing with Lance. He cradles her in his arms and waltzes around the house. It's beautiful to watch. And really, if I try the exact same thing, it doesn't work...she wants her Daddy.

sleeping - night #4

so. she "tanked up" just fine - without spitting or anything - but she didn't sleep all that long before waking up the first time. It was 2:30 when I gave her the pacifier. Then she woke up at 4:30. I didn't feel like I could give her the pacifier again, since it had been 7 hours, I fed her. She ate ravenously for exactly 12 minutes, and then stopped like a switched was turned off and went back to sleep. Since then she's been wanting to eat every two hours or so, and only sleeping an hour or so in between. It's hard to believe she could already be going through another growth spurt, but it sure seems that way today! Wonder how THAT will affect the night sleeping.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I have been noticing today how much more alert Judith is than she was even a few days ago. She'll watch our faces now, if we talk to her, and she her attention actually gets caught by things. This morning she and I had a very fun five minutes or so lying on the bed watching the ceiling fan (well, ok, I was watching Judith watch the fan). She cooed and gurgled and smiled up at it, while I watched the whole process with joyous wonder. I pray that I'll remember moments like these in another 10 years when she's talking back when I ask her to do something.

sleeping - night #3

I'm not sure the "tank her up" thing works so well for Judith. Maybe her little stomach just isn't ready for that much food? She gets really gassy and spits up a lot after the last feeding of the day. Last night was pretty bad - lots of screaming and buckets of spit - and it took her almost two hours to go to sleep! She was finally asleep around midnight. She didn't wake up at 4:00; she slept straight until 5:30, which means that she did go 7 1/2 hours without eating, but she was only asleep for about 5 1/2 of those hours, so I wouldn't really consider it sleeping through the night...but I guess it's another step in the process. She seemed pretty hungry at 5:30, but she fell asleep eating again, and only ate for 10 minutes. It's extremely difficult to wake her when she does that, and I'm getting a little wary of trying to "force" her to eat more, because it just seems to make her spit up. I'm really not sure what to do about that!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

napping too

so I've just noticed it now, although, thinking back, it's been happening for the last couple days, but Judith is definitely napping "better" (by which, I mean that she generally goes down for a nap without a whole lot of fuss). Maybe it's because I'm following her cues (Baby Whisperer again) or maybe she's just learning that her crib is for sleeping, I don't know. But it's definitely easier on me, because, for one, she's not tired all the time, so she's happier when she IS awake, and two, I don't have to stress over hearing her cry. Very nice.

sleeping - night #2

Well, after all the sleeping yesterday, Judith was apparently a little more well-rested than the night before. She woke up at 3:00 instead of 4:00 (despite having gone to sleep at the same time), and it took her a good hour to fall back to sleep (during which time I was up to re-give her the pacifier three times). Then she slept until about 5:15, but she was definitely more hungry this morning than she was yesterday...or at least was able to stay awake longer to eat. So I'm not sure whether we're making progress or not.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Is there anything more amazing than my child's smile? Stress, fatigue, aches, worry--they all disappear when she smiles at me. Okay, maybe it's not intentional yet. That doesn't matter in the least, and I can't help but smile, coo and laugh back at her.

(Also - she has inherited her Daddy's dimples! Hooray!)

sleeping update

well. Judith made it 8 hours last night without eating. As I expected, she was awake at 4:00, but she was perfectly content to take the pacifier and snuggle with me for a few minutes before falling back asleep. (I sat in her room for a little while, praying that I was doing the right thing...and then went to back to bed and stared at the wall and prayed that I was doing the right thing.)

And she woke up at 6:00 and was ready to eat...except that she apparently wasn't as ravenous as she appeared, because she drifted off after only 10 minutes. I changed her diaper and woke her up, but she just wasn't interested in eating more. So we'll see how much she eats at the next feeding.

I'm (obviously) still a little uncertain about this. IS she getting enough food? (Everyone tells me that she'll let me know if she's hungry.) Am I just being selfish about sleep? After all, six hours (10-4) is a pretty great thing. At 6 1/2 weeks, is she too young for this? And the really big question: Is my body ever going to adjust to her eating schedule?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

sleeping - take two

ok, so last night didn't "work". It could easily have been my fault. I was pretty restless last night, waking up frequently and in and out of bed. At 4:00 Judith was making noise, and I went in to check on her - which might have woken her up further (or she might have been already awake, I don't know). So, since I was up anyway, I changed her in "dim light" and nursed her for a little while (I'm not exactly sure how long 'cause I couldn't see the clock with the light off!) and put her back down. Then she slept until about 7:00.

Tonight I've tried the cluster feeding again - at 6 and at 8 and (if she will wake up for it) at 10. I'm thinking that tonight, if/when she wakes up at 4:00, I'll give her the pacifier and rock her for a little while instead of feeding her (This is a scenario straight out of The Baby Whisperer.) and see how long she sleeps after that. I have no doubt that the pacifier can put her to sleep - she often goes down for a nap with one, but I don't know if hunger will wake her up earlier than usual - we'll see.

