Thursday, June 27, 2013

6 weeks and beautiful!

That's my baby girl! This was the week of six week post-partum visits. Sarah, who if you will recall was born 5 lbs 10 ounces. As of six weeks, she is a healthy (and to our eyes HUGE!) 8lb 13 oz baby! I called her a chunker because I have seen how much she has grown so quickly, but seeing as how some babies are born this big, she is really only in the 16th percentile for her age! However, she is doing well and took her first shots like a champ. She only cried for a few second as the nurse had a great calming and soothing rock right after the shot - and the best part - she got silver sparkly band-aids!

Photo: Cuddle time. I love my life.
This is the latest picture. Returning back to a somewhat normal life has us snapping a few less pictures, but in this picture she had just had a bath, was warm, clean and snuggly. The best combination ever - if you can't tell by my face!

Clearly, we are both healthy and well!

I had a follow up with the cardiologist and my blood pressure was back down to normal. Swelling is gone and I've lost 37 lbs doing nothing but nursing and a little walking - so clearly fluid is on it's way out. One of the greatest signs of this - I finally got my wedding rings back on! (Now, I may have pulled a Jim Friedrich and they may not come off for another 30 years, but by golly - they're on!)

My c-section scar is looking great and I am now cleared to start excercising again! (5K here I come!)

Of course, even though I've lost a significant amount of weight - I do still have a nice scar line and some fantastic looking stretch marks all over my body and my skin is a lot more flabby than it used to be in that area...but I came across this blog post at the most poignant time!

You see, I spent most of the entire time of my pregnancy thinking my body was letting me down. (If you need a recap - the posts are archived to the left). In fact much of my conversation at my six week post-partum visit revolved around whether or not my future pregnancies would be just as difficult. I'm still trying to figure out if I want to have more biological children or not and therefore what to do about birth control. (This conversation could have it's own really long blog post...)

But when I read the blogpost above, and saw the beautiful pictures of these mothers with their stretch marks, flabby skin and sagging boobs and read the quote - "... I know now that my body has much greater potential than looking good in a swimsuit." I couldn't help but agree more.

My body brought a healthy, beautiful baby girl that is growing like a weed. My body isn't only about getting my weight to an acceptable place (because it is right now and I can still find things I would like to change), it's not about being good looking. My body did something amazing - and continues to do so by providing nutrition for my child on a regular basis.

I can say that I am more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have been. So what if I have bright pink stretch marks all over my stomach and other random places I never thought I would have had them? And the scar on my abdomen - heck, that's the best battle scar I've ever gotten! I'm proud of that sucker. And hey - seriously was I ever going to feel comfortable walking out in a bikini? Um, no. If I've got a swimsuit on, I'm being far too active to risk a wardrobe malfunction!

Besides - my husband has and always will think I'm beautiful and he makes a point to tell me on a regular basis. I'm no longer trying to impress anyone else - so who cares?

I only wish I wouldn't have given myself such a hard time over my body image for so long. I'm not going to lie and say I'm 100% ok with my body - what woman is? The point is to be healthy so I can do the things I want to do - like get in the floor for hours and play with Sarah, run a 5K because it's good therapy, throw and kick a ball as a family (because as soon as Sarah does that it's all her Daddy is going to want to do and it will be no fun to be left out!), hike the Canyon so we can take Sarah for a long hike in the Smoky Mountains and say "This is what REAL hills are!" so that MAYBE just maybe, one day Rocky Top will make sense to her!

Thanks for reading - I hope you know you're beautiful too!

(And I promise more Sarah pictures next time!)

Friday, June 21, 2013

1 Month Old!

Wow! It is a lot harder to update the blog these days - but for good reason! Sarah turned one month old on June 14th...a week ago! I'm a little late posting on her one month birthday, but better now than never, right?

We are taking a cue from some friends of ours, the Titus family - who just welcomed their second girl, Miriam (YAY!) - who took pictures of their first daughter Ashleigh with a book that had the number of months old Ashleigh was. At one month - our pictures weren't as pretty as we remember Ashleigh's being, but after a gazillion takes, here are some of the best...and worst!
At first, it was ok...propping a baby up is hard to do when she's become such a wiggle worm. Not able to sit up on her own soon...this is what happened. (And yes we are bad parents, we both sat there and snapped pictures...)

 Help!!! I'm falling! She teetered there for a second and we thought she might be able to swing herself back in the corner...but...

 Nope...She ended up here...just hanging there like "Mom...Dad...really...this isn't cool."

