My friend Jessica and I went to the same high school, but I was a couple years ahead and we didn't really know each other. I take that back, I knew of her as one of my brother's friends and she thought I was the "cool, older sister." Now, the couple years is nothing, we live just neighborhoods apart, have been doing very similar jobs and have grown to be great friends.
Jess was my "guest blogger" when we had Elyse. She started her own blog right before her daughter, Addison was born. I decided this afternoon to go back and read some of Jessica's early posts when she first had her daughter, and boy, did it make me feel better!
That first week was SO HARD. Not feeling well on top of figuring out how to take care of a baby full-time on an average of one hour of unrestful sleep is a very bad combination. I've been a little hard on myself at times as I know not everyone understands, or at least, doesn't remember how hard it was that first baby, during that first week. I even have a really good baby. She is a not a screamer and she sleeps! Someone asked me if she has cried yet where I haven't been able to fix it. The answer... no! I know our day is coming, but so far so good! It is her Mom and Dad that have taken some time to adjust to life with her. Our baby girl? She's doing great!
I read Jess' post after her first week at home with her new baby daughter. Thank you, Jessica! We are not alone. We are not crazy. And, it does get better. So, for all you first-time mamas-to-be, please remember this! Focus on taking care of yourself, your baby and your husband. The rest can wait and it will day-by-day, get easier! Each day as you spend more and more one-on-one time with your little one, you will slowly figure each other out AND THEN GET SOME MUCH NEEDED SLEEP!
PS: Please let me clarify. It still isn't easy by any stretch, it is just getting easier! (wink)
We've been holding, changing, feeding and loving you for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. Wow. What a difference the second week makes. First, I am feeling so much better and both of us are starting to settle down and rest a little bit more. Daddy is still struggling, but it is only because he loves you so much, it is hard to put you down at night and he's always had trouble resting during the day. With a little planning, spending more and more one-on-one time with you, we are all figuring each other out and it really makes each and every day a little easier!
We've done more outings rather than visits here and still worked on not over-scheduling. All these little changes have helped us in our transition to our new life with you! Mama even drove yesterday alone with you in the car! At 36 years old, it sounds crazy to admit that particularly considering all the other babies I've driven around. I have no idea why every new thing I do with you terrifies me, but I gain confidence each time I do something new with you. I think all the baby contraptions scare me more than just being with you. However, after our trek yesterday, I'm ready to buzz you around town now... Well, except I haven't mastered the stroller yet. In time!
This is your just waking up stretch and yawn that makes me just want to smooch on your cheeks.
You really like your car seat and enjoy riding in the car. You are so patient when we buckle you in. Such a good girl.
Baby Legs are our new favorite thing. It can be a bit chilly at times and you have a TON of newborn size onesies, but they leave your little legs out in the cold! Hello - Baby Legs (and they are cute too!).
Yesterday, you attended your first ALS walk in memory of your Grandma. How proud she must have been! (Just trust me, you are cuddled in your car seat underneath your blanket).
You were such a good girl!
One thing that developed this week was your flaking skin. Daddy and I worried something was wrong. After some Google research, we learned it is just a sign of you being a full-term baby in water all that time. It should clear up this next week!
Cuddles from Daddy before the start of the walk.
You got a snuggly ride with Aunt Jody during the walk!
Baby, thank you for being the absolute light of our lives. It is hard not to smile when around you; even in the middle of the night when you'd rather look at us then go back to sleep. We love you with all of our hearts. Hello, week three!
PS: On a completely unrelated note, as of this morning, your Mom is two pounds UNDER her pre-pregnancy weight and back in her regular clothes. Let's hear it for breastfeeding and running around taking care of you! Hooray!
Elyse's newborn photo session proofing gallery is up. You can either view the pics and/or order any if you are interested.
You can order and have shipped to your house OR e-mail me and let me know and I can notify the photographer to have your order shipped here (to save you $$ on shipping).
Click here to access the photos. On that page, click on the bottom right under "proofing" and the password for the proofing gallery is Court10. Make sure you capitalize the "C". The gallery expires on OCTOBER 2 so all orders need to be placed on or before that date!!
Be sure to comment and let us know your favs... It will be hard to choose! As you look through, some things to look for:
That ring she is clutching? That was my late mother's wedding ring I had re-set with a ruby (her birthstone).
The little girl sitting behind her reading Pinkalicious? That is our niece, Maggie.
