3 months with Oliver

Sweet Oliver,
Congratulations! You’ve made it 3 months!

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I feel like I keep waiting for the “hard part” to start. There have been some tough days, but those always come at the times when I keep you out too long or you just get overstimulated. But you are just an easy baby. An easygoing baby. A very happy smiley boy. You are so happy, until you aren’t. You smile, you flirt, then when you get mad you scream like a banshee.
You aren’t a fan of being alone, and God forbid you wake up by yourself. You are going to give me tantrums in a few years, I just know it.
This month you have really come into your own. You are bright and so happy and so incredibly expressive. You are so strong. You hold your head up like a pro looking around at the TV or our voices. Oh the TV. You will watch ANYTHING on TV. You love it. You’re quite a fan of musicals, which of course I love. You’ve also found Dr. McStuffins. Ugh. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Disney fan, huge. I was just hoping we had a while before you were pacified by a cartoon. I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to use your love of screen time to our advantage.

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You smile whenever you look at me now. Almost on command. I smile you smile. You’ve learned this week to switch from your happy smile to your pouty face and back. It’s amazing. So funny.

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You’ve also fallen in love with your hands all over again. You clasp them together, you suck on them, you try your best to hold your bottle. You use them to hold your blanket and rub it all over your face. You love soft blankets. Unfortunately some times those mean old hands take that blanket and get it stuck right over your face and you hate it!
You love looking at peoples faces and you want them to look right at you when they’re talking. You’re amazingly social and you love to talk back. You aren’t good at hiding your emotions. If you like someone you smile great big. If you don’t you give a big old pout. You really love women. I mean you LOVE women. You love to watch Say Yes to the Dress because it’s just a whole bunch of women on the screen. All your favorite things. Men… well, you warm up after a bit.
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You go to sleep around 10 every night. You’re usually up around 3 to eat, it’s an easy feed. Bottle but you never even open your eyes. You also get up around 5:30 when Daddy does for work. Another bottle but you aren’t quite ready to go back down right away. We stay up and talk for a bit and when we finally drift off you’re up by 9 or 10. A couple of times this week you slept til 11. That made for an interesting day. As great as you are a sleeper at night, you are a total non napper during the day. Even when you need one. You fight sleep like it’s your job. If you do finally fall asleep it’s just for a power nap and you’re up within 20 mins. I better not even think about getting anything done either because you’re sure to wake up mad if I’m ever very far away. When you’re awake you are ready to be entertained. It’s like you want to take in everything you can. You love to go outside and in the car. You want to see everything. You want to drink in the world.

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We are very go go go. You don’t mind it one bit. You get bored very easily, just like me, so getting out of the house is pretty much your favorite thing. You know when we leave we’ll see new people who will talk to you. Usually when we go somewhere during the day we go with your Aunt Heather and Sadie. Man oh man does Sadie love you. She always wants to hold you and rub on you. If someone gets to close to you she’s sure to take notice. You two are best friends.

I feel like you were almost created exactly for me, to give me what I was missing, to make my life easier and happier–much easier and happier than I expected. The more I learn about you, the more astonished I am at how perfectly your nature fits in with mine, like puzzle pieces. I feel intuitively tuned into your needs and it’s as if you, in turn, are aware of what I need from you. I am so grateful and amazed and blessed that you are not a source of stress for me, but happiness and calm.

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You are calm and observant and social. You give me those morning smiles and they melt my heart, and you happily look out the window or doze during car rides around town, and you sit alert at lunch or when we’re out with people looking around the room, smiling at all of your new friends. You eat when I feed you. You sleep when I rock with you. You babble at me when I talk to you. Thank you for being what I need, and thank you for teaching me to slow down a little bit. I love learning about you every day.

You’re the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

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One Month with Oliver

Hooray for Oliver! You are one month old! I can’t believe that it’s already been a month and only been a month all at the same time. Time is going by too fast although it feels like I’ve known you forever.

