all I can muster

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38 Responses

  1. Bonnie says:

    Looks like you guys are doing great! Lack of sleep…yeah, I remember those days, they weren’t that long ago for us. But one tip from a mom of two good sleepers and eaters…if he’s sleeping, let him sleep, especially at night. Don’t wake him up to eat. Believe me, he’ll let you know when he’s hungry! The doctors told us the same thing about both our daughters, but they’re doing just fine! I love seeing the pictures and so glad to see that Valor’s doing well. Hopefully you’ll be back to yourself soon!! Keep up the good work! πŸ™‚

  2. Hope says:

    I am with bonnie. I have 4 kids, and the oldest was 6 weeks premature. The neonatologist told us that as long as annie didn’t have metabolic problems or blood sugar problems (and she didn’t) to just let her sleep. It isn’t really vital to wake them up to eat. but if your routene works for you, then awesome πŸ˜€ he is a beautiful boy and I love his name. You are so strong and positive!! I admire your attitude even when things are going so wrong. i have read all of your blogs and you are an inspiration.

  3. Tonya says:

    I think you’re doing great! I would never have attempted blogging when Evan was born (although I don’t think there was such a thing back then). πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    I’ve got to remember that ItzBeen gadget. Every time I see you I remember it, then promptly forget it. Do they make one for household items like changing sheets, changing the A/C filter, fertilizing the yard, etc? Sounds like a new patent and home business to me if John can figure it out.

  4. Molly says:

    The itzbeen was a godsend in our house – I LOVED that thing for the blur that came with the first few weeks home, where nursing, diaper changes, and naps all blur together!
    Thanks so much for the update – you guys look great!! Love the pic of Valor with daddy πŸ™‚

  5. jillian says:

    abby! you’re so cute and of course you’re doing an amazing job – even if it feels like you get nothing done during the day. πŸ™‚
    thanks for the update! always great to ‘hear’ from. i’m looking forward to seeing you soon.

  6. Ronda says:

    You are doing great! In the first few weeks just taking care of the baby and making sure you are eating and resting is about all you need to be doing. The first three months is really like a 4th trimester, the baby needs to eat and sleep and grow so much! Good Luck!

  7. karyn says:

    If you’re thinking of transitioning to cloth diapers have you looked into GDiapers? The are a cloth shell that you can use with either a flushable, earth friendly aborbant pad or a hemp cloth pad.
    Just a thought!

  8. ncd1011 says:

    Valor does look like an old soul; he seems to know what you all have been through; so hard to know if one can truly live up to their names. He already seems to know….

  9. Ashley says:

    Yay, an update! I’ve been looking for one every day. Thrilled to see one! Of course I understand why you guys don’t have the time to update, though.

    Here’s hoping you get more rest very soon! Valor is beautiful and I’m so glad he is doing well.

  10. sabrina says:

    great pictures! πŸ™‚ and yes, itzbeen customer service is very good – i got one for my sister when my niece was born, and it fizzled out one day and she was able to get a free replacement really easily! πŸ™‚

  11. Sachu says:

    It seems Valor is not a sleeper!
    I really understand how you feel. My humor is terrible when I don’t have my needed hours of sleep.
    I know you must believe that you are not doing anything, but you are taking care of a newborn! Nothing else should come first…that’s quite a job!
    Love, Sabrina from Argentina

    P.S: I completely love the picture with John! Ain’t that cute or what?

  12. Aunt Sue says:

    This, too, will pass and those long, short nights will become a distant memory. Buy one of those music playing items at Wal Mart and put it in bed with Valor. Denise’s Charlie loves his music and he just settles right down when we put him down and turn his music on.
    In the pic of John holding Valor, I was trying to see if the other end of John’s ipod was in Valor’s ears–Valor seemed to be enjoying his spot at any rate. Take care and I hope things continue to go well.

