Showing posts with label Ivar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ivar. Show all posts

tummy time

This weekend I remembered about tummy time. I guess it just slipped my mind until I read on babycenter.com that "your baby may be able to prop himself up with his arms by now..." and I realized my neglect. So this morning Ivar had some time on his belly. He was a bit concerned, kept looking at me with a confussed look like surely I had made a mistake and gave little grunts and sighs as if to say, "I don't enjoy this, so whenever you'd like to flip me over, that would be great." And when I flipped him, he was much happier.
Today I put him in his new jeans! I had a gift card to gap kids and found these jeans on the clearance rack. They're still too big for him, but I couldn't help myself this morning (plus, he had nothing clean to wear...) I thought the John Deer blanket from my Uncle Carl was a good selection to go with his work pants.
I was with my Grandma last week and told her I got Ivar his first pair of jeans and she gave me a look of disgust like I have never seen. She even made an audible disapproving sound! This is unheard of from my agreeable Grandma. But she has always had a thing about babies wearing adult clothes. She believes baby clothes should be soft and cuddly. And I would say I absolutely agree Grandma!...until I found these jeans. Then I made my exception. Ivar will just be sure not to wear them in her presence.


He's so cute, isn't he?!! :)

eight weeks


Dear Ivar,
You are eight weeks old today. And I love you to pieces. When you wake up in the morning I walk to your crib tired and slow and then I see you and my heart overflows. It's such a cool feeling. It's like I am surprised by happiness first thing each day. And now you've started to smile and have the beginnings of a laugh- sort of an open mouth excited inhale. We love this laugh and have found it to be quite contagious.

It's been a really full eight weeks. Your dad and I took you for a picnic your fourth day of life and to church on your sixth. And then I started taking you on outings on my very own. The first was to your cousins Jack and Josie's middle school play. I was so cautious as I drove my most precious possession all the way to Apple Valley. And I was so excited to be out and about with you. I felt able and even a bit free. You and me, we made a good team and I was just beginning to realize how much more fun every part of life was going to become. I like running errands with you. I like loading you into the car and having a companion in the backseat to sing to.

Your dad has fully fallen for you. He's always plucking you out of my arms, wanting his turn. You give him the biggest smiles, and he knows it. You two stare at each other and smile and talk and grunt and clearly love each other’s company. In the mornings after you have a fully belly, your dad will take you into the living room and sit you in his arm while he reads the Bible. You're always so calm and quiet during this time of the day as you take in the sunlight on the ceiling and listen to your dad.

Your cry is still pretty quiet, but it is growing louder. You talk mostly in grunts and throaty swallow-sounds. You are super interested in ceiling fans and much to my surprise, your crib mobile. I had no idea that those mobiles were so practical. I actually thought they were more for decoration than anything, but you love it.

You are a sweet snuggler. When I put you on my shoulder to burp at night, you tuck your legs in as tight as you can and make a tiny little ball propped on my arm. I love this so much. And once the sun is up I'll sometimes bring you into our bed and sleep for our last bit with you breathing deep on my chest. There is absolutely no better feeling. It's my favorite thing in the world.

You love your paci, but we love your paci even more. It truly does pacify and I love how it helps you succumb to your sleepiness. You still wake up throughout the night about every three hours, but you're starting to stretch those hours a bit more now and we're thrilled at the thought of longer stretches of sleep.

You have changed our lives forever and all of the clichés are true. We’ve never been so in love. We can’t imagine life without you. .

We love you Ivar.

swedish sweaters

Ivar is named after his great grandpa. Grandpa Ivar, who we called Papa, could most often be seen wearing his Swedish sweaters. Even to a Pirate Birthday party as seen below:

I asked Rory's mom if she had anything special for little Ivar to wear for his Dedication, and the next morning she showed up with a Swedish sweater outfit from Hannah Anderson. This was the perfect outfit. It makes me sad that we'll never get a picture of the two Ivar's in their sweaters together. They would have liked each other so much.