I'm a little torn about the urgency of all this. I want to train her right, and I'd be so grateful if she slept for eight hours, but at the same time, it's pretty uncomfortable for me to go eight hours without feeding her, and I'm sure I'll wake up anyway. I guess I'll just see how tonight goes and take it from there! More updates tomorrow.

sooo big!

This morning, Judith and I discovered that she has outgrown her newborn onesies! It is extremely hard to snap the bottom snaps when we put them on; she's just too long. A little of that has to do with wearing cloth diapers instead of disposable, but not that much. When we first dressed her in them, I thought "wow, these will fit her for a LONG time!" But here it is, just six weeks later, and we're graduating to the 0-3 month or 3 month stuff. Fortunately, we have clothes in all kinds of sizes.

(I am very sad about her growing out of a few special onesies - I'm thinking about finding some onesie extenders just for those. The colors probably won't match, but she could still wear her "I love Daddy" and "I love Mommy" outfits.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why Judith Kay?

Judith is named for my mother (Judith) and Lance's mother (Sharon Kay) for several reasons:
  1. My mother, for all her faults, is the model of a Christian woman for me. I strive emulate her walk with Christ, and I desire that more than anything for my daughter.
  2. Lance's mother passed away when he was very young, and I wanted to honor her as well as my own mother.
  3. I am named after my grandmothers, and have always thought that was pretty cool.
  4. Judith means "woman of Judea" and Kay means "pure". I interpret them together as "a pure woman of God".
  5. I think Judith Kay Ford sounds beautiful.
Somehow I convinced Lance that these were reasons enough to name her. I think probably he just "gave in" for love of me. :-)

Judith's Story

For those of you who don't know the story of how Judith came into our family, I'm, writing it here. It is a story of grace, faith, and the power of prayer.

Children - specifically whether or not we should have them - has been the single major issue in our marriage. We did know, when we got married (in 1999) that this was an issue we disagreed on. I'm not sure, however, that either of us realized just how much we disagreed. Basically, I have passionately wanted children, while Lance has been vehemently opposed to the idea. Over the nine years of our marriage, we have had "serious discussions" and even some pregnancy scares, and our basic outlooks have remained the same. Many people have prayed for years for reconciliation for us on this issue.

About two years ago, on Mother's Day 2006, I was struck by the realization that God had worked in my heart to the point where I was "ok" if I never had children. And I shared that with Lance and with other people around me, and went on with life. Then, in the summer of 2007, several key people in my life became pregnant, and I had another pregnancy "scare." It undid me, and I found myself again absolutely longing for a child. When I proved to not be pregnant, I tearfully let Lance know that I wasn't "ok" any more - that I still passionately wanted a child. A few months later, still hurting, I shared with my women's Bible study just how devastated I was. I asked for their prayers that God would either work in my heart, or Lance's - and soon. The very next Sunday (November 4, 2007) when we got home from church, Lance said "maybe we could have a baby." He said that God had finally convinced him to step out in faith, to trust Him with this issue, and see what happened. I went back to my Bible Study and shared the news, asking for prayers for a quick conception - in God's timing of course :-). Less than a month later, with my cycle later than I expected, I took a pregnancy test - it was postive! God had wholeheartedly affirmed Lance's decision to trust. (On a side note, I am amazed at the power of His timing - Lance and I have always used the "rhythm" method of birth control, which has only a 75% success rating. I had come to the conclusion that it was unlikely that I'd even be able to conceive. And yet, Judith was conceived the first week that we decided to "try"!)


Well, here it is. The first of the promised blogs. I can hardly believe that I'm actually following through with this. I'll have to be careful not to wax so enthusiastic that I forget that the public can read this. At the same time, it's probably only going to be interesting to people who are as interested in my daughter as I am!

Today Judith and I had a pretty good day. Sadly, Daddy (Lance) is gone ALL day - he's back to work today, after a week off, and he went straight from work to the airport to pick up his aunt and uncle, and straight from the airport to River Rock's offices for a church leadership meeting. We won't be seeing him until around 9:00 p.m. or so. Quite a test of my ability to cope with Judith on my own!

Since we've been having (relative) trouble getting her to sleep lately, I decided to go back and reread the Sleep chapter in the Baby Whisperer. I discovered that she's old enough now to be sleeping a little less during the day, and possibly even getting to 8 hours at night. So I "let" her stay up (meaning I didn't try everything I could to get her to sleep) after her 8:00 feeding this morning. As a result she took a highly satisfactory 2 1/2 hour nap at 11. I tried the same thing after her 1:30 feeding - with a nap "scheduled" for 5:00-ish. This time it didn't work quite so well; although she did eventually go to sleep, it took awhile, and she'll end up with more like 1 1/2 hours this time around. But hey, we're new at this. I'm also planning to try to cluster feed her tonight (at 7:00 and at 9:00) to see if that'll help her sleep for 8 hours. She normally sleeps about five hours after her last nighttime feeding, so I really shouldn't complain too much about her sleep patterns; but those of you who know me know how affected I am by sleep deprivation. It'd give me a whole new lease on life if Judith slept for 8 hours tonight! Check tomorrow's post to see how it goes.