Thursday, March 23, 2017

{One Month of Luce}

I'm not sure how much she weights now, but at her 2 Week appointment she was 7.12 which was well over her birth weight and I know she has to be welllllll over that now. 

She's chunking up, getting lots of rolls. 

Probably because she eats close to every hour. What's with my cluster feeding babies?

She still wakes up several times a night. For a few days I was falling into that feeling of "this is never going to end," but then I remembered this is my only job right now-to take care of our princess. So I need to suck it up and remember that it won't be like this for long. 

I do need to figure out how to get her to sleep anywhere but with me. I know, I know, she shouldn't sleep with me but that's the only way she'll sleep for decent periods of time. Otherwise I'm up every hour with her!!! 

She's a semi-fussy baby, but really she's either hungry, gassy or tired and I'm fairly decent at spotting that and adjusting accordingly. 

She doesn't really just hang out. She's pretty much asleep or bossing you around. 

Everyone says she looks like her daddy. 

She's growing lots of dirty blonde hair. 

She's starting to enjoy bath time, as long as she's nice and warm!

She loves car rides and being in the moby with mama.

Her first word will probably be Target like her big brother. :-p

Everyone say a little prayer, Luce is getting her tongue tie clipped tomorrow. I want to say, "finally," but I'm also a little nervous. I know it's quick and easy, but she's my little. <3

Hey, it's almost the weekend!
Melissa Loren

Monday, March 13, 2017

{And Now I Know Him As A Dad}

 Sean is one of those guys that everyone knows as the funny guy, the life of the party, the tough guy, but I know him in a completely different way. I know him as the 17 year old boy who would walk three miles in the rain to be by my side while I was sick. The boy who would never miss one of my basketball games. The boy who would write notes in a journal between every hour in high school. I know him as the man who would put my happiness before his, any day. The man who would do whatever it takes to provide for us. And now I know him as a dad. The first time dad who worries too much and questions every little thing about his new baby. Almost making me question myself. I'm supposed to be so confident this time around, aren't I? It's endearing to watch him care so much. I don't want him to worry, but I know he will regardless and I can't help but love him more for it. He's a proud dad and he should be. He's the dad who never lets me get the car seat. He insists on doing the heavy lifting and holding the door for me while he's at it. He's the man who will literally hand feed me beef and broccoli while I nurse his daughter on the couch. Not to mention he supports my breastfeeding relationship with Luce and encourages me to feed in public or wherever I need to to keep her happy and healthy. On the weekends he stays up with me and gets up early to help me with sis. He doesn't mind changing diapers and giving me time to shower and throw on some makeup. He's the man that still surprises Henry with soccer balls and gummy savers after he's been gone all weekend. He's the man that holds Henry's hand as he falls asleep because something has woken him up and I'm trapped feeding baby sister and rocking her to sleep. He's the man that supports my co-parenting relationship and stands by my side at Henry's soccer practice. He's the man who supports me in every way. The man who loves me and his daughter, and Henry. He's the reason I can stay home and care for the children. 
We're three weeks into being parents and trust me, he isn't perfect, neither I am. He still drives me crazy at times and sometimes my hormones get jealous of his peaceful slumber in our bed while I half-sleep in the recliner, but it's just that-hormones. I know that, because there is no way I could discredit all that he does for us while working long hours all week and waking at three a.m. I am so happy that we created our beautiful little girl and that we get to do life together. I'm thankful for this man and all that he does. What's better than a man who feeds you? ;)
Melissa Loren

Thursday, March 9, 2017

{A Few Things About Having 2 Kiddos}

Do they really make babies that are calm and chill? Is there such a thing? I guess I'll never know lol.

How do people get anything done? At all.

Is chipotle drive thru still not a thing?

And when is Starbucks going to start that whole delivery thing?

Is it possible to forget every little thing from the first newborn stage?

Are they supposed to breathe like that? When do they stop sleeping on *just* you? Are all newborn fingernails as sharp as kitten claws? Are their eyes supposed to cross like that?

Thank the lord for helpful toddler siblings.

Does anyone else feel bad constantly asking your older child to quiet down or to help out? Ohhhh, that's just me? #oops

Was I really ever busy before baby #2?

Baby #2 is completely on her own level and different in every way, so everything I learned with baby #1 is out the dang window.

I still need my girlfriends, the outdoors and a strong cup of coffee just as much as I did the first time around.

If you're like me, you'll have to learn to think before you speak. Still learning this one. Thank goodness Henry and Sean are very forgiving. :-D

Things are still tough, but you're more resilient. The days can seem long, but not like the first time around. You're typically too busy to notice.

It's all about balance. Some days we'll sit at home all day and my older child will spend way too much time on the iPad or playing alone with his toys. Other days we will meet our friends for a long day at the park and lunch. We don't always have to be on the go, and we don't always have to be afraid to leave the house and mess up our nap and feeding schedule.

