Wednesday, November 14, 2012

miriam | one month

It's been over a month now since Miriam graced us with her presence. We love spending our time watching her different facial expressions - especially all the smiles she's giving us now. Miriam is a small but strong little girl who loves playing and being held. Jon and I feel so blessed to have this little gift.

As new parents, we have truly had to rely on the Lord's strength and help from people. Our church continues to bring us meals and family and friends offer support at every step. The Lord has brought us through a pretty eventful past 5 weeks. In light of November being a month of thanks, I want to give some gratitude to those who have gone out of their way to help us.

Thank you to all our family who came up for Miriam's birth!
Thank you to my mother-in-law, Sarah (Nana), for staying that first week and helping around the house and hold Miriam.
Thank you to our friend Kristen, for being our on-call pediatrician. :)
Thank you to our friend Carrie, for keeping me company in the ER when I had a terrible headache.
Thank you to my mom (Gigi), for helping us out - cleaning our home, running errands, and giving us a date night.
Thank you to many friends who have helped me with breastfeeding.
Thank you to our wonderful visitors - you have been encouraging for my soul.
Thank you to everyone who has brought us food. It has been very good and extremely helpful.
Thank you to my friends and family who have called, emailed, texted, and prayed for us.
Thank you to my dear husband, who has worn so many different hats - cook, host, husband, father, counselor, hard worker.  I couldn't do this without you!

I feel as if I'm coming out of a small valley. Figuring out our little one's schedule has been a difficult task for me, among other things, and I have had a hard time getting out of the house. I haven't felt like myself and do feel relationally disconnected. I expected to get very little sleep, but I didn't expect everything else to be so difficult in this first month! Again, though, there is much more to be thankful for.... and we are blessed to have such a great support system.

My daily sanity has been Counter Culture coffee and Gilmore Girls while playing with our baby girl.  I cherish her smiles and snuggles. I like dressing her up in cute outfits and watching her sleep with furrowed eyebrows. I like watching her dad soothe her to sleep in the middle of the night. My new favorite thing is when she opens her mouth when I give her kisses.

And, of course, I have lots of pictures to accompany this long blog post!

quality time with Nana

quality time with Daddy




first time in the Moby wrap - not her favorite carrier.




so funny


trying on some clothes

the bumblebee slept through Halloween

fun times with Gigi

a visit from Uncle Will

smiling with Daddy


crazy baby

first walk to our favorite coffee shop - Big Bear Cafe

a very active one month old!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Miriam's story

Dear family and friends,

Jon and I are excited to announce our baby girl's arrival! She was very prompt and born on her due date, October 10, at 4:48pm. Weighing in at 7 lbs, 3 oz, Miriam Isabel has a head full of hair, strong legs, long fingers, and a peaceful disposition. The labor was under 24 hours, which was my prayer... but it was much more intense than I could have imagined.

On the night of October 9, Jon and I went out for his birthday to a Thai restaurant (if you're in DC, you should really try Little Serow). We had hoped that the spicy food would trigger contractions. Whether or not the food actually did, contractions began 1.5 hours after we got home! I was too anxious to get any sleep that night (big mistake!) and Jon just got a couple hours. We stayed home as long as we could; contractions kept getting closer together, so we left for the hospital around 4am. From then it was a bit of a whirlwind and you do not want to hear most of the labor details. I will say that I am so thankful for the midwives we saw (Wisdom Midwifery at George Washington University Hospital) and our doula. They were so caring and encouraging during the whole labor process. And of course, Jon was a wonderful support the whole time. I couldn't ask for a better team.

We are so thankful for all the family that came up over the weekend! My mom and Jon's parents made it to the hospital before Miriam was delivered. Shortly after, my dad and many of our siblings came to meet Miriam. She was held and loved and watched and obsessed over... We feel a great deal of support already and are so grateful.

More about our daughter's name:  Miriam is Moses and Aaron's sister from the Bible who was a prophetess and is known for leading a victory song and dance after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea (Exodus 15:21). She's also known for being a strong leader and playing the tambourine. Jon is thrilled that her name is associated with music. For her middle name we chose Isabel, which is a family name and means "devoted to God."  Jon's maternal grandmother recently passed and her middle name was Isabel. Also, my great-grandmother recently passed and her middle name was Elizabeth. Since Isabel is the Spanish variation of Elizabeth, Miriam's middle name was meant to honor both Grandma Dafoe and NanNan; they were incredible, godly women and we are excited to tell Miriam about them often.

