A short update for everyone. Two prayer requests, first for Melanie. As many of you know (and I’m learning), newborn feedings take a long time. (I’m also learning about newborn messy diapers, wow! :), but I digress.) When you do this every three hours, you get very little sleep in between. Melanie is already “over-doing,” but I’m concerned she’ll really, really, overdo. So, please pray for her.
Second, naturally is Abigail. She is doing well. She’s a sweet baby girl. She didn’t nurse quite as well today; I think because her formula supplements, to guard against dehydration, are a little high. Please pray that her nursing will stay good and that Melanie’s body cooperates and works well. No major health issues/crisis from last night or today – PTL!
As I left the NICU a few moments ago, they were working on a sick newborn. The dad, in his mid-20s, was standing there watching his baby being worked on . . .Â it was pretty overwhelming. I’ve been there, done that. It brought back so many memories but also such gratefulness that we are not retracing those steps with Abigail. Guarding against fear is a challenge, but God is giving grace day by day.
Melanie’s mom is with us and doing a great job of helping out. We are grateful for her time investment in us and little Abigail.
Abigail and Daddy: Abigail is now in her crib!
49 thoughts on “Abigail Hope 1.3”
Continued prayer for Melanie. I hope she feels some peace and feels rested soon. I know it must be difficult to feel rested when your up every three hours. Been there! It does get better.
Sara S. and family
Praying,Praying that Abigail will be avid nurser, Melanie will heal quickly,and all the natural mother things just fall into place. I know God is holding you all, and will give you strength. Your lives/post are such a wonderful testimony for Christ.
Abigail is a beautiful name. We are so happy for you all. We are still praying for you all. We hope you get to take your duaghter home soon. God bless you all!!!
Jeff & Angel
My twins were born at 34 wks 2 days. Don’t be alarmed at the nursing. They were really up & down, but as they got older, it got stronger ( some days they barely got any milk from me & all from the tube & other days they nursed quite well). Just keep persisting – my boys came home after only 2 weeks in the nursery & they were fully breast feeding by then. Keep expressing to bring your milk in Melanie. You are all in our prayers ( Oh & getting rest helps bring in your milk – but it is hard when your little sweetie is away from you).
Congratulations on Miss Abigail Hope, she is just beautiful! Continued prayers for Melanie, Abigail and Nathan as you adjust to becoming a family of three;) What a wonderful blessing from the Lord!
mom to 6 in PA
Praying for Melanie’s recovery and that Abagail may very soon be off the formula feeding so that nursing can really take hold. Praising God for how well she is doing and what a great birth weight she had!
Nathan and Melanie:
Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. This brings back memories because my youngest baby will be ten years old tomorrow, the 21st. She was born at 35 weeks, weighing 4 lbs., 9 oz., and spent 3 weeks in the NICU, so this recent picture brings back memories. Had Abigail been born on Monday, she would have been born on my 50th birthday :).
May God continue to bless your family, and you will be in my prayers.
Praise God that your prayer requests are of the nature they are, very typical for new mama’s and babes.
The c-section may delay Melanie’s milk coming in and newborns often need time (and lots of it) to become efficient nursers. Our little grandson is now 7 weeks old and it was only in the last couple of weeks mama and baby got it all finally figured out, but they did and now it’s pretty smooth sailing. So be encouraged!
And of course, I’ll be praying 🙂
What a beautiful picture from the two of you. Abigail sure is an answer to prayer. I can already see that she will be daddy’s little girl! So cute! I will continue to pray for all of you! I rejoice to hear that Abigail is doing so well! Keep me updated…
Dear Nathan and Melanie,
I am so elated to hear of your little bundle of joy. What a beautiful name, Abigail. That is our only daughter’s name as well and yes, it is a father’s joy. We have been praying for you all during this time and will pray for continued strength for Melanie during these days. Congratulations to all the Maxwells and Melanie’s family!
