Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

One Week of Levi

Levi Matthew is one week old! 
He is the greatest gift and I can't imagine our family without him. We are so in love!

This is one of the very first pictures of me with my brand new baby boy.  I just remember thinking how in love with him I already was, and I could not believe that he was really here! So many years spent trying to add to our family, and then this - this perfect, miracle baby. He healed my heart in so many ways. I may never understand God's timing or the reasons He kept our hearts full but our arms empty, but I do trust Him, and I don't doubt His perfect plan. And now we have Levi.

Here he is brand new!

His little wail was precious. I just couldn't believe he was here, and he was ours. So much relief and joy here! The world could have been imploding around me in this moment and I wouldn't have even known it. Or cared.

Day One, Wednesday
I realize that I don't have one single photo of the seven of us in the hospital, which does make me sad. But I've got these, and they are so special to me. Biggest brother, turning 17 in just under four months.

With Mimi, my Mom, who is in heaven, by the way!

If she isn't gazing...
 ...she's smiling SO big! So excited!

Uh-oh. Making Jonah, who turned 15 exactly one month ago, a little nervous, ha! 

Phew. That's better!

Day Two, Thursday
Heading home. Boy, that whole check-out process seems to take forevvvver, and all you want is to just go home. I'm deliriously exhausted here- and still so bloated from the extra IV fluids!!- but so excited/happy that I don't care. Bill stayed at our house with the kids each night, and it was a little intimidating just having had a baby and being the only one there to care for him. But the nurses were so wonderful, and they insisted that I call them for anything I needed. So I did. We all need to ask for help sometimes.

I don't have any take home pictures either. We just wanted to get out of the hospital and some lady kept lecturing us about car seat safety. Um, we're good, thanks. But she would not let us leave! Thanks a lot, lady, you got me so flustered that I never took a picture of my precious newborn as we left the hospital. Ugh.

 And then we were home! You will never lack for willing hands, baby boy!

Isabelle was waiting for a long time to wear this special shirt to school...and I think she may have worn it a couple times that week. ha ha

 Day Three, Friday
Even after four other babies, that first night together is always a little unnerving and nerve-wracking for me. We're still getting to know one another, and that just takes time. Levi slept on his little cushion bed I made him, in the middle of our bed, and he seems to like it. We were up a lot, but not for very long each time. We also know that he is not a fan of middle of the night diaper changes, but who really would be? He had a nice little stretch from about five until 8am.
And after a few minutes of rocking seemed to think maybe he wasn't quite ready to get up after all.
 This would be our first weekend together, so we savored the quiet this day while everyone was at school. Ethan came home early because he goes part-time this year and does other classes online. I like that he and Levi will have extra time together before summer.

Day Four, Saturday
 Our first weekend together! We had a pretty good night's sleep. Still having a nice little stretch from five to eight.

 Some thoughtful friends brought over a breakfast feast for us, our first big breakfast together as a family of seven. They also gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and some magazines. I was really touched!  
I remember feeling both nervous and excited about this new normal for us. Seven is a lot!
 I don't remember the particulars now, but someone was having herself a moment here. Don't we all have ourselves a moment from time to time? :)

Mommy and baby selfie! I think we've upped our selfie game considerably in the past few weeks. ha ha
Since the weather had been so gorgeous back in March, and cold and snowy the first week of April when Levi was born, we were so happy to get outside and enjoy the sunshine for a little walk that afternoon.

I don't even have words. Oh.My.Goodness!

Visitors! Grandpa & Grandma :)

Day Five, Sunday
Our beautiful boy

A quiet moment with Mommy. I'm thankful that we've had a relatively easy time with nursing from the very beginning- since Caleb is now thirteen, it had been a long time for me! 
And also a chance to document those elbow patches! Eek! This was one of the very first things I bought for him back in November after we found out who we were expecting. :)
Day Six, Monday
It's quiet again since everyone is at school, but I'm dressed!
I'm so glad I made the conscious decision to savor this time with him. It goes by so fast and you don't ever get it back. These captured moments make my heart so full.

I must touch that face and smell him and brush my cheeks against his head a thousand times.

Which obviously wears a poor fellow out!

Day Seven, Tuesday
One whole week of getting to know each other face to face, and he is the sweetest baby boy. I can't believe it's only been a week because it feels like he was always supposed to be here.

It has been such a long time since I've heard newborn cries. He doesn't seem to like being swaddled, but a cuddle from me usually does the trick. All I want to do is hold him anyway! :)

I know it say over and over, but I just can't believe that he's here.
Happy One Week, Levi!

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