I discovered the name Adalyn after we found out we were having a girl. I had never heard it before but I really loved it. It took us until a few weeks ago to finally settle and agree on the name, though. Kevin came across the name Lucia and I especially liked the meaning and that it wasn't super common. Finally at about 37 weeks I said, "We have to decide on a name! I don't want this baby to come and we still don't know what to call her!" (This was back when I still thought she'd be early.) I like her name more and more and I think it's very fitting.
We have considered calling her "Addie" as well, which I think is a really cute nickname, we just haven't gotten around to it yet. Juliana had a hard time remembering "Adalyn" at first and I told her she could call her Addie, but she has decided pretty definitely, "It's NOT Addie, it's ADALYN." She also likes to call her, "my baby," "my sister," or in moments of less enthusiasm, "that baby."
Adalyn (ADD-ah-lyn) means "noble." We want our daughter to remember that her lasting heritage is one of nobility - not in a cheesy "you're a princess" sense, but in a sense of both identity and responsibility. Her primary loyalty is not to a country or a religious or political ideal but to a King and a kingdom. Lucia (loo-SEE-ah) means "bringer of light," a meaning I especially like. Wherever Adalyn Lucia grows up and wherever she goes in her own life, we want her to be one who brings light into every situation. We don't want her to just settle down in places that are easy and already filled with light but instead to seek out places in need of light.
Our Chinese friend Charis helped us choose a Chinese name for Adalyn. We became friends with her over the past year and she spent a lot of time going with me to doctor visits during the pregnancy. I joked that she should either charge commision or we should name the baby after her. We didn't actually do that, but I appreciate having a name chosen by someone special. Adalyn's Chinese name is 林晏清 (lin2 yan4 qing1). 林 is the family name, which means "forest." 晏 means "brightness, serenity" and 清 means "purity, nobility." I appreciate that the name has a similar meaning to the English name, and Adalyn will appreciate that the name is not too difficult to write!
Adalyn is now a week old and off to a good start. After overcoming the intial barrier of incredible sleepiness, she is nursing well and her weight is good. She has even shocked us by sleeping well! She has been giving us some 2 and 3 hour stretches, something we rarely saw from Juliana. She likes sleeping with mama but doesn't seem to suffer from a strong aversion to her own little bed, unlike some previous children we might have had. She is pretty contented most of the time, just sleeping or hanging out quietly looking around. She certainly looks different from Juliana, with all her dark hair, and it will be interesting to see her different personality emerging as well. Juliana has changed a lot since she was a week old, but I don't particularly remember her ever being described as "chill" or "mellow." :)
Overall I have found recovery to be much easier this time around. Of course, the labor was about 14 hours shorter and a lot easier, so that's not too surprising! I have had an unfortunate encounter with mastitis, which left me with a high fever and feeling miserable. It is starting to improve, though, and I think once I can get past that I'll really feel better. And even though I've already had a nasty encounter with mastitis, almost every day I think, "I'm so glad not to be pregnant anymore!
Juliana is making the adjustment to big sister pretty well. The first few days she was absolutely wild with excitement - imagine Juliana at three times her normal energy level. It was quite spectacular, really. When we came home from the hospital Juliana came out to greet us jumping up and down and yelling with all her might. She likes to give Adalyn kisses and hugs; otherwise she is realizing babies are actually pretty boring. She is proud of being a big sister but even more happy to be a 姐姐 (jie-jie...big sister), probably because she is used to everyone else being the 姐姐.
My grandmother brought Juliana a new baby doll which she named Jovus (just like the only other doll she has actually named, so now she has "Big Jovus" and "Little Jovus."). The doll came with a bottle, which is always fun, but when Juliana saw it she said, "The baby doesn't need that! I can feed her," and she pulled up her shirt to nurse her. She learns fast. :) Then she ran off to her room to sleep with Jovus. She was very strict about us all being quiet and spent a lot of time rushing back and forth to her room because Jovus was crying. We took our babies out in their slings and had a nice little walk around the yard. I think Adalyn enjoyed her ride more than Jovus, however, who was discarded before the end.
We are really appreciating being with family and having lots and lots of help, particularly with me being sick. With so many people around there is always someone ready to hold the baby, and fortunately Juliana still gets lots of attention. And I have been glad we have been in America during this time, since medical complications always seem much more difficult to deal with in China.
So far we are are one week into this and about 1000 pictures behind where we were with Juliana. We also haven't even applied for the passport yet, which will hopefully get taken care of next week. It's nice to not have quite such a rush as last time and strange to think this one will be nearly five months old before her first international excursion. She's going to have some catching up to do! In the meantime, we are just focusing on sleeping and nursing and keeping relatively happy in between.