Our little Miss Hope turned four weeks old today!
She's changing so much. Not just in size! She's showing more personality, nursing like a champ and staying alert and awake a little more often. Well - except during this photo session...
...and she's back.
It's really hard to imagine that there was life before Hope - but then it's also hard to imagine that we're living life without Gavin. It's a constant tug of war in my heart. Part of me resents that - I don't want this tug of war!! I want the happy to be happy - and the sad to be sad. It's confusing to have them mixed together.
But perhaps that is the greatest lesson in all of this. That the human heart can not only handle - but actually manage - those two huge emotions at once. And that it's okay to feel both strongly with one not overshadowing or negating the other.
This little daughter of mine came with lessons for me, as you can see!
Brian continues to amaze me with how well he's handled this HUGE life change. He loves Hope so much. Tonight as Hope and I laid with him going to bed for our nightly "chat," he said...
"When Hope gets bigger, I think we should all sit together so you can tell her the story about when Gavin died."
"That's a good idea," I replied.
"I want her to know all about Gavin. I wish Gavin was here instead, Mama."
"You wish Gavin was here instead of Hope, you mean?" I asked.
"Uh-Huh. But I still love Hope. You'll tell her that, right Mommy?"
"Of course I will. But you can tell her, too!" I told him.
"I love you, Hope..." he whispered as he kissed her on the head.
I'm trying to take it easy on myself these days. I get very little sleep during the night so I am not pushing myself to accomplish everything I normally would during the day. Just as I expected - I have an oversupply of breastmilk. This happened with Gavin and Brian as well. With Gavin it didn't matter because I exclusively pumped for him. With Brian it was a challenge because it caused him to choke and spit up and he eventually developed reflux. I'm having the same issue with Hope now, unfortunately.
I don't wake Ed during the night (although I'm sure he wakes when he hears her cry!) because of this issue. (Although I really never woke him with the boys, either.) I'm not using the pump so as not to make my body think it needs to create MORE milk. I'm nursing more frequently so she gets smaller amounts at each feeding - and I have her sitting up to nurse. The position is tricky - especially at night - and I've developed carpal tunnel in both hands and wrists - which happened when I nursed Brian, too. Even if I prop her, I still need to contort my body and my hands to hold her - and hold me for her - I'm a mess! Anyway... all that to say, I'm not stressing about getting things done... or doing things perfectly... or even imperfectly... or sometimes even at all! Back in the day, I would have freaked if I didn't show all the Christmas photos in the right journal entry - which would obviously be ON Christmas day - not days later. But oh well...
I took these photos of Granny with Brian and Hope on Christmas night after I posted my journal entry. And I realized that Ed and I never took photos of each other with the kids in front of the tree! One day I'll have a decent hair day and we'll re-create Christmas for those pictures. Don't be surprised if they show up on Valentine's Day. That's just how it's gonna be around here for a while. Ha ha!
I'm so happy with how these photos turned out of my beautiful Mother with our children...
Every day, multiple times, I see people giving their thoughts about who Hope looks like the most. Some see Brian in her - some see Gavin. I really think she's a beautiful combination of both boys. I don't think Gavin and Brian looked alike that much - but Hope really has features from both of them.
Here are some photos to compare.
Gavin at one month and Hope at three weeks...
Gavin at two months.
Brian at two weeks...
He was also a little peanut!
Hope at three weeks...
What do you think?