Introducing...Noah Ryan Abell!!!

Good morning family and friends!!! Noah and I were just up for our 2:15 a.m. feeding, so I thought I would finally take a moment to blog and catch you up on life. :) I have been really excited to share the story of his birth, but I also know that will take quite a long time to write, so I will try to get to that in the next couple days. For now, I thought I'd catch you up about life since leaving the hospital!

As soon as we were discharged from the hospital, we went to visit our friends Alyssa, Beckie, and Tim. I know...you must think we are crazy, but we were so excited to introduce our new baby boy to people and thought it would be easier than having people over to our house with the dogs. It was so nice to see them and fun to show off Noah! When we got home, Ryan saw a special treat that my dad and Danette had waiting for me: caffeine free coke and grenadine to make CHERRY COKE! BOOYAH! So, I was upstairs getting settled in when he brought me a TALL, COLD, drink-till-your-throat-burns cherry Coke! It was GLORIOUS! Many people have asked about how the dogs have been, and they have been wonderful. When we walked in teh door, the dogs just smelled Noah but were really gentle. My dad and Danette had brought blankets and a gown home from the hospital so that they could get used to Noah's scent. They put everything on the puppys' bed, and let me just say...they have been there ever since. The dogs haven't tried to chew them up, hide them, or anything. Instead, they will go lay down on the bed and just put their faces on the clothing/blankets while they sleep. It is precious! We haven't had a since issue with either of them. If anything, they just like to watch us with Noah and then also watch over him when we aren't close by. Layla is so tall that she can put her head into his bassinette, which she does sometimes when he cries. It is so sweet! Sometimes Kya will growl or bark at Ryan and me a bit if Noah is crying while we hold him. I'm not sure exactly what she's trying to communicate, but I'd like to think it's more like, "You better take care of that kid!" than "Will you get him to be quiet already?!" Moral of the story is this...the dogs are adjusting very well, and we couldn't be more pleased with them.

My friends Beckie and Amanda made 12 meals for us at Dinner A Fare and Entree Vous, which each have their own menu from which you can choose your meals, prepare them, and freeze them for later use. It's WONDERFUL! This had been on my list of things to do, but when I really felt like things were going to happen with Noah sooner than later, I asked them to do it for me, andthey readily and happily agreed (Love you girls!!). Anyway, on top of those meals, Beckie has been organizing meals for Ryan and me for the next two weeks. It has been so helpful! Amanda brought us soup and cookies (GOODBYE GESTATIONAL DIABETES!!!) on Sunday night. She had also brought us milkshakes and rice krispie treats to the hospital. In her words, Amanda is the bomb-dot-com! Our friend Brittany brought us homemade vegetable beef soup, cookies, cherry Coke, and cheddar bread (YUM!) on Monday, which all tasted so great considering that Ryan and I both got head colds. Wednesday (this one is incredible) my friend Michella and her husband Tony are buying our dinner. Why is this so great?? Because they live in Massachussetts...so imagine my surprise and amazement that they were finding a way to help us out! They are getting us pizza and salad delivered from Donatos!!! Is that so thoughtful or what??? I would never have thought to do that in a million years. Beckie said there was an out-pour of people wanting to help make meals for us. Again, this is just another perfect example of how supportive our friends and family are to us! We are so thankful for everyone's generosity and appreciate these gestures more than you will ever know!!!

One last thing, and then I better get some sleep before Noah wakes up for his next feeding. Breastfeeding has been going really well so far! We did have a difficult start because Noah's latch wasn't very strong. After talking to a lactation consultant, she explained that he wasn't sticking out his tongue far enough to really make a good suction. So, she gave us a nipple shield to help him learn how to do it. This little silicone structure has been priceless! Noah is latching on so quickly and effortlessly now, and I feel really good about the amount of nourishment he is getting! Noah got an amazing start on life with taking in colostrum (
http://www.babycenter.com/404_whats-colostrum_8896.bc), and then my milk came in around midnight on Tuesday. YOWSERS!!! Yes, it is completely true what they say. People would tell me that you will know when your milk comes in, and they were right! With the colostrum, my chest was definitely fuller, but when my milk came in...WHOA! I suddenly had two large pieces of rock on my chest! Noah has been loving the milk and sleeping a little more soundly I think because he's just a little more satisfied now. My chest did hurt so bad yesterday afternoon that we had to break out the breast pump. Now that's a piece of machinery that will make you feel like a dairy cow!! But ahhh...the relief! I got 2 oz. from each side and called it a day! It was just enough to make things feel a little better until the next feeding.

Well, Noah somehow managed to kick out of his swaddle and is starting to cry. I'm going to go wrap up my baby burrito and hopefully get some sleep. More to come soon!

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