Friday, April 28, 2017

Anna's Nursery

It's finally finished and ready to show off! I had a lot of help with this nursery and most if it was customized for her. It has the most peaceful feel in there and I just love it!!!








One month pic and update

Time really flies. How is my Anna already one month old??? Seriously, I can't believe it. In some ways it feels like she's been mine forever, she just fits. In other ways, I'm still in disbelief that she's here, she's mine, and she's thriving.

I've had my struggles. I have PPA (Post-Partum Anxiety), I had it with Katie and so far it's manageable. I mostly get intrusive thoughts, every horrible infant abuse story I picture her. I constantly see her dead and I check to see if she's alive. I'm obsessed with making sure she's not starving, some of this has to do with b/f struggles, I know. I've had a hard time with her looking so much like Chase, because some poses are similar to the pics I took and that makes me think something is wrong and I go check on her. I know the similarity thing will change over time since he'll stay as I remember him and she'll change.

There is a new wave of grief as I think about all my kids and how amazing it would be to have all 5 with me, although insanely tough too. I think about how the twins might've been especially as newborns. I don't dwell on it nonstop, but it's there in the background. I feel incredible joy at having Anna and bringing her home, she's just amazing. It's this combo mixture that's hard to describe.

I struggle with BFing. I had a breast reduction and I can't fully meet her needs. I supplement right now. I'm having a hard time pumping, so I'm extra frustrated with it and right now I'm nursing, supplementing, and hand expressing to help add to her bottles. I see an LCBC next week and that should help. Trying to do all I can to keep production up as much as possible. I also take six different supps and a tea to help increase the milk. I started most of these within an hour of giving birth.

Katie has had a hard time transitioning to our new family. She went from being fully pee trained to several accidents. She wanted the pacifier (was never into this as an infant or anything), tantrums, getting mad when I was nursing or caring for the baby and choosing inappropriate behaviors at that time, not listening or following directions, just a lot of "non typical Katie behaviors" and it's been hard to see my sweet girl disappear. I also feel guilt because I did this, I went out of my way to try and have Anna and it caused all this in Katie. She's only three and doesn't fully understand.  However, the past three days I've had my sweet Katie back. She's been peeing in the potty, using her words instead of crying/tantruming/screaming, and she's calmed down a lot. I hope it's her getting used to everything, but time will tell.

I'm trying hard to meet the needs of both girl, the physical stuff and emotional. It's been a hard balance. Like most NBs, Anna sleeps a lot more in the day than at night and I'm lucky to have a DH who steps up on weekends to take Anna nights and then I get a few evenings a week to nap, but it's been a transition for us all.

Anna is an absolutely joy and sweetheart! She almost always has this half smile going on. She's very alert, likes to look around and see what's happening. She has good head control and can lift it for a good 30-60 seconds at a time. Most of the time she's very happy and she loves to be held and cuddles, which I love doing, lol.

So, without further adieu, here's Miss Anna Bell at one month old (yesterday).



For fun, there's a comparison between Kate and Anna. The similar posing is coincidence, lol! I don't think they look alike at all. It's going to be fun to see how Anna changes as she grows.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Struggling

So much I want to say, but honestly I'm struggling very much right now in a lot of different ways. I've had things I've wanted to post, but when I come to do it, I just sit and stare. I thought it was normal PP tired, adjust to two kids at home, etc. but it's a little bit more and it's hitting me more and more.

I'm safe, no worries about anything like that. I'm struggling though and even though right now I'm breaking down crying for a million different reasons, I know it's going to be okay and that I'll come out on the other side. I'll post when I can, as I am able to.

Thank you everyone who reaches out, who reads, who supports me, and who cares.

Happy Easter! Lots of love to you.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Chaseing Dreams (*warning-loss baby photo included*)

There's something I noticed almost the minute I set eyes on Anna. She looks almost identical to my oldest son, Chase. When I started this blog, I named it Chaseing Dreams because for years I'd dreamed of a son named Chase who had dark hair and blue eyes with curly hair. I remember visualizing him as early as high school.

For some reason it never occurred to me I'd have a girl. Like, never. Then when DH and I got married I was even more certain of this because there hasn't been a girl born in his family since the 1700s. We'd joke that his line had "no girl sperm" and that's why.