When Ivar was still in my belly, I wrote our baby-to-be a long letter explaining the two names we had chosen and why we had chosen them. Here is part of that letter that explains why we chose our name for a baby boy:

Little baby,
It is early in the morning before the sun has come up, and I am wide awake wondering who you will be. We have two names picked out for you, and I’d be very surprised if we changed our minds. We have a strong girls name and a strong boys name and each one holds a lot of meaning for us. I want to tell you why.


If you are a boy, your name will be Ivar. This name is the name of your great grandpa on your dad’s side. Your great grandpa Ivar was a fantastic man of character, born to be a preacher. His speech had a particular cadence with his words chosen thoughtfully. He was a character in every imaginable way. His life stories seem epic now, hopping trains to get back and forth from Bible school, taking a ship over with his parents from Sweden as a boy, building churches in Ohio and Michigan.

We all called him Papa, and I have to tell you he welcomed me into the Groves family with arms wide open. That always meant so much to me. I knew he liked me from the start and I liked him right back. When your dad and I were first dating he was living in a senior home with a lot of Lutherans and Lutheran pastors. He paraded your dad around the dining hall table by table, introducing him and saying, “This is my grandson Rory. He is dating a Lutheran!” And he said it with enthusiasm, building a bridge to his friends at his home.

Little baby, your tiny little feet have some enormous footsteps to follow. The truth is, you could have been named after any of your great grandfathers or grandpas. You come from the strongest of men, filled with integrity and character. Each one has a life story that is filled with caring for others, determination, hard work and a belief in God that is so strong that it influences every single part of their daily life.

Your great grandpa Phil (grandma Margaret’s dad) was the hardest working man I have ever met. I remember being at his farm and getting so excited for Wheel of Fortune, because it was the only time the man sat still, so then the rest of us could rest, too. Great grandpa Phil could work nonstop doing physical things all day long. He was a successful farmer, raised seven kids and was active at his church his whole life.

Your great grandpa John (grandpa Paul’s dad) was a loyal worker to his company. He worked for the Burroughs Corporation, and I think that company had him move over a dozen times. He taught Sunday school most places where they moved and when he retired he kept using his skills and gifts to help raise money for the Lutheran Bible Institute.

Your great grandpa Madison (grandpa Madison’s dad) was an entrepreneur and a builder and he used his gifts to construct a home for orphaned children in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Your dad wishes so badly he could have known him more (he died when your dad was still very young) because it seems that your dad was given the same independence and self-confidence that his grandpa Madison had, born to create his own ventures.

And you, baby-to-be, could not be any more blessed than you are with your two Grandpa’s. Grandpa Paul and Grandpa Madison are both salt of the earth, and their deepest care is for other people. The church is the cornerstone of their lives, faithfully living out Jesus’ call to love one another and to share the good news. They love their families more than anything and are so excited for your arrival. In fact, your Grandpa Paul has already purchased his Grandparent’s Pass to the zoo, and you still have eight more weeks before you are due to arrive!

In all of your great grandfathers and grandpas there is a great sense of purpose for what they do and did with their time. What they believed in was the driving force behind their actions and ambitions.

Hear me on this. Whether you are born a girl or a boy, you will be given a family name, because we come from two families that have been blessed beyond measure. Your dad and I do not care what profession you choose. You could be a storyteller, a farmer, a preacher, a salesman, a fundraiser, an entrepreneur, an author, a contractor, or any other profession that fits your gifts. But we do care that you know your Maker. And whatever you do with your life, you live your life with as much passion and conviction and belief as the heritage of men and women who have gone before you. We care that you live your life boldly, make mistakes and move on, and that you are not afraid to live out the role God has custom created for you.

We love you more than I could have ever imagined love. Your dad talks to you every day and we are filled with wonder and awe thinking of how fearfully and wonderfully you are made.

