Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good Food and Gratitude

Just look at this sweet baby!! We have so much to be grateful for. Yes, we are experiencing life with a newborn and everything that comes with it. Like, the sleepless nights. As you can see, this is what Levi thinks of sleeping at night:

The first few nights, he morphed from a sweet, docile baby to a head bobbing-and-weaving, screaming, baby-bird-mouth-open-wide, falling apart mess. Matt and I have been doing "shifts" where one will stay up from 8pm till 2am, and then we switch. But man, one of those nights we were both up wondering WHAT the heck was going on with this...this...child.

But I have to count it all joy. Matt had to remind me of that as I started to join Levi in meltdown mode around 4am the other morning. And I do count it all joy. Nearly a year ago we had our own loss. There are countless families who are grieving out there right now and their arms are empty...whether due to infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, or the fact that their baby is in the ICU on a vent, with a birth defect, a horrible infection, or born too early for words to describe. And they would give ANYthing to be up at all hours listening to their baby cry, frustrated with feedings, feeling hung over from lack of sleep.

Alas, the morning comes, and THEN what does he think of sleep???...

Of course!!

I'm so grateful that we live in the community that we do...our church community, my work friends, our neighbors...God is so kind to us. Our fridge is STUFFED full of food (I had to clean, rearrange, and shuttle stuff to the freezer this morning to make space!) from our Sunday School class and community group. We have at least two weeks' worth of meals coming, and that's just from church alone!! That doesn't even count friends from work who are asking when they can drop something off!! It's unbelievably humbling. We're so well cared for. Twice this week friends from work came to rock and love on Levi while Matt and I crawled upstairs for a two-hour nap. I mean, who does that? Carolyn and Michele, thank you SOOO much!

I'm grateful for how good I feel, barely a week after delivering this little moose! (I know there are far bigger babies, but we simply were not expecting to have a baby who was 8 1/2 lbs to come out of me!) My ankles and legs up to my knees were so puffy it looked like I had been inflated with a bicycle pump. Parts of me were beyond painful and sore (won't expound, but ladies, you know what I'm talking about). But I've been able to get out for a walk (that's why Levi is so super-bundled up there). Heading out to the pediatrician felt divine! Today I woke up and had my feet back. And I could put my wedding rings on again. I could even put my regular jeans on thanks to the help of a Bella Band (I know, it's the same as wearing maternity jeans, but it just felt nice to wear something different). Ahhhhhh.

I'm SO grateful for my dear husband, who is an AMAZING daddy!!! Matt has stepped up more than I could ever have asked...learning how to diaper Levi (with cloth prefolds, no less!), dress him, and feed him...comforting him, staying up with him, snuggling him, singing to him, reading to him, doing laundry, washing bottles, cheering me on when I get frustrated...I mean, he's just been unbelievable. Way more than I could EVER ask. Thank you so much, my Matt.

And just look at this sweet baby!!! When I look at this face, I just think, he can cry until kingdom come and it would still be the sweetest sound in the universe. It's not lost on me how many hearts are broken because their own dear babies' cries won't be heard in this life.

But I do appreciate the times when he's sleeping peacefully....

And laugh at the times when he just utterly melts today during his bath -

(meltdown following bath...)

(still melting down...)

(Getting better...)

(Ahhhhh!!! Daddy saves the day every time!)


ali said...

Oh Jenny! I am having empathy pains for you! This survival stage is rather exhausting, but wonderful too! I hope that feeding Levi is going smoothly! I'll be sending warm thoughts your way--thank you sooooo much for the update! I've been thinking about you all so much!

CA Mommy said...

love the entry and the pictures. they are babies for such a short time but the sleep deprivation takes some of the fun out of it. matt hated to be bathed..nothing i did would keep him from screaming his lungs out, but he slept deeply after his bath, so i let him scream all he wanted. we do learn from them what works best. love to you all.

Elizabeth said...

O. M. G. Jenny. Seriously you're killing me!!!!!!! He is simply the cutest ever. ENJOY EVERY SECOND.

Kelly Renman said...

Congratulations Gouvieas! I'm so excited that he was delivered safely. Praise God for these beautiful miracles we call babies. CanKt wait to meet him but I'm not sure when that will be.

Wolters said...

He is so perfect, and sweet, I could look at him all day. :)
You guys are great parents just like I knew you would be. Just remember everything is just a stage and it goes by way too fast. Enjoy the time you get to snuggle at night I miss that sometimes. I remember about two weeks of J sleeping during the day and not as much at night, but he figured out the day from the night after that. :)

hannah said...
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hannah said...

Cedar is the same way... sleeps so soundly and quietly during the day, yet at night he "talks" in his sleep and wakes up every twenty minutes. i love the days, but don't really look forward to the nights. good thing they are so cute. good luck tonight!