Baby Nora: Week 1

Thank you for all your sweet comments on Nora's birth story! It truly was an amazing experience and one we will remember forever. I'm here today to update you on life with Nora. Just as I documented my pregnancy, I plan to do a weekly update every Tuesday (though the first one is already late) to track how Nora is growing and changing! 
Disclaimer: I will describe our parenting style and how it evolves as we learn what works for us and what doesn't. Feel free to leave comments, suggestions, and questions. By no means am I claiming to be doing things the best way, just our way. 

Weight: Nora weighed 7 pounds, 5.5 ounces at her 1 week check-up! Her birth weight was 7 lb, 1.5 oz and she was 6 lb, 15 oz when she was discharged. This is incredible because doctors typically don't expect babies to be back to their birth weight for two weeks!

Health: We saw Dr. Lohse on Monday morning and got an excellent report! Other than a bit of dry skin, Nora is perfectly healthy! Dry skin is also very common for post-term babies, so it is no surprise that she was born with cracked hands and feet and her skin is peeling now - she baked in there for a long time!

Sleep: I am so surprised how much Nora sleeps! She even slept through her entire doctor's visit after we undressed her. We have had to wake her up at night to eat, otherwise she would sleep right through feedings. She is currently sleeping in the bassinet portion of a pack n' play in our bedroom, which has been very convenient while I'm healing from surgery. We swaddle her for bedtime, but usually not during day time sleep.

Social: Nora met quite a few people in her first week of life! She met both sets of grandparents, and all aunts (4) and uncles (4) with the exception of 1! Our small group came to the hospital to see her, as well as our friends Ryan and Paloma and two of Matt's friends from college. After her doctor's appointment on Monday, we went out for lunch with a few of Matt's coworkers, so she met the Healthspring team too.

Diet: Mommy's milk! We've experimented with feeding times over the past week. We have settled into a semi-routine of feeding every 3 hours with one 4 hour stretch at night. We try to aim for 20 minute feedings, but sometimes she only lasts for 10 or 15 before I can no longer wake her up. I was worried about this at first, but after finding out that she is gaining weight (and therefore eating well), I'm a bit more relaxed about it. If she gives me hunger cues outside of these times, I feed her then as well.

Clothes: Nora is wearing newborn clothes (and diapers), but they won't fit for long. I wasn't sure if they would fit at all since she was 2 weeks late, but most of them fit either perfectly or with a little room to grow. I'm thinking by 3 or 4 weeks she'll be out of them.

Baby Gear: We've tried out the bouncer, swing, and play mat. Of course she just lays on the play mat right now, but it's an alternative to the bouncer and swing that usually put her to sleep. We're using the Boppy for most feedings now that my incision is less sore.

Crying: I think Nora is the quietest baby I've been around. Seriously! There have only been 2 or 3 occasions in the past week where it took more than just holding her for a minute or two to calm her down. I hope she stays like this forever! She's such an easy going baby.

Postpartum: Recovery from the csection was harder than I thought it would be. The first days in the hospital I had to have help for everything - getting out of bed, getting dressed, going to the bathroom, showering, etc. It was such a lesson in humility and accepting service from Matt and the nurses. I am not one to take medicine unless I really need to, and I think I've had more pain medication in the past week than I have in my entire life! Each day pain has subsided though. Now, a week later, I just have a little tenderness near the incision. I'm still having back pain from the spinal block, especially after I'm fairly active. I'm praying there is no permanent damage there. My staples were removed before I left the hospital on Friday, and tomorrow I see the midwives to have my incision checked and the tape removed.

I think I've lost most of my fluid weight, around 17 pounds. I was surprised how fast the initial weight came off, and I'm in no hurry to lose the rest for fear of messing with my milk supply.

A lot of people have asked about my emotions. I am overjoyed that Nora is here and love caring for her. Even during a 3am feeding, the time is so special to me, and I would never wish it away. Days 5 and 6 were the most emotional for me so far. I've cried about ridiculous things - like feeling empty without my belly and that I couldn't protect her as well. Nora is so gorgeous, and sometimes I cry over how beautiful she is and how great Jesus is. I don't think I mentioned the meaning of her name earlier. Nora means light or honor, and Jane means gift from God. She a precious gift indeed!! The first few days home, I experienced some anxiety related to feeding - was I feeding her often enough for long enough ? why wasn't she waking up to eat? And mostly, I've been emotional over just how fast time is going by already.

Milestones: Nora had her first bath at home at 4 days old. She also went to the pediatrician for the first time. At just 1 week, she doesn't even look like a newborn anymore! I can't believe how much she has changed. Her coloring is less pink, she is getting bigger, and she is more alert (in those few minutes she is awake!). She has also started straightening her legs and lifting them. Matt likes to call it "planking." For some reason I think it's hilarious.

Nora is changing so quickly, and I can't believe the first week is over. 
Now it's on to Week 2!

Happy Halloween!
+, Lauren Aiken


  1. Congrats, Lauren & Matt! She is so beautiful :) I love her name and that you thought of the meaning of her name as well. Praying for you as you continue in your new role as parents!

  2. Oh, Lauren. She is just gorgeous! You are a precious mommy and your little Nora is so blessed to have you both as parents. You'll be in my prayers as you continue to grow as a family!

  3. sweet sweet newborn days. are you going to call her nora jane? i have an affinity to double names! looking forward to following along as she grows!

  4. Wow...congratulations!! Nora is just beyond precious! So glad you're keeping track of her weekly progress. It's really cool to look back on! :)