Showing posts with label Memories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Memories. Show all posts

A Snuggly Blur - Georgie's First Month



The last month has been a bit of a blur.  A snuggle-filled, exciting, exhausting blur of cuteness.

Growth

I like to think Georgie hasn't grown much at all since she was born, but I know that's not really true.  Pajamas and outfits that were roomy a month ago actually fit her now, and she's too big for a couple of her sleepers, so I know she's grown.  But when she's tucked into her little car seat she looks so tiny.  She's small enough that people are still asking when she was born, so that's comforting.

We're still squeaking by in newborn diapers, mainly because I am determined to use up our stash before letting her outgrow them (and size one diapers do actually seem big).  She passed her birth weight at her two weeks appointment, weighing in at 8 lbs, 10 oz, so I know she must be even bigger now.



Eating

She's been nursing like a champ, and I think overall this has been the easiest postpartum stage I've had so far.  Not only was recovery so easy (no bad cramping, and I didn't even tear a little bit), but Georgie and I got the hang of nursing really quickly too.  I've had no issues with breastfeeding her at all, which is a relief!

Sleeping

Everyone always asks how she sleeps, and I'd say she's tied with Clarice so far for being our best sleeper.  She went 6-7 hours at night almost immediately when we brought her home from the hospital, and did her first 8 hour stretch before she was two weeks old (!).  I wasn't really sure whether to count it since she slept from 7:00 PM to 3:00 PM, but it was still amazing.  Around four weeks old she slept through the night for real, and we've had several nights since when she slept from 8PM to 6 or 7AM!  

The trick with sleeping is to get her to actually go to sleep.  Usually one or two nights a week she will just refuse to fall asleep until after 11:00 at night, and that has been the cause of most of our sleep deprivation.  It usually happens after we threw her schedule off by being gone all day, since if she is in her carseat she is usually sleeping.  I'm a little concerned that Decembers really going to throw her off since it's such an on-the-go month with Christmas festivities, but we'll see.  If we have more time at home where she can be awake during the day, she usually goes down pretty easily.



Firsts

We celebrated her first Thanksgiving, Georgie's first holiday on the outside!  She had her first bath after her cord finally fell off and healed up (that was a longer process). I also may have gotten a first smile out of her the other night, but it was so fleeting and she hasn't done it again, so I'm not sure whether to count it.



Personality

There is only so much personality that can develop in the first month, but still, it's been interesting to get to know her better since she has been born!  She's fairly easy-going, but like most babies, she likes to be held.  She likes her swing, but she'll get upset if we leave her in it too long.  The carseat appears to be her favorite place for a nap, or possibly the couch if we are all still in the room with her.  She loves her wubbanub, and it's so cute to watch her sit there going at her pacifier with her big baby  eyes peaking out above the green rubber (I think her eyes will be brown).  Sometimes when I pull it away suddenly (or when I end a nursing session early), she'll keep her lips in a pucker and smack her tongue and lips for a few seconds, and it's just about the cutest thing in the world.

I have started to suspect that maybe she is "highly sensitive", meaning that she is more sensitive to sensory stimuli than some of my babies have been.  She likes white noise but is upset by sudden louder noises, she jerks her head whenever we kiss her face (I'm trying not to take offense), and she wails if her diaper is even a tiny bit dirty.  Her favorite outfit is this fluffy, extremely soft sleeper - whenever we put her in it she just lays there with her eyes wide open and doesn't make a peep.  We think it's because that sleeper is basically like being wrapped in a cloud, which is probably pretty calming.  I'm curious to see if her reactions to these kinds of things change as she gets bigger!  Thankfully snuggles with me have the same effect as the cloud sleeper, so I take full advantage of that.



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My Sweet Georgie Bea,

Darling, you are a month old already!  How'd you grow so fast?  (I reserve the right to say that every month.)  Sweet Girl, after surprising us and arriving earlier than expected, you have settled right into our family and routines.  The kids all love you and often ask to hold you.  I admit though that I'm reluctant to hand you over sometimes because I want to hold you myself!  You are a good little snuggler, which is a pleasant surprise because when you were still in my belly your constant kicking made me think you would be too active for much snuggling. I'm so glad I was wrong.  One of my favorite things in the world is to hold you while you're sleeping, and rub your little fingers and toes, and touch your impossibly soft hair.  I think sometimes about how at the beginning of this year I had no idea I'd be holding you at the end, and I am just so filled with gratitude to God for giving you to me.  I already can't imagine not having you here.  I love you, Georgie Bea, my girl "who brings happiness".  What a blessing you are.