We are so excited to be your mom and dad.

hibernation day


Thanks to my Nebraska friend Betty Dasenbrock for this Christmas Quilt! She gave it to me in July and I remember dreaming of the day I would have my baby wiggling around on it during Christmastime. It felt so far off, and yet time flies by and here we are...

The snow is coming down and we are so grateful not to have any place to go…and nothing really to do, either. (Other than perhaps take a stab at the thank you notes that are waiting for me to write...) So given our clean slate of a day, we started the morning off with a photo shoot. And then we moved on to digging through the 12 dozen cookies I came home with yesterday from The Great Lisa Groves Christmas Cookie Swap Spectacular. I will have you know that I am trying to put these cookies in the freezer before this snowed-in mama and daddy eat them all up themselves. Twelve different kinds of cookies, twelve of each kind (oreo truffles might be the favorite). That is a lot of butter and sugar sitting on our countertop right now.

We actually would have needed to dig our car out this morning if we hadn’t played our part as first time parents so well. You see, Ivar was asked to be Baby Jesus in the Shepherd of the Valley Christmas pageant that is to be held today. He would be held by a 5th grader dressed as Mary with her robe cinched with a rope. There are stairs involved and even though the role of Jesus is clearly the role of a lifetime, we had Ivar decline. It just made us too nervous! I told the Christian Education director that she should ask us again on our third or fourth baby. By then we’ll probably drop the baby off at the curb and swing by an hour later to pick it up. (No, not really… But I do imagine we would be more willing.) At any rate, it’s snowing like crazy and I’m so happy we don’t have to hop in the car.

We got our tree last Saturday and last night Rory put the lights on it. Perhaps by next Saturday we will have ornaments on it. Projects like this just take a whole lot longer lately. I was thinking yesterday that the Food Network should have a one-handed cooking show. Similar to Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals, this show would show you how to prepare family friendly meals while holding a fussing baby. Maybe the baby would begin the show in a swing or a rumble buns, but right at the crucial meal prep moment, the baby would start crying and then the host could show you what in the world you are supposed to do then…with an upset child and eggs and pancakes on the stove.

Thankfully the house did get decorated for Christmas thanks to my mom getting snowed in with us last weekend. (This has been quite the fantastic Minnesota snowy winter so far. And I love it.) Mom and I had attended a funeral together and then for her birthday I took her to a handmade craft fair downtown. By the time we were done at the craft fair, the snow was too heavy for dad to come and pick her up. So she held Ivar all night while I plowed through every Christmas box. I know it was her birthday, but I felt like it was mine. I am certain those boxes would still be sitting in the middle of the living room.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop a few lines here today. We got Ivar a swing this week and if we set it by the tree he is entertained/hypnotized to sleep for good chunks of time. Hence my ability to blog! Hooray! Happy Snow Day, everybody. Hope you can hibernate too.

our most important role

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I think the thing that has surprised me the most in motherhood is how much deeper in love I have fallen for Rory. I knew I’d love our little baby, and I do. But I cannot get enough of Rory lately. Watching him snuggle and love Ivar, watching him keep his cool while Ivar protests another outfit change, having him insist I take a nap or get in the tub when a good moment presents itself, having him walk half-alive into the nursery during the early morning feeding and sit on the foot rest while laying his head on the boppy pillow on my lap…these are precious moments to me. I absolutely cannot fathom doing all of this without a faithful husband.

When we were in the hospital Rory was holding a swaddled Ivar and got out his Bible. He read to Ivar from Jeremiah 31:31-34, telling of the new Covenant that would come in Jesus. Rory told Ivar that the very most important hope we have for him is that he know is savior and love and obey Him. We cried together as Rory read the nativity story to Ivar, realizing more fully than ever before the love that God has for us in Christ Jesus. Rory read the chapter and there was a holiness as we began to live out our greatest responsibility as Ivar’s parents.

good morning everybody

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Ivar slept until 10 am this morning, which means Rory and I did too. It was glorious. I told Rory it felt like a Thanksgiving miracle. It means that I got eight hours of sleep last night! Not uninterrupted, but I feel incredible today and Ivar woke up in a happy mood too. This is going to be a good day. (except that my text is centered and it refuses to left align. but whatever.)