In sum, we pray that Miriam comes to know the Lord early, is bold about her faith, and loves music. :)

Thanks for your prayers and support and encouragement. We thank the Lord for a healthy daughter and mommy; we are beyond blessed.

right before dinner 
Little Serow

on the way to hospital
first hour in the hospital

first moments after birth 

right before leaving hospital

on the way home from hospital

Miriam singing into her fist

a peaceful smile after eating

showing off her long fingers

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

pregnancy highlights | 39 weeks

how far along: 39 weeks
due date: October 10
size of baby: watermelon - 20 inches, ~ 7 lbs.

gender: girl!
best moment of the week: Spending all of Saturday with my husband around Virginia & Maryland. We hiked/walked around Great Falls, taking in the Potomac and all the trees. Then, after eating lunch at Chick-fil-A, we headed west to the Chesapeake so I could put my feet in the sand. I love the beach and it's been a year since I've been to one! 



daddy: He tells me I'm beautiful every day and helps me stay active. What more could I ask for?
prayer requests: Selfishly, you can pray this little one comes out sooner than later. I'm starting to get impatient and am just ready to have her in my arms! 

Since there haven't been many changes from last week, I thought it only appropriate to bring up the baby pool some of you filled out back in May. We will be giving away 2 prizes: one for the overall most accurate guesser (according to the pool's rubric), and one prize for who we deem the second most accurate guesser. Since nobody filled out the pool after the gender reveal, I have closed it. 

{ 39 weeks }

Friday, September 28, 2012

pregnancy highlights | 38 weeks

how far along: 38 weeks
due date: October 10
size of baby: PUMPKIN!- 20 inches, ~ 7 lbs.

gender: girl!
movement: yes. and i just found out that her confusing rhythmic "movements" have actually been hiccups, which is cute & fun (thanks, Nicole!). 
symptoms: lack of sleep... it's okay, though, I know it's preparing me for her arrival!   
food cravings: bread.    
maternity clothes: of course... but I'm more than ready to wear normal clothes.
what I miss: wearing jeans. 
best moment of the week: I have two: 1) spending some quality time with good friends, Graham & Nicole and their son Simeon. even though they live pretty close, we don't get to see them near enough. it was good for my soul. 2) going out with some other mothers from church - it was a blessing to meet new women and hear their stories. 
getting ready: I spent a few hours walking at the mall yesterday to prepare for a hike Jon and I are taking tomorrow. this may not qualify as getting ready for the baby, but it helps me to be active. 
daddy: Jon is attentive and supportive, helping out in any way he can right now. I'm thankful to have such an encouraging husband. 
prayer requests: Today is the funeral service for my great-grandmother, NanNan. She was a loving and godly woman who lived an active 98 years. She is a saint and will be dearly missed by all. 

{ NanNan at our wedding Nov. 6, 2011)

{ NanNan giving Jon a kiss... so precious }

{ 38 weeks! }

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

pregnancy highlights | 37 weeks

how far along: 37 weeks
due date: October 10
size of baby: winter melon - 20 inches, ~ 6.5 lbs.

gender: girl!
movement: yes. she's still moving a lot and has really found her home in my ribs. i've just accepted that discomfort. :)       
symptoms: not too much besides nesting, i suppose.   
food cravings: fruit, like pears & apples.... and ice cream.    
maternity clothes: yes, but i've had to retire most of my non-maternity clothes now. so, i'm wearing dresses & leggings almost every day! 
what I miss: being able to bend over. i can't fold in the middle at all anymore - haha!!
best moment of the week: since i missed posting last week, I have 2 favorite moments. First, I got pedicures with another mama-to-be. She's due just a few days before us and having a little girl also, so we both needed a little TLC. Second, I visited the Franciscan Monastery twice this past weekend - once with girls from church and then Jon and I went on Sunday morning. The Monastery has beautiful gardens, mosaics, and replicas - and situated inside the city, minutes from us actually. it's peaceful and good for the soul.

These are pictures taken on the Metropolitan Branch Trail in our neighborhood. 

{ metro & the Capitol in the distance }

{ close-up of the Capitol }

{ beautiful sky over a strip mall }

getting ready: making lists and checking things off... hanging shelves, organizing clothes and diapers and other itty bitty items.
daddy: He is a great support and growing more & more sentimental every day. Our daughter already has him wrapped around her finger.
prayer requests: Please continue to lift up our families. I keep coming back to this passage from the Bible:

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."
 - 2 Corin. 1:3-4 (NLT)

{ 37 weeks / full term! }