You seem to like being very “free.” You love being naked. This is probably because of the constant skin to skin you’ve gotten used to during the day when it’s just us. You’ve never cried during a bath once you’ve gotten used to the water. You love to reach out and grab anything you can. Especially your sleeves when I’m trying to dress you. You’re still a little peanut but you’ve got big giant feet like your Daddy.

So speaking of Daddy, you really are a great mix of the two of us. So far it seem you have my lips and nose and your Dad’s hair and eyes. You’re a morning person and you are quite bright eyed and bushy tailed during the day. You are quiet and agreeable, and even a little serious. You have my temper and my dramatic nature. Sorry about that. You are so great, until you aren’t, then you want everyone to know about it. This mostly happens from 10 pm- 1 am. Yep. You’re a screamer at night.

You’ve gained pounds and  inches. You’re much smaller than we expected you to be and you still aren’t fitting into your 0-3 month wardrobe I so tirelessly picked out for you. It wasn’t cheap and I’m beginning to worry once you get in it it’ll be out of season. Hopefully you’ll catch up soon. You love looking at lights, and studying faces. You listen to our voices and you love to ‘pet’ me while I’m feeding you. That’s when you’re at your most cuddly. Otherwise you want to see the world. When you are awake and alert, it’s so fun to just hold you and watch you take everything in, straining with all of your will to hold your head up and turn your body all around. You are definitely a grabber and recently started pulling my hair while I feed you. At night you like to, no, you NEED to be swaddled. You have a soft swaddle wrap that is blue minky. It’s your favorite. But when you are frustrated (which again, you often get at night) you try your best to bust out of it. We’ve found that if we put you in your swaddle wrap then swaddle you with a blanket so you’re nice and tight you can relax and sleep the best. When you can’t sleep we pull out all the stops. We turn on the rainy mood app and Daddy puts on the Rockabye Baby Lullabies. You love music. You love the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, the Christina Perri Pandora station, Philip Phillips, Queen, The Beatles, and Billy Joel. I’ve recently started playing DIsney music for you in the car. You seem to enjoy everything except for Beauty and the Beast. I dunno, maybe it has too much going on,  because it’s the only one you fuss with.

You love to nurse. I know this because it’s pretty much constant. At least every hour unless you’re getting a good nap in. You also love to go go go, much like me. You don’t like getting in your car seat but once you’re in you’re golden. You love to sleep in the car and you love being toted through stores. I think you sleep better at restaurants than anywhere else. All about some white noise. You aren’t a fan of silence. You also love to be held. You aren’t much for being put down. At 3 weeks you learned to poke out your bottom lip and realized it gets you a reaction from me of kisses and snuggles. You use this to your advantage often. You love your Pappy (your pacifier) and even though I’m not supposed to give it to you while we’re trying to get you gaining weight, sometimes I down right can’t help it. You’re also a pooper. Man do you poop. Sometimes like twice a feeding. Thankfully some of those poops are turning to toots (LOUD TOOTS) and so the changes are becoming much more regular and not quite as frequent. Still super often though. You seem to hate a clean diaper. It never fails as soon as we change you, you poop again right away. I keep telling you, you’re going to have to get a job to start paying for these pampers until you’re big enough for your cloth. We’ve been able to, in the last week, move you from our bed to your rock and play sleeper but every morning after your first feeding I put you on my pillow next to me and that’s how the 2 of us rest after Daddy goes to work. You fight sleep too. You fight sleep like it’s your job. I think it’s just because you don’t want to miss anything. You’re a busy body who wants to see the world. I can’t imagine who you got that from. 😉 You are hard work, kid, but you are so worth it. Screaming nights are nothing compared to your sweet face when you are sleeping or to how amazing you are when you are alert and looking around. I want to teach you everything and you seem so eager to take it all in.

Thank you for teaching your Dad and me about this completely new kind of love and concern and affection and pride and happiness. For showing us how strong we are. And thank you for showing us that it was possible to love each other more than we already did. What a sweet little family you made us.

My Valentine’s Day wish for you <3

I love you a bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.

