Baby Amber: Two Months

Sweet Miss Amber is two months old. We adore her! Below are facts about two-month-old Amber.

– Loves to be held.

– Enjoys laying on her stomach.

– Just beginning to smile.

– Wakes up once a night to eat.

– Has strong legs and can briefly stand when you’re holding her waist.

– Takes very long naps (which I appreciate!).

I never created a one-month-old blog post for Amber like I did with my first three kids. There’s one word that best describes one-month-old Amber: asleep. She is my sleepiest baby. She slept pretty much the first eight weeks of life. We had grandparents visiting for six of those weeks so she got lots of snuggles, and when she’s snuggled, she falls asleep. She’s not even ten weeks old yet, so we’re just barely starting to see her more awake and alert for short periods of time throughout the day. The stickers I use for her monthly milestone pictures got lost in the mail so she’s actually more like six weeks old in the “one-month” picture below.

Simple Moments

My bedroom is dimly lit. The windows are open and the ceiling fan circulates the cool June breeze. It’s 4 a.m. and I’m listening to an audiobook while sitting on the big gray chair in my bedroom feeding Amber. I can see John peacefully asleep in our bed. My parents are asleep in the bedroom next door. They arrived late last night, and I know my kids will be eager to see them in the morning when they wake up. For right now, the house is totally still, and the kiddos are all sleeping peacefully.

While I’m going on nearly six weeks of interrupted-newborn-mom-sleep (and sometimes that’s really hard for me), I’m so grateful for these simple moments. I’m grateful I’m alive and physically able to care for my newborn baby. I’m grateful she’s alive and weaving herself deeper into our family tapestry as each day goes by. I’m grateful for our home and that’s there’s food in the pantry and refrigerator downstairs. I grateful for simple moments that I often take for granted, and I’m grateful this newborn-mom-life forces me to slow down and take in these quiet, simple moments that I know will pass quickly in retrospect.

Family of Six!

We recently welcomed baby #4 to our family. Baby Amber has evened the score – we now have two boys and two girls.

I developed high blood pressure during this pregnancy (something that had not happened in any of my prior pregnancies). This meant that I was induced at 37 weeks just in case the high blood pressure turned into something more severe.

Because of how quickly Drew was born, I was actually very thankful to be induced. My prayer this pregnancy had been that we’d make it to the hospital in time for the baby to be born. We live 45 minutes from the hospital and Drew had been born just minutes after we arrived. So, in an odd way, I was thankful for the high blood pressure since it provided an opportunity for an induction.

Because my previous labors had gone so quickly, I figured this one would too. But I was wrong. This little girl took her sweet time. The nurse put me on Pitocin around 9 a.m. John and I watched a movie and I finished a book I had been reading. The medical staff increased the Pitocin amount many times (all the way up to a 20) before I started feeling contractions. Once I started feeling some contractions, I asked for an epidural and life was good. I wasn’t in pain and the doctor decided around 4 p.m. to break my water to hopefully speed things up.

Shortly after breaking my water, Amber’s heart rate dropped. The nurses said sometimes a baby’s heart rate drops as they go down the birth canal. However, this was not the case with Amber. When the nurse came to check how far dilated I was, she realized that Amber had a prolapsed cord, which meant we needed to have an emergency c-section. I could tell the situation was not good because the senior nurse who had been so calm and relaxed all day was stuttering as she called out orders to the other nurses.

Poor John had gone to the restroom (which was in our labor and delivery room) right before the nurses came to check my status. When he came out of the restroom, I was being whisked away, and he was quickly briefed on the situation and then left alone not knowing exactly what was going on and if I or Amber were in danger.

Thankfully my epidural was still functioning, which meant they didn’t have to put me under fully for the surgery, and I was able to remain awake for Amber’s birth. John was permitted in the operating room, which wouldn’t have been the case if they put me fully under (I’m not sure why that’s the policy). Right as Amber was being pulled out, a nurse escorted John into the room. Thankfully, Amber let out a big wail of a cry when she was born and she was healthy. Amber was my tiniest baby, weighing 5 pounds 13 ounces.

The doctors and nurses who helped with the c-section were all amazing. One nurse took our camera and snapped pictures of Amber after she was born. My anesthesiologist was so kind, calm, and engaging. He talked to me the whole time. One challenge I faced during surgery was feeling like I couldn’t take a deep breath. Apparently my epidural had been placed a bit high and created the sensation of feeling like I could not breathe easily, even though my oxygen levels were totally normal. This sensation was probably the hardest part physically of the c-section experience for me. The anesthesiologist talked me through it and I was so thankful for him.

For the first hour of Amber’s life, she bonded with John while I was in the operating room. It was such a welcomed sight to see them together when I was wheeled into recovery.

This experience was so different than my previous three deliveries. The hospital experience started out in a very boring fashion since it took hours for my contractions to kick in. And the day ended very dramatically with a distressed baby and emergency operation.

Even though things did not go as anticipated, I saw God’s hand in so many different ways that day (like being able to remain awake for Amber’s birth).

The recovery has been much longer and harder than any of my previous births. I just recently received the all clear to be able to pick up Drew. I was not supposed to pick up anything heavier than Amber as I recovered. Thankfully my mother-in-law stayed with us for over three weeks after Amber’s birth.

Life with four kids has been an adventure. This past week our whole family except Amber came down with a virus that wiped most of us out for days. Thankfully we’re all feeling much better.

So far Amber has been an angel baby. She sleeps and eats like a champ. She doesn’t cry very often and when she does, she is calmed fairly easily. We are all so grateful she’s here!