Love and prayers,
Hi dear new parents! Please don’t fret about the lack of sleep etc Nathan. It is totally, wonderfully, utterly normal and Melanie will probably cry lots and feel like she won’t last out the week, but that is a completely normal feeling and I’d love to encourage you not to fret about it. Breast feeding can be a bit painful for the first two weeks, too, so be prepared, but after that it all settles down and in six weeks’ time you won’t even remember the overwhelming first two weeks. The wonderful thing is you are going through this exhausting, exhilarating hard time because you have a healthy baby toÂ feed and that is such an answer to prayer! Just focus on your beautiful, healthy little baby, hold your wife when she cries (lots), tell her it will all settle down soon and to hold on for that six week marker when she’ll be over the c-section and life will return to more normal. On little or no sleep, the first week seems to last forever but it does for everyone, and just have a good cry with your wife (my hubby did, it helps!) and hang on in there.
I’m 40+ weeks with number five, holding my breath for my own week of no sleep about to happen (I’ve been on 4 wks bedrest too, bad health, recurring tonsilitis etc), and feel all the same apprehensions as you although I’ve done it four times before. Week one is always hard, but praise God you make it through and pretty soon the baby’s in such a lovely routine you can’t believe you ever felt stressed! I so wanted to encourage you because I truly know how you feel – not only that but I’ll be feeling it with you soon! Hang on, trust God won’t overload you (I’m clinging to this myself right now) and God bless you both so much!
Thanks so much for sharing. Continuing to pray for Melanie, Abigail and her daddy. 🙂
Recovering from a c-section and nursing a newborn is a tough combo (BTDT twice). Plus the fact that we Moms have an overpowering urge to do all we can for our babes! But Melanie will get through the tough stage. Just keep doing as much as you can for her and baby, so Melanie can focus on just taking care of herself and on nursing.
So so so happy that you two are experiencing so much joy!
Melanie, I am praying for you each day, and I just want to encourage you~ The first week is the most difficult both physically (especially after a c-section) and emotionally. I always cry a lot 🙂 Then it gets a bit easier and after the first month or so, I am usually in a pretty good routine. One thing that helped me was when I need to nurse, especially at night, I prop myself up nice and comfy with my pillows, and then I put a pillow under my nursing arm for support, and then I often just drift off to sleep while baby eats. With my first baby, I didn’t do this…I would always get up and feed the baby then try to lay him back down without awaking him. It’s been much, much easier just nursing them in bed and cuddling and sleeping myself. Just a thought 🙂 But most importantly, the Lord will give you the grace and strength you need and it will get easier 🙂
love and prayers,
Dear Melanie –
We are so very excited and grateful to the Lord for this wonderful blessing He has given you and Nathan. We are praying that you will get ample rest and drink LOTS of water to keep your milk supply up. My sleepless nights were some of the most precious times with my babies.
Y’all hang in there! It takes some time to work out nursing. My youngest would drift off shortly after starting nursing and then wake back up a few min. later, so nursing could last a very long time! We worked it out and managed a nice routine. It takes time. (I won’t tell you that just when you get used to the routine the little bugger goes and changes it on you. Abigail will show you soon enough.)
Nathan darlin’, we love you but the next time you post a picture, um…make sure we can see Abigail. You’re cute too, but, well – 🙂
Your in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your joy.
Blessings to you all. So glad that Abigail has arrived and seems to be doing well. Nursing will improve, don’t give up. The less formula, the better–we learned with our little ones, that when I went to the hospital to tell them not to give any formula. We will keep praying that Abigail will keep doing well, and also that Melody will recover really soon. God bless.
We are still praying here. Thanks for giving us specifics to pray about. I have never had an early arrival nor have I spent weeks on bed rest, but I have had twins who had trouble nursing and a c-section. The exhaustion that Melanie is feeling is totally normal and it will get better! You didn’t mention it, but just in case she is also crying a lot, feeling completely overwhelmed, and even feeling like she is somehow not doing something right (especially when Abigail isn’t nursing well) — all that is normal too! 🙂
Her body has been through some drastic ups and downs the past few months and especially the last few days. It takes a while to adjust to that. I know you are supporting her completely, but I want to encourage you in how much that will mean to Melanie. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think back to the first two or three weeks after we have a new baby and the tender care my husband gives me. He is an awesome husband and daddy all the time, don’t hear me wrong, but I so cherish those tender moments at first when he is so patient with my tears, rubs my back, and we just sit and look at that new little miracle.