Love you always,

Mama


Georgiana On The Inside


It's hard sometimes, looking back on a pregnancy and knowing it was probably your last.  My fifth pregnancy seemed a little surreal from the start, when I was surprised by the news of it, and as my belly started to get bigger, and as she kicked her little feet against my belly.  I had a hard time believing that I was really getting to do this again, grow a little life one more time.  I tried to hang on to all the details so I could remember every second, but it all went by way too fast.

I am so grateful for the accessibility of pictures now, because as I hold my beautiful, squirming, dark-haired Georgiana Bea, I can still look back at these maternity pictures too and remember that she used to be so tiny, tucked away in my belly.  This same little girl who I will get to know better and better, who I get to watch grow on the outside now - she is the same little one who grew my belly for nine months, the same one who I saw flickering on an ultrasound when she was no bigger than an aspen leaf, the same little one who turned that second line pink.

What a miracle life is, and I am so thankful that the Lord worked it out so that we could have a part in it, from shaking hands holding a pregnancy test to tiny hands holding my finger to everything the future holds for my little girl.























Thanks to my dear friend, Danae, for taking our maternity pictures again!  I was so excited we got to do it in the fall this time.  Dream maternity session during my favorite season?  Check.

Sweater Weather Musings




You know how I never really got to finish my memory-keeping series in October, since Georgie was born sooner than expected?  Well, one of the things I was going to observe about that challenge of writing for 30 days is that somewhere along the way I've made blogging way too hard on myself.  

Back in the day I used to just type something up and post it, and there was something really freeing about not having to make every post completely perfect before sharing it.  It also seemed that those on-the-fly posts were the ones that recorded things that I would genuinely be interested in remembering later.  They are more enjoyable to write and relatable to read, and they are surprisingly quick to pound out on the keyboard.  

There is something to be said for "quality over quantity", but then, there is something to be said for just quantity too.  I've found over the years that the more I write, the more I want to write, and the more ideas I have for what to write.  So maybe every post doesn't necessarily have to be ground-breaking or perfectly polished.  Maybe it's sometimes valuable to quit tinkering with an idea until it loses it's life and just put something out there, even while it's still rough around the edges.

So all that to say, that's what I'm doing today.  Just putting things out there, because after taking it easy the last month (having a baby and all that), I need a little quantity over quality to get this blog running again.

Snow And Christmas Cards

It's supposed to snow again today, so I'm breaking out the winter mug and sweaters again!  We have had unseasonably warm weather the last couple weeks, and I'm kind of over it.  It's winter, darn it!  It should be cold enough for me to wear a sweater, and I want some pre-Christmas snow.  Every year I try to get everyone dressed up in their Christmas clothes before the actual holiday so I can take a family Christmas photo - then I don't have to worry about trying to capture a family photo amidst all the presents and chaos of the Christmas gatherings.  It's nice if my little Christmas family photo happens on a day when it snows (like the last couple years), so I'm anxiously awaiting some cooler weather.

Speaking of Christmas, on the agenda today is ordering some Christmas cards!  Receiving Christmas cards is one of my favorite parts of December, so I really wanted to try to send some out even in a year when we have a newborn.  I did not get address labels written before baby like I was hoping, so I think I'm just going to send a reciprocal card out for each one I get in the mail, for the sake of ease and spreading out the work load.  So if you want a Christmas card from me, send one my way!

How's It Going With Five?

We have settled into something of a rhythm for our at-home days over the last couple weeks, which mostly consists of feeding the baby and goofing off.  I did some schoolwork with the kids last week and probably felt way more accomplished than was warranted.  Today I am hoping to make some pumpkin bars. Pumpkin bars were supposed to happen last week before Thanksgiving, but they just didn't.  I've found a lot of things being migrated forward on my to-do lists lately.  I also hope to watch Hallmark Christmas movies and perhaps read some Christmas books from the enormous stack that I picked up from the library.  (It really is enormous.  I was in pain carrying them to the car with my already-injured shoulder.) 

