Monday, August 31, 2009

already one week old...

one of my goals for today is to update my might take 5 minute snatches of typing here and there, but i am determined to make it happen--even if this is my first "official" day home alone with all of them. i say "official" because truly last week ended up looking a little different than we first anticipated, and i've already spent a few mornings home alone with all three girlies...and really, to be honest, my dear friend jill will be showing up at my house to help out and perhaps love on and snuggle with jillian for a bit during the big girls' naptime (just in case she isn't down with the "napping plan" at that point!) so i can hopefully catch a few winks myself. she is even bringing dinner...she's just incredibly sweet and generous like that. and, well, i am going to throw in a generous smattering of pictures throughout this post...just because i can...and because i'm just sure you are as interested in seeing our newest little eye candy as i am in showing her off. God sure is good...and she sure is our completely unbiased, humble opinions! :)
the labor and delivery...feel free to skip this paragraph if you feel so inclined...but i'll share because, well, so many of you have asked. i went into labor on my own (most likely with some help from our outing to the zoo the day before and some fun time chasing the girls while they rode bikes in the afternoon sunday) late sunday night/early monday morning. i am so thankful that the Lord gave us an absolutely gorgeous weekend full of family fun for the four of us before my labor began...a great way to cap off our time as four and usher us into becoming a family of five. some friends invited us over for pizza and hanging sunday evening...then we headed home, tucked the girlies in bed, and stayed up far later than i would've had i known ahead of time that i would end up laboring all night.

anyway...i started having contractions...laid in bed wondering if they were real...if i should wake mike...when i should call the doctor...realizing that it was REALLY real--we were going to have another baby...wondering boy or girl...and thinking, most of all, i should get a shower and wash and dry my hair...just in case! after my shower, i woke mike, called the doctor, and we headed to the hospital...with sweet jill meeting us there to whisk the girlies away for a slumber party. we got to the hospital around 3 a.m., and i was 6 cm. i opted for some nubane, and at that point thought "this isn't so bad...i think i can do without the epidural this time." he he! my water finally broke around which point i was 8 cm. and the doctor had arrived...unfortunately sweet baby was still REALLY high, and after my water broke the contractions were coming SUPER fast and far more intense. after talking to my OB and realizing there was no way of knowing how long it would take for my dialation to complete and baby to move down to "position" she was still around a +2 station (not to mention he was a bit concerned about her large size when it came to pushing!)...we opted for an epidural so i could hopefully get a bit of rest before needing to push. when i sat up so they could place the epidural my contraction and pain became SO much worse, and when i finally laid down, they realized that in that 10 or 15 minutes while i was getting the epidural the baby had moved down and was completely engaged and i was ready to PUSH--no wonder the pain was so unbearable! the epidural just barely took effect, and within two contractions worth and less than 5 minutes of pushing we met our beautiful little jillian claire!

jillian claire...a few of you have asked about the name...and i would LOVE to share. first and foremost, mike and i loved the name jillian. secondly, i happen to have a couple people who have been influential/special in my life who are named jill...and what better than to name our daughter after women we respect and admire...women she will actually have the opportunity to know in her lifetime. the first of these jills is jill p...a dear friend who i consider someone who greatly influenced my walk with Jesus. she was first my swim coach, second my "boss" when i lifeguarded and taught swimming lessons, but mostly, she was a friend who loved me, encouraged me, taught me, and modeled what it meant to follow Jesus and be his disciple. she is kind, generous, servant-hearted, humble, and full of life...all characteristics i would desire for my little jillian. and then, there is dear, dear friend jill...who you have heard me talk of before...jil and my friendship began with a conversation in my apartment kitchen and quickly grew to a deep, sisterhood type friendship. jill is the friend i can tell anything...the friend who is always there to listen, to help, to serve, to encourage, to challenge or "rebuke"...she is that friend...the one i know i can call on in a time of need. we are growing together in our walk with our journey as mommies and as wives and as women. she is gentle and kind...she is loving...she is full of smiles and encouragement...she is giving and humble...again, she is someone who i pray my little jillian will see following Jesus and emulate.
as for the claire part of her name...well, that comes from my mom...claire. my mom is a woman who has weathered many a problems, life in general, raising her own two daughters (which is job enough in itself!)...and through it all she has grown and learned and persevered. i could go on and on...but honestly, i don't even know where to start and stop. through the years my mom and i have grown to be so much more than mother and daughter...she is my of my closest friends. becoming a mommy myself did something amazing to my relationship with my gave me understand and brought about a newfound respect and admiration. i will never forget my first days at home with elizabeth...the number of times i called her in emotional post-partum tears...the comfort that came from simply hearing her voice...and even now, baby #3...i've been there and done this...i have an almost 4 year old...and yet, i cannot wait until tomorrow afternoon when my mom arrives to spend the rest of the week with love us, to take care of us, to spend time with simply do what moms do best! and incidentally, it is also one of my favorite names...and we thought it sounded particularly well with jillian.
as for the big sisters...i think it was definitely love at first sight...they talked about "baby" (kate's preferred name for jillian...though she does try to say jillian...which is really cute!) or "jillian" endlessly according to those who stayed with them. on my first night at the hospital they called to tell me goodnight, and elizabeth's first question was, "how's our baby!?" the hospital they were both very tentative about touching or holding jillian....i think they were a bit overwhelmed, and kate, well, she quite frankly just wanted ME!

