the heart of a new-again mom…

Wiping my tears off my newborn daughter’s sleeping head, I struggle… and am gently reminded why we do this.

Why we put ourselves through the pain, the vulnerability and the brokenness of birth.

Why we allow ourselves to be crushed and stretched beyond imaginable limits caring for these precious lives that take so much from us.  Always giving.  Always crying.

I never knew tears could flow so easily.  I never knew love could hurt so much.

Every little life that joins our family changes us so much.  Our ‘normal’ is no longer, and like blind leading the blind we have to grope our way back to a new ‘normal’…  whatever that is.

The new baby needs and needs and takes and takes until it feels like there is nothing left to give.

The already-there babies cry and whine and whine and cry and try to understand that their lives will never be the same.

They try to understand that the routine they have grown so fond of has to change again to accommodate this new little person.  This new life that interrupts and is so cute but so fragile… and she doesn’t even know how to play yet.

She doesn’t even know how to play!

And mommy’s arms are full so often and mommy’s lap is so crowded, but that baby is so cute and they love her so much.

She is so tiny.  And so soft.  So incredibly soft and fragile.  And that smell.  That sweet new baby smell that even big brothers can’t resist.

That sweet smell that keeps them coming back for more and more kisses and more and more touching of those soft fingers and oh so tiny toes.

But she won’t stay little for long.  And these days that can be so hard sometimes…  So hard we wonder how we ever did this before or how we could ever do this again…  are gone before we know it.

Life returns to a new normal, at least until next time.

And we can’t imagine life without her.  Without this person who has so taken hold of our hearts that the thought of her not being here literally takes our breath away.

This feeling.  This all-consuming love.  This family.  This is why we do this.

She’s here!!!

Baby Girl is here!

Maren Ree decided to make her grand entrance early this morning, 3 weeks before her due date!

She was born at home – on our bedroom floor!  :o)

I will share her birth story with you soon…

But for now, here are some pictures and stats!

Maren Ree was born at 12:39am this morning, July 24th.

She is a tiny little thing, weighing 6lbs 8oz, and is just over 18 inches long.

Labor was just under 8 hours from first contraction, and boy am I glad it’s over!  :o)

It feels so good not to be pregnant anymore!!

37 weeks down… any time now!

Well, Baby Girl is free to come whenever she wants now!  WooHOO!!

What an amazing feeling that is!

Of course, we all know that she could very well decide to stay put for another month or even longer, and that’s ok (Hey…  I’m trying to stay positive here!) but I would sure love to see her sooner than later.

Nesting is in full-swing around these parts and it feels good.  Nesting is definitely one of my favorite parts of pregnancy.

A huge burst of energy, fueled by cleaning and organizing urges…  pretty sure my husband loves my nesting-sprees too!

I am leaving the ‘cravings‘ phase of pregnancy and entering the ‘I don’t have room for anything in my stomach and nothing really sounds good anyways‘ stage.  Not so much fun, but it does mean the end is near, so I’ll take it.

I really am bummed that I couldn’t follow through on my monthly belly pics this time around…

Things got a little too stressful for us for a while there and I just couldn’t handle one more thing.  :o(  In case you haven’t tried it before, taking self-portraits (especially with two rambunctious non-napping toddlers around!) is not any easy thing!

I am determined to at least get one final picture though, so keep an eye out for it soon.

(By the way, Baby Girl is apparently the size of a winter melon now…  Whatever that is!)

My freezer is filling up with meals and treats…

Baby clothes, diapers & mama cloth are being washed and organized…

Brothers are getting excited (and starting to think Mommy needs to go to the doctor because my belly-button looks so funny to them!)

And Mommy & Daddy are just holding our breath waiting!

Come out when you’re ready Baby Girl!  We are so excited to meet you!!

(Sorry about the slacking in blog-postings lately…  I promise I will be back to some sort of new normal eventually!  For now, thanks so much for your patience with me…  and don’t forget to look through the archives for some great recipes!!)