Friday, May 29, 2009

More Baby Anna

The past two weeks have been just amazing. I absolutely LOVE being the mom of my two kids! Life has never been busier, but also never sweeter. Anna is truly a joy! She is such a content baby - I think I've heard her cry twice. Other than that she just kind of hangs out, sleeps, and eats. Our nights have been ok, as she does seem to have some problems with gas in her tummy - but only in the middle of the night. It doesn't cause her to cry, but she lays there and grunts really loud. But, it could be much worse!
Here are some random pictures from the last two weeks. I finally made the time today to sit down and start organizing them all... so there are quite a few here!

I love this picture of my family hanging out and watching cartoons!

Our first family picture

I'm planning on taking this same picture each month so I can see how she grows...

Big brother checking her out...

Snoozing her life away!

Unlike Chris, Anna seems to like the pacifier sometimes. Here she is relaxing on my lap while I work!

Her first bath

Mom and baby all ready for our first trip to church (Thank you Amy for the little dress!)

A lot of people have asked me if I think she looks like Chris. So I finally got some pictures to compare. The first one is Anna, and the next one is Chris at about the same age. What do you think?

I don't think there is much resemblance at this point! Guess we'll have to wait and see...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Grady and Briggs

Shortly before Anna's arrival, I had the opportunity to do some pictures of Grady and Briggs. Their mom wanted to get some pictures of them as a Father's day gift for their dad, but she was tired of the boring posed shots that you typically get from a portrait studio. So she asked me to meet them at the park for some natural "action shots" of the boys. And of course I was happy to do it!
The boys were a lot of fun - they definitely kept me hopping! They were a little hesitant at first - Grady (the older one) even made it a kind of game to try to hide from me. But, once we all got warmed up I was able to get some fun shots. Letting them wade in the pond and catch minnows didn't hurt!

I think this is my favorite shot of the day - it cracks me up!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Words Cannot Express

Wow - where do I even begin? The last 4 days (has it really already been that long?) have been amazing. I have experienced just about every emotion in the book - and at times, all at once! Anna is a perfect and beatiful little girl, and we are all in love. She has been sleeping a lot, of course. The first two nights were a little rough as she decided she'd rather be awake, but last night was much better. Nursing is going alright, although I am a little concerned by her lack of interest - she just doesn't want to eat very much. I'm taking her for her check-up on Wednesday, though, so we'll see what he says. But she is truly a joy!
Apparently on the last post I forgot to put her full name: Anna Ryan. Anna comes from Anna in the Bible. She was a prophetess who lived in the temple, worshipping day and night, and when Jesus's parents brought him in as an infant she recognized Him as the promised Messiah. Early in my pregnancy the Lord put the prayer in my heart that my Anna would do the same: in her heart, she would live in the temple of the Lord in prayer and worship day and night. And Ryan was my dad's mom's middle name, which was her mom's maiden name. My grandmother was a godly woman who loved Jesus until the day she died, and I can't imagine a better legacy.
Anyway, many of you have been asking for more pictures... so here you go! I apologize for the quality of many of them.. we've been a little too preoccupied to play with camera settings :)

Nursing the baby minutes after she was born.

20 inches long

7 lb 4 oz.

Daddy's little girl

Meeting big brother Chris

He kept trying to take her out of our arms!

Here, Mom, let me take her

He kept giving her his toys!

Snoozing her life away...

Poor girl, I think she's got the Weidner ears... But doesn't she remind you of (a really cute) Yoda?

Modeling her new cloth diapers... this is the pink cover

Ooops... forgot to rotate this one. But this is the actual diaper underneath.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Welcome Baby Anna!