  13. bleu says:

    Your comment on being able to do one thing besides taking care of your son sounds like going to professional school (vet school here, although I’m sure med school is similar). Good to hear someone is able to handle the busy-ness. Valor is, as usual, beautiful.

  14. FrostinGal says:

    Bless your hearts! I am okay with not so many words, as long as they are accompanied by so many wonderful photos! You are feeding my baby-deprivedness. Our “baby” is five, going on 13. But there are no more in our future, unless God tosses us another curve ball. But I have grown fond of sleeping regularly…

  15. Lisa says:

    The diaper count will decrease, thankfully. And I was also told to never wake a sleeping baby, even to eat. Do what makes you comfortable, but if you won’t worry, don’t wake him. He’ll wake you, I promise!

    He is adorable and you are doing a great job. It just feels like you aren’t getting a lot done, you ARE! πŸ™‚

  16. Summer says:

    I had to laugh at #13, I’m glad to see another mom who’s had a c-section have the same problems I did with my kids and will have again in 5 months.
    I may need one of the itsbeen when the baby is born to keep track of he/she things and also all of Ryland stuff.
    It was nice to see a update and new pictures of Valor, he is sure cute. I’m working on something for your prince, just haven’t had much time to get it done.
    I did cloth diaper with Ryland for alittle while and will with the baby due in Feb. It can be messy but it’s nice to save money. I’m sure there’s a grandma that can sew you up some nice ones.

  17. Chrissie says:

    You’re doing a great job, Abby! In my experience, they usually start smiling at 6-7 weeks, and those glorious, waited-for smiles make all that you’re going through now worth it. And my baby Nicholas is not much of a napper either, so I know how you feel about that. I think it just takes a little experimenting to find out what may do the trick (I’m still experimenting with him!). I’m so, so happy for all of you, and the pictures are fantastic!

  18. tinalina says:

    Ummm….girdles :p This entry made me smile which I needed:) Thanks!

  19. beth says:

    What a cutie! Valor seems to be growing well, if he’s sleeping let him sleep. Remember blocks of sleep are vital to babies and adults too. Sometimes babies need to “gripe” a while. When mine were griping I made sure they weren’t hungry or messy, laid them down to grump it out some. Of course, I gave them a reassuring pat now and then to let them know I was there, but usually they settled down after a little bit of griping. It seemed like, that like us they just needed to vent. My guys liked the music box too. He looks so sweet!

  20. Juliana says:

    We switched to cloth, gradually, starting at about 3 weeks, I think – once I could handle the thought of doing some laundry while Jared was at work. We use basic prefolds with Thristies and Bummis covers, which I both like, from Green Mountain Diapers, a company I have grown to love. We didn’t start having to pin them in place (we use Snappis, not pins, but same difference) until around 5 months, I think it was. We’ve tried some of the more expensive diaper types, but I have found the prefolds to be just as easy, and much more affordable.

  21. Kurtis says:

    Two responses:

    To (2), I remember thinking the same thing with Asher and then measuring it one day when he was about 3 weeks and he was about right on. What *I* noticed was that I was usually helping him get to sleep (or somewhere holding him) when he fell asleep and it took me a few minutes to transition him to bed, then if I laid down right away it usually took me 10-15 minutes to drop off, then I’d wake up once when he made some sleep noise and need 5-10 minutes to drop off, so I was getting 15-30 minutes less sleep per 1.5 hour nap, which seems much much less!

    To (12) I remember looking forward to Asher smiling so much because of this, and then most of those end up being BECAUSE OF GAS! It’s such a let down. πŸ™‚

  22. Carrie H says:

    love to read this, I love the line “a look of unimpressed concern” too funny. You look great! This phase will go by all too fast, I remember it killing me to let my first cry himself to sleep, but by the 4th, first night home once she was fed and changed, i let her scream for an hour in the bassinet right next to me while I buried my head under the pillow, she did go to sleep after an hour and then slept for 7, not bad for the first night home :). I was too tired to do anything else. Can’t wait to meet Valor!!

