fourth trimester

“Meeting you was like listening to a song for the first time and knowing it would be my favorite.”

The fourth trimester. These first three months with Indra were pretty incredible. After that first month at home we took her out into the world. Okay, maybe not the world but our little corner of it, and it was exciting. Everything was a new adventure to be experienced for the first time. We were reminded how the world looks through a child’s eyes. We introduced Indra to our family and friends and complete strangers. It took some getting used to, having random people stopping to chat all the time – but I’ve come to love it. What ground is more common and an immediate connection than children.img_0993img_0765Indra's first month (3)-1IMG_0926-1Indra's first month (2)-1Indra's first month (5)-1Indra's first month (10)-1
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Our first foray out in a month – celebrating my birthday with a cafe, walk along the river and a trip to Target.

img_8535img_8538img_8545Going to lunch with Nana and Papa.img_8591One month old – how can that be?img_9807-1img_0948img_9562-1-collage-1After two weeks of paternity leave Ezra went back to work. There are ideal jobs and then, drag-yourself-out-of-bed-with-dread jobs. This job was the latter. So we were giddy with joy when, serendipitously, the opportunity to leave came. Yes, we were a little nervous to have a new baby and both be unemployed. But we are masters of frugality, and also, if there ever is a time to use credit cards, now was that time. The next month-and-a-half had its stress while Ez looked for a new role, but most mornings he’d spend a couple hours with Indra and let me sleep. He could actually be home for dinners and the weekends were mostly ours. It was beautiful how the timing happened. Those days were fleeting and precious. The memories are already a little hazy, but were so special, and we were lucky to have so much time together.img_8571Celebrating Ez’s 40th with family, bars, breweries and a walk.
img_0975img_8602 img_8610Daddy’s girlimg_8620 img_8632-collageSo many hours spent looking at this sweet face.
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img_1012First time walking along the trail to the grocery store. Only a minimal amount of crying. It felt like a mom win! img_1015This was the first time it felt like she was holding onto me. It deserved a grainy picture, right?img_1017-1img_8654Wanting desperately to remember all her sweet and silly faces.img_1021-collageimg_8656img_8661 img_1072-movEverything Indra did was important to us. At a week we were surprised when she found her thumb and started smiling. We gave her her first bath around three weeks. I noticed she started touching me more while nursing and pushing off of me with her little feet. We tried a pacifier but to no avail. We would continue trying and she would continue to resist. Then there was the bottle, which like the pacifier, was met with skepticism. Why take a bottle when you can get it straight from the tap?img_1074At about four weeks we thought we saw her first real awake smile. Followed by a steady stream that seems to never stop.
img_1088Except for when it does!img_8707-collage img_1091img_8713-collageLabor Day at the beach with family.
img_8723Happy little Buddha baby.img_1099So many precious hours spent holding and rocking this little being.
img_8768img_8786-collageWatching her puffins.img_1121 img_1128Our attempt to keep her warm while bathing always made her look a little like a friar or Leonardo da Vinci. She didn’t seem to mind.img_8754-collageGoing out as a family I felt proud and happy, and slightly overwhelmed figuring out all the ins-and-outs of parenting… and all this baby gear. There was a bit of anxiousness navigating the new role, but like anything, it just took a little time to gain confidence.  We started venturing a little further afield.img_8836img_8840img_1141

We discovered that she really didn’t like the being in the carseat. Perhaps there is nothing more stressful for a new mom than not having the ability to immediately pick up their crying baby. I would frantically pull over and get in the backseat to nurse, and start sobbing too. If there’s one goal I have, it’s for Indra to trust me. When she needs me, I always want to be available and present. This foundation is built young. What this means in terms of my actions, will of course morph over the years. However, right now, when she cries – I respond. 
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img_1140Every baby is so different and we were learning about ours.img_8879She has a spirit that immediately struck us as special (we are unabashedly biased). She was so aware right from the moment she arrived. Being a first time mom you don’t know what makes your baby unique, you don’t have anything to compare it to. Everyone who meets her, or just walks by for that matter, stops and comments on how aware she is. How could she be so young and taking everything in that way? She is a sweet little girl that would prefer to be held at all times, snuggling in, touching and smiling up at you. She has a smile for everyone – it’s an automatic reflex. Even when overly tired – if you smile at her, she will reward you with one back. Except when in the aforementioned carseat, of course.