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Dear Oliver.
I hope one day you meet a girl whom you love until it hurts. I hope you find the passion for each other your Daddy and I have. I hope when you fight, instead of getting mad at her, you choose to remember the long road filled with fights your daddy and I walked to make us as strong as we are. I hope she challenges you and sees you for your potential and stands beside you while you strive to reach it to it’s fullness, no matter how long that takes. I hope you stand beside her and choose to be her rock in hard times. I hope you love her when she’s at her lowest and when she’s at her hardest to love. Your daddy did this for me, and it’s because of him I bloomed. He raised me up and helped me become a woman I’m proud to be. Let her love you too. Don’t hide your feelings from her. Be open to her always, to give and to receive. I hope she pours herself into you and I hope you do the same. Give yourself to each other and trust that you will always protect one another. Just love. Love hard. When you think you can’t do it anymore, keep going, because it’s even better on the other side. Never put her above you or put yourself above her. You are partners, always respect one another and treat each other as equals. One day your love will reach it’s peak and along will come a new life and you’ll fall in love all over again, in a completely new way. Love her for what she’ll go through carrying and birthing your children. It’s hard, Oliver, but I promise you, that perfect child is worth it all. Never miss a chance to tell her she’s beautiful and you appreciate her. Don’t just focus on her looks. Remind her of her intelligence, tell her she is strong, show her she is capable. She will do the same for you. That’s my wish for you. I pray you find happiness and a love like your father and I have. ❤

I love you with everything I am. Happy First Valentine’s Day.
Mommy

 

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2 weeks

How has it been 2 whole weeks since I’ve met the love of my life? It’s been the fastest 2 weeks of my life. They say the hours are long but the days are short, and I finally understand what they mean. I feel like I can’t slow down enough, yet it’s all speeding by.
Precious, beautiful Oliver-
Oh son. I wish I could put into words my feelings for you, but baby, I just haven’t figured them out yet. I’m not sure there are words for this deep of a love. You are perfect in every single way. And Oliver, you are an EASY baby. Even on rough days I never expected it to be so pleasant. You sleep a lot, but even when you are awake you are so content. You watch me and follow me with your eyes. I can’t tell you what that does to my heart. You melt me. You have about 3-4 times a day that you just scream bloody murder. There isn’t a middle ground with you. You’re either on or off. You’re currently sleeping about 6 hours most nights. You pig out then you’re out til Daddy gets up for work when you pig out again and sleep about 4 more hours. I know it won’t always be like that, but for right now I’m grateful you’re easing me into motherhood. You poop like a champ too. Seriously. Like twice a feeding. You love music and if I can’t get you to calm down or nurse I put on the Christina Perri Pandora station that I listened to while pregnant and you chill right now. Loud noises don’t bother you at all. You couldn’t care less. The day after we got home the smoke alarm went off and you barely reacted to it. Let me tell you how much that freaked me out. But you do react so I know there is nothing wrong, you’re just very laid back. You get that from your Dad. The banshee screaming is what you got from me. You love your Pappy (pacifier) even thought I fought for you not to have one. It soothes you. You love soft things. You have 2 blankets you are quite fond of because of this. (Soft blue and gray blanket, yes, those are Mommy’s clever names) You like to ride in the car and go places. Mommy wraps you up in the Moby wrap and you’ll sleep through any outing. It’s lovely. We gave you your first bath 4 days ago and after the initial shock, you loved the warm water. I’m ready for your belly button stump to fall off so we can give you a bath in the big tub. I know you’re going to love it!
You are the love of my life, Oliver. How I ever thought I was a whole person before you came along, I don’t know. You are the best thing your Dad and I have ever done. I can’t breathe you in enough. I can’t be close enough to you. Every day you are changing and it’s all going by too fast. Every day you’re more awake, your face is changing, your personality is more developed. I never know who I’m going to wake up to each morning. You are so alert when you are awake. You just watch me and whatever I am doing. I love it. It’s one of my favorite things about you. You enchant me. I love you, Bright Eyes.