I am starting to get the hang of my new normal. In the middle of the night I figured out that each day I am spending 6 to 8 hours nursing (each feeding takes a while trying to rouse little man back awake so he can get a full feeding. Plus, if you add a diaper change that almost always turns into two or three diaper changes because Ivar has a thing for waiting to fill his diaper until he has a clean diaper on...well, it just takes us some time to accomplish all of this, and each feeding/changing can be anywhere from 45-60 minutes. And it turns out you can't rush a feeding or a changing...)

When I figured out the hours going into nursing, and then added the hours spent rocking and snuggling and bounce walking in circles around the house, it really does make sense where all of my time goes each day.

All that to say, I am letting myself off of the blog hook for while. My hope is to post a picture each day, but maybe no more than that. Because that feels sane and wonderful. Plus, I just downloaded Picasa 3, and with one click of a button I can pick the picture I want to post on my blog for the day. Super simple and fast and wonderful and at this point (after 16 hours as a Picasa user) I'd highly recommend the free program...

Ivar is sleeping again and I just sorted through all of the mail. It is incredible how good it feels to accomplish little projects like this!

two weeks


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This is the room where we are spending most of our time lately. I still can’t get over how our pace of life has changed. And I can’t figure out if the pace has slowed down or sped up. Life just feels more full...and full of all of the best things: family, calm, intention, and the greatest daily entertainment we’ve ever experienced. I swear we could watch Ivar awake or asleep all day long. I’m pretty sure that’s what we do.

We’re definitely in a groove here at the Groves’ house. We’ve got 3 hour feedings down with lots of naps in between. We also have a solid habit of filling diapers past capacity so that goodness saturates our little guy’s back nearly every time. We have tried different brands and different sizes of diapers and are still stumped as to what we’re doing wrong. If anyone has any helpful tips, please weigh in. We’re getting desperate here.

But other than the wet clothes and frequent wet wipe baths, we’re really doing great for having just started this adventure two weeks ago. I still have moments when I feel clumsy and out of practice and for a life-long babysitter, I am surprised at how awkward I can be with this newborn in my arms. Rory said sometimes when he holds Ivar he feels like he's trying to control multiple slinky's at one time. The good news is that Ivar doesn't seem to notice that we're not pros, or at least he has a lot of grace for us new parents.

We’ve been on a few outings, went for one final lake Harriet picnic this week, got some groceries, have been to church both Sunday’s and ventured to the doctors and Babies-r-us as well. Other than the traffic feeling too fast and chaotic, I think we’re doing alright. I still sit in the back seat with my baby like a stereotyped new mama, but I am a new mama, so stereotype me.

Most days come and go with me still in my pajama pants. I usually wake up hopeful to find some time during the day to catch up on emails or to blog or even just to shower. But somehow the day always seems to slip away and at the end of the day, none of these things end up all that pressing.

What does feel pressing is simply to be present in every moment. I saw a 3-month-old today at church and couldn’t believe how fast my tiny little boy is going to grow.

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checking in

Just a note to say we're still here. Computer time is at a minimum, cuddle time has filled its place. And that feels right. We're soaking up every single minute with this sweet, tiny boy.

Ivar's birth story

This is the longest post I've ever written. For those of you who want the Cliff Notes version, I'll tell you that it ends with a baby being born. And for those of you who know how long it takes for a baby to be born, you'll understand why this writing is so long.

The Friday before Ivar was born, I finished number 62 of the thank you’s I needed to write for gifts I had received at the baby shower. To celebrate the conclusion of such a hefty stack of stamped envelopes, I made myself an appointment for a pedicure. I’m a big fan of rewards, and attention to my feet seemed like the perfect compensation for plowing through so many thank you notes. Plus, I figured if I was going to be staring at my feet while pushing a baby out, they might as well look nice.