img_8888 Walking with auntie Jill and Levi.img_1197img_8898-collageimg_9134I hadn’t given a ton of thought to what our sleeping arrangement would be, but our little snuggler decided for us. And we would resume “the position” every nap and every night.

img_9151img_9157img_9174 img_9172Two months!
img_9256First Annual Apple Orchard trip.IMG_9720img_9744img_9358-collageimg_9393img_9794img_9406At about six weeks we noticed her cooing and babbling, and we thought we heard her laugh in her sleep. She was getting strong and already trying to sit up in her chair and holding her head up. She’s started following people with her eyes. We started hearing her laugh – all the time. She’s so happy. 
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img_9420img_9437img_1291She started experimenting with her sounds and likes having conversations. She babbles, I talk, then she babbles some more. She cries less, and instead, is using different sounds to try and express what she wants. She resists tummy-time so we started working on it more. A baby cobra started to emerge – although mastery is still far off. img_1311-collageA possible role for Ez at the Mayo Clinic had us heading to Rochester to check out the town. I prepared for the arduous journey with new carseat bling and putting on a brave face. We had an interlude with horrible gasping sobs and me on the side of the highway bouncing my baby. Indra – 1; Parents – 0.

img_1350img_1348img_9487img_9491Every morning Ez would take a picture of Indra before heading out for work or a job interview. We are usually assuming the position.img_9499img_9526So much love from her cousins!img_9532Levi reminiscing about his baby days.img_9536Our two year wedding anniversary was spent sharing our birth story with the new birth class. I may have rambled, shared too much information and teared up. Maybe, but who’s to say? We followed this up with drinks and apps… and our two-year-old frozen wedding cake that my parents wanted out of their freezer.
img_9548img_9553img_9556A former boss offered Ezra a position in Alexandria. With a new baby who hates the car, why not keep considering jobs so far away? Trying to prepare and avoid the inevitable cries – I spend a good half hour getting Indra to sleep before we set out. My initial reaction to the job in Alex, “no.”

img_9561But it was pretty on this perfect fall day. And the job ended up being low-stress and family friendly, which ended up with a “yes.”img_9568 img_9569-collageAnother beautiful fall day before the winter hits. A walk along the path to get coffee, the bookstore and pizza. This will forever stay in my mind as one of life’s perfect days.img_1394img_9578Facetime with grandma and grandpa.img_9582img_9617-collageSo happy!img_9687-collageDebate parties with the Bjorholm/Eash clan.img_9753-collageimg_1444-collageAt about 12 weeks we saw Indra grab her feet and started laughing when I would nuzzle her neck and belly. It seems like she was trying to touch me now and would watch my mouth. Occasionally she wouldn’t cry in the car and that felt like a milestone, and also like she was growing up. Getting ready to shop with Nana.img_1448img_9890Heading to Stillwater for the Harvest Fest. Really we just want to see the huge pumpkin get smashed.
img_9902img_9922img_9949-collageimg_9973img_9983She started getting really good at entertaining herself. She’d play under her gym, once I noticed she was under there for almost an hour. She loved her zebra, and it looked like she actually started holding it. She loved watching me eat. Eating pineapple became the most fascinating thing. It’s like all of a sudden her eyes really opened. She noticed Diesel and the feathers moving over her changing table. She grasped at things I’d give her.

img_1474img_1494img_0026img_1478img_1503Looking back at these pictures I’m struck by how fast this all went. How aware and very young she was. How her silly personality and calm disposition and serious intensity started to become apparent.img_1517Not quite ready to retire the bassinet. Even though she hardly slept in it (and outgrew it fast), I’m not quite ready for her to be so grown up.img_0042No toys? Well, here’s a pinecone.img_1535img_0050img_0056-2Three month pictures. A little tired so smiles were harder to come by.img_0070Until we lost the pants!img_0080Mom life = blowouts and forgetting extra clothes.img_0083Pumpkin-patching.img_0088Three-months – such a big girl!  img_1555Already nostalgic for these early days.img_0283-collageimg_1554This pretty much sums up the magical fourth trimester.img_9562

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