Category Archives: Hannah

Maternity Leave

I’m savoring the last bits of my maternity leave as I’m slowly easing back into my job. I officially go back to work on October 22nd. Before I left I promised I’d facilitate some trainings in mid-October, so I’ve already dipped my toes back into the working world.

This maternity leave has been oh so very different from my leave with Ben. Hannah’s leave started right away with a beautiful baby girl coming home from the hospital as a one-day old. Alex took two wonderful weeks off of work to spend with us as we adjusted to life with two. Then, I was on my own with Hannah and Stacey maintained her regular schedule with Ben.

It was so special to have this bonding time with Hannah. She and I have become extremely connected – so much so that she often refuses to be held by anyone else. I will always remember this time so fondly and with tremendous gratitude that I had the opportunity to spend so much time with my baby girl.

We enjoyed our long walks in the late summer sun and savoring those first few crisp and sunny fall days with pumpkin lattes at our daily stop at the coffee shop, we trekked over the mountains to The Lodge four whole times, we made new friends with other mamas and babies and we enjoyed going to a variety of exercise classes together. I’ve been able to read NINE books while on maternity leave! It has been so much fun to get lost in good books. I have a Kindle Paperwhite with a soft back light that makes it so I can read during the middle-of-the-night feedings.

There were challenges, too. Mostly with me being home and around while Ben was there. As time has gone on he has become more and more sweet with wanting to just be with Hannah and me instead of with Stacey. I think it’s hard for him to understand and it’s a sticky dynamic with Stacey. During the day I found I needed to be out of the house if Ben was home, which really complicated my days and my schedule and required me to be quite flexible.

My going back to work is the beginning of several major changes for our family. I’m not feeling super settled right now with our childcare arrangements since we pulled Ben out of preschool. That is making it a little harder on me to go back to work. We’re throwing a huge challenge at our au pair, Stacey, giving her a very hands-on Benjamin, as well as a hands-on newborn. We are working on getting Ben into another preschool {more to come on that in another post} so that Stacey’s primary focus can be on Hannah, at least for part of the day, and Ben can be with other kids his age.

It’s very bittersweet to be leaving Hannah, grabbing my work bag and throwing on a non-mom-on-the-go outfit as I head back to adult life as a mom of two. I’m looking forward to some more adult time, having more opportunities to use both of my hands at the same time, drink coffee while it’s hot, stimulate my brain a bit, have conversations that have nothing to do with negotiating with a toddler and making a difference to people outside of my house. Here’s to a the start of a new chapter!

One-on-One Time

One of the biggest challenges of now having a second child is making sure Alex and I are spending one-on-one time with both kiddos. Naturally I am spending oodles of time with Hannah, thus defaulting to more Alex-Ben time. It’s the reverse that gets trickier.

Lately, Alex and I have been going out of our way to make sure I am able to spend quality time with Ben, just the two of us. Even if it’s ten minutes here or there, like giving him a bath or putting him to bed. We’ve been a little lax on our “green light” wake up rule and have allowed Ben to get up earlier to spend time with me in the morning before Hannah wakes up. It’s important that we have that time together.

Sweet Ben has started requesting cuddle time at 4:30 in the morning. As much as Alex and I would both love to snuggle him for the rest of the night in bed with us we know that’s a slippery slope and don’t want to have to undo that down the road. So, our days have been starting around 4:30 {or earlier for those of us who wake up to feed baby Hannah, usually from 3-4} while we work to get Ben to stay in his bed for the rest of the night. It’s hard to be too upset about this since all Ben wants is to come and cuddle with us, buttttt we really like to sleep in later than 4:30.

Ben and I have had a few mama/Ben dates, most recently with a run down to Madison Park with a pit stop at the coffee shop, park and beach. It was such a special morning with Ben.

Alex is also trying to find ways to spend time with Hannah. He’ll often bring her with him in the mornings when he walks Jackson and that’s not only a great start to the day but a great way for him to connect with her and enjoy cuddle time.

