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Sweet baby Noah.
This little guy joined us the end of June and has been adding lots of sweetness and smiles to our lives ever since.
Hadassah was colicky for the first 3 months of her life so we were fully expecting that Baby #2 could be the same, but Noah has been super chill from the beginning. He literally did not even cry when he was born, and Ryan and I asked worriedly, “Is he ok? Is he breathing?”
He was completely fine, and he slept the first day away. (Hadassah screamed for the first 5 hours of her life, not kidding. I say this not to compare her to her brother in a negative light but wow – each child is so different! Definite proof of a Creator God, if you ask me.)
8 lb, 3 oz (a full pound bigger than his big sis)
This guy is long! And he’s definitely filling out faster than his big sister did. She has always been long and skinny, but Noah has a little more meat on his bones. Hadassah wore some newborn sleepers until she was 2 months old, but Noah is a week shy of 3 months as I write this and 3-6 month clothes are none too big on him. He’s still not a fat baby, but he has a little more squish to him.
The name Noah means “rest.” We pray that Noah will be God’s instrument in bringing rest to the world around him.
So far he’s been a very restful baby, and a welcome source of calm after a very lively firstborn. Don’t get me wrong – Hadassah is a ton of fun and is already taking joy in being Mommy’s Big Helper, but I will not turn down a baby that is content to sit in a swing.
I’ve decided not to share middle names online, but so far we’ve used family names for middle names: Hadassah has my middle name (which is also my grandma’s name), and Noah shares Ryan’s!
The Birth Story
I never got around to publishing Hadassah’s birth story, but long story short…
I was in labor for about 16 hours (from the start of regular contractions until she appeared). I went into labor at 6pm but my contractions wouldn’t come quicker than every 5 minutes and my water hadn’t broken, even though things were starting to feel more and more intense. I sent Ryan to bed, not knowing if he’d be going to work in the morning or not, and hunkered down for the long haul.
I was 40 weeks + 6 days. At 34 weeks we had moved from Louisiana to Ohio. We lived in a hotel for 3 weeks while renovating our house. We moved in at 37 weeks. At 39 weeks we got our carpet installed. I had not had much time or energy to prepare mentally, and we were still living out of suitcases because our bedroom furniture was still not set up. I digress, but yeah, this was not exactly a cozy-lights-and-waterbath-and-soothing-instrumental-music birth story.
At 4am I finally woke Ryan up and told him that I couldn’t take the intensity combined with the apparent lack of progress any longer. Could we please go to the hospital and see if they’d break my water to get things moving?
He thought I was probably still in first stage labor.
We got to Labor & Delivery, my water broke in the bathroom, they examined me, and I was dilated 9 cm. Granted, Hadassah was not born for another 5 hours. She got hung up on what they called a “cervical lip.” I ended up getting an epidural, which relaxed me enough that she finally came unstuck. I pushed for an hour and a half or something close to that, and she was born!
Fast forward to Noah.
I had been having a fair amount of contractions and what I call “false labor” in the weeks leading up to my due date. I had been dilated 3 cm for several weeks, so I was expecting to go early this time. My due date arrived – no baby.
Around 6pm I started some light contractions, but that was nothing new. Around 10:30 I was sitting at my desk and planning to head to bed soon, but the contractions starting escalating enough that I took notice. I said something to Ryan, then we headed to bed. I thought lying down would probably either stop them or prove them to be the real thing.
By 12:30am I was thinking, “I should probably start timing these.” 1 minute in length and 3 minutes apart. WHAT?
We knew we wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but this time around we had Hadassah to think about. A couple from church was planning to come stay in our guest room if we had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night, and they live 50-60 minutes away. We went ahead and called them, and they arrived around 2am. Good thing too, because right about that time I was thinking, “This is probably what it feels like to have to push.” (I missed out on that sensation due to the epidural with Hadassah.)
We left right away, and I was definitely holding back the urge to push. About 2 minutes down the road we were going about 55 mph in a 35 mph zone on a completely straight and empty main road at 2 in the morning. Of course we passed a police car, and of course we got pulled over. Doesn’t this only happen in books??
