Amelia — Two Months

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Dear Amelia,

Happy two months! The January days and nights seem to pass so slowly, but when we see how much you’re growing right before our eyes, it’s hard not to wish for you to stay little and all newborn-like. However, each day we get more and more smiles from you — just a taste of all of the good things to come as you grow older!

We’ve learned this month that no two babies are alike and that you are NOT your sister. You have different preferences for how you like things, temperament and timeline. Fortunately, all of it is good different!

For instance, you are a rock star at sleeping already. You love being swaddled, although we still cannot fathom how that would be comfortable. And you’ve shown that you’re definitely a Mama’s girl.

But in many ways, the two of you are the same. You look a lot like your sister at times, and you have also refused a pacifier (which in the long run will be awesome — right now, not so much). Also, like your sister, you are such a happy baby! You love talking, cooing and smiling at us. Your smile is truly heart-melting.

This month, you celebrated your first New Year’s, and we started our new normal schedule with your Dad going back to work and Charlotte going back to preschool. I think we all have a hang of this family of four thing, and we cannot wait to continue to watch you grow and grow with you! You bring so much joy to all three of us, and we know that joy will only increase!

Love,

Mom and Dad

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Weight: 10 lbs, 14 oz (38th percentile)
Height: 22 1/4 in (38th percentile)
Clothing size: Still in 0 – 3 months. She has a few items that no longer fit, but I anticipate that she’ll be in 0 – 3 months for a few more weeks.

Amelia Likes: Mommy, laying on her changing table, being swaddled, the song Edelweiss, hanging out with us in the evenings, baths, her playmate and sleeping.
Amelia Dislikes: Being in the swaddle while awake, getting out of the bath, 2 month vaccinations (still getting over THAT), reflux and taking a bottle.

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Firsts: New Year’s Eve, road trip to Ohio to meet family and playing for the first time (on her playmate — she LOVES looking at herself in the mirror).

Diapers: We started cloth diapers! Just like last time, I put her in a disposable when we leave the house. I’m also putting her in a disposable at night until she’s good at sleeping through the night. I don’t want a wet diaper to be the reason she can’t sleep at night.

Sleep: Could it be? We hit the sleep jackpot again. She’s not sleeping through the night as we would like. We’re shooting for an awake time of 7 or 7:30, and she typically wakes up between 5 and 6 a.m., but I know now that she’ll only wake up once in the night. Occasionally, she’ll wake up a little earlier than that in the night. We put her down to bed around 8 p.m. and the I wake her up again for a dreamfeed between 10:30 and 11 p.m.

She is a rock star at naps — for the most part. She cries for a few minutes when we lay her down, but she’s out after that. She currently takes four naps, although the last nap only lasts for a half hour or 45 minutes, and she’s awake for an hour (including feeding time). So she’ll nap for roughly an hour and a half to two hours for the other three naps.

Feed: This is going to take a while. We are exclusively breastfeeding, and it’s been issue after issue for us. I was SUPER sore and in pain quite a bit the first month. Then between four and six weeks, she started fussing a lot when I was nursing. Part of that had to do with reflux, but part of it had to do with something else.

So I went to a lactation consultant and found out that I had an oversupply. Rather than feeding her four ounces at a time, I was feeding her EIGHT. With the reflux, she would eat, spit everything back up and then eat more. So it was a pretty vicious cycle that we needed to get under control.

I started block feeding (look it up) to decrease my supply, which has worked, AND we got reflux medicine at the doctor the other day! Hopefully this helps us solve all of our issues. I had been told that breastfeeding the second time around was a lot less painful and easier overall. TOTALLY not the case here. It’s been painful, stressful and aggravating. But I’m also too stubborn to quit — just holding out hope that it gets better now!

We love you so much baby girl!

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Amelia: 1 Month

 

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Dear Amelia,

When I stop to think about the fact that you’re one month old, it blows my mind. It has been a long four weeks; and yet, I’m not ready for you to be one month old already!

I feel like I’m barely treading water, but you don’t seem to notice. You are growing like a weed, smiling already like a little sweetheart and becoming increasingly aware of the world around you. It’s amazing how much you’ve changed in so little time.

Our first two weeks with you were pretty easy — mostly because you slept A LOT. However, you did NOT like sleeping at around 5 a.m. Now, you’ve shifted to not liking sleep between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. We’re hoping you either gradually move into the early evening — or stop altogether! That would be great!

Though you can be a stinker at night, you more than make up for it as soon as you smile. I know babies vary on when they give their Mamas their first smiles, but you were especially early in smiling at me at around week three. You know I need it. Now, you smile at your Daddy too.

In your first month of life, you’ve celebrated your first Thanksgiving and Christmas, met Santa, completed your first road trip and visited both grandparents’ houses. Given the hectic life we’ve led this month, we haven’t really settled into a routine yet, but we’re looking forward to some normalcy once we’re home for a while.

