that month that flew by.



i have a one month old baby. how this happened i'll never know. because yesterday we brought her home from the hospital and today she is a month old. excuse me, what?? florence, you must stop growing up so fast.

it's funny to me now thinking about the few days after we brought her home. i was more overwhelmed than i ever imagined i would be. i cried every evening as we sat down for dinner, like clockwork. i started feeling anxious as it got dark out. and i would feel helpless every time she would cry. breastfeeding still hurt a lot and i had no appetite and no energy. and we ended up going to the pediatrician 4 out of the 5 days that week. i was under the incorrect assumption that after 9 months of sharing my body with someone else, i'd get it back now. and then i realized that my body was still entirely hers for the taking. the worst part was that i didn't feel a huge bond to her yet. and i felt guilty about not feeling a huge bond to her. i loved her, i really did. but mostly i felt like she was this little creature that needed me 24/7 and i wasn't really sure how or what to do. and even when i did, i didn't always want to do it. and that's just the truth friends. i was scared and felt nervous and trapped.

then suddenly after that first week, something just kicked in and it all felt slightly more manageable. she fell into a 3 hour feeding rhythm pretty quickly, was only waking up for one middle of the night for a meal, and was somehow gaining about 1.5 ounces a day. guess my boobs aren't making 1%. and newborn clothes are a joke.

now, at a month out, that first week seems lifetimes away. i feel like i really know her now. i feel such a closeness and bond with her even at her most needy moments--especially in those moments actually. i know the difference between a hungry cry, a tired cry, and a "i don't want to take this nap in my crib i want to take it on your chest" (!!!) cry. i adore her little poop face--lips pursed and nostrils flared. i know that she loves to have her head and nose rubbed and that her feet are ticklish like her papa's. i know how to help get rid of her hiccups (12 times a day). i can interpret most of her little mannerisms and can respond to them. and i think everything she does is the most precious thing that's ever been done.

she is my daughter, and it finally feels like it.

(pause to go check on crying daughter.)

it's true that becoming a mother happens in an instant. but really becoming a mother doesn't. at least not for me. it took me a month of learning her. learning to have patience with myself. learning all over again how to die to self. and learning how to have confidence in a role that God, in His wisdom, gave to me.

miss florence, you bring me joy. so much, so much joy. happy first month of life. now, will you just quit growing up quite so quickly?






*top photo by the arrow house.

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those crazy five hours.


i have gone back and forth about whether to share my birth story here on the blog. it is so personal and precious and intimate. i kind of want to keep it and treasure it with adam and my family. so i've decided not to share all of the details...i'm honestly still processing a lot of them. but here is the gist...

we were watching the duke v arizona game on friday night november 29th. around halftime i started feeling contractions (8:15). by the time the game ended i announced to my family "i think i might be in labor. adam and i should probably head home. we will keep you posted about what time tomorrow you should come to the hospital for the birth."

we left and planned to go home, try to rest, labor at home through the night, and head to the hospital in the morning.

ha.

by the time we got home i was in serious active labor. my doula was headed over. it wasn't long before my contractions were about a minute apart and completely excruciating. i realized that if i didn't go the hospital right then, i would likely give birth in our bed. not ideal. we called the doula and told her to meet us at the hospital. i basically went through transition in the car and was ready to push by the time i reached the triage room. we were at the hospital less than an hour when she was born at 1:14am...five hours after my first contraction.  i think i pushed for 15 minutes.

soooo...that's the short version. although, as you can see, there isn't really a long version.

i was grateful that i was able to have the natural birth that i wanted and had prepared for for so long.

i was less grateful that my body did in five hours what it should have done in more like 18 hours. it was crazy intense and i just remember thinking i would likely not live through it to meet my daughter. but i did. and i got to meet sweet florence early that morning. and that's the part i remember best. :)



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two weeks with miss firenze.


i am not sure what i thought motherhoood would feel like. i loved being pregnant. i loved the anticipation. now, she's here and i just can't seem to wrap my mind around it. i remember thinking when we brought her home that elise no longer existed. now, it was just florence. my body, my thoughts, my time, my sleep...everything was wrapped up in her new little life now. seriously folks, nothing can prepare you.

yet, even after just two weeks things that seemed crazy and overwhelming have become the norm around here. suddenly i don't think twice about having poop on my hands or baby items covering every surface in my house. taking off my shirt a thousand times a day to feed a little human. being awake in the middle of the night every night. not that these things are always easy, but they have redefined normal. and the new normal is wrapped up in heaps of both delight and fear of completely dying to self.

there are so many quirky little things about life now that are so endearing. like the little dolphin noises she makes when she is starting to stir. or the way she purses her lips and throws her head back when papa blows on her face. or the way that her newborn legs bend like a little yogi and her little bum bum just sticks out so cute-like. and of course that dramatic little cry that comes out of nowhere, when all i can think to do is starting talking to her in my most dramatic sounding italian. oh fireeeennnze!!!

some days it still feels like the world might end. and others i feel totally in love with this new life i am living. i am guessing this is normal, and i'm just riding the roller coaster along with every other new mamma. but at the end of every day, good or bad, i have this little precious to look at and love.

here's to two weeks of our new life. the one where we get to fall in love with miss florence ruth over and over again every minute. ti vogliamo bene, firenze. 


ps, thanks to my lovely sister for taking these photos while she was visiting this week!



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florence + ruth


florence, my love.

you dear, are a beauty.

i don’t mean just physically (but gah! are you...) i mean you are a creation of God and you radiate his beauty so profoundly. it makes my heart crumble so fast just looking at you. we knew you would possess this kind of beauty, because we know your creator well. and we wanted you to have a name that reflected it:

florence means flowering, in bloom. something opening up and becoming it’s most beautiful self. it’s so much of what we pray and trust God will do in your life. it’s what we pray every day he will continue to do to us too, as he sanctifies us. ruth means companion or friend. you may read about someone in the bible named ruth one day. she has a great story of loyalty and companionship. she also married well—into jesus’s bloodline, to be exact. God used her to bring his own son into the world—Jesus, the most fiercely loyal friend of all. i hope you will learn a lot from both of them about compassion, friendship, and most of all sacrifice.

we loved your name when we chose it. we were giddy we loved it so much. but, you know, we love it on you even more. and we love imagining the ways in which your character will embrace, and exceed its meaning.

lovely little florence, you are deeply treasured. thank you for the joy that your companionship and beauty already bring to our family. oh my word how we love you.




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world, meet florence ruth


she has arrived.
safely and beautifully at that.
7lbs 3oz, 19.5 inches of love and sweetness.

here are a few photos from our first couple days together.




thank you for all of the love and warm wishes we've already received. we so appreciate them.

much love,

elise, adam, and florence.






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