the surreal world

i am living in it.
how do you go from 100% happy and cup-full with one child, to in an instant 100% happy and cup-full with two?
i dont know, but it happened.
and it is surreal.

i learned a lot with this labor and delivery.
i learned that, when administered properly, epidurals WORK.
and through learning this, i learned that my epidural{s} i had with bennett did indeed NOT work.
i actually felt guilty during emory's labor that i was not in pain.
i didnt know what to do with myself.
i was relaxed, calm, comfortable, and happy.
AND SHE WAS 9LBS 3OZ...have i mentioned that yet?
yeahhhhhhhh ok moving on...

this was not so with bennetts.  i felt every contraction, every pain, every push, every BABY.
they had to cut off my epidural medicine at one point with emory so that i could feel enough to even have a baby.
so, moral of this intro:
GET AN EPIDURAL :) {and make sure it works}
your body and baby and sanity and recovery with THANK YOU.

speaking of recovery: again, i was a walking zombie for way too long after bennetts delivery.
i already feel back to normal with this one.
well... "normal"... you know what i mean.

enough about me, lets move on to the lady of the moment
here is how we have been existing the past week {edited to add: past five days...sooo i couldnt wait a week to post this :) }, staring into the likes of this:

me with my first baby after being induced:DSC_0026 copy
with dr. helen after emory was born:DSC_0064 copy
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bennett meets {a rather beat up} emory for the first time:DSC_0104 copy
first bath:DSC_0150 copy
daddy with emory after her first bath:DSC_0160 copy
erin came to visit and emory was joyously proclaiming her excitement:
[picture removed due to erin's request...hmph!]
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maribeth comes to visit:
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and jill and marianne:
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and sarah beth and michael:
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emory dressed to come home, wearing the daygown and bonnet her momma wore when she came home from the hospital, was baptized in, and carried around her bouquet {the bonnet "undid" to a handkerchief} when she married emory's daddy:
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home sweet home:
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this picture was super fuzzy due to lack of flash/moving people, but i still looooove the look bennett is giving his sister....he is SO sweet with her.  nuzzles her and points out her features and always asks : "what is she doing? what is happening to emory? does she have a stinky diaper? emory is hungry." etc etc:DSC_0308 copy
one of emory's "smiles":
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even though the doctors tell me she is NOT jaundice, she still looks a little to me so she has been sunning in the morning {or as bennett proclaimed the second morning when he came into our room: "is it time to make emory naked and put her in the sun? just like steele does?"}:DSC_0334 copy
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mesmerized by her uncle awesome:DSC_0364 copy
pictures with my baby today in the SUPERB weather:
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and now a glimpse into our "new normal":

so far she has been great.  her cry is so squeaky and pterodactyl-y, unlike bennetts "deep" newborn cry.  she gets mean hiccups, which makes me scared she has reflux, but right now i am on serious 24hr reflux watch...im so nervous she will have it too.  so far, so good.....i think?!?  one great thing is that she smiles constantly.  we didnt see bennett crack a smile until one day while visiting family in louisiana.  no smiling while asleep, no smiling while "passing gas", nothing.  and then he smiled at a VENT. as in vent in the ceiling.
emory smiled in the hospital and has several times a day ever since.
of course not in response to anything we do, but they are smiles nonetheless.
and they are GORGEOUS...not that im a biased mommy or anything ;)

sleeping hasnt been bad, but of course we are still pooped :).  she usually sleeps for 4-5 hour stretches, and when she "awakes" its usually just a grunt or caw and thats it.  the real full-lung crying comes when she gets frustrated while nursing, or when she gets her diaper changed in the middle of the night under our ceiling fan and intro-to-fall weather.  and sometimes these awake periods, filled with eating, grunting, snorting, hiccuping, etc, can last a couple hours. so while we might not be waking up every 2 hours or even waking up to crying {yet}, we have had a couple two hour stretches of no sleep during the night.

