Sorry it has been so long since I have posted an update, I am sure you are all dying for news and pictures. But let's be honest, nothing can prepare you for the leap into motherhood/parenthood. I read so many books, I prayed and met with wise wise women. We took the classes and thought we were as prepared as we could be... and I think we were. The problem is, nothing can prepare you for the change.
The thing that every book seems to leave out is the fact that your child will be different... in some way they will break the rules and defy the limits set on them by doctors and authors alike. I am a rule follower and so I expected my baby to come out of the womb eating 8-12 feedings every 21/2-3 hours etc etc... and even when my circumstances are better than average (like a baby who prefers 4 hours between feedings most of the time and still is gaining great weight)... it is still hard for me because I wonder if I am failing. I want her to be healthy and happy and a lot of the time I have no clue how to get her there except to feed her and change her when needed and try to get some sleep so I'm not crazy. But then you throw in pacis and bottles and sleep training and it's all upside down again.
Speaking of sleep... I have also come to learn that sleep deprivation and changing hormones are the deadliest combination known to mankind. It is amazing how sad and desperate I can feel when I have had little to no sleep. Add a crying or fussy baby to the combo and it is seriously more dangerous than nuclear warfare.
THANKFULLY, I have the best husband on the planet. Drew is the picture of confidence. No amount of crying (from me or the baby) can make him doubt himself (or me) or regret our decision to jump on the parenting bandwagon. No amount of pump-part washing or dirty-diaper-changing has tempted him to complain. He has been a picture of joy and peace and this has been my strength on days I feel like I am unraveling.
We have also been blessed with wonderful family on both sides, who have taken care of us a great deal. My parents came first and were the picture of helpful. They made countless trips to the grocery stores and Target to fill up our cabinets and buy all those things we forgot that we needed until we had a newborn. They were so gracious when I melted into tears over dinner (a few times) and even treated us with a date night to celebrate a belated anniversary and took care of Stella so we could get some alone time. It was wonderful to have them.
Then Drew's parents came and his mom is actually still here and they have been so helpful also and have really helped Drew get a lot of the details on the house finished up. You would be amazed at what a blessing a hot dinner is during this season of life!
We are also so thankful for our church community, who have texted, emailed and called us time and again when they have been out to eat or at the store and offered to pick us up something or drop something by etc etc... we are truly blessed.
We are also blessed because Stella is a wonderful baby and really healthy (minus some reflux issues we think we are seeing crop up- please pray). She gained her birth weight plus 6oz by her one week check up and only wakes up 2-3 times in the night. She is BEAUTIFUL and already so different than she was just a week and a half ago... it is wonderful because it means I am providing for her needs as much as I can... but it is also sad because it is already a sign of how fast she will grow up and I love her little.
Here are some pictures from the mommy seat... they aren't great b/c they are with our little camera but that is easier for me to get out and use with a baby on board. You can see how much she's changed in a few of them... if you want more, my parents have posted a TON on facebook... so you should friend them and check those out.