Saturday, August 31, 2019

Rest of the Hospital Stay

It is so sweet to come back to these pictures after six months! The memories are fresher when posted asap but when that didn't happen it's a treat to reminisce after the fact. This sweet sweet baby! We just have so much love for her.

Meeting her brothers! They were very excited and impressed with the whole proceedings. Stockton immediately took it upon himself to test her bink out and then shove it in her mouth whenever possible. (He still does that sometimes haha.)
Jack kept saying over and over, "She's so cuuute!" He was excited to gently "pet" her and see her fuzzy hairs. He squealed when she opened her eyes.

See those suspicious eyes?! It took her a little while to adjust to her surroundings haha. I think she preferred the womb (but who wouldn't?). Nursing was a little challenging to start - my milk came in later than Claire wanted it to, so she was mad about sucking and not getting anything. Finally, maybe on day three, we gave her a bottle and she was ALL ABOUT IT. I think it was an intentional blessing that my milk didn't immediately come in because it primed Claire to take a bottle, something that none of the other babies wanted anything to do with AT ALL. Once I had milk she nursed just fine, but she still takes a bottle with zero problems, and that has made a giant difference. More on that later...

I love spending these first precious days together, sniffing her, holding her close, feeling her wonderful and very real little spirit. Claire had to wait a little while for her turn to come to Earth, and we've had the sense that she is very happy to be here with us.

Babies are so cloud soft! I felt like I was just stroking her dimpled dappled skin over and over. At first she seemed to be like Natalie, fighting to get her arms out of a swaddle, but she warmed to it eventually. Look at her dark hair!

I was immediately in love with this dreamy baby. One of the most magical things about being a mom is the absolutely instinctual feeling you have that your child loves and needs you. Natalie is 7 and that feeling hasn't gone away...I hope it never does! Being able to offer all of the love you possibly can pour out of your soul to these angel babies and watch them grow is an absolute privilege and I felt anew the honor of being the guardian of one of Heavenly Father's children.

We spent our time snuggling, resting, eating french toast (I think I ordered it 9 times over 4 days haha), and watching movies. We made it through the entire BBC Pride and Prejudice once and the Keira P&P twice, A Knight's Tale, Spiderman Into the Spiderverse, and more that I have forgotten now because I dozed through them. With Austin balancing work, school, and helping with the kids at home he wasn't able to be at the hospital with us a ton, so I was actually pretty lonely. (Thank you, hormones.) I made sure to get as much rest as I could and try to be in the best shape possible for going home!

I had dozed off while she was sleeping and I woke up to her staring at me like this, just watching

^My view from the chair next to the bed. It was a cozy room, sunny and bright.

I ADORE the floppy mold-to-youness of newborns. They are so pliable and their preferred position is COZY, and I can't ever get enough. It makes me laugh when I do have to move them because it feels like I have to pry them off like a magnet or something.

These are the same jammies Natalie wore in the hospital! We don't have a lot of carryover clothes since they were born in different seasons (and I got rid of a lot, thank you Marie Kondo), but it is so fun to see some of the same Natalie outfits on Claire.

I was so grateful to all of the hospital staff. Everyone was helpful and so good at their jobs, and I appreciated the balance that my nurses struck of letting me do my own thing with baby #4 but also being there for anything I needed and doting on my baby.

Enjoying our last moments at the hospital before we descended into real life again! 

Those hospital days are a beautiful part of the whole process, and I am grateful that I have always felt so taken care of there. My c-section healed perfectly and I sent my doctor flowers because I was so thankful and relieved. It is the highest blessing to be able to bring children into the world, fresh from Heaven, and I feel so privileged to be the mother of four of them, especially with my perfect Austin by my side.

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