Sunday, February 19, 2017

newborn photos

Well, our photographer did it again -- we are so thrilled with these newborn pictures of our sweet Faye. I still can't figure out who she looks like. Me, my husband and son were all born fair-skinned and completely bald. I just can't get over all her hair!

I apologize for the picture overload! I tried to narrow down some of our favorites to share, but it was incredibly difficult when we loved all pictures we received. If anyone in the Nashville area is looking for a photographer, I highly recommend Jessi with avaphotodesign.com.





































Sunday, February 12, 2017

redemption

Earlier this week I took Faye to her 2 week appointment. One of the first things checked during these appointments is the baby's weight, and if I remember correctly, the goal for the 2 week appointment is for your baby to be back up to birth weight. Faye was born 8lbs 11oz, and when we left the hospital 2 days later, she was down to 8lbs 3oz. I remember being panicked with Joe when he dropped in weight, but as a 2nd time mom, I expected it this go around.

I've been incredibly lucky in that I've been able to exclusively nurse Faye without any issues. But as many breastfeeding moms know, it's a lot of pressure to be solely responsible for your baby's growth. You have no idea how much milk you're producing, nor do you know if your baby is eating enough per feeding. I've been trying to take her lead and feed on demand, but sometimes she goes 4 hours between feedings, and other times it's an hour.

So when the nurse placed my naked little babe on the scale, I held my breath and began to feel the anxiety build. Within seconds, her weight flashed on the screen: 9lbs 15.5oz.

The nurse turned to me and asked if I was breastfeeding or formula feeding, and when I answered breastfeeding, she responded, "Wow, seriously? That's impressive! I've never seen such a significant increase from breastfeeding alone! Way to go, Mom!"

I can't even describe what that nurse's words meant to me. It probably sounds silly, but I feel like the weight I had been carrying for 2 years was finally lifted from my shoulders. When you experience pregnancy loss, no matter how many times you are reminded that it's not your fault, deep down you carry that responsibility. As their mother, I carry the weight of my losses every single day. It was my body that miscarried Sprout and it was my body that made Grace sick. My body has failed me over and over again and at some point along the way, I think I began to resent it.

So when I received that small affirmation that my body is doing something right for once -- actually, doing something well -- I felt like I finally redeemed myself (from myself). I didn't know I needed that comfort and validation, but apparently I did. I started to tear up as I picked up Faye from the scale. The nurse asked if I was okay, but I was just so overwhelmed I could barely mumble the word "yes."

I am okay. I'm better than okay, I'm so incredibly happy it almost scares me that the other shoe is going to drop. The journey of motherhood after loss continues to bring highs, lows and lots of surprises. I find myself staring at her sweet little face breathing in her shallow breaths, and I probably check that she's still alive at least 10 times a day. I have been waiting so long for her I just don't want to miss a second of it. I love the way she places one hand over the other when she sleeps, I love her little patch of dark hair in the back of her head that shoots straight up like a female version of Alfalfa, I love the the way I always catch her staring back up at me when I think she's sleeping, I love hearing all those precious little squeaky noises throughout the night... I just love everything about her. She's so perfect I can't believe she's mine. I have to admit, this feeling was absolutely worth the wait.





Saturday, February 4, 2017

faith, trust & believe

On January 23rd, my husband and I welcomed Faye Elizabeth into the world. She weighed 8 lbs 11 oz, measured 19 inches long and has a head full of black hair (which is shocking, because her blonde older brother was bald until he was almost 2 years old!) But more importantly, so far our sweet little girl is healthy. That still feels surreal to say.

The name Faye has always been at the top of our list. Back when we lived in Chicago, there was a local jewelry store called Fey's Jewelers. Whenever my husband and I walked past it, we always talked about the name Fey (we prefer the spelling "Faye") being a cute girl's name to remember for some day in the future. I thought the name was simple and sweet, but still had some strength behind it.

When we revisited our baby names list this pregnancy, I decided to look up the meanings of some of our top choices. I learned that the name Faye is French, and it means to have faith, to trust and to believe -- the 3 things I needed to do to survive this sub-pregnancy. I took it as a sign from our sweet angels, and we decided Faye was the perfect name for our double rainbow.

The days leading up to Faye's arrival were some of the most difficult days of this entire pregnancy. I was 8 days overdue and the wait really messed with me emotionally. The nursery was complete, the tags on her new clothes were cut and everything was washed and put away.... and I don't know, I just started to panic. I think I had too much time to think. I swear, from week 35-40 I was more excited than scared. But the second I hit 40 weeks and 1 day, for some reason, something in my brain switched and I convinced myself that something terrible was going to happen at delivery. I had nightmares about delivering a stillborn baby and had a few full-on meltdowns to James about all the  "what ifs" that could happen. So when my doctor suggested we induce on the 23rd due to lower fluid levels and her size (she was measuring 9 lbs 11 oz), I felt ready to put myself out of misery.

We arrived at the hospital at 4:30 am and one of the first things the nurse did was a review of my medical history. Included in that lovely review was of course my pregnancy history -- 1 living child, 1 miscarriage and 1 "loss." Even the nurse didn't want to call it what it really was. James squeezed my hand tight and we both looked at each other, and in that moment, I felt the presence of our sweet angels. They were there with us. I didn't need my medical history said out loud to remember that they led us to that delivery room, and they were going to lead us to Faye. I finally felt a sense of calmness rush over me, and I entered into the induction process feeling at peace.

Our sweet Faye was born at 2:24 pm after a seamless delivery. The second the doctor placed her in my arms, every ounce of pain and fear and sadness were sucked out of my heart and were instantly replaced with pure joy. I breathed in her sweet baby smell and exhaled from deepest part of my lungs.

She's here, and she's perfect.