Wednesday, January 26, 2011

3 Weeks Old

After being in the world three weeks, Fisher and the Brantley family are starting to return to life as normal. Well, normal from now on, at least. I do hope being up in the middle of the night won't be normal forever, but I do recognize that it is a part of our life for now. So, we are getting used to it. I remember with Harrison once I approached the three week mark, I found myself severely burned-out of the up at night gig. Thankfully, my mom arrived somewhere in week three and graciously took the middle of the night feedings for the two weeks she was there. I remember it being uber-helpful then, and I'm certainly realizing again how great that was. It was amazing for her to do exactly what we asked her to do with Harrison and for me to trust that she would do that so I could lay my head on my pillow and get a great night's sleep. And since Harrison was sleeping through the night somewhere in the sixth week, it really was a great situation. But now, as I approach week 4, I'm not feeling the burn-out that I did with Harrison. I think I hit that two weeks ago! But I've rebounded for now, praise the Lord. Here are some thoughts/facts/tidbits that have been on my mind for the past three weeks:
1. Umbilical cord stump: this still grosses me out more than ever. It literally makes me gag. Harrison lost his around day 10, I think. Fisher apparently wants to go to college with is still very much attached. Thankfully, Joan (Nana) showed me a way to clean it that may help it dry out more quickly and fall off...I just have to get past my gag reflex while trying to clean it. Fall off already!
2. Infant Gas: holy moly! I do not remember harrison having such bad gas issues. It is plaguing nap time and bed time and I'm ready for that to be over too. Mylicon is not doing the trick. I still give it to him like candy, in case it helps a bit, but Lord help me...I just want him to push that gas out. We laugh about tooting in this house; we don't cry about it.
3. Homeboy is a wiggle worm: Harrison used to just mild, so sweet. Nothing ever bothered him. Fisher, on the other hand, is all over the place. It was evident when he was in my womb that he would be a mover, but it is a little crazy to already see the difference in personalities.
4. I don't know who he looks like. Everyone keeps asking me and I have no idea. Truly, one moment, he looks like Adam, and the next he looks like me, I suppose. Mostly, he looks like Benjamin Button.
5. Skivvies: I'm ready to wear some nicer undergarments.
6. Keeping a Journal: so I thought my detailed blog would be sufficient, but there is some crucial information that I wished I would have kept record of with H. Things that I wish I wrote down so I know how to compare to where Fisher is: how much he was taking at each feeding; when we switched from three hour to four hour schedule; if he had bad gas; how many times I got up at night with him at each stage; I'm not going to do it now as this will be the last one and we won't have a newborn living at our house again. But, for those of you first time moms or soon-to-be moms out there, I highly recommend keeping a log of this information. It may seem silly now, but it will be super helpful when numero dos comes along. I find myself saying, "I don't remember it being like this with Harrison," but chances are it was, but I just blocked it out.
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Harrison Our Patriot

Harrison has learned how to say the Pledge of Allegiance and recently discovered that he gets an audience to listen when he says it. Here is a video of him saying it this weekend. This is one of probably 50 times that he said it. are the 2 1/2 week pictures

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Two and a Half Weeks Down

It's in the books. We've made it two and a half weeks. Some moments I feel like it is flying by and others I feel like it is dragging. If you can't tell from my previous posts, it is a little harder than I expected. But that is in relation to having two kids...not as much a newborn. I feel like everyone told me that three kids is hard, but no one really told me that two is hard. I guess it was just understood. Either way, I still really wanted to have a second child, so it doesn't matter if anyone would've told me that it is more than double the work. I would've tried to have another anyway. And I love my new little son more than I thought I could. When he gives me a glimpse of his eyes (which is rare, but something we work very hard at...all of you babywise fans can relate to the struggle of creating wake time at an early age), I'm reminded of the miracle baby that he is and how I prayed so fervently for him to come into existence. I love our little bear so much.
Last night, I experienced one of the sweetest moments yet with my boys. I was putting both of them down for bed and while Fisher was awake in my arms, Harrison wanted to sit in my lap. I wasn't sure it was possible to accomplish this feat, but once we got comfortable, I never wanted either one of them to get out of my lap. I read them two books, and then Harrison got in bed. He asked for me to put Fisher next to him and he proceeded to tell me that he wanted to rub Fisher's back and thank God for Fisher (and for alligators). It made me tear up and laugh. But I loved that moment. And I realized after I finished putting Fisher down for the evening, that even though my life seems like a zoo right now, God has created these special, simple moments for me to enjoy with my boys everyday. So yes, life is chaotic; but it is oh-so-good.
And I apologize for the picture overload, but I thought I would include a few of Fisher as I think he looks different in each one. Other than looking like an old man, I'm still unsure who I think he looks like...

