Monday, March 29, 2010

I am eating this up!!! Can't get enough of her cuteness

And I am eating THEM up... Abby loves her baby sister so much already! What a blessing!!! They melt my heart more every day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


We had so many visitors the weekend after Charlotte was born (a week and a half ago already!! Time is FLYING by!). We are so blessed to have so much family so close by- in fact, right now ALL of our immediate family members live in Virginia! What a blessing!

Andy's grandparents and aunt and uncle came over with Bruce, Trisha and Chris on Saturday morning

This one is a little blurry, but I love it. Last time Chris drove all the way from Chicago to meet Abby- I'm so glad he only had to come from Williamsburg this time!!

My Uncle Jim, who lives in GUAM!!! just happened to be in Virginia Beach for the week for his work. I hadn't seen him in over ten years- is it not such a display of God's providence that Charlotte was born while he was in town? We had a sweet little family reunion once my Mom came in town (he his her younger brother). It will be so fun to see him again this summer when the whole Lentz gang gets together in Minnesota.

My Dad came in on Saturday as well (and brought Settlers with him, of course!!)

I don't know who was more excited to see him- me, or Abby. She LOVES her Papa, especially when he watches Elmo videos with her!!

Dan and Katie came on Sunday for the day.

Always the goofball, how I love him!

How sweet are they?? Abby loves her Aunt and Uncles so much!! I can't wait to watch Charlotte enjoying them as much as she does.

My best friend Cara came on Friday and stayed for the weekend. I could never adequately express how much she means to me and to our family. She is a calming presence, a helping hand (I think she must have washed every single dish we own multiple times while she was here!), a generous giver, and more than a friend, she is my sister. The only thing that got me through her leaving us on Sunday was knowing my Mom would be here for the next week!! I think I would have had a mental breakdown if they had left at the same time!!

And of course, my Mom came on Thursday, packed and ready to stay for a week to help us out. I think she must have read about 1,000 books to Abby while she was here.

We are so thankful for our wonderful family who surrounded us with so much love and help after Charlotte was born!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It hit me just a minute ago. What today is. March 21st.
A year ago today, we lost our second baby. A year ago today, everything I used to believe about family planning, and bearing children, and loss and grief came crashing down around me. 8 months of trying for number two were lost, along with my hopes of having my children no more than two years apart (because this, I believed, was the BEST way to have children, and what all the best mothers did, right?).
We grieved. We prayed. We healed. My dreams of having more children had not died with that baby, and the thought of waiting any longer than necessary to start trying again was unbearable, so in the midst of the grief, we started praying, hoping, and trying for another one.
And four months later, we found out we were pregnant again. With Charlotte. My sweet, perfect, beautiful baby girl whom I hold in my arms right now, snuggled close and smelling so sweet.
It does not escape my mind the fact that if not for that loss, we would never have had her.
I am so thankful for her. And yet, I am not glad we lost our baby. I know that our baby is where I ultimately want her to be, but it doesn't change the fact that I would rather her be here, with us, now. I want all three of my babies here with me now. It's an interesting place to be- and I'm not sure I can really wrap my mind or my heart around it. What does it mean to be both so sad about something, and yet so thankful for it, in the same moment? I see all the things the Lord has done- in my heart, in our marriage, in our family- in the past year, things that would not be if it had not been for our loss, and I am so grateful for the way He works. For the way He takes the mess of this world and makes it beautiful. For the way He brings life where there was once death. For the way He redeems our sufferings, and gives them meaning and purpose. For the way He works ALL things for good. Every. Single. Thing.
Charlotte will always be a reminder of this for me. The same way that Abby is always a reminder to me about how much He loves me- how He rejoices over me with His love (her name means "Father in Rejoicing"). Charlotte will always be a reminder to me that He knows best. That though "weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."
Which is way "her" passage is Psalm 30. I read this passage when I was about 25 weeks along with Charlotte, and after a long night of worrying that something would be wrong with her (does every mother have those??). It was a sweet reminder that the Lord held her in his hands, and of all the good things He had been doing in the past months. How good He is to us.

Psalm 30
I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit.
Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

When I felt secure, I said,
"I will never be shaken."

O LORD, when you favored me,
you made my mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
To you, O LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
"What gain is there in my destruction,
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
O LORD, be my help."
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Charlotte's Birth

Charlotte's timing could not have been more perfect. My brother Matt had come into town the night before for a few days of his spring break, and on Wednesday his girlfriend Becca came down for the night as well. One of the things I had been concerned about was going into labor in the middle of the night, knowing it was probably going to go pretty quickly, and having to call someone to come stay with Abby. Isn't it just so like our God to provide for us in such a tangible, practicle way by having Charlotte come on the one night that there would be not only one, but two very capable people staying over to watch Abby?

