Thursday, July 21, 2016

Baby B2: 2 Months Old

Another month has flown by! My days were filled with feedings (both bottle and nursing) and diaper changes. Much to my doctor's dismay, I decided to go with on-demand feeding for my little guy this past month, I just couldn't get him to drink the recommended ounces in a single session, so I broke it up a bit and followed Stephen's lead. This of course will lead to terrible habits down the road so my goal for month three is to get into a better routine.

He is 9 pounds 3 ounces and 22 inches long. He is still quite small for his age, but he has grown a lot in the last month! (I try not to let those growth charts bother me too much.) We switched to cloth diapers this month! Now that Stephen has grown into them. He'll be in the larger cloth diapers very sooner than I thought. I was actually really excited to make the switch, especially when diaper rashes became an issue. Night changes are a little more difficult (because it's dark, there are multiple steps with prefolds and my baby kicks) but during the day it's fun to use colored covers and see my baby smile at me. For whatever reason, his changing pad is his favorite place to be!

Stephen is more alert now, which means he struggles more to fall asleep. But it also means he can look at things and show interest! He really likes the activity mat we finally got out. It takes up the rest of our open floor space, but it's worth it to see his smiles! William also loves playing with it again. In general William loves being with Stephen all the time. Last night, he asked if Stephen could sleep with him! I cannot wait until they are old enough to really play together!

Night time sleep is rough. He has given us two chunks of 4-hours this month (not on the same night of course), but we were very grateful and gave much praise for that achievement. On normal mornings, he is up at 4 a.m. and does not like to go to sleep again until 8 a.m. We were hoping he would not take after his brother in this area, but it looks like we have another early bird!

He had several visitors this month! Chris's sister, Shannon was with us for a week and Sharon and her family were in town for a long weekend. More on their visits later. Also, my college roommate came to visit for a few days. And in another week he will be meeting everyone on my side of the family!

Family Gatherings: Millers in San Francisco

Chris's older sister and her family were in San Francisco over the Fourth of July weekend. Sharon had been here 5 years ago when her youngest daughter was just 6 months old and now the whole family came!

We met up with them at church on Sunday where they were able to share about their ministry in San Antonio with the congregation and then we spent that evening with them at their hotel. I love hotels that have great lobbies where you can just hang out! This one even had a pond with fish, so William was quite entertained . . . as if his cousins weren't entertaining enough!

On the 4th, we had a barbecue at a nearby park and then headed back to their hotel where the sun was actually shining and the wind wasn't nearly as bad. It was great having so much time together in the few days they were here. William bonded well with this cousins and was terribly sad when it was time to say goodbye.

Here are a few photos we took on our last night together:


The siblings!

The cousins! (minus two that were still in Texas)

Sister-in-law to the Rescue!

Chris's sister came to visit us and help me with the kids for the last week in June/beginning of July. I had been on my own, with Chris back at work for two weeks prior to her visit and I was so thankful I had her help to look forward to. It really kept me going during those hard moments. And help she did!

Shannon has the gift of imagination and William just eats it up. Nothing was impossible with Aunt Shanny. She was great at keeping him occupied while I fed the baby or tried to get him to nap, or taking William outside so I could nap. She helped with dinner and clean-up and even babysat a couple of times for us. She had a busy week for sure.

I think the hardest thing for me was choosing to rest instead of being social. I don't get to see her often and I enjoy our conversations. So often I found myself thinking "now is my time to nap, but I don't want to . . . but I'm so tired . . I must." I struggled with feeling isolated with the baby, knowing I had a friend to talk to, but who was trying desperately to give me the space I needed to rest.

She and Chris took William to the zoo one morning so I could rest with Stephen. Clifford the Big Red Dog was visiting the zoo so William got to meet him! He is a really big fan and I was so excited he saw him. Chris reported back that he was a little shocked and didn't know what to think.

Over the weekend of July 4th, her older sister came to town with her family (husband and three kids). It was really fun to have a little family time -- we hung out at their hotel a couple of evenings and they came over to our neighborhood park for a chilly-afternoon barbecue on the 4th. Shannon and Chris put together a great spread of burgers, fruit salad and potatoes. I assisted by making brownies. William loved playing with his cousins which actually freed up the adults for some actual conversation! I really enjoyed getting out of the house and spending time with them. Stephen slept through all of our gatherings which left everyone else a little disappointed they didn't get to hold him. You can read more about their visit here.

