Monday, July 19, 2010

Life With Baby...

Is Different!!!

We are having such a good time with our little one AND our lives have been flipped over with lots of what we are calling "different"... not worse or bad, just "different".

Things that are different:

1. Efficiency feels not just different, but out of the realm of possibility! It used to take about 5 minutes to leave the house... lock doors, feed dog, close door, start car, etc. Now it takes over an hour! Feed baby, change baby, make bottles, pack diaper bag, fasten baby in car seat, feed dog (has the dog even been out today?), let dog out, put baby in car, close door, start car, go back in b/c inevitably forgot something baby will need, leave house! Whew! I have a feeling that my love for efficiency will be challenged from here on out. It may be years before I can leave the house in under 5 minutes again. What I'm really thinking is that efficiency is just getting redefined.

2. Home-life is different. I'm at home a lot more. I used to run around and not worry if I wasn't going to be home for hours. Now we leave in 2-3 hour increments. Most babies at this age are pretty mobile. Lucas is "different". I think he might just be an extrovert because if we are out and about, that little one is not sleeping! He's looking around and taking it all in. He could care less about sleeping no matter how hard you try. But then, sadly, he gets way overtired and it becomes painful for all involved :( When we get home, he's out like a light! So, I'm homebound. Which has it's perks and it's un-perks (being an extrovert myself).

3. Sleep looks WAY different! Though, last night I got my first 5 hour stretch since Lucas has arrived! It was magnificent!! Up until a few days ago, getting 4 hours of sleep was only in my imagination. I had mainly been getting 2-3 hour stretches at a time. But he hit a little growth spurt or something and now we are getting 3-4 and last night the amazing 5! Awww! He's growing up! Our sleep positions look differently too as you can see below. Keep that pacifier in at all cost!

4. My overall disposition seems different. Felipe gave me a few hours of "me" time the other day and I went to hang out with girlfriends. The whole time I was gone, I felt like something was missing... like an appendage or something. For 7 weeks now I've had this new little being attached to me and he was not there. It felt so strange to be without him. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was nice to have a few hours of "me" time, but it was strange. I feel different.

5. Our house looks different! There are many more bright colors in here and new pieces of furniture (the oh-so-glorious swing! what would I do without it?), toys, activity mats, etc! It looks different in here!

6. I feel differently toward my dog, which is weird. I love Jake, the dog, very much. But I feel like I used to love him more than I do now. Or maybe I've grown in love and the love I had for Jake now seems pale in comparison to the love I have for Lucas!? Is that too deep? :) Nevertheless, it's something I've noticed is different. Poor Jakey! He does get less attention from me than he did. But with all the visitors, he's not neglected.

7. Eating is different! I've learned to eat in under 5 minutes! And it might not be hot. Hot food is excellent, warm food is doable, cold food and I'd rather try again later.

8. Summertime is different. I feel like I'm missing it all together. It's just too hot to take him out. We tried walking one day last week and it's just too much. I'm so pale, you'd think it was winter. I do miss the pool and that summertime glow and highlighted hair. Next summer, I can't wait to meet you! Lucas, me and you and some sunblock!! It's gonna be great! Uh-oh, what if we have another one by then!? Just kidding. :) Maybe.

8. The middle of the night is different! I'm actually aware of it for one thing. It's quiet and peaceful and it's the time I get Lucas all to myself. It's also very hard. The other night as I drug myself out of bed at 2am I thought back to a time when I used to find it very difficult when parents would complain about their children... and about getting up in the middle of the night with them. I would think to myself, "I'd give my left arm for those 2 am feedings." And I would have. Though today, I have more compassion for parents around the world getting up in the middle of the night. It is very hard to go without sleep. Though, it's worth a left arm if you have to give that! I'm thankful I didn't. And I'm thankful for my middle of the nights with Lucas.

All this DIFFERENT... is totally priceless in my book. I'll end with some pictures, as I know that's what everyone is waiting for! He is adorable I tell ya! Man, I'm so in love.

This morning, doing a little stretching.

Playing with Daddy last night. He's smiling daily now!
It's so amazing to see that little face light up!