We waited so long for you, sweet girl, and it’s still kind of surreal that you’re here. We’re so looking forward to knowing you better, beautiful girl!

Love,

Mom & Dad

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Weight: 9 lbs, 5 oz (46th percentile)
Height: 21 in (35th percentile)
Clothing size: Amelia has been in newborn clothes until Christmas Day — or the day before she officially turned one month. Bring on the new clothes!

Amelia Likes: Mommy, Daddy, Charlotte, ceiling fans, Christmas lights, the artwork above her changing table and taking baths.
Amelia Dislikes: Sleeping at nighttime, getting into her car seat and getting dressed and undressed.

Firsts: Thanksgiving, Christmas, bath and road trip — but isn’t everything a “first” at this point?

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Diapers: Amelia is in newborn disposable diapers. We still plan to do cloth diapering — although we’re a little less enthusiastic about it this time — but for now, she’s too small to fit into the cloth diapers without leaking. And I have enough laundry to do, thanks to the amount she spits up sometimes.

Sleep: Sleeping is hit or miss with this one. She has good sleep sessions and bad sleep sessions too. Sometimes, Ryan just has to hold her at night while she sleeps. Other times, she’ll go four hours between feedings at nighttime. In terms of napping, it’s very much the same. One thing she does not do well with is being transferred while sleeping — either from person to person or from car to home.

Feed: Amelia is eating every 2 1/2 to three hours, and for the most part, she guzzles like a champ. We have had our fair share of breastfeeding issues this first month, though. From problems with my body (breastfeeding has NOT been easier the second time around) to her spitting up large amounts to not liking how fast my milk lets down, there have been plenty of reasons to give up on the whole endeavor. However, I know the benefits as well as how easy it becomes down the road, and that’s been my incentive for sticking with it.

We also learned at her doctor’s appointment that the poor girl has reflux. It’s not bothering her at all, thank goodness, so we don’t have to take medication. We do, however, have to take reflux precautions, like putting a pillow under her mattress so that she’s sleeping at a 30-degree angle. Say prayers that this becomes a non-issue in a few weeks!

This month has definitely been chock full of challenges, but our little girl is thriving. I know we’ll get the hang of life with four — and maybe one of these days, I’ll even be able to clean the house. For now, we’re just taking lots of deep breaths and enjoying those smiles when we get them!

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Oh, hey, Darcy.

Amelia’s Birth Story

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I had two deals going with Amelia. The first was that she wait until December/after Thanksgiving to make her debut. The second was that she wait until I had seen the final Hunger Games movie.

Well, she agreed to one of those — kind of.

Because my due date was two days after Thanksgiving, we asked our families to spend the holiday at our house — two days for the Randolphs and two days for the Knights. Given that, Ryan’s mom, Alison, was at our house the night before Thanksgiving getting food ready for the following day. We decided to take advantage of her free babysitting services to see the Hunger Games.

About 20 minutes into the movie, I started having regular contractions that were pretty strong. After about a half hour, Ryan was timing them at four minutes apart. He asked if I wanted to leave, but I was determined to stick it out until the end of the movie. While part of me thought that I was in labor, another part of me questioned the whole thing given my experience last time.

Once the movie was over, I opted to go home and take a bath. I figured that if this was false labor, the contractions would go away. While they did decrease in frequency and intensity, they picked back up an hour later. So I spent the whole night in labor, waking Ryan up at one point to watch some TV with me and trying to get some sleep in the minutes between each contraction.

The following morning, Thanksgiving, I called my Mom to inform her that I had painful contractions all night; however, I still wasn’t convinced that this was “it.” She told me to call my doctor anyway; and upon calling my doctor, she asked me to come in regardless so that she could know whether or not to go to her family Thanksgiving (p.s. my doctor is very frank, matter-of-fact and doesn’t beat around the bush about anything). We agreed that if I was in the early stages of labor, she would send me back home.

Ryan quickly packed a hospital bag, I grabbed mine and we headed out the door. I still wasn’t convinced that this was real labor. After all, I was able to shower, put makeup on and fix my hair — everything that I was not able to do when laboring with Charlotte.

So we walked into the hospital, straight to triage and found out shortly after that I was dilated to five centimeters, which meant that I was not going home and we were going to have a Thanksgiving baby!

I made it into my labor and delivery room at around 9 a.m., got an epidural shortly after I arrived, upped my epidural again at around noon because the contractions were still pretty intense and started pushing at 1 p.m. When the anesthesiologist upped my epidural, it was pretty strong, and I couldn’t feel a thing — which isn’t ideal once you start pushing.

