Monday, May 2, 2011

And they meet

We decided that Ethan and his sister would first meet in our home.  We had concerns about Ethan seeing me in a hospital bed, a strange setting, and then having to leave while Harper and I stayed there.  That decision meant I wouldn't see Ethan for two days (I hadn't been away from him for that long!) and I missed him terribly but I'm glad that we made that decision.  We thought it would be best for Ethan.  He enjoyed time with his grandparents, continued going to daycare on Wed and Thurs, and his schedule remained consistent.  Matt went home every evening to spend time with Ethan and put him to bed. 

On Friday morning we got up and ready to check out of the hospital.
Dressing our girl in her coming home outfit.  We were afraid that she was going to be too big for it since it said "up to 7lbs" but she fit well even though she was over 8 pounds.
Unhappy about getting dressed.
Time to take her home and help her grow.
I was anxious on our drive home.  Anxious to see my boy.  Anxious for my babies to meet.  Anxious to start our lives together as a family of four.  I was nervous about it all too.  How were we going to handle TWO?  The first snowfall of the season started on our drive home, just a dusting, and it brought a peaceful feeling to it all.

Ethan was waiting for us.  I never imagined how excited he would be about meeting his baby sister.  He loved her from the moment he met her.

The first thing he did was poke her nose and Matt named it "booping" her nose.  Something Ethan continued.  

First photo of our family of four.


December 2010 - pre-Harper

The first 7 days of December were split between wanting baby girl to arrive and wondering if we were ready.  There was so much to do but I was in no shape to do any of it.  I was so large and uncomfortable.  I didn't sleep well due to insomnia and contractions.  I woke for hours every night, ate a bowl of cereal, got caught up with the DVR, and waited to see if contractions continued.  Now I look back on that time fondly...Just me and baby in my belly who was kicking away... it was so quiet.  I'm glad that I had that time.

I just remembered how Ethan said "Boppy, Ow" because I said ow/ouch often.  Baby girl was putting a lot of pressure on me so walking was painful.  I don't want to be in that discomfort again but I wish I had a recording of Ethan saying that.  It was cute and he doesn't call me Boppy anymore.  He stopped calling me Boppy (the way he said Mommy) in December.

I had the most amazing pedicure just a few days before delivering Harper.  My feet were swollen balloons.
Ethan thought my toes were pretty, despite the swelling.

We continued preparing for Christmas by taking photos of Ethan in his Christmas outfit for our card:
 Ethan laughing at his silly daddy
Matt convinced Ethan to wear his winter hat by telling him it was "awesome".  Then Ethan called every thing awesome.


A few hours after delivering Harper we were taken to our recovery room and spent the next few days getting to know our little lady. 

We were so torn over names.  We knew that we loved the name Harper but we didn't commit to it until we were about to be discharged from the hospital.  Other names we considered were Claire, Cara, Charlotte, and Maggie, which Matt threw out as an option at the last minute... until  I reminded him that was our dead cat's name!  We chose Harper Sullivan and have been so pleased with our choice.  She is a Harper.  Sullivan was my grandmother's maiden name.

Recovery was more painful this time.  I remember uterine contractions while nursing during the days after delivering Ethan but they were much more painful this time.  I felt like I was in labor again every time I nursed Harper and even in between nursing sessions.  While in the hospital the nurses, midwives, and lactation consultant said that it was very common for these contractions to be more painful with each recovery and more painful after delivering bigger babies because the uterus has been stretched out further so it has more work to do to go back down to normal size.  I didn't need anything more than ibuprofen to help ease the pain of recovery after delivering Ethan.  This recovery required something stronger.  I remember telling friends who came to the hospital to visit to remind me of my current state if I start talking about having another baby in a year or two.