We’re still figuring out how to balance our two kiddos who both have very different needs, demands and schedules, and I think we’re doing okay. Maybe someday things will slow down and normalize? Probably not!

Hannah is Two Months Old!

Time is moving at warp speed, these days. Sometimes it feels like Hannah has been here forever and other times it feels like she was just born yesterday. In any case, she’s two months old now.

We had her two-month checkup recently and she weighs 12 pounds 8 ounces {75th percentile} and is 21.75 inches long {10th percentile}. She got her first round of a whole mess of vaccines, which makes me happy since Ben is now in school with a bunch of other germy kids. Hannah is still in 0-3 month clothing but is ready to jump up into 3-6 any day now, which is great, because I only bought summer 0-3 month stuff and she’s been living in her jammies for a few weeks now!

Hannah continues to be an absolute delight. She is such a good cuddler – I love when she falls asleep, her tummy to mine, and her arms and legs stretched around my torso. It’s the sweetest. She still makes little chipmunk noises, but her newborn noises are already starting to disappear. In the last few weeks she has started smiling. I guess that rivals the sweetest thing, too.

We’ve been working on tummy time and Hannah’s neck strength is really improving. She has started to roll over from her tummy to her back already!

I’m not sure if it’s too early to “call” her personality, but so far, she’s very happy and very calm and patient. Since we have a two year old, that is very much appreciated! There were a couple of days when I had Ben and Hannah on my own all day and they were very trying days with Ben, and Hannah just hung out so patiently and calmly while I put Ben’s needs first.

Hannah’s eating is inconsistent throughout the day, but consistent day-to-day. She starts the day with a meal around 3 or 4 a.m., then wakes up again for a super quick snack sometime between 5-7 a.m. and then sort of cluster feeds for a lot of the morning, hangs out awake mostly all morning, eats lunch and then snoozes all afternoon. Dinnertime is a little tricky – I’ve been preparing dinner in the middle of the afternoon while Hannah sleeps, whenever I’m able to, because come 5:00, Hannah has a 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 hour feeding frenzy. This is a-ok, though, {mostly} because she’s been sleeping 7 or 8 hour stretches at night.

This last month Hannah got to meet 3 of her 4 grandparents and she’ll meet Grandpa Fred next week. She also got to meet her Great Uncle Dave and Aunt Katie, too!

We absolutely adore our sweet Hannah Maxine. She brings our whole family so much joy!

Mama Moments

I’ve been “moming” 100% of the time lately. That’s what happens when you’ve got a newborn, I guess! I have had some extremely sweet and special mama moments over these last couple months, and in particular, the last few weeks, that I really want to remember them.

{Most recently, Ben and I had our first “date” since Hannah was born. It was perfect. We went to Madison Park and got a coffee/steamed milk and a pastry then walked across the street to play at the park. Super normal day but oh so special for both of us.}

{My first afternoon with both kids by myself! The first hour {while Ben was contained in the stroller} was totally calm, the rest was total chaos! It was wonderful, though, and I loved it.}

{The best, best, best mama moment EVER was right here. My two littles holding hands. Heart melted.}

{My mama bear hat + baby girl out at our mountain house!}

{No explanation needed!}

{This I call “moming with migraine” – Alex set up a zero gravity chair outside so I could feed/hold Hannah, relax, get some fresh air and see Ben after being gone for the whole day. Migraine was gone in about 30 minutes after parking it here with my two littles.}

{This sweet baby girl and I have had a wonderful first month together. Many of our outings have been in search of coffee!}

{This boy has so much of my heart.}

{I can’t not include a picture from when Hannah was born. She and I have been having the best snuggles. I can’t get over how sweet and perfect my baby girl is!}

{Being a mama to these two littles is basically the best thing ever. I am so grateful for this season of my life!}

Hannah is One Month Old!

Well that went fast! I can not believe Hannah is already a month old. She is such a dream of a baby and we absolutely adore her.

Hannah 9 pounds 8 ounces {50th percentile!} and at her two-week checkup she was 19.5 inches tall. She won’t have another well-child checkup until two months {apparently second-time parents don’t need the one-month checkup!}.

