Friday, November 18, 2011

Five Things For Friday, Newborn Edition


Wow, I can't believe that Abraham is already a week old! It has been a really beautiful week. I LOVE the newborn stage, their needs are so simple and they are so fresh from God. Even though our house has sometimes been chaos, this baby has brought with him a little bit of heaven and we've all been basking in it. It has been wonderful not to have any plans or expectations except to rest, eat, and nap. We've been living on a baby schedule and it has been SO nice to slow down. I am going to make it last as long as I possibly can!

He is really a mellow little kid. Either that or I am just a more mellow mother now than I used to be. It is probably a combination of both.


We didn't realize it when we named him but "Abraham" sounds very similar to "Apricot" (which was the name we called him in the womb) and we've all had a hard time transitioning over--especially Jon. I think half the time he calls the baby "Apricot" and the other half of the time he gets it right. For the first several days Rose didn't even try to call the baby by his name because she was so confused about what to call him. We had the same problem though with Asher too. His womb name was "Buster" and because it ended in an "er" just like "Asher" we got it confused really easily. It took us about a month before his name stuck, and I am thinking that it might be the same with Abraham.


I really love nursing a baby. It is beautiful to look down and see two big eyes looking back at me with love, trust, and perfect faith in my ability to provide. It makes me feel incredibly needed to know that my body is once again keeping this little boy alive and that we aren't quite separate yet. I think that one of my favorite authors, Louise Erdrich, explained it best:
"One day as I am holding baby and feeding her, I realize that this is exactly the state of mind and heart that so many writers from Thomas Mann to James Joyce describe with yearning-- the mystery of an epiphany, the sense of oceanic oneness, the great yes, the wholeness. There is also the sense of a self merged at least temporarily-- it is deathlike. I close my eyes and see Frost's too peaceful snowy woods, but realize that this is also the most alive place I know-- Blake's gratified desire. These are the dark places in the big two-hearted river, where Hemingway's Nick Adams won't cast his line, the easeful death of the self of Keat's nightingale. Perhaps we owe some of our most moving literature to men who didn't understand that they wanted to be women nursing babies." ("The Blue Jay's Dance", pg. 148)
I think she might be onto something.


Asher and Rose have been so enthralled with their little brother. They constantly want to hold him, give him his pacifier, "pet" him (as they say), and help with him. For the first few days Asher was especially concerned about making sure the baby was getting enough to eat. In fact, one of the very first things he said when he was the baby for the first time was, "Oh, Mom give him milk. He's hungry." When I explained that I'd already fed him he went into his room and came back with a bowl full of plastic food from his play kitchen for the baby to eat. Then a few minutes later he went downstairs and came back up with a glassful of chocolate milk "for the baby". He ended up drinking it and went back downstairs. When I hadn't heard anything from him for several minutes I told Jon to go check on him and Jon found him making the baby some "juice" out of vanilla, curry powder, cinnamon and baking soda! In the last week he's made the baby several more "juices" and it is getting to the point where we might need to put a lock on the spice cupboard. He is just thrilled about being a big brother.

Rose is doing well adjusting, but I think she is having a hard time with the fact that she doesn't get quite as much attention as she used to. I think it is also hard for her that she is little and can't help with the baby as much as she wants to. She's been peeing her pants a lot the last few days (something she has hardly ever done) and I wonder if it isn't because she wants to get our attention. Our family dynamic has shifted and I think it is going to take us all awhile to adjust to it. Yet in the meantime, any suggestions about helping older siblings adjust to a new baby?


I didn't realize what a big difference two extra weeks in the womb makes in a baby's development and size! Abraham was almost two pounds smaller than Rose and Asher when he was born and he just feels so tiny to me! He has the skinniest little chicken legs.

I just can't get enough of him. I wish there was a way I could slow down time. I hate seeing these days pass by so quickly.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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  1. He is beautiful! Congratulations again. I hope you are getting a little rest.