Mommy ❤

 

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40 Weeks

40 weeks

How far along: 40 Weeks! Happy Due Date Day!
Gender: Our perfect precious prince of a boy!
Size of baby: A watermelon
Maternity clothes: I only wear yoga pants now. 😉 And flip flops.
Stretch marks: Sooooo many stretch marks! For a while they bothered me, but now I think they are beautiful. Every one a thread of our journey to you. ❤
Belly button in or out: It never popped out! Hooray!
Sleep: When I sleep I sleep really well, it’s just getting into a comfortable position. I get a good 5-6 hours in and I actually wake up with a lot of energy.
Best moment this week: WE MADE IT TO OUR DUE DATE!
Worst moment this week: We ended up at L&D for 3 AFIs and 3 NSTs this week. I thought I’d never leave. The good news is my fluid is staying up even though it’s low so we’re getting closer and closer to him getting to come on his own!
Miss anything: Rolling over. I seriously feel like a turtle trapped on her back.
Movement: You fluctuate and we’re watching it closely, but when you move, you move! If I can’t get you to move I drink pineapple juice. It’s like your magic wake up drink. You dance all over the place when you get it!
Cravings: I want cheese and pasta and yet at the same time I don’t want to eat anything at all. lol
Queasy or sick: I get a little nauseous every once in a blue moon but I’m finally able to eat pretty much whatever I want again!
Looking forward to: Your arrival. Not just me, everyone. Tuesday we thought was the day. Everything seemed to be pointing that way. Here we are on Saturday and you’re still not here. I’m wondering if you’re planning on showing up before Kindergarten. lol No pressure, buddy, but we’re all dying to meet you out here! ❤

On your due date

Today is the day. The day you were officially supposed to be born. (You obviously had other plans as usual.) It’s a day I never thought I’d see. We made it! We did it! 40 weeks and soon we’ll have you! I wanted to do special things today, to make memories and create moments. Really we just relaxed. No stress, no pressure. It was wonderful. I woke up in the best mood with plenty of energy and feeling great. I knew when I got out of bed today was not your day to be born. That’s okay. It really is. I want to hold you and kiss you but I’m trying to cherish every moment that it’s just you and me, while you’re still my little secret to keep and I don’t have to share you with anyone.
Our doula came by this morning to chat and talk to us about your labor and feeding you. After that Daddy and I went and ate lunch at the same place we ate lunch the day we found out you were really on your way. You love Japanese food. We’ve been to Yume more in the last 9 months than I’ve been to any restaurant in years I’m sure. The owner knows what to bring me to drink and to eat without even asking. They’re very excited to meet you.
This afternoon our precious Rebecca came over to photograph us in your room. It meant so much to me to capture these last hours before we bring you home. Our lives and our world as we know it is about to change. I wanted to show what we looked like in these last days, while we’re still Lauryn and Ran. While we’re making the transition into Mom and Dad. We are different people than we were a few short months ago. I am learning to let go and trust the plan rather than trying to control it. It’s a lesson in flexibility and patience. A lesson in not always being afraid all the time. Fear clouds joy and when it comes to you, I’ll always choose joy. Thank you for giving me these last 40 weeks, to learn, to grow, to change. Thank you, my sweet boy, for making me a mother. ❤

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Daddy’s Predictions

Oliver,

Your mother and I have wanted you for so long that I often worry that we’ll put too much pressure on you to be something or someone you’re not. I can assume and predict how you’ll be for the rest of your life, but honestly, all I know is what I want for you. I want you to be happy. I want you to find happiness and beauty in life. I want great opportunities to come your way, and I want to see how you’ll move through them. I predict that you’ll make mistakes. You’ll make of a lot of these because that’s the nature of experience. I want you to see yourself through mistakes in ways where you grow more every time you stumble. I want you to know love. Love others. Don’t forget to love yourself. Know yourself so you never have to rely on the validation of others. I want you to be kind in moments where it’s easy to be cruel. I want you to be thoughtful in moments where it’s easy to be selfish. Whether you’re a plumber or a president, I want you to be the kind of man that makes the world better around you. Most of all, I want you to be yourself. You’ll change every day, but change for yourself instead of others. Be you, and experience every moment.

With love and anticipation,

Dad

Almost the end.