She already burst out of newborn size clothes and is comfortably in 0-3 month now. I’m trying to get as much wear out of the adorable 0-3 month summer stuff I overbought for her. It is SO FUN having a little girl to dress.

At this point I’m in love with most things pink {especially light pink} and really not feeling much/any frill or super girly stuff. I’m more into the low-key casual baby girl clothes for my little girl, especially since she spends so much time either swaddled or wrapped up in the carrier. Dresses are just too bulky for my taste right now. Who knew!? I’ve been loving cute little low-profile soft headbands for her when we go out and about, too. {And just for the record, I have discovered the absolute best baby/swaddle blankets: Bestaroo!}

Our days right now are filled with lots and lots of eating, lots and lots of sleeping, some tummy time, tons of snuggles, walks {mainly to the coffee shop!}, hugs and kisses from big brother Ben and lots of time in the carrier. She is starting to be awake a lot more and is really alert. I’m so impressed how quickly she’s building up neck strength and head control.

Hannah is eating every 2-4 hours right now, depending on the time of day. She’s been able to really regulate her overnight meals quite nicely lately and does a meal around 10 p.m., 2 a.m. and then 5 or 6 a.m.. During the day she’s eating more like every 2-3 hours. It’s nice that she’s getting to be a bit more predictable and consistent with her meal times. Alex started giving her a bottle most nights last week which has been really nice for him to feel more involved with her {and for me to get a little more sleep!}.

Next up is getting on a good routine with naps and bedtime so that we can really build some consistency for us all. That said, I think flexibility will be super important with our baby #2 since our toddler rules the roost.

As a one-month old, Hannah loves being swaddled or cozied up in the baby carrier {we have the Cuddle Bug wrap}. We just introduced her to the pacifier and it was love at first sight, as we had expected. She is starting to want to be included more and loves being carried around or just sitting in the rock & play. Luckily, she also loves taking walks and seems to enjoy the bassinet on our stroller. She’s not really a fan of being in the car seat {can’t blame her there!}.

It’s going to be so fun to see what Hannah starts doing in her second month. We’ve got a lot to look forward to with this sweet girl!

 

 

Hannah’s Newborn Photo Shoot

I’m so excited to share some of our favorite photos from Hannah’s newborn photo shoot. Our family photographer, Kim, came to our house when Hannah was a week and a half old and captured some sweet moments with our whole family, as well as some of just baby Hannah and a few of Alex and me with Hannah. Ben was such a trooper for the photo shoot and we got some great smiles from him, too.

Ben + Hannah: Week Three

We’re at the beginning of our third week as parents of two! We are all really adjusting to our new normal – Alex is back at work now and Ben seems to be recognizing all of the changes going on around him. I’m used to the cute little chipmunk noises that wake me up in the middle of the night with a polite request for some milk please. All in all, we’re really settling in to this new life of ours.

Everyone keeps asking how Ben is doing, so I’ll start there. Ben really couldn’t be any sweeter with Hannah – he asks to see her in the morning when he wakes up and wants to be sure to say goodnight to her before bed or nap. It is precious. He gives her hugs and kisses and loves checking in on his baby sister.

In the last few days we’ve had to up the ante on toddler discipline. I’m guessing it’s part due to toddlerhood, part due to all of the changes that have taken place recently. I have a few friends who have kids the exact same age as Ben who have mentioned that there has been a recent increase in whining and the need for more discipline and they don’t have new babies at home. Seems like Ben is just really starting to push the boundaries more and more, which is just a part of being a two-year old!

Last week Ben had another big change – we converted his crib into a toddler bed! He is so excited about the change. He loves getting into his bed and getting cozy with his stuffed animals. So far bedtimes and nap times have been totally normal – he gets into his bed and falls asleep right away. Wake ups have been a little different if he wakes up before his light turns green {signaling it’s ok to be awake}. We told him he can get out of his bed and play quietly with his toys while he waits for the light to turn green.