I was so thankful for Shannon's willingness and eagerness to come out and help me during this time. She was a huge blessing to William and me. He had such a hard time saying goodbye, but was happy to hear that we would see her (and his cousins) again in Texas at Christmas time.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Newborn Photos

When Stephen was a week old, I did a little photo shoot with him. I've had a lot more practice with newborn photography since William was born so I was excited to use my improved skills and props with my own baby. He did a fantastic job of staying asleep for the most part which made it go pretty quickly for me.

Here are a few of my favorites. If interested in seeing the whole collection, click here.

The following week, we took a few family photos as well with the help of Chris's mom:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Answered Prayers & More

Throughout my pregnancy, we found ourselves praying for a few specific things as well as the overall health of our child. I think it's important to remember how God has answered prayers in the past to remind us of his faithfulness and goodness to us. I also need to take a moment and document some things that were and are heavy on this mama's heart.

My first son came into the world very quickly and my body hemorrhaged. We prayed and prayed that this would not happen with our second child's birth. I did a lot of reflecting and praying about my fears that it might happen again, or be even worse (cause that is where my mind goes). I know a lot of you were praying the same! Thank you! If you haven't read my birth story for Stephen, you should. It went so well, beyond all I hoped for. Not only did I have zero complications, I felt amazing afterwards! Tired, but energized and full of joy. Praise the Lord!

Early on in my pregnancy with Stephen, they found that I had an antibody in my blood, most likely from the blood transfusions I received after William's birth which could effect the baby. If the baby received this antibody, it would most likely cause anemia and if serious enough, an operation would need to be done while he was in the womb. When I heard the news, I was overwhelmed with fear and sadness. I called Chris weeping over the phone that something could be wrong with our baby. We began praying for our baby's health and mine, that this antibody would disappear and not be an issue. I remember bawling to God asking him to watch over the baby. I had a blood test every four weeks to measure this antibody in my blood and every time, the report came back "undetectable" or "only a trace"! It never got high enough to cause any real concern. Praise the Lord!!

We also prayed for William as he watched my belly grow. This was going to be a huge transition for him. And it still is to be truthful, but he loves his brother so very much. He is the sweetest, most gentle toddler!


There are a few things that we continue to pray for with Stephen, the obvious one being his growth, development and that he come to know the Lord at an early age. But he was also born with something called Hypospadias (its a defect in the urethra of the penis) and will need surgery when he is 6 months old.

This really scared me when they told us about it on first day of his life. I mean, you think your baby has all ten toes and fingers and he must be perfect right? And then you take a look when you change his diaper and something's a bit off? Yikes! It's scary to think of your tiny (at that time less than 6 pound) baby having surgery. We met with the surgeon a few weeks ago and he reassured us that his case is very minor and the hope of a successful surgery is very good. So, we pray that all goes well in January when we have this done. Please pray with us!

When he was two weeks old, Stephen's umbilical chord came off as it should but then a few days later he developed a hernia and his belly button sticks out a lot. I've been told this is quite common and it should heal on it's own, but I still feel like crying every time I change his diaper. Will you pray with me for healing? If it doesn't heal on its own, he will need another surgery to have it repaired.

Neither of these things are life threatening, but they weigh on me heavily at times. In those first few weeks, I looked down at my tiny baby who wasn't gaining much weight, and felt so sad for him. His body just wasn't as it should be and I wondered if he had come two weeks later, would all have been well? Did I eat way too much chocolate in pregnancy and that somehow stunted growth? Did I do something wrong? I know those are silly questions, but they are real thoughts I had. I need to trust the Lord, that he knows my little boy and loves him more than I do. I need to remember his faithfulness to hear our prayers in the past and know his ways are the best ways.

If you pray for my family, please pray for these concerns as well.


Do you have praise stories to share? Please do in the comment section below! I'd love to hear how the Lord has answered your prayers lately!!