letters to henry: 3 months old.

Monday, April 28, 2014


my little henry,

Sometimes on nights like this where I take you up to bed to nurse you asleep, just you and me, and I can't help but think back to 3 months ago when you were born and how all I wanted to do was hold you like I'm holding you now. With you in the NICU and myself, in the hospital for a short time after that, it felt like that "normal" life that I always wanted with you would never come. But look, here we are, you and me together, finally nothing is holding us back and I realize just how blessed and lucky I am to be your mother. And to hold you. And to kiss your sweet little cheeks and nose. And to watch your eyes flutter as you dream your sweet dreams. I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to witness you growing and playing, making sounds and smiling that big gummy smile of yours and to watch your eyes light up each time you see your daddy or me. I love being able to nurse you and share that bond with you, even though it hasn't been easy, I cherish that time I have with you where you really need me. You will never need me more than you do right now, and I'm truly trying to appreciate and soak in each and every moment. Not to mention that look you give me when we lay down and snuggle in bed as I nurse you, is a look that is forever engrained in my mind. Those big blue eyes, which I am so proud to say you got from me. And the way those eyes, look into mine, the way only a mother and baby can share, and then you stop what you are doing and give me your purest smile, which always leads into you trying your hardest to talk and express your happiness to me in the only words and sounds you know, such as your beloved "ah goo" or "ah gaa". And then you pause, just to make sure I heard and understood you, before you start again. I'd like to think I know exactly what your saying. We get each other, you and I. We may have only been together for 3 months but I believe that we've known each other far longer than that. I have no doubt in my mind that you were meant to be mine, just as I was meant to be yours. You are my sweet boy, and always will be.

Love always, your mama.

*letters to henry 2 months & 1 month & 2 weeks 

letters to henry: 2 months old.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


my little henry,

Because of you I have experienced the best two months of my life. As cheesy as it might sound (and prepare yourself, because your mama is and will always be on the cheesy side) you have made my dreams come true. Being a mother was always my dream, and being your mother has been that and so much more. In these past two months you have grown so much. At your doctor's appointment you weighed 9 lbs and 13.5 oz and were 22 1/2 inches long. You are even starting to sport a very dapper double chin-- which means I must be doing something right! My favorite moment has to be in the mornings when we nurse and nap together. In between all that eating and sleeping you are one happy guy-- who wouldn't be! You are smiling all the time, especially when you see me or your dad (which makes us feel really good, so keep it going!) and also for some reason the blinds in our house. In fact your daddy said his favorite thing about you at this age is how you give him the biggest grin, when you first see him after he has been at school and work all day. I also love our singing time which has been very heavily disney influenced. The other day I sang you one of your songs, "Baby Mine", and you loved it. It happens to be a very special song to your mama because that is the song that your great-grandma sang to me every night she was with me, and I plan to keep that tradition going, just hopefully next time I'll be able to get through the whole song without being a baby myself. Henry, after 2 months I can finally say we are starting to find our groove, during the day and during the night. You still aren't the best sleeper (okay, your actually still not great) but we have found things that have worked for us that have made things much much better. For example having your daddy-- who is the master swaddler-- swaddle you right before bed each night is a must as well as having you sleep next to me which has made our night time feeding much more enjoyable for all parties, all while being serenaded by classical music which you love. Really I have discovered that the key to motherhood (or parenthood) is to do what works for you and your child. Because it will be different for everyone, and I'm so glad we've found what works for us. Life is so incredibly good with you here. And I know I've said it before, but I'll say it forever, I love being your mother.

Love always, your mama

valentines day.

Friday, February 28, 2014


we hope you all had a lovely and happy valentines day. 

We loved our day of love in our house. I loved having two valentines this year and getting my favorite german pancake breakfast in bed with flowers, Henry loved getting his very first valentine + v-day present (thanks grandma! -- how did you know we loved stripes!), and Tanner and I celebrated our first Valentines Day with a baby in style: 
a lá P.F Changs take-out and redbox. 

