Saturday, March 19, 2016

Will's First Month!

ONE MONTH OLD!! • I love being cuddled all the time •
I love eating and I am growing big and strong •
I gained 9 oz in the last 3 days and am now 10 lbs 6 oz •
 I have almost outgrown all of my newborn clothes and diapers •
momma and dada are sad that I'm getting so big •
I love riding in the car and in my stroller •
I fall asleep instantly in my wrap •
I hang out in my crib every morning and talk to myself •
 I am mesmerized by ceiling fans •
I love my puppy June and when I cry she gives me
kisses on my head to calm me down • my sweet baby sounds
melt my dada's heart • I love my Mickey stuffed animal from Disneyland •
my red hair makes momma really happy!
One whole month of life has passed for this little dude and we are besotted! You can read some of the fun facts about him above in his first month! One of the most fun parts of this first month was introducing Will to our puppy June! When we were in the hospital with Will, June stayed at my in laws house while we got settled in as parents. I knew June was great with kids, since she had a ton of exposure to Emolyn, Elsie, Jonah, and Nathan and just LOVED them, but she had never been around tiny babies before. I wasn't super nervous, but I will admit I was very curious about how she would react.
Aaron went to pick up June and bring her home and when she walked into the house, I had Will in my lap with my hands blocking his face. She had the chance to sniff and lick and get use to him without the worry that she would lick his mouth or eyes right off the bat. After a few sniffs, she generally was disinterested and wandered off to explore the rest of the house. We then put Will in the Rock n Play and let June get use to him in there. She settled herself right down next to it and was content to just be near him. I think June was more weirded out by me than by Will. I was different than how she had left me. June had been obsessed with me for the last couple months of my pregnancy and mainly obsessed with my bump. Since that was mostly gone, she didn't know what to do with me. I smelled different to her and mainly cause I smelled like him.
She didn't really like being around me for a while and mostly stuck to Aaron when he was around. But June and Will became fast friends with June often licking him when he was sad or just was in need of a bath. We soon were joking that Will was June's puppy and she was a very attentive mother to him.

After that first week of a lot of firsts, the days generally blended together. Day was night and night was day for Will, so we started trying to adjust him to understanding general sleeping patterns and when to try to get most of his energy out. Soon we had a pretty good rhythm and while he was waking up regularly at night to eat, he was settling back in right away and didn't expect to play or hang out much. He started  giving us 4 hours stretched sometimes and since he was growing so well, the doctor told us we could let him sleep as long as he wanted and didn't need to try to wake him up to eat if he wasn't doing it on his own. This was glorious for us and allowed me to relax a bit with his nursing and sleeping patterns.

Will slept in the rock n play in our room right next to my side of the bed so I had easy access to him. It was lovely because I definitely had new mom jitters and would wake up regularly, even if he didn't, and would need to make sure he was ok. The Snuza Shawn and Nicole gave us for our shower was AMAZING! Not only does it promise to sound an alarm if it stops sensing Will's stomach rising and falling when breathing, but it also has a tiny blinking light that flashes with each of his breaths. So while I trusted an alarm would sound if something was wrong, it was nice to be able to see the blinking light whenever I wanted to.

Aaron still had his mornings with Will and eventually as the weather really got lovely in the morning, Aaron started taking Will out for walks while I slept in. He would bundle our little guy up in all his cute hats and warm blankets and take off around the neighborhood enjoying the fresh air. Will adores being outside and so loved taking in all the lights and feeling the breezes and hearing all the rustling leaves and sounds of the world around him.

We started also taking family walks in the evening. The walking helped me to recover from surgery and gain some strength back in my core and legs. Honestly though I would be pretty beat after just making it around the block.

We also started venturing out as a family for shopping and eating out! We did our first day out all together (that wasn't to the doctors) when Will was just 1 week and 1 day! We of course went to Target and then to Mellow Mushroom for lunch. I also did my first public nursing session as we waited for our food and crushed it!

