Monthly Archives: April 2013

One Month With Alec and An Ugly Pair of Shoes

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Alec is now one month old. We wouldn’t typically have a one month appointment for him, but we found out that there was an issue with his PKU test and they asked us to come in immediately, which happened to be on the day he turned a month old. We were able to have him weighed, and he is right at about 10.5 pounds.

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Alec continues to be a really great sleeper. He has been since day one. He wakes up at about 7 or 8 in the morning, sleeps off and on until about 12 and then takes a nice long 3-4 hour nap. Then he’s awake off and on until about 10 when he goes down for the night, waking only about 2 times to eat until 7 or 8 when it starts all over again. I am not sure how I got so lucky that his schedule is so perfect. He also does not fall asleep nursing like my girls. Once he is done eating, he is done. He stops nursing and if it is time to sleep, he will just cuddle up close to me and fall asleep. If it is time to be awake, he just stops eating and starts smiling. He never cries, and only fusses a little when he is hungry or tired. He really is a very easy baby. And they really don’t come any sweeter.

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He freely smiles these days. Mostly at his mom. There is absolutely no one he loves more than his mama. He is just crazy about me. It is possible that my girls were like this, but Alec can hardly take his eyes off me. If he is in his swing or bouncer or his daddy’s arms, I often look at him to find he is staring right at me. He looks around, sure, but he always comes back to him mom. I just don’t remember my girls being like this, but I love it. He also gave me his first mid-nursing smile just yesterday. It was so sweet to see him looking at me while nursing and just give me a little grin. I am so glad I make him so happy.

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Honestly, I continue to have varying feelings of sadness as it relates to Alec and Jack. Adam and I will be talking about something that we are looking forward to doing “now that we have a boy” and I just can’t describe it, but it makes me feel sad that we didn’t get to do those things with Jack. Really I think Jack is so happy to have Alec as a brother and is so happy we get to have him as our little boy. But I still can’t shake it.

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Another thing…I am beginning to see more of Jack in Alec. It was hard to see the resemblance initially, because Jack only looked like a brand new baby for a brief moment, and then he looked much larger than he actually was. Now that Alec is getting bigger, he looks like Jack to me. As he begins to become a little person, I find myself thinking: so that’s how Jack might have looked when he smiled, yawned, sighed, cooed, etc.. It’s heavy to think that as Alec grows, I will find myself thinking of Jack. I will see Jack in Alec’s crawls and first steps and first words and first…everything. There is plenty of room for Alec in my heart. In fact, there is room for 10 more just like him, but Jack has occupied that little boy space in my heart for so long. With passing time, I have always thought about what it would have been like to have Jack here. How he would have welcomed Baby Jane. How he would have enjoyed Summers at Seven Peaks. How he would have loved his fourth birthday party. With his brother here, the one child who will be more like Jack than anyone else, I feel like I am going to catch so many glimpses of what it would have been like had Jack not died. And sure, it some ways it’s a very beautiful tender mercy. But right now, with the post pregnancy emotions surging, and the exhaustion, and the trying-to-figure-it-all-out…ness, it just kinda feels like a little addition to the heartache.

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You know, they say the pain of losing a child never goes away. It always hurts and it is always sad. But no one could ever explain the extent of the hurt. And how so many little things add to it. Even wonderful and joyful and bless-ed things. I LOVE Alec. It pains me to imply that there is pain associated with his place in our family. That is simply not true. It’s all just part of wearing this Ugly Pair of Shoes thing.

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Next Sunday Alec will be given a blessing and his name will be placed on the records of the church. Adam has been pondering and praying about what special blessings we would like our darling boy to enjoy in this lifetime. I am really looking forward to this sweet and sacred event. I am so grateful to have Alec in my family and in my arms. I love that little guy. Time is moving quickly and he is changing so fast. But there is no changing the fact that they just don’t come any sweeter.

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A Boy.

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Alec is now three weeks old.

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I’ve been thinking about some more personal thoughts regarding Alec’s arrival, and I thought I would share.

There was once a time when I thought I needed to raise a little boy in this life because I lost my first little boy to the next life. Those feelings were strongest right after Jack passed away. I thought everything was coming full circle when we were told our third child was a boy. I would soon have another little boy to love! Then, when the doctor told us he had made a mistake, and that Jane was, in fact, a girl, I definitely dealt with a mixture of emotions. In a way I felt like I had lost a second boy, only not too so great a magnitude. I had felt like it was magical and perfect that I was getting a son right after Jack died. I was not sad that I was having a girl, I just mourned the “perfect” little fantasy I had conjured up in my mind.