As I drove to the place for the pedicure I thought, “well, that’s it. That’s the last of my to do list that actually needs to get done.” (I did have other things on the list, but 'change blog header' and 'clean under refrigerator' were sort of filler-chores to help pass the time, and I knew it. Those things didn’t have to get done. I was onto myself.) I left the pedicure place with lovely toes and a true hunch that this whole labor train could easily be set in motion at any moment. I felt it.

That night I moved out to the couch because my back was hurting so badly. It would spasm about every hour. I also felt like I needed to go number two, like I was having trouble passing a bowel. In retrospect, I can easily now see that what I actually needed to pass was a baby, and my body was just starting its engines.

Saturday came and Rory had scheduled a full work day out of the house so my mom came over and helped me pass the time. I told her that I was heading into the scariest Halloween of my life. It had never dawned on me that my baby could be born on October 31st, and suddenly that seemed very, very likely. I have nothing against Halloween, but I do have something against a lifetime of, “Oh, October 31st…born on Halloween” and I’m so big into birthdays that I just didn’t like the idea of one holiday overshadowing the other. (Though every kid I talked to under the age of 12 seemed to think there could be no greater day to have your birthday. My nieces Josie and Mara were so excited that the baby might come…Josie said the baby would get double candy once it told each house it was its birthday, and Mara said then the baby could get candy, presents AND cake in the same day!) I was really hoping for a November baby, though.

By Saturday night I was having regular, strong contractions about every hour. They hurt horribly and made for a long evening. By Sunday morning, October 31st, they were about six minutes apart and seemed regular enough that we should go to the hospital. First Time Mama Learning #1: If you’re walking into the hospital while in labor with a smile on your face and excitement in your heart, you probably aren’t actually in hospital-worthy labor yet.

We got there and I was monitored for an hour with consistent contractions and then I was checked and was told I was dilated to a “tight one.” First Time Mama Learning #2: “Tight one” is polite hospital speak for: nothing is happening. In fact, I probably was born a tight one.

So Rory and I discussed the day and how now we would need to get candy to hand out to the trick-or-treaters. And if we were going to head to Target, we might as well go out for breakfast next door at the Original Pancake House. We went to Target first, and I had a few contractions right there while walking around. We had to stop at a hand drill display while I counted through one of them to pass, and when I opened my eyes I could see people in each direction staring at me with little thought bubbles popping out of their heads, “Why would you go to Target while having contractions?” And I suppose I have no good answer for that. Just as I have no good answer for why I would think it wise to go and eat bacon, eggs and hashbrowns just moments later. But I did eat those three things, and Rory and I had a really sweet lunch, excitedly talking about how this really was all beginning, stopping for moments of silence while I suffered through my contractions.

Then we went home and I crashed on the couch for the day. My contractions greatly intensified later in the afternoon, life became more and more miserable and by evening the really, really hard contractions were each ending with a climactic round of throwing up. The flu-like symptoms hit me hardest once the sun went down and the trick-or-treaters started to show up. It made for a bit of a mad house, as Rory would run to the doorbell, hand out the candy, close the door, run to my side, clean out my bowl, run to the doorbell, hand out the candy, close the door, help me to the bathroom, run to the doorbell, hand out the candy, close the door, help me back to the couch, clean out my bowl and run to the doorbell. Finally we ended that mayhem when I asked that he leave the bowl of candy on the porch (which was protested because “kids will take more than 2 pieces!”… but the pregnant woman won this one.) First Time Mama Learning #3: You can skip participating in minor holidays if you are in active labor.