Speaking of my shoulder, I don't know what is going on with it!  I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I slept on my neck wrong and my shoulder and neck were hurting.  I had a chiropractic visit that seemed to help, but I slept funny again last week and now I seem to have full-on tendonitis.  I decided I didn't care if my blood was too thin and I've been taking ibuprofen because it's really the only way I can make it through the day.  I can't lift things up from the floor, raise my arm above my head, or turn my head to the right without a jolt of pain through my shoulder blade.  I really am not sure what to do about it either, aside from ibuprofen, ice, and hoping it heals quickly.  I'm drinking ginger tea because I read that it helps with inflammation.  It's not terribly convenient to have shoulder pain when you have a newborn and two other children who occasionally like to be picked up.

Books

(Some affiliate links here, to help me buy more books...)

The first couple weeks with Georgie I went through the first four seasons of Cheers during nursing sessions, and then I finally decided that maybe there was a better way to spend all this time than watching a show that was on television before I was born (though it's very interesting to see the hair styles that were fashionable back then).  So I've been trying to read more, but it's hard to land on the right type of book during this phase.  I either want non-ficiotn that gives me something to think about without straining my brain too much (because you know, sleep deprivation), or fiction that keeps me turning the pages but without much cussing or other smut that makes me feel yucky while feeding my sweet innocent baby.  Suggestions?  So far I am working through Okay For Now, The Austen Escape, The Vanishing American Adult, and World Religions And Cults Volume Two. (That last one was written from a  Christian perspective, and very interesting, and only $3 for Kindle today!)

Thanksgiving



I should say something about Thanksgiving, shouldn't I?  We had a great dinner with Derek's mom and dad.  The kids ate hardly anything, Georgie got lots of grandparent time, and we played Yahtzee. I lost both rounds and was the only person to not get a Yahtzee.  When I was pregnant with Georgie I won almost every single game Derek and I played.  It was uncanny.  I joked that the baby must be lucky, and indeed, it seems since she is no longer on the inside the luck has left me.  Rats.

What have you all been doing, reading, watching lately?  







Marinating In Gratitude



Yesterday was one for the books, in the best possible way.

I feel like I should preface this post by saying that many of my days alone with the five kids so far have ended with Derek coming home right as I'm about to pull my hair out, and me escaping to wash my hair - even if it doesn't need washed - just to have a break.

But yesterday, it wasn't like that.  We had the most peaceful day that we've had, not just since adding our sweet Georgie, but in months.  I'm trying to go back over it in my head to figure out the "secret", so I can repeat it, if that were possible.

The morning went pretty normally, with the kids waking up before me.  Clarice climbed under the covers with me at some point, and I feel like I remember her reading a book in my sleepy haze.  After drifting in and out for a half hour, I finally got out of bed and got ready for the day.  The kids woke up Georgie because they went into her nursery to take care of her (which wasn't as tragic as it sounds, because I heard her stirring anyway).  I fed the kids oatmeal, I fed Georgie, and wrapped her into our Solly wrap.




She fell asleep, so I pulled out the play dough (which I've been meaning to do for the last two weeks), and read to the kids while they created things.  We read about Christopher Columbus.  We read two chapters of Dr. Doolittle.  We were on a roll, so I pulled out the next catechism question, and we worked on a memory verse, and we read the Christmas story from Luke (I figure if we read it every day for the next month, maybe they'll inadvertently memorize it).  And nobody cried (at least not until we were done with all our read-alouds).

I made lunch and got the kids down for a nap in the nick of time before Georgie got hungry.  I fed her and then practiced some reading with Wyatt while she slept on my lap.  I snuck her onto the couch and she stayed asleep, so I edited some of the pictures we had taken of her first two weeks.

Kids got up.  Pulled out the play dough again, and they entertained themselves for another hour while I chopped up potatoes for dinner.  I made dinner!  On my own!  Potato soup was bubbling on the stove by the time Derek walked through the door.

I still can't figure out what made it go right. But it's nice that it happened on Thanksgiving week, because I suspect it had more to do with my attitude than with the logistics of the day.  I watched this video, and while I'm mulling over some of it, what I do think is true is that gratitude makes all the difference in the level of happiness we feel.  When things start to feel overwhelming or frustrating, it is usually about the same time that I forget to feel grateful.  And when things go relatively smoothly it seems that it is usually because I decide to make the most of the day with my sweet children, from a heart of gratitude, instead of letting things just happen to us.