Is it possible that I raised my older child to be the sweetest, most loving older brother ever?

And the best part? Double the snuggles. Your heart just expands and doubles in size. <3
Melissa Loren

Friday, March 3, 2017

{Ohhh, Breastfeeding}

Well, it is happening again. I have this beautiful baby and everything is going pretty well, except...breastfeeding. Wah. What is it with me and breastfeeding? Why do people not admit how hard it really can be. It really does change everything for you. Every routine is turned around because of breastfeeding, is it not? Every lunch, every drive, every event is scheduled around babe's feeding schedule. Even more so when you're not comfortable nursing in public. I will, but only in the right environments and among the right company. Otherwise I find myself scrunching up in the backseat of my jeep trying to feed my babe in the Target parking lot. Which the anxiety of her crying, being hungry, and drawing attention to us leads me to leave my expensive designer sunglasses in the shopping cart. Sad face emoji. Also, what is it with me and tongue-tied babies?! I have a tongue-tie, so I was lucky enough to pass that gene onto both of my nuggets. I fought through it with Henry, but Luce's seems to be a little tighter which makes it even harder for her to nurse, which in turn makes it about fifty times more painful for me. Like, excruciating. Cracked, bleeding, grit your teeth, clinch whatever is close by so tight and try not to cry, excruciating. She's two weeks today and I literally already want to give up-that's how bad it hurts. I remember pushing through it with H, but I don't remember it hurting nearly this bad and it seemed to fade by this point. These wounds just reopen with every nursing session. Now, they can cut a tongue tie and it's supposed to be quick and painless for the baby. Ten minutes, quick and they can start nursing again immediately. Of course anything like that makes me nervous though. You never want to put your child through any type of stress, so I definitely need to hear all of the pros and cons. We have her two week appointment next week, so I'm going to talk to her pediatrician about it and go from there. I am going to try so very hard to push through the weekend and make it until we find out our next move. Pray for me. 
It's funny that I'm so worried about nursing her. I swore after Henry I'd never nurse another baby, but here I am trying to do what's "best." However, I also promised myself that this time around I would give myself waaaayyyy more grace and not place so much pressure on myself. I understand that breastmilk is best, but it's also not the end all be all. If it comes down to it and I start supplementing or completely switch to formula, I am not going to beat myself up about it. I am technically a stay at home mom now, so it feels like breastfeeding is part of my "job," but we've had this discussion before, children need a healthy, happy, well-rested mother. This family will only survive and be happy if I can run a tight ship. And I need my sanity and joy to produce a happy household. :) Fair enough, right?
PS: I pumped and Luce *REFUSED* my fresh milk out of a bottle. What the heck? So, there's that too. Six different bottles, mind you. Henry wouldn't take my frozen breastmilk, if some of you all recall that. My little tongue-tied babies are picky too. ;-P
So I'm just going to take one step at a time and keep doing what I can to keep my babies happy and healthy. This doesn't include beating myself up over things that won't matter in weeks, months or years from now. Henry was supplemented with formula in the latter months of his babyhood and he turned out just right, something tells me that Luce will, too. <3
Melissa Loren

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

{Big Brother}

These pictures are irrelevant to anything. They're just here to show off Henry and his three year old self. He's so full of joy and life. He's always up for playing and being outside. He has the biggest heart which is why I shouldn't be surprised how well he has welcomed his baby sister into this world, and his home. He can't get enough of her. He's constantly asking to hold her and hug her. It's the sweetest when she's crying and he tells her, "it's ok baby sister, I'm here baby sister." Or when he's laying on the floor next to her saying, "baby sister, look at me! I luvs yew!" He absolutely adores her and wants all her attention. He definitely has his moments when he needs momma's love and attention, but he has been incredibly understanding and patient, especially for a three year old. I've had to remind myself to be as patient as he is at times. He's been sick for what seems like forever so I find myself being protective of Luce's health, but I just have to remember that he's excited and he doesn't know that he can pass on his germs to her. I also have to remember that nursing protected him, so hopefully it will keep Luce healthy as well. I'm thankful that Henry loves bath time, he loves to color, he can get yogurt out of the fridge all by himself and most of the time he's really good about bedtime. I'm thankful that he will pick socks out for baby sister, he'll push her swing and get her diapers for me.  He has been the best helper and it fills my love tank up! That boy is going to do big things one day and make someone very happy one of these days. I'm a very lucky mama. A very proud mama. I can't imagine a life without either of my sugies. <3
Melissa Loren

Friday, February 24, 2017

{Week Old Luce}

7 Things About Luce On Her 7th Day of Life:
1. She is a ridiculously happy and easy going baby.
2. She loves her beauty rest! She's a sleepy little nugget.
3. She's an excellent nurser, but she has a tongue-tie like momma and big brother, so it's terribly painful for me. She's a rockstar though.
4. Her sneezes come in 4's.
5. She is attached to the blanket that has made an appearance in every photo pictured. It is so cozy and soft, so I can't blame her.
6. She loves car rides. 
7. She has already begun showing us a little smirk. There is nothing better. I can't wait to see that big ol smile.