This morning started out like any other morning... I woke up sometime around 6:45 and began my normal routine. However, I did notice that I was feeling slightly uncomfortable... I wasn't really having contractions but I was feeling some pressure. Chris woke up around 7:30, and I got him up and gave him some breakfast. But by the time I got him settled the pressure was increasing. I still wasn't sure that it was real labor because it didn't seem like real contractions and even though the pressure was coming and going every few minutes, it didn't seem too regular. But, it was definitely getting more uncomfortable. So at about 8:00 I called my midwife Pam, and she said she'd be right over. Fortunately Mark had overslept, so he was still home. He immediately started making up the bed and getting everything ready, including Chris. At this point I was just kind of pacing back and forth in our room, and every time the pressure increased I would lean over on the bed - it was the only position that felt "good". I was getting more and more uncomfortable, and was wondering what in the world I was thinking when I planned to do this without drugs! My midwife arrived and immediately began scurrying around getting all of her supplies ready. Someone suggested that I get up in the bed, but that was not an option - it felt a lot better to be standing. A friend arrived to get Chris, but by that point I had no idea what was going on - all I could do was lean on the bed and moan. A few times I found myself on the verge of panic, but when I told my midwife I couldn't do it she told me "yes, you can, just stay on top of it." And that was the perfect advice - I started mentally picturing myself literally on top of the pain. And fortunately this labor seemed a bit easier than when I had Chris, as this time the Lord mercifully gave me some breaks in between the contractions. I had a worship cd playing, so in the "breaks" I was able to focus on the music. However, all of a sudden the pressure really increased and I yelled out "She's coming!" Everyone really moved then! My midwife spread some plastic under me, as I was still standing and not about to move. With the next contraction I started pushing... I can't remember exactly how long it took, but I think I pushed 2-3 times before I heard "the head is out!" Pushing the rest of her out was a bit harder, but just as I was about to ask Pam to just pull her out my baby girl was born (at 8:52 am)! Mark held her while Pam cut the cord, and then I got up on the bed and held her for the first time. She is just perfect! She didn't cry, but rather was just very peaceful. I tried nursing her, but while the first time she wasn't interested the second time I tried she latched right on and nursed like a pro! I think she did it for an hour before I decided she'd probably had enough. My midwife took her measurements: 7 lb. 4 oz (exactly the same as Chris!) and 20 inches long (I think Chris was 20 1/4). We got her dressed and wrapped up, and she went right to sleep. The rest of the morning/early afternoon I got to just lay in bed and cuddle my little girl - being at home is wonderful! Mark and I are just enjoying a quiet afternoon, and I don't think I could be happier. Chris will be home soon to meet his new sister, and I am so excited for his reaction.

The whole process was just amazing. I am in awe of the way that God created our bodies to do exactly what they are supposed to! I am so thankful that He took care of us and she arrived safely. I am thankful for my midwife and her daughter who knew exactly what to do and say each step of the way. I am so incredibly thankful for a loving husband who is working so hard to take care of us. He is holding her right now on the couch, and the way he smiles at her melts my heart! I am thankful for my friend Alyson who came over to help during the birth (and who is bringing us dinner tonight!!), and for my friend Keenan who has kept Chris for us. I am so thankful that I was able to give birth in the comfort of my own home. I am just so blessed.

Please don't hesitate to call or come by to meet baby Anna! And I promise to post more pictures later.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baby Ali

Ok - this post has way more pictures than what I usually put up, but I just couldn't help myself!
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to head over to Rye and Eddie's house to photograph their precious little one week old girl, Ali. And I absolutely loved getting to document this sweet family! Rye and Eddie are natural parents - both are so caring, and are obviously in love with their new daughter. Unfortunately she was NOT happy that evening, but they handled it so well! They were so patient and loving with her through it all. And we were still able to get some great shots.
Thanks so much you two for allowing me to take these pictures! I'm so glad that our little girls will only be a month apart - I know they'll be great friends :)

I love how Eddie looks at Ali.

So sad!
The only way to get her to stop crying was for Eddie to prop her up on his shoulder... we figured it felt good on her tummy.

What a sweet family!

Finding her thumb kept her happy...

We had to get a shot of the entire family.. Haley included!
Trying to entertain her with a little duck...

Ah, this is what I really wanted, Mom!

I love little feet!

I'll be heading back over every few months to document her growth... so stay tuned!