Noah: One Month

Dec 27, 2012

Sweet Noah,

You're one month old today! You just had your first official long car trip this past weekend. We had an eight hour trip that we decided to make overnight and you slept almost the entire way. You really enjoy being in your car seat and usually fall asleep a few minutes after we buckle you in. 

We just celebrated your first Christmas in Virginia with all of our family. You met your aunt Megan, uncle Stephen, uncle Will, and some great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins for the first time. I was worried that you would be fussy or not like being passed around, but you've done great! In the past two weeks you have been much less fussy and usually only cry when you're hungry or your diaper is full. Other than that, you are usually wide-eyed and happy. You love to lay on our knees and stretch out your arms and legs. You smiled from day one and the smiles keep on coming. You have a wide array of facial expressions and have even tickled us with some chuckles in your sleep. 

At your two week appointment you had gained a pound and a half, so we can only imagine how much you weigh right now! You love holding your head up and are really strengthening your neck muscles. Last night you turned over on your side for the first time. You are sleeping pretty well most nights, but still get up one to three times. You are sleeping next to me in your pack and play for now, but usually spend more time next to me or on my chest during the early morning hours. You wake up in the morning in a great mood and usually grin at us while your eyes are still adjusting to the light. Talk about melting mommy's heart! 

You are exclusively breastfed and are such a great eater! You don't respond very well to ANY caffeine, though, and I have had to learn that the hard way! Right now you're sleeping around four hours at night and then wake up about every two hours after that. You are so hot-natured and sweat so easily that you have to sleep in a thin onesie. You love a tight swaddle so anything else under there makes you too hot. During the day you enjoy napping in your swing or in the sling with me. I love wearing you around and having you so close, and you crack me up with your little moans and grunts during your sleep. I predict you'll be very musical!

You love bath time, especially now that you're able to be in your baby bath. You love laying in the water and having the warm water poured on your hair. Daddy and I have a little routine where we lay on the bed with you after your bath and you just look up at us and coo and smile. You seem to really like to be naked and usually give us a big smile right after your clothes are taken off.

We have loved every minute with you this first month. Daddy and I have loved being your parents and we both have no idea what we did before you came along. We've loved watching you grow and try to remember to take in every fleeting moment. You have brought such joy to our lives, little one. We love you with every single inch of our hearts and feel so blessed to get to love and care for you every day. I can't wait to see you grow and change and show us your developing personality these coming months.

I love you, sweet boy, and I love being your mommy. 

Friday Letters

Dec 21, 2012

Dear Husband, I wish you could just feel what I feel when I think about you and our little family. I admire you in so many ways and am so happy to be sharing yet another Christmas with you out of the hopefully many to come in our lifetime together. And just because we have bambino, I still want to dress up for you, and kiss you just because I get to, and make time to just be us. Dear Noahyou have yet to find out, sweet boy, just how much you are loved. My heart feels like it might leap out of my chest every time I look at you. I am proud of you already and cover you in prayer almost every time I hold you- that you will one day become the person you were created to be and that you will give control to the One who created you. I love you, sweet baby, and I am thankful every. single. day that God allowed me to be your mommy. Dear Virginia, see you and your beautiful mountains soon! Dear Family.....

Merry Christmas!

First Three Weeks

Dec 19, 2012

Noah turned three weeks old yesterday! Michael and I were talking last night in bed and agreed that in most ways it feels a lot longer, like he's been a part of our family forever. What an adventure these past few weeks have been. 
  Noah had his first two doctor appointments at one and two weeks. His pediatrician is great and he "passed" his appointments with flying colors. He is gaining weight wonderfully and is having absolutely no issues. We are so thankful for that!  He is growing so much and Michael and I are enjoying every minute of it.
{First outing to his first doctor appointment- slept the whole way!}
Michael has been an amazing support through every step. I'll talk more about the labor support in Noah's birth story, but he has really slid into this new role with ease and done an amazing job. He's a great daddy and husband.
{Right after Michael opened his Christmas gift from Noah- a matching Huskers beanie!}
After Noah was born, I asked my mom to stay with us that week and we are SO thankful she did! She was really helpful with things like making dinner and helping me navigate breastfeeding, although I have to say that Noah was an amazing nurser right away. She's one of my best friends and was an awesome extra support for all those first-time mom emotions. And well, let's be honest, there aren't many people I feel comfortable with whipping out the boob in front of! It was nice not to have to worry about modesty! It was so comfortable that it really didn't feel like we had a visitor. She and Michael did an amazing job taking care of Noah and me. 

{Papi Gunter & Noah in their matching WVU gear!}
A few days after my mom left my dad came down to visit. Because of his work schedule he wasn't able to come down with my mom when Noah was born. It was so heartwarming to see him meet Noah for the first time. He loved getting to spend time with his first grandchild and tried to  get an early start on teaching him sign language! 

It was nice to have visitors, but by the time my dad left I was ready for some alone time. Michael had already been back to work for a week, but my transition didn't really feel solid until Noah's and my first day home alone.

