our little glowbug

Wednesday, April 24

We kicked off the morning with a visit to a lactation consultant.  An hour later, we were armed with  lots of good tips to make meal time easier.  Dad stayed at home with Elia while Mom ran her first errand without the baby.  After lunchtime Jennie and Madelynn came for a visit.  It was so much fun to play with them.  Maddie was so sweet with Elia, they're going to have so much fun together when Elia's a bit bigger. 

That afternoon we went to the doctor for Elia's one week check up.  Elia weighed in at a whopping 6 lbs. even - so big!  Because her weight gain is back on track, we don't have to wake her up in the middle of the night to eat anymore - hurrah!  The doctor sent us to the lab just to re-check her bilirubin levels since her next appointment isn't until she's two months old.  Grandma L came to visit for a few minutes and the doctor called back to say that her bilirubin levels were high so they were sending over phototherapy lights for her to wear 24/7 until those numbers went down.  The lights make her glow like a firefly!  Thankfully, Elia didn't seem to mind the lights.

Visitors: Jennie and Madelynn C + Grandma Lautenbach
Dinner Provided By: Jennie C
Latest Nickname: Glowbug 

Thursday, April 25

Elia survived her first night of phototherapy and we went back to the lab to see how she was doing.  After that, we spent a quiet day at home filled with lots of snuggles.  Unfortunately, we found out her levels were down but not far enough so that meant another day of phototherapy and labs again in the morning.

Biggest Challenge: The phototherapy machine has to be plugged in, making it feel a bit like a tether.

Friday, April 26

Mom and Dad woke up feeling (wait for it...) rested this morning!  Elia ate great yesterday and each of us only got up with her twice overnight.  Since she's eating better, we were up for shorter amounts of time and it made a world of difference.  After such a nice sleep, Dad went to work and Mom took Elia back to the lab.  When we got home, Mom's cousin Allison stopped by to drop off dinner and meet E.  We had a visit from church's Care Committee, they brought a meal that we'll eat this weekend - how lucky to have double dinners!  We took a little nap and then Grandma L popped in for a few minutes before Elia got hungry again.  After a snack, we got the call that her levels were down and we could take the lights off of her - yay!

Since she was no longer tied to the machine, we decided to give tummy time a try while we waited for Dad to get home from work.  

Elia still needs to work on it.  She was much better at regular play time and warmed up to the sweet face she saw in the mirror.

Once Dad got home, we took a family walk around the neighborhood.  It finally feels like spring around here!  

We go in the morning for what we hope will be her last blood draw for a while, wish us luck!

Visitors: Allison B + Mayflower Congregational Church Care Committee + Grandma Lautenbach
Dinner Provided By: Allison B


welcome elia grey!

If you're reading this blog you likely know that our daughter, Elia Grey, was born last week.  She came into the world at 10:49 PM on Wednesday, April 17.  She's a little peanut weighing in at 6 lbs, 5 oz at birth and she was 19 inches long.

We were fortunate to have an amazing birth photographer, Allie of Allie Marie Photography, there to capture Elia's birth.  To see those photos please visit Allie's blog here.  She did a beautiful job of capturing the anticipation, joy, and emotion of the day and we're so grateful to her for that.

As you can imagine, this blog is going to be pretty baby heavy from here on out.  We want to remember as many moments as we can in the midst of all of the new we are experiencing

Today I want to recap what she's done in her first six days on Earth.

Wednesday, April 17

We arrived at the hospital at 3:00 AM for induction.  Elia Grey Neckers was born almost twenty hours later at 10:49 PM with two sets of loving grandparents anxiously looking forward to her arrival in the waiting room.

Biggest surprise: She is so little! We were expecting an 8 pounder.
Biggest challenge: Birth!  Elia was taking her time so we had a little help in the form of a vacuum to get her out.  She was born with the sweetest little cone head.
Visitors: Grandma and Grandpa Lautenbach + Grandma and Grandpa Neckers

Thursday, April 18


We made it to the postpartum floor at 1:30 AM, happy and exhausted.  Elia spent the next several hours in the nursery while Mom and Dad rested.  That morning we enjoyed lots of skin-to-skin time and naps.    Elia is a little jaundiced but not enough to need phototherapy.

