Meet Layla Grace Huffmier, born November 9, 2012 at 5:41 AM. She weighed 7 lbs., 9 oz., was 20 1/2 in. long, and was/is the most beautiful person I've ever seen!
So obviously a lot has happened since the last time I posted here. On March 2nd, Nate and I found out that I was pregnant with our first baby. We were absolutely thrilled! We had decided in November 2011 that we wanted to have a baby and little Layla was such a sweet answer to many, many prayers. For the first 18 weeks, Nate and I were both convinced that we were having a little boy. Then during our first visit to Dr. Smith, we found out that we were actually having a baby girl! We were definitely shocked but also overjoyed. We were finally able to call our baby by name- Layla Grace. I had a wonderful pregnancy and I loved just about every second of it! Even the "morning" sickness (which lasted ALL day) couldn't dampen my spirits when I remembered that I had our little one growing inside me! I just couldn't get over the fact that God had entrusted me with such an important, amazing role! The pregnancy flew right by (up until the last 3 weeks, which felt more like 3 months....I mean, come on already! I just wanted to cuddle my baby girl!) and soon enough, we found ourselves at the hospital looking at the most adorable baby ever, just laying on my chest, scrunching up her eyes because of the all of the lights in her bright new world.
I will probably type up more of Layla's birth story later, but what I really wanted to write about/remember right now is Layla's first month. She has changed so much already and I don't want to forget a single second of my time with her (not even the time that her diaper pretty much exploded in the car on a very long car ride to Orlando!).
So here are some of the changes I've noticed so far:
- Layla's hair has grown so much! I was completely shocked that she was born hair in the first place and now I can't believe how fast its growing! At first it was only growing longer/thicker in the back and I was starting to think she might end up with a baby mullet, but the top is also starting to grow now (woo hoo!). Plus, its getting redder and redder every day! YAY! It was a pretty dark brown at first but it keeps getting lighter and when the sunlight hits it, its nice and red (just like mine!)!
- Layla's eyelashes are about 3X as long as they were when she was born. She just barely had eyelashes at first and they were blonde so you could barely see them, but now they're nice and long and even a little bit darker. She looks so pretty and girly! :)
- Her eyebrows are getting darker, too. They were very blonde and hardly noticeable when she was born.
- Her eyes are getting lighter and are such a pretty shade of blue! Layla's eyes were super dark at first, but we're pretty sure that they're going to stay blue (again, just like her Mama's!). Her eyes might have my color, but she definitely has her Daddy's eyes. They are big and gorgeous and I love it when she stares at me.
- Her cheeks, her belly, and her thighs have all gotten much bigger in her first month! Nate joked that she would start filling in at her cheeks and end at her toes and that has been so true! Haha! Her cheeks filled in first, then belly, and now her thighs. She is just so darn cute!
- She has her Mama's feet, although they are big like her Daddy's. Let's just hope she grows into them! Haha! ;) She has the cutest tiny little blonde hairs on her toes and fingers, which she also gets from me (poor kid!).
- She now has an innie belly button- YAY!
- Layla has the cutest little lips. She often puckers them up into the tiniest little lips you've ever seen and makes such funny faces!
- Her nails grow sooo fast! I have to cut them every 2-3 days because they are razor-sharp and they grow back so fast. She tends to scratch her face when she's upset so we have to keep little mittens on her anytime we're not holding her so that she can't scratch herself if she gets fussy.
- Layla was pretty alert right from the very start, but now she is really alert. She is much better at focusing her eyes on people/objects. She still really likes to stare at light, whether its the lights in the house or the sunlight streaming in through the living room windows. She also makes eye contact for much longer periods of time now. I love just looking in her eyes while she cuddling with me! :)
- Layla has already learned her Mama and Daddy's voices!!! I just love it! She recognized Nate's voice shortly after birth (probably because he read lots and lots of bedtime stories to her while I was pregnant with her) and kept flicking her eyes in his direction while he was talking behind her a few hours after she was born. In the past week or so, we've noticed her turning her head to find my voice when she hears me talking as other people are holding her. It's so sweet and it pretty much melts my heart!
- She is soooo good at holding her head up! The day that we got home from the hospital, Layla lifted her head up from Nate's chest, held it up for a few seconds, and then turned it to the other side! She keeps getting better and better at it every day! She can now lift her head and hold it up for over a minute when she is laying on our chests. She can also lift her head and turn it while napping on her belly (no scolding, please! She only sleeps on her belly during the day when she is being supervised).
- Layla is so strong already. Its pretty much pointless to try to open her hands if she has them all curled up in fists. She can kick pretty hard, too. When she is fussy and we try to lay her on our chests, she will use her little legs to climb right up our chests if she doesn't want to lay that way.
- Layla is staring to smile more and more every day! At first, she only smiled when she was sleeping- mostly in the moments as she drifted off to sleep and as she started to slowly wake up from sleeping. Now she is starting to smile more throughout the day while she is awake. There have been two times when she has smiled in response to her Daddy playing with her feet! :)
- Layla's longest night so far has been 7 straight hours and it awesome! As long as we're home and we get her ready for bed before she falls asleep for the night, she usually has one 4-6 hour stretch and then a couple of 2-3 hour naps. She sleeps pretty good at night so far (definitely better than I expected for a newborn)!
- Layla is the most expressive baby ever! She makes such funny faces. She definitely keeps us laughing!
- Layla took to nursing right away and is already a pro at it! In fact, its pretty much her favorite thing to do. During the end of her 3rd week and now throughout her 4th week, nursing is just about the only way she can be comforted when she is upset. I've read that the constant desire to nurse is a pretty common phase for this time of life, so I guess its probably normal. Sometimes its tiring for me, but for the most part, I'm just thankful for the extra cuddle time with my baby.
- Our little girl absolutely loves to be cuddled! We've already spoiled her (or so it would seem), so she does not like being put in her swing or bouncy chair at this point. She would much rather be held and cuddled all day long. I know we have to let her have some tummy time and some time learning to be content on her own, but I really love cuddling, too! Some of my most favorite moments so far have been in the mornings when I bring her into our bed and we all cuddle together as a family. Layla is just so sweet and calm as she is waking up in the morning. She does the cutest little stretching routine ever, too! Her desire to be cuddled has also led to her hatred of laying or sleeping on her back. At this point, she sleeps in her carseat and I think she likes it better because its snug and makes her feel more secure. It also keeps her slightly inclined so she breathes better (she is usually somewhat congested, despite our efforts to use nose drops and the sucky-thingy on a daily basis).
- Layla loves music! She favorite way to go to sleep is to be rocked in the rocking chair and sung to. Nate's guitar music is also very soothing for her when she is upset.