Then Jane arrived. As soon as she was placed in my arms, I felt right away that she was a special spirit, sent to me to help heal my broken heart. It did NOT matter that she was NOT a boy. She rode in to our family on a chariot of joy and happiness and swept her magic across all our hearts: we were wrong to think we needed a boy to do that. Each and every day I thank Heavenly Father for sending me Jane. She is so special to me.

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When I discovered I was pregnant for a fourth time, any thoughts of “needing” a certain gendered child were so long gone. I did not need a boy. I did not hope for one gender over the other. I was just humbled and honored to once again be a vessel for another of Heavenly Father’s children to gain a physical body and experience life on earth. Together, Adam and I decided that we wanted to have the gender be a surprise until birth. It just didn’t matter to us.

For various reasons, Adam and I really thought we were going to be having another girl. When Alec arrived, Adam and I were both so surprised. A happy wonderful fun surprised. Right then and there we knew we had made the right choice to not find out. It was so awesome to be surprised. I have decided that not finding out is the way to go. I had my doubts during pregnancy, but now that all is said and done, if there is a next time, we’re doing it the same way.

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Later I felt strongly that maybe I was supposed to think that I was having another girl. I think that if I had known that I was having a boy, I might have been terrified the entire pregnancy that the baby would be sick like Jack. Since I have two healthy girls, I wasn’t as worried about having a healthy girl (although I will always be a little scared every.single.time. no matter what.) Now that I have delivered both a healthy girl and a healthy boy, I think the fear of having another sick baby has gone down a bit.

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The first few days of Alec’s life, I was too exhausted and overwhelmed to think much about connecting my first son with my newborn son. But then when I got home, and things got a little more routine and normal, the loss of Jack began to hit hard. Late at night, when it was just Alec and I awake, and I was nursing him or cradling him in my arms, I would run my fingers through his hair, and caress his soft skin and whisper to him that I love him and that I am so grateful he is my son and that he is perfect and wonderful and that I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

And then I would cry as my thoughts would turn to the little boy that I was not holding. And who I have to spend the entirety of my life without. And then I would feel guilty for loving Alec so much and I would feel guilty for missing Jack so much.

I know my Heavenly Father doesn’t want me to feel guilty. I know my boys don’t want me to feel guilty. I have mostly been able to push those feelings aside.

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Alec is a wonderful addition to our family. He is so sweet and calm. He sleeps great at night. He is a good eater (he was 8 pounds 13 ounces at his two-week check-up.) He is already starting to get smiley on us. He is very alert. He has bright eyes and a happy disposition. All of my children have such a special spirit about them. Alec is no exception.

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I love my little boy. I hope I can be the mother to him that he needs me to be. I have this hope with all my children and it can be overwhelming at times to try to meet their every need. But that’s what I’m here for. I signed up for this job, and I love it. I know I could be better (much better) but I try so hard each day. I am so grateful to be a mother.

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I know this is long. It was mostly for me anyway. I know there are several of you out there who still check in and care about our little family and I thank you for your love and support. Our hearts will forever ache for our Jack, but we have so much to be happy about. And while we love Alec and we are SO SO SO glad that he is part of our family, our happiness was not dependent on getting to raise a boy in this life. We have just been so blessed in so many ways. We are continually striving to be better people; the people we need to become to be with our son forever. Thanks for loving all four of my little children. As if that were hard to do!!!

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To the ZOO!

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The week after Alec arrived was Spring Break for Megan. We tried to make sure she had a fun break. One of the days, Adam took the girls to the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake along with my mom and my sister Ann and her children.

Some of the kiddos:
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Jane is my little animal lover. Adam was especially excited to experience her first zoo trip with her.

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Jane loves elephants. This was her face when she saw elephants in person for the first time:

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I’m not an animal lover, per se, but I do enjoy the big huge creatures of the wild. Love these pics of these beautiful animals.

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Although slightly overwhelmed, and a little anxious, Megan also enjoyed her trip to the zoo. I think she enjoyed being with her cousins more than anything!

Marshall is such a sweetheart. Both my girls love spending time with him.
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Megan especially loves spending time with Katherine. I know that it isn’t always easy to be Megan’s playmate, but Katherine tries so hard to be patient and kind to her.
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Adam was able to use Ann’s zoo pass for himself and the girls so he didn’t even have to pay! Thanks Ann!

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And while they were gone, I spent my time with this little monkey! I laid him on the ground and unswaddled him in attempts to wake him up for a bath. He wasn’t interested!!

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I know my girls will remember this zoo trip for a long time, and I am so glad they were able to go! What a great spring break activity!