Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy 1 Month Norah


You are now one month old! How is it that one month has gone by already? I think I blinked, yep that was it, note to self: no more blinking. Every day you get bigger and bigger. You now weigh in at 9lbs 6ozs and are 21.25 inches long (50% overall). And you have already outgrown your newborn clothes. Wow. I am pretty sure that when I agreed to have another baby, you agreed not to grow up. So you can stop growing now. Please? Ugh. 

why hello blue eyes!

"this is my good side"

harley the measuring stick! 

Your first month has been wonderful. You are a really good, happy baby. Every time you start to fall asleep you get the biggest smile on your face. 
talk about perfect camera timing!

I have never seen a baby do that before, and I hope it is something you do forever. You are pretty laid back and only cry for a reason. Sometimes that reason is to be held, but who doesn't love a good cuddle?! We have not had to bring out the exercise ball to bounce you (thank goodness!) and there have only been a few rough nights, which is to be expected. You are super squeaky, especially when you wake up. I need to make sure to get that on video because it is absolutely adorable. You love to be swaddled or carried around in the pack/moby. I'm glad you do too because otherwise I may not be able to get anything done! In fact, you are currently asleep in the Moby while I write this blog. Multi-tasking at it's best!

passed out last night while I made more pictures mom, please

You have already met a lot of family and have been on quite a few outings so far. I guess that is life with an older sibling, can't keep you locked away in the house forever! 

Within the first few days you got to meet most of the Clute side of the family.....
hello Aunt Nikki


Jack trying to figure out if Harley is a cat or a dog....

You also met Grandma and Uncle Mike, but sadly I don't have photos of them holding you, but don't worry, next time I will get some. Grandma is coming back in a few weeks so we will have a little photo shoot then.

And then Nana came to visit for two whole weeks! We were able to do lots of fun things since we had extra hands....the park, errands, national harbor, the mall. Thankfully you don't mind being in the car seat. It would be rough if you cried every time we went somewhere. 
love this picture!

heading out for a walk

Here are a couple "firsts" that happened this month....
first trip to the dr! no shots, but that heel prick thing, ugh!!
 first bath!!
not so thrilled about this whole "bath" thing.

Big sister trying to help out/get in the tub too

"I may have just peed in the water. You're welcome"
Charlotte's first bath..............Norah's first bath

Another "first"....Mommy got mastitis this month! I never got it when I was nursing Charlotte (she ate constantly), but you are more of a snacker and I think that may have contributed (boob not being drained. TMI) It was a rough couple of days, mostly because of the fever, but with the help of Daddy and Nana we all made it through. I hope to never have that again. Awful! So eat up missy!

And here are some cute pictures of you during your first month....
chilling in the swing

snuggles with Daddy

morning cuddles photo session

it's exhausting being a little sister!!

getting those toes cleaned by H

sharing sister secrets

learning all about baby Einstein from C

Charlotte just loves being your big sister. She always wants to hold you and hug you and kiss you. And sometimes even lick you. haha. I am glad that so far there isn't a whole lot of jealousy or anger, just love. You are absolutely fascinated by her. You tolerate all her up close, in your face, invasions. And now that you can focus your eyes more you watch her like a hawk. Learning and picking up on stuff already I'm sure. I hope you girls will be the best of friends, forever. 

both girls at one month old!!  

We are so in love with you sweet girl! You complete our little family (girl power!). We feel blessed to be your parents. Thanks for being such a good baby and please don't grow up too soon! We love you!

Mommy & Daddy

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Norah's Newborn Photos

I am sure all of you remember the fiasco that was Charlotte's newborn photos. A photographer that wasn't experienced with newborns, tears tears and more tears (mostly from C). It was a nightmare, but we did manage to get a few good photos. They weren't the ones I wanted (posed newborn) they were more lifestyle. Over time they grew on me. After that experience I knew what I wanted for Norah's newborn photos: the posed newborn pictures, and hopefully some of the girls together. I looked for photographers for a while and eventually chose one my best friend Meredith and SIL Jen used, LCE Photography. She was far from us (less than ideal) but had good prices and I knew she did good work. So when Norah was a week old we stayed the night at Jim & Jen's the night before and then drove out to Laurie's house for the photo shoot. After 4 hours, and thankfully no tears, we had our pictures.....

The ones of Matt in his uniform with Norah always make me tear up. So glad we did these.

I am beyond thrilled with all the photos except the family ones. I should have planned our outfits better. The girls look great but I hate the black shirts on Matt and I. When the images are in black and white I like them more but I'm not in love with them like the others. A bummer for sure, but it just means we need to get some good family photos done at some point in the future. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Norah's Birth Story

I woke up early on July 30, right around 530am, feeling a slight pain in my belly. Something about it was different. I had not felt anything like that during this pregnancy. I continued to doze on and off, but was woken up about every 15 minutes or so by each contraction. I was still very unsure it was a real contraction. I figured maybe braxton hicks or gas, but probably not real labor, just too early. Charlotte was a week late, this baby would be on time or a few days late, but definitely not early! But after two hours of lying in bed and feeling the contractions, I told Matt when he woke up that "today might be the day". He was shocked and excited and immediately called in to work. 

I got up and started my day like any other. My first priority was to shower and wash my hair. haha. I figured if this was actually happening I should at least have clean hair. A little makeup couldn't hurt either. Then it was breakfast for everyone as normal. But every once in a while I would have another contraction. They were still very minor, not too consistent, and far apart. I felt like it wold be a long time before the baby arrived, if she came at all. For some reason I thought it could all just go away at any point. Matt, however, knew it was really happening. Every time I had a contraction he would get excited and say "oh yea, this is DEFINITELY happening today!!" 