Smarty pants knows how to turn the light green, soooooo on Sunday morning after I had him go back in his room to wait for the light to turn green, he went back in his room and changed it to green. Naturally. He’s actually been sleeping in a little bit later so we haven’t had too many days yet where he’s woken up before the green light comes on. Stay tuned…

Ben is turning into such a big kid. His agility for a young two-year old is extremely impressive. It is so cool {and terrifying!!} to watch him climb ladders and ropes at the park. He’s been loving riding his bicycle and he’s really getting the hang of it. We have a balance bike for him in lieu of training wheels – he pushes the two-wheeled bicycle with his feet and ultimately it will help teach him how to balance on the two wheels. This is supposed to make the transition to a “two-wheeler” a bit easier. And maybe happen earlier? Not sure on that one…

We’ve been getting out a ton over the last two weeks. It was so fun having Alex home for our first two weeks and now we’re easing into having him be back at work.

{Highly anticipated trip to Bottlehouse for a glass of rose on the patio!!!}

{Alex took Jackson and Ben with him on a run over the weekend – I can’t wait to get back into running, especially after hearing how much Ben loved it!}

{Thursday evenings mean concerts in the park! We brought our own little picnic and enjoyed Ben’s first concert. He was the star of the evening and absolutely loved dancing to the live music. Ben LOVES music!}

{Baby’s first trip to a brewery! We brought Hannah out for a pseudo rehearsal dinner/social hour to celebrate our friends’ wedding.}

{Alex represented the two of us at the actual wedding and I stayed home with the kids – he had a blast catching up with our friends, literally from around the world.}

{Alex pulled the bike trailer out of storage and he and Ben biked down to the beach. This was undoubtedly a highlight of Alex’s 2 weeks off.}

{Ben loved the bike ride too!}

{Beach time!}

{Ben and I had a low-key morning together and baked a fruit crisp! It was so fun getting him involved in baking. Sometimes I forget just how capable he is and how able he is at doing things. We’ve been trying to incorporate him more and more into our daily tasks and giving him responsibilities. He loves being a helper and being involved.}

{Hannah and I have gotten out on some really nice long walks together. It is so wonderful to be able to get back into light exercise.}

So far, our experience with Hannah has been completely incomparable to our first two weeks with Ben. We didn’t have Ben home until he was four weeks old, so that’s a stark contrast. We never experienced the brand new baby things like those initial middle-of-the-night feeds, breastfeeding at all, dealing with the stinky umbilical cord stump, all of the doctors appointments in the first few weeks and just the general experience of having a super newborn baby.

It has been so fun to go through the brand new baby phase with Hannah. She is such a dream. She is eating so well and that has been such a joy for me to experience. She bounced back up and surpassed her birth weight in about 10 days – last Thursday she was 9 ounces over her birth weight already!

Hannah loves being cozy and wrapped up in a snuggly swaddle, though she’s quick to pop her arms out; she seems to enjoy going for walks and loves being in the wrap carrier, which I’ve had her in quite a bit so far. We’ve only given her a few baths so far and she seems to really enjoy them. She’s not a big fan of getting her diaper changed or being in the car when it stops moving.

I know we’re only just over 2 weeks into Hannah’s life, so it’s a little early to tell, but so far she seems suuuuuper chill. She is becoming more and more alert and spending more time awake during the day, which has been so fun. I love seeing her little dark blue eyes open more and more each day. Her appearance has really changed since she was born too – she still has all of her dark hair and the same deep blue eyes and pink skin tone, but I think her face shape is changing and I don’t see as much resemblance to Ben as I did when she first arrived. I’m not really sure who she looks like at this point!

 

Life is definitely different now that Hannah is here. We’re so happy that she arrived when she did and we’re loving our new family dynamic.

 

Hannah’s Birth Story

Our sweet girl is here! She arrived on a beautiful, hot, sunny Seattle day – two and a half weeks early at 5:11 p.m. on Sunday July 22nd, 2018 after eight hours of labor. We are so loving our first days as a family of four and I’m excited to share and document the story of her arrival.