It was during this time of throwing up and utilizing the toilet in full force while enduring horrifying contractions that I pondered deep thoughts. Thoughts like how I would tell Rory that I had changed my mind and no longer wanted a big family. I would have this baby and that would have to be enough. I was watching TV and every single person on the screen was a marvel to me. I couldn’t believe they had all come into the world this way. I saw Sabrina Soto on HGTV and thought, “her mom went through this for her.” Then I thought of the whole wide world…every single person was born from a mother who experienced this same pain. How on earth have we populated this planet so well? Surely every mother in their right mind would only have one child, figure out the horror involved and decide one was enough. I thought about Eve, and then I thought about labor for elephants, water buffalo, giraffes and cows.

Around eight o’clock it was obvious that I was in a terrible place, dehydrated, so weak and basically ready to keel over. So we went back to the hospital. This time when we returned I was not smiling. They hooked me back up the machines, with contractions 4-5 minutes apart and dilated to a three. But after an hour and a half of monitoring, I hadn’t dilated anymore. I was given an IV to increase my fluids and then was encouraged to stay the night to see if we would progress any further. But I was miserable in the hospital bed and Rory was my equal in looking exhausted and overwhelmed. So we decided to go back home for the night and try to get some sleep. We got home at 11 and slept until 12:30 when, after a good and strong contraction, my water broke. First Time Mama Learning #4: You will know when your water breaks.

I wasn’t counting on my water breaking since most women have to have theirs broken for them. But like the pluck of a rubber band, I felt a little break and then I felt Niagara Falls. I told Rory that my water had broken and before I could even roll onto my hip to get up he was out of bed and fully dressed. I kid you not. I still can picture his lamp flying on and watching the world’s fastest dad put on his clothes. I threw up some more, I soaked every pair of pajama pants in our house and we headed back to the hospital with me sitting on a garbage bag and bath towels in my bath robe while holding my barf bucket. This time I was really not smiling when we went back to the hospital. I wasn’t even walking. This time we were that cliché couple with the husband pushing the wife into the lobby area in a wheelchair, leaving her there momentarily while he raced around to park the car, returning with every piece of luggage strapped to his shoulders, ready to fly her through the hallways. She has her head down, rubbing her forehead, willing herself not to puke. First Time Mama Learning #5: This is the real deal. You will not be discharged from the hospital in this condition until you have a baby in your arms.

We returned to the birthing floor and they were ready for us. I was given another IV of fluids and was asked what my plan was for medication. I told them my plan was that I was interested in anything they had to offer me and that the moment they wanted to give me an epidural, I was very, very ready. My contractions intensified, and all was miserable and wrong with the world. I was quiet in my deep breathing, counting slowly through each one, gripping the side rail of my bed and praying to survive. The only thing to say about these hours is that they were not fun. At all.

Around 4 am a man dressed in white showed up to give me the epidural in my back. I cannot explain how my life changed in that moment. And I'm still not totally convinced that he wasn't actually an angel. :) My legs turned to tree stumps, my toes were immobile and I got super happy and chatty. I couldn’t feel a thing. The monitor showed that I was having ridiculous contractions, and I was oblivious. Rory had gone out to the car to get a few more things while the nurse was getting me situated after the shot and he could not believe the transformation in me when he returned. I had returned from the pits of hell...well, not really, but I was able to look at him for the first time in six hours and to converse with politeness. The nurse got me on my side and Rory and I both slept for the next four hours. First Time Mama Learning #6: It’s okay to need an epidural.

We woke up around eight and were told we’d have a baby today. All I could think about was the fact that it was not Halloween anymore. This was going to be a November baby. Rory said he thought his was a very kind move on behalf of the baby, waiting until 12:30 on November 1st to have my water break and all. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and I napped on and off.

At noon it was time to start pushing and my phenomenal nurse, Theresa, coached me every step of the way. She and Rory held my legs for the next two hours as I pushed through every contraction. I could feel my feet by this point, as well as my abdominal muscles and felt fully in control of where I needed to direct my pushing. I felt strong and able. I remember thinking this many times during those two hours. I knew we were close, and somehow, after four hours of sleep and a blessed epidural, I was ready for this next phase. Rory said that I pushed with all of my might on every single push and then after three pushes, would lay my head back, close my eyes and grin. I would say something happy to him and Theresa like, “Oh man, that last one…I sort of quit at 8. Sorry.” And I’d smile some more. I felt a lot and it was not comfortable. But the epidural clearly had taken the edge off and I still felt fully present and aware the entire time.