constantly i am realizing how much easier this baby is, simply in the respect that i am so much more calm, more understanding, more patient.  by this point in nursing bennett i had already called the pediatrician multiple times, scared he wasnt getting enough to eat, then scared i was suffocating him, then scared he wasnt nursing long enough, blah blah blah.  nursing is still frustrating in the beginning, this time i just know if im calm, theres a better chance that she will be calm and it will all work out.  and we both have to learn how to do it: again for me, for the first time for her.

and if i have another night like this, i will probably just turn on the dvr and let her sleep in her swing and say to heck with it.  i.e. NOT freak out and cry by myself in the cold dark living room with a panicked screaming baby flailed in my arms. {the old post may not sound that way, but let me assure you i had been bawling for a good 45 minutes before i wrote that...that night is burned in my brain! ;) }

and just because my nearly-three-year-old is changing almost faster than my one week old {i would have never believed that was possible...}, here is a taste of benoit:

b: i want to hold emory
daddy: not right now she is asleep but ill make a deal with you: you can play for awhile and when she wakes up you can hold her.
b: that is not a good deal
daddy: its not? well what do you think is a good deal?
b: ummmmmm i can play with my trains, and eat, and eat bananas and ice cream and cereal bars.

as i was holding an awake emory in her room, bennett walks over while playing with her baby toys:
b: hey emory, you dont need to go break yourself.

emory squeals this afternoon:
daddy: what is she saying bennett?
b: she is saying 'good morning bennett'!
daddy: she is?
b: yes. what you saying emory?

and now, a moment of silence as i quietly pray for my sanity as husband returns to work tomorrow, and while post-partum hormones seem to be in check for now....i have a strong suspicion this is only bc i have had his constant wonderful comfort and companionship for longer than i have had in ... as long as i can remember {minus vacations}.  

and now a big humble thank you for all your prayers, well wishes, messages, calls, emails, and comments for my family and me over the past few weeks...i really did feel so enveloped in peace during the entire experience and i know a great deal of that is because of all the prayers said.

thanks again and adeiu for now!
{hopefully you wont be getting a post-of-a-different-color from me in a couple weeks when she "wakes up" for real, like so many babies do at 3 weeks or so!! haha}



  1. GREAT post!! Totally identify with all of it, esp paragraph one! She is so beautiful. Oh and I love the picture of her in her carseat cutting her eyes like "where in the world are you people taking me?" i know it is harder to soak up all the sweetness of a newborn the second time around because thats only HALF of your mama world. I'll be praying you get lots of Nat and Em time. Love you.

    now, will you PLEASE take that awful picture of me off of the blog? if you do i'll bring you some extra desert on thursday : )

  2. Congratulations! Emory is absolutely beautiful!

  3. hehe, those pictures of her in the carseat to come home make me smile & laugh. she just looks adorable!

    and the pics from today turned out beautiful!!!

    i'm so glad you record all these little convos w/ bennett.... will be fun to look back on when he's older.

  4. Natalie!! Many congrats on the beautiful baby girl!! First of all, you look TOO GOOD to have JUST had her! Bennett seems to be a good big brother already! Keep up the pics...and stories!! We love reading about them over here! :)

  5. aww i didnt realize she was making those smiles when bennett and i were holding her. love it. she is beautiful beyond words. love yall

  6. This is wonderful! Great post and pics! I am so thankful everything has been easier this time.She is precious! He is adorable! Ummmmm....shall I gush on???? Because I CAN! Aren't we blessed? :-) Love ya'll, La

  7. Love all the pictures. She's so perfect! So glad everything is going so well-what a blessing! And isn't it just great to experience a boy AND a girl!

  8. AND..forgot to mention the sweet, precious burp cloth, maybe its a blanket, not sure, with the angel face. That is wonderful!! I'm sure you made it. I love it!

  9. Emory is gorgeous! Congratulations!!

  10. so happy to hear that ya'll are doing great!!! Emory is just beautiful! So glad that everything went well, and you are doing great. Big babies are the best!

  11. I hope when I have another baby {way down the road} I look as fabulous as you post birth. Seriously. You look amazing. And Emory's chubby cheeks and sweet smile make my heart hurt. I miss the newborn stage.

  12. She's so beautiful Natalie!! I can't wait to see her (and the rest of you) in person soon.



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