Our days so far pretty much consist of eating, changing poopy diapers, "playing" (or getting blank stares and furrowed brows as I make every happy facial expression and baby noise known to man), and napping- although I have yet to nap while Noah has napped. It's been advised, but I actually enjoy that time while he's sleeping to get things done around the house. It's therapeutic to get things done, even if it's just a load of laundry or vacuuming. I realize time with Noah is more important than trying to keep everything perfect, but I am really efficient in a short amount of nap time. It's a win-win and helps things feel more peaceful. I also wear Noah in the K'tan so it give us that closeness that is really important for baby and mama and also frees up my hands for important things like eating lunch! I've planned ahead for dinners using the crockpot and/or frozen meals I made in advance. That has been a HUGE help! Once Michael gets home from work he spends time with Noah and I finish up dinner and enjoy a nice shower. I'm so glad Michael chooses to be involved and doesn't check out when he gets home. He's right in there with me changing dirty diapers and helping out in other ways. My day doesn't feel hectic and I truly believe it's because I've been organized and multi-task pretty well. As he gets older and more active, I might have a different story! 

{First Bath!}
Noah has been sleeping 4-5 hour stretches on a good night, so I'm thankful that I'm at least getting some sleep. The first week when Michael was off we would go to bed super late. Now that he's back to work we're trying to get in bed early. Getting a newborn ready for bed has proven to be quite a task! We usually change his already full diaper and then I nurse him to sleep. However, we have one poopin' baby so during almost every feeding he has some pretty good diaper action and we have to change him again. This wakes him up more and back we go to nursing. This little charade will probably change eventually, but for now we head for bed an hour before we actually hope to all asleep!  We cosleep, but try not to bedshare. Instead of getting a bassinet that would only be of use for a short amount of time, we brought his pack 'n' play in and raised the mattress. He sleeps in it right next to my side of the bed. At first, he would only fall asleep in his carseat, but after week two we put him back to sleeping on his back in the pack 'n' play. Sometimes he will sleep on my chest for a few hours and when he's hungry I bring him into the bed to nurse him. He falls back asleep easier that way and I don't have to stir too much.

{Baby K'Tan - yay for babywearing!}
 Originally, we had decided NOT to go back to Virginia for Christmas. I had no clue how my recovery would go and the thought of traveling with a newborn sounded stressful. The combination of a small emotional breakdown while putting up our Christmas decorations (at the thought of not being home for Christmas while Blake Shelton sang a Christmas version of "Home" on Pandora)and most importantly, an amazing labor/recovery helped us change our minds. We've had to set a few boundaries for ourselves concerning the trip just to make it less stressful on us trying to make it to everyone's houses and limit Noah's exposure to all the nice crud going around. We pretty much will be between my parents' house and Michael's parents' house (although I may be tempted by a mall trip)and have asked family to come to us. Oh, who am I kidding- they just want to see Noah. Kelsea and Michael who?! ;) We're prepared with the hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes! Germs, beware! 

Speaking of Christmas, we sent out our Christmas card this past week. I didn't get a ton and only sent them to family and a few far away friends, but I love how they turned out! My mom took the Christmas pictures and I took the one of Noah swaddled.  My mom took a ton of photos while she was here and we had our first family photo session a few days after arriving home. Noah slept through every little session we had, even while positioning him over and over! 

To sum up these three weeks? I am absolutely LOVING being Noah's mommy. He is such a sweet baby, already giving us smiles and coos (that I swear sound like "hey"). He's holding his head up for long amounts of time, loves a warm bath with mommy, and is eating and sleeping like a champ! My recovery time was wonderful and I truly felt back to normal in a short amount of time...physically, that is. Emotionally & hormonally...well, let's just say things are still balancing themselves back out! 

I'm excited for this trip to Virginia this coming weekend. My sister and Michael's brother have yet to meet Noah and we're SO excited to finally introduce them. Michael's parents haven't seen Noah since the hospital so I know they're anxious to see him again, too, and I'm glad we won't have to rush back home so everyone can get to spend some time with him. We also have tons of aunts, uncles, cousins, and great-grandparents who will get to meet Noah for the first time. We'll be in Virginia a week, so this week is being spent preparing for the trip- making sure the house isn't a wreck, washing and packing for Noah and ourselves, and making sure we have all our Christmas gifts ready to go. 

I'm still working on Noah's birth story. I am still so amazed at my labor and his birth and can't wait to share the experience!



Dec 5, 2012

I am so proud to introduce our new, sweet boy Noah. Born last Tuesday, November 27th at 12:13am at 8lbs, 4oz and 21 inches long.

His birth was everything I hoped it would be and my husband was an amazing support through it all. I'll eventually write an official birth story and I'm so excited to share such a life-changing experience. 

I never knew how overwhelming this type of love could be until I held Noah in my arms. There is nothing that can explain what my heart feels all at once. I'll truly never be the same.

 Michael and I feel so blessed and are so thankful for a healthy baby boy. And Noah and I are absolutely blessed with an amazing dad and husband who loves us so much and takes such good care of us. 

We also think it is so very special that Noah not only shares a middle name with Michael's late grandfather, but now also shares a birthday with my late grandfather. Both men passed away from cancer and we can't help but smile when we think of these special connections. 

I can't wait to share all the amazing milestones and special memories that we'll now encounter as a little family of three. 

"Family of three" makes me smile.