Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pura Vida - Part Two (Life with Liam)

One week down . . . many more to go! And what a week it has been. We have been blessed beyond measure with our sweet son, who constantly is making us laugh and surprising us in wonderful ways. Has it all been easy? Absolutely not. But just because it isn't perfect doesn't mean it's not wonderful. We have had our nights of absolutely no sleep, been christened by the golden fountain of youth, and I have had my moments of crying mother's guilt over making the right decisions for him (for something so life-changing as "Should I feed him again when he just finished 30 minutes ago??").

But then I look at him and think how blessed we are, and the sage advice of a friend back home -- she told me to remember that Liam has only been on this earth for 3 days, or 6 days, or 8 months, or however old he becomes. He is learning so much and I need to be careful of how high my expectations are for him and for me. 

Anyway, everyone has been asking about Liam and how he's doing and what he's like . . . so here are some fun facts about our son:
  • He has my chin and Keith's mouth -- we're torn on the nose, but his eyes are already bigger than mine, so I guess that goes to Keith too! 
  • Right now his eyes are blue, and though they could change, I hope they stay light like Keith's eyes!
  • He has skinny little legs and is constantly kicking them -- they are super strong! Maybe he'll be a runner like his dad . . .
  • He has big hands, big feet, and long toes (doomed by his large-footed parents). We tease him that he's in newborn clothes, but wears 3-6 months socks (literally!)
  • He sleeps with his hands by his face and has been sucking his thumb since the womb
  • I love the "milk-drunk" faces he makes when he's feeding -- the milky smiles, gummy giggles, and the eyes rolling to the back of his head -- absolutely precious!
  • We are slowly getting a schedule, and last night Liam slept in his crib the entire night (except for feedings) without needing to be held or rocked. Way to go Liam!
  • He has peed on Keith three times and me once -- it always catches us by surprise because it's normally when he's upset that we're changing his diaper and then all of the sudden he stops crying. We think, "Oh good, he's calm . . . . . . . . oh no! He's peeing!!!!" It cracks us up every time. : )

One big blessing we've had this week is our kraamzorg, Marieke. She comes every morning for about 4 hours, and has done so much for us! It's been wonderful to have help with breastfeeding, and she gives us plenty of advice and knowledge about all things babies. She helps with baths, feedings, changings, and also household things while Liam sleeps -- she's done laundry, changed sheets on our beds, swept, mopped, and today she deep-cleaned Liam's nursery! Lifesaver! She also checks Liam's progress and weighs him twice during her stay (check out the pics below, he gets weighed again tomorrow to see if he's gained weight). Not only does she help with Liam, but she also takes care of me. Every day she takes my temperature, checks my pulse, and looks at all postpartum parts of me to make sure everything is healing nicely and going back to "normal." She also makes me take naps while she's here, and at one point even got upset with me when I didn't get enough sleep the night before -- Marieke is like my pseudo-mom! (though no one can replace the real thing : )

Into the sack he goes . . .
Where is Liam?
He weighed 3.70 kg  (only down .04 kg
since birth, which is pretty good!)
And he's out again!

Not only does the kraamzorg come every day, but our midwife has come twice already this week and comes again Monday. She checks out Liam and me as well, answers questions, talks with us about how things are going, etc. We will also get a visit from the consultatiebeaureu this Thursday to talk about doctor's visits, vaccinations, etc. In the Netherlands, people come to you at first, which is nice so that we don't have to get out of the house so soon after his birth. This week we also got a visit from someone to check his hearing and do his heel prick. I was worried about this because obviously it hurts to have any body part pricked with a needle, but Liam took it like a champ and slept right through the whole process! Here are some pictures from that morning:

Liam getting his hearing checked -- looks
like when the Q-tip hits the perfect spot!
Getting his heel pricked -- I made Dad hold
him because I was afraid it would make him cry

His warm feet gave lots of blood!
And he slept right through it all!

Every day is different, with the same questions -- how much will Liam eat? Will he take good naps? Will we get enough sleep? It's like a Create Your Own Adventure book! It seems like every decision we make will affect the rest of the day, and subsequently the rest of his life! I kid, I kid. But I truly don't know how  single mothers do this alone, because Keith has been my savior this week. Not only does he help with all things Liam, but he takes care of Murphy, me, our meals, and the house as well. In between getting me situated and helping with feedings, he's making our dinner. He's changing diapers and helping with baths, and then taking Murphy for a walk and taking out the trash. He will rock and play with Liam while I take a shower, and then make a grocery-store run and register Liam at the City Hall to get his birth certificate. The last several nights Keith has also been taking over one of the night feedings to give me more time to sleep. He has talked me off the ledge a couple times and really has been my saving grace this week. I don't know what I'd do without him! Lucky for me, he is taking a month off work to spend time with Liam and I, and I couldn't be more grateful. It puts my mind and heart at ease knowing the two of us get to spend this precious time together with Liam. I'm so in love with my two boys. <3

So today is an exciting day because one of our closest friends is here on business from the States and is coming by to visit! Spencer also works for Philips and just happened to have business in Amsterdam this week, so he will stop by today, and then his wife, one of my very best friends, will be here next weekend! I am so excited I can hardly stand it! And then it's one more week until my dad arrives . . . lots of excited visitors who are anxious to see Liam! I can't wait to blog and share pics of our friends and family and Liam getting to meet them for the first time. : )

To close, here are a bunch of pictures of Liam this week . . . thanks for letting me brag and share about our new life. Our future is forever changed, and things are much different now, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Can't wait to share more about what each new day brings!

Lots of love and thanks,
~ Jessi

Already wants to go to work with Dad
Love that face!!

He is really alert and loves to look around

I call him "Milkface" during feedings : )


  1. I am so glad last night was a great night of sleep for all of you!
    Love you,

  2. What a blessing Keith has been! And that is so cool about all of those medical personnel coming to your home so that you don't have to venture out while Liam is so young. Thanks for sharing your pictures!

  3. I love the pictures! He is so cute and so great to hear everything is going well!! I miss you and wish I could hold that little boy! Can't wait to talk to you soon!
    Love Lindsey

  4. he is so cute!!!! I love this picture... miss you guys...