How Harrison is Adjusting

Harrison seems to be exploring all sorts of new ways of passing the time now that Baby Fisher has arrived. He has been in rare form. He has been absolutely hilarious and absolutely frustrating at the same time.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Adjusting to Life

Oops, how did this one get in here. Adam told me I couldn't put it on here, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Just don't repost this one anywhere (mom). Harrison calls these my horns.

Playing guitar with Dad...trying to sing songs to baby Fisher.

So, it seems like the question I get most frequently is, "how are you adjusting to a newborn in the house?" Well, the real question should be, "How are you adjusting with two kids in the house?" It is true what people say. Going from one to two kids is much more difficult than going from zero to one. Let's be real...newborns do very little. So, getting used to having a newborn at the house is like getting used to a new purse. You pick it up every now and then, throw it over your shoulder, and then you put it back down. And you want to be careful not to leave them in the car. Granted, newborns cry and have more gas than purses do, but it is essentially the same thing. But you know before you have your first baby, everyone tells you to nap when your child naps. Well, I think it is a little humorous the first time around as there is stuff to be done when your child naps. However, you can squeeze in a nap or two every now and then when you have one. But when you have an almost-three-year-old, you can kiss that idea goodbye. Allison told me that when you have a second one, you really do have to put everything you want to do aside, as you have to become more selfless than ever. Man, she was right. The good news is that it is easy to put yourself aside when you have two little boys that you love more than words can describe. Even though Harrison is driving me nuts with this new whining thing he is doing, I still love him more every day. I'm also very thankful that he is SO proud of his baby brother. He never hesitates to tell someone about him. Just today, when I picked him up from school, he asked me if Baby Fisher was in the car. After I replied yes, he turned to his art teacher and said, "Hooray! My baby brother is in the car. You want to see?" His sweet heart for his brother makes me so happy. I'll take this season of whining for the sweet kisses that he wants to give his brother any day.
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Important Visitors

"Aunt Maggie" brought us lots of delicious treats. I ate cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner compliments of Margaret.
Grandpa Gus. Fisher will get used to seeing him as he just moved a couple miles from us. He and Linda were gracious enough to have a meal at the house for us when we arrived home from the hospital. It was very thoughtful.

I've made an attempt (not a very good one) to take pictures of people who have to come to visit. Out of everyone that has come, I've gotten two pictures. I apologize to everyone else. We really want everyone to know how thankful we are to all of the yummy meals and goodies that have come our way. I think I will cook my first meal tonight...we'll see how that goes. I've learned that the best present you can give a new mother (especially one that has an almost three year-old running around) is the gift of food. I've so appreciated people dropping food off for us. And as crazy (or bad) as it sounds, I appreciate that people just drop off food, say hello, and let us get back to our lives. It is definitely a good lesson that I've learned. I know that when we have dropped food off for people, I never know what the expectations on the visit are. Now, that I'm on this side, I've learned that brief is best. I'm so thankful for the friends and family who have helped fill our stomachs and our refrigerator.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One Week Old!

This time a week ago, we were sitting in the hospital waiting for our little bear to make his arrival. At this time, we had no idea that he was a bear, but we did know that he was going to arrive some time last Wednesday. We are definitely adjusting to being a family of four. Harrison loves his little brother so well and much better than I could have ever imagined. Just today when he was leaving for school he said to me, "love you too mom! Oh, and take care of baby Fisher while me at school." So sweet.
I'm trying to get used to being up at night again. I guess it is one of things that you just do because you don't have a choice. However, I'm already looking forward to the days when he sleeps through the night. And it is pretty amazing how fast your day goes when you live on three hour increments. Three hours, which seemed like a good bit of time just a week ago, now seems like a sprint to get everything done.
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Monday, January 10, 2011

For Your Viewing Pleasure

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First Bath at Home

In keeping with tradition, Adam gave Fisher his first bath at home (he did the same for Harrison). Harrison and I supervised. Harrison was a little concerned about the amount of crying that was going on, but I assured him it was totally normal. It definitely raises the blood pressure of everyone in the room, and I think it makes you scrub, scrub a lot faster than if it were a silent bath. As an aside, I hope that everyone has a husband that helps like man does. He is pretty much amazing and game for everything. At the hospital, after the nurse showed me Fisher's circumcision, I had to sit down because I was sure I would pass out. At that point, Adam volunteered to do the cleaning of it until I could handle it (which was only after one more diaper). But still, he is pretty unbelievable.
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Fisher Meeting the Family

After delivering Harrison in Colorado almost three years ago, it was really fun to have a bunch of family around for the arrival of Fisher. They all love Harrison so well that I can only imagine that they will love Fisher just as well. Check out Adam's sister, Amanda...she is the most likely to provide our boys a cousin in the near future...we are VERY hopeful for it. Plus, doesn't she look like a natural?
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Yay! He's Here!