  23. Ashley M. says:

    Awww, I hope you feel better soon, Ms. Abby!!

    So glad for updates, too πŸ™‚

  24. Jin G. says:

    Just dropping by…I followed you here from Cake Wrecks to Sweet Baby James to here! Looks like you are doing an amazing job with Valor! Congrats! BTW, he sounds like a GREAT sleeper! You have to wake him up to eat at night??? Wow! My son had colic and it was a miracle if he slept longer than 3 hours during his first 3 months of life. =) And good luck on cloth diapering. I am a cloth diapering mama, too. =)

  25. baumgs says:

    Sometimes they won’t sleep if you keep them up too long.. overtired or over stimulated or something. I remember a stage where mine were only ever awake for 10 minutes at a time.

    It is going to be sooo worth it when Valor learns to lie down and put himself to sleep! When he is a toddler and you carry him into his room and he reaches for his bed and then snuggles in, you will be a very happy mommy. Keep at it!

  26. Judy R. N. says:

    Yay! Welcome to motherhood without the NICU layover! πŸ™‚ Surprisingly, I kind of miss those days of the newborn when I had quiet night moments to feed the baby by dim light. πŸ™‚ I hear that the sleep deprivation is God’s way of providing long-term amnesia so that a year from now, you won’t remember sleepless nights so well and you’ll be ready for another baby! πŸ™‚

    On the sleep thing…this is my area of struggle with Austin…yes, HUGE as “baumgs” says…if they are up too long, they have a hard time going to sleep. An hour of wake time might be too much at his age!

  27. Judy R. N. says:

    Oh…and MAN! If you are able to get a toilet cleaned or a banana bread baked, you are already super mom! haha! I don’t think I got anything accomplished for the first 3 months. Tony would come home from work and look at the dirty dishes and the laundry, and I’d give him a look that said, “If you even MENTION the household chores…!!”

  28. cannopener says:

    Abby, you sound so much like me! I agree with the other mums at the top on one hand – yeah, let him sleep at night! – but I’m definitely with you on the 2.5-3 hour feed during the day. We did “Babywise” quite rigidly with number one, more flexibly with number two and even more flexibly with number 3 and guess what – all three were sleeping happily through the night and mostly self-soothing by about 3-4 months. Don’t worry too much if you have to give him lots of cuddles or soothing to get him to sleep now. It’ll come in time. As long as he’s getting those good solid feeds.

    I found going from one baby to two the hardest – number one was 2 years 4 months when number 2 was born and hated not being the centre of attention – but then going from 2 to 3 kids was a breeze, even with the ten weeks stuck in hospital before baby being born at 36 weeks. The more you have the easier it gets. The later ones just have to slot in to the routines you’ve set up with number one, and you get better at letting things go. Our “laundry couch” is testament to that! The two boys (5 and 2 1/2 when number 3 was born) played (or fought) together, not so demanding as number one on his own had been! and were old enough to help with the baby – eg fetch wipes etc.

    Just thought I’d offer some reassurance! And I have a friend who has number 5 on the way and she agrees – it does just keep getting easier. So there you go! πŸ™‚

    Anna in NZ.

    PS Free healthcare for all is definitely the way to go. Move to NZ! πŸ™‚

  29. cannopener says:

    Haha, I’ve just read all the other comments and have decided to say – please disregard all the advice I just gave you – you’re obviously getting plenty! I remember that about baby number one, too. TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!!

    Whatever you decide is right for you, is right for you. God bless you all.

    With as much love as I can give to someone I’ve never met,

  30. Christine says:

    LOL at Anna’s last comment! I agree, just do what you need to do to keep yourself sane.

    I’m a long time lurker, though I may have pledged my prayers when James passed. When he died my daughter had just turned one, and she has received countless hugs in James’ honor this past year.