The photo she is sitting in front of is me and my Mom - her Grandma watching over her from heaven.
The boots and goggles? That is Daddy's ski gear.
The photo with the rings on her back? She is laying on my wedding dress with the sash tied around her and yes, those are our wedding rings.
Do you know how loved you are already? I've already told you how much Mama and Daddy love you, but there are so many others! Your Daddy and I have had this crazy week of no sleep, figuring out our daily plan to take care of you and balancing visitors who just can't WAIT to meet you. Considering our severe lack of sleep, we keep getting told that we have had too many visitors, but guess what? It is really important to us to allow people into your life that will love on you. A little scheduling has provided a good balance for us to get some more rest, visit with family and friends and allow you the snuggle and love time with the folks who want to meet and spend time with you. Here are some of those people. Mommy and Daddy haven't been completely on top of things to snap photos of everyone, but this is a pretty good selection. In no particular order:
Grandma Francie. She has sat up with you a few nights your first week. Swaddled you like a pro and helped Mama when she hit her lack of sleep "wall". She saved Mommy and Daddy that first week! We love her so!
OJ. OJ is Mama's very good friend. When she got the call Mama was in labor she drove straight to the hospital and waited for your arrival. She sang "Jesus Loves Me" to you not one hour after you were born.
Aunt Molli and cousins Tanner and Maggie. Tanner wasn't so sure about you when he heard I was having you, but Maggie was excited from the start. Tanner changed his mind when he met you. He had a huge grin and gave you a kiss. These cousins are pretty excited about you and so is their Mom!
Maggie is so excited. Her Mommy said she would live here with us if she could just to be near you!
Uncle Corey. Your Uncle has been wanting Mama to have a baby for some time now - particularly giving him a niece. He couldn't be prouder or happier!
Aunt Keri. Aunt Keri is pretty excited too. She has taken good care of Mommy and Daddy bringing us good dinners and yummy snacks since we brought you home.
Cousin Carson. Mama was there when Carson was born and it was very special to her when you two met. He's pretty happy about you!
Aunt Jody. Your Aunt was made to be a lover to her nieces and nephews and you are no exception. She was so excited to meet you and loves you to pieces already!
Aunt Vickie. Aunt Vickie knew Mommy was pregnant before we even told her. She knows how much we've been through and is so happy for us!
Anna. Our friend Anna is very supportive. Here she is clipping your fingernails for the first time. Anna helped paint your room AND your furniture preparing for your arrival.
The "H" Family. Daddy is best friends with Shaun (not pictured). He and Tammy and the kids are so happy to meet you.
Grandpa Brad. Mama wasn't raised by Brad - we only met 15 years ago. He has been a great support to us and boy was he excited to learn we were making him a Grandpa at the same time as my sister, Talea. Within a week, he became Grandpa to a grandson AND a granddaughter. So proud!
Libby. This girl has been watching over you since you stepped foot in the door. Every little coo and squawk has her attention. She has licked your head and always wants to sniff you. We watch her carefully since you're so new, but know already she knows her job is to watch over you. Aunt Marcie. This is a very important person in your life. She has supported Mommy throughout her pregnancy and was there when you were born. She is IN LOVE with you and we couldn't be happier about that. We couldn't do it without her!
Grandma Evelyn (Gram-E). Not the best picture of Grandma, but it is all we've got! Evelyn has been a wonderful support to Mommy and Daddy and will be watching you two days a week when Mama goes back to work after Christmas. She has stitched your quilt, curtains, made you two afghans and sat up with you at nights allowing Mommy and Daddy to rest. She loves you very much!
Karen. Karen had a very scary health episode right before you were born. We were terrified we could lose her. This picture itself is a miracle. Karen is doing GREAT and holding you! We couldn't be happier!
Dr. Reppuhn. Your doctor is also Mama's doctor. She has been so patient with your Daddy and me as we stumble in for your appointments barely able to function. Here she is showing us another way to burp you.
Cousin Warren. Here's your cousin Warren born just about five weeks before you!
Cousins Cierra and RaeAnna. Mama rocked these girls when they were little and now they're loving on you and holding their own babies!
Wilson. We were worried this guy would never come out of hiding once we brought you home. He's actually been pretty good. He is pretty interested in you!
Cousin Chelsey. Chelsey lived with Mama and Daddy last fall. She's pretty special to us and she's super happy about you!