So we called the midwife and birth assistant to give them a heads up, and then called his brother to have him come and get Charlotte. I was extremely bored, so I decided to clean the house. I straightened up, vacuumed, and mopped the entire downstairs. The midwife did say that going for a walk could help speeds things up, but since it was 95 outside, vacuuming was my "walk". Exercise in the air conditioning. While I was doing that, Matt got the bedroom all set up. Changing sheets and laying out all the supplies. By lunch time Uncle Jim had arrived to pick up Charlotte. I thought she might be sad to leave and stay over at someone else's house, but she was thrilled. No tears, just an excited "bye Mom!!" as she left. I think I was sadder to see her go. The next time she walked into the house she would no longer be an only child. Crazy.

action shot! Rocking my battle gown Jen got me!

my doula, Mr H. He stuck with me all day

Once Charlotte was gone, I think I mentally relaxed, which allowed the contractions to pick up. 8 minutes apart, 7 minutes apart, getting stronger. Even though I was convinced things weren't that bad and there was probably still a long time until the baby arrived, Matt told the midwife and birth assistant to come over. I'm glad he did too. Our birth assistant Lori arrived around 5pm, checked me and the baby, and got set up. By then the contractions were definitely getting stronger and closer together, 5 minutes. I called my Mom and told her this was it! Then our midwife, Story, arrived at 630pm. She checked me and I was at 5cm. Good progress, but I could still have a long way to go. After a few contractions, and what felt like no time at all, I had a crazy intense contraction and an urge to push. I decided that was the time to get into the tub, and once I did I felt so much more relaxed and comfortable. The water was so soothing (For like the 30 seconds until the next contraction. ha!). Matt sat next to me in the tub and coached me through the next few contractions as our daughter made her way into the world. After only a few pushes her head popped out, still in the sac. The bag broke, and then her shoulders and body came out. Matt and I pulled her out and onto my chest. I was in awe, Matt was in tears.  She was perfect and beautiful and so tiny. After a few minutes I looked at him and said "OMG what just happened?!" haha! It went so fast! And wow we have a baby!! It was unbelievable!!

We enjoyed looking and loving on our new little girl for a few minutes, then it was time for me to get out of the tub and into bed. And after checking that everything was a-ok, Matt cut the cord and finally got too cuddle his little girl while I took a shower. It felt nice to be all clean and in fresh clothes. Then it was time to get her weight, length, and footprints. 

cutting the cord!

meeting Norah for the first time

getting weighed!

Norah Jane Clute
7/30/15 at 7:30pm

6lbs 11oz. 20.25 inches. Perfect.  

Our birth team stayed for a few hours to make sure we got settled, cleaned up, and then left by midnight. We tried to get some sleep, but baby girl had some different ideas. She was wide awake most of the night, little naps here and there. It wasn't the ideal first night but it wasn't too bad. We spent the next morning relaxing in bed and discussing what to name her. 

I am sure all of you are wondering how/why we chose Norah. Well, we had three names picked out when she was born: Norah (Matt's fav), Savannah (my fav) and Elizabeth. After she was born Matt decided to put all the names in a hat and have me choose. So I did, I chose Elizabeth. After about 10 minutes we both looked at each other and said "no way, she isn't an Elizabeth". So I chose again, Savannah. We tried it on for size for a while and then looked at each other and said "it just doesn't fit her". Plus I couldn't see it on our Christmas cards (which is obviously the true and most important test). So we tried out Norah and it felt perfect. Thankfully too, because we didn't have any names left! haha. And our first dance at our wedding was a Norah Jones song, so the name has a little extra meaning there too. As for her middle name, Jane, that is Matt's Grandma's middle name. Each of the girls has a Great Grandma's middle name. 

And a special connection for Norah, she was born on my beloved Grandma's birthday. My Grandma passed away just over a year ago from pancreatic cancer. When we found out we were pregnant, and that the due date was August 5, I thought perhaps there was a chance the baby could come early and be born on her birthday, but I knew it was really unlikely. So when I woke up on the 30th and felt the contractions, I was shocked. Perhaps that is why I was in denial all day, I didn't want to get my hopes up that she would be born on my Grandma's birthday. But she was, and we could not feel more blessed. As my friend Adrianna pointed out, Norah is a special gift from my Grandma. Yes. Commence goosebumps. 

And now, time for the sisters to meet. Best friends for life.
"ooo little baby"
Notice the red marks, angel kisses, on Norah's head. Those were present at birth but gone within a few days. When I saw them the first thing I thought was "all her Grandmas and Grandpas in heaven gave her a kiss as she left to be with us". I don't know about you but my Grandma wore lipstick and always seemed to leave kiss marks on us. This time Norah was the recipient of those kisses. Makes me tear up every time I think about it. 

"are you sure we have to keep her?!"....."yes yes we are keeping her"

"let me 'boop' her nose"

all my kiddos!

the big brother....not so thrilled about one more baby in the house
our "welcome home" family photo. the look on Harley's face is priceless.

me and my girls. don't mind the tired no makeup look.

Norah's birth and the overall experience was exactly what we wanted and hoped for. A home birth, relaxed and stress free. No drugs, no interventions, and thankfully no transfers. Born in the tub just like I had hoped. Our birth team was amazing, we always felt like we were in good hands. I am so glad we chose BirthCare. Our home is now even more special. If we ever move we may have to just take the tub with us! Not everyone can say their daughter was born in their tub at home. :)

It is hard to believe we have two children. Two beautiful and perfect little girls. We feel really blessed and so happy. Our family is complete.