So we propped her back up and got this annoyed face.
Then she started yawning...she was so over this whole picture thing...
And so...finally...this was the best we could get!
At one month Sarah is...
- Eating about every two-three hours and growing like a weed!
- Constantly tagging Mom and Dad when we go to change her diapers
- Starting to enjoy bath time...warm water isn't so bad after all! (Maybe this is why she keeps peeing and pooping all over herself and us! My daughter is a GENIOUS!)
- Has decidedly blue eyes (for now...)
- Stays awake for about an hour or two at a time and loves to play! (Except from about 8:30pm-midnight...then she stays awake and cries and cries, nurses, sleeps, wakes up and cries some more...)
- Enjoys a stroller ride around the block with mom and dad
- Loves to be in the Moby with mom all snuggled and warm (and Dad too but he won't admit that wears the Moby...shhhhhh)
- Enjoys a good song sung to her from Mom or Dad (and finds comfort in hearing their voice- MELTING OUR HEARTS!)
- Focuses more when she sees our face and engages with us when we speak to her

This is my favorite picture of her doing just that. I'm trying to calm her and tell her that her eyelids are getting heavy. (We just finished nursing and I'm trying to burp her...) The lights were off, her sound machine was on and it was about 10:45pm. I was greeted with this energetic face and quickly told Stephen to flip the lights on and bring me my phone so I could take a picture.
"Hi mom...I know I just nursed and you want to go to sleep, but isn't it fun to bob your head back and forth? You're the best mom ever, you don't need to sleep, you need to stay awake with me, right??" 
When I disagreed...the wailing began, but this is about the cutest face I've ever seen,'s hard to be mad.
Next week she will go for her six week check-up and we will finally figure out how much she has grown, but as a reference, here is a picture of her from three days old, to just a few days ago.

She is already starting to bust out of a few of her newborn onsies! I keep telling her she can slow it down. If she's Dad's daugther, she'll keep growing. If she's my daughter...she'll keep growing because she's stubborn and I told her not to. ;-)

That's all for now folks!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Dear Sarah

Dear Sarah, (I'm excited just by this salutation because the last letter I wrote you was "Dear Baby Girl")

Today was the day you were due to arrive - but you're here and already four weeks old!

In a few short weeks, I have fallen head over heels in love with you in ways I could never have imagined. If you think I'm excited over typing your name "Dear Sarah" - I can't explain to you how giddy I was when we took you to your two week doctors appointment and I filled out your information as Sarah G. Friedrich, my daughter! That's right, I'm legally listed as your parent and guardian, so you're stuck with both me and your dad! Sorry, kiddo!

When I was pregnant with you - you'll recall I was very, very sick (as I will continually remind you when you decide I'm soooo uncool - I carried you for eight miserable months with a gag reflex, stretch marks and a long scar on my abdomen to prove it!). All I could do was pray and tell your dad how I just wanted you to be healthy and strong and when I finally get to meet you - I'm going to kiss you all over. I wanted to kiss every toe, every finger, your sweet chubby cheeks and that crook in your neck that is oh so soft...

You're here and I cannot kiss you enough. I now understand why some moms say they want to eat their children because I could literally nibble on you all. day. long. I tell you how much I love you because I don't want you to ever forget it or go a day without hearing how much you are loved about a thousand times. And I plan to kiss and nibble, snuggle and hug you until the day I die (or the day you die of embarrassment in the middle school parking lot...or...preschool parking long...I'm praying for middle school I pushing my luck with highshcool? College?)

I love the faces you make everyday. It's another reason I could spend all day looking at you. Occasionally when you wake up you give me this grimace like "Mom...this is so not cool, I was sleeping so good." And I thank God that you seem to appreciate the value of a good nap because I certainly do.

Or the grin you have when you pass some really good gas, which I too can appreciate how much better than can feel. I hope I didn't give you my stomach though...

Lately, you've enjoyed peeing and pooping all over us right after we take off your diaper. You tagged your dad so good one night in the middle of the night - he had to give you a bath. At 2 am. (Yeah, he loves you...). You peed right down my side while I was nursing you - but the greatest story is one you need to continually thank your grandma for. She went to change your diaper, took it off you and you promptly pooped at a distance and velocity we did not know was capable. She laughed so hard I went to see what happened and examined the mess you made...we were bent over hooting and hollering because of what your tiny body had just done. Your dad tried to take incriminating pictures of you and the mess, but I'll have you know I told him that was not nice. (In between my uncontrollable giggles!!!) I'm just giving thanks you're healthy and well enough to eat, poop, pee and sleep like all good healthy babies.

Your dad and I went on a date night tonight while your Grandma and Grandpa stayed for the really tough task of keeping you. We tried really hard to have conversation about things other than you, but we both gushed about how much we already love you and the latest cute things you have done.

I already can't imagine life with out you because I am SO blessed because you are here - and I think all of this before you were really even SUPPOSED to be here. I hope one day you have your own children so that you can understand how much better life is when love is shared in such an amazing way. And also, so that one day, you will understand my undeniable addiction to kissing you all over.

Because seriously...look at those cheeks!!!!!

Your Mama

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Three weeks!

It's hard to believe this little girl is three weeks old! It's been both a long and a slow three weeks getting used to each other, but mostly we've just reveled in the moment. She is getting stronger and as you can tell in the picture, her eyes are getting a little brighter! She keeps them open for longer periods of time and we just love having playtime!