but as you can see in the pictures, they are beyond in love with her. the minute we arrived home from the hospital kate came out to find her "baby"....and they quickly gathered around the carseat checking her out. kate's first words upon waking up are constantly, "where's baby?"...and she gets quite distraught when i put jillian upstairs or out of sight to nap. she loves to pat jillian on the head or try repeatedly to stick the paci in "baby's" mouth (she is utterly convinced that jillian shouldn't go a second without a mouthful of paci--and mommy is working hard to convince kate this just isn't the case!). and then there is be honest, i think she is a bit distraught by the whole breastfeeding process...mostly because she really wants to give jillian a bottle. she loves to hold her and touch her smooth soft skin...and talk about her...and drag the carseat around the house with her curious george stuffed animal tucked safely in the straps (i mean really..isn't baby "paraphenalia" much of the fun of having a baby in the house!).
and as for jillian...well, we think she is an absolute beauty. she has a look all her own...and i think she looks much more like my baby pictures than either of the other girls. she has a smattering of dark brown hair, dark blue eyes, the sweetest little nose and dimpled in chin, and yummy little neck rolls (and really...neck rolls ARE yummy when you are a week old!). looking at elizabeth and kate's baby pictures she does resemble some aspects of elizabeth...much more so than she does kate...BUT she definitely has a look all her own. the minute people saw elizabeth, they said, "oh my...she looks just like mike"...and somehow while jillian has some of elizabeth's features, she is missing those distinct "mike traits" that were so obvious on libbers.
so far nursing seems to be going well; she is much more into it and eager to eat than her sisters were. and, oh my, this girlie knows how to sleep (PRAISE THE LORD!). last night, on her seventh night of life, she managed to pull a 4 1/2 hour stretch of sleeping...and would have kept right on snoozing if mommy hadn't woken her and needed her to eat for my sake! :) honestly, sleeping is definitely her favorite pastime thus far...she eats...she sleeps...and occasionally she poops...the typical baby things, but she most definitely sleeps far more than i remember kate and elizabeth sleeping as newborns. she sleeps fabulously in her crib, all swaddled like a jellybean (or a jillybean..he he!) or in her little papasan friend's lent us...or on our chests...or even on the floor on her little tummy...bottomline, this girlie LOVES her sleep.
this first week with as a family of five hasn't been without snags, tantrums, or postpartum tears (trust me...all of those have been there), BUT it has been full of God's grace. i have been so aware of His grace and His strength. i am thankful to be feeling much better emotionally at this point than i did after kate was born...but i have definitely had my moments. most of you know, nursing was extremely stressful and full of trials with elizabeth and kate...lack of supply, lazy eaters, and LOADS of emotions for me...this time around, during pregnancy i prayed and prayed that the Lord would give me a clear head about nursing and lead us in what was best...nursing, formula, etc...that He would make it clear AND that it would not become an issue that was a stumbling block and stress to our marriage OR my mommy-hood. and so far, He has answered that prayer...i am not feeling anxious about her weight gain or stressed out about her eating or my supply. things seem to be going really well, and we will know more at her weight check friday...but for now i am simply thankful that God has answered my prayers and given me peace in this area!

