Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gabriel's first week

Back in the day, when we were trying to come up with a name for this baby, our five year old Sammy suggested that we call him "The Peaceful Noodle."  Well, I don't mind telling you that his innocent suggestion made us laugh, alot, and we DID call the resident neonate "the Noodle."
Now that he's here, we still call him The Peaceful Noodle at times....because....well, he's a fairly calm newborn and sometimes he's just downright...noodle-y.  Let me stop and confess something right here and now.  This morning, Jeff and I took ourselves to church.  Alone.  Just he, and I, and the baby.  The kids are still struggling with colds and some of them have earaches, so we left the big ones in charge and went by ourselves.  It felt very odd and quite cavalier, to be so alone - two adults, with one wee child.

We settled ourselves in the back row, in two chairs near the aisle so I could leave if the baby awoke and demanded that it was time to eat.  During one of the songs a sweet lady came up to say "congratulations" and look at the baby.  She asked me all sorts of difficult questions, such as, "Is it a boy or a girl?"  (I thought it was obvious, with the blue shirt with a train on it and brown pants - but really, with a baby, who can tell?)  I answered that question okay, and felt proud of myself.  I AM sleep deprived, after all.

The questions got harder.  "What day was he born?"  I knew this one, too.  October 7th, I confidently replied.  My poor, zoning brain began to wander around the room - and right when she asked me my baby's name, it left me completely.  Maybe it went out to where they serve coffee, mmm-hmmm?

"What's his name?"

To which, I drew a complete and utter blank.


I was grasping, calling out to my brain to return to me.  What was this kid's name?  Joseph?  Caleb?  I looked helplessly at Jeff, giving a weak "Ha Ha."

Fortunately, he covered for me.  I gave a little cough, as if something had lodged itself in my throat and I was unable to speak.  I'm sure I didn't fool anyone.

"Gabriel," he said.  His name is "Gabriel Joseph."

We turned around and had a great laugh into the noise of the music.  At least I didn't tell her his name was The Peaceful Noodle.  Ahem. 

I'll tell you - we've had a wonderful ten days since he's joined our family.  He's just loved.  Simply and profoundly loved.  I can't help but think that every child born into this world deserves to be surrounded by so much love.  It took so much work to get him here - babies are lots of effort and sacrifice  - but I am powerfully reminded that they are worth it.  A unique life, an individual, a chance for someone else to live and breathe and to "become," is always worth the work, the pain, the cost.

This journey we've been on since spring has been so hard, so arduous, so difficult, right up until his birth.  The day that I had Gabriel I had driven five hours and taken both of my parents in to see their surgeon (loading and unloading, helping my father with his broken hip up and down stairs, pushing a wheelchair, carrying his walker) and then grocery shopping, prescription drop off and pick up, banking, working in their garden, making sure they had all that they needed, etc.    In retrospect, I am so grateful to have made it home and to have my water break in the middle of the night rather than in the surgeon's office.  I have, for the most part, been able to enjoy a week and a half of a glorious baby-moon.  I've enjoyed it so much - getting to know and understand and anticipate the needs of this little individual.  I feel great, too (other than that little sleepy brain blip thing I had going this morning....) so relieved and so thankful that he is here and that we have reached this point in all of the surgeries and healing processes.  (I don't think that I ever mentioned here that my father's joint replacement didn't go so well - his hip was broken in the process.  What was supposed to be a very brief heal time turned into at least seven weeks of no weight bearing.  My mother still struggles with a lot of pain in her knee replacement, as well, in fact, we have an appointment to check that out tomorrow.)  But at least we are this far down the road.  The sun is shining, and Gabe was the prize we were able to hold at the end of the marathon.  And yes - it really DOES feel like it was a marathon.

Forgive the self-conscious look.  I do not like having my picture taken, but know that I should for the sake of family history.

And so, life goes on in our big and noisy family. We know that we have been blessed.  Once again, we look forward to the days to come.

Wishing you all much peace -



  1. So beautiful, Holly!! And I mean both of you!!!

  2. You and Gabriel are just beautiful, Holly!!! Love the story of forgetting his name. Too cute.

  3. Hi Holly!

    I think it's amazing that you only gained 9 pounds, and had such a good-sized (beautiful) baby!

    I let Andy surprise me with our last baby's name. We didn't know the gender, and I had no clue what Andy was considering for a name! So I forgot her name alot in the beginning :) He chose Kirsten Bridget, and we call her "Kirstie".

  4. Aww, you both look so beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing. Enjoy these precious days of newborness...I'm sure you would agree with each one they become even more so.


  5. Holly,
    I'm so thankful little Gabriel is in your arms at last. Whew! What a wild ride you had this summer!

    He does indeed look peaceful and noodle-y. :)
    And you look beautiful, friend...if a little dazed. (grin)
    The adventure continues.

    Hey, we have another thing in common--the same bookshelves.
    Love the pictures. Praying for downtime for all of you and a cuddly winter.
    Love and hugs from Utah,

  6. Holly - I am so happy, happy, happy for y'all! Gabe is such a little doll! And you look lovely (and fit!).

  7. We were away this past week and you have been on my mind all day. I just knew you must have had the baby. I love the name!! Gabe was looking over my shoulder when I told him that little baby is Gabriel. I simply can't count the number of times someone has asked me a "difficult question" and my brain gets locked up. He is very beautiful. Enjoy that reward.

  8. Have followed your blog for a while. Hadn't checked in for a while and found out all of this stuff that has been happening and that you were expecting as well! Congratulations! My youngest is almost 2 and I will be 46 next month. I love the time that I had with all mine and I'm sure you are enjoying the baby stage. Blessings to you!

  9. I'd take that "peaceful noodle" over a bowl of Ramen any day. ;)

    He is so pretty, Holly, and you look wonderful! I am so happy for you, for all of you. :)

  10. Hey Holly -
    When Kara was only a couple weeks old I was rocking her and I called her Kayla only to be corrected by the 5 year old who said "what did you call her?" Good grief - I only had two kids names to remember so don't feel bad about forgetting number nine's! Hope all is going well.

    Tami Stramer