As per usual I am slightly behind on this post, but I just recently reread some of these posts that I wrote about Evelyn and loved them! So late as I am, I’m still going to write it. I love having this to look back on.

Around one month Nora was already starting to sleep really well! I think she was doing six hour stretches. Throughout this past month she has gone as long as eight hours for us which has been amazing. It’s not every night, but it’s enough for us to feel less like zombies than we did with Evelyn. More recently Nora is craving more routine and starting to get super tired and fussy around 7, so I’m trying to get back to a better family routine for her. She sleeps in the Velcro swaddle that Evie used and squirms out of it a lot more often, but still does pretty well.

Nora essentially sleeps through tummy time, so not too much progress has been made there, though she has accidentally rolled over a couple times. She started smiling at six weeks and it was almost as if a switch flipped. She went from a very stoic, serious baby to smiling whenever you make eye contact with her! She is also cooing all the time. She constantly wants to talk to us.

Baths are a roller coaster for this one, love/hate relationship. But she loves getting her diaper changed and she is an amazing eater! Our first month was hard with both of us recovering from the damage of a tied tongue, but my pain went away around one month and now breastfeeding is a breeze. She eats in half the time Evelyn did and is much easier for me to read (to figure out whether or not she’s hungry).

Around this age, we moved Evelyn into the nursery, but we haven’t quite made it there with Nora yet. I love their relationship though. Evelyn imitates Blake and me all the time when she interacts with Nora. She tells her good morning and says phrases like “good burp, Neera!” She puts the binkie in her mouth and as she’s giving it to her she’ll be softly repeating her name, “Nora, Nora, Nora.” I love these two kiddos. Parenting gets (harder and) better and better.

10 lbs 9 oz – 35% for weight and 55% for height

Nora was born at 39 weeks and 1 day, but the story of her birth begins at 38 weeks when Blake and I began to get impatient. I don’t know why we always find ourselves here, but we lose our patience this far along and start trying all the natural inducers. Many long walks at a rigorous pace, raspberry leaf tea, yoga. Blake found my pressure points and gave me foot massages. Nothing seemed to work.

About a week before Nora was born Blake and I went to see Dunkirk and I had a few contractions, which happened a couple more times in the following week until my appointment on Wednesday, July 26th. I had reached my limit emotionally (as well as physically, of course) for a number of reasons, so I had the doctor strip my membrane. Evelyn and I spent the day getting shaved ice with McKenzie and Mila and that night I had a mutual activity with our young women. On our drive home from the activity, my contractions began. Perfect timing, because for months I had been planning this activity and telling myself I had to be there and then the baby could come anytime after. That night I delivered a few supplies to a leader for girls camp (which would come the following week) and the contractions continued to get stronger.

Throughout the night they were anywhere from 15-20 minutes apart. I think I got a total of three hours of sleep that night, and when I was awake I wrote in my Promptly journals and finished reading the Book of Mormon (a 2017 resolution I had to finish before the baby was born). The minute I knelt down to pray about it, my contractions got stronger and closer together. I’m logging that little tender mercy away in my spiritual experiences tab under “When I do my part, the Lord blesses me.”

By the time Blake woke up my contractions were about 10 minutes apart. Pre-labor was long for me with Evelyn, so I sent Blake to work and told my parents to plan on that afternoon. But before Blake made it to his desk at work, my contractions jumped to four minutes apart and SO painful. My brother showed up to watch Evelyn for us and I frantically tried to finish packing my hospital bag, pausing every few minutes to crouch down and yell because of the pain. Evelyn followed me around in confusion saying, “Mom screaming.”

I have very little hospital experience outside of giving birth, but I’m convinced the best nurses work in Labor and Delivery. I was quickly admitted at 10 am, measuring at a 5, and put at the top of the anesthesiologist’s list. As soon as I got my epidural I was a happy camper, just like with Evelyn. I had a little puking spell and wasn’t able to sleep, but we were in the room with the best view and Blake and I were talking about names, so we killed time. Family came by and we snacked on the hospital options since I hadn’t had time to eat that morning. Around 2:15 the nurse came in to check how far I had progressed because the doctor had a scheduled C-section at 2:30. Turns out I was completely dilated so they decided to deliver immediately so the doctor could make her next appointment. I believe it took six or eight minutes of pushing to bring Nora into the world at 2:38 pm. She wasn’t crying when she came out so the nurses were rubbing and patting her purple, puffy body for a few seconds before she started to cry. The bed felt much shorter this time, I felt so close as it all happened and I was able to watch them handle her so much more than I was able to see with Evelyn. Our first time around we had no idea what to expect and had such an adrenaline rush that when Evelyn came out we were just shocked and giddy. This second time, because it was an experience we had had before (though different, we knew more or less what to expect), we were able to soak up the moments a little more. The second we met Nora, Blake and I were both overcome with emotion. It was so joyful and special. The experience is so spiritual no matter which child you’re delivering, and I’m glad that each experience is different, just like each child.

