Sunday, March 23, 2014

Anna Love ~ 6 weeks

Well after quite a while of just cuddling in the recliner, we have had a pretty eventful week.  I've been trying to write this update for days, so let me see if I can remember all the fun details from this week and the last couple of weeks...

Sweet Anna Love,

You are the best and easiest baby.  It's probably because I have SO much awesome help from your siblings!!  Seriously, they are the BEST!!  You are a lucky girl, because they love you like crazy!!  You never cry.  You never get have a chance to cry.  Someone is always willing and waiting to care for you!!  And let's talk about your Daddy.  That man is pure gold!!  He takes such good care of all of us!!

My oh my, you are growing SO fast!!  You are still wearing a size 1 diaper and size 0-3 month clothing, but now you are certainly filling them out better.  This past Thursday we had an appt with Dr. Jeff.  I was shocked to discover that you now weigh 10 lbs, 2 ozs, and are 22 inches long.  You had a great check up.  At the end of the appointment you got your first round of immunizations.  It wasn't fun, but you are such a sweet girl and barely cried after receiving the shots.  Sadly I could tell you didn't feel so good and your little legs were sore for about 24 hours following the shots.  Boo!!  Poor baby!!  Just look at these grumpy faces you made when you weren't feeling well.  Bless your little heart!!  At least you are still a doll even with a grumpy face!

You are still nursing like a champ.  During the early part of the day, you'll last 2-3 hours between feedings.  In the afternoon and evenings that gap closes and sometimes we are down to just an hour between feedings, but they you'll go back to longer stretches throughout the night.

We typically put you down for bed around 11 or 12, then we do the things we need to do to get ready for bed.  By the time I am ready for bed, it's usually time to feed you again.  That time varies a little depending on what how much I try to accomplish, but regardless when I am fully ready for bed I get you up for a final feeding of the night.  You nurse well and barely wake at all.  Then we all go to bed and you'll sleep 3-4 hours.  Usually Daddy goes to sleep a little before me, but he SO deserves it.  He doesn't ever get naps and he is always up before us!  A lot of times the bedtime/night time routine looks something like this:  feeding at 10 PM, bath by Daddy at 10:30 PM, feeding at 11 PM, 11:30 PM you go to bed, 1 or 2 AM I wake you for a feeding and then you go back to sleep immediately, finally we all go to sleep until about 6 AM.  After 6 AM we just get whatever additional sleep we can get!  It's a crazy schedule, but I have always been a night owl so it's working pretty well for us.  Oh and YOU are a night owl too!!  Your best play times are always at night after the big kids go to bed.  You also play so well after bath time that you are sufficiently wore out and ready for bed!

You still nap a lot during the day, but day by day you have more wake time.  You coo and talk and smile at us, and we all just melt!!  You smile all the time, but I'm having such a hard time getting a great picture of you smiling.  It seems you were born smiling.  I kept waiting for the time that I knew for sure that you were truly smiling in response to something we said or did, and honestly I just never realized that first magical moment.  You just always smiled.  Everyone wanted to be the one to make you smile "for real" for the first time, and we really don't know when you gave us the first "real" smile.  One thing is for sure, you are definitely giving us real smiles and you smile in response to things we say and/or do.

Even though they aren't the best pictures ever, here are a few of the smiley pics I've captured so far.  No doubt someone was playing with you in these pics.

Speaking of getting good pictures, we've been taking less of those for the past few days, because you have a TERRIBLE case of baby acne!!  It's the worse case I've ever seen.  You can't tell too much in your pictures, but it looks bad!  I even asked Dr. Jeff if he thought it was for sure just baby acne. It showed up right around the time you turned 5 weeks old.  That seems to be about the time that it occurred for your siblings too.  I sure will be happy when it clears up.  You look plum pitiful!!

Fortunately that acne had not yet made it's debut when we decided to take a last minute trip to see Grandmother.  There were lots of pictures taken that day!!  The Saturday after you turned 1 month old Daddy had to work, and we just decided to make a quick trip to see Grandmother. The weather was great and the entire trip turned out wonderful!!  Uncle Wendell and his family ended up dropping in on Grandmother too, so you got to meet them for the first time.  I hate that I didn't get any photos with you and them, but I love these pictures of you and Grandmother!