I had been having sporadic contractions all day- none regular but still more painful than Braxton Hicks, so we thought it would be a good idea to take a few last shots of my pregnant belly before she was born. Good thing we did!

Around 10:30 my contractions all of a sudden were 4 minutes apart and about a minute long, so we started timing them (yay for Andy's itouch, just another reason we are crazy about Apple!!), and gathered our things to head to the hospital.

We spent the next hour and a half going back and forth about whether or not it was the real thing- "should we go in? but what if they go away as soon as we get there? what if we have 10 more hours of this- I would rather labor at home as long as possible, but Abby was only four hours so maybe we should go in...."
We finally left for the hospital around 12:15 and got checked into our room at 12:45.

And good thing we went when we did. Charlotte was born just two hours after arriving, at 2:48am!

Just like with Abby, we both fell in love with Charlotte instantly. We were struck by how much she looks like Abby when she was born, even down to the tiny stork bite on her forehead! I'll have to post some side-by-side photos of them.

We got to rest for a few hours before the family started coming in to meet Charlotte. Abby was really excited to meet her, and kept jumping up on the bed to get a better look into the bassinet.

Look at that face! She is so proud!!!

Here Trisha was showing her Charlotte's belly button. Ever since Abby has been very concerned about Charlotte's "boo boo beddy button."

Classic Abby! She was so jazzed up from having so many of her favorite people around!

This is one of my favorites- check out Abby in the background! Andy was trying to capture a tender moment, and Abby thought he was trying to get a picture of her! Haha I love it!!

Nothing like some snuggles with my biggest girl. Who instantly went from looking small and tiny to looking like a gigantic monster to me!! She is constantly on the go, so I have to grab these moments whenever I can.

Trisha, Bruce and Andy's brother Chris came to see us almost right away. How great to have them so close by!!

My Mom came in town later that afternoon, ready to stay for the next week!!

And she brought the yummiest, most beautiful cup cakes I have ever seen!!

Matt and Becca were our lifesavers- they were exhausted, from the excitement of the night before and staying up, waiting for the phonecall announcing her arrival, and then having to get up early when Abby woke up. How special to have had them be part of such a big moment in our lives!

Becca quickly became Abby's new favorite person, as she let Abby try out every single piece of makeup in her bag.

Charlotte's birth was as amazing as Abby's was. I was afraid that no other birth could live up to my experience with Abby, but this one was no less emotional, miraculous, overwhelming, or amazing. It was a totally different experience- Abby was induced, in the middle of the day, lots of friends and family already in town, lots of nurses and my doctor in the room, and medicated. This time we had the excitement of rushing to the hospital in the middle of the night, only a nurse and my midwife in the room with us, and no time for an epidural. It was neat for me to see that no matter how a baby comes into the world, no birth is any more or less amazing & special than another.
And my take on "going natural"?? There is a reason the anesthesiologist gets paid so much for administering an epidural!! All I can say is, "OUCH. FREAKIN OUCH!"

Friday, March 12, 2010

Charlotte Kathryn

And I was worried it couldn't possibly be as amazing as the first time...

Thursday 3/11 at 2:28am, 7lb 8oz, 20 1/2 inches long.

Falling in love all over again...

Monday, March 8, 2010


We are now only ONE week away from baby girl's due date. And it's official- we are going to name her Charlotte! We are still deciding on her middle name, but more on that later...
The past three weeks my doctors have consistently told me that she would be coming "soon, and quick," due to how fast Abby's delivery was (4 1/2 hours!!), and how much I have already "progressed." Not helpful. There is still so much unknown, and it has been a really different experience for me to wait to go into labor. With Abby I got to pick the date and the doctor and though I didn't know what to expect with labor, I knew I would at least be able to be fresh and showered and have my bags packed before she arrived. This time around I wake up every morning wondering "will today be the day?" And each night when I climb into bed I think "tonight is the night!!" Yeah, this is how most people have babies, I know. It's just new for me. What makes it even more fun is thinking about what it would be like to go into labor during the day, by myself, with Abby underfoot. During a temper tantrum. And a dirty diaper. See where my mind goes?
Anyways, in the meantime, while we wait, I have been getting everything ready- washing and folding clothes, burp cloths, and blankets, getting her bassinet all set up, making lists... I have also been really enjoying each extra day I have with Abby, trying to spend some extra moments reading together, having tea parties, coloring, singing, or whatever she wants to do- because I know that my attention is going to be divided once Charlotte comes. It will be good for her, but also hard. So I've been getting some extra snuggles in whenever she lets me.

Here are some shots of my 39-week belly that Andy took of me the other day.

And a few from this past weekend, we went to First Landing State Park to walk and enjoy the nice sunshine.

Hopefully our next post will be of our new addition....

In Abby's words, "come on, Sha-wit!! No more cookin!" (she says that Charlotte is "cookin" right now... haha)