I couldn’t really feel anything until near the end, at which point the exact same thing that happened with Charlotte happened with Amelia — she was pretty much stuck. The doctor asked if I was ok with doing another episiotomy; and once that happened, Amelia quickly made her way into the world. She had the cord wrapped around her neck and had gone to the bathroom inside of me; and for those reasons, she was whisked away to the NICU doctors before we could hold her. Fortunately, everything checked out fine, and then she was ours to hold!

I thought that giving birth the second time around would be different, knowing what it is to be a Mom now. But it was so surreal again! I didn’t cry or get overly emotional. In fact, it took me a few days to get used to the idea that she was here, and she was ours.

Amelia, we’ve been waiting for you for a while now, and we are SO HAPPY that you’re here and healthy. You were definitely worth the wait. Though it hasn’t even been two weeks since you were born, it already feels like you’ve always been here with us. You’re not just an answer to prayer for us, but a fulfillment of God’s good promises. We can’t wait to love you, raise you and know you. Welcome to the world, beautiful girl!

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Amelia made her debut at 1:46 p.m. She weighed 6 lbs, 14 1/2 oz and measured 19 3/4 inches.

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When she arrived, she was TICKED at being prodded and poked.

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And very, very tired.

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We couldn’t be more proud.

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With my sweet, baby girl.

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Getting ready to introduce her to big sister!

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Family of four for the first time.

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Future daddy’s girl.

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He’s quite smitten.

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And also very tired.

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Daddy to two girls now — how my heart melts!

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Charlotte loved holding Baby Amelia — and she was generous enough to give Amelia her happy meal toy.

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Big sister, little sister.

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My girls.

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Amelia’s going home outfit.

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Clearly, I’m VERY happy to be leaving the hospital and going home.

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Charlotte’s first drawing of little sister, Milly Rose.

Bumpdate: 39 Weeks

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Size of Baby: Mini watermelon
Total Weight Gain: 31 pounds
Maternity Clothes?: Obviously.
Stretch Marks? Still none.
Sleep: Sleep varies. Sometimes, I sleep the entire night through and other nights I’m up several times. I’ve been letting myself indulge guilt-free in naps these days too!

Best Moment of the Last Week: Celebrating Charlotte’s third birthday (and learning that she won’t be sharing even her own birthday with her little sister)!
Miss Anything?: Having energy and moving around easily like I used to. I feel like an old woman.

Movement: It’s clear that Amelia’s quarters are a bit cramped. She’s still moving often, but the movements aren’t as big. I also feel a lot of downward movement as she works to make her way into the world.
Food Cravings: No new cravings.
Any Food Aversions: No new aversions either.

Gender: Girl
Labor Signs: Just call me the Queen of False Labor. I have contractions all throughout the day (I’m having one right now!), but they’re just uncomfortable at this point. Sometimes, I’ll have a period in which they are five to eight minutes apart, but they never get painful. With Charlotte, I labored at home until I was five centimeters so I’m pretty familiar with what real labor pain feels like.

I ended up getting checked at my 39-week appointment given the holiday week that marks my 40th. I’m only 1 centimeter dilated, and I swear Amelia crawled back up higher away from the doctor as she was checking. So that’s a great sign!
Symptoms:  Pelvic pressure, lower and some mid-back pain, fatigue and occasional sciatic nerve pain.

Belly Button?: Still in.
Wedding Rings?: All rings are off.
Happy or Moody?: I would be lying if I said I wasn’t getting a little impatient. We’ve always told Amelia she should wait until December to get here, but learning that I’ve made virtually no progress toward real labor despite all of the false labor is annoying. But comparatively speaking, I am doing MUCH better mentally than I was last pregnancy. I feel way more positive and ready to wait until 41 weeks to deliver.
Looking Forward To: Meeting Amelia, family visiting for Thanksgiving and the holiday season!

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Charlotte is obsessed with “her baby bump” lately.

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Charlotte is Three!

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Dear Charlotte Girl,

You’re three! Though we’ve invested three years’ worth of time into helping you become the person you are today, it has gone by much too quickly! At the same time, we don’t reminisce about Baby Charlotte all that much. We LOVE the Charlotte that you are right now — fun-loving, sweet and almost always happy. How do you manage that for your age?!

Today, you are the most loving little girl I’ve ever met. You are happy to snuggle with your Dad and me at any point during the day. And no matter where we are or who we’re with, you must give a hug and kiss before you — or friends and family — are allowed to part ways. I think it catches people off guard, but I’m glad you don’t realize that yet.

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We also think you’re incredibly smart. You pick up things so quickly — like puzzles — and love to figure out how things work, which you no doubt picked up from your Dad. You also remember EVERYTHING. Your mind is like a steel trap, and I’m glad you’ve inherited that quality from me. It’s a good one to have!

