We have had Baby Reese for almost two weeks now! Sometimes I find myself caught off guard when she cries, like "Oh, there is a baby here?!?" But, mainly, it has been really wonderful and better than I ever expected from the initial transition.
I am fully aware that at some point very soon, she will "wake up" and that fussiness doesn't even usually start until 3 weeks. But, for now, I am just savoring the sweet moments. I cannot even believe I am saying this, but I think I finally get why people say "you enjoy that sweet baby." I am exhausted and in pain and yada, yada, but she really is so snuggly and sweet and perfect for right now. (I am terrified to jinx this, and am pretty sure the next post will be titled: "Diva #2 is awake" or "we are miserable" or "she never, ever stops crying). I am a very positive, happy person, but I do NOT do well being blind sided. I would rather prepare for the worst- not in a negative way, but managing expectations is key to my happiness.
For right now, I am really happy with this girl!
MeeMaw and Granddaddy were here to help us welcome her home! It was nice to be surrounded by family for the first week.
Hughes went back to work...well, immediately, even while I was in the hospital. He was on the floor below me or even in the room next to me, so it was fine.
His group is AMAZING/WONDERFUL/FANTASTIC, and would have let him off...but it seemed dumb to have so much help at once. So, he is getting a week off in March.
We were REALLY grateful for grandparent/aunt help!
Please check out Lily's face. MeeMaw had some kind of craft surprise, and Lily is PUMPED.
Granddaddy was such a sport- it was freezing, but he hung out with her playing basketball.
I was unprepared for how much Lily would miss us while we were in the hospital. So, like an idiot, I promised her I would read her bedtime stories and put her to bed the very first night we got home. OF COURSE, it was time for Reese to eat at that moment. I couldn't wait on Lily's bedtime, because if she goes to bed too late, she gets up even earlier. So, I just figured it could be both of their story time. I was in SO MUCH pain, but I somehow managed to walk up the stairs, nursing Reese and making sure Lily was actually following.
She NEVER gets snacks in her room, but we were feeling especially guilty about the intruder in her life, so she got to bring up popcorn.
Which promptly spilled everywhere the second we got upstairs.
So, I tried to read stories, acting totally normal, while in miserable pain and trying to nurse a 48 hour old. It was maybe not my best start to life as a mom of two. I was basically terrified of the next few years if they were going to be as hard as that 20 minutes.
But, nobody got hurt, and it is actually funny now.
We may not be thriving, but we are surviving.
Some parts of the recovery have been amazing (i.e. have I mentioned Reese's 40% head?!?). But, the uterine contractions/cramping (is uterine a word?) have been MISERABLE. I could barely walk across the room for the first week; I was like an old lady, shuffling, hunched over, moaning. Getting out of bed at night to nurse her felt like running a marathon every time. I had it with Lily, especially during nursing, but it was not this painful/crippling/intense. I think maybe my ridiculously long labor didn't help? I was basically having contractions every minute for 20 hours, so my uterus probably hates me and Reese and is getting revenge. I remember this moment- I was in so much pain that it hurt to even talk to Lily. Day 12 was the first day I could move normally.
Lily drew a picture her first day at school post-Reese. Mama and Lily. It is equal parts precious and sad.
*Notice her little flowers on the bottom, with leaves and petals!*
MeeMaw brought some precious additions to the nursery. Can you see the adorableness of that pillow? I swapped out the Lorax for Yertle for the chair. If you come to my house, make sure I show you the nursery, because it is really SO MUCH FUN in person. Not to be overly humble or anything.
A GORGEOUS quilt. MeeMaw is talented. It is so SEUSSY!
We had to visit the pediatrician for a 4 day check up. She is perfect and healthy. She weighed 7.1 (7.5 at birth), so I was happy she seemed to be eating. Lily was never this small, and she was back up to 8 pounds at her 4 day checkup, so Reese seems extra fragile.
Meemaw and Granddaddy will spoil a girl- she got to go to the park!
Everyone kept trying to take her away from me, which was so wonderful! I love her, but I have been in so much pain that there was no way to play with her.
Chuck-E-Cheez! How great is this dancing shot?
Writing notes with Daddy.
Our wonderful friends/semi-neighbors brought us dinner the NIGHT we came home. I highly recommend these delicious ice cream bars.
Don't worry- we still hung out quite a bit.