We spent some time playing with the toys on our play mat. Then I flipped her over on her tummy so that she could spend sometime getting nice and strong! Here she is!
I have a newer video where shes even stronger, but will have to learn to keep them under a minute if I want them to upload in any reasonable amount of time. The great thing about the camera on my phone is it takes high quality video...unfortunately that means a large file size!

We also had to say goodbye to Mimi, which was sad. I personally needed the interval of time by myself to feel confident in what I was doing. Mimi gave me a good system, but I still wasn't ready for her to leave. Having survived in time for the reinforcements (Grandpa Jim and Grandma Nancy), I feel much more prepared to handle being a mom, but am super happy for the help!

It was hard for Mimi to leave too. This picture captures the complete love and joy in her face when holding Sarah. *Sigh* Such a hard job!

This is Sarah on my shoulder taking a nap. SUCH a sweet face! I could eat her with a spoon! It's faces like that make constantly being on call as a food source or just general soother all worth it!

We also went to church for the first time on Sunday. It's the only time I have gotten her out of the house and I kept her wrapped up in the Moby close to me to keep her away from germs since she's still so young. Of course, summer worship starts at 10:00am...a regular feeding time. And of course despite my efforts to feed her more and right before worship, we were still late by the time she fed again and then dirtied two more diapers...I really wish she could talk so when I change her she could say, "Hang on mom...I'm about to add a pee to that poopy, save the diaper for another two minutes..."

After that...this is how she spent her first Sunday in worship.

I told her she might find Daddy a little more interesting when she's older...;-)

This was her cute dress Mimi got her, although no one really saw it but me!

She has gained more weight (although I'm not sure how much). Her head is getting longer and her neck is getting stronger. She's put weight on her cute little cheeks and is now starting to look more like me in some respects, although I still think those lips are her daddy's!

She has developed a wicked diaper rash that is slowly getting better after I quick using pampers (they have some weird webbing in the diaper that kept sticking no matter how much diaper cream we used). She started to regularly blow out luv's diapers. Yesterday she cried almost all day just because it hurt. I have no doubt it we were super vigilant about changing her diaper even though the wipes and diaper cream always seem to ignite more cries. Stephen had to give me a break yesterday for a few hours. I've always been able to console her and it was clear she was wears you down. I'm seriously considering ordering cloth for newborn, but she looks and seems to feel better today, so hopefully switching all that stuff and being diligent has helped. At this'll be months before she fits into her current cloth! Oh how a mom's heart aches when her daughter doesn't feel good!!!!

Of course, being diligent means not waiting around to see if she's going to pee or poop when one part of the diaper is soiled - which has led to Stephen and I getting tagged numerous times and lots of diapers being soiled before they're actually fully put on...sooooooo maybe we should wait for cloth! ;-)

Lots of you have been kind and ask how I am. I'm still frustrated sometimes by how weak I am - but I'm definitely getting a lot stronger. My c-section scar is healing nicely and have been off all pain medications for almost a week. I've been able to take longer walks (and by longer I mean...we made it around the block...instead of just around the house...). I'm able to keep up with some chores like washing, sterilizing bottles and keeping up with at least Sarah's laundry. Yesterday, I even went grocery shopping! I'm also careful to take naps with Sarah. We both enjoy the bonding time in the chair together, and it's easy to doze off with a slow breathing sack of potatoes on your shoulder with such a sweet peaceful face!

I've officially lost 30 lbs...which I can't help but think is contributing to my weakness. It's odd not to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes because they're too BIG. It's also odd to see your body lose that much so quickly. I know you're probably rolling your eyes that I'm complaining...but it does give me an indication of how malnourished I was. Now...having said that, I'm still at a healthy weight.

I had let myself get too far out of control...I'd tried so many different things and had just let myself believe that my weight was what it was going to be and not to mention I knew we were going to try to get pregnant which I naturally equated to getting fatter, so why bother right? (not good logic by the way)

I'm going to try to maintain where I'm at...but my stomach three weeks post partum is like a bowl full of jelly - so naturally I'll try to get that firmed back up. (Did I mention I think sit-ups and crunches are from the devil though?) Once I get cleared to exercise I might try to run some more. I am noticing in addition to my stomach some strange stretch ones behind and on the sides of my knees from how swollen they were...and my upper thigh and places you never thought you'd get stretch marks from pregnancy. Mostly those don't bother me though as they are still in places I rarely uncover in public. And because the pregnancy was so rough - I few them as just more battle scares of what it took to get Sweet Sarah to this world.

Luckily, I seem to have *SO FAR* escaped post-partum depression...but I'm chalking it up to a boost in an anti-depressant I had about a month or so before she was born. I think it was because of a shift in hormones because it was a rapid swing southward...we all decided staying on a higher dose was the best thing to do for me now that she's here and so far I think that was a great decision!

And's time to feed my sweet baby girl - so I'm off to take care of the light of my life!