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." Psalm 118:1

I had this verse on my chalkboard all last year, but it is sad that I didn't let it sink into my heart a little more.  There is a reason Scripture tells us to "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)   

There is so much for which to give thanks - each day I have to spend with these sweet children, each day my wonderful husband comes home to me - it's such a blessing.  Somehow, having Georgie come at this time of year seems really appropriate, because having her here has reminded me that God didn't have to give me any of this.  But He did, and I am so grateful.  I think the Lord let today go so well to remind me what it looks like to slow down and give thanks, to marinate in that gratitude a little bit more. (Marinate - ha!  Because it's Thanksgiving week?  Turkey?  Oh, never mind.)

My hope is that I'll remember to be grateful on the rough days too, long after this Thanksgiving week is past.  

On Thursday I'll join the rest of the country in "giving thanks" - giving thanks to God for all the blessings He's given our family, and the way He has guided our nation so that we even celebrate this holiday in the first place, and for the greatest gift He gave by giving us His Son to save us.  But I want to carry that gratitude on into the craziness of December and through the New Year too.  And I wish the same for you, friends!  Because there is so much to be grateful for when we remember to slow down and look, and giving thanks "in everything" can change a lot.


Happy Thanksgiving Week!


Georgiana's Birth Story



I don't think you can fully appreciate this birth story unless I back up a little bit and impress upon you just exactly how incredibly uncomfortable I was on October 29th.

I wrote my 38 week pregnancy update before the 29th, and I already described there how many different things were giving me pain between 37 and 38 weeks, including a round of false labor.  But when I woke up on the 29th, my discomfort had reached another level.  

I shifted to get out of bed and took a few steps to the bathroom, in pain the entire time.  I had been feeling uncomfortable first thing in the morning all week, but today the feeling just didn’t go away.  The pain was mostly in my lower back and hips, and my leg/hip joint, and the baby just felt so heavy.  It hurt to walk around the house, it hurt to climb the stairs, it even hurt to lift one leg so I could cross it over the other.  I had to use my hands to physically lift my limbs so I could cross my legs!  I couldn’t recline too far back because I could feel the baby’s head pressing against my tailbone when I reclined, but I couldn’t sit forward very comfortably with my legs together.  I was left with a less-than-ladylike exercise-ball-squat sitting position, which gets uncomfortable in itself after a while.

We decided to go to church anyway, mainly because I didn’t want to sit around the house feeling uncomfortable with nothing to do all day.  Everyone in our Sunday School class asked how I was feeling, and all I could say was that I felt so sore today.  A couple of them suggested that maybe the baby would come early, but I waved it off.  “Oh, I think we’ll end up having a 40 week baby, so I’m just trying to prepare myself!” I said.  And I really believed it.

We had a birthday party scheduled for the afternoon, but Derek encouraged me to tell our friends we couldn’t make it, and after suffering through church and the car ride home, I agreed with him.  I laid down and took a nap for an hour, which was the only relief I had all day.  Derek was so sweet and took care of the kids so I could rest and take it easy all afternoon.  I told him I really didn’t know what I was going to do the next day if I felt this uncomfortable again, because I wouldn’t even be able to take care of the kids with the way I was feeling.  He emailed his work to see if he could work from home so he could help me.

Derek tried out a new curry recipe for dinner while I rested on the couch, and that was when I started to notice some Braxton-Hicks like contractions.  The didn’t feel like real contractions, but they were more noticeable than regular Braxton-Hicks.  I figured it was more false labor, but I timed them anyway.  They came anywhere from 10-30 minutes, not consistently at all.

The kids all (surprisingly) loved the curry dinner, and we all sat at the table together to eat and do Bible time.  Derek often takes over the bedtime routine for me in the evenings during the week so I can have a break, but a little part of me was starting to wonder if I might be having the baby sooner than expected, so I wanted to be part of the whole bedtime ritual than night, just in case.  We brushed teeth, read a story, sang a song, said bedtime prayers.  I kissed all my babies goodnight, and Derek and I sat down to watch an old episode of Monk.  Actually, to be accurate, Derek sat, I laid down on my side, since that was the only comfortable position.

The contractions were still sporadic and not terribly contraction-like through the show, but I was starting to get a general feeling of unease.  I got up at one point to use the restroom, and when I laid back down on the couch, I started shivering.

