A New Normal and 31 Days Of…

We are finding our new normal around here – as normal as can be found in our current circumstances. Harper Adeline Hahn joined our family on September 18th, the littlest peanut of my brood at 7lbs 10oz and 20 inches long.

She’s been a really great baby so far (knock on wood, fingers and toes crossed and all that jazz) She’s up at night with normal newborn needs but never participates in MOTNP (Middle of the Night Parties) which is lovely. She sleeps most of the day and cries when she’s hungry or needs a diaper change or if she’s ticked off at being disturbed.

Her brothers love her, even Declan who still gives me looks of betrayal from time to time when I’m holding her but he’s coming around. I caught him singing “Harper, I love you. Harper, I love you” last night at bedtime. Sweetest ever.

It still is surreal to have a baby girl in the house. Sometimes I find myself calling her sweet boy or buddy just because I am SO used to boys! Ha!

It’s amazing how in love you can fall with someone you just laid eyes on. I think my favorite part of motherhood is when these tiny, helpless, wrinkly creatures join your family one day as if they’ve always been there and your heart just feels like exploding all the time from the exhaustion and amazement and joy of it all. Motherhood is hard, like a holy kind of hard, but it is the best part of my life and my children are the best thing about me.

It is impossible to look at Harper and not wonder what her sister, Lilia, might have looked like had she been able to join our family. And of course there are so many conflicting emotions there – because without Lilia, there would be no Declan and no Harper. It is a strange place to be, both missing and mourning a child you never met but feeling so grateful for the ones that came after. It is a beautiful and reassuring thing to know we will meet her one day. Harper was born 3 years and one week after I laid on the table in the ultrasound room and they couldn’t find Lilia’s heartbeat – and I love that there is a little redemption that has come in the month of September. 
I can’t wait to see how Harper grows and changes, to see little pieces of her personality shine through and to watch her interact with her brothers. I think we’ll keep her.
Love you sweet Harper!

I’ve also decided to join in on the 31 Days of Writing Challenge and will be {hopefully} posting every day in October about bravery – specifically pertaining to the She’s Brave Conference that’s coming up in 2016. I want to dive more into this topic and why we use it so much with our Nourish community. I hope you’ll follow along!


About a Girl

On Thursday, I had a level 2 ultrasound done at Maternal Fetal Medicine, apparently standard practice when you reach the ripe old age of 36. I gave myself lots of extra time to find the building, knowing I would inevitably get lost. I arrived at the address with 15 minutes to spare, but got so turned around and flustered with trying to find parking that I was actually a few minutes late to my appointment. 

I find myself on edge a lot lately, easily angered by small logistical details that I hate having to navigate alone. I find myself feeling self conscious as I sit, visibly pregnant and alone, in the waiting room and I dread the unspoken pity when I lay down on the table in the ultrasound room with no one accompanying me. I’ve had many really awesome people offer to attend appointments with me, but I guess in a way I feel less like a freak if I’m there alone.

The guilt and shame that accompanies single parenthood is one I’m already quite familiar with. I did it for 10 years. I have no doubt that most of it I am projecting onto others because of my own feelings of inadequacy.  It’s a difficult feeling regardless. But, this baby was conceived at a time in my marriage when I was unaware of many, many things. 

I battle the need to be authentic and real and also protect the story that belongs to someone else so while I attempt to choose my words carefully, there is no denying the overwhelming sadness I feel right now.

Yesterday marked 20 weeks of pregnancy. At times it feels like these last 20 weeks have flown by and at times it feels like it has been 20 long, excruciatingly painful weeks. 

Yesterday’s ultrasound showed a perfectly healthy, strong and incredibly active baby girl. I had hoped to get a perfect little profile picture of her like I have of all my boys but she was stubborn and almost stood straight up, facing out instead of sideways. The more I think of this, the funnier it is to me. The more I already admire this strong, determined, fierce little girl. I love picturing her as if she’s already trying to see what’s going on out here because she can’t wait to be a part of it. 

Finding a name for your child is probably one of the most fun and most challenging things about pregnancy. At first I searched all the names for girls that meant beautiful, precious, sweet, gift – but nothing spoke to me. My boys middle names all belong to either family or close friends, so it seemed appropriate that her middle name come from family or friends as well.

Adeline is my grandmother’s name, and it means ‘noble’. The more I think of the qualities I want this baby girl to possess as she grows, the more fond I become of the idea of her being a noble woman. I was curious about the definition of noble, and found thishaving, showing, or coming from personal qualities that people admire (such as honesty, generosity, courage, etc.)”

This just resonates with me. Of course she is a precious, beautiful gift but I want her to be more than that. I want her to possess qualities people admire such as honesty, generosity and courage. 

So, Harper Adeline Hahn, I cannot wait to meet you in September. I think of seeing you during that ultrasound, standing up and looking straight out and know that you will indeed be noble and brave. And I am already proud of you because you are coming into the world in a crazy time. It is not an easy time to be a child, both within this family and in the world we live in. I pray you grow into a courageous woman who speaks truth and beauty and knows who she is, a daughter of the King with worth far more valuable than jewels.