This may be the best thing that has ever happened to me. My friend, Emily (Stella's mommy), gave it to me. It is amazing.
First sponge bath.
So many sister secrets.
(Hughes took all of these! Didn't he do great?)
Sara and Aaron (of the middle of the night fame) came to visit/have adult conversation with us/bring lots of surprises!
Our friends, the Stocstills, came to visit, too, but I didn't get any pictures. They brought tons of goodies to spoil all of us. Lily LOVES their little boy, Colt, who just turned 2. It is still weird to me that we have REAL friends! :)
And...our friends, the NouNou's (one of the partners in Hughes' group) have been amazing and just keep appearing with gifts and flowers and food and kindness. They brought Lily and Anderson hospital goodies and came over last night (my first 24 hour period alone with both kids) with dinner and Lily crafts.
I am embarrassed about how spoiled we are.
Hughes' parents left Saturday morning, but Noni and Bop came on Sunday to take over doing everything for us.
My mom bought a 100 tiny piece puzzle for Lily. I immediately said "not it!" because I can barely do the 10 piece Farm Animal puzzles.
Bop LOVES a puzzle. They had a lot of fun.
Bop was reading books with Lily, and he kept reading them after Lily went to do something else. So funny.
Noni and Bop went to Lily's school and made balloon animals for all of the kids!
Belle Princesses and Spidermans.
Lily LOVES Reese for now. As soon as I hear crying, I immediately hear frantic thudding footsteps of the big sister rushing toward her.
My mom actually enjoys things like pretend play and board games. Seriously. I am always shocked when I turn around and she has initiated a dance party or has pulled another game/craft out of her magic Noni bag.
I do not want to compare these sweet girls, but...obviously it is going to happen. :) I can already tell I will always appreciate and treasure their unique personalities, but my only frame of reference for a baby is Lily.
And, Reese, so far, is the OPPOSITE of Lily. I would not go as far as calling her "easy" even at this stage, but I continue to be amazed at the differences and maybe understand why some people don't wait 4 years between babies.
Lily was never a newborn. Never, ever. She was a CRIER. A LOUD one. But, even during her quiet moments, she was just always awake and extremely alert/observant even from a few minutes old. During Lily's first two weeks, my goal for one day was: microwave my lunch. And, it didn't actually happen. I tried, unsuccessfully, to eat cereal on 3 different days before I gave up. It always turned soggy before I finished it. We had to bounce her in the Bjorn and run up and down the stairs for HOURS. Lily was a great nurser, though. And, she loved us so much from the very start. And, of course, she is perfect now, so we are usually glad we kept her.
Reese does cry, but sometimes she seems...dare I say...content? Like, she is just content at moments. It is crazy.
I love how she still curls up in her little ball, like she is homesick for the womb. Her little furrowed brow makes me laugh- already a sleep fighter.
A few notes of things I want to remember about this stage:
- She sleeps a lot. She can only go 2-3 hours between feedings (from the start of the last feeding. Deceptive), but at night I can get occasionally get three hours. So far, there have only been a few rough nights where I couldn't get her back to sleep. She is usually easy to get back to sleep on her milk drunkness. Sometimes I do have to lie down with her on the couch to get her to sleep. She would sleep for hours next to me.
- She is on a decent Sleep-Eat-Awake-Sleep... schedule. She isn't always awake during "awake" time- maybe about every other time.
- Her "awake" time is about 45-60 minutes. She just looks around and hangs out and makes cute little adorable movements with her tiny mouth. She is also a grunter and a frantic breather.
- It DOES take a little effort to get her back to sleep after an awake period. I have to shush, swing, swaddle for 10 minutes. She sleeps in the pack and play, on her Boppy lounger, on the Boppy, in the swing, or next to me when we take a nap together.
- We take naps TOGETHER! Not every day but when someone does something with Lily. We lie on my bed, and I really think she would sleep for 8 hours next to me, perfectly content. I think I will treasure this alone time with her forever. I took ONE nap during Lily's entire...well, I guess her entire life until Reese arrived. The first day I took a nap (Friday- 5 days old), it was a game changer. WOW. It was so sweet and so perfect.
- She has only spit up twice. Lily wasn't a huge spitter-upper, so I hope we got lucky, again.
- She is a CHAMP nurser. Nursing is HARD WORK, but she cooperates well.
My sweet girls.