Will also had his first bath at home after being out in all those public places.
The first bath experience was general traumatic for all of us (haha!). We decided to start with the bathroom sink for bathing since he just seemed so little for his baby bath tub. I put a towel at the bottom for padding and made sure the water was a good temperature. Will however HATES being naked and so while Aaron got him ready and was making his way from the nursery to the bathroom with a naked baby, Will pooped ALL OVER HIM! Runny baby poop too! We quickly wiped him up and put him in the sink bath and then he proceeded to poop all over the towel and muck up the water. It was ridiculous! Will would continue to poop every single time we gave him a bath, even if he had just filled up a diaper right before. It was his way of protesting his LEAST favorite activity of his little life. We eventually transitioned him to the baby bath, which was just as awful since he was so cold and miserable. It wasn't until well after his first month that he was big enough to just put in the bath without the hammock for newborns and he started LOVING bath time.

Other fun first month highlights included taking Newborn photos with Miss Sarah, celebrating Emolyn's birthday, and meeting Dr Schwartz!

There also were a lot of cuddles and moments of sleeping when we could find it. We took every advantage of the fact that Will was so tiny and could sleep right on us.

And eventually Will got use to bath time... and his favorite part of bath time, being the end when he was wrapped nice and tight in a towel and snuggled up with one of us.

Then sadly after 2.5 weeks of having daddy home with us to play and cuddle and relax as a family, Aaron finally went back to work on February 29th. Aaron was ready to go to work and regain the
normalcy of a schedule. We were ready to try our hand at what our every day would look like where we weren't essentially in "vacation mode", but I definitely will admit that I was nervous about having Will all to myself with no relief. Aaron had gone out for little spurts of time while he was off work, so I definitely had experience with just Will and I for several hours, but this was the beginning of our normal day in a day out. I planned a day where absolutely no one was planning on coming over and Will and I would do absolutely nothing but relax all day. We had had a pretty steady stream of visitors in and out of the house his first few weeks of life and I loved having everyone meet our little man, but the idea of a quiet house with just Will was a welcome idea. It hit me after Aaron had left for the day, that not only was Aaron going back to work, but I essentially was starting my new job too... and it was my DREAM JOB! It hadn't occurred to me until that moment that this was my first day of the job I had been dreaming of and longing for my entire life! I was finally a full-time stay-at-home mom!! I got giddy at the realization that this was the rest of my life! Then of course I documented it with a picture!

It was such a fun and sweet day... and pretty darn easy I must say. But even so, when Aaron came home, both Will and I were found fast asleep and ready for daddy cuddles!

Will and I eventually settled into a nice routine of walking daddy to the door, getting dressed and heading out to Dutch Bros Coffee for momma's iced coffee fix. Eventually our finances couldn't handle the almost daily gas and coffee purchase, even though I was able to work my punch card to a free coffee every other week. We ultimately invested in a cold brew Toddy in order to be more cost effective and I created a drink I liked a million times better than Dutch Bros.

Anyway, after coffee, we would sit outside on the patio and enjoy the fresh air. Will LOVED being outside! After we were outside for a bit, Will would be ready for a nap. Then after his first nap we would either run an errand or go for a walk around the neighborhood. Then momma and Will would both take a nap, then someone may stop by, but usually that would take us into the evening where we would relax and watch TV until daddy came home.

Will first month of life was so incredibly sweet and full of cuddles! I look back on everything and my memory seems to be soaked in a dreamy, fuzzy haze of baby smell and cuddles and sleep. It is so crazy that he is already so  big, but I also feel like the pace so far is to my liking. Just enough movement forward and growth where I know Will is growing big and strong, but also slow enough for me to soak him in and revel in his tininess. I never in a million years thought that I would adore this stage as much as I do. I thought I would want to push forward and skip to the toddle age when he was more responsive and communicative and slightly more capable of doing things himself, but instead I find myself begging God to make Will the first baby to never grow up!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Will's First Week!

I want to freeze time and keep him this tiny forever! He is pure magic and I can't stop kissing and snuggling and holding him all day every day! I get emotional all the time at the tiniest things like his small finger nails, and the fact that someday he will grow up and get married and leave me. Aaron finds my emotions endlessly entertaining and even I quickly laugh at myself at how easily I cry.

I feel a bit guilty that I spend all day every day just loving and watching this little boy (with the occasional nap and meal and load of laundry), but then I remember this is my job! This is what I am supposed to be doing all day!

