h.e.h. & baby brother
watch us grow

Matthew is 10 days old today and we’ve learned so much about him in this short time that I thought I better record a bit of it now, not only so I don’t forget but maybe to come back and compare to later as he grows. He is a happy healthy hungry Higgins little boy! He is not a complainer (crying) at all until it comes to food and then he can get a bit more serious. Feeding him is taking upwards of an hour between feeding, changing, sleeping, bottles and more changing. He smiles a LOT when he sleeps and has very expressive eyebrows like his sister. He didn’t mind his first bath and even accepted his sisters help and offer of a bath toy. There is more gas inside this little boy than seems humanly possible and we are trying different foods for me and different formula for him, the amazing thing is that he still doesn’t complain about it. His Nana is sure he was trying to hold up his head at 8 days and dad says he’s seen him try too. He doesn’t like his hands to be covered or tucked in at anytime and since he doesn’t wake himself up with them (like H did!) it’s OK with us. Looks like he will have blue eyes like the rest of us and he has the hi-cups at least 3-5 times a day something his sister never had. This is Matt as we know him today, such a sweet boy, such an unfathomable blessing in our lives already!

3 generations of Higgins
sister in a helpful mood esp. when it comes to feeding
A clean bean right after his first bath
Eyes wide open more and more each day

I was a bit apprehensive about having a baby here in Austria, mainly due to not knowing what to expect. The Dr. appointments leading up to the birth were different than in the states, but it was OK because after 1 or 2 I got the hang of it and how they worked. I was more worried about the hospital because of it being a HUGE unknown and not really having the chance to “figure it out” ahead of time. Of course we went on the tour but that is just seeing the rooms and meeting a midwife or two. Especially with the planned surgery it seemed like that added even more “unknown” to the equation. As things got closer I got more worried and I think Justin was a bit worried too (although it helped when he found this article about Drs washing their hands). Once we arrived there, it was evident that God had really provided for us in the hospital that we picked and all our fears were for not!
The Midwives (no nurses, they were all ladies who had studied for years to be midwives) were so kind and helpful with literally everything. The ratio of them to patients really made it fell like I wasn’t bothering them with a silly question or ringing the buzzer for a tiny favor. Everyone we encountered spoke great English which was one of my main fears and one of the main reasons we picked this hospital downtown vs. a local hospital near the Haus. The difference in the recovery process for me was astounding compared to H’s c-section in the states. Of course there was the subtraction of 26 hours of labor before hand this time…but that couldn’t be the only reason considering how good I feel today. I had a physical therapist who came each day helping me with exercises which I think was a huge factor. Yesterday, when we got home it really was no problem for me to walk (not quickly by any means) up 50+ stairs to our apartment something I thought for sure would be an ordeal!
The other great thing was the baby room where I could go to feed, ask questions, give a bath to Matthew or leave him to sleep if I needed to get some good sleep myself. I have a feeling this is probably the same at a nursery in the states but I think I just missed out on the help it provides being in so much pain last time.
Besides having a roommate this time and the toilet paper dispenser being mounted way too low, it was a great experience and if I had a choice I’d have another child there in a heartbeat! The food was even good, healthy, and they let me pick my menu!
Here is short video I made on Friday just so you can get an idea of where we were all week last week…

Matthew Quintin Higgins was born today in Vienna at 12:18pm. He weighed in at 9lbs 8oz (4300g) and his length was measured at 21in (53cm). Beth and I went in this morning at 9:00am, filled out paper work and had tests done, and settled in our room. Then we were prepped for the c-section. We were accompanied by 2 midwives to the operating room where we met her Dr. and Anesthesiologist. The surgery went well and we were brought a healthy baby boy. Beth did great. I got woozy when the spinal was administered and was forced to lay down take in fluids.

So far Matthew has been a very tired and hungry boy. After 2 big meals earlier in the day, he has slept all evening. He has been so tired, he hasn’t shown us his eyes yet. He opened his right eye for me when I took him from the operating room to the nursery, but hasn’t bothered to try again since. Here are some pictures of our day.

We are at the hospital waiting to go into surgery now. It should be fairly soon.

…well, at this point in life, A LOT! I just happen to glace at the first set of pictures for the year in our photo organizer and couldn’t believe how young Haley looked. Of course she was young, but what really struck me was just how much she has changed in a year. I started to try and make a list of the changes but it seems almost too overwhelming to do. The physical changes, the TALKING changes, the mental growth…there have been so many small changes within those areas and more!

A park in San Diego on January 1, 2009

A park in San Diego on January 1, 2009

And this month she will be going through yet another HUGE change in life! She’s going to be a big sister!

Walking on the 'corners' with Opa December 31, 2009

Walking on the 'corners' with Opa December 31, 2009

Instead of trying to go back over the last year, I thought I’d just write a bit about her now to remember her at 2 yr 4 mo.
~ She is definitely in her “terrible two’s” I think this term is relative to the child as far as the way it comes across. Haley is getting a bit more accustom to crying when things don’t go her way, stalling a lot more when we ask her to do things and all of a sudden she has memory lapses and forgets how to talk, just points and makes noise.
~ She is growing more independent each day
~ She absolutely notices almost everything aka trying to “split” something with her and giving her the smaller part or if I walk by her with something in my mouth that I’m trying hide from her. “What you got?” she always says.
~ Her imagination is growing by leaps and bounds. Within the last 10 days or so we are constantly watching for alligators or crocks around the house that will get us and she can make such great food just pop out of thin air at any time!
~ She seemed to understand that her Oma and Opa who were just here are my mom and dad…something that I wasn’t expecting. She talked about it a few times on her own after we explained it.
~ She isn’t scared of fireworks (sparklers or the big ones!)
~ We moved her into a booster seat with a back in the car and she loves to sit by the window.
~ She is fairly helpful if she is in the right mood to pick things up or go get things for me.
~ She has a lot of compassion, not only for people she knows (we get quite a few hugs a day!) but also for any child she sees who’s crying or sad.
~ She is adamant that her name is Haley. Oma says “You are very color coordinated today!” “No, I’m Haley!” and she says this to anything that isn’t her name.
~ We are at the very tail end of naps, she will “rest” in her room alone for about an hour a day but the sleep is minimal.

I guess looking back has also made me think about what could be in store for us this coming year. How much more different will she be by the end of 2010? It makes me excited to see her grow this year but also sad at the same time, 2009 was the year she became a little girl….let’s keep it that way in 2010!