Monday, March 28, 2016
For first time parents, it feels like there are tons of firsts with our sweet baby. From the first time we put her in the car seat and brought her home, we've been figuring out this parenting gig together with our very patient baby. I have photos of a lot of the first times we've done something, almost all entirely from my iPhone.
The first time I wore Rebecca in the Solly wrap (and sent Rachel a pic to prove it!). The Solly has been key in pretty much anytime I leave the house. She almost always snoozes in the Solly, and it keeps the cart open when we're shopping. It also keeps people from reaching out and touching her in stores like I am afraid they would if she was in the car seat. (Though I have had a few people pat her back while I'm wearing her!) The photo on the right is the first time Kip and I went somewhere other than the doctor. We ate Potbelly because I love to eat deli meat again, and we ran to Hy-Vee for a few things!
First bath! She screams a lot less now and warm baths make her nice and sleepy and help her go down at bedtime a little bit easier. Sometimes?! I feel like as soon as I make up a theory about how to help make the night times better, it changes a bit for better or worse. We're taking it a day at a time, and the best advice I've been given is to give it a week and everything will change.
First time we left baby Becca! Mom watched her while we went to my friend Audrey's wedding for a little bit. Mom arrived around 5 o'clock and I handed her a sleeping baby. We came home about two hours later and Mom handed me back a sleeping baby. Yep, she slept the entire time! The wedding was wonderful, and we were able to visit with all my work friends for a few minutes. They all wanted to know how Rebecca was, and I only kind of wanted to know how work was going. I had worked hard to take a break, and I know the fabulous adults I work with were keeping things going!
First walks! We have a wonderful stroller that Kip's parents gave us, and it works equally well around the neighborhood and shopping on the Plaza. Rebecca and I have been making laps listening to podcasts and the Hamilton cast recording. We usually do short walks, but last week we walked to Starbucks a couple miles away.
First meal in a real restaurant at BRGR! Kip and I hadn't ventured to any sit down restaurants until his parents came to town. I think I was worried about nursing in public or going to the car to nurse her and Kip having to sit by himself a long time. But we went out with his brothers and parents after church, and I ate a delicious burger with a really runny egg. It was wonderful, and we're getting the hang of eating in public with a baby.
First trip to the mall and first happy hour! Rebecca and I walked the mall with my friend Anne last week, and the Luhrs Ladies walked the Plaza and had happy hour! We didn't buy Rebecca anything on either of these shopping trips, but that's what the UPS man is for as the packages and sweet gifts keep arriving on our doorstep. She's growing into all her fun 0-3 month clothes nicely, and she has her first pair of Freshly Picked moccasins which go with everything. Here's to many more firsts with our first born!
Friday, March 11, 2016
I mentioned that Rebecca's name was a surprise until she was born, but we had decided on her first name in early November. Before then, I would regularly suggest names to Kip, often classics or family names. Kip mostly thought they were all not a good fit. So I requested a couple of books of baby names from the library to try to help the process along. One evening I went to a fundraiser by myself, and I came home to find Kip reading the books with a list of names on a notepad. His list included Rebecca, Riley, Abigail and McKayla with Grace as a possible middle name.
I crossed McKayla off the list quickly because I had a student named McKayla that ruined it forever, but I was immediately drawn to Rebecca. It's a name I had never even considered until he put it on the list, but it grew on me really quickly. I usually give all the credit to Kip in choosing her name.
I felt a lot of pressure to pick the right kind of name for baby girl Lynch. I loved being the only Victoria growing up, and it's a name that suited me well. So I spent a lot of time looking at the Social Security website to find names that were maybe less popular but still easy to spell and that people would know. Rebecca fit the bill perfectly, a name that was super popular when we were growing up but is much less so now. It wasn't in the top 100 for 2015, and she is the only Rebecca our pediatrician sees. I also love that it's Biblical (though spelled differently).
I'm generally a fan of the nickname Becca (not Becky). Kip and I call her Rebecca most often, but sometimes Becca fits perfectly when we're talking to her or about her. For example, in patty patty cake, you can say "and mark it with a B, and put it in the oven for Becca and me!" Or Kip calls it the Becca special when she makes a huge mess on the changing table. Because I loved the main character in the book "The Royal We," I think Bex is a cute nickname but sure doesn't fit a baby as much as it might a high school student. It's similar to my nickname - no one called me Vic until high school, though many of my family members and everyone under the age of five have called me Tori for years and years.
