“Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours. Give me open hands and open doors. Put Your light in my eyes and let me see, that my own little world is not about me. What if there’s a bigger picture? What if I’m missing out? What if there’s a greater purpose, that I could be living right now? I don’t wanna miss what matters, I wanna be reaching out. Show me the greater purpose so I can start living, right now.” -Matthew West, My Own Little World
Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! This has been one heck of a year for us over here! This year will definitely go down as one of the best years of our lives- for sure!
Annabelle Grace’s FOUR month birthday was December 23rd! I’ll most certainly share her “big moments” from this month in just a little bit. First I want to take a step back to New Year’s Eve 2016, and remember why this little baby is SUCH a big miracle!
Will and I had a wedding to attend (for some of his college friends, Ross and Lorien) on New Year’s Eve. I was teaching at the time, so we both had the week off, which made this wedding even more fun. (It was in Fayetteville, so a short little get-a-way for the two of us!) Ironically we had spent like the last three New Year’s with this same group of friends. We had not yet announced our pregnancy to anyone except our families.
Will and I woke up that morning and basically had a ton of time to do really anything. He went out with his guy friends to an early lunch I believe? Either way, he got back and we went out and ate and shopped, and just hung out. I mentioned to Will that my belly felt a little funny, but nothing too crazy, so we weren’t really worried. We made it back to the condo, got dressed and headed to the wedding! (It was beautiful, of course!) (It was a New Year’s Eve wedding, so lots of sparkles!) Once the wedding was over, we headed to the reception. At this point I told Will I really was pretty uncomfortable, so I went to the bathroom, and my worst nightmare happened…I was bleeding. I stood there for a minute with a MILLION emotions running through my head….. sadness, anger, hurt, disbelief, shock, and just the continuous thought “Why me and why us, again, God?!” “Was two times not enough?!” I’m pretty sure I even said some of this stuff out loud while in the bathroom by myself. I walked outside and looked at Will, trying to hold back the tears… and he knew. He hugged me and I tried my hardest to get it together. The reception hadn’t even begun, and these were some of our good friends. I also knew, having been through miscarriages twice before, that there was nothing I could do. We walked outside for a minute and Will held me while I cried and yelled and let it out. I’m pretty sure he teared up a little too. We went back in and sat at a table, waiting for food to come out. Both of us were pretty quiet, but tried our hardest to keep up with conversations. I remember several people we know coming over to the table and chatting, but I couldn’t tell you a thing they said. It was sooooooo hard to not fall apart. I remember Will trying his hardest to be normal. We made it through the meal, and made it through their first dance. Then the speeches started. They were lovely speeches. But, one finally rolled around that mentioned having children and I couldn’t hold it back any more. We waited for the dancing for everyone to start and slipped out. This was becoming the worst New Year’s of my life…..
We went by a drug store to buy some pregnancy tests and went back to the condo. They read “pregnant” but who were we kidding? Like that meant anything when blood was involved. That’s always been the start of loss. With my first miscarriage I bled, still heard a heartbeat, and still lost the baby…. So we both cried that night, assuming it was over. We also tried to come up with reasons it may not be. We debated going to an ER or to my doctor earlier, but because of this same experience twice before…. we already knew the drill…. we would spend an arm and a leg to have the testing done, to be told we either lost the baby or didn’t, and if we had, we knew I would choose to miscarry naturally again, so there was nothing they could do to help. I also had an appointment coming up January 4th, so I only had a few days to wait out this torture. By the next day, I had no spotting or anything, so of course the two of us were a little more positive… but too scared to assume the baby wasn’t gone. I have never prayed SO HARD for something to work out. I had tried so hard in the past to accept that the two previous losses happened for a reason. I knew I would try again if I had to, but I prayed I wouldn’t….
