Our sweet #3 was born last Monday, October 6th at 3:01 pm.
Noa Lou Dukes
8 pounds 1 ounce
20.5 inches long
She is more magical, awe-inspiring, gorgeous and beloved than we imagined was possible (and we had heard that 3rd babies are pretty spectacular!). This was taken at 90 minutes old.
The name: Upon being told we couldn't leave the hospital until we filled out her birth certificate paperwork, we decided to finally settle on the middle name that had eluded us all this time. You remember how much I love "Lukas" but couldnt saddle her with "Lukas Dukas" potential? Well one of my favorite things about that combo was being able to call her "Noa Loo."
I knew that Jesse's mother's middle name was Louise and the thought of giving our daughter a name that honored and united two very strong and admirable female lines was pretty cool (read how Noa came from my grandmother--after we already loved the name--here). But Louise was a tad too traditional for me (like Genoa had been in the first name). Jesse had told our friend Kellen about this quandary, and he simply and brilliantly was like, "If you want to call her Loo/Lou/Lu, just actually name her that. It doesnt need to be short for anything."
So thats what we decided to do. It is still definitely an homage to Jesse's mother (who is called LouLou and Lovie Lou by the grandkids) even though it is shortened, and we had a blast telling Linda that that was what we had decided for her name. She may have slightly lost her mind. It was completely adorable and utterly affirmed our choice.
moderately excited about her 6th Grandchild being her namesake.
The name Lou means "warrior," and since Noa means "love in motion" for us, our daughter's entire name now means "His conquering love in motion" (and the "His" would be Jesus). This is our prayer for Noa's entire life/legacy.
The birth: Oh dont you just WISH I had the story ready and we could find out how close to this plan we stayed? Well, I wish this, at least. I LOVE telling my birth stories, but they are an investment of time and brainpower, and I am not quiiiite there yet. Rest assured it will be faster than the first two, which took about a year each.
IN the meantime, maybe you'd like to read my friend Tara's story of how she delivered her daughter Paige's first baby this weekend and was a few contractions away from doing so at the Baylor football game. Seriously one of the most hilarious and beautiful and angsty and insane birth stories I've ever read (Tara is my spirit animal).
The photos: Our wonderful photographer, Brenna, made it for the entire birth and has show us some early sneak peeks of her work. Great Golly Gosh, she is talented. We were thrilled to be her first birth session and obviously she is going to rock this milieu of photography like she already does for families and babies. Here are a few:
The family of Five: This too is going to get its own post, because my big kids have fallen SO HARD for baby Noa that the intensity must have its very own URL. Rest assured, it's cute, it comes with video and pictures and it makes me want to have 14 more babies for them to love.
Her Song: If you've been here awhile, you know my worship leader husband writes/records original songs for each of our kids (Judah's and Layla's are blogged). He has just finished writing Noa's song and just needs to record it. IT IS COMING! I'll let you know when that single drops (because I say things like that).
Playing a demo for me of his second draft. (We are so blessed to have Jesse on paternity leave for 3 weeks).
The baby: Oh man, I probably can't even articulate how dreamy Noa is. A big part of it is surely that now that I have big, stinky (seriously! they smell so bad compared to my newborn...how did I never notice this?!), non-baby kids, I am ever so much more schmoopy and treasuresome (not a word) about this utter beebee. Judah being 17 months when Layla was born, we really had two babies and didn't fully dive into or "back" to the newborn experience. We are full on submerging ourselves this time.
It's also much much easier to have a newborn when you've done it a few times. We were out of our minds stupid and stressed with Judah and thought a new baby was the hardest thing in the world. No. One newborn is a vacation. The hardest thing in the world is whatever age they are at today.
But the biggest thing I think that has made this go-round so cross-eyed lovey dovey is just Noa! She is so chill and sweet and easy and hilarious. There was a stretch in the hospital where we seriously didnt hear her cry for like 20 hours (and she was with us the whole time!). She eats like a champion, sleeps about 18 hours a day, and is wide-eyed, squeaky and nonstop funny faces the rest of the time. And her poop smells fantastic (again...compared to the big kids').
We are soaking up every moment with this baby. I hardly ever can bring myself to put her down (sleeping or not), which is NOT like me, and I can definitely see how babies of the family get doted on or spoiled. It seems like I spend hours just petting her hair (so much more/darker than my first two!), marveling at her tiny little belly/chest (taking perspective photos to show scale to remind my future self of how tiny she once was), sneaking up the back of her onesie to rub that sweet, silky baby back, and super-saturating every cone and rod in my eyeballs with the details of her perfect face.
This little angel bean is a massive meteor that has changed the entire makeup of our family in the best way imaginable.