The exhaustion will pass. Somehow God gives new moms some extra boosts of hormones that both relax and energize at the same time. I am one that needs 9 hours per night normally, but after the initial first week or so those next few months with a newborn, somehow you just begin to realize that you are going to make it! Don’t under estimate the c-section either. That is major surgery and Melanie needs a real recovery period for that. Your body needs a little more tender loving care than when you deliver the conventional way. Just keep on being there for each other and let your families help you. We are praying.
Melanie, I have prayed that God will give you eight hours’ worth of sleep in a two-hour time frame. 🙂 That you will wake up feeling refreshed and not tired, though you only get about two hours between feedings to sleep. Nursing is much, much harder than anyone thinks unless they’ve done it themselves. But, though it’s harder for the first several weeks, in the long run nursing is easier than bottle feeding, so hang in there if you can.
Thanks for keeping us updated. I just prayed for Melanie and sweet baby Abigail (I have an Abby myself!)
Still praying. Thanks for the update.
Each day I am amazed at God’s work. It is amazing to me that God brought all of us together on this web site and how many of us log in every day to have our baby/family updates. We are all strangers, but have come together to share in your joys/sorrows/ministering. I have been coming to your web site for nearly two years now and have enjoyed it very much. I am having a difficult time as my husband is very sick with diabetis (he is only 40). I believe that God led me to this site so that I can gain strength and wisdom that sometimes lags in time of stress. I just wanted your family to know how much they are appreciated. If you have one of those days where you think “is it worth going all around the country ministering and traveling in Uriah and our personal discomfort”, just think of the many people that you do touch and the many hearts that are comforted by what you do.
As far as the baby, I have logged on all weekend from home to see if she was born. I am so overjoyed that she is thriving and doing well. Just keep in mind, in the event that you may have to choose to just go ahead with bottle feedings as the primary source of her feedings, that is OK. I was unable to nurse my children because I hemoraged with after both C-sections (one son then twin girls) and my milk never came. If it is better for both Melanie’s and Abigail’s well being, bottle feeding is OK too. Although nursing is always the first choice,sometimes it is just not possible.
You and your family are in my prayers. Keep up the good work!!!
Thanks for the update. I am continuing to lift Melanie up in prayer for her recovery. After three of my own c-sections, I know how slow and difficult recovery can be. I pray you will find rest and that your pain will decrease. Hang in there with nursing, those newborn weeks are tiring though I know you are so joyful for this time. It does get easier 🙂 Little Abigail is so beautiful!!
Really delighted for you. We’ve been praying for you through this pregnancy and since the birth of dear little Abigail Hope.
As many other people have said, nursing gets easier and the first couple of weeks really are the most difficult. Most people feel really rough both physically and emotionally in the first few days after birth-its normal and it does get better.
“My grace is sufficient for Thee”.
Though I’ve never met you or your family, I’ve been following your story and am praising our loving Father for bringing you through this with such a beautiful blessing (not surprising, since her parents are such a handsome pair!). I don’t know if your hospital offers this, but as a suggestion you could request a lactation specialist to help Melanie. Nursing is like walking; it is learned. Many hospitals have nurses who teach new mothers the best techniques for nursing so that it is comfortable for the mommy and easiest for baby. I had 3 c-sections and nursed all my children. Yes, it was hard at first but totally worth it both for them and for myself. I will keep your family in prayer, thank you for providing specifics. May the Lord continue to bless you and give you wisdom and strength to be the best parents you can be.
Yes, they have LC’s and they are being very helpful.
Newborn babies need to nurse every three or even every two hours to build up Mom’s milk supply. Mom has to rest, rest, eat well and drink lots of liquid. Once you are all home, Abigail can sleep close by or even in your bed to make night nursings easier. Melanie will have to catch sleep whenever Abigail decides to rest. Chores and things around the home will have to wait until both Mom and baby are ready for Mommy to do more. Having family help with meals and things is such a blessing. Your being such a supportive husband/dad will help Melanie to relax and focus on what is important and what can wait. I continue to pray for you all.
Hello Maxwell Family,
I had three c-sections and nursed successfully with the last two! It was tough for me but staying determined helped. It did take time for my body to adjust/heal. The Holy Spirit was, still is, my best friend and when I didn’t know what to do He came through with the right method for us. I know He can do the same for you.
