Saturday, December 28, 2013

When Hope Gets Bigger...

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?


  1. All of your children are beautifully marked with the best of their parents' features!! From their eyes to their mouths, chins to their hairlines, their features are interchangeable!! It's amazing! Your babies are gorgeous! May their hearts always be as beautiful as their faces!!!!
    Love to you all!

  2. I think your children are perfectly adorable, and I agree I see some of each of the boys in Hope. Your mom is so beautiful! These photos came out great, what precious keepsakes to document Hope's very first Christmas. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I'm glad you are going easy on yourself, that's so important for you! I'm not dealing with any of the huge life changing events you are but tell you what, there are still days that if you want a spoon you need to wash one, if you need a pair of socks you need to go to the dryer - hoping with each step it was even turned on when it was loaded - and if you expect to see hair & makeup done you need to turn on the tv! So I think you rock Momma! <3

  3. Some pics look like Gavin, some like Brian! I never nursed but have seen other moms use these certain types of pillows to help with nursing? Of our 3 kids, our oldest, a son, and youngest, a daughter look the most alike. They both have dark hair and just look more alike.
    Our middle, a son, is blond and looks very different from his siblings, more resembles his dad's side of the family.

  4. I LOVE your photos! They are always so well done. What camera do you use? Is there any specific lens?

  5. I feel for you! I was over supplied with both of my children. I gave up and exclusively pumped after they both developed reflux. It's so hard to deal with. Have you tried feeding in a recliner fully reclined. It did actually help me. I was constantly covered in milk. I hate hearing you go through this too.

  6. I barely had enough milk for my dd. I contracted shingles when she was just days old and when I went back to teaching noticed that one side produced more than the other. The low side quit when she was 10 months old. I continued with the other side for another three months. We didn't have reflux, but we did have colic, which was one of the many reasons she is an only child.
    I think Hope looks like a combination of all four of you. And she should. Gavin and Brian are their own combinations of the two of you and Hope should be her own combination.

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  8. When I nursed my girls, my milk let down was so fast and furious that they choked and sputtered when they latched on. Therefore, before nursing, I began to pump for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the deluge slowed down. Then they were able to nurse happily without drowning.

  9. I see more of Gavin in Hope. I had to pump for a minute with my DS so that he wouldn't choke on the oversupply. Not so much that my body made more, but enough to help him. He also had what we thought at first was reflux but ended up being an intolerance to some foods I was eating. Best of luck to you all.

  10. I think that Hope was given to you to help ease the pain of Gavin moving on. And when Hope gets a little bigger, I think Brian will enjoy her just as much as he enjpyed Gavin (only in a different way). :-)

  11. Please consider trying the MyBreastFriend pillow; I used one while breastfeeding my two and it was amazing! Firmer and more support for baby than a Boppy, and it might help relieve you of some of the carpal tunnel pains (that sounds terrible for you). I also had an overabundance of milk, so I would pump an ounce or two before feeding during the day (not at night, I was too bleary!); the hind milk has more calories. I froze all of mine for my first and found out I wasn't eligible to donate my excess milk, (I lived in the UK for 5 years as a kid) I was so bummed. We kept it frozen "just in case". Luckily never needed it! I realize this is all unsolicited input; take what you will; just one mom's experience being shared with another :) Enjoy the rest of the holidays with your cutie pies!

  12. I think she looks like a combination of both boys. Which means she is a perfect combination of her parents since I think Gavin looks like you and Brian looks like dad. She is just perfect.


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