Seven days and we are completely smitten with our girl. Henry has complete adoration for her and just wants to hold and kiss her at all times. She is an absolute doll and the perfect addition to our family! <3

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

{Introducing Luce Colette: A Birth Story}

12:00 pm on Friday the 17th: Started pushing. 

Knocked out 3 sets of 3 pushes. 

12:08 pm: Luce is here. 


Just kidding, but basically that's the story. I can't help but laugh lol. This is so far removed from Henry's birth story. This time around I had an elective induction. I went this route for a few reasons. One being that Sean only had one week of vacation and it was already scheduled for the 20th through the 24th. And the other big reason was my platelet count that they had been monitoring for months. If it was too low (which it was for the longest time), then I couldn't have an epidural if I chose to. We wanted to make our move while we were in the clear. An induction meant we had to go in Thursday night so that I could receive a Cervadil. Thursday night involved a lot of poking and prodding and laying in bed. Sean and I spent our last few hours alone together. We talked, laughed watched some tv and ate Jimmy John's as my "last meal." They stop letting you eat Thursday night, which is tough haha. They woke us pretty early Friday morning, about 4:30 am. They started me on fluids and checked on my progress. Around 7 am they started my Pitocin. By 8 am they broke my water. I elected to get an epidural and to get it early because I tried to ride it out with Henry and ended up waiting too long. They called the anesthesiologist in at 8:15. This was the point where I became emotional. It was painful and I felt extra pressure on my right side and every horrid memory from my last birth came rushing back. The nurse immediately asked me if I was ok and I had to describe the pain to her and let her know that I was just emotional. I started feeling like I couldn't do it again and I was embarrassed that Sean was seeing me in such a vulnerable state. Sean has seen me at my worst and most vulnerable many times before, but never when I was about to give birth to his daughter. My nurse was amazing though and reassured me that everything was going to be incredible, quick and easy. It helped that the epidural kicked in immediately and I literally could not feel a thing. Which was the complete opposite with H. Every time she checked me, when she broke my water and even hooked up my catheter, I couldn't feel a thing. With Henry, I swear I felt every single detail, no exaggeration. They upped my Pitocin from a 2 to an 8 around 10:30 am and continued to monitor me and check my progression. Every 20 minutes or so she'd let me know that we were getting closer. Around 11:40 am she checked me and said I was at a 6. She had me do a practice push and she was like, "Yep, that's it, she's there! We're going to have a baby!!" I thought to myself "Well yeah we all knew I'd have a baby today." Next thing I know she's on her phone and the nurses start flooding in. They wheeled in carts of tools, a light and mirror descended from the ceiling and the doc popped in to get an update. I was like, "OH, we're going to have a baby NOW!" I kid you not, I looked at the clock at straight up noon. The nurse had me do one set of pushes and proceeded to tell me, "Excellent job, the doc will be right over to catch your baby." Catch my baby, WHAT?! Haha. The pushes were fairly easy, all I could feel was the pressure from the top of each contraction. Sean had to hold my legs and push them to my chest because they were literally lifeless. On the third set of pushes I could feel the release. I felt Luce leave my body. Luce was born at 12:08 pm, Friday the 17th of February. I leaned up to see her and tried to grab her. Sean stood by my side and cut her little cord. My doctor got me stitched up (I didn't have to feel every stitch this time) while they placed Luce on my chest for skin to skin, all goopy and all. It was perfect. It was amazing. It was the experience of a lifetime and what I always imagined childbirth to be like. I feel like that experience was stolen from me with Henry. Things didn't go as planned at all and I was not properly taken care of by the staff. This time, however, I felt overwhelmed with joy, I felt the chance to immediately bond with my baby, I felt taken care of, I felt HAPPY. I cried like a baby because I'd never felt anything like it. Sean cried too and the nurses and my doctor praised us. They told us we were rockstars and that we made a beautiful baby girl. Of course they thought she was so beautiful that they asked if my doctor could take her picture with her to blow up on a canvas for the hospital. Luce and I immediately started working on nursing and we spent the next few hours loving on her and soaking up our first moments together. The night was spent getting to know Luce and welcoming visitors. It was the best day. We are so fortunate and so blessed. Thank you to all of our visitors, our families and our friends. Thank you to the hospital staff. Thank you Sean for standing by my side, being supportive and encouraging me the entire way. We did it, babe. She's beautiful and they say she looks just like you. You've given me an amazing gift and I'll treasure her forever. I love you. <3
I am extremely sore and soooo crazy swollen, but somehow the pain feels like nothing this time around. It is nowhere near the recovery that last time was. We've already made trips to the mall, target, the park and little walks here and there. The worst part now is getting used to a tongue-tied baby nursing again.
Melissa Loren

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