Blessings and praises to you and your family. Abigail Hope is a very appropriate name…and what a precious gem she is. CONGRATS!…OUr family will continue to pray for your family for all your adjustments, and continued health for Melanie and Abigail.
Please let the other family (the one you mentioned with a newborn)…that we will be praying for them as well.
Blessings, Kelly in Michgian
I wanted to drop a quick note of encouragement specifically for dearest Melanie, if someone is at least able to read it to her.
It is a difficult recovery from weeks of bedrest with a cesearean delivery and taking care of a premature newborn. I was on 5 weeks of bedrest, c-section, and baby; and it was a full 4 MONTHS before I felt completely at 100%. Please get as much rest as you can; be sure to drink water on a regular basis; and don’t forget to eat as well! Nursing mothers need an additional 500 calories a day added to their pregnancy caloric needs. Once you are home, please continue to do the above, and the tending of a home will still need to wait a bit! I am sure that your family will have a servant’s heart and care for all of those needs in the weeks and months to come.
I will continue to pray for you as you enjoy the high calling of motherhood!
Congratulations! Abigail is just perfect and is such good size for being so early! Love the name Hope. One our babies in heaven name is Hope (our first loss, second pregnancy), for the very reasons you chose it.
Thank you so much for sharing your journey and the Lord’s leading. We love George Mueller’s example and appreciate your thoughts and seeing how He has led you through this.
May the Lord give Melanie rest as she nestles down to nurse Abigail. May Abigail gain weight. May you both enjoy these precious days free from the worries and fears that so easily come into our minds.
Rejoicing with you,
Theresa for the G.s
Oh, the rollercoaster ride of having a baby in the NICU. We have done this a few times: first , with our twin sons born at 30 weeks (not they are gigantic 14 years old young men w/ no problems from prematurity) and secondly with our daughter who was born at 34 weeks (she is now a healthy 7 year old).
I just wanted to offer a suggestion about the supplemental formula feedings. I pray you will forgive me for doing so, no offense is intended.
We requested that our premies be fed breastmilk only. A big, yellow sticky note was on both our twins’ and our daughter’s files that said “Breastmilk only.” At times, this was ignored and formula was given instead. In both situations our babies experienced setbacks from formula. I know this may be specific to our situation, but I just wanted to mention it. Formula can help a premie gain weight, but can also tend to be hard on their system.
It was difficult for us to have conferences w/ our neonatologists. They seemed so professional to the point of robotic. We believed this was because of the difficulty of their professions, but it sure was upsetting to us. I pray that you have a better experience with this. It was frustrating when we would make suggestions about our own children’s care, and they would ignore us. It doesn’t take long for a concerned and caring parent to get to know his/her premie and what they may need.
Forgive me if this was inappopriate.
The day will soon come (before you know it) when you will be wrapping up that dear daughter and taking her home!
Praying for you all.
Congratulations on your beautiful daughter!! I am overjoyed for your family! Her name is beautiful as well.
I will be praying for you as you continue to adjust. Thank you for providing specifics.
I realize you are most likely under wonderful care, and are probably getting advice from all over the place, but I wanted to share my experience with you regarding your prayer requests. I don’t know if any of it will be useful info, but I always appreciated hearing from someone who experienced something similar.
First of all, I was totally shocked and a bit overwhelmed at the amount of time a newborn required for nursing too. I will be praying for this adjustment and for opportunities for rest!
Second, when my little girl was born, I had hoped not to give her formula. It turned out, however, due to the events of her birth that she needed some extra nourishment and was given formula, which is quite filling for a newborn. She basically stopped nursing for 3 days, and I think she actually only nursed once while we were in the hospital. (She was whisked away for two hours after being born and was given formula to start with.) I think from the formula, she slept so soundly we couldn’t even wake her up to try and even nurse – so they gave her more formula. When we got home, she did start nursing, and things went well.
My suggestion is that if Abigail isn’t nursing very frequently, ask about expressing milk AFTER Abigail tries to nurse to make sure Melanie develops a good supply of milk.
I wish I would have done this not just for supply reasons (which did work out) but for the very purpose of having that nutrient rich first milk available to supplement to my daughter when she wouldn’t nurse. I would have rather offered that first and then added any formula needed to top things off. Even so, when we got home and settled in, things went wonderfully.