  2. Such magical moments. Sigh. :-)

  3. Enjoy all that sweet newborness! Brings back so many memories. We had trouble adjusting to calling some of our babies by their real names too. The hardest for me was Debra. We knew that was to be her name but it took me months before I could call her that. All the Debras I had ever known were old! My mom sent out packages of little Debbie snack cakes every week to get me used to the idea. :)

  4. my second child (a daughter, too) had a really tough time with the changes. she is my sensitive one and going from baby to middle was rough on her. Lots of loves, lots of inclusion (having her sit with me in the rocker when I was nursing her sis and reading to her, having daddy take especial notice of her one on one, letting her "help" with baby, ect) helped. It was a very vulnerable time for her and took about three months of adjustment.
    Four years later, she has found her niche as the oldest daughter, our Mother Heart. She is a joy and a help.
    Congrats on your new one! I love the newborn stage too.

  5. So beautiful. It makes me excited for our new little ones arrival in a few weeks! Congratulations again. :)

  6. Asher's juices are just too sweet. I have absolutely no advice for you, just happy thoughts and wishes.

  7. I love that quote from The Blue Jay's Dance. So true, too.

    Inga didn't weigh much more than her siblings, but being 2-3 weeks older made a huge difference in terms of her physical strength and motor abilities. She could hold her head up from the day she was born. She figured out how to nurse lying down right away and could even get herself latched on pretty easily. With my other two (38 & 39 weeks) it took several weeks for them to figure these things out.

    I love little chicken legs! They disappear so quickly.

  8. Congratulations Heather...he is so very cute!! We have had a few siblings at our house...these things seem to help. Save special 'big girl' projects to do when the baby is asleep: making cookies, a special movie, cutting paper, painting, crafting, whatever she is capable of. Ask her to help you with the baby now that she is such a big girl: get a diaper or something you need, talk to the baby while you grab something or make a meal. And the best thing: read her favorite books to her while you are nursing, then she feels special too.

  9. Loving this post. Now that our boys are a little bigger, I do miss nursing each of them. It truly is a wonderful bonding time with mama and baby. And I laughed out loud about Asher and his "juices". He's so sweet. Such a helpful little guy! I hope you're recovering and doing well.

  10. Hi Heather! My name is Maile (pronounced My-lay) and I've been following your blog for a couple of months but this is the first time I'm commenting. I just had a baby 3 weeks ago so I'm also in this amazing newborn period! I just gave birth to my 4th child; my only son (who's 5 yo) is also named Asher!!

    I've had comments developing in my mind with pretty much every one of your posts that I've ever read, but I usually read them on my iPod touch so I've been waiting to be on the computer where I can type a lot faster. Really so much of your philosophy and your birthing experiences have really resonated with me. Leading up to the birth of my 4th, I was getting quite nervous and scared of the pain but I know I was led to read your birth experience with Rose right at that time. Your description of angels attending you throughout her birth gave me such comfort and I would think of that frequently up until I had my baby, Adelaide. And then I had a beautiful, amazing natural birth (all but my first have been natural births, albeit in hospitals instead of at home; my first was a C-section because she was breach).

    I am also loving nursing although I've had far more struggles this time, which totally surprised me. We've had latching issues, the beginning of thrush, etc. When my mom was here helping, she took the baby one night and fed her bottles all night because I had to keep pumping to relieve engorgement. It was such a horrible feeling to not be NEEDED by my baby. That feeling greatly magnified my desire to make nursing work despite the difficulties. I never even fed my 3rd child a single bottle, so this has been really new to me. I can now recognize by contrast the great connection my baby and I feel when we nurse.

    Wow, I could keep writing on and on...I would love to meet you one day! I think we would have a lot to talk about. I'm also very passionate about childbirth and I think it's wonderful that you're so involved with educating people and sharing your experiences.

  11. Rixa, wow that is so enlightening about the development of earlier born babies. I didnt realize it till you pointed it out but abraham has a harder time with side lying nursing and cant hold his head up, which my others could do within the first week or so. So interesting!

    Carin, thank you thank you for the tips! I will most certainly try them.

    Maile, it is nice to meet you. Congrats on the new baby, it is such a fun time. But hopefully you get the nursing thong figured out soon, it is so hard sometimes!