One week old today! Life has been pretty blissful with 

this little man for the last week! I asked Aaron yesterday 
how we lived life before this tiny person arrived.
 I miss him when I'm sleeping, I miss him even when I am 
holding him and look away for a second. I cried this morning when 
I realized he'll never be this little again! I cry pretty much all 
the time cause he overwhelms me with how perfect he is. 
There were 6 minutes at the end of my delivery where we 
nearly lost him completely and the fact that he is perfect is 
something I praise God for every moment. William, 
you have completely wrecked your dad and
 I in the most beautiful and profound way.

Fun facts: He is a nursing CHAMP! 
From the get go in the recovery room he took to it like a duck to water • 
he loves being swaddled • he hates being naked • 
he also HATES having his diaper changed • 
he has gained over 6oz since we came home from the hospital • 
he peed or pooped through every sleeper we had in one night • 
he has the most gorgeous fluffy copper hair • 
we are already doing tummy time cause his neck and head are 
so strong and he likes looking from side to side • 
he slept over 5 hours in a row last night... 
Which made up for the sleepless night we had the night before • 
he loves loves sleeping on daddy's chest • he loves his mommy!

Nicknames we have for him in this first week - Bud, Buddy, Buggy, Bug, Booger (which Aaron hates), sweetest boy, sweetest guy, dude, duder, little man, sweetness, little love, little bear... etc.

Aaron and I brought Will home from the hospital on February 14th! For two people who could NOT care less about Valentine's Day, this made that date very special. We drove home at a glacial pace and every little speed bump, I would look over at our little guy to make sure he was ok - yes, I sat in the back seat with him while Aaron drove us.
I also totally cried most of the drive home because... well... hormones. Also the reality that he was ours and we would get to keep him forever and ever just came to full reality for me.

We were greeted home by an empty and yet spotlessly clean house and a sweet banner Laurie and Ashley made for us! Also there were some delicious cookies and sweet little decorations and flowers to welcome our little arrival. Jeez did our home feel huge with this tiny little life with us. I immediately took Will into our bedroom and laid him out on our bed to take more pictures! 

 He was just so tiny! Even his little coming home outfit was SWIMMING on him! Fun Fact: When newborn clothing says "up to 7lbs" it's lying. I believed them and so decided to get a 0-3 month outfit for his "coming home" outfit since we was born over 8 lbs... turns out the newborn outfits would fit him for well after he passed the 7 lb mark! Silly Old Navy!

We settled into home life and pretty much were prepared for all hell to break loose for our first night at home because that is how the world works. When your baby is a DREAM in the hospital, you kind of expect the shoe to drop and them to flip on you as soon as all your help has gone away. But Will did quite well for his first night! My milk came in that first night and so I think he was definitely excited to be eating. However, this fact backfired on us for his second night at home because his poor little digestive system took some time to adjust and he has just terrible gas and was one sad baby! We actually ended up calling our pediatricians office that second night because we were nervous something was wrong.
They assured us that everything was ok and that it was normal for a little one's digestive system to need time to learn how to take actual milk and not just colostrum. It also didn't help him that my let down was a bit forceful, which meant that he had to gulp down his milk to keep up with the flow and that meant LOTS of gas bubbles in his tummy. I had to stop him mid feed just to burp him so he wouldn't be in pain later.

I was quite reassured of his progress when we had his follow up pediatrician appointment on our second day home from the hospital and he had gained 6 ounces in 2 days since leaving the hospital, which put him over his birth weight and meant he was growing JUST FINE! I believe they told me I had super milk, which basically made me feel like the greatest super hero ever! There is nothing better than knowing that you are doing what is best for your child and making sure they are growing strong. I was lucky enough to be able to nurse Will, but even if it hadn't gone that way, the important thing is that no matter how it happens - bottle or breast - when your baby is growing big and strong, it is just the best!

Aside from pediatrician appointments and digestive hurdles to overcome, our first few days home were blissful.