Again, I will be praying for your beautiful family. Congratulations again!
Yep…I agree with all the moms above. Everything you are saying is normal! In fact, a three hour schedule is pretty unheard of at Abigail’s age. Usually my babies are nursing on demand at this point in order to bring in the milk and then when that is established a schedule begins. Therefore, fatigue is a very normal part of this. It is one of the ironies of all that bedrest Melanie got…no matter how well rested you are prior to baby…giving birth and feeding a newborn is exhausting. She has earned her badge of motherhood! Just hang in there daddy…get the rest you need so that you can be a help to her. Encourage rest between feedings and discourage visitors. It will all even out…eventually! Melissa in Arkansas!
The staff/doctors in the NICU are the ones who put Abigail on the 3 hour schedule based on their experience in helping premies thrive.
As I was reading this I was sitting here listening to HOw Great Is Our God by Chris Tomlin,. How fitting is that!!!! Many prayers to you and yoru family and again a huge congrats!!!!!
No advice…just encouragement….It gets easier!!! You’ll learn her, she’ll learn you. During the first couple of weeks, you’re just trying to find what works. We are all so happy for you. We are praying for you all.
To God be the glory. Truly He hath done a great thing!!!
The R. Family
God is Good! Our family and church have prayed with you and wept with you and now we rejoice with you. Abigail is beautiful. My second child was an unexpected c-section, (reached her hand out of the womb)early and didn’t want to nurse. I would hold her and cry and pray, and again the Lord was good. He got us through the rough parts and I nursed her until she was 2 1/2. We will continue to pray for all of you. We look forward to seeing more pictures and watching you all grow. Your entire family is such a blessing to us and we love you all.
Thanks for the update, so we know how to keep praying! I remember how exhausted I was feeding every 3 hours and I didn’t have a C-section! I can only imagine how difficult it is for Melanie to WANT to be a Mom and yet NEED to get rest and take care of herself, too. I will pray for much grace for her to rest and be at peace in the midst of this whole process. I’m thankful to hear her Mom is able to be so helpful. What a blessing! My friend, who had twins about 3 months ago had a c-section, having them early, as well, and I know she said that it took her several weeks to be ‘normal’ again and was hard to make herself ‘rest’. Thanks for the update on little Abigail, too — yes, you’d THINK nursing would always be ‘normal’, but even for full-term babies there’s some times a ‘learning curve’, especially when supplements are involved. Wow — you guys keep going through so many challenges, don’t you? May God continue to strengthen your hearts through this journey and may you sense His love and peace and grace as you transition to being a family of 3! Praying for much grace for you, Nathan, as well as you lovingly serve and care for your wife and daughter — I’m sure you’re tired, too. 🙂
Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow! We rejoice with you, and continue to hold each of you in prayer.
Congratulations on your new baby Nathan and Melanie! I will be praying for you.
Thank you for the update. Praying for peace at this time. Melanie is probably going through a roller-coaster ride of emotions and this is completely normal (I have four precious children). Just take a day at a time – the dust will settle! And try to reduce the formula feedings – baby needs to breastfeed to stimulate milk production – it’s supply and demand. As someone else commented, it does get easier as everyone adjusts and gets into a routine (there might not be much of a routine for the first week or two – that’s normal too). Try to enjoy these early days and weeks – it will seem as you have just blinked a few times and you’ll be serving up a first birthday cake!
Thank you for the testimony of faith your lives are.
Celebrating this precious new one with you!!!! I hope this short story will bring encouragement. My babies were all early (we have 4). Nursing was extremely important to me. With the last 2 babies being born at 31 wks and my health issues (not good at the time) i was quite concerned. I did not get to even begin nursing until #3 was about 4 wks old, and then it was awful she was quite an alarm ringer :)! We kept at it though and when we were finally *rooming in together*(She was 6 1/2 wks old then) it clicked and for 2 years we never looked back and had great success!!!! Be encouraged and give it time. I had all by emergancy c-section and then baby in hospital longer than mom, pumping and other children to care for. It was so very hard and tiring ,but GOD IS FAITHFUL!!!!! He meets us where we are and cares for us when we are tired, so tired we can not see the way. HE wil be with you and carry you thru these hard 1st weeks. May HIS PEACE surround you and guide you.
