Memorial Day

5.30.2011

To many people, Memorial Day is just another holiday that lets them have a three day weekend. But to military families it’s much more than that. It’s a day to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. It’s also a day to honor their families who have paid a huge price for our freedom.

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If you’re interested in knowing more about some of the families who have lost their loved ones, you should check out the American Widow Project. It was started by Taryn Davis, who lost her husband when she was just 23 years old.  On the site you can read  their stories and you can find links to their blogs. I think reading about these strong women really puts Memorial Day into perspective. Just be sure and have your tissues handy. These stories are heartbreaking- but you will see just how amazing these Gold Star families are.

tlSMALLER

Project 365 Take Two- Week 1

5.28.2011

At the beginning of the year, I blogged about starting Project 365. The object of Project 365 is to take one picture every day for a year. I started it back in January but only lasted for one week.

Now that our little princess is here, I’ve decided to try again. I already take tons of pictures of her so it shouldn’t be a problem keeping up this time. I’ll post a collage of the pictures here, as well as a link to a Picasa album with the full size pictures. Let’s hope I stick with it this time! Smile

 

Emerson’s Project 365 Week 1

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Go here to view the full size pictures.

Have a great weekend!

tlSMALLER

Emerson- One Week

5.25.2011

Dear Emerson,

Today you are one week old. I can’t even put into words the joy you have brought into my life. I know I say it over and over, but Mommy loves you more than anything in the world. Before we decided to have you we worried that having a baby would change everything. Well- it did- but it changed it for the better a million times over. Now when I look at your beautiful face I can’t imagine how we ever lived without you. We are so blessed to be your parents and we can’t wait to watch you grow.  Just promise me that you won’t grow too fast, okay?

Love,

Mommy

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This Week:

We went to the hospital twice to be checked because of your jaundice. You are still a little yellow so you have to spend lots of time in front of the window so that you can get some sun . You don’t seem to mind. You look so adorable sunning in your bouncer.

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You sleep all the time. You are the best little sleeper. I have to wake you up to feed you because you don’t usually wake up on your own. You were sleeping at least 4 hours at a time, even at night. But you need extra fluids because of the jaundice so now we have to wake you up every two hours to feed you. Most of the time you are sleeping while you eat.

You don’t really like nursing- especially on the right side. It’s been that way since you were born and we have tried everything! You fight it the whole time so we have been pumping and giving you a bottle.  We’re going to try to keep nursing but we are happy as long as you are getting Mommy’s milk. You usually eat about an ounce and a half at each feeding.

At the doctor yesterday you weighed 7 lbs 1 oz.  You seem so tiny to Mommy.

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You love to be swaddled. You will usually fall asleep instantly. Mommy is not as good as Daddy at swaddling. Sometimes you get your arms out when I swaddle you but you never get them out when Daddy does it.

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You had your first bath this week. You cried a little bit at first but then you seemed to enjoy it.

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You are absolutely beautiful and look adorable in everything we put you in. You really do look like a little doll in your outfits and your bows.

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Yesterday you went on your first outing. We went to eat and we went shopping at Babies R’Us and the mall. You slept the whole time. I think you really will be Mommy’s little shopper.

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You have your newborn pictures today. I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

We love you sweet girl and we are so very lucky to be your Mommy and Daddy!

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tlSMALLER

Emerson’s Birthday

5.24.2011

Sorry I’ve been MIA friends! Being a Mommy is the most amazing thing I have ever done and I spend most of my day staring at my little princess! But I did want to share her birth story before I forget all of the details. Just a fair warning- it’s going to be super long and detailed (and boring for most of you) but it’s more for me than anyone else. Smile

Monday May 16th
I went to my regular weekly doctor’s appointment. I went hoping that he would say I was making progress and that he would schedule my induction so that we could make sure Jesse would be there. To my surprise, my blood pressure way way above normal and my doctor seemed concerned. He told me he wanted me to go to the lab to do some tests and then come back the following day. He suspected toxemia and told me that if the labs came back the way he was expecting them to that we would have to get the baby out the next day. He put me on bed rest until he made a decision on what need to be done.
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep at all that night. I was excited about the possibility of meeting our baby girl but I was scared that my blood pressure would effect her health and worried that Jesse wouldn’t make it for the birth. I was also a bit stressed about being on bed rest. I had so many things I still needed to get ready for Emerson and the last thing I wanted to do was lay in bed!

Tuesday May 17th
11:30 am- I went to the lab to complete the tests ordered by my doctor.
12:30 pm- I stopped by Wal-Mart for a prescription and decided to check my blood pressure. It was even higher than the day before so I had a feeling that we would be meeting Emerson very soon.
1:00 pm- Even though I was on bed rest, my Mom and I decided to go out to eat. We thought it might be our last good meal for a while so we really tried to enjoy it.
2:00 pm- When we got home I packed my hospital bag and her diaper bag. Now I know why people do this early!
4:00 pm- We got to the doctor’s office and saw a packed waiting room. By this time my blood pressure was even higher because I was getting so nervous.
4:30 pm- They finally took us back. At this point my blood pressure was 156/96- the highest it had been. My doctor came in and told me that he was still concerned about my blood pressure, but he was waiting for my labs to come back.  While he out, we could hear him talking and saying my name but couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. He came back in and told me that my labs showed that I had the beginnings of toxemia and that he was sending me to Labor and Delivery right away.
5:30 pm- After calling everyone to tell them the news, I registered at the hospital and was sent up to L&D. I took my very last belly picture. I was 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant.
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7:30 pm- They started my IV and hooked me up to the monitors. They monitored Emerson’s heart rate for several hours before beginning the induction.
9:00 pm- First dose of Cytotec
9:30 pm- Took a walk around L&D to try to get things moving
We finally tried to get some sleep but really didn’t get much because of the monitors and the constant checks by the nurses. I knew at this point that Emerson’s birthday definitely wouldn’t be May 17th.
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Wednesday May 18th
2:00 am-Second dose of Cytotec (very little progress at this point)
6:00 am- Third dose of Cytotec. By this time I was starving because I hadn’t had anything to eat since lunch the day before. Luckily, my doctor allows a liquid diet before active labor. I have never been more thrilled to drink broth! Smile
9:35 am- Finally started Pitocin drip. I started having some regular contractions. They weren’t painful so I was feