Wednesday, May 30, 2012

project 52: a new hope, weeks three and four.


After a couple of harrowing nights, I am finally able to get this posted. Hope has been really fussy for most of the weekend as well as Monday and yesterday. Her fussiness was at full steam during the evenings, which is when I am normally most alert and able to carve out a few minutes to blog. Didn't happen Monday. Then it didn't happen yesterday. Today, her fussiness is a bit less, and I am so glad. Bless her wee heart. Her little stomach doesn't seem to be upsetting her quite as much, which is a good thing. And my husband was kind enough to let me have some time alone so I could do some work on my computer. I love him. He really can be the sweetest.

Ahhh, so now, this beautiful bundle of baby in all of her intense beautimousness.

First, last week. She was three weeks old. Here is what she looked like last Monday.

Her eyes are like these beautiful marbles.

Little baby feet. Not so wrinkly anymore. And her legs are getting fatter. Heart.

Caught her in mid-motion.

And now, Memorial Day.

This past Monday, Hope turned four weeks old. A full month. There were points in the day when I wanted to cry, because yet again, here I am with a wee one that is growing and changing a little too fast for me. But oh, the sweet changes. She studies me so intently, recognizes when her siblings are in the room, coos so softly, and, like all babies, looks like an angel when sleeping. And she loves snuggling with Mommy and cuddling with Daddy. 

This is what she looked like on Monday.

"Who is it? Who did it?"

Those marbles for eyes again.

My heart is all aflutter.

Luckily, she is still resting peacefully. 

Whoops. Spoke too soon. 

Luckily, I am done.

Monday, May 21, 2012

project 52: a new hope, week three. (darn technical difficulties!)

My daughter is three weeks old today. I have some photos that I took today that I was ready to share, but my Internet connection keeps going in and out and the photos won't load. Sigh.

I will include those photos of her and all her cuteness in next week's post, because I am done fooling with this tonight.

But I will say that earlier today, I noticed that she folds her legs up by her stomach a little less often, preferring to keep them stretched out. She's used to being out of the womb now, and in that regard, a little less newborn-ish.

And she stares at me, and I stare back at her. And so many times, she gets a little smile going. And we just love each other so much. Her wonderful sweetness fills my heart with incredible joy.

-natty posted this using BlogPress from her iPhone.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

on recovery, chapter three.

In two more days, on Monday, my youngest daughter will be three weeks old.

She loves to stare up at me. She smiles often. Involuntarily, yes, but it is still nice to see.

She eats a lot. She sleeps a lot. And she recognizes and turns toward her daddy's voice. She also seems quite interested in her siblings' faces.

Earlier in the week, on Wednesday, I noticed that her legs and feet are slightly fuller now, and less newborn-wrinkly. Her thighs have a little more fat on them. Her precious little thighs.

Then yesterday (Friday, Postpartum Day 19), I took her out by myself for the first time. I had to go to my midwife/obgyn office at the hospital to have my blood pressure checked. That was... an ordeal. I am discovering that she definitely does not like being in her car seat. Talk about stressing out.

But my postpartum recovery period is getting better. I used the last of that knit underwear that they give you at the hospital. Finished that up yesterday. And there is a lot less bleeding. I am also less fearful of the bathroom now.

I also weigh less now than I did when I found out I was pregnant. I do wish I had a scale handy at home so that I could weigh the baby.

A considerable amount of weight loss in not quite three weeks (about 23 pounds) is good news. The not-so-good news is, I am now on blood pressure medication.

My blood pressure was still high when they checked it yesterday, so they put me on medication for it. I have to go again next week to have it checked. My hope is that in the coming weeks everything will level off and I will be able to come off of the medication. This is abnormal, according to my midwife, especially because up until 37 weeks my blood pressure was always normal or low. My game plan is to start exercising more regularly once I am fully recovered. That should help a great deal.

Meanwhile, I feel it is a small price to pay for such a treasure of a little girl. It's amazing how anything and everything seems worth it to come home with a sweet bundle of baby.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

project 52: a new hope, week two.

Long couple of days. Enjoyable ones. I over-exerted myself a bit, I think. Went to church twice yesterday, and today was out and about for most of the day, so my lower end is really feeling it. It was worth it though, because the week has gotten off to a lovely start.

My sweet Hope is two weeks old today. She looks like this.

She is the sweetest thing.

Side note: She was two weeks old on Monday. It is now Tuesday. I was late getting this posted. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

on recovery, chapter two.

Getting back into the habit of blogging regularly is not as difficult as I thought it would be. Good thing.

It is now postpartum day eleven. In three more days, my youngest daughter will be two weeks old. Thinking about how quickly the days go by, it makes me want to record everything. But of course I really can't record everything, so for many situations I will have to rely on just my memories and nothing recorded for posterity. That is a hard pill to swallow, since after four children some of my memories are vague, foggy, and running together in such a way that I don't always know for sure which memory is associated with which child.