Here's a few other pics from the photo shoot that we played with at Grandmother's house.

Grandmother and I could go into business together with a little more training, the right equipment, money, and oh yeah LOTS of free time on our hands.  We'd have plenty of willing helpers too.  From getting babies to smile to helping with props, Luke, Grace, Mary Ruth, and really everyone would jump on the opportunity to join in the business!  Oh well since we don't have big list of things we'd need, guess we'll stick with taking pics of you for now!!

I don't have any photos to show it, but another fun outing for me and you occurred this week when we went for my 6 week appointment with Dr. C.   Who else considers going to the doc a fun outing?  Ha!!  I LOVE everyone at Dr. C's office, and I was so excited to show you off to them.  Love Bug, they have taken such good care of us, even prayed for us while you were still growing in my tummy.  I have made friends with everyone there!!  After seeing them so often for the past several months and really years, I'm sad that I won't be seeing them as often anymore.  We ended up being at the office for like 4 hours and part of that time was because I was talking and visiting and showing you off!!  We'll have to be sure to visit every now and then!

Another big excitement was getting to see Nana.  She joined us at my 6 week appointment.  I was SO happy to see her!!  I'm pretty sure she enjoyed herself quite a bit too.  Unfortunately family situations have caused Nana to be out of town pretty much the entire time since you were born.  She came back into town on the same day I had my appointment, so she met us there and held you during my actual appointment.  I don't think she minded holding!  She had to leave town again less than 24 hours after arriving.

None of the grandparents have had much Love Bug cuddling yet!!  This must change!!  Just for the record at 6 weeks old, our only outings have been a few doctor appointments and 1 trip to Grandmother's house.  We have been very careful to keep you home and out of the public.  The goal was to stay home for at least the first 6 weeks.  We wanted to avoid germs, but also I just wanted us to have plenty of time for cuddling, resting, and getting breast feeding off to a great start.  The other kiddos have had a few other outings, but mostly just to church and even then only on Sunday mornings.  With the other kiddos we've often planned to stay home, but we have not always stuck to it.  I'm very pleased that we did it this time.  It's been a wonderful and relaxing 6 weeks!!  Now that you are 6 weeks old and spring is here, I'm sure we will be getting out more.  Starting with more trips to see grandparents and other family and friends.

So like I said in the beginning this week was pretty eventful, and I didn't even post about having company for dinner, running a few errands after our doctor's appointments, or the every day fun with school and housework!  Whew, I'm tired just thinking about it all!!  So I'll leave your adoring fans (aka the grandparents) with a few more precious pics, and I'll close by saying once again we love you SOOOOOO much, Sweet Love!!

Looks like someone is ticklish!!  Daddy is the one who is getting the smiles in these pictures!  

This next picture is just to show off the hair!!

Here's one last one for size comparison.  Left side is coming home from the hospital.  Right side is headed to pediatrician for 6 week well check.  The difference is a about 3 pounds and 1 1/2 inches.  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Newborn Pictures

Here's a few of my very favorites from Anna Love's newborn photo shoot.  
LOVE this girl!!!!  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Anna Love ~ One Month

Sigh....it's so hard to believe that a month has already passed by.  It's going so quickly.