I’m so happy to see you both doing normal “newborn” things with sweet Abigail! God is so good!
I just wanted to encourage Melanie about the nursing, especially after a c-section! It can be so difficult at first, which feels like such a surprise because it seems like it should be so natural and easy. It can also take a long time at those early feedings, so just to nurse a baby is like a full time job at the beginning! But I’ll pray for perseverance and patience, because it does just take some time for them to get the hang of it, especially when they’re born earlier. After a short while (it doesn’t feel “short” at the time, I know) it becomes easier and easier and then you just get to enjoy it and praise God for those sweet, sweet moments with the little one. Many blessings to all of you!
She is so beautiful. That’s the one blessing of a c-section. I’ve had 4 of them and I would like to encourage Melanie from experience to please take it easy and let others do for you for at least the first 2 weeks. I overdid with my first c-section and understand how hard it is when you feel good, but overall it is best for mom to take it easy and just enjoy this precious little one. I’ll stop with the advice now. It has been so wonderful to hear how God gave you Abigail’s name. We look forward to watching Abigail grow. God Bless you all.
So glad to hear that Abigail Hope is doing well. I know that the first weeks are tiring…my youngest will be 2 this summer. Just be encouraged that things will settle down to a dull roar soon. I know Melanie is exhausted and will pray for good sleep when she can get it.
Dora and Tom and kids
We will pray for your little family.
If you can, relieve Melanie of anything other than resting and feeding baby. Jump up as quickly as you can to wait on her hand and foot. (Which I’m sure you’re already doing 🙂
Good, thick, healthy milk come only if mommy is as well rested as possible.
I had a wonderul expeience of this when my daughter was an infant. My friend who was a working mother and I were invited to a party and both our husbands wanted us to go. My husband asked me to leave some “mommy’s milk” in case my mother (who was upstairs in our hotel room with the babies) needed to feed the baby before I could come up to do it myself.
My girlfriend, who always had her own milk frozen because she left the baby each day also brought some of her milk.
When we opend the small fridge in the hotel to get the two bottles full of milk, mine was like thick cream and hers was blue and watery like watered down skim milk. She asked what kind of formula I was using because her milk always looked like that and she didn’t know it could be different.
Ironically (or logically) her baby was having trouble gaining weight. She decided from that day on to stay home with her baby and she reported that she saw a huge change in her baby’s health.
Just a little mommy wisdom to share.
May God continue to bless you,
Hang in there. We had a child in NICU and it is very demanding on mother. I let the nurses feed him at night and made my way down there during the day. My case was also complicated with a c-section plus a spinal headache. Rest, take care of Melanie, and the Lord will provide all that He sees fit.
First, we rejoiced when your precious baby girl was born !!
Nathan you maybe right about the supplements. Our first was given them as I nursed. We prayed and finally had to tell them to stop .We were considered high risk because of losing five babies so naturally they were overly cautious. She became an expert nurser!! We also had three born at 32 weeks and it takes time for them to learn to nurse . Some days it seemed that they had forgotten how!! They became good nursers. Her birth weight is excellent. It is only a matter of her maturing. Abigal will learn how to nurse , it just takes time .
Melanie, God has given you this precious baby to mother and you will know what to do. Rest and let everyone do all they can for you while recovering from the C-section. No lifting [ except the precious baby] not even to unload the dishwasher ! Your body will recover and be ready for the next blessing that God will give you and Nathan.We rejoice with you both !!
What a blessing you are being to your wife! I remember our first child’s birth- a very rushed emergency C-section. I knew that night that our son had been born alive and healthy and I was grateful, but the second thing I was grateful for was that I knew my husband was with our son all that night. He was on a feeding tube and my husband was with him through that whole first night, when I just couldn’t be. I am still, almost 10 years later, still so grateful for all he did for both me as his wife and for our son that night. The first 6 weeks of recovery and nursing are tough (I remember counting each day’s length by how many more feedings were still to come) but after that it is the most blessed part of early parenthood. We continue to pray for healing and we will pray for strength for you as you care for your ladies! Blessings!!!!
Comments are closed.