Theresa called for the doctor in the last fifteen minutes and then said we needed to stop until the doctor came in. It took a while and then she went in the hall and found the doctor talking to another nurse. We missed a strong contraction, but then got things rolling again. I had no idea just how close we were to the grand finale. I didn’t know babies came out so fast after that last wide part of the head made it through. But my baby completely surprised me by his entrance. Unfortunately, I had just heard the opening of scissors and was so distracted by fearing the pain that was coming next that I had my eyes closed tight while bearing down that last time. On the second push I heard the scissors and on the third push there was laughing and loud sounds and a clear, “It’s a boy!” I opened my eyes completely startled to see a beautiful, perfect baby boy descending on my chest. I was so sure it would take much longer to get the body out. First Time Mama Learning #7: Once you get that bulky head out of the way, your baby may very well shoot out of you.

Rory was beside himself and I remember watching him as much as looking at our sweet little boy. Ivar came out with his eyes wide open, looking around and so content. I think I even asked if it was okay that he wasn’t crying so hard and was reassured that he was just fine and just taking it all in. Rory cut the cord and Ivar was taken to be wiped off and weighed.

First Time Mama Learning #8: Your baby may be out, but you are not quite done yet, new mama. Ouch. Thankfully my sister had forewarned of the next half hour and all that needed to be done to my belly and underside to make things right again. Honestly, you would think the process could end with the actual birth, but instead I was still enjoying the fine work of my doctor while watching the excitement all around me.

First Time Mama Learning #9: Your doctor may be done and your legs may be back in bed, but your body is still in some rough shape.

I was so grateful we had our friend Jaime there taking pictures to document everything that was happening around me and obviously I was good and distracted watching my husband and my baby as they took each other in. We had our parents come in shortly after and I was so proud to show them our son. When our folks walked in, I saw them all in a completely new light in that moment. I remember looking at my mom and dad and really understanding that they had gone through this exact thing for me, ending with the same exact joy. Life is beautiful like this. Then it was just Rory and me in the room with our tiny little life bundled beside us. All the mystery of who this little baby would be, if it would be a girl or a boy, what he would look like, if he would be healthy…all of these answers were wrapped in the alert eyes that were opening and closing and scrunching at us as we started to get to know each other. And that’s what we’ve been doing ever since…spending every waking hour staring at each other, making sweet sounds and giving lots and lots of kisses and hugs.

First Time Mama Learning #10: Life will never be the same, and that is the most exciting and wonderful reality you could ever imagine.

soft focus

My friend Shannon told me that her first weeks of life together with their baby son play in her memory in soft focus. She is a photographer and used this visual analogy to describe sort of the blissful, calm, emotion-filled, groggy, overjoyed, sleep-deprived, learning days that followed after his birth. I have thought of this often since we got home from the hospital. It is amazing how a day can be filled with only eating, changing, snuggling, napping and repeating. And how these days are truly the fullest days of our lives, in every wonderful way.

I want so badly to get the birth story written up so that I don’t forget any part. And now that life is moving forward I really want to get this story written so that I can start telling of our sweet transition in real time. I already feel backed up (in more than one way…ahem) with moments and stories to record. I’ll be writing on and off today and hope to have the details up soon. They’re good…and painful. But all good.

It's a boy!

It is with the greatest joy of our lives that we introduce you to Ivar Nicholas Groves. This little guy came into the world on Monday afternoon, November 1st at 1:57 and has multiplied our capacity for love in exponential ways. Our hearts are full and so content. And he is complete peace and joy and awe and wonder all wrapped up in 8 pounds and 5 ounces of beautiful baby.