Sunday, August 21, 2011

Miscarriage and Me

I just read a friend's blog post that described the reality of her reaction to finding out she was pregnant.  She posted this literally days before she gave birth to her daughter.  As I read it, I started thinking back on my own experience with pregnancy and I am finding that I'm absolutely floored by the emotions I'm feeling.  My memories of pregnancy aren't particularly fond.  I remember the excitement that surrounded everything when we found out about Baby A (we never got to the naming process).  I wanted to tell everyone.  We were bursting at the seams with anticipation.  And then I remember the fear.  When I realized for the first time that we were losing Baby A and that I could do absolutely nothing about it, I lost it.  No one talks about miscarriages, because they are too terrible to mention.  The physical pain is excruciating.  The complete lack of control is terrifying.  The hours and days spent waiting for the inevitable breaks you.  Your allowed time to rest and heal and then given a hope that you'll be fine the next go round.  Baby B rolled around 4 months after we lost Baby A.  Ryan and I were optimistic, but cautious.  We told only the necessary people that we were expecting.  Losing Baby B is a blur.  We were still numb, and honestly, I was expecting it to happen.  Baby A and Baby B will always hold a special place in my heart. Through all the pain and complete lack of understanding, we've slowly started to see why God chose this path for US.     This is why:

Friday, August 19, 2011

4 Weeks!

My sweet baby girl is 4 weeks old today!  I can't believe how fast she is growing.  I also can't believe that I have a class starting tomorrow and that I go back to work on Monday morning.  I've discovered that I am definitely not suited to be a stay at home mom.  I love my little one and I love spending time with her, but I really just need to have a schedule and feel like I'm accomplishing something.  Soooo.....back to work for me.  Ryan still has another 2 weeks off, so I'm not at all concerned for Layla's state of mind or well being.

I also wanted to throw in an update on the sleeping situation.  After doing some research and talking to my physician, we decided to put Layla on a flexible schedule and let her learn to fall asleep without being rocked.  I know a ton of people don't agree with letting her cry it out, but there has been a ton of new research on the subject and it has shown absolutely no adverse affect on the baby's bonding or learning.  Plus, our family faces the fact that we WILL NOT be able to hold her at all hours of the day come Monday morning.  We both have to work, and no day care or any other caretaker will hold her constantly while we are away.  So an update on her progress:  After one day of teaching her the ropes and our new schedule, she sleeps perfectly at night, stays awake for about an hour after each feeding, takes a nap for about 2.5 hours at a time, and is generally less fussy now than she was when we were constantly holding her.  It takes her on average 5 minutes to go to sleep on her own, and Ryan and I are much less exhausted and frustrated.  So with that said, this method may not be for everyone, but it has certainly worked wonders for our family.

NOW: on to Layla's 4 Week Old Photo Shoot

Monday, August 15, 2011

Goodnight Sun, Hello Moon

We've been in denial for a couple of days weeks.  My sweet little Layla has her nights and days mixed up.  She really didn't have a schedule of any sorts for the past 3 weeks.  For some reason, she just seemed way too young and fragile to me to put her on any type of schedule.  So I've been letting her sleep all day long, which is a terrible at night.  Turns out I had no idea that i was even doing it.  The past 3 nights of Layla screaming her lungs out because she was wide awake at 3 AM and refused to go to sleep until the sun was up has finally made me realize that no schedule is not a good thing.

On a lighter note: my brother is in town from Seattle!  He absolutely adores Layla.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Family Visits

Ryan's family all came in town this past weekend to see Layla and just catch up.  It was fantastic to see everyone and I was so glad that Layla got to meet everyone even if she was asleep the majority of the time.    Here's a couple of pics of the fam:

Layla with her cousins, Chase and Faith

Ryan and my nephew, Chase, with matching Mohawks

Grandma Sue with Eva, Layla and Chase

All the Shumpert grandkids 

Our cute little family

Heisman Pose

Faith, Layla and Samantha

Monday, August 1, 2011

Love Takes Time

I've decided to go ahead and share a couple of things that have been going through my brain since Layla's birth.  We'll go in order:
1. I was completely terrified when I first laid eyes on my sweet baby.  E's labor was incredibly long, and Ryan and I had been at the hospital for over 12 hours by the time Layla was finally born.  We spent hours playing Spades with complete strangers during the course of the day.  One moment, I was throwing down a card, and the next, I was suddenly a parent to a tiny little baby that was screaming her lungs out in the nursery.  A lot of people have told me that I would be completely overwhelmed with love for my daughter as soon as I saw her.  Instead of love, all I felt was shock and terror.  How in the world could I take care of another human being?  I was sure that I would fail miserably.  I knew how to raise a dog, but I sure as heck had no idea how to raise a child.  She was so tiny and frail looking.  Ryan held my hand and all I could think of was how unprepared I was to take on such a HUGE responsibility.  

2. My husband is the most amazing person I've ever known.  While I was too terrified of killing Layla to even chang her diaper, Ryan was busy feeding her, changing her clothes and cleaning up poop.  He took to her like he'd been a father his entire life.  He stays up late with Layla when she decides that 2 am is actually 2 pm.  Layla is seriously going to be a daddy's girl.  I'm trying my hardest to win her over to my side, but I can just tell by the way she looks at him that she's all his.

3. Love is something that grows with time.  The longer I'm around my sweet little lady, the more smitten I'm becoming.  Women that give birth to their children have an entire 9 months to nurture and care for their baby.  I didn't get to physically love my child until she was in my arms.  She was in someone else's womb. I knew she was there and that I loved the thought of her, but I never got to feel that she was physically there.  My love has had to grow.  It has certainly grown quickly, but I can say for a fact that I love my sweet girl at this moment much more than I did that first day.