    I also just gave birth to a baby boy, it was fun being pregnant “with you”, and reading your list made me feel not so alone in this newborn stage (He’s 3.5 weeks old). I too am lucky if I can get more than one thing done a day, and yesterday it stressed me out, so thank you for the reminder that I WON’T get anything done, haha. Life will be easier if I just accept that.

    Anyways, Valor is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Congratulations to you and John, your family is in my thoughts and prayers daily.

  31. Dogdancing says:

    I hope you brush off all the comments giving you advice about letting him sleep and not waking him for feedings.

    You as mama get to make all the calls.

    Having a healthy child after a special needs one is very different. Having a child after loosing one will change everything about how you parent. Do not allow others to make you second guess your parenting desisions. Do what you need to do.

    If you don’t have a boppy pillow for nursing I can’t recommend them enough. I am lucky enough to work for a company that allows me to have my children at work. I was able to enter data in the computer and breastfeed hands free. The pillow is a back saver as the babies get heavier.

    Peace be the journey


  32. Emma's Mom says:

    My little girl is 10 weeks old now so just a smudge older than Valor. I still remember all the cool newborn stuff clearly despite sleep deprivation because I’m still doing it. In lieu of the boppy, might I suggest the My Breast Friend pillow. I own both but the latter has been my favorite. It clips closed like a belt around you so it doesn’t slide out from under the Mini and it’s made of foam so firmer and holds a shape. Good work Mommy! You’re doing just fine!

  33. QueenB says:


    I am a huge supporter of waking Valor up at night if it’s been longer than five hours since he has eaten. Allowing Valor to sleep longer at night is helping his internal clock to set itself to meet most of his food requirements during the day, but in my experience if you don’t wake them their clock goes haywire. My two-year old girl and 8 month-old boy have been putting themselves to sleep AND sleeping through the night since they were three months old. Right now it is soooo tempting to let him sleep so you can sleep or get something done but it really does pay dividends later.

    It’s a good thing you are blogging about these first few weeks. Later, the sleep deprivation will make it hard to remember.

    Best wishes.

  34. Marnie Salee says:

    Hi Abby! “Itzbeen” 8 months now, but the sleep deprived memories are still fairly fresh! This was fun 2 read!!! Can’t wait 2 see you guys!!!

  35. baumgs says:

    No kidding.. my 3yo just got a rare chance to have a ‘quiet time’ in her room instead of taking a nap. After going potty she announced, “I’m going to lie down Mommy, I’m actually tired now.” And she did! Yaaay Babywise!!

  36. Beth says:

    Somethings get easier with consecutive children. Somethings. The sleep deprived days and nights don’t. But it does pass. This I know. I’m due with number six in December. I’m not looking forward to it.

    As for cloth, I’ve used cloth with the last three. It’s so not hard. I think you’ll actually love it. Good luck. Don’t talk yourself out of it.

    As for the sleeping/waking at night thing. You’re the mom and you should go with your instincts. That having been said, I would make sure they’re nursing more during the day before I woke them at night. Some babies are actually born sleeping through the night. Not that I’ve EVER experienced that. LOL! My sister woke her first up during the night and it took her three years to get her to sleep through the night. I learned from her mistake.

    No matter what, enjoy every second. Evey the tired bleary ones. As you know better than most of us, it goes by way too fast!

  37. Laughing out loud at the sexy comment! Sometimes, after birthing four children, I do wonder if my husband doesn’t think I’m more sexy with the girdle ON than OFF, however. Your new addition is a beaut!

  38. Kate Hastings says:

    I’m delighted to have stumbled on this website. I had no idea that you were blessed with another son! I decided to look at James’ page today, because yesterday I met in person the mother of Laurie Beth, the little Mennonite girl who had holoprosencephaly that led me to Google HPE that led me to James in the first place! As a mother of two who have never been good sleepers, I really feel for you. Bursting into tears, bingeing on carbs, snapping at innocent bystanders, falling asleep while standing up–all are part of parenting, but it’s almost unbearable at the time. Love to you and your beautiful family!

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