There were 2 officers in the car. One was going to make us wait for an ambulance. One was a bit more reasonable. Thankfully Ryan had his hospital badge along, explained that he was a doctor and that we knew exactly where we were going and would be there in 12 minutes, and they let us go. Pretty sure Noah would’ve been born in that ambulance.
I’ll spare you the details of the emergency room and the interminable wheelchair ride to L&D. They took me back to an exam room and finally everyone believed me about having to push when they found at that I was dilated to 10 cm with baby at +1. There was no time for hospital gowns. I was rushed to a delivery room (on the way one of the doctors said, “I think I remember you” – yeah, same story, second chapter), and Noah was born about 10 minutes later, 3 hours past his due date.
4 1/2 hours of active labor? I’ll take it. It was intense, and there was no epidural, but I’ll take that any day over waiting around!
We didn’t find out the gender with either Hadassah or Noah, so both times we had a boy and a girl name in mind. I thought Hadassah was going to be a boy – but she wasn’t, so this time around I didn’t try to make any predictions. I think I was still subconsciously expecting a girl, because when Ryan said, “It’s a boy!” I was surprised! I actually have a son!
How It’s Going
Who does he look like? When Noah was first born he definitely resembled Hadassah’s baby pictures, but the older he gets the more of his own look he has. I think he has more of Ryan’s features whereas Hadassah has more of mine. His nose and ears and the back of his head remind me of Ryan. Not sure which of us contributed the extremely long feet and toes, but he could rival a frog. Both children have inherited my blue eyes which I think is kind of special.
My mom came and helped for a week after Noah’s birth, and then Ryan’s mom came for 5 days! The help was so nice, especially for Hadassah’s sake. She has always been a mama girl, and while she did great staying with “Uncle Craig and Aunt Carol” overnight while we were at the hospital (and seemingly grew up in the 36 hours she was away from us), her little world was turned upside down.
She was delighted with Noah and loved him, but almost-2-year-olds have a turbulent “Gentle” setting at best, and at worst there was a fair amount of scratching and biting. (I found out a few weeks into this that she was working on molars.) We were also working on potty training, and the grandmas were great for helping with constant potty-going, expending energy through walks outside, and holding Noah so I could hold Hadassah.
We are now a week shy of 3 months into Noah’s life, and I’m happy to report that things are much more settled. I hear a constant chorus of, “Whoa-wha? Sweeping? ‘Wake?” (Translation: “”Is Noah sleeping? Awake?”) When Hadassah sees him she greets him exuberantly with a, “Hi Whoa-wha! Do-do-doo!”
Noah has become a very interactive baby with so many smiles and coos. He likes being on his tummy and has developed very strong neck muscles; he loves to watch what’s going on from a blanket on the floor, his swing, or the Bumbo seat! Just this week he’s actually started being able to hold onto a toy, and his hands are always in his mouth. It won’t be long before the two children are playing together! (Noah is already being used as a real live baby doll if the plastic ones aren’t cutting it.)
As for me, I am enjoying the richness of life as a mom of two. We take walks every day, we play baby doll together, we read stories. We also clean up poopy underwear regularly, we discipline as consistently as we can, and sometimes we accidentally nap the afternoon away while the children sleep and don’t feel like we accomplish anything. (“We” being “I.”)
I still deal with the same mental game of wishing I could sit at a computer for 8 hours straight and “get things done.” I still wonder sometimes if I’m “cut out to be a mom.” Sometimes when cleaning poop out of bedding (*ahem* today) instead of enjoying peace and quiet while my toddler is supposed to be napping and my baby is squalling because his lunch got suddenly postponed while Mom gives said toddler a spontaneous bath, I run out of patience.
There is lots of hard in motherhood, but that does not change the solid facts that we are to rejoice in the Lord always and that children are a blessing. Period. A sweet older lady from church told me yesterday that she felt so rich when she had two children. I concur. I am rich.
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Credit for a few of these photos goes to the grandmas!
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