Just after I laid down to go to bed on Saturday night I felt a really strong contraction and then my water broke! Earlier that day I had a really upset stomach and had an extremely strong nesting urge and just had an inkling she was coming soon. Alex was out at a bachelor party when my water broke so he hurried home – thankfully I had warned him earlier in the day that I wasn’t feeling well and to puhlease take it easy! Not really wanting to go to the hospital quite yet since I wasn’t having consistent contractions we decided to wait it out at home, get some rest and hopefully be able to see Ben in the morning.

By about 8 that morning my contractions had tapered off and we decided to head to the hospital since nothing was really happening on its own. Of course they admitted me, agreed that nothing was happening on its own {I was only dilated to 1 cm} and told me they were going to start me on a low dose of Pitocin to augment labor.

I was in grave denial at this point that a) this baby was going to be born really soon and b) that I was getting Pitocin. So far in my pregnancy every doctor has told me that Pitocint was off the table because I was doing a trial of labor after cesarean {TOLAC – also known as VBAC}. I had to completely change my mindset, and thankfully my doctor helped explain it in a very understandable way why she was putting me on Pitocin, and wrap my head around the idea that Hannah was on her way out. Nothing was happening naturally, so it was either Pitocin or c-section. I opted for Pitocin. We quickly called our doula, Mercedes, to come meet us at the hospital and she was there by 9:30.

I quickly got “settled” into a birthing suite and hooked up to an extremely low dose of Pitocin at 9:00. The doctor told me that at the most I’d go up to 14 on the Pitocin scale and that a low-risk pregnancy would go up to 30. The Pitocin definitely kicked things off almost immediately and the contractions started becoming more regular.

Just after our doula arrived at 9:30 baby girl’s heart rate plummeted – something we had all too much experience with during my time in the hospital when I was pregnant with Ben. A bunch of nurses rushed in, I got put on oxygen and a minute or two later she recovered. Needless to say, my hopes of a VBAC were quickly waning if she had a decel that quickly into the Pitocin. They backed off for 30 minutes and then hooked me back up at 10.

I was in early labor for a couple hours. I had a fine time coping with the labor pains, didn’t much enjoy throwing up a lot, but was able to get through it ok. Around 11 or 12 the doctor came in to check my cervix and I was 3 centimeters dilated. She said that baby’s head was very, very low but my cervix was not in the right position yet. I had a long ways to go.

Baby ended up having another big heart deceleration and the doctor made me change into a hospital gown. I knew she was preparing for an emergency c-section. Also, the whole labor I wasn’t allowed in the birthing tub because of the heightened risk that I was under.

The next couple hours are hazy and the details get foggy. I did lay down in bed to try to get some rest since I never really went to sleep the night before. Once I woke up the contractions were stronger and stronger. I did a lot of supported swaying on Alex and the birth ball and found distraction in deep breaths and just tried to relax as much as I could.

I think around 2:30 or 3 or so the doctor came in and confirmed I was still only at 3-4 centimeters. After a series of more very intense contractions I announced I was having trouble coping with the idea of being in this much pain for so much longer since I had so much farther to go. I made the decision to get an epidural to help manage the pain. I was feeling really defeated – normally I have such a high pain tolerance and I couldn’t believe I was throwing in the towel after only making it to 4 centimeters, but if it was this agonizing now, I couldn’t imagine hours and hours more.

The anesthesiologist was extremely prompt and came in within about 10 minutes {maybe around 3:45?}, placed the epidural and then the doctor came in to check me again. She was flabbergasted when she realized I had dilated to 10 centimeters – it was almost time to start pushing! At 4:00 the doctor made the call to have me labor down {basically sit and wait and let the baby drop down the birth canal} for 30 minutes and then start pushing.

I couldn’t believe it when I heard the doctor say I was at 10 cm – no wonder I was in so much agony – I made it through active labor and transition in about an hour. I learned in our birthing class that typically the faster your labor progresses the more intense it is. Also, because my water had already broken, I didn’t have any cushion to help take the contractions. I was elated to hear the news and it made me feel much stronger that I had fully dilated on my own, which is something I had hopes of being able to do. Our “birth plan” was to have an outcome of a healthy baby and a healthy mama – the rest was up to the baby and the doctor. I had come into the hospital being open to the idea of an epidural depending on how things went; I didn’t have terribly strong feelings either way, but I did want to get through as much of an unmedicated labor as I could.