Yesterday, I noticed that my baby's hands seemed ever-so-slightly different. Her long, slender fingers seemed to have a little more fat on them, and her hands seemed a tiny bit less wrinkly. (Her feet are still wrinkly, thank goodness.) Earlier in the week, on day eight (Tuesday), her umbilical cord clamp finally detached. And she is spending much of her waking moments studying my face and her surroundings.

I am still in a good deal of pain, especially if I spend too much time out of bed. I still need rest most of the day. Motrin is still not having a whole lot of impact. And I am still terrified to go to the bathroom. Number One is no longer uncomfortable, but everything else is still horrifying, as is the prospect of everything else. Pregnant ladies out there, DON'T forget to take the stool softeners every day for a while after having your baby.

My legs are skinny again, and no more swelling in my feet. Yay.

But the heartburn is still there, though less severe. Boo.

BUT no more nausea! Yay! That makes me very happy, especially since I DID finally vomit, in the hospital, later on in the evening after I had the baby.

I suspect that it may be another month or so before I am done bleeding, aching, and fearing the toilet. But I am thankful for small victories... I think since I've been home I've only missed brushing my teeth two or three days. I also successfully tied my Moby Wrap yesterday, although next time I need to do it a little bit tighter since the baby is still very small. I didn't realize those Mobys were so long!

And, as I stated before, chocolate and sweets in general make me happy again. Yesterday it was homemade chocolate chip cookies (twice this week, actually). Today it was brownies. Thank God for wonderful friends who bring you food after you've come home with a newborn. It really helps.

Monday, May 07, 2012

a new project 52: a new hope, week one.

I did not do a "one little word" for this year, because I spent the last eight months away from my blog. Back in December, I'm not sure I would have known for certain what my word would be. I was in the midst of traveling back and forth (I'll share more about that later but there are a few photos in this post), overcome much of the time with nausea and feeling generally miserable. Blogging was the furthest thing from my mind.

Taking photos was also not the highest priority for me, due to the same reasons. So, although I had totally planned on starting a new photo project (either every day or every week) at the start of the year, it just didn't happen. I guess I just wasn't ready.

But now, here we are. The start of May. And many things are different. Of course, the biggest thing is my baby girl is here. She has inspired me to write again, to get back into a creative routine, and to take many, many photos. Of my family. And definitely of her in this, her first year.

This time goes by so freaking fast. I hate it. I mean, I love it. But I hate it. It just seems like everything is over or years have passed in the blink of an eye. So I am going to chronicle what I can in a new 52-week project. I'll watch her grow that way. It isn't like I haven't taken tons of pictures of my three other kids. I'm just going to be very deliberate about it with her.

Her name is Hope, and today she is a week old. I will share her birth story and photos from her first days very soon. But for now, here is what she looks like today.

In her car seat, she is so tiny.

The back of her tiny head, with her gorgeous hair.

Her tiny little toes.

Sweet face.

And the sweet peach fuzz on her ear.

Indeed, the Lord has given us a tremendous new Hope this year. One that is everlasting.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

on recovery.

It's write-without-looking time! Here goes...

I had some very tasty chocolate cake for dessert tonight. A very kind friend brought it over with dinner yesterday. I am so thankful for help with food right now. I am also thankful for sweets. Especially chocolate. I had a mild aversion to sweets and chocolate on and off throughout my pregnancy, so being able to enjoy them again is great. Or... maybe it's not so great... the cake was great.

I can't find the one small pack of nursing pads that I have.

Speaking of nursing, I feel like I am learning everything all over again. Not just with nursing. With everything. This is my fourth child, but my third child is four years old. This all seems so new. And a tad unfamiliar. Again. Despite my experience with three other babies over the last fifteen years.

Chocolate helps me feel good. I need to feel good, since the baby blues are very real. They have nothing to do with my baby girl. I absolutely adore her and am completely over the moon about her. But dang these hormonal mood swings. I know it's perfectly normal, but thank God I've got some chocolate.

Still haven't dealt completely with the grief. The baby blues don't help. The brief episodes of depression during nursing don't help. Mother's Day coming up most definitely does not help. Darn Hallmark holiday.

It's still absolutely terrifying to have to go to the bathroom.

And yes, I am inclined to agree that the postpartum cramping gets progressively worse with each child. Motrin and even Percoset seemed to only work at their convenience. Not good.

But there is a lot of good on which to focus, like the fact that seven pounds and ten ounces feel like a watermelon-sized bowling ball in the womb, but out of the womb they are so light and feathery and freakishly fragile-feeling and delightfully squishy and soft.

That baby smell should be bottled and preserved.

As should all of that soft fuzz that covers her tiny body, and the sweet sound that her baby breath makes.

Her toes are so little.

And her eyes dance, and stare, and glisten. And she smiles. Even though it's involuntary, she still does it. Quite a bit. These are times that I never want to forget.

I'll share her birth story in the coming week, as well as start a new photo project. I finally decided what to do.