We’re here. 39 weeks have passed and it’s time for you to come. When did this happen??? I just found out a month ago I was pregnant! I haven’t documented the way I wanted to or I thought I would, but I’ve just been trying to soak it all in and there is too much to absorb to stop and write down every moment. I know I’ll regret it, but I’ve lived in every second with open arms. I can’t believe we’re a week away from your due date. You could come at any moment. I was telling Ran today it amazes me that one day I’m going to be pregnant, and the next you’ll be here. That thought is so big I can’t wrap my head around it. There are things I want to write down before I forget, so this is going to be a jumble, one that will probably be edited over and over again as I recall things. That’s okay. That’s kind of how pregnancy is anyway.

In this pregnancy, I haven’t gained much weight at all (6 and a half pounds as of 39 weeks) but I’ve gotten tons of stretch marks and I’ve carried really really wide. I’m extremely spread out at this point. I’m interested in seeing what my body looks like after you’ve been here for a while.
My most notable cravings have been chocolate milk, fried rice, clear soup, pizza, chocolate chip cookies, cereal, and bananas. There have been others but those have been the ones that stuck around the most. I only want my chocolate milk homemade with not so much chocolate. I eat about 3 bananas a day and Alvin calls to make sure I stay stocked. I spent 3 weeks or so going to Mata’s every single day, sometimes twice. We have our own waitress at Yume named Stace and she’s literally been through the entire pregnancy with us. We walked in the other day and the owner brought my drink and food without taking my order. Yes, that’s how often I go. In the last month of pregnancy I’ve finally started eating beef again. We eat at the Cheaha Brewery quite a bit so I can get a burger. They also know my order without taking it. I have 2-3 boxes of cereal on hand at all times. Mostly Lucky Charms, Corn Pops, Honey Combs, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I don’t eat nearly the amount of sweet that I did before pregnancy. Chocolate Chip cookies are a weakness though. You much prefer salty foods. Pizza. PIZZA. That’s all I can say for that. Daddy has gained way more weight that I have. No worries, he’ll lose it as soon as you get here. I’ll be the one hanging on to the ounces as usual.
I’ve been very aggressive this pregnancy. Especially towards the end. I’m thinking it’s the testosorone but man, I can be really mean. I hate it too. My emotions are haywire. I’m told it’s normal. Or so they say. I hope that goes away ASAP. I hate feeling so out of control.
I’m currently up to 9 extra pillows in bed. No, I’m still not comfortable most of the time. I’ve had a lot of back, hip, and pelvic pain since the beginning of this. I’m told that goes away once you’re here too. And I rarely sleep anymore. When I do, it’s pretty dang good sleep. It’s just rare. Preparing for long nights with you?
We’re going for NSTs twice a week at this point. You are SO LAZY! I seriously hope it’s something that lasts your entire childhood and goes away as an adult. 😉 But really, you hate to move. You are just laid back and chill, but you HATE people messing with you. Today you weren’t reacting so they buzzed you. Broke my heart because it obviously scared you so much. My poor baby. If you would come on out, I promise I won’t let that happen again. I have no way to hold and comfort you  now when that stuff happens so I hope you can feel how sad it makes me and how much I wish I could just rock you til it’s better.
I swore I’d never be the one rushing you to come on, but….. seriously, let’s go. At this point, I’d feel way safer if you were out here. And I’m oh so ready to meet you and kiss your sweet face. I’m also ready to have control over my body again and to roll around in bed and lay on my stomach. I miss turning from side to side without help. I’m nice and puffy and swollen now too. My feet look like balloons. It’s quite a sight!
I know you hear me whine, baby, but I really do love you being in my belly. It is your home and it’s all more than worth it. I’m tired and sore but I am more than happy to do it for you. If you want me to go to 42 weeks I will. I will and I’ll do it happily, but if you wanna come on out, I’m waiting for you with open arms. I will kiss you and hug you and comfort you and show you everything the world has to offer. It’s dark in your little world I know, but the light is out here waiting on you. We’re all out here waiting on you. Take your time, but when you’re ready, I’m ready. ❤

