When I started scrolling through these images from my photographer, my heart melted and I was just completely overwhelmed. Looking into the faces of my TWO sweet little boys made me cry tears of joy. These pictures mean so much to me. I love my boys and I love being a family of four! Here are some of my favorite images from Alder's newborn session...
On January 29th, 2017 at 2:47 PM our sweet Alder entered the world kicking and screaming. It was a perfect day and as I sit here thinking back on it, I am brought to tears. Giving birth is a beautiful thing. It's messy and painful, but it is a privilege, an honor and one of the most spiritual things I have ever experienced. Here is the story of the day my second son was born.
Let's rewind to my 38 week appointment. I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced and the doctor brought up induction. Since I was two weeks late with my first, she mentioned considering going ahead and scheduling an induction at my next appointment just to have it in the books. Honestly, at that point I really didn't want to be induced. I wanted the "real" experience this time. I wanted to make that call to my husband in panic mode saying "Hunny, get home now, my water just broke!" Don't ask me why, but I wanted all the crazy that comes with the contractions at home and scrambling around. It seemed exciting and I wanted it to happen naturally this time. Well my 39 week appointment came and I was progressing quickly. 5 cm and 85% effaced. The doctor brought up induction once again and was worried that if I didn't schedule an induction within the next few days, that I could end up giving birth in the car on the way to the hospital because she said when it happened, it would be quick. It was the doctor who delivered Aiden so she said nonchalantly, "I'm at the hospital on Sunday (it was Thursday) why don't you come in then, I'll break your water and we can have this baby." Those words sold me and I called to schedule my induction for Sunday at 10 am.
I still fully expected to go into labor on my own, but it never happened. So Saturday night I got to rock my sweet son and sing to him one last time before he would become a big brother. I got to cry some tears I'd been holding in and pray for his heart. I got to take my time packing the car Sunday morning, shower, eat breakfast and relax on our car ride to the hospital as snowflakes fell around us. It was serene and peaceful and wonderful.
We got admitted at the hospital, I got into my robe and got hooked up to Pitocin. We listened to Alder's heartbeat on the monitor and waited. At 11:40 the doctor came in and broke my water and then the contractions started.
With Aiden I got an epidural shortly after my water broke, but this time I just wanted to feel more and while it was painful, I kind of enjoyed it. Drew read the monitor and told me when I was at the peak of a contraction and helped me breathe through the pain. I had Hillsong on in the background and focused my energy on what was to come. I had no plans to do a natural birth so when I couldn't bare it anymore I asked for the epidural, then bliss. 45 minutes later, and 3 sets of pushes later, he was here. I was a Mama again.
Those first few moments after your baby is born, when the doctors hand them over to you and you look them in the eyes, is the closest thing to heaven on Earth that I've ever experienced. Meeting the life you've been growing inside of you for 9 months, the little human that prodded you in the middle of the night, that you felt hiccuping at all hours, that you sang to and prayed over...the moment you've dreamt of, prayed about and longed for is here. This thing that has been part of you, but is now separate from you is now breathing on his own and staring you in the face. It truly is a miracle.
After he spent the first hour of his little life laying on his Mama's chest, he was whisked away to be weighed and measured. 7 pounds 9 ounces of love. 52.5 cm. The entire time, just like his brother, Alder was looking around and taking in this big old world.
Then it was Daddy's turn to hold Alder and we simply stared in awe at the newest addition to our family. We were officially a family of 4 and we couldn't wait for Aiden to arrive to meet his little brother! Those photos are coming soon and they are absolutely adorable. My heart has never felt so full.
Our first week as a family of 4 has been messy, sweet, challenging, amazing, terrifying, heart warming and everything in between. Drew and I have had to learn how to be parents to two kids with two sets of completely different needs. Having to divide ourselves and the love we have to give in two different directions. We are learning how to teach our toddler about sharing us when that concept is completely foreign to him. We are learning how to be parents of a newborn again. We are learning how to balance our marriage again. We are learning about the joys tied with parenthood in a new way as we watch our firstborn kiss and show off his little brother.
To say the least, it has been a very FULL week.
Full diaper genies
Full of tears (including some of my own)
Full of baby snuggles
Full of sweet visitors with arms open to welcome Alder and comfort Aiden
Full of goodies and homemade meals
Full of Googling weird questions only parents of a newborn would ask
Full of parenting victories and parenting fails
Full of smiles and laughing at ourselves
Full of sweet Big Brother kisses and "pat pats"
Full of spit up spotted burp cloths
Full of late night feedings and nursery worship sessions
Full of exhaustion
Full of questioning and wondering how in the world are we going to do this?
Full of kissing the softest cheeks ever
Full breasts (sorry I had to)
Full of donuts and movies for a great Big Brother who deserves to be spoiled
Full loads in the washing machine
Full of exchanging glances with my husband that say, how did we get so lucky?
Full of the evolution of newborn poop
Full of forgetting to eat and not opening my make-up bag
Full of moments I never want to forget like the way Aiden gives Alder "pat pats" or the way he wants to help both Alder and I by bringing us burp cloths and pacifiers or by helping me clean up spit up.
Full of God's grace and being reminded that I am by no means Superwoman and I can't do this whole Mom thing in my own strength.
This will be a season of growing, of patience, of trusting, of learning of leaning on others and of remembering to smile and thanking God through it all.