Will got to meet his PopPop on our first full day at home. It was really incredibly sweet to see my dad meet my son. He walked in and was delighted at the sight of our sweet baby and sat down with me for introductions and some pictures. Sadly that only lasted a few minutes and then he wanted to go and sit out in the car, so we visited with my mom for another 15 minutes and then they headed back home. I thought the whole visit that it was going as I predicted in my head and I didn't really expect my dad to last very long or be overly interested in Will, so I was thankful for no surprised.
But as soon as Aaron closed the door after we said goodbye to mom and dad I absolutely lost it and just wept for what was lost. I hate dementia. I really do. The time I introduced my son to my dad shouldn't have looked that way. It was not SUPPOSED to be that way. My dad would have loved Will and been so proud of him. He would have scooped him up into his arms and sat for a long time with Will on his chest just taking in the sweetness of him. He would have hugged me and asked how I was feeling and told me how proud he was of me and how excited he was that the thing I longed for most in my whole life had finally come true.

He would have gotten emotional watching me be a mom. He would have been present with me. He would have been at the hospital leading the waiting room in prayer and comforting my mom and praying for mine and Will's safety. And we would have recounted God's protection and faithfulness over that time in the comfort of my house, sitting on my couch. And as that vision flooded over me as he drove away, I grieved what I had lost. I grieved for Will. I grieved for the fact that Will wouldn't know his PopPop personally and won't get to experience the amazing man he was.
I grieved what Will probably never would, because he wouldn't know any other PopPop than the man who was sick.

I was sad because we didn't get a picture of my dad with Will in the yellow blanket. My dad wasn't really interested in holding Will, which again wasn't surprising, but I so badly wanted a picture of the two of them like Shawn & Nicole had with each of their kids. My mom did get some sweet pictures of Will in the yellow blanket.

Other than big introductions, Will's first week finished out nice and lazy at home with just dad and I. Aaron's work was generous and gave him 2 weeks of paternity leave and then after our delivery went awry, they decided to let him start the 2 weeks from the time we got home from the hospital, so he ended up having 2.5 weeks at home with us. This gave him ample time to relax with our little dude and help take care of Will and I.
Aaron would wake up with Will in the early morning and after I fed him, would take him into the living room and let me keep sleeping while the two of them played video games together - with Will sleeping in Aaron's arms of course. Daddy was in complete heaven with his little dude!

I quickly resigned myself to taking MILLIONS of pictures of Will! Everything he did was amazing. He loved the Rock N Play and it was the perfect thing to put him in while we were around the house. It rocked itself, so he slept SO GOOD in it. We also started regular tummy time at home because even in the hospital he was lifting his head and looking around at the world. The doctor told us that tummy time was a must to make sure his neck grew strong and his head stayed nice and round. So this first week I have WAY too many pictures of him looking so cute just laying around.

Oh my, he is just so squishy and cute! I loved being able to put him in the cutest tiniest clothes and and wrap him up warm in a swaddle. We quickly learned that we needed to get him more newborn jammies because he pooped through all the ones we owned in ONE NIGHT! There is nothing like changing a baby and changing crib sheets with your spouse in the middle of the night! We had an effective system though, so that helped curb the tension.

The people at our church were so incredibly generous and my mother in law set up a meal plan for people to bring us food for Will's first few weeks of life and we got the most delicious meals! Will also got to meet more people as they brought food over. My friend Anne brought me yummy cookies that help with my milk production and other people came over just to meet our tiny prince and bring sweet gifts and well wishes. Aaron and I took every opportunity to tell our harrowing tale! I also perfected nursing and eating at the same time!

By the time Will turned a week old, he was quite the social butterfly but he still had some very important people still to meet - his cousins! Shawn & Nicole brought the kiddos over for their introductions! They walked in while I was finishing up feeding him, so they had to wait until I took my nursing cover off to fully see him. But they were absolutely fascinated by his tiny toes!

Emolyn was the first to hold him and she was a pro! Seeing her holding my tiny son was surreal! The little girl who made me an aunt with the little boy who made me a mom. I couldn't take it in.
Elsie was next to hold him and she just cooed over how sweet he was!
Jonah was very nervous holding Will and as soon as he was in his arms, Jonah froze in concentration.
Nathan at first didn't really want to hold him at all. I think there was a piece of him that had expected an older baby who would be more interactive, so I think he was a bit disappointed and thrown off.
All in all the general consensus amongst the group was that Will was awesome and they loved him.

And just like that, Will's first week was complete! Of course we commemorated his milestone with a "few" photos:

And then Will was spent!