It was perfect. Our kind of perfect. I'm kinda really in love with my life at this moment, I just want to capture it in a bottle so that I can relive it as many times as I want. Do you know that feeling? I hope so, cause boy is it a good one. 

letters to henry: 1 month old.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


my little henry,

You are one month old! You are growing so much. You weighed in at 8 lb. 1 oz at your one month check up and are healthy as ever (way to go dude!). Your squishy little newborn face is almost gone which makes this mama sad, but at the same time look at what a beautiful baby boy you are becoming. Your dad and I hope you don't get too full of your baby self because all we can do is say what a beautiful baby you are about a million times a day. So in case you need to hear it again, Henry, you are one beautiful baby. You are becoming such an active little fellow. You love to kick your legs like no ones business and wiggle whenever you can. You never stay still, so it's quite a feat when we get photos of you without a blurred leg here or a blurred arm there. Henry, you amaze us every day. You are starting to smile! Yes, it's very random and inconsistent but every day you are smiling more and we can't get enough of it. You have some cute quirks too, like your "fake" cry which just attests that you are one dramatic little guy who is too smart for your own good. But our favorite is whenever you sneeze, the little sigh that accompanies it right after. There is no cuter sound, and whenever we hear a sneeze come from your direction, the whole house goes silent in anticipation of the most adorable noise ever heard. We hope you never grow out of that one. In fact, just stay this little forever ok? 

Henry, you are one loved little boy. Just in case you didn't know already.

Love always, your mama

letters to henry: 2 weeks old.


my little henry,

Since your first week of life was spent in the hospital, your second week was heaven for us. It finally felt just like it should be. You were finally home! The day after we brought you home, when I had to leave you to stay at the hospital to get healthy myself, it broke my heart. But your Dad and Grandma took such good care of you. When I got home I felt like everyone knew more about you than I did, but you were so patient with me and before we knew it we found our groove. And oh how I loved finally being able to be your Mom. I loved seeing you hold onto your ears and snuggle in bed next to us. I loved the fact that you would immediately stop crying when ever I started singing, and that when I sang "my favorite things" your dreaded hiccups would magically disappear. I already love looking back to your first bath at home, and how frantic your dad and I were. 

You were just so fragile and teeny. And it already breaks my heart that you've grown so much already. But I also love seeing you grow into your own little personality which was already so apparent from our first moments with you. You are one stubborn little guy (which you get from both of your parents) and you are just so sweet and love to be held as close as can be. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Love always, your mama 

meet henry: our nicu experience.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

If I could sum up the hardest part of having my baby boy in the NICU, this picture above would explain it all. This picture was taken two hours after I delivered Henry, and they wheeled me to the NICU to see him for a few minutes. This was the first time, of many, that I would see him hooked up to all his wires and IV's. Thankfully he was off his CPAP at the time so I didn't see him with the large tube up his nose that he has on in the pictures below. I don't think my heart could take it. He looked so helpless and as his mama, I wanted to do all I could to take it all away and just hold him close. But I couldn't. So not only was he helpless, but I was as well, and during our 8 day stay in the NICU this was one of the hardest things for me to deal with. 

But the hardest was not knowing entirely if our baby boy was going to be okay. From the moment Henry was born (as I described in this post) with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice and his lack of crying, he had some problems breathing. And this was the only problem they thought he had. So as they took him to the NICU to hook him up to a CPAP, we thought he would only be there for a couple of hours. Once we got set up in the mother and baby wing though, we just kept waiting for them to bring him in. They would call us and say he needed a few more hours, and then once those hours had passed they would call again and say he needed to stay for a few more hours. Needless to say, that first night was the longest night for me. All you new mamas out there can attest, that once your baby is finally here all you want to do is be close to them. And that night especially, as I laid there waiting for my baby, it felt like a part of me was missing. 

After multiple disappointing phone calls that night from the NICU saying that our baby boy was still in the danger zone and not ready to be discharged from the NICU, early the next morning we finally got a phone call with some good news--that we could come and see our Henry and start breastfeeding! But of course the good news stopped there. We were told that Henry's blood sugar was dangerously low. A normal blood sugar level for a new baby is in the mid 50's and Henry's blood sugar level was an 8. So the road to getting his blood sugar up was a long one, but after weening him off his IV, he was eventually able to hold his blood sugar level up on his own. We were so proud of our little man. 

But after two days in the NICU, we had another curveball thrown at our little family. I was being discharged from the hospital that night, and we had been told that Henry was doing well and would probably be able to come home with us. We were beyond thrilled. But that same afternoon, we were told that they had run a test on Henry and the results had come back, and they weren't good. It showed that Henry had an infection. 

