Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Asleep beside me ~ week 1

We aren't yet sure what we are calling her officially. Some call her Ellie Bliss, some Eleanor, some Bliss.  
I like them ALL.

She, enchanting and lovely one, is asleep on the pillow beside me.

I found myself literally crying in praise this morning, as I thank God for this blessing. I am desperately and HOPELESSLY in complete shattering love with her. I hurt I love her so much.

She fills a void in our family we didn't even know we had. 

SHE IS so very wonderful. She IS the answer to all my prayers. We waited. We prayed. I cried in hope that she would be just right, 'without spot or blemish'. And she is that. And so much more than that. I am soft and humbled by her. And my heart is overwhelmed with love from God.

She sleeps like a baby. But in our family that's a good thing. On night number 3 of being home from the hospital, she woke up ZERO times in the night. ZERO. She went to sleep around 9:00pm and woke up at 6:00am. 

I told Brian, 'That was a real fluke, but I love that she gave me a full night of rest. A gift from God to prepare me for the long weeks ahead.'

The next night, unbelievably, the SAME thing. I know it's another fluke, gift from God situation, she slept from 10:00pm until 7:30am.

Falling asleep on my stomach has just been a treat. I have missed it. But much to my horror, I always wake up on my back. what???!? I think it's from all the pregnant months sleeping on my back. 

I have so many pictures that I don't know when I will ever get them posted. But I HAD to start with these. 

My friend and photographer, Kim Lanier, came an hour and a half after Ellie Bliss was born. I texted Kim in the very early morning of April 10th, the morning I was in labor. Telling her I wanted labor to be over by noon and could she come an hour or two after that. She said she could come, but needed a babysitter to watch her little ones. Done. My friend met her in the parking lot and watched her boys so that Kim could run upstairs and photograph my little girls.

These little girls had waited for the birth of this baby for so long. This was a WAY bigger deal than Christmas. A WAY bigger deal than a trip to Disney. Waiting 41 weeks for something is like waiting 3 years in kid-time.

They couldn't have been more excited. IMPOSSIBLE. And equally, I couldn't be more thrilled to see them that excited. I was so interested in seeing their little faces. Their body language. Watching. And having it photographed to look back on. Captured reactions. The looks. The excitement. The nerves. The anticipation. If this picture doesn't say it all...

Crying baby...our reactions. (you may have to scroll to the side to see everyone.)

4 wonderful little girls and one big husband that I love with ALL the fullness of my heart. 

It's always interesting to get the feedback from my blog. And especially after the 'natural' labor and delivery stories hit the computer. Whew. I've heard from so many that I have to say a few more things about that experience. 

The first few moments after birth, natural or however the baby comes to be born, is surreal. I think my nurse saw that in me moments after the baby was born. I stood up, started walking around. With no where to go. Just ambling around the room. Almost confused. Not taking pictures, not really taking anything in. I'm sure, had I ever read a childbirth book, there would be something about this in the book. About post-birth. And what an awe-filled time it is. 

One thing I have done in the past week is process some of that day. Her BIRTH day. When I blogged the night she was born. I was on a high. A natural hormone induced high. That oxytocin release is like Love Potion #9 for me. It gave me energy and kept me up that night, and THAT was when I blogged. 

If I made the birth sound glamorous. It's not. Absolutely not. It's the hardest thing I have ever done. It makes running a half marathon look like an Easter egg hunt. Or a trip to the dairy queen. I go into natural childbirth with fear and trembling knowing the amount of pain it takes and what I have to endure. But that God will deliver me. And that, for my own reasons, is my choice for birthing my babies. If I were to ever have another child, that would be my route again. 

My friend who has 5 children, and I were talking this morning. Laughing actually, about the non-glamorous side of Mothering. The spit up, late nights, early mornings, diapers, on and on. Can't even think of a list. Too many unglamorous things to add. It's tough work with no pay. Period. 

To put the non glamorous side of childbirth in perspective. 

I consider Brian to be super duper duper strong. He is football stud, cross fit hero, the Jiu Jitsu champion of the world (almost). :) He's just plain tough. 

When I was having contractions one time he offered me his hand. Maybe out of sympathy. Maybe wanting to be involved. Maybe because he just wanted me to not feel alone. I grasped hold of his right hand with my right hand and held on to it. Contractions usually run for about a minute. So for that minute I was holding on to him as he was holding on to me. 

After that, it happened over and over. 

2 days after her birth, we got to talking about that time. He informed me that I wasn't just holding his hand during the contractions. Unbeknownst to me, I was PULLING. And that I wasn't just pulling, I was about to rip his arm off. He says that after I would let go, I would lay my arm down on the side of the bed and my arm would shake from pulling so hard. Pulling. Shake. And I didn't even realize I was doing anything other than holding his hand. He was blown away by the way I was pulling. Not because I'm so strong. I am really not strong. Cardiovascularly, I feel strong. Muscles, I do not have. He said I almost pulled him off the floor. The pain of labor was so intense and the natural hormones that are released to help you through, I guess, give you supernatural strength.

Brian's elbow has been popping, with some pain, since then.

If I had to think of a 2nd place for difficulty level for me after childbirth, it would be... sawing my leg off with a steak knife, only after pummeling it with a sledge hammer.

Many of these pics are snapped really quick with one of our iPhones or a friends phone and texted to us.

Pregnancy clothes are almost all packed away. They will sit in the top of my closet...don't know if they will ever get used again. I have no interest in even thinking of it right now. Labor is the hardest thing. When I talk about it, I cry. It was TOUGH. Brian can't even talk about some of it. He just shakes his head. I did talk about it yesterday and starting profusely sweating.

She's here, laying in my arms as I type. I cannot get enough of her. But maybe it's because I have to split her so many ways. So many big sisters and friends want a snuggle. I'm usually last. Or maybe it's first. Since technically I am with her at the start of every morning. But I am not complaining. She's wonderful. 

There's a Mama I know who says with the addition of each new baby, it's like one of those old fashioned scales. For a little bit, one side goes WAY down, but before you know it all evens out and both sides of the scales are side by side again.

Evelyn hasn't been herself. Just off a little. Maybe it's that she is smack in the middle. Not the oldest. Not the youngest. What does this new baby mean? Wonder if she thinks, where will I fit in now?   Her song-in-her-step has been gone some recently. So Brian and I took her out for 'Ev Day'. A special day of filling up her love tank. Just her and Mommy and Daddy (and the tiny sidekick). It was the baby's first outing, on day 5. Actually my first outing too, I don't think I'd left the house in 5 days either.

We took her to Mellow Mushroom. She wanted pizza. Even ordered a Sprite. We laughed and laughed. And filled and filled her love bucket. We asked what she wanted to do after lunch. 'SWIMMING!' So that was next. She has a song in her step again. Brian wants to have a 'date' with each girl every week. 

'Cheers to Ev day!'

Brian's new iPhone screen saver.

Even slipped out of the house for a date night, just the two of us, on day 5. Words can't say how much I adore this guy. 
Trillions more pictures and stories to come...just have to find the time...

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