Harrison came to visit while I was waiting on Fisher to come. I'm confident that I was grinning through a contraction at this point. I was about to get the epidural when H arrived and didn't want to freak him out, so I waited. And then my back labor reached an all time high!

Our bear

Daddy holding Fisher for the first time. Well he did cut the cord which he described as "gummy." Yuck!

Harrison meeting Fisher for the first time. He was super sweet with him.
Oh my word. Adam "Fisher" Brantley has made his debut and it was absolutely glorious. After this experience, I realized that I had a terrible experience with Harrison. And when I say terrible, I mean that I had to push for two hours without pain medication (my epidural ran out and they wouldn't hang another bag). I know people do it without pain medicine all of the time, but I labored all day with it for Harrison, so it was a big change. In fact, I looked back at my original blog post about it and I said that it was going to take sever amnesia for me to sign up for it again.
But here's the deal. #1. The Lord is good. #2. East Cooper Medical Center may have the best doctors/nurses around. It was an amazing experience that I would absolutely do again (except for being pregnant...I don't want to do that again).
Anyway, Fisher came out really quickly. I think I only had to push like five times and it took 25 minutes. Praise the Lord! He is quite the chunker and everyone around the hospital is calling him "the big baby." The crazy thing is that he didn't feel like a big baby coming out (if you know what I mean) and he doesn't really look that big (except his cheeks are might large). He is so long, that I think his weight is distributed well.
As far as who he looks like...we have no idea. Last night, I thought he looked totally different than Harrison. Today, I think he looks more like him. I guess we'll see in the coming months.
Oh, so he arrived at 6:13 pm weighing 9 lbs, 3 ounces and is 22 inches long.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Night Before

Well, we are in Charleston and ready to head to the hospital first thing in the morning. It is such a surreal feeling. Adam and I keep on looking at each other like, "is this really happening? Are we about to go have our second child?" For some reason, this time around feels very different. Maybe we were a little ignorant about what we were getting into with Harrison. And things were amazing with Harrison, but we are both just a little nervous. And it has nothing to do with delivery, but everything to do with parenting two kids. We've been telling ourselves that people do it all of the time, so we'll be fine. We are also probably more excited too. We are so curious to see what this little boy looks like (although Harrison told us the other day that baby Fisher is going to have a donkey nose after I asked what he is going to do when he sees the baby for the first time). Even more, I can't wait to see how much he wants to be with Harrison in the coming months. As you can see from the picture above, Harrison is thrilled about baby Fisher entering this world. Today, when I told him why we were coming to Charleston, his response was "Momma have lap again?" So, maybe he doesn't totally get it, but whatever he grasps, I'm thankful for. Thanks for all of the prayers, text messages, and sweet phone calls everyone has sent our way. They are much appreciated.
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Some Final Thoughts on a New Adventure

"I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him over to the Lord. For his whole life will be given over to the Lord." 1 Samuel 1:27-28
As we closed out 2010 and are full-steam ahead into 2011, I can't help but reflecting on how absolutely crazy 2010 has been for us. I remember that I begged in my first post on this blog for 2010 that it would be a Year of Peace. Well, I can't say that it has. So, I'm not claiming anything this year. This year has been marked by pregnancy...ones that have not been viable, and one that is about to become to fruition (see my post when I announced this for more info). Anyway, the other day, I was looking through the pictures on my phone when I came across this photo of a positive pregnancy test. The date on it was 5/4/2010. I wasn't sure as I had a few positive tests and against my husbands protest, I always sent them to Allison as she walked through this struggle every day with me. But when I came across this test, I was flooded with the emotions that I felt that day. I remember sitting in my bathroom and saying aloud, "you have got to be getting me. I cannot do this again." And by "this," I was referencing another failed pregnancy. I felt defeated the moment I saw the blue lines and just knew isn't possible for me to actually have this turn into something. Well, almost eight months to the day after taking the test and quite a few pounds larger, I'd say it has turn into something. God is good. That collection of thoughts sent me into cries of adoration for my Father in Heaven that I could not seem to control. It was a tender moment, that I will never forget.
And we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of this little blessing. I called Adam on Dec 30th and said, "how badly do you want a tax deduction? I'm willing to stomach the Castor oil." In typical Adam form he replied, "Mandy, I can wait until Wednesday. I have a lot I need to do in the next few days before this baby comes." He apparently doesn't know what it feels like to be 100 months pregnant. Harrison is more excited now that Christmas has passed. We have been telling him all along that Fisher will be here after Christmas. So now that it is after Christmas, I think he is ready to get this show on the road. And the timing really couldn't be better. We had yesterday, today, and tomorrow just to hang out as a family of three, and through today, it has been glorious. Not to mention I just woke up from an hour and a half nap. I awoke and was alarmed with the thought, "that was a great nap...does that mean I'm going to have a long night ahead of me?" After last year, here is one thing I can claim for 2011...Here's to a non-pregnant 2011!
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