Up to this point, we had taken this experience relatively well. Tanner was strong, no surprise there. But surprisingly, I was too. Because up to this point, Henry's problems were calculated. They knew what was wrong and how to fix it. But with these test results, it was unknown what kind of infection he had. That uncertainty mixed with the sudden realization that my baby boy might not be okay, broke me. As I stood there in the NICU looking at my sweet baby with wires all around him and IV's in his little hand, foot, and head; hearing the nurse tell us the news, I lost any strength I previously had. Thankfully, I had the strength of my family around me and the peace of priesthood blessings given by my loving husband and sweet dad that Henry would be okay. 

That night I was discharged from the hospital. Tanner and I were forced to return home to sleep, without our baby. I was deflated, but we knew Henry was in good hands. We returned to the hospital bright and early for Henry's morning feeding and experienced a tender mercy. We ran into the head Doctor of the NICU, who is a family friend, and he decided to take Henry on as a patient. He explained that they would put Henry on 7 days of multiple antibiotics, just to be safe, as to be sure to kill whatever infection Henry might have. Hearing him explain to us his plan of action and that Henry would soon be as healthy as can be, strengthened this mama's heart. 

The tender mercies kept coming after that. The next day, Sunday, I was able to partake of the sacrament in the parent's lounge with a few nurses and my mom. A sweet elderly man blessed the sacrament while his darling wife spoke only the most tender of words, that my Heavenly Father knew I needed to hear. I again felt strengthened. We were blessed yet again that day when we were told they had a room for us to stay and sleep in, just down the hall from Henry. I was able to stay in that room for the rest of Henry's stay in the NICU, with my Mom and Tanner switching off staying with me during the night, to help me with Henry's night feedings. I was so blessed with help and strength from my family and with no doubt, strength from above. But most importantly with the health of my baby boy. He had the best doctors and the sweetest nurses. The NICU truly was a community of the best people, and we will always be grateful to them for taking care of our Henry.   

After 8 days in the NICU, Henry proved to all of us that he was indeed a fighter. His breathing issues had disappeared entirely, his blood pressure was up to a normal level, and any signs of infection were gone. 

^^ My awesome husband was so loving during this whole experience. He made the hospital a party (as much as it could be) as we frequented the surprisingly yummy hospital cafeteria together daily and had a sushi party in our hospital room for his 25th birthday. He makes hard moments like these good, and good moments even better.

^^ Such a handsome little boy, even with the IV in his head...which was one of the saddest things for me.

^^ I could not have gotten through those first few weeks of hospitals without this beautiful and strong woman. My Mom was there for me the whole entire time. Crying with me when I needed it and being strong for me when I needed. Those nights she stayed with me in the hospital, although with not so perfect circumstances, those "sleepovers" will always be some of my most precious memories of my Mom and I.

^^ Henry got spoiled in the NICU. With the endless attention from his awesome nurses and riding in his most favorite mammaroo, we weren't sure he really wanted to leave. 

^^ Bringing our baby boy home with us was the best day! No words can describe my joy.

^^ I can't tell you how excited I was to be home with my precious baby. Just seeing him right next to me in his bassinet during the night was something I ached for during those 8 days in the hospital. 

Unfortunately, that next morning I woke up with a fever of 103, the chills, and was frankly delirious. My Mom took me to my Doctor where they did a couple tests and within minutes told me I needed to go check into the hospital. They put me into the tiniest hospital room and hooked me up to 4 different antibiotics. I was devastated. I just wanted to be near my baby. I can't tell you how badly I just wanted to bust out of that joint. Especially, since we thought we had said goodbye to that hospital for good, just the day before. Well the verdict was in, I had an infection in my uterus. Fun. But with lots and lots of prayers and priesthood blessings, I thankfully only had to stay in the hospital 2 days. 

I'll admit, it was really hard to count my blessings during those two days. All I could think was, REALLY? I guess they are right when they say, "when it rains, it pours." But I guess Heavenly Father just really wanted to make sure I appreciated being home with my baby and being a Mom. Let me tell you, I will never again take one snuggle for granted. No matter how utterly exhausted I may be. 

I am truly so grateful though for modern medicine. It is a crazy  (and scary) thought to think just 100 years ago, both mine and Henry's experiences could have ended a lot differently. If I have learned anything from those crazy weeks, is to never take anything for granted and to always be grateful.

I feel so blessed to be living my dream life--to be a mom to a beautiful boy. I am so grateful I was chosen to be little Henry's mama and I always will be. And hey, life is soooo incredibly good now in comparison. It's all up from here, right? 

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