I asked Derek to cover me with a blanket.  But the shivering didn’t stop.  

I told him I didn’t feel right, and I thought maybe we should call my mom and ask her to spend the night, just in case.

By the time Derek got off the phone with my mom, I was shaking uncontrollably, and it was honestly starting to freak me out a little bit.  The only other time I had experienced shaking like that during pregnancy was when I was in labor, in transition.  I couldn’t be in transition since I wasn’t even having consistent contractions, right?  It was weird enough though that I decided to call my doctor.

I told her about the contractions and the shaking that had just started.  

“Well, hmm,” she said.  “Usually women who are in labor can’t sleep through it - do you think you could sleep through the contractions?”  

“Well, I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep if this shaking doesn’t stop,” I said.  

“Why don’t you just come down to the hospital to be checked out?  You’re scaring me a little bit,” she said.  (My doctors are all very aware that I often progress quickly in labor.)

By the time I got off the phone the shaking was even more pronounced, and I was honestly starting to feel a little panicky.  This was so unlike my usual labor pattern, I really wasn’t sure what was going on.  Was I going into labor or was this just some weird pregnancy symptom?  I didn’t feel right.

I called my mom to tell her to hurry, but she didn’t pick up.  Derek started throwing a few last-minute things into our hospital bag, just in case this was really labor and we ended up staying.  I gingerly walked around the house, grabbing a couple things and getting my boots and jacket on.  Then suddenly the shaking stopped.

Derek finished packing the car and came to sit next to me, and I just burst into tears.  “I feel stupid!” I wailed (yes, wailed).  “The shaking has stopped, and we’re going to go down there, and it’s all going to be nothing!  And then we’ll have to come home and I’m still going to be this uncomfortable!”  I had tears streaming down my face while Derek rubbed my back.

My mom called, and I gave her the same teary update.  “No, you still need to go down there and figure out what this shaking thing is.  That’s not normal,” she told me.

She arrived a couple minutes later, and my mom prayed with Derek and me before we headed off to the hospital, around 9:00 PM.

Once we were in the car I was feeling less panicky, and I was talking to Derek, trying to convince myself it wasn’t a total waste of time to go to the hospital.  Derek assured me that it wasn’t a waste of time, and I needed to at least get checked. 

Within a few minutes of getting into the car I had a contraction again, and this one felt more like I remembered early labor contractions feeling (even though it was short at only 30 seconds).  I started timing again, and had contractions every 5-6 minutes all the way to the hospital.  I was relieved, because these felt like the real thing, and I finally felt like I was recognizably in early labor.  Derek told me that he had told Wyatt that we were going to the hospital to get checked out, and Wyatt had bounced around, excited that we might be having the baby.

We pulled into the hospital parking lot and waited a few minutes until my next contraction had ended before we headed in.  The nurses came down to get us, and joked that they were worried I had a baby on the side of the road again.  

My contractions stalled when we arrived at the hospital, but I was expecting this.  Typically when I’m in early labor and get up to walk around, my contractions stop (it happened the last time I gave birth too).  My nurse introduced herself and asked me to leave a sample.  I noticed a tiny streak of blood in the bathroom, which was reassuring to me that something was happening down there.  She hooked me up to the monitors and asked if I had been having any more contractions (I hadn’t, but I knew they’d start up again soon).  She checked my cervix, and I was only at a 1 cm (same as at my doctor appointment the week before).




After laying in bed for a few minutes my contractions started again and were recognizable on the monitors.  At 10:45 PM, the nurse said they would monitor me for an hour and see if I made any progress.  When she left the room, Derek and I worried about what we would do if they decided not to admit me to the hospital.  At this point we knew I was in early labor, and we certainly didn’t want to go home.  I also didn’t want to have to labor in the car and try to get admitted again.  I focused on breathing slowly and relaxing as much as possible through the contractions so they could do their job.

The nurse came to check on my around 11:45 PM and asked how I was doing.  I said that the contractions were definitely more painful now.  She said she thought they should wait and give me one more hour before they checked me, just to really make sure I had enough time to make some progress.  I was so grateful for that nurse!

Over the next 15 minutes my contractions really started to pick up in intensity.  They started hurting so much worse, with the pain concentrated heavily in my back.  It made sense to me that I would have back labor, because I had suspected that the baby was facing the wrong direction with all the pain I’d been having that day.

