Wednesday, June 11, 2014

{Sweet Hartlie} An Introduction

Hartlie Anne has been living and breathing and wriggling in our arms and warming our hearts for a little over a week, and I'm finally starting to feel the reality of having two children. Two daughters.

Not a day has gone by that I haven't marveled over Hartlie. I suppose I expected every baby of ours to be exactly like Maylin, probably because that's all I've known. {Of course, I should've known that no baby could be exactly like the personality that is Maylin.} I'm continually astounded by how different Hartlie is from what I expected. 

She is calm and serene. She is relaxed and content. She is not bothered by the noise of toddler screams or the constant pat pat of chubby toddler hands on her face, feet, back, belly. The ebb and flow of noise that surrounds the daily activities of our household have yet to interrupt her naps or distract her while she's nursing. 

Hartlie is a snuggler. The closer she can be to a warm body the happier she is, which leads to long nursing sessions for the two of us. Surprisingly, this hasn't bothered my mobile, independent, fiery Maylin a single bit. Occasionally Maylin will want to sit next to me while I'm nursing, but more often than not she's more interested in pounding the hardwood on newfound legs or packing and repacking the old diaper bag with blocks and miniature Winnie the Poohs. And Hartlie nurses on, one hand cupped by her cheek {which I find endearing because Maylin had that same habit} one hand on my chest, eyes closed and expression peaceful.

Since she's such a good nurser {Maylin and I struggled a great deal with breastfeeding}, Hartlie has been sleeping long stretches at night in the portable crib by our bed. I mean like, 3+ hour stretches of nighttime sleep. This is uncharted territory for me so early in the newborn stage because it was weeks and weeks before Maylin ever slept that long in a single stretch, be it day or night. I dreaded nighttime most when Maylin was in the early stages. When dusk started creeping in, I'd get a sick, queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing that I was about to spend the entire dark night amidst fitful nursing sessions, unraveled swaddle blankets, and an almost hourly mewl from my Maylin, all by the light of a bedside lamp and accompanied by all the loneliness and uncertainty a first time mother feels in the wee hours of the mornings.

This time around has been different. Whether it's the difference in the personalities of my girls or the quasi-experience of a second time mom, I'm not quite sure. I've actually been going to sleep at the same time my husband goes to sleep. I'm getting decent stretches of uninterrupted sleep in between the few times Hartlie wants to nurse. I wake up when my alarm goes off at 5:00 feeling sufficiently rested and mentally prepared to face the day. I pull on my robe, brew my coffee, and sit down to pump with my Bible and a pen before the next nursing session around 6:00. It's amazing how much more ready I am to greet my days when I'm not dreading my nights.

Now that Hartlie is here, our family feels full to the brim. I mentioned this briefly on Instagram, but before Hartlie was born I was secretly fearful I wouldn't love her with the same intensity with which I love Maylin. How could I possibly love two people as fiercely as I love Maylin? Surely Hartlie would get the short stick. Surely my heart wasn't capable of it. 

Oh. But it is

To all the second-time-parents-to-be {and I have a hunch more than a few feel exaclty how I did}, you needen't be afraid of not having enough love to go around. My heart has expanded to twice its size, capable, willing, ready, and involuntarily loving both my children, my first and my second, with equal force.

Before Hartlie, when it was just the three of us, Michael, Maylin, and myself, our lives seemed complete. Our lives were complete at that time. But now with Hartlie here, it's like a layer we didn't know existed before has been added to our lives. A layer that makes everything more full, more joyful, more right.

We gave Hartlie the middle name of Anne for many reasons, not the least of which is its meaning: The Lord Has Favored Me.

Yes, little girl, your arrival is proof. The Lord has favored us indeed. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Meet Hartlie

Hartlie Anne Davis
6 lbs 15 oz
19 1/2 inches long
Born at 12:03 PM
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Full birth story to come, but for now we are resting and soaking in every detail of this short-lived newborn phase. Sweet Hartlie, welcome to our family.