Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Link Week.

It has been seven days since little Link arrived. It feels like we are relearning everything to do with newborns, since it has been so long since we had one. A lot of it is natural, but I find myself trying my hardest to remember what we did when Pen was little. Even still, this baby has been super awesome so far, and we have really enjoyed him being around.

Our main goal this week was trying to get bebe to sleep during the night rather than be fussy and wakeful from about 2am to 4am. The first couple of nights were doozies, and I was wondering if we'd ever get sleep again. Yesterday we worked hard to keep him up during the day, especially right before bedtime, and it worked! He woke up a few times to eat, but went right back down. I woke up this morning thoroughly rested and chipper for the first time in weeks! Hopefully we keep this up.

This transition for Penny has been mostly smooth. There is lots for her to learn about babies. She is anxious for him to sit up and talk and eat regular food. She was very devastated when she learned he doesn't eat from a bottle, as that was what she was looking forward to the most. But mostly, every time she sees him, she says, "OOoooooh he's SooOooOoO cute!"  We're doing our best to include her in most things with him so she doesn't start to feel like she is fighting for attention. If she asks to hold him or help change his diaper, I try to comply. Mostly it has been awesome having a little gopher around to grab things when needed or throw away diapers.

Now, picture time.

 He already loves the deebee. I am kind of scarred from our experience with Penny, so I am hesitant to reintroduce a binky. But it is just so convenient. I guess we'll deal with it when we get there.

 Penny asked if she could babysit Link in her room. I joined her for a game of fairy princess while baby chilled out on her bed. She thought this was awesome.
 She is constantly asking to hold baby. She is getting better every time.

 Jeff's work sent us a lovely little "diaper cake" as well as a little "Baby Deliver" onesie. It is funny, because the company is called GovDelivery, and the onesie says baby deliver in the company's logo. Ha ha!
 I also wasted no time in getting my favorite pictures printed and hung above his changing table in the living room. I love me some Link.

I realized we didn't even have a jacket in his size when we tried to leave the house the other day. We quickly remedied that this adorable little number. Ah, baby hoodies.

Also, for the record, after having extreme buyers remorse over our beautiful couch, I take it all back. I actually love this couch. While perhaps it isn't the sink-into-est couch in the world, it is very wide, low and comfortable. Perfect for spreading out with baby supplies, late nights and early morning sleeps, and it looks stylish to boot. A great baby couch all around, even with its beige color (we're just always careful to put blankets down when baby is around).

I was determined to take some good hospital pictures now that I am starting to grasp the inner workings of our camera. We had some nice ones with Pen, but I wanted to really capture the moment. Between Jeff and I, I feel like we got some satisfactory shots. Here are some of my favorites:

And a few of my favorites from my photoshoots here at home:

And now Grandma Jill just walked in! It will be nice to have an extra set of hands around here, especially as Jeff eases back into work.

Friday, November 01, 2013

A brief recap of the last nine months...

As you can see, I have been pregnant for the last 8 months or so. Perhaps you may have not known of this before, well, you saw a picture of our new baby... When we learned of this joyous news, I had this crazy idea- to keep it completely removed from everything social media. This idea seemed silly or crazy to some. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt right about it.

It isn't that I didn't want anyone to know or that we were trying to deliberately keep it a secret, we were certainly overjoyed for our new addition. I just felt for several reasons that keeping things a little more personal and private would really enhance my pregnancy for me personally. Everyone has different styles, it's true. Some people love making the big announcements, and I too love hearing about all my friends and their pregnancies. But since Emily had moved away, and most everyone who knows me lives across the country, I thought I would be fun to just keep this an intimate experience for our little family. (I did have a pretty evil idea to not even tell my family until I came out there last August- 7 months pregnant... wouldn't THAT have been a huge surprise! I decided against this, obviously.) In the end I was very pleased with my choice, and it turned out to be a lot easier to do than I originally thought. It was nice that I wasn't tempted to impulsively broadcast my pregnancy woes and annoyances and I kept a very thorough journal account as well, since most things weren't recorded on my blog. And besides, whether or not I told people I was pregnant, they were going to find out I had a baby in 9 months anyway. I figured most people who cared to know about the pregnancy already knew, or would know soon enough. We weren't planning on keeping anything quiet after he was born!