Mommy’s Predictions

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I think you are going to look like me mostly. I think you’re going to have my nose and chin and cheeks. I think you have Daddy’s top lip and my bottom lip and I think you have Daddy’s eyes. I know you have my ears. You showed them to us the other day. I think you’ll have dark hair and blue eyes. I hope you have your Gamma’s eyes. Pretty sure you’re almost bald though so it may take us a while to see that hair color.
I think you are going to be very observant and I think you are going to like to people watch more than socialize. I think you’re going to be very laid back and calm, but very picky and persnicky and I think you are going to throw a fit when things aren’t how you think they should be. And I think you have a temper. You don’t like being messed with at all. I think you’ll be nervous and anxious like me, but I think you’ll hold it in like your dad. I think you’re going to be musical like the Johnson side of the family, and I think you’ll love the drums or anything you can keep a beat with. I hope you like to read like me. I wonder if you’ll like attention like I do and want to perform.

Who ever you are, Oliver, and whoever you become, I will love you no matter what. You are my son, my joy, my light. You are my heart and I am already so proud of you. I know you will be GOOD. Truly good. I pray you have a gentle spirit and that you are brave. I pray you’re a leader and that you take every opportunity to learn and to grow. I hope you know how smart you are and that you believe in yourself as much as your dad and I do.  I hope you realized how loved you are, but I hope you stay humble and always put others before yourself. Be compassionate, son. Love others. Put your heart into those around you. It won’t always be easy, and most of the time it will hurt, but it will be worth it, because you will encounter people who will pour their heart into you too. Keep them around you. Work hard and push yourself and know if you set your mind to it, you can accomplish it. Nothing is impossible and Daddy and I will do everything we can to help you get where you want to be in life. More than anything, I want you to be happy. Whatever you choose to do, whoever you grow to be, I hope you are happy most of all. I hope you have joy and peace like you have given me. I love you, sweet boy. ❤

Our Birth Plan

Birth Preferences for Lauryn and Ran Johnson
My doctor is Dr. Joshua Johannson and my EDD is January 10th, 2015

Environment
*during labor I only want my husband, doula, and birth photographer present. No guests unless I specifically ask for them.

Pain management/Monitoring
*I prefer not to have an IV continuously, please obtain labs at the same time as access
*
Only offer pain medication if I specifically ask for it.
*I prefer the baby to monitored with intermittent fetal monitoring

Labor/Birth
*I would like a birth with as low intervention as possible.
* I prefer to labor in the water tub.
*I would like to have the freedom to move about freely as I need and try many positions while in labor.
*Please discuss any and all procedures with me and my husband before they are performed.
*I prefer having very limited vaginal exams.
*I prefer not to have an episiotomy.
*I prefer to push instinctively. I do not want to be told how or when to push.
*I prefer no augmentation. Please allow my membranes to rupture spontaneously.
*Please place the baby against my skin with a blanket over him.
*Please wait for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing before it is clamped.
*Please do not separate the baby from me unless medically necessary.
*Please delay all routine procedures on baby to facilitate bonding.
*I would like to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible.
*I prefer to wait for spontaneous delivery of the placenta.
*I would prefer to save the placenta to take home.
*Please only give Pitocin postpartum if medically necessary.
*Please use warm water for maternal cleansing.

In case a cesarean becomes necessary
*
I would prefer Ran to be present for the surgery, if possible, our birth photographer as well.
*If it is not an emergency I would like to stay conscious during surgery.
*I would like contact with the baby as soon as possible.
*If everyone is healthy I would like to breastfeed in the recovery room.
*I would like the baby to stay with me at all times if possible.

Newborn Procedures
*Please do not bath our baby.
*Our baby is to be exclusively breastfed.
*Please do not offer artificial nipples without our consent.
*If for any reason breastfeeding is not possible please use donor breast milk rather than formula.
*Please no use of erythromycin, gentian violet, and no hep B vaccination.
*Please allow me to hold or nurse our baby why injections are given or blood is drawn for routine procedures.
*Our son is not to be circumcised.