Nora Jane weighed 7 lbs 11 oz and was 19″ long. She was swollen and chubby and “sturdy” as some explained when they met her in the hospital. Her little mouth was most often turned slightly downward and her D A R K  wavy hair shocked us all again. Evelyn’s hair was an auburn color, which caught us off guard, but Nora’s was almost black! Blake has a couple siblings who were born with dark hair and his dad has dark hair, so that must be the best explanation for the dark hair. And if it’s anything like what happened to Evie, it will eventually all fall out and grow back in much lighter. Fingers crossed it stays dark though!

If you read this whole thing, I owe you something. Maybe come enjoy some of the cookie dough I have in my fridge because I can now eat it since I’m not pregnant (YAY). Here are the pictures you actually came to see.

This past month had been very bumpy, but not because of Nora. Sweet Nora Jane has brought all the sunshine we’ve experienced this past month and everything about her has been heaven sent. Heavenly Father knew we needed an easy newborn because of the timing of when Nora would come join our family and boy has she been an angel.

Once again I was blessed with a very quick and easy delivery (details in a birth story blog post to come soon) and from the first moment things have been so special. Each child is so uniquely special and each birth experience is equally as special as the next. Nothing compares to the life changing nature of experiencing your first child, but this time was different in a really neat way for us. Possibly because our first time around we were so caught up in what we didn’t know and had never experienced, this time has felt more peaceful and spiritual for me. I feel less anxiety and more joy to simply be blessed with another opportunity to add to my family and raise a daughter of God. Not to mention the joy I have felt this past month spending time with Blake at home as a family of four. There is nothing better than sitting on your bed with all three of your people just laughing and cuddling and soaking up some morning light. (Have I made you want a newborn yet?)

Nora sleeps a lot during the day still, and when she is awake she always wants to be held. At night she sleeps so well, even sleeping for as long as 5-6 hours at a time between feedings! I almost hate to admit it, in (irrational) fear that I will jinx it. Nora eats really well also, which has been such a blessing! At four days old we had to take her to get her tongue tie clipped, which was not fun, but it helped enormously with making breastfeeding less painful and it needed to happen. (To any who haven’t experienced that pain, I can honestly say it is one of the most excruciating pains I have experienced.) By two weeks Nora had made it back to her birthweight exactly, which is so exciting for us. 7 lbs and 11 oz. 33% weight 75% height.

The most common question I have gotten is about whether the transition to two kids is harder or easier than I thought it would be. In most ways it has been easier, simply because Nora has slept well, hasn’t had health issues, etc. An expectation that has been accurate so far is my losing essentially all of my free time. I knew it would happen, and yes, it did. I’m burnt out more often than I was before, if I’m being real. But if I am looking at the bright side, it truly makes me feel more fulfilled and even more rooted in my calling of motherhood. This is what is most important and if it comes down to it, i will eliminate whatever I need to from my life to do my best as a mother (as long as I am not a TOTAL zombie).

Sweet Nora is stoic, calm, and the sweetest. I think her first smile might have happened the other when Evelyn and I were up really close to her face and Evelyn was talking to her. Evie is already helping a lot, and although she does not love sharing our attention, she loves talking to Nora and having her around! I posted a video on Snapchat the other day of Nora fussing during tummy time and Evie running over, lying down next to her and saying, “Hi!! I come here to help you!” Once again, have I convinced anyone to have kids?

I’m sure there is more that I will want to share but at the moment I can’t think of anything else so I’ll just have to write more later!

As often as possible, I want to share uplifting articles and things I have found online that I have enjoyed! This week it is this adorable story about a mother and her daughters creating a family tradition out of photographing themselves weekly in matching outfits. Not only does this create a positive memory and something to look forward to for these girls, it has become a way for them to know that they are important individuals who are loved.

I want to start this now! Oh the perks of being a girl mom. Check out All That is She.

 

Dear daughters,

It became almost second nature, from the moment Evelyn was born, to simply slow down. Granted it was easy to slow down when I was able to leave work behind and stay home to devote my days to my family. However, that’s not to say that it was an easy time. The transition to motherhood is challenging in many ways you won’t understand until you get there. But know, it is more joyful than you could ever imagine. Your world goes from black and white to the richest of colors. Without knowing, your perspectives and personality will be swallowed up in the understanding that there is much more than you ever previously understood. Your level of empathy toward others will become deeper, wider, fuller. Your humility will also increase as you are reminded day after day of how little you know and how completely you need to rely on the Lord.

Know that these are the greatest joys of life. Slow down, when things seem to be going faster than ever before, and smile. Watch your children discover life. Watch them rest. Watch them think and explore and learn. Stop what you’re doing and smile. Put down the broom and stop scrolling through your phone, and watch your husband teach your children. Watch him tickle them. Watch him dance with them.

Smile often. It makes you vulnerable, which, contrary to what many in the world may think, is good. It makes you feel happier, which you will need! Let yourself enjoy life every day. Choose to appreciate all you’ve been blessed with.

My happiest memories of all are the slow, small moments I have had with you.

Xo, Mom