In my past labors, I usually have a contraction and then feel very normal until the next contraction comes.  This labor was entirely different from my usual labor experience, because the pain did not go away between contractions.  I’d have a painful contraction in my back, and then the achy, sore feeling would linger in my back and hips until the next contraction.  They say if you have back labor it helps to get on your hands and knees (and I know this is true, because it really helped when I had back labor with my third).  However, remember how much pain I was in earlier in the day when trying to walk?  I did not want to move - it hurt too much to even shift a little in the bed.

At this point, I told Derek two things:

1) I didn’t care if I hadn’t progressed at all at my next check, I was not leaving that hospital.  I was going to insist they admit me.

2)  If I had progressed a decent amount at my next check, I was requesting the epidural.  I have gone through natural labor three times, and I just decided that this time, I didn’t want to.  I knew I could do it, I didn’t have anything left to prove to myself, and I just had no desire to do the back labor thing again.  I wanted my last birth experience to not be a traumatic one, and with the way things were starting to go, I knew that a natural birth would be a little traumatizing should I go that route with this baby.  Derek was sweet and supportive, as he always is.  I am so grateful for him!  I really couldn’t ask for a better birth advocate/coach.

The nurse came to check me at 12:45 AM, and I had progressed to 4 cm!  Yes!  I could tell things could potentially move fast at this point (my labors always move quickly toward the end), and I also knew it could take an hour to get the epidural.  I asked the nurses to call the anesthesiologist right away, and they put the order in.  I also got a dose of antibiotics since I had tested Group B positive.

At this point I had Derek come and start holding my hand or tickling my arm through the contractions, because they were getting more painful as we waited.  The anesthesiologist came at 1:30 AM, and I was so grateful because the intensity of the contractions kept steadily increasing.  I gingerly shifted myself around to sit on the edge of the bed, and I had to breath through a couple contractions before they could place the epidural.  The anesthesiologist told me I was “an excellent breather”, and that it was good because if I could stay relaxed the contractions would hurt less.  I’ve got the breathing thing down after five births!

He had the epidural placed by 1:45 PM, and the contractions gradually got less painful.  My right side never got completely numb (it weirdly didn’t the last time I got an epidural either), but before long I felt so much more comfortable.  

The nurse checked me again shortly after the epidural and I was at 8 cm.  I started feeling pressure almost right away, and she called the doctor.

I remember sitting there at this time, and I felt (and saw) her kick against my belly.  I grinned, and then looked at Derek.  “Ah.  That’s probably the last time I’ll feel her kick from the inside.”  I started tearing up, and Derek came over to hold my hand.

I still had tears streaming down my face as the nurse talked to me and the doctor came in a minute later.

It was 2:00 AM at this point, and I was still at 8 cm.  The doc pulled out this scary-looking stick to break my water.  She left for a minute, but with the next contraction the pressure was even more intense, and she came back in right away.  Derek rubbed my back, and I asked if I could start pushing.  They set me back with my legs in the stirrups (such a dumb pushing position, but my legs were numb, so what can you do?), and with the next contraction, I screeched/pushed.  They say you should only feel pressure, but my epidural had only really been in place for 20 minutes, so it still hurt.

I pushed again through the next contraction, and by the next contraction her head was out.  The nurses and Derek were telling me to look down so I could maybe see her head. I glanced down, but I couldn’t see her, and I didn’t try too hard because I was still trying to push the rest of her out.  At one point I remember saying I couldn’t get her out, but in the next two pushes there she was!





At 2:21 AM I looked down, and there was my sweet baby girl, her face all scrunched up.  They handed her to me, and I just started crying because I was so happy that she was here!

She just laid on my chest with her eyes wide open and her cheeks puffed out as she gave a pouty lip.  The nurses suctioned out her mouth, and she finally let out a tiny little mewing cry!

They let me hold her for a little bit, and then took her over to the warmer to clean her up while the placenta was delivered.  They must have made her mad because she was crying pretty loudly by the time they brought her back, but it made me feel pretty special when they handed her back to me and the crying immediately stopped.  She looked up at me and I just fell in love with her again for the second time in as many minutes.






They told us she was 8 pounds, 8 ounces, and 21 inches long.  No wonder I was in so much pain!  She was about a pound heavier than my heaviest baby!  One pound apparently makes a big difference in my level of pregnancy comfort.