Sweet Anna Love,

You are changing every day.  At one month old, you have almost out grown our newborn clothes, but you are still in size one diapers.  You've actually had a couple of leaky diapers for the first time this week.  And you've had a couple of episodes of spit up.  Both things required a wardrobe changes.  These situations are most likely due to the fact that you are NURSING ALL THE TIME!!  Most of the time we are doing good to get 2 hours between feedings.  I'm going to assume that you must be eating more often because you are going through a growth spurt!  That would also explain the chubby cheeks that you are developing!  At least your full belly means good sleeping happens.  You take good naps during the day and are fairly easy to get down for bedtime.  We are currently setting an alarm at night to make sure that you down sleep more than 4 hours in between feedings.  If we let you, you'll sleep longer, but I'm trying to maintain a good milk supply.  Your finger nails still grow SO fast.  I have to cut them every week or you will scratch up your face!  You still sleep best on your side and still like to be swaddled.  You are SO alert and playful when you are awake, and you have more awake periods throughout the day.  Your siblings LOVE it when you coo and "talk" and "play" with them.  You really seem to enjoy your red, black, and white play mat.  You smile often, but I still haven't seen a for sure deliberate smile in response do something we've done or said, but you are SO close.  For the most part, you are such a happy baby, but you do have moments when you get upset.  Pretty much if you are fussy it's because you are hungry, sleepy, or have a dirty diaper.  When any one of these occur, you let us know about it with a very loud and angry cry.  I'm pretty sure you cry louder than your big brother or big sisters.  Based on what we are seeing from you now, I'm guessing that I did NOT get a meek and quiet girl even though I asked the that.  Oh well, we'll keep you!!!  :)

Here's some sweet 1 month pics!

Here are some pics of big brother and big sisters enjoying you!!

We all LOVE you to the moon and back!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Anna Love ~ Birth Story

Anna Love's Birth Story

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 2:30 PM

7 lbs 11 ozs and 20 1/2 inches long

Anna Love's birth story in pictures.
You might need to turn the volume up to catch the first 30 seconds of the music.
Don't miss it!!  

This is the birth story for our sweet Anna Love.  If you hang in til the end, you'll see that it's really much more than a birth story.  It's a love story.  

We had planned that when I was in labor and delivery we would post a play by play similar to what we did when Elizabeth was born.  If you are interested, you can read that play by play by going back to September 2010.  That was so fun!   However that did not go as planned, because after just a couple of updates things got crazy.  If you are interested in the two updates I did post, you can also go back and read those post made on Tuesday evening (2/4) and Wednesday morning (2/5).  Since I did not give the play by play I had planned, I'll pick up with the Wednesday morning.

It was a day later than I was originally supposed to be induced, another thing that did not go as planned.  At the time I was so very disappointed.  I've made my peace with it now, and I can even see the hand of the Lord at work in many ways in the new plan.  Like these pictures.  I would not have these particular pictures, and I might not ever have even come to know the sweet, sweet lady who took them had I gotten my way.  I'll be eternally grateful for both the pictures and even more importantly the new friendship that I have gained with the person behind the camera.  Seriously, Patty, thank you for being part of one of the most important events in my life.  

Wednesday started off SO great.  I was up early with excitement.  I showered and fixed my hair and make-up (yes, yes I know - so vain) so that I'd be ready for all the pictures!!  I even had Wesley snap a final baby bump shot after I got all fixed up.  Oh how I already miss my baby bump!!  I still have quite a bump, but now it's not nearly as cute.

Everything got started very early!  It was around 6 AM when I got back in bed after my shower, and the Cytotec was really working.  At this point, I had been given either 2 or 3 doses of Cytotec to induce labor.  I was having a lot of strong and painful contractions.  I expecting Dr. C to come in any minute.  I knew he would check me and probably break my water, and I was concerned that would be painful.  With that in mind, I talked to my nurse about my increasing pain level.  I did not want to get an epidural so early in my labor, so my nurse, Amy, suggested some IV pain medication.  Amy was also my nurse when I delivered Elizabeth.  Love her!!  I once had an adverse reaction to a drug called Nubain so I mentioned that and asked for something different.  Based on what was in my orders from Dr. C, Amy suggested Stadol.  I have had Stadol once before with no negative reaction so I agreed.  As she slowly pushed the Stadol in my IV, I immediately started feeling sick.  So quick, in fact, that she had only given me 1/2 the dose, and thankfully she ended up not giving me the rest!!  I can't imagine how much worse it would have been had I had the full dose.  I was 6:30 AM.  I was feeling terribly sick and in walked Dr. C.   My head was spinning, and I was dizzy and nauseous.  I think I kept my eyes closed the entire time he was in the room.  Honestly I barely remember him being in the room.  Dr. C checked me, and I was still 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  Wesley tells me that Dr. C and I discussed breaking my water, and I agreed.  I held it together pretty well while Dr. C was in the room, but after he left I continued to feel worse and worse.  The hour that followed was a nightmare.  I even began to hallucinate.  Not fun!!

