We are officially a family of five! On November 12th, we welcomed another sweet baby girl:
We were on Team Gray this pregnancy, and it was so worth the wait for that moment when baby arrived to find out finally — boy, or girl??? I had about five baby dreams while pregnant, in all of which it was a girl. So I had sort of thought and hoped it was a girl, but had been afraid to let myself think that too much…
I’ve been in newborn mama bliss mode since her birthday. I’m exhausted as any other newborn mama, but nevertheless in heaven. I might be crazy, but I love the newborn stage. The tiny, curled up cuddles; the squeaks and stretches; that physical connection you have with this tiny being you carried for nine months… I could stare at her perfect features and describe them to you for hours, but I’ll restrain myself.
Savoring the First 48 Hours
This time more than ever, we cherished those early hours with Littlest One. We knew the hospital stay was the slowest things would be from this point on, and the level of activity at home even greater two big siblings. That private time with just mom, dad, and baby is so special — you’re seeing every feature of your newborn child for the first time, taking in every detail, sound, and movement. And for us, registering what it meant to have another girl: CJ’s not just the big brother, but the only brother, and we have TWO girls who get to be playmates and besties (and okay, sometimes not friends…).
We also savored our hospital sleep before we got home. That means we sent baby to the nursery at night. We felt absolutely no guilt about doing this: She had the best care while we fell deeply asleep (and every time I awoke, I was so ready and excited to have her back with me, I was up more easily). The rest of the time, we just sat and held her, looked at her, cuddled, and soaked her in.
Picking Up, and Putting Down, My Camera
Wanting to just be with our new baby, I didn’t try to overdo it with the camera. I was also pretty weak in the first 24 hours after delivery, and I knew I needed to be very careful and take things slowly (all was well by the end of Day 1, I just needed some extra TLC).
I did of course have my camera and snapped a few shots. My favorite moments I wanted to capture, not surprising, are dad cuddling his new baby and the first sibling encounter…
Big Sibling Excitement? or Angst?
We were so curious to see, how would siblings’ first encounter with baby go???
About as expected, I suppose? My parents brought them over after church on Sunday. Belle fell asleep in the car right before they arrived and stayed asleep through most of the visit. CJ was elated, and seeing him hold his sister for the first time, then keep his eyes glued to her in the bassinet, was pretty much straight-out-of-a-tv-commercial perfection. He was amazed by her tiny fingers and toes, interpreted her little grunts and noises for us, and took great pride in how happy she was in his arms.
Belle woke up with a furrowed brow and “where the heck is this?” look on her face. She wanted her daddy so badly and curled up in his arms. She wasn’t sure what to think of the baby, so simply acknowledged it and kept focus on her dad. She eyed me warily and didn’t come near me (understandably). She hated to be separated from Charlie at the end, after a tearful departure he went home that night to help comfort her and put her to bed.
While CJ wanted to visit again, we decided it was best not to bring them back. I’d had hopes of seeing both kids holding their baby sister in the hospital, getting a hug from both, but I easily saw it was in their best interest not to try again.
Much more to come on Littlest One’s new role in our family, the other kids’ adjustments (and throw downs, which of course happened), the ups and downs of the first weeks, and all we’re learning and loving with baby #3.