as for the first sentence of the last paragraph....tantrums--we have had our share. while kate and elizabeth LOVE their baby sister, they have definitely had their moments. kate missed me...i mean, really missed me...while we were at the hospital. that coupled with working on her two year molars AND the vast changes that a new baby bring have led to her being quite the mess at times. and elizabeth...well, she is elizabeth...mostly happy go lucky, but prone to sin and selfishness and whining. BUT i must say, i find discipline, training, and mommy-hood in general is MUCH easier and i have MUCH more strength for the "ugh" moments with jillian outside of my tummy than i did when i was hugely pregnant and uncomfortable. and as for "snags"...last week definitely held the unexpected...mike's grandmother died the day after jillian was born, and that coupled with a huge new project starting at work, made for a busier and more hectic and emotional week than we had expected. we were sad to see his memaw pass, and yet we are thankful that she is no longer in pain...he and elizabeth were able to attend the funeral, and we got to spend some time extra time with his parents and brother, sister and brother-in-law since everyone was together for funeral stuff. while the circumstances were not ideal, it was nice to be able to introduce jillian to aunt kim and uncle dave now rather than waiting until thanksgiving.
this is getting QUITE long...thanks if you are still hanging with me! i have been blessed with the arrival of a few more little goodies from bloggy friends (you guys are so incredibly sweet....chelle and courtney your packages arrived safe and sound...sorry i am belated in letting you know!). i made a trip to jo-anns after church yesterday to get a few odds and ends to make some paci clips, a few new nursing bras, and a new nursing cover...and bought some fabric for swaddling blankets, which i promptly passed on to my "professional" seamstress, jill, for serging. we'll see how many months it takes to actually get to the, hopefully soon since i definitely could use them and they are short projects...maybe with my mom here i'll have a bit of time.
so my week with three girls has actually had me contemplating on several occasions whether there might be room in our family for yet another...something i was quite convinced wasn't something i was interested in during the end of pregnancy! :) but that is a whole different subject for a whole different don't get any ideas!


Rebecca said...

oh glad to hear so much from you. i can't believe how much you've blogged already! jillian is an absolute doll. i'm so happy things are going well (even in the midst of adjusting girls and such). and glad nursing is going good, too. your blog sounds so full of joy and i am so very happy for you. i really enjoyed reading all about the labor/delivery and how everything is going since then. we were so sorry to hear about mike's memaw (incidently, that's what our girls call my mom).
as always, thinking of and praying for you all!

Marianne said...

Congrats!!! I totally wanted a fourth right after I had the third. Is this when I tell you that it was after I got pregnant that we wondered if that was truly wise?
#4 Matthew brings us so much joy that I'm glad it was too late to look back. This is such a beautiful time when the two girls are playing together and you have a baby to love on...and then there are the other times!

Lisa said...

Amanda - she ,like Kate and Elizabeth is beautiful!
And I can hear the joy in your voice - life is sweet and I could not be happier for you!

So so glad to hear you are getting a little extra help from your Mom and friend - take advantage of it and enjoy these sweet sweet days....
So good to hear from you!

Love to you....

Shelley Fuge said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and what's been going on in the past week!! Love it when people share their birth story. :-) I LOOOOOOVE the name Jillian. Presh!! Glad to hear nursing is going well...awesome!! I got so much accomplished the first month of K's life b/c she SLEPT all the time. She was 4 weeks early, so that helped. So take advantage of all that sleep!!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...


Wow! A nice long post from a brand new mommy!! :) I am so glad you found the time. I have been thinking about you SO much and love all of the info packed into this post!

Birth story, nursing update, how the girls area doing, adjustments, - I was so interested in hearing it all!

I'm really, really happy about the nursing and hearing about the answered prayer that is. Yay God!

You are an amazing mommy!!
I have to say, transitioning to three was so wonderful for us too! I am hoping hoping that four is as well... :) We'll find out nest month. :)

Oh- and I was AMAZED to hear Jillian already slept a FOUR hour stretch! That is so great!

Love you!!

Leslie said...

I have tears..
your family is precious
and Jillian.. WHAT A GIFT! :)

Nancy M. said...

She's so beautiful! I'm glad most everything is going well for y'all! Sorry about Mike's grandma!

Rick and Beth said...

The joy is evident in your words. I'm so happy for you that nursing is going well. Amazing when we commit something to prayer and wait on the Lord how His answers are always yes! THAT is a beautiful thing. I also appreciate your transparency about the tough stuff. I love a transparent woman of faith! The world needs more of them.

Oh, and I love her name (and her namesake)!

Cottage Mommy said...

Sounds like things are going well! So glad nursing is better this time around - I too know the struggles of when it is hard and the joy of when it is easy! Jillian is precious - love all the reasons you named her that! Enjoy, enjoy this new baby and this special time!