My 30 minutes of laboring down turned into 45 when the nurse and the fellow had a miscommunication. Though I had an epidural I still was having enormous pressure and the feeling that I needed to push. I’m not sure when they turned off the epidural, but they definitely did pretty quickly. So, this 45 minutes was absolutely, positively not a complete walk in the park. I will say, I am very glad I got the epidural and it really helped carry me through the finish line.

At about 4:45 the doctor came in and was surprised I hadn’t started pushing. She got everything set up and around 4:50 or 4:55 I started pushing. The baby’s head was extremely low and after three rounds of pushing the doctor was wondering why she wasn’t out yet, come to find out that I had a very full bladder that was blocking the baby’s exit. After that got taken care of, all it took was one more round of pushing and out she came! Our baby girl was born at 5:11 p.m. on Sunday July 22nd.

She went straight to my chest and and was screaming her little lungs out. I knew she was strong and fierce in utero and she proved it right away when she arrived. Her apgar scores were 9, 9 and 9. We were able to delay clamping the umbilical cord and I was able to see the placenta, which was so incredible. She weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and was 19 inches long.

The “golden hour” with our sweet girl really was golden. I got to hold her for a full hour before the nurse did any measurements or cleaned her up. It was sheer bliss. She opened her little blue eyes just after she calmed down and stared right at me. I loved those first few moments snuggling with her and then the experience of being able to nurse her. She’s pretty much a natural – she got it right away. I think she and I are going to be a pretty good team.

Right when she arrived we knew she was a Hannah Maxine. Alex picked her name – Maxine, her middle name, is after his paternal grandmother. Maxine was sharp as a tack, extremely strong and didn’t take anything from anybody. Hannah is really just a name Alex liked {I like it too :)} and thought it fit well with Ben’s name and pictured our little Hannah with pigtails hanging out of her ski helmet charging down the mountain and thought it was a perfectly fitting name for our girl.

Hannah weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and was 19 inches at birth.

Hannah’s arrival was smooth and steady and so very emotional for us. We are so, so very grateful to have been able to have a “normal” experience with my pregnancy and Hannah’s birth. We are over-the-moon with our sweet little girl and are so delighted to be a family of four.

 

Our First Week as a Foursome

Baby Hannah is officially a week old! We have been loving our time together this past week. These are the days I wish I could freeze time – or at least have a camera crew follow us around recording this special time for our new family of four.

After Hannah was born our hospital stay was very short-lived. We got discharged about 27 hours after she arrived. Our initial day in the hospital was crazy. Alex got up with the sun, ran home to take Jackson to the park and play ball and be back home before Ben woke up so they could go through Ben’s morning routine together and Alex could explain that his baby sister was born.

Then! Alex brought Ben to the hospital to meet his baby sister. Throughout my whole pregnancy, and especially near the end, what I was most excited for was seeing Ben as a big brother. He has such a sweet, loving and caring personality and I figured he’d nail it. So far, I was right. Ben knew just what to do and it completely melted my heart.

It was really emotional for me leaving Ben when I headed into the hospital because I knew that was the last time I’d see him as an only child. Then when I saw him for the first time in his “World’s Best Big Brother” t-shirt the next morning he looked like a giant. I swear he grew up overnight. He must have been preparing to become a big brother.

Hospitals are no place for super active two-year olds, so Ben’s visit was pretty short. Alex brought him back home to spend the day with Stacey, our au pair, and then came right back to the hospital, just in time for the revolving door of our room to start moving. I swear we had someone in our room every 15 minutes. It was impossible to get a nap in or have a moment to enjoy some cuddles with Hannah.