We had suggested that guests arrive between 7-8 AM, so during the time that I was on a bad trip our guests (grandparents and Mrs. Patty) began to arrive.  I was so excited about seeing everyone, but I was feeling terrible.  We asked everyone to wait in the waiting room until I was feeling better.  I hated knowing that they were all there to see me and were having to wait.  I was also concerned that they were worried about me.  I just wanted to feel better fast so that we could all enjoy the day!  During this time I was also still in a pretty good bit of pain and did not want to take any other IV pain medication, so I went ahead and requested the epidural and received it just before 8 AM.  As soon as I had the epidural and was comfortable and feeling some better, Wesley went out to the waiting room to say good morning and give some updates.  I asked him to go ahead and send my mom back, because I was sure she was worried sick.  All in all the worst of the adverse reaction lasted about 1 1/2 hours.  After that hour and a half, I still continued to struggle for a little bit longer with nausea and low blood pressure.  Boy was I ever glad for all that to be over!!!  That made the rest of the day easy peasy!!

A new nurse came on duty during all the "fun".  Ashley and I became fast friends!!  She was a hoot and took such good care of me!  Seriously, she stayed right by my side doing everything possible to help me feel better as soon as possible.  As soon as I was really feeling better she checked me.  It was 10:45 AM, and I was 4 1/2 - 5 cm dilated.  My epidural was working great!!  I was finally sitting up, feeling good, enjoying my company, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of my sweet Love Bug!!!  Based on my past deliveries, I expected the rest of the day might go pretty quickly, so I suggested that anyone wanting to get some lunch should go ahead and go.  Poor Wesley had not eaten anything at all yet.  He too had been right by my side all morning doing whatever possible to help me feel better.  So a little bit after 11 AM, Wesley took everyone except my mom to the hospital cafeteria.  My sweet Mom would not leave me.  It was nice to have that time with her, even though I ended up taking a little nap.

While I was resting, I could feel things progressing.  I wasn't in pain, but I could feel the tightness and pressure of my contractions.  It even seemed like I could feel baby gradually moving down with my contractions.  It was different and pretty neat, but I actually started to be a tiny bit concerned that maybe I was feeling a little bit too much.  Again I wasn't in pain, but I was worried that maybe the epidural was wearing off since I could feel so much pressure.  Ashley had also stepped out of my room while I was resting, so I called and asked her to come in and check on things.   She checked me right around 1 PM, and I had indeed made some progress.  I was 7 cm dilated.  Since I was a little concerned about my epidural, she called for the anesthesiologist to come in.  Turns out I just had a really awesome epidural that was doing just what it was supposed to do.  It was blocking the pain while allowing me to feel the pressure of my contractions.  I was really excited to be at 7 cm, and I was extremely confident that things would be fast from here on out!!  

By this time everyone was back from lunch.  It was just a few minutes pasted 1 PM.  There was definitely excitement in the air.  I called my sweet friend Heather who had all our kiddos to let her know we were getting close so she could bring the kiddos to the hospital.  I have to stop here and give a big shout out to my amazing friend Heather!  In addition to having her own 3 kiddos, she took on my 5 kiddos and was willing to do whatever we needed or wanted!!  And in this case what we wanted was for the siblings to be at the hospital either just before or right after Anna Love was born so that they could really be part of the experience.  Heather said they were just finishing up lunch and that they would get ready and head our way.  She sent me a text at 1:25 PM to say that she was leaving her house.

