January 13th: Holden's Birthday

I better write this down, before I begin to forget the details. I will add pictures to this post soon, to help you visualize it all.

So as mentioned, Holden came early, and in a hurry. I didn't feel ready. It wasn't how it was supposed to go. But on the way to the hospital, I started to feel really excited. Dr. Seeker was there and man, he really is worth the wait, just his calm presence and excitement. Makes you feel like he has all the experience in the world and yet, like your baby is the first baby he's ever delivered.

When Holden was plopped on my chest- she was white and gooey. And I just stared at her. She was quiet and I kept asking if everything was okay, though I could see her breathing and they assured me she was fine. Moments later, right after they cleaned her up, she was the brightest, healthiest, pinkish/red color. Like she had just gotten back from the Bahamas. :) She didn't look like Davis, (it's silly, but I sort of expected her to look just like him, simply because that's all I knew) and while she looked like she was our baby, we didn't think she looked exactly like either one of us, either. But she was perfect. And calm. And we were so calm. It was weird, almost as though we had done that before. Ha.

She was born at 10:03, and by 12:30, we were in our post-partum room. We had joked about how different it would be this time, how we would have visitors, and we wouldn't hunker down in our dimly lit room with the shades pulled. We said we would pull the blinds and let the sun shine in right away- so it was funny when we got to our room and the windows actually faced an interior (and dark) space. Bummer.

I tried breastfeeding. And it didn't go well. But I said I would try again after they took her to the nursery and ran the usual tests. The whole situation brought me down so quickly. I knew it wasn't going to work...and I didn't want to feel depressed about it...but I also felt the pressure that it should work. I should MAKE IT WORK. I did try again. And they suggested I meet with the lactation consultant. I didn't really say "yeah, sounds great" but instead sort of just went with it. But when the same lactation consultant walked in that I had last time and immediately started critiquing everything I was doing- I knew- I was done.

"Eskkiiinnn to esskiiinnn" (skin to skin) she would say with her castillian spanish accent. I wanted to punch her. Anyway- so that was that. Moving on. Decided to actually enjoy the time with Holden and forego breastfeeding.

The rest of the nurses were AMAZING. Seriously. And last time, we were underwhelmed. The whole visit was like a completely different experience. That night, we let her stay in the nursery so we could make up for the lack of sleep the night before, also knowing that those first two nights in the nursery were going to be the only nights we weren't getting up every couple hours, for a very long time. But I would wake up almost every two hours anyway. And I would have to go see her and check to make sure someone was feeding her. Again, my night nurse was amazing, and I had her both nights. It was like she knew exactly what I was thinking and she would say "Sam, feel free to get her if you like, but I just fed her and she is doing great and is already sleeping. You should get some rest." And I did.

I won't forget waking up in the night, feeling so excited to see her again. Walking down the hall, stopping for a cranberry juice (or 2 or 3 or 4- seriously- I cleared the fridge out- they were SO GOOD) and sometimes a rainbow pop, and then going over to peer through the nursery window at her. It was such an exciting feeling.

When we took her to the nursery the first night, there were about 5 babies in there, lined up in one row, right by the viewing window. She was the only little girl- we could tell by the bow on the hospital hat. When I went back in at midnight, it was like Grand Central Station. Seriously. At least 15 babies had come. Holden was still right by the window- but as Bennett said- by this point, she was triple parked. :)

Each night when she was in the nursery- I would wake up just dying to bring her back in- but also knowing that I would need this sleep. So every morning around 5 or 6 I would go get her and start the day. She never cried. She just snuggled until it was time to eat, then she ate, and went back to sleep. And she LOVED to sleep on our chests. Still does.

On Friday, my mom and Nikki were there when she was born. Then later that day, B and Courtney brought Davis up. He walked in- and had somehow grown about 2 years worth in just 24 hours. I'll never forget his face. he peeked around the corner so cautiously, just knowing that something big had happened. And he saw me and I saw him and my heart got so big it felt like it would burst. I had been so busy and so caught up with Holden, but the second I saw him, I realized exactly how much I missed him.

He quickly climbed up on the bed and laid his head against me. And though we kept trying to show him the baby, he was more interested in all the buttons on the bed. After about 20 minutes, he realized that she was there and he just wanted to kiss and hold her. My sweet boy.

Saturday was filled with visitors, which was great, and then Saturday night Davis and I got pizza and wings and channel flipped between some important football game and Miss America. You would have never guessed we had just had a new baby. Everything was so different this time. We were so calm and we were able to enjoy it all. I am so thankful for that.

Sunday morning we had to get a new car seat for Holden because she was so small. And soon after that, we headed home. I couldn't wait to see Davis, and I was so hopeful he would feel happy in his heart and know how much I loved him.

Time moved so fast in all of this. And that's the only thing that has been hard for me. Well, that and the fact that Davis has been sick since she's been home and I've had to send him to school or Fredericksburg to keep him from getting Holden sick. And today- Bennett and Holden are in Fredericksburg- which almost breaks my heart. I want time to slow down. I can't imagine that I'll ever have enough time with her this little- and I am certain that is because I see how fast it has gone with Davis.

It's still early, I know. And she is much easier in general, simply because the feeding stuff is going so well, but I don't dread the nights. I'm tired, but I look forward to holding her and having her fall asleep on my chest, and I don't want to wish it away...because it goes so fast. And you realize that you can't get it back. And I know how fragile life is and how lucky I am to have her. And that is a little sneak peek into her birthday, and the days thereafter. I am one lucky girl.