On Sunday, July 5th at 5:31 pm I received the best birthday present ever . . . a daughter, Linnea Marie Janzen! I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of her on my chest and then asking if she was a boy or a girl only to have the midwives tell me to look. It was incredible!
The story behind her name: It took us a while to name her which kind of surprised me and definitely surprised most of our friends and family who know I am a planner. Ever since I was little never wanted to find out if I was having a boy or a girl and we stuck to that even though Jake wanted to know :). (So the planner wanted a surprise and the spontaneous/adventurous one wanted to know . . .) Instead of calling the baby "It" we nicknamed the baby Baker. So once she was born we called her Baker while deciding on her name.
We talked about names of course and we had a front running girls name but just a few weeks before she was born we started to figure out that our first choice might have been a little too popular in the US. Jake threw out the name Linnea but I wasn't so sure I could make the switch. We didn't have a front running boys name so I can only imagine how much longer it would have taken us to name Baker if she was a he :). In Sweden, you have 3 months to name your baby so we left the hospital without an official name for her even though we had been calling her Linnea for a while. We were still unsure about her middle name.
We picked Linnea for several reasons. We knew we wanted a name that was somewhat tied to Sweden but I didn't think we would pick a Swedish name and then we did :). Linnea is pronounced Lih-NAY-uh. A few more deciding factors helped us pick Linnea. My mom's middle name is Lynne and two of my nieces also have the middle name Lynne/Lynn. Jake's mom's maiden name is Lindeblad which comes from the Linden tree and the origin of the name Linnea is also the Linden tree. Jake's mom's side of the family is Swedish with 7 out of her 8 great grandparents coming from Småland which is a province in southern Sweden. As a bonus we found out after we named her that the flower of the province of Småland is the Linnea flower or the twinflower.
Once we decided on Linnea as her first name we had a really hard time picking her middle name. We thought about using Baker but since the story behind her name is a bit odd we decided to go with Marie but we will still call her Baker as a nickname. Both sides of our families have Marie including Jake's sister's middle name and my Cousin Holly's middle name. My friend Angela, who has been here for me every step of this long journey to parenthood, also has the middle name Marie which makes it extra special to me.
Before deciding on her name I called my friend Amy to get her opinion. Amy once told me that when she can't decide on something she will ask someone else to pick for her and if she is disappointed with what they picked then she knew which one she wanted most and would choose that one. So, we decided to give that logic a try with Amy. One of the many things I love about Amy is that she honest and opinionated. I knew she would tell me the truth no matter what and depending on how it made me feel I would know more about how I felt about Linnea's name. We texted her the name Linnea with about 4 middle name choices and asked her opinion about the first name and middle names. It was VERY helpful.
We have been home for over a week and are enjoying our time as a family of three. I would love to tell you all about her long, 37 hour, journey into this world but I am exhausted. I feel like I am finally feeling more like myself and only a few days ago did the cloud really start to lift and I was able to remember things that happened more than an hour before :).
I will tell you now and again later that Jake has been amazing. I could not have made it through the last 11 days without him. I was not in good shape the first 24-48 hours after delivery. He changed all of her diapers, brought her to me so I could feed her, calmed her down, talked to her, and sang to her. You name it, he did it. It was so amazing watching him with her. I knew he would be great with our kids but I figured he would really blossom when they were older and he could interact with them more (and I think he thought the same thing too). He has been amazing with her and with me. She might have him wrapped around her little finger already but I wouldn't change a thing.
Here are some pictures from our time in the hospital and our first few days at home.
Heading to the hospital at 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant!
She is here!
I loved this bassinet because we could both see her and each other through it. She slept in the middle of our beds so we could both reach her. We kind of wanting to steal one and take it home.
We took a taxi home. It should have taken us about 15 minutes but because of traffic it was almost an hour. She slept through the whole thing. (We borrowed a car seat from one of Jake's coworkers.)
I would have been 41 weeks on this day but I am thankful she was in my arms instead of my belly!
Our sleeping arrangement for a few weeks.
Linnea's first metro ride.
This is probably one of my favorite pictures of her.
I am so lucky to be her mom! I'm hoping to write about her birth story and our time in the hospital and at home but it turns out I don't have a lot of free time and when I do I usually choose cuddling with her or a nap over anything else. We shall see how much writing I get done.