While you have your moments, we haven’t really encountered a terrible-two-year-old. Maybe you’ll be a terrible-three-year-old. Or maybe you’ll maintain your easy-going, laid back attitude. This is what makes you so awesome, in our opinion. You’re up for anything — whether that’s eating out at a nice restaurant or staying up WAY past your bedtime. We know that we can just count on you to behave well.

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You love preschool and socializing with friends. It’s fun to see you interact with other kids your age as well as smaller children. When we see you with another baby, we have no doubt that you’ll make the most excellent big sister.

This upcoming year will bring lots of changes, but we hope that you master them with your usual sweet, go-with-the-flow nature. We can’t wait to see your personality continue to grow and emerge. You are our little ray of sunshine, and we love you to the moon and back!

Always,

Mom & Dad

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Charlotte’s Birthday Party

We celebrated Charlotte’s birthday with family on Ryan’s Baptism weekend but had a quiet party at home for a few of her friends on her birthday weekend. It was Minnie Mouse themed given our recent trip to Disney, and Charlotte loved hosting her friends, eating cake and opening presents. Thanks to everyone for spoiling her; we appreciate you all so much taking a vested interest in our daughter’s life!

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On Charlotte’s actual birthday, she requested a sushi lunch after church. Who is this big girl?!

 

Celebrating FIVE Years!

Wow, time flies when you’re having fun. At the same time, I feel like Ryan and I have been married forever — and in a good way. It just feels as if we’ve always been together, like time before our relationship was another life entirely.

It has been a GOOD five years. I have no doubt that Ryan and I will experience many hardships along the way — and we’ve had a few in these five years — but in all honesty, being married to this man is easy. I know that a large part of that is due to God’s faithfulness to us, but it’s also because of who Ryan is as a person. If it were all hinging on me, this marriage would probably be really hard.

Ultimately, Ryan just wants me to be happy, and I see that in the way he tolerates my plans, like digging up every plant in our front and backyard and moving them. Or rehanging photos that he’s hung one or twice before somewhere else. He’s learned very quickly just to be quiet and humor me in the small things.

Yet, when it comes to bigger decisions, he is a great leader for me and our family. I’m happy to let him make those big decisions for me, trusting him completely. And he’s always happy to listen to my input.

So given all of that, like I said, it has been a great five years. And although we would have loved to celebrate with a trip somewhere — just the two of us — that’s clearly not in the cards for us this year. Instead, we enjoyed a simple date night in Indy — dinner, coffee and cake, followed up by a movie.

I love you so much, Ryan, and I thank God every day for you and our marriage. To many, many more years of easy wedded bliss!

 

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Ryan really outdid himself on the bouquet this year!

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The five year anniversary is wood. Although this wasn’t my present (new nightstands!), Ryan used Jenga to take a walk down memory lane. On each piece, he included a memory, trip or quality that he liked about me/us. It was the sweetest!

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The sentimentality was off the charts this year! I gifted Ryan with our wedding vows that we wrote ourselves handwritten by a calligrapher and framed in wood. 

 

Bumpdate: 38 Weeks

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Size of Baby: Leek

Total Weight Gain: 30 lbs — my weight is definitely holding steady at this point. I have actually grown since my last appointment and am only two weeks behind in measurements. Doctor said she’s not worried about lack of weight gain given that I’m growing — and neither am I!

Maternity Clothes?: Still in maternity clothes but daydreaming of my real clothes.
Stretch Marks? Still none.
Sleep: Remember how I was bragging about not waking up at night? Now, I’m waking up every two hours to go to the bathroom — it’s officially practice time for those nighttime feedings.

Best Moment of the Last Week: Celebrating Charlotte’s THIRD birthday!
Miss Anything?: Not being/feeling huge.

Movement: She’s definitely starting to make a break for it and push downward with her movements. So that feels great.
Food Cravings: Unfortunately, I’ve been wanting McDonald’s hot fudge ice creams this week.
Any Food Aversions: I feel like such a hypocrite saying this, but I’m actually tired of pizza. It’s hands down my favorite food! But we’ve been eating so much lately on those lazy nights when I don’t want to cook that I’m totally over it.

Gender: Girl — which we confirmed at our ultrasound last week. No surprises on delivery day!
Labor Signs: I’ve been having contractions since last Wednesday. They were pretty close together when they started out that day — averaging five to eight minutes apart — but they tapered off. Since then, I’ve been having them all throughout the day.
Symptoms: Nausea, cramping, lower back pain, mid-back pain, fatigue, pelvic pressure and pain as well as sciatic nerve pain. You should see the kinesiology tape all over my back holding me in place. #pregnancyisbeautiful

Belly Button? Still in.
Wedding Rings? All rings are off.
Happy or Moody? Still super tired.
Looking Forward To: Meeting Amelia and a week of plan-less days leading up to our due date.

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