Between 1-2 PM, everyone in the room started gearing up for the big moment.  Ashley was getting the room set up.  Wesley sent out a few text messages to update some others.  Patty was deciding where she should be for the best pictures.  Also during this time, Ashley suggested rolling me over to my side to help baby get into a better position.  In the past this has really been effective.  I thought it might work so well, that I actually asked Ashley if I could wait a few minutes before changing positions.  I was wanting a to get a few pictures first (of course!!).  I was specifically hoping to get a picture of me with each of the grandmothers.  Unfortunately Nana was dealing with a family crisis, and she was unable to be present for much of the time.  We waited close to 30 minutes for her, but she was just not able to come back to the room during that time.  Thankfully she was able to come in later.  Finally just a few minutes before 2 PM, I rolled over to my side on my own.  Ashley had stepped out of the room for just a second.  She came back pretty quickly and started working to get me in a good position on my side.  Nothing seemed to feel just right, and I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable.  After a few minutes of shifting me around and adjusting my monitors, Ashley decided to check me again.  It was exactly 2 PM and she said I was ready!!!!  I remember looking at the clock and doing the math and realizing that Heather and the kiddos should be arriving any minute.  I asked Ashley if the kiddos could come in and see me really quick before I started pushing.  She said that would be fine, because it would also take Dr. C a few minutes to arrive.  It was kind of an out of body experience, because I could not believe that I was actually asking to wait!!  When I had Elizabeth it was quite the opposite, I was begging to push but being told I had to wait.  Quite a turn around.

I called Heather to see where she was at, and she said they were just pulling into the parking lot.  Wesley went down to help get all the kiddos in and up to the room.  Thinking back I'm still in awe of the fact that I was 10 cm, ready to push, feeling SO uncomfortable, but yet still inviting the kiddos to come into the room.  I just really wanted them to be as much a part of it as possible.  They were so excited!!  Heather and her children were not allowed back into labor and delivery (bummer!), but Wesley brought our kiddos in.  We all hugged, talked for a minute, squealed with excitement, took a few more pictures (of course!), and then I encouraged Wesley to hurry them back to the waiting room so we could finally get our baby delivered!!

In a few short minutes, Wesley was back.  Dr. C had arrived.  And we began to push!!!  I don't remember how many times I pushed, but it wasn't very many and it didn't take long.  Within about 10 minutes, I was holding my baby!!!!  It was like a dream!!  All the months of waiting, all the excitement, all the love...finally in my arms!!!!  It was exactly 2:30 PM.

It's different every time.  This time seemed so easy, almost perfect!  All my birth experiences have gone well, but several have had some element of drama and often a lot more pain.  With Luke my epidural was only working on one side.  With him I experienced some serious pain!  Bella Peace was sunny side up and had to be turned, also very painful.  I had a lot of pain with Elizabeth too, and Dr. C almost didn't make it with her.  This epidural was really the best one.  Don't get me wrong, I was definitely still uncomfortable, but the pain was manageable.  It was great to have the pain under control and yet still feel my contractions enough to know when to push.

Speaking of pushing, I only pushed a few times, but I remember it so vividly.  I was so determined to get her here as quick as possible that I was pushing like never before.  It was intense.  The grandmothers were across the room pushing right along with me.  I think Ashley could feel it too.  But Wesley and Dr. C, those two were ridiculously casual.  There is a really funny picture were it looks like these too are just talking about the big game or something.  I just had to add the picture.  Notice how intense I am, how casual Wesley and Dr. C are, and how my mom looks like she's ready to take a stick to the guys for being so laid back!!  She loves both of them so much, but she did not take kindly to them being so casual while her baby (me) was working so hard.  So funny!!  The picture may be too graphic for some, but I could not resist sharing it.

I love reminiscing over all my birth stories.  These are memories that I will forever cherish.  I think they are all frozen in my mind and written on my heart.  Even the hard ones were magical and miraculous, and each child and each birth has always, always made me feel closer to the Lord.  


Oh and there's more.  So after Anna Love was born we got the kiddos back in the room at the very soonest moment possible.  They came back in for just a few minutes to get a quick peek and to be in the room when we got Anna Love's measurements.  7 lbs. 11 ozs. and 20 1/2 inches long.  Perfect size.  Another answered prayer since we had been praying for not too big and not too little.  I cannot describe to you how off the hook excited the kiddos were to be able to be there both right before and right after she was born.  The timing of their arrival to the hospital was another thing that was just perfect!  Also something I had been praying about.  Thank you, thank you, Heather, for your part in making that happen!!  I'm so grateful!!