They asked her name, and Derek and I announced it as Georgiana Bea.  We picked Georgiana because we just thought it was a beautiful name.  We picked Bea because it means “she who brings happiness”.  I knew I wanted that in her name, because she has brought us so much happiness ever since we found out she was on the way.  Miss Georgie Bea continues to live up to her name.





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The next couple days were a bit of a blur, with a flurry of visitors, and pictures, and one annoying nurse.  But my favorite part was having the kids meet their baby sister.  Wyatt kept saying “I just really love her!”  Gwen, who has been dying to hold her for weeks, had the best grin on her face, so proud to be a big sister again!  Clyde announced that he was going to call her Georgie, and the way he says it is so darn cute.  And after some snuggles with me, Clarice plopped down on the couch and smiled so sweetly as I let her “hold” the baby!








We are all home now, and the kids are still doing great with her!  I especially think Clarice is being sweet about trying to help. When we first picked up the kids from my parents house, Clarice worked so hard to bring the car seat over to me so I could get Georgie ready to go.  Every time I come upstairs with the baby, Clarice yanks her “baby” (her favorite bear is “Baby”) out of the swing and frantically points to the swing.  “Baby Georgie here!” she says.  The other kids all are anxious to help, and the latest request is that I let them give her a bottle, so we may try to make that happen this week.  


I am loving being a mom to five kids! I am so blessed to call each of these sweet children mine, and so grateful to have Georgie here!


Wish me luck, because Derek is officially back to work now, and today is the first day on my own! 

The Balance Between Memory-Keeping And Memory-Making



We got another skiff of snow this morning, and Derek is home today, though he ran out to the grocery store a little while ago for milk and diapers.  The house is relatively quiet right now.  He left while I was still in bed, so the kids are upstairs watching some cartoon or another on TV.  Aside from some footsteps running across the floorboards above my head occasionally, it is peaceful and quiet.

I have no big plans for the day, aside from homeschool and working on my Christmas card list (Christmas time and this baby's arrival are looming).  I will probably do something a bit more elaborate for dinner, and by that I mean I'll spend the 45 minutes it takes to cut up potatoes for potato soup.  It's a potato soup kind of day.

But for now, it's quiet, and I'm hunkering down in my room, trying to figure out what to write today.  I was going to write about more frivolous things, but there are a few deeper thoughts left in the month after all.  Snow always puts me in a reflective mood, and this morning I'm reflecting on keeping a good balance between memory-keeping and memory-making.

Much has been said about how obsessed we all are with getting the perfect picture to share on social media, and viewing our lives through the lens of our phone instead of the lenses of our eyes.  I'm not sure I'm going to go that route with this post, because I've written this month already about how it's hard for me to even remember certain events without some documentation.  I am not gifted with an impeccable memory for times and places and events, so writing something down or snapping a picture keeps these things from being lost to me forever.  I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to document the past, and indeed I think it's important.  It's most important I think so we don't forget what God has done.  How far He has brought us, and how He has worked in our lives and  grown our character up to the present moment.

However, I think there is a certain danger in getting too caught up in the past.  How we've "always" done things.  How things "used to be".  

Because the more years behind you the more you realize that things never stay exactly the same.

And that statement sounds wistful and sad somehow, but I don't really think it has to be.  Because would we really even want things to stay the same forever?  Would we want to never move to the next stage of life, to never watch our babies get bigger and develop their personalities, to never develop new traditions, try something new, grow?

There is room for a bit of sentimentality about the past I think, as long as we don't get stuck in our reminiscing about "the good ole days".  Because these days that we're in right now, these very present moments, are good too.  They drift on by, and tomorrow will be a memory before we even realize it.  And I think it's good to embrace the way things change, to hold on to our memories while making fresh, different ones in the present moment, and not to resent the fact that things aren't always "the same".  Because really, how boring would things get if they always were?

My goal I think, in all this memory-keeping, is to remember all that God has done for me this far, but not so I can wish for the way things used to be.  I want to remember His faithfulness and gifts in the past so my eyes are wide open for His faithfulness and gifts that are still in the future.  And when I keep that balance between the memory-keeping and the memory-making yet to be done, I think it's easier to live fully in the blessings of right now, and to be grateful for them.



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