And while this wasn't intentional, I love that her name ends with an A. So does mine, as well as my mother Barbara and grandmother Virginia. All of our names are either 7 or 8 letters long. Rebecca just fits in this unintentional pattern. And my initials are VCL and hers are RCL which I also love.
No one guessed her name before she was born, though a couple of my coworkers came close. A fellow book lover wanted to know if her name was also a character in a book. Definitely a few famous Rebeccas! I want to reread the classic Rebecca soon - it's been years since I read it - and also Bex from The Royal We like I mentioned above. Another teacher guessed that we would bring back a name popular in the 80s like Sarah or Rachel, and she was also pretty close!
Pretty much as soon as we were sure about Rebecca, I was sure about Claire. My maternal grandfather is Lauren (like my sister!) and his father was Clare. It took Kip a little while to feel sure about Claire, but a buddy of his came by in early January to drop off a present. While he was visiting, he was asking about the name, and Kip said, "Oh, we've got one." I didn't know we were sure until then! We used the feminine spelling, and I was happy because her name includes one family name.
I only monogrammed two things before she was born, a onesie and a little notebook, but we were definitely sure about her name. A couple people asked, what if you see her and change your mind? Which I totally get could happen! But we were more in the camp of wondering what Baby Becca looked like. We knew her name, we just couldn't wait to see her face.
The photos above are from the hospital and our first days at home. Kip took the first one of her swaddled after her bath, and I think the photo may be one of the first times he was holding her. I told you, he's a proud dad. She is eight days old and sleeping soundly in the middle photo and twelve days old in the bottom picture. She doesn't crinkle up her forehead quite as much anymore, but I loved to try to count the number of sweet little wrinkles while she was checking out the world around her.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Our baby girl is here! Rebecca Claire was born on February 17 at 3:49 pm, a lovely 8 lb. 5 oz. blessing at 22 inches long. She made us parents, and we think she is the sweetest and loveliest baby we ever met. The three weeks since she arrived have been full of baby snuggles, lots of late night quality time, and adjusting to life as a family of three.
Kip was able to attend my 39 week appointment the Thursday before she was born, and our doctor was ready to make a plan for Rebecca's arrival. Rebecca didn't look like she was making much progress towards timing that one out herself. I was so glad Kip could be there as we were making plans. He's also funny to have along because he wants our doctor to give extra details. "Do you have a guess of how big the baby might be?" he asked. And God bless, our doctor replied, "I think she has a baby that she can get out." We decided later that maybe that meant a pretty good size baby, but the limited speculation was fine with me. My sister and I were both famously 10 lb. 10 oz. (and really late!) so I didn't want to worry about the baby's size too much. We scheduled an induction for Wednesday, February 17, and we reported to the hospital the night before to start the process.
Much like my pregnancy, everything about labor and delivery went just like it was supposed to. My body and Rebecca's handled induction like a champ. We had the best nursing care our entire stay, but one of my favorite nurses was Sue who was with us for labor & delivery. She's worked at the hospital for 25 years, and she was just the right match for our personalities. Sue joked that she would love to see the baby born before the end of her shift at 7 o'clock, and we were happy to oblige. By the middle of the afternoon, it was time. The doctor returned, the extra nurses were called in and at 3:49, Rebecca was born.
We waited to tell everyone her name until she was born, and I remember as she was screaming her arrival telling all of the nurses and our doctor that this was Rebecca Claire. Everyone responded that it was a lovely name, which is consistently what people tell us about her name in the weeks since she was born. The next moments are kind of a blur, but they quickly handed her to me, and I remember Kip most clearly as Rebecca screamed on my chest. He was so proud and there were so many tears between the three of us. I never doubted that Kip would be a fantastic labor partner, and he has been an amazing dad and husband in these first few weeks of her life. Rebecca and I are both pretty lucky to be on team Lynch.
It was a couple of hours before we moved upstairs to our mom & baby room, and Kip and I soaked up the first few minutes of Rebecca all by ourselves. Kip helped give her a bath, the nurse weighed and measured her, and we called our immediate families to tell them that Rebecca Claire had arrived. The name was a surprise to our families as well, and they were all anxious to get to the hospital and meet her. She was born with her daddy's dark eyes, the cutest little double chin, dark hair and long fingers. It's safe to say that we think she is the sweetest and can't believe we got to bring her home with us.