Aunt Sue. Aunt Sue is your Grandma Kathy's sister. She moved here to be near your Mama when Grandma passed away. She was so excited about you and was there when you were born. She loves you very much!
Uncle Tom. Tom was heading out for Costa Rica and then Columbus, OH after you were born as he coaches the Seattle Sounders. He just got back into town and couldn't WAIT to meet his newest niece!
Aunt Talea. Talea is Mama's sister and she had your cousin just one week before you. She was super excited to meet you and came to the hospital as soon as she found out you were born!
Mama will keep adding to this list as we take more pictures. It is a long list because I'm telling you, sister. YOU ARE LOVED.
Thank you to my friend, Allen, who made this AWESOME logo for Mom. We will have these as "race bibs" to pin to the back of our shirts and jackets at the walk this weekend - Saturday, September 25. Sure hope you will join us. Please click here if you haven't registered yet - team name is Kathy's Crew! If you can't walk, please consider donating to the team or to a team member directly. It is tax-deductible - and you can donate as little as $5.00!
I started this blog for fun - to share pictures, fun stories, recipes... but this week I learned a great lesson. I also do it because it is a great outlet for me. I have had this gnawing need to get my feelings out in words. I have experienced so many emotions this week I don't want to forget - for myself, for my husband and especially, for our new baby daughter.
Dearest Elyse -
A week ago, I was still pregnant with you. My water broke at 1:40 p.m. on Saturday, September 11. I will share with you later how you came into this world. For now, I will tell you that it was scary - for my health and yours. Labor was something our bodies didn't like and it was dangerous at times for both of us. Fortunately, everything changed at 2:49 a.m. last Sunday, September 12. As soon as you were born, your heart rate was perfect, my blood pressure was down and you were 100% healthy. Everything we could have ever asked for. What an absolute blessing.
From the moment you were laid on my chest and the nurses stopped cleaning you off, you stared right at me with your wide eyes. I was shocked at how calm, but alert you were. I experienced so many emotions all at once. I admit I did make everyone in the room laugh when the second thing I said after "Hello, Baby!" was "Wow, I can't believe that was just in me!"
They took you away to measure, weigh and clean you up and brought you back to my arms where you snuggled right in.
Your Daddy and I were so thrilled, TIRED, but oh so happy!
The nurses gave you right to me when you were born. When we brought family and friends in they wanted to hold you, but no... You needed to be held next by one very important person. Daddy was next to hold you before we started sharing you with others. He was so happy and I loved watching him look at you!
I haven't been able to sleep much at all since you were born. It isn't because you aren't sleeping. You are such a good baby. I can't sleep because I constantly think about you, your Daddy and making sure you are cared for. I've been told repeatedly to rest when you rest, but whenever I close my eyes, my head fills up and I cannot sleep. When I do, it doesn't last long. I'm easily awoken or startled, need to check on you and we start all over again.
I have fallen even more deeply in love with your Daddy watching how well he has taken care of both of us this week. I have said repeatedly it has been the hardest week of my life, but surely the best. When you were still in my belly, I worried about how bringing you home would be and how it would affect Daddy and me. All I can tell you is how happy we both are. Our home will never be the same. You have brought a whole new level of joy and love to our family. We are head over heels in love with you. You have one very protective Mama and Daddy. Wow. Watch out world because I am very confident that your Daddy and I will always do whatever we can within our control to keep you loved, safe and away from hurt.
Happy one week birthday, baby girl! Thank you for changing our lives for the better. You already have so many people in love with you! You are just an easy girl to fall in love with! We couldn't be more proud and thankful for your health, sweetness, "snackable" cheeks and how you have lit up our life.
We love you more than words. Now, let's hope that since Mama got this out, she can sneak in just a couple more hours of rest until you wake up.
To see a couple more "sneak peeks" of our newborn photo session with Amber Sheree Photography yesterday, please visit the link below. Normally, I beg for the comments here, but this time I ask that you leave a comment on Amber's site. If we reach 20 comments, we receive some sort of prize. Thanks so much!
I am ecstatic to share I just had three solid hours of sleep. Most I've had since Saturday. We got released early and got home last night about 6:30. Elyse Kaylee is our light and we are all officially in love. We have been so blessed - so far perfectly healthy and we are deeply grateful. So much more to share, but many have asked for a peek of her face so this is what I could do for now by cellphone. Love from the new fam of three.