Jake likes to play on the tummy-time blanket too! He actually brings Lucas his toy every morning, which is what he does when he wants you to play with him! Someday!

Look at that face!

His stunned or "I'm so tired I can't think" look.

He loved mirror time with Gran-Lilly! He misses Gran-Lilly!

Little chipmunk sittin' on those cheeks!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lucas' birth story...

On his one month birthday, I thought I'd share how our little miracle came into the world. (For those of you who haven't heard this story).

As some may remember, Lucas' birthmom was due to be induced on June 2nd, but on the morning of the 1st (Felipe's birthday), we got a phone call that birthmom was headed to her doctor's office b/c she was having contractions. We were planning a brunch with our family (Felipe's mom, my mom, my sister, dad and step-mom). A little later we got another phone call informing us that birthmom was already dilated 5cm, was in active labor and was headed to the hospital. Felipe and I didn't make it to brunch :) We were so excited because we, along with some friends, had been praying that she would go into labor naturally and not have to be induced. We arrived at the hospital not long after birthmom and her sister. Our friend who connected us also met us there. When we went in to meet birthmom, she was in seriously active labor and had not had her epidural yet. She had dilated to 7cm and labor was moving along quickly. So, we met her between contractions, which had to be intense for her. But she said it was what she wanted. She was glad we were there and wanted us to stay with her. When we all first laid eyes on each other, we all cried and quickly felt more at ease. I have to say it was one of the most awkward moments, yet quickly became very natural. It felt so organic and right that we were all together for this most awesome event in all of our lives. I got to be next to her and hold her hand through contractions. I wanted so badly to be able to take the pain for her. Not in a jealous way, but in an, I-wish-you-didn't-have-to-go-through-this way. She was so sweet and wonderful to Felipe and I. She even wanted to meet our moms. After she got the epidural of course :)
When our moms walked in, she immediately commented on a necklace that Felipe's mom was wearing. It was a piece from Jerusalem. Rita quickly took the necklace off and said, "Well then, you should have it." Side story: a few days before we learned about Lucas and his birthmom, Rita was in Israel. She went to Shiloh, the place where Hannah prayed for a son and was given Samuel. At Shiloh, Rita prayed for the Lord to remember Felipe and I and give us a child. She was wearing that same necklace when she was there praying for us. So, it felt completely right for our birthmom to have the necklace.
We were with her all the way through delivery, along with her mom and sister and our friend who connected us. I was holding her hand as our son was born. Lucas was born at 2:36pm on a Tuesday. Felipe and I immediately followed the baby as he was being cared for by the nurses and our friend and the sister attended to the birthmom. I quickly texted one of our parents, who were waiting anxiously across the hall... "He's perfect!" That's how they learned he was a boy.

We, birthmom and us, were all together in the room for about 2 hours after the baby was born. Birthmom wanted me to hold the baby. I took him over to her and told her his name is Lucas. We got to pray together and assure her that Lucas would always know who she was and what she had done for him... that she had given him life, given him to adoption in love and hope. His little life is not filled with rejection and shame... but with love, hope and redemption. And she is a huge part of that.
After a couple of hours, the nurses took us to our own hospital room with Lucas, where I was able to nurse him for the first time. Lucas had to remain in the hospital for 48 hours. We gave our birthmom an open invitation to come and visit us and him anytime while we were there. She came to visit twice and even brought him a gift... a keepsake that had been passed down in her family from her grandfather, to her mother, to her and now to Lucas. Every time she saw him, she just stared at him and smiled. And on our last day there, we stopped by our friend's house to return something that had been left at the hospital and we saw our birthmom there again. She had her son with her that day and we got to meet her 2 year old. I got to hold him and even got a picture. He's a precious little boy.
I wanted to share this story because I feel like it may encourage someone out there. And I like the story... it's full of love. God's presence was experienced in all of us. And Lucas has brought hope into the world for me. Hope fulfilled. My heart is healing. Throughout the entire experience, I felt no loss, no jealousy, no sadness for what was Not. I only felt gain and love.