A Date with Drew

John decided to take the older two kids camping, so it was just me and Drew home tonight. I decided to take him to run a few errands because going into stores with one kid is way easier than going in with three kids. We had fun shopping together. He just sat in the cart and smiled and giggled at me. Drew is at such a cute, cute stage. He loves to put blankets over his head and play peek-a-boo, clap his hands, wave high, and bounce to music. It’s crazy to think that in a matter of weeks he won’t be the baby of our family. He still isn’t walking fully yet. He can walk, but he definitely prefers crawling. I’ve loved watching him learn to walk. At first, he would only take a few steps when no one was watching, but now he proudly walks and loves the attention he gets from all of us when he takes a few steps.

Drew Turns One!

Earlier this month, Drew hit the one-year mark. Even though Drew is my third, it’s still crazy to me how much a baby grows in their first year of life.

He went from this:

To this:

He’s been such a delightful, social, happy baby. My parents visited recently, and my dad commented that he didn’t hear Drew cry once. Drew’s typical demeanor is always happy. Teething has been the thing that’s caused him the most tears (generally in the middle of the night when he wakes up in pain).

We had two celebrations for Drew. The first was on his actual birthday with just our immediate family. His birthday fell on a week day and I was sick. So his actual birthday was pretty low key. I made him a lemon box cake because that was the only thing I had, and I didn’t want to run to the store because I wasn’t sure if I had COVID. Thankfully my COVID test came back negative the next day. The second celebration was this past Sunday with my sister, brother/sister-in-law (and their cute baby Will, Drew’s first cousin), our friend Keri, and John’s uncle David.

Below are facts about one-year-old Drew.

– He is the BEST eater. He is not picky at all. He eats anything I make. His food is generally loaded with vegetables and he eats them like a champ (while my others kids say “it’s yucky”).

– He loves being around people, especially his siblings. Sometimes he will cry at night when we put him down because he wants to keep hanging out.

– He is a speedy crawler.

– He likes to pull himself up and stand.

– He loves bath time. He likes to splash and chew on his bath toys.

– He has seven teeth. Four on top and three on the bottom.

– He likes to hear himself talk.

– He has a hearty laugh when he is tickled.

– He likes to tackle his siblings if they’re laying on the floor.

– He really likes his pacifier, which we’re in the process of weaning him from. He only uses it when he sleeps but the second we put him in his crib, he looks for his pacifier and plops it in his mouth.

We are so grateful for the joy and light he’s brought this past year into our lives!

Baby Drew: Eleven Months

Drew is officially a one-year-old, and in the coming days, I’ll write his one-year blog post. But for now, we’re going back in time to Drew at eleven months.

– He is a fast crawler.

– He can stand while holding onto something but can’t quite pull himself up yet (almost!).

– He is all smiles and rarely cries.

– His way of letting us know he needs something is by screeching.

– He loves to chew on things, especially his pacifier.

– He is a great babbler who likes to “talk.”

– His happiness is contagious and makes life fun!

Baby Drew: Ten Months

Drew is a happy, smiley baby. Right around the 10-month mark he went through a bit of a cranky phase as some of his teeth we’re coming in and he was learning to crawl. We had some rough nights of sleep during that time, but he is back to being his cheerful self. Below are facts about 10-month-old baby Drew.

– Before learning to crawl, he did an inch worm scoot for a couple of weeks that was very cute.

– He loves to chew on things. Neither of my older kids did a lot of chewing while they were teething. I had unopened chew toys that had been gifted to my older two kids that Drew has appreciated.

– He sits up on his own in the bathtub and loves to splash.

– He loves to eat. When he sees his food, he begins shaking and opens his mouth wide.

– He loves to jabber, which is very cute and challenging when we’re in quiet places like church haha.

Baby Drew: Nine Months

Mr. Drew is quickly approaching one-year-old status. He is a delightful and easy-going baby. He’s actually ten months old but I’m a little behind posting his monthly updates. Below are facts about Drew at nine months.

– He sleeps through the night again (yay).

– He loves to eat and is not picky about what he is fed.

– He can stay sitting up if placed in a seated position (he can almost push himself up to a seated position on his own).

– He loves to kick and splash in the bath tub.

– He has a second tooth coming in on the bottom, and we can see three coming in up top.

– He loves to randomly start screeching.

– He is all smiles practically all of the time.

– When he’s really hungry and sees his bottle, he opens his mouth and his body shakes. It’s pretty cute.

Baby Drew: Eight Months

Drew is a light in our family’s life. Below are facts about 8-month-old Drew.

– He doesn’t crawl yet, but he loves to plank and get up on his hands and knees and rock forward and back.

– He loves to chew on things.

– He can hold his own bottle when he eats.

– He either likes to wake up early and take a long morning nap (I wake him up after two hours so he will still be able nap in the afternoon) or sleeps in until after 9:30.

– He loves to roll all around.

– He’s very ticklish and loves to laugh.

– He lights up when he sees his siblings, and they adore him.

– He has started waking up once a night but not consistently. I feed him 2-3 ounces and then he goes back to sleep. (Brooke started waking once a night around 8 months. I also would feed her a few ounces and she’d go back to sleep. This continued on for many more months – maybe even a year – so I’m hoping that’s not the case again).

Baby Drew: Five Months

Little Drew hits his six-month mark next week. So I figured I’d better hurry to write his overdue five-month blog post.

Facts about 5-month-old Drew:

– He can roll both directions but doesn’t do it often.

– He is a smiley boy! Especially when he’s looking at mom.

– He still naps well and sleeps through the night, aside from a quick wake-up once a night because he needs his pacifier put back in his mouth.

– He’s started laughing when he’s tickled and it’s very cute.

– His older brother David loves to go into Drew’s bedroom and talk to him as Drew lays in his crib.