Of course, I was shocked to learn my oldest was a girl. It was quite the news in DHs family that someone was pregnant with a girl and now I've conceived 3 girls total and I get to raise two.

The name Chase was/is very special to me and yes, it's the name of a cat I had. Chase senior passed away September 26, 2011 at 17 years of age. This was more than just a cat to me, he was with me for a large part of my life where I struggled, grew up in a less than stellar home environment, and we were very close. I'd hold him and talk to him at night, cry while he purred, it's just hard to explain unless you've had that special connection to a pet and "get it". It was never an argument of if I'd named my son Chase, DH always knew.

Losing both twins was horrible, holding Chase in my arms, the Chase David, I'd dreamed about made my heart hurt in a million different ways. I know a childhood dream doesn't mean reality, I just couldn't believe this had really happened. After Emma was born and I was still briefly pregnant with him, I thought he'd make it. I really did. He'd beaten a 98% chance of being born with his sister. I became even more confident as I passed 24 hours (he was born at 26 hours).

Over the almost two years since the twins have been gone, I've pretty much accepted the sad truth, my sweet, precious kids, Emma and Chase, are gone. Most of you have followed me since around that time and know the journey my grief has taken.

In order to make this the first pic people see when they go to my blog (because many can't handle the sight of a sleeping baby) and to honor and show him off, this is the original Chase.  My sweet baby.


I was shocked at the emotion I felt when I first layed eyes on Anna. Like truly I'd been waiting my whole life to meet her and also the shock of realizing a few hours later how much she looked like Chase. I didn't even think about it or looked for it or anything, I was just looking at her and I saw my sweet son within her. 


Emma and Katie look just as alike to each other as these two do. So in a way it's comforting to see how my kids would've looked as they've gotten older, but at the same time it hurts my heart to think about them and wonder about their personalities and picture my 5 kids growing up together.

It's all a journey and Anna isn't Chase and not one kid replaces another. Not one kid is more important or special than another, but they are all different, all wonderful, and all loved. I'm so glad and honored that I get to raise Anna and see the amazing lady I know she is. I'm also grateful for my Katie who's struggling with adjusting a bit, but honestly, for a 3 year old, she's doing awesome. I'll be taking more pics this weekend since its a holiday. I'm also going to post a kind of day to day post about current triumphs and struggles. 

One more pic of my sweet Anna because I can't get enough of this gem.




The Announcement

I ordered Anna Belle's birth announcement earlier this week. I can't wait to get them and send them out. I think it turned out cute


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Anna Belle's Newborn Photos

Happy due date to me, lol!!  Today Anna would be 40 weeks, but she's shown herself more than ready for life on the outside.

She is very alert, eyes wide open, looks around. She can even hold her head up a bit and roll around. I better watch out, lol! She's so opposite of Katie and I love it. These girls are going to be my yin and yang and they complete each other.  I've also noticed that Anna is the spitting image of my oldest son, Chase. I always wondered what he'd look like growing up and I have a feeling Anna will give me that answer. 

Kate's had a hard time adjusting. She's had tantrums, regression in potty training, crying, yelling, pretty much acting out to the point where I have no idea where my sweet girl went. I've been patient, giving extra love, space from Anna, rewards for appropriately expressing herself, etc. Last day or two she's been doing better, I think she's starting to see that no one replaced her or is more important than her. It's going to be okay in time, this kind of landed on her from no where. 

Anna is so chill and lives with this half smile on her face. She cries if she's very hungry or has gas, and that's pretty much it. Otherwise she's very easy going, at least so far, lol. She's great with nursing and latching as well.  I was unable to breastfeed Katie and I had trouble producing for the pump, so it's nice to do better this time. The pump and I are still struggling, but since she latches and drinks, the pumped milk is just if I can't be with her and someone else needs to cover a feeding.

I have a root canal today for my mouth. Turns out my tooth was in a very bad place. It's infected, prior filling is leaking, and the cavity extends to the nerves. I'm terrified of the dentist and not looking forward to it, but I can't live on antibiotics and norco.

So, how about some gorgeous photos of my sweet and long awaited Anna Belle? These were taken on 4/1/17, at 5 days of age.






















This last one is special to me since all my kiddos are represented in it. My beautiful family!