I bled no more until my appointment, so Will and I were hopeful. I remember being so incredibly nervous walking in to that appointment, and was so thankful that Will was with me. They called us back, and there was a heartbeat. We both cried SO many tears at that sweet little sound. I did mention the bleeding because with our first miscarriage I got to hear a heartbeat, and within a week, the baby was gone anyhow. The ultrasound tech noticed I had a hematoma, which can cause bleeding. It can cause problems if it grew, so they checked the next couple of appointments, and nothing changed with it. With this news, Will and I cried happy tears, even more. There was a reason for the bleeding, and it wasn’t because we were maybe losing our baby. Those little pitter patters of her heart were the best possible start to 2017. I will forever be thankful for Annabelle Grace and how she came in to our lives!
So, let’s talk about month FOUR! Our baby is FOUR MONTHS!! She’s over 100 days old!!
A few days before her four month birthday we had a check up (and shots) and she weighed in at 12 pounds, 10.5oz and measured 25 inches long and a head circumference of 41.5 centimeters! She ranges in the 20-25% for weight, but 78% and 79% for length and head circumference! Most everyone who meets her, describes her as a babydoll….. I guess I can see why now:
She started the month in North Carolina (we were visiting when she had her 3 month birthday 11/23) and ended the month in Memphis, Tennessee (where we visited for Christmas!) She has perfected rolling over, though she prefers to try to push up to try to crawl much more.
We also had her make the transition to her own room at the veryyyyy beginning of month 4. We would have moved her sooner, but we were out of town so much in the month of November that we were worried it may be too much change at one time. (I had done plenty of her naps during the day in her room, in hopes in would help when we moved her over at night.) She did great! She moves ALLLLLL OVER her crib, sleeps through the night, and wakes up with a big grin! Here is a great example!
She LOVES to talk. If this is any clue as to how chatty she will be when she actually says full words… then we have a motor mouth on our hands!
She is loving to smile, laugh, and use her hands!
We’ve sucked her in to goofy family pictures, dressed her up, and really worked on sitting up!
She had her four month check up and smiled and talked to everyone…. poor thing didn’t realize I was about to make her get a bunch of shots!
She met a lot of Will’s college fraternity brothers; every one of them held her!
We decorated trees and opened Christmas presents!
We have outgrown more clothes…….
Laughed some more….
On her actual four month birthday, Annabelle Grace got to meet several more family members from the Daddy’s side of the family! This included baby Knight!
During both month three and month four, we’ve really worked on keeping a daily routine going. Will and I have had a bedtime routine going since she was about 6 weeks old. The older she has gotten, the more fine-tuned we have gotten with a full, daily schedule. It looks a little something like this:
5:00am: dream feed (I go in, nurse, she basically stays asleep!)
7:30-8:00am: wake up, nurse, play
9:30-10:00am: go down for a nap (can range anywhere from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours) (we usually get one long nap and one short nap a day)
12:30pm: wake up, nurse, play
2:00-2:30pm: go down for second nap of the day (can range anywhere from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours) (opposite of whatever our morning nap is- we rarely get two long naps a day)
4:00pm: wake up, nurse, play
5:00pm: a small, 30 minute cat nap, sometiimes
5:30pm: nurse, play
6:00pm: sit at the table with Mom and Dad for dinner
6:45pm: bedtime routine: bath, lotion, diaper cream, nurse, rock, asleep by 7:30pm
**Play includes a mixture of tummy time, back play, reading books, “talking,” and playing in her exersaucer**
**As for her sleeping through the night- she’s awesome at it! We rarely have wake-ups, and when she does wake-up, she pretty much puts herself back to sleep with in a few minutes!**
As for me- I’m still feeling great! I’m four months postpartum from a c-section and completed a 10K (6.2 miles) the first week of month four- that I mostly ran! I could tell that my back hurt pretty bad once I was finished, but thankfully the pain was gone within an hour or two! I am still doing Pure Barre several days a week. I am still able to nurse 100% exclusively right now, and can still pump about 5 extra ounces MOST days. I am still very happy with my body and super pleased with my progress so far!
All in all, 2017 has been a fantastic year, and this New Year’s Eve I’ll be hugging my sweet baby extra hard!