The kiddos only stayed long enough to get the details, and then they went back out to the waiting room to share the news.  There was a pretty good crowd in the waiting room and most everyone was 12 years old or younger.  Here's a picture of just some of that crowd.

After the kiddos went back out to the waiting room, we began what is being called the "Golden Hour" with Anna Love.  The "Golden Hour" is part of some recent changes that our hospital has made to encourage an extra special time of bonding.  I loved our hospital before, but they have really made some great improvements since I had Elizabeth.  They now do an even better job to encourage mother to bond with, nurse, and cuddle skin to skin with baby.  In fact, we had Anna Love skin to skin within minutes of her birth (which explains why I look so naked in my most of my pics).  With my other babies, I've typically spent that first hour passing new baby around to all the grandparents knowing that my time would come, but this time I kept her in my arms for quite a long time.  I was definitely sad for the grandmothers who were so anxious to hold her, but I have to say it was a very special time for me and Wesley.  It was also a very calm and relaxing time.

Soon after the hour was up, we once again welcomed the kiddos in the room so that they could witness Anna Love's first bath which is done in the room now as part of those recent changes.  Finally it was time for the kiddos to get their turn to hold their new baby sister!  After months of everyone at home bargaining and negotiating to decide who should hold Anna Love first, we decided to have the kiddos draw numbers to determine the order.  For a while, everyone fought to be first, but as time went on, they were all fighting to be last because they thought the last person would end up getting the longest amount of hold time.  In the end, Luke drew number one followed by Bella Peace, Elizabeth, Grace, and finally Mary Ruth.  We had promised the kiddos that we would do our best to make sure they got to be first to hold Anna Love after me and Wesley.  As I mentioned earlier, this is the first time that our older kiddos have really been part of the birth experience.  They were all still pretty young when we had Elizabeth.  With every birth before Anna Love, we've left them with friends and brought them to the hospital way after welcoming a new baby, often we've even waited til the next day.  BUT this time they've been anticipating, planning, and preparing for a new baby just like we have....everyone from Luke to Lizzy.  It was only fitting that they get to be a big part of it this time!!  So big brother and the many big sisters all got a chance to hold and cuddle Anna Love, and then the grandmothers finally got a turn.

As awesome as it was, it did get crazy at times having the kiddos there so much, but it was a precious time.  I know that we all made memories that none of us will ever forget.  I guess it was just another way that our lives are crazy, chaotic, beautiful!!!  We would not have it any other way, because I'm acutely aware of the fact that the "beautiful" part of our life is only such, because He takes the crazy, chaotic messes we make and He makes them beautiful.  As I write about it and reminisce, it sounds perfect, but of course there is always more to the story.  Just the day before this beautiful day, I really was so disappointed about my induction getting changed.  I had many reasons to be disappointed including the fact that because of the change, 2 precious friends were not able to be at the hospital for Anna Love's birth.  That was heartbreaking to me.  Since I'm being honest I have to admit that in addition to some valid reasons for being sad, I was also sad because things were just not going according to MY plan.  Just hours before going to the hospital I was grumbling and complaining to the Lord about how upset I was that things were not going according to MY plan.  I mean, seriously, how ridiculous is it that I was grumbling and complaining to the very One who perfectly has planned all things.  The very One who created Anna Love and chose her birth day before the beginning of time.  In the retreat I went to right before Anna Love was born I heard a quote about how if God doesn't give us what we've asked for, it's because He has something better planned.  Honestly, we are not always able to see, know, or understand what that something better might be.  I can't really say for sure why I was induced one day later.  I may never know or understand, but I can say that in hind sight it wasn't really all that important.  God answered SO, SO many prayers surrounding Anna Love and her birth, and yet I grumbled and complained and stomped my foot when the slightest detail did not go my way.  Oh, I'm so thankful that He is mercifully with me.

So I'll end with this....

