one week.

i can't believe it has been an entire week since baby graham came into our life. but here we are.

it hasn't been perfect {this kid sure loves sleeping all day and being awake all night. and the boobs. so sore.}, but it has been sooooo much more enjoyable than with addi. to put things into perspective, when we went to addi's one week check up, zach and i finished with the doctor and then we just sat in the exam room for twenty minutes, trying not to cry and not wanting to go home. a nurse came in and was surprised that we were still there and asked us if we needed anything. a dark part of me wanted her to offer to take addi back to the hospital because we clearly weren't cut out to be parents. {i know. so sad. it makes me cringe typing that out. luckily, none of those feeling exist even a little bit anymore!} this time around? i couldn't take my eyes off of graham the entire time because he's just so dang cute! i seriously couldn't be more in love.

i don't know for sure if i had postpartum depression with addi, but looking back, it wouldn't surprise me if i did. i am hoping that things will stay better this go around. i have felt the anxiety creep in the past two days like it would with addi in the evenings and that scares me. i think it comes from not knowing how my night is going to go and the reality that i am still getting to know this little man and how he works. i didn't feel those feeling tonight though, and i count that as a victory.

a few things i have learned in the last week:

1. ice cream helps with birth recovery. now, this is scientifically proven, but i'm pretty sure that if it were ever tested, it would pass. in all seriousness, it is actually kind of fun to wake up every morning and choose which place we will visit to get our daily dose in. yes. we are eating ice cream daily. even if it doesn't help with recovery, at least it adds a fun element to the day. i may or may not keep this up for way longer than i should...

2. lactation consultants should get paid a million dollars an hour. i have gone to see them twice since being discharged from the hospital and i could kiss those ladies on the lips for all of their help. both times, i have left feeling confident and capable. i don't know what it is about them, but they make me feel empowered and like i can do this whole nursing thing!

3. speaking of nursing - tongue ties are no joke. that should be the first thing that gets checked when that baby comes out. graham had an anterior and posterior tongue tie. the anterior one was fixed with a quick snip. the posterior one requires legitimate surgery. we have been told that the posterior one can stretch, which is what i think happened with addi {yes, she had it too. which explains why nursing was a beast for 3 months!}, so we are going to see if things get better. if not, we will get the surgery done. in the meantime, pray for my boobs. that's all i ask. #holymothernursinghurts

4. recovery with baby number two is about a thousand times better than with baby number one. at least this has been my experience. i remember sobbing in bed when addi was a few days old, telling zach that God designed this all wrong and it wasn't right to hurt this bad while still having to take care of a newborn. it hasn't been a walk in the park exactly, but it has been phenomenally better and i thank my lucky stars for that.

5. post partum bodies are beautiful. i know that idea gets thrown around a lot and i will be honest in saying that i feel like it's a little dramatic sometimes - because who wants to have a flabby belly and extra pregnancy chub - but i truly feel it this time. while in labor, zach and i couldn't stop talking about how miraculous it is that my body grew a human without me telling it what to do. next, it helps that human exit, without any outside help whatsoever. then it makes food for that human and it's literally the only food that it needs to exist. i will gladly take my flabby belly and extra chub as a reminder of the amazing things that my body can do!

6. it is so worth it to have family come visit right away. a lot of people have told me that they prefer waiting to get settled in before anyone comes over and i totally feel the opposite. zach's sister, arika, is still here and my mom and sister were here for a few days too and i can't begin to tell you how grateful i have been for them helping around the house, when i can barely remember my own name. plus, it helps to have an extra adult in the house when both you and your husband need a nap.

7. baby boys can eat. a lot. our doctor was surprised at graham's appointment yesterday that he has gained weight from his birth weight. i guess it's the norm for them to lose a few ounces in the first two weeks and then start to gain? i think he would nurse all day if i let him. i'm going to start a savings account now, to be able to pay for his meals during the teenage years. #justkiddingimnot #justkiddingiam

8. your little girl that you have spent the last 2 years, 9 months, and 8 days with, will no longer feel like a little girl when you bring a tiny baby home. the other night, i was feeding graham and i heard addi call for me from her room. i went in there to snuggle her and she laid on my chest, just like graham was doing a few minutes earlier. i felt her back and her arms and legs and i was surprised at how huge she felt! of course i know she won't be as small as a newborn, but i was shocked to see just how my little baby wasn't my little baby anymore. i love watching her grow and learn, but dang. it is sure bittersweet. she has been the cutest big sister!

9. helpful people are the best kind of people. we had some close friends, joseph and melissa neary, take addi while i had graham and even for the couple of days afterwards. i seriously can't thank them enough for that! especially when they had their own kids to take care of. we have had friends and zach's coworkers bring us meals almost every night since we have been home from the hospital and i can't say enough how valuable that has been. i hate thinking up what to make for dinner to begin with, so to have that taken out of my hands and have food served to me, while trying to navigate being a parent of two, has made a world of a difference in my stress levels! note to self: be a helpful person.

10. i married a really great man. like, i know a lot of people say that about their husbands, but i feel like i married one of the best. he takes his job as a dad really seriously {and by really seriously, i mean not so seriously - like endless space ship rides, kiss attacks, tickle fights, and whatever else he can do that will make addi laugh and adore him more than she already does. i don't even question why he is the favorite parent anymore.} he also takes his job as a husband just as seriously. i feel spoiled by him every day. like when he buys me yellow tulips, just because he knows i'm excited for spring and those will make it feel like spring in our home. even though cheyenne is a little behind the times and is still threatening to be winter over here. he is willing to jump in and help me whenever possible and is so sweet and kind to our babies. i could cry over how much i love that guy. i only wish his two weeks of paternity leave could be two months! i miss him already and we are only halfway through it.

this really has been a wonderful week, welcoming this sweet baby boy into our lives. i have become more and more grateful for the blessing that is family and friends. although i am sad feeling like time is already on warp speed with this kid, i am so excited to get to know him and watch him grow!

-the mrs.

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