Monday, August 31, 2009

And so it begins....

It's what I like to call "the great post-pregnancy hair loss experience."

For some reason, when you're pregnant, all of those extra hormones in your body do something to "hold on" to the hair on your head. I've always been one to lose a good handful of hair when I shower (just ask my dad, who used to take apart the shower drain at least once a month to clean it out), so this phenomenon is actually a welcome pregnancy side effect for me.

Well, when you're done being pregnant, it still takes a while for all of those hormones to leave your body. But once they do, watch out! Your body makes up for the fact that it hasn't let go of hair for a good 10 months and you think that you might go bald if you keep brushing. Apparently I am shedding hormones like crazy now, because I'm also shedding hair. Combing through my hair after my shower this morning, I almost got myself tangled in the mess. I thought, "My gosh, what is with all of this hair?" Then I realized that around the two-month mark is about when the hair loss started with Jack, too. I actually had a hair cut around Jack's two-month birthday and my hairdresser commented on how much I was losing. Yikes!

Luckily, I have plenty of hair to stand losing a bit every time I shower. And now that I know I'm not going crazy, I'll just have to be careful not to plug up the shower drain. As it turns out, my dad the drain-cleaner doesn't live here!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

one month

Dear Leah,

I'm not off to a great start. You turned one month last Tuesday, the 11th. And here it is the following Sunday, the 16th, and I'm finally writing this. It's not a great first impression on my part. I'm sorry. Please don't hold it against me--I promise to be on time with your two-month letter. Really.

So, one month ago (or thereabouts), I was holding a brand new baby girl in my arms after a long wait. You were 9 days late (not super fun, but you're worth it) and wouldn't come out until I labored for nearly 28 hours (again, quicker would have been great, but you're worth it). You were the most beautiful baby girl I'd ever seen (I can't say that you were the most beautiful baby because your brother might read this some day....). Actually, you looked quite a bit like Jack, except that you came out with a head of hair. Surprise! Where did that come from? Beautiful.

It was really nice to get home and start figuring out our new life with two kids. Of course, as soon as we were home, I was kind of wishing for the hospital again. You would too--the nurses down the hall are a godsend. ("Sure, take her to the nursery tonight so I can finally sleep"). But we did get used to life at home after a while. Oh, who am I kidding--we're still working on it. Jack in particular. "What? I can't just be noisy whenever I want and smother my sister with kisses when she's sound asleep?" Poor kid. He didn't see this coming. The idea of a baby sister was a bit of a novelty. But really, he's great. You will be fantastic friends someday.

Fair warning, blog readers: I'm going to say breast.
So, I thought we were set with this breastfeeding thing. I mean, it's enough that I'd already successfully nursed a baby, but you were a champ of a nurser in the hospital. You latched on right away and I was so grateful that it was going well. Then we came home. And my milk came in. And holy mother of God, I was pretty sure I was going to die. I won't go into detail ("Too late, Mom") about the pain, but it really was like nothing I've ever felt. You could not latch on without me crying or screaming (I may or may not have sworn once or twice--I apologize). Luckily, I'd had such a great experience with your brother, so I knew it could be better. So Daddy and I went to see the wonderful women at the Breastfeeding Center at Methodist. And God sent an angel/lactation consultant named Diane. She immediately fixed your latch and I nursed without pain. It was amazing! I was ecstatic! Your father wanted to saint Diane! And then we got home. And seriously, it was like you knew that Diane wasn't sitting there anymore. We did everything she told us to do and had very different results. Painful results. So we endured through the weekend and went BACK to the Breastfeeding Center on Monday. Diane was there again. "We're back," I said, almost in tears. "Oh, this is why we're here!" See? Angel. She helped me again. This time it wasn't SO terrible once we got home. But I knew I was just going to have to give it some time. And I have. And darling, I think we've got this down now.

I cannot write this letter without mentioning my favorite baby product of the last month, the Moby Wrap. Mostly because you're in it right now, allowing me to write this. I honestly don't know what I'd do without this thing! I certainly wouldn't get anything done during the day, and getting you to sleep would be quite the chore. And you LOVE it. You just get right in and settle down. Most of the time--sometimes it takes a little walking around and coaxing ("REALLY! YOU LOVE THIS THING! SETTLE DOWN!) to get you to stop crying.

The Moby was particularly handy this past week when we traveled to Pine City and spent a week at a cabin with Mimi, Poppa, Sean, and Andrea. Which leads me to why this letter is late. I guess I could have brought our computer and spent some time in the one hot-spot cafe in the county, but I preferred sitting by the lake reading (with you in the Moby, of course). The week was really fun. You mostly just slept, but everyone else had fun lying in the sun, fishing off the dock, and kayaking. Maybe next year you'll have more fun!

Oh, and you're smiling! So fun! I have yet to catch it on film. Mostly because I don't want to stop talking to you and making you smile long enough to find the camera. But it's so fun--it makes you so much more interactive. Especially fun in the middle of the night when I'd really rather not be waking up to change your poopy diaper!

Well, my dear, happy one-month birthday (or close enough). I really can't believe it's already been this long, but I'm so excited for the coming months and watching you grow. You are a very special little girl! God knew we needed you (not that Jack isn't special and precious--you're just a nice balance). :)

Love you so much,

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Is it weird?

I can't bring myself to remove "Julie" from my list of blogs.

But is it weird that every time I click on all of those links looking for updated posts, I also click on Julie's? What am I expecting to see? That she's updated her blog from heaven? Maybe I just need to see her face sometimes.