Later in the day we found out that Hannah’s and my blood types were different – I have a negative blood type and she’s positive – and that they found some of my antibodies in her cord blood. Without going into the nitty gritty of it – this can be a prime setup for jaundice, so we had to stay a couple extra hours to do some blood work and check her bilirubin levels. Poor girl had to get her heel pricked twice because the samples on the first prick clotted. We were getting so nervous that she’d have to stay in the hospital for a few extra days and do photo therapy. Thankfully, per the whole Hannah experience, her levels were totally fine and we got discharged around 9:30 that night. We were waiting on pins and needles for about 5 hours awaiting that news!

Our first night at home with Hannah was so sweet. She was awake a ton – she was cluster feeding a lot in the middle of the night for the first four nights, so we got to have a lot of sweet cuddles and bonding time. I think the cluster feeding helped my milk come in really quickly, too, which is great. Now, nine days in, she mostly eats every 2-3 hours with a good 4-hour stretch overnight.

It was the sweetest thing when we all woke up on Tuesday morning at home together as a family of four. Ben was so excited to see his baby sister at home and wanted nothing but to sit with her and give her hugs and kisses. He was so sweet with her.

Alex is home for two weeks while we adjust to having Hannah and we decided we wanted Ben’s weekdays to be as normal as possible, so Stacey is still on with Ben mostly full-time. We are giving her a break at some point every day to have some one-on-one time with Ben while Hannah is asleep so that he knows he’s still special. I had so much fun playing in our backyard water park one day with him and Alex took him on a super fun outing to REI another day, which he won’t stop talking about!

We spent every morning last week in the doctor’s office checking in on Hannah’s {non-existent} jaundice. The doctors wanted to keep a very close eye on her skin and eye color and her weight. I keep saying I think Hannah looks like a little peach – her skin is such a beautiful pink and she’s got little baby fuzz all over still. No sign of jaundice! Hannah only lost 6% of her body weight, which is great, and by Friday of last week {five days after birth} she was back up to 6 pounds 8 ounces {her birth weight was 6 pounds 11 ounces}. She got the all-clear on Friday and we were discharged into the world! We’ll be back at the doctor at the end of this week for Hannah’s 2-week checkup.

Last week I swear Ben’s growth and maturity skyrocketed. He looks gigantic, feels super heavy and is becoming such a big kid. He started wearing underwear, singing the days of the week and he climbed out of his crib and opened the door to his room. It was a big week for him! Needless to say, a big boy bed is on its way. He’s been nailing it with potty training – a lot of people warned us about regression, but he’s actually made very noticeable progressions in the last week. We are so proud of that little boy!

Hannah is an absolute dream – she is so calm and content. It’s been fun the last few days to see her little eyes be open more and more throughout the day. Her umbilical cord stump came off over the weekend so now we can start tummy time. I think it will be really neat for Ben to be able to interact with her while she’s hanging out on her belly. Hannah is eating and sleeping really well and loves being all cozily swaddled or snuggled up in someone’s arms.

Alex and I have been commenting on an almost daily basis how different the experience with Hannah has been from our experience with Ben. The delivery was completely different {birth story coming soon!} and bringing home a one-day old baby, versus a 26-day old baby was so, so different. We missed out on the initial first few weeks with Ben and are so enjoying the experience with Hannah. The middle-of-the-night cluster feeds, frequent trips to the doctor and all of the cuddles and love have been so meaningful for us and we’re so grateful to have our sweet girl at home with us.

My recovery has been a breeze. Right after Hannah came out I instantly felt like a normal person again. No heartburn {!!!!!!!!!!!} and I just felt not pregnant. Really, it was instant. I was bed-bound for a few hours waiting for the epidural to wear off and be able to feel my legs again, but otherwise, it’s been a walk in the park, especially compared to a c-section. I’ve been choosing my chairs wisely, as it’s been uncomfortable to sit on hard chairs, but thankfully by day four that’s been really manageable. We’ve been getting out for long walks pretty much every day and it’s just the best!

So far our time as a family of four has been filled with joy and an abundance of love for our new dynamic and our new addition. Hannah has provided a calming presence and our hearts are just overflowing when we see how much Ben loves his baby sister already. We are so, so happy.