I've taken a lot of time to put the details of Anna Love's birth in writing, so that I will always be able to reflect back and remember.  There are not a lot of things more precious and more miraculous than the birth of a baby.  I feel like every birth story is a love story.  This story is all about how much I love my new baby girl.  I loved her long before her birth day on February 5th.  I LOVE my husband and all my children SO, SO much!!  More than words could ever express!!  I know that this is true of probably every single person who will read these words, BUT the real love story is that God loves us infinitely more than we could ever dare love our husbands or children.  He loved us long before each of us was born.  His love story for us is recorded in His word, and it also includes a birth story...The birth story of His only Son.  His love for us was SO great that He gave that Son for us.  I can't grasp giving up any one of my children for anyone or anything, and yet that is exactly what he did, and it didn't stop there.  He keeps on giving.  Every day.  He gives us His love, His peace, His grace, and His mercy!!  He gives up hope.  How's that for crazy, chaotic, beautiful?!!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the song that's part of the slideshow above.  What are we going to do with this life He gave us????  What will Anna Love do with her life?  My prayer for her life is the same prayer for myself and all my other children.  I pray that she will Know Him and Love Him and Love Others!!!  I pray that she will live for His glory and spend her life singing His praises, because He is worthy.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

We love Him, because He first loved us.  
1 John 4:19

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Anna Love ~ 3 Weeks

First let me say, I'm SOOOOO close to adding some more awesome hospital and newborn pics.  We gave Mrs. Patty SO much work, but she's close to being finished!!  I can't wait to share the pics and the entire birth story!!  :)

Not a lot has changed in the past week other than the fact we are back to real life.  Daddy is fully back to work.  Mom and kiddos are fully back to school.  We actually all started back last week on Monday, February 17th, but I really feel it this week.  I'll be honest and say it's hard.  We are not accomplishing as much as I'd like especially in school.  I'd really like to just sit and hold and feed and cuddle Love Bug all day long.  And eat junk food.  And watch movies.  BUT I can't.  Lots of people say let the house go.  I agree.  But I still have to feed the rest of my crew.  And school must go on.  This is one of the few cons with homeschooling.  The "teacher" doesn't really get maternity leave.  With all of this in mind, let me say this:  For anyone that ever reads this who is pregnant with their first or will eventually be pregnant for the first time, please, please, please sit and hold your baby and do nothing.  Do as much nothing as possible!!  And LOVE it!!  Don't worry about anything else!!  The only time you will ever get this opportunity is when you have the first baby.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my other kiddos to pieces, but I'd love to just cuddle a newborn with no other responsibilities.  Oh well, I guess I will just have to take what I can get.  ;)

Anyway getting back to the weekly update there's not a lot to report, but here it is in a letter...

Anna Love,

We are still just eating you up!!!!  I can't remember if I've mentioned it or not, but we had to actually come up with a rotation system so that all your siblings could take turns helping take care of you.  Crazy, huh?!!!  They all want to love on you, hold you, and help with you so, so much!!!  They are all such great helpers!!  And they are crazy about you!!

I just finished cutting your nails for the 4th time!!  Seriously, your nails grow so fast.  I cut them for the first time the day you were born so that you would not scratch up your pretty little face.  Then coincidentally I cut them at 1 week, 2 weeks, and today at 3 weeks old!  As I cut them today, I was kind of in awe of how sweet and little your hands, fingers, and nails are.  I mean just look at these sweet, little bitty fingers!!!

While I'm speaking of your fingers and hands, I'm reminded of another detail that I keep forgetting to mention.  Your feet!!!!  I think we received the first comments on your feet when we had an ultrasound around 13 weeks.  We were seeing a specialist and as he was doing the scan he said, "Wow, she has amazon feet!!"  A few weeks later I'm pretty sure our regular ultrasound technician also mentioned how big your feet were.  Now that you are actually here on the outside everyone who sees your feet and toes comment on how big they are!!  Funny!!  Guess you'll be taking after Mommy with your feet.  This is bad for shoe shopping.  It's really hard to find cute shoes in such a big size.  And even harder to find cheap, cute shoes in a big size!!  Sorry, Baby!!

For the most part you are still on the same feeding schedule I mentioned last week, but we have had some cluster episodes where I have just fed you constantly!!  These episodes have definitely contributed to us having a harder week, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!!