Later, when I started dealing with the preterm labor at 32 weeks, bed rest, hospital stays, etc. I was especially glad that I had kept everything quiet. It was such a personal struggle for me, and I did a lot of praying and soul searching during this time. It was one of the most stressful months of my life trying to get that baby to stay in. I had a huge amount of support from my local friends and my family, and I was glad this wasn't something that I was sharing among a facebook wall filled with people talking about what they ate for dinner that night, arguing about politics, or sharing that funny story about that annoying coworker, etc. Not that there is anything wrong with people sharing those things, but I didn't feel like my situation fit there. It just felt a lot more intimate and personal. But, like I said, everyone is different. Some people find a lot of comfort from sharing these things, which is great! (Although, I do have very strong feelings about publicly broadcasting labor. Come on people, we don't need to hear about your ever changing private parts on facebook. Thank goodness for that hide button!)

Anyway, I just want to thank everyone for their discretion. And I hope anyone else out there is not offended. What started as just a little experiment turned out to be very beneficial for me in the end. Who knows what I will do with the next pregnancy. What is most important is that our little baby Lincoln is here safe and sound and only a LITTLE bit early, which is much better than the few months earlier that he was trying to come.

For fun, here's an extremely brief pic recap of the pregnancy, since there is almost literally none of me on the internet from this pregnancy.

We found out I was pregnant mid February. I started feeling morning sick on this trip to NYC, which was unfortunate. I was a pretty grumpy the whole time...

Jeff's parents came to visit us in April, and we spilled the beans to them. It was kind of hard not to, since I was obviously morning sick. Fortunately it didn't last long. Here we are with the Howells, who were also expecting at the time, but a few months ahead of us.

In May we went to Florida was the Howells. I was just barely starting to show, and feeling really great.

In July, I was about 20 weeks along, and we found out we were having a boy!
We also took a trip to VA for some camping. Camping while pregnant is not the MOST comfortable thing to do...

In August, we headed out to Utah and spent about a month there. It was nice way to pass the long, later months of the pregnancy. The contractions were really starting to pick up and become tiresome...

Nicole hosted the most adorable little baby shower with my dearest friends. If there is one thing I miss about Utah, it is surely my family and friends. They are all the best. It was so fun to stay up late, laughing to tears with my BFFs just like old times. Plus, everyone had adorable babies while I was gone!!

The week we got back from Utah, I started to complain about some back pains and lots of contractions while at a routine 32 week appointment. My doctor took a look, and discovered I was already dilating and 50% effaced. I was admitted to the hospital (luckily my clinic is attached to the hospital). I was put on lots of medications and antibiotics and IVs and things to stop the labor from progressing any further. Ultimately I was put on bedrest with some medicine to try and put things on hold.

Let me just say, I was (and still am) completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and help from my ward, from my friends, from my family, and everyone else who helped us through this really hard time. People graciously volunteered to take Penny for me so many times, meals were spontaneously brought over, people were ready to help at the drop of a pin. I felt so undeserving of all the service and love sent our way. It helped out more than anyone will ever know. It is not easy being on bed rest while taking care of a 3 year old.  A very extra special shout out to Jeff, who was pretty much the most amazing person during all of this. He is the most selfless, caring person ever. He never once complained or made a fuss about all the extra house work, meal prep, child care and waiting on his wife he had to endure. He was so willing to do anything and everything. Penny was also (for the most part) a very well behaved little girl, and did her part to help out as well.

Here I am at 35 weeks. It was at this point I was taken off my meds and bed rest!! Our goal was to have a 36 week+ baby, and we felt pretty confident at this point we could make it.
 My friends here in Maryland also threw me an amazing baby shower! We went to a delicious restaurant in DC called Maggiano's Little Italy Retaurant (yummmmmmy) and they all gave me lots of fun and practical gifts. These girls know me so well :) Thanks for all the hard work put into that fun night out. It was surely needed.

Mom and dad were also out here during the end of my bed rest. What a moral booster and big help they were after I was nearly defeated by that bed rest. They were so helpful, and it was so great to have some company and relief in that final stretch. Penny was devastated when they left :( I was also very sad to say goodbye. (Sorry if you were bored to tears mom and dad! At least that is only half my fault, as the government was shut down, so there was nothing to do anyway, right?!?!)

And here's the last picture of me pregnant! This was last Sunday, exactly at 37 weeks. We made it!! No preemie for us! I had my doctor's appointment 2 days later on Tuesday, and later that evening little Link was born. Good timing, little guy!
So, that is a brief recap of my pregnancy. Now you know, internet! I am so overwhelmed with gratitude, especially to the Lord, for the safe arrival of our precious little baby. The challenges we had to overcome getting the baby here only made us love him more, and I am so grateful for all the many moments along the way that I was able to draw closer to my Savior. I gained such comfort and strength from my Heavenly Father.

And here's my best earthly support team. The Lord has provided me with the greatest husband in the world. I would be lost without Jeff and Pen.
Now, time for that sympathy beard to come off, Jeff!