First Smile

Dear Asa,

You have now been alive for 45 days.  Somehow that amount of time simultaneously seems like a lifetime and a blink of an eye.  My days have begun to blur into endless sessions of diaper changes and feedings.  Despite you being my fourth child, I still worry that I am somehow messing up at this whole motherhood thing.  You know what would really help ease my fears?  A smile.  I have been waiting these past forty five days for your first smile.  I have caught glimpses of it when you are gassy or when I brush your cheek with my finger, but I have yet to see an intentional smile.

It is funny that people mention how easy it is to forget about the pains of childbirth; that our forgetting is how we can trick ourselves to go through it all again.  I find that the experience that I tend to block out is the limbo after birth where I wait for you to first smile at me.  The time where we enter into cycles of repetition: eat, sleep, change, eat, burp, change, sleep, eat, etc. throughout the day and night regardless of whether the rest of the world is awake or asleep.  The time where coffee and cuddling are what convince me that I have gotten a full night’s sleep.  Surely I must be slipping into delusion as I repeat the same steps with such little sleep.  Perhaps this is why I question my ability to parent you.

No matter the reason, the truth is that I do question whether or not I am giving you my best.  It is especially difficult since you have three older siblings that are also vying for my attention.  So if you could please smile at me and let me know that we’re ok, I would really like that.  I know that your first smile will come right at the moment that I need it the most, so I will wait for it.  Until then, I will take your grip on my shirt as I hold you as a sign that you like being around me.

Love,

MommyFirst Smile

Asa’s Birth Story

I am currently sitting with a sleeping two week old sprawled across my lap.  I figured that I should probably take this quiet time to share his birth story while I still remember the details accurately.

I woke up on November 17th at 3:39 am after getting only four hours of sleep.  The night before I began suspecting that the baby would be arriving soon.  At bedtime, I dressed the kids in jeans and t-shirts in case we needed to leave for the hospital in the middle of the night.  I was prepared to go to the hospital, but at almost 4:00 in the morning, I didn’t think now was the ideal time.  I laid between Maeby and Abram (how I had continued to co-sleep while being nine months pregnant was beyond me) and began timing my contractions.  They were around eight minutes apart, each lasting at least a minute.  I continued timing them for an hour as a way to pass the time while my family slept.  Stephen’s alarm went off.  I told him that we were going to be having a baby today and that he probably shouldn’t go into work (he works in the city and his commute can be up to an hour and a half long).  He got up to start getting ready for us to go, but I stayed in bed awhile longer.  I knew that being upright would make my contractions stronger and I was hoping to make it until 6:00 am before having to alert my parents.  I was trying to let everyone around me get as much sleep as possible.  I texted my mom at 6:00 to let her know that she might want to head up to our house.  I was correct in thinking that being upright would make my contractions stronger.  By the time my parents made it to our house, I wasn’t able to time my contractions anymore (they were close together and long, so it was like a never-ending contraction).  Stephen drove me in his car, while my parents and the kids followed us in my van.  Along the way, my contractions started to fade.  I guessed it was because I was sitting and not in a good position to make progress.  I was afraid that they wouldn’t believe that I was in labor when we arrived at the hospital. Continue reading →

Welcome, Baby!

We are happy to introduce the newest member of our family!

At 12:58 pm, we discovered that our mystery baby is a sweet baby boy.  Weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces and measuring 21 inches, he is anything but “little.”  Please help us in welcoming our newest addition…Welcome, Baby!

Asa Rhodes

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Create a Baby Registry at Target

This post contains affiliate links which may result in my compensation, but all opinions are my own.

I know there is a lot of controversy over baby showers for second, third, etc babies.  Whether you side with the one (shower) and done or every baby should be celebrated camp, you can probably agree that each new baby usually comes with their own needs and expenses.  I didn’t feel comfortable having a baby shower for baby number four, but I still needed to purchase things like a new car seat (the infant seat I used with my older children had long since expired) and milk storage items.  Having a registry has proven helpful for me since I could keep track of what I truly needed so I could inform family members and friends that kept insisting on getting the baby a gift (especially with Christmas being only a few weeks away).  Here are my top five reasons why you should create a baby registry at Target even if you aren’t planning on having a baby shower. Continue reading →

Guess Who? Predictions for Baby #4

As I said before, baby number 4 will be making their appearance in the month of November.  I have been keeping myself super busy with packing bags, making freezer meals, and cleaning my house almost as quickly as my children mess it up.  (And those are on top of our normal daily activities like homeschooling and extracurriculars.)  I feel like the end of this pregnancy is nearing, but baby could still wait another four weeks to show up.  Since this baby is such a mystery, I figured I would share my variations of normal and open up the polls for people to guess the baby’s weight, length, gender, arrival, etc. Continue reading →