Biggest surprise: She has hair!  A full head of blonde locks.
Fun Fact: She has stork bites which we found out Great Grandpa Lautenbach has too - apparently if they run in the family, they'll stick around for good.  Such a sweet connection to her family!
Biggest challenge: Staying awake.
Visitors: Grandma and Grandpa Neckers + Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Lautenbach + Aunt Emily + Grandpa Lautenbach + Miriam D.

Friday, April 19

At noon we were discharged and home by 12:30 PM.  While we were in the hospital, Grand Rapids experienced a ton of rain that led to flooding - thankfully, our house was nice and dry for Elia when we got home.  We had lunch while my parents and Aunt Emily visited and then I rested a bit before Uncle Joel, Grandpa N, and eventually Grandma N came to visit.  Mom and Dad were in bed by 8:00 PM.

Biggest surprise: Confusion at pronouncing her name.  We thought we were being quite phonetic.  For the record it's pronounced El-ee-uh.  Like "Ellie" with an "a" at the end of "Elliot" without the "t" sound at the end.
Biggest challenge: Staying awake.
Visitors: Jennifer C.  + Norma R. + Grandma and Grandpa Lautenbach + Aunt Emily + Uncle Joel + Grandma and Grandpa Neckers 
Lunch Provided By: Grandma and Grandpa Lautenbach from Olga's
Dinner Provided By: Grandma and Grandpa Neckers from Marie Catrib's

Saturday, April 20

Elia slept 5 hours straight on our first night home - wow!  We had a nurse come for a routine welcome home visit then Brittny came to meet her before Aunt Emily came over.  Grandma Lautenbach spent all day preparing a really delicious butternut squash lasagna complete with homemade sauce (if you knew Grandma better, you'd know how impressive this is, cooking is not her first love) for Aunt Emily's birthday dinner.  After dinner Elia met Uncle Matt via Skype - he currently lives in Beijing so it will be a few months before he's able to meet her in person.  After that call, she had her first bath.  It wasn't her favorite thing in the world but we're guessing it will grow on her.

Milestone: Elia's First Bath! 
Visitors: Brittny M + Grandma and Grandpa Lautenbach + Aunt Emily + Uncle Matt via Skype
Dinner Provided By: Grandma and Grandpa Lautenbach in honor of Aunt Emily's birthday!

Sunday, April 21

Before heading back to Chicago, Aunt Emily stopped in for one last visit.  Since the weather here took a turn for the better, Elia went on her first walk around the neighborhood.  We didn't go far but it was so nice to get out of the house and into the sunshine.  After that, we took our first family outing on a drive down to the Grand River to check out the flooding.  It turned into a big day with a spur of the moment visit to the pediatrician because of the amount of weight she'd lost so far.  It was a little unnerving but we were sent home with a plan to help her gain more weight as she gets used to nursing. A bigger day than expected, for sure!

Milestone: Elia's First Walk 
Visitors: Aunt Emily + Sue and Gary McLain 
Dinner Provided By: Great Aunt Sandy

Monday, April 22

We kicked off the day with another trip to the pediatrician to check Elia's weight.  My girl had gained 3 ounces overnight - what a star!  After that we headed home and hung out until Sarah came over with Parker after lunch.  We played for awhile and Sarah even brought over some snacks including two cakes that read "Welcome Elia" - what sweet friends we have!  When Dad came home from work we took the stroller out for the first time on a short walk around the block before "meeting" Uncle Drew, who lives in Salt Lake City via Skype, What a fun day!

Milestone: Elia's First Stroll
Visitors: Sarah and Parker H + Uncle Drew via Skype
Current Nicknames: Bug, Sweetheart, E, Baby Badger, Peanut, Little One, Pumpkin, El, Darling, Sweet Cheeks

Tuesday, April 23

It was a quiet day today.  We made some progress with nursing and had a lovely nap.  Uncle Matt sent Elia a bouquet of beautiful spring flowers and Grandma Neckers came over to visit for a little while after work.  After she left, we relaxed all evening.

Visitors: Grandma Neckers
Loads of Baby Laundry Done Today: 2 

We are madly in love with our little one and can't wait to see what each new day brings!