Another change that I can't believe I'm even sharing, but hey, I'm trying to remember every little detail so here goes...anyway this change is in your poopy diapers.  Before you were having SO many poopy diapers.  Before a feeding, during a feeding, and after a feeding.  There would not be much to them, but oh so many!!  This week you've started storing them up a little.  Now you deposit more in the diaper but less often.  This change is not resulting in us using any less diapers though, because you still have a wet diaper pretty much before every feeding, during every feeding, after every feeding, and several in between.  AND just to keep things fun, you have a sensitive bottom so we have to change you right away to be sure that your little tush doesn't get broke out.  Speaking of diapers, I've started letting Grace and Mary Ruth change your diapers sometimes.  They just LOVE doing it!!  It's a win for all of us!!!

You are still sleeping on basically the same schedule as last week, but you are staying awake for longer periods during the day.  When you are awake during the day, you put on quite a show.  Your best play times are still at night just before bath and bed.  You are so happy and playful.  You seem to really be trying to talk to us, and you are so close to giving us real smiles.  I think you must already know how loved you are!!

I guess I had more to report that I realized.  The only other thing that I can think to add is that your skin is not really peeling anymore.  Another way you are growing up.  Bittersweet.  I can't believe that 3 weeks have already passed!!

We love you to the moon and back, Sweet Love Bug!!!

Here's a few favorite pics from this past week...

Full Tummy = Happy Baby!!

Still sleeping on her side.  Please don't pay any attention to my messy bed!  

First time on her play mat.  You can't really see it, but she was really playing hard here.  

3 weeks old today!!

Here's one last one....Grace, who has really been inspired by Mrs. Patty, set up a little photo shoot and took this pic all by herself.  Sweet!!!  Me may have a budding photographer on our hands.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

More 2 week details

I should probably have waited til today to post about Anna Love's 2 week details.  She had her first well baby check today, so we have a few more details.  All this info is more for me than anyone else, so if you are bored by the little details you might want to check out now.  ;)

Everything checked out great today!!  Today's appointment was pretty simple.  Mostly we discussed feeding, peeing, and pooing!  Fun stuff!  And got new measurements.  We also had to do the 2nd PKU test which is just a routine newborn screening that involves a heal stick to collect blood.

So at the pediatrician's office today, Anna Love weighed 7 lbs 9 ozs.  She is 21 inches long.  These numbers make her a typical Minor baby.  She's long and skinny!  About 75% percentile in length and about 25% percentile in weight.  She's been gaining on average 1/2 ounce per day which is on the low end of what the doc looks for.  Typically they are looking for 1/2 to 1 ounce per day.  Doc says he's satisfied.  Again this is pretty typical for our babies, so I'm also pleased too!  I've always joked that I must make skim milk since my babies gain slowly and stay skinny no matter how well nursing is going!

For the record...

Anna Love was 7 lbs 11 ounces and 20.5 inches at birth.

One day later she was 7 lbs 7 ounces.

The day we were discharged she was 7 lbs 4 ounces.

On Monday, February 10, she had a weight check at the pediatrician's office.
That day she was 7 lbs 4 ounces.

Friday, February 14, she has another weight check, and she was 7 lbs 6 ounces.  Looks like we are climbing back up now!

That brings us to today which again was 7 lbs 9 ounces.

So everything is on track and looking good, but of course we really didn't need the pediatrician to tell us that!!  We all think she's perfect!!!  :)

Anna Love wore an outfit today that big sister Elizabeth wore almost 3 1/2 years ago!!  Here's some pics for comparison.  Both pics of Anna Love are from today.  The first pic of Elizabeth is at 1 week old and the second pic of Elizabeth is at 1 month old.  I think Anna Love looks a lot more like the 1 month old Elizabeth.  I'm going to have to find some time to compare some pics of Anna Love and Mary Ruth sometime soon!  

In other news, Anna Love's diaper bag finally came in!!  Anna Love is the first baby to have a "special" bag!  We didn't really need much for her, so I splurged just a little and had this bag made.  Also I wasn't really finding a bag in stores that I really liked.  I'm all about some pink, gray, and chevron right now!!!  Loving this new bag!!