Is this the face of a miracle or what?
Daddy sure does think so!!
Three weeks...very hard to believe! It seems like such a long time he's already been here...almost a month! Holy cow.
It also seems like we were just in the hospital. Just counting the weeks until 38. Just baking goodies for the doctors. Just waiting and praying for a healthy delivery.
Again, time confounds me.
He's still just so sweet. I know every parent says that about his or her baby, but honestly, Luke is just so sweet. Mellow...gentle. Laid back. Just precious.
I think the jaundice is finally working its way completely out because he is staying awake more often. Still not as much as I'd like when he's eating, but better. He's finding his voice, too...sadly we found this out when his tummy hurts. Last night his tummy was really bothering him and he actually cried! Like, really cried...we saw tears! Even that was hardly anything, though--we call him everything from Baby Kitty (exactly what he sounds like) to Little Alien (because when he actually DOES cry, as he calms down, especially with his paci, he starts getting all gurgly with his noises and it sounds like he's talking alien!) to Baby Bird (since we feed him like one and his little arms and legs are like bird arms and legs). Last night, we gave him some of the tummy drops and that seemed to help his fussiness. He slept for his 4 hour stretch (abbreviated only because I woke him!) and after that, and eating, he went on for another 4 hours and 20 minutes (which is about 20 minutes longer than I wanted, but tried to coordinate with John's getting up so he could have his last bit of sleep too!) Those drops are great!
He loves baths!!! He doesn't fuss (which is not unusual!) but seems to really like the warm water, just like Mommy! I have been pregnant for almost 20 of the last 23 months and nearly EVERY day, I thanked God for hot showers and warm water! Luke loves having his hair washed and rinsed the best, again much like his mommy!
We are still working on eating. He is getting better with latching on, thankfully, but only with a lot of try, try and try again! He's a little tongue curler (thanks, Daddy!) so we are now working on tongue exercises to help there too. He is eating a bit more, and we are supplementing with the little periodontal dropper--about 4 ounces extra a day. We'll weigh him again tomorrow and at this point, if he's not gaining with the round the clock feedings and the extra food (breast milk), I don't know what I'd do differently. Pump to bottles, I guess. Everyone says it gets easier between 4-6 weeks, so that's what I am hoping.
I am jealous, if not completely skeptical, about those who say breastfeeding is the easiest and most natural thing in the world. It may be the most natural FOOD, but I'm surely not finding it the easiest process. I've told John that if I wasn't so worried about his feeding, I think I'd be a great bit more relaxed and not as stressed as I sometimes find myself. Easier said than done to not obsess over it so much--I just want to make sure he's doing as well as he can possibly do. I seriously, seriously wonder how mothers of multiples do this, or young mothers. I'm almost 38, lots of life experience, educated, supported beyond measure...and STILL am befuddled by this 6 pound sweetheart who SWEARS he's hungry but then decides to wave off when abundantly showered with food.
His cheeks are getting more full, and he is definitely growing in length at least, if not in girth! The preemie outfits he was wearing still are good for his weight, but his loooooooong little legs are just too long! We've moved into newborn sizes, and they are still blousy, but even those are getting a little short for him! His feet are filling the footie part and he's pushing his toes right to the end! Long and lean, we grow them...long and lean! His legs are SOOOO long (over half his body!) and his fingers are very, very long as well. Just skin and bones, though!
He's sleeping so well in the evenings. Even when he is awake after a feeding or something, he is quiet...bundled up in his swaddler and little hat, paci in mouth--all you can really see are his eyes and they just roam around, very alert and very inquisitively, until he starts 'talking to his angels' and falls asleep. I'm praying that we get his weight gain and food issues under control because he would surely sleep for great stretches through the night if I let him. That will be nice!
I just love him. Every day, at least 50 times, I just find myself having a hard time believing he is really here and really real. I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude for his life and his existence, but honestly, still in disbelief that he's home with us. There are some days the shoe dangles less than others, so I guess that's a good sign, but it's always there...dangling and taunting, almost daring me to believe fully that we will raise him and even maybe see his children one day.
I'm working on letting my heart fully go there. It's still hard when I can barely look at pictures of Matthew without crying. Or even tearing up as I type about looking at pictures of him. God forbid I start talking about him without it being quick and in context like, "We bought that for Matthew, and Luke ......" or "When I was pregnant with Matthew, it was like....but with Luke, it was...." To talk about how much my heart still (and even more, if possible) aches for Matthew just envelopes me sometimes.
I know many might think this should be a time of sunshine and roses...and it is.
But it's also a time of heartache and longing...everything I experience with Luke is like an imprint with a hot rod on my heart of everything I will NOT experience with Matthew.
Little Bit is stirring....and swearing (ha ha) he is hungry. We'll see. Off to get his baby bird food ready...I'm posting some pictures from his third week. He gets at least 100 taken a day, seriously!
Sweet Little Luke, Mommy just loves you so much. You are more precious to me than I think you can ever know....
This picture brings such tears to my eyes...this is one of my sweet, sweet students from several years ago. A precious and amazing little boy. He and his mommy came to visit and I just love how he's holding Luke, yet Matthew is still in the background. The night we had Matthew's funeral, John told me that he would have wanted Matthew to grow up just like this little boy. Me too.
Cousin Ellie bought him this outfit...one of the few that fit the first week and a half. Still fits in pounds, but WAY too short for those long legs!
He got some pictures taken with our sweet friend Krissy. He was SOOO good, even though he did all the peeing and pooping all over Mommy (what does one expect when the baby is not wearing clothes?!) and let Daddy hold him naked for a long time! Kris did our amazing maternity pictures--seriously, what talent in that fabulously adorable woman!
"I don't know why Daddy has to micromanage Mommy's cooking. I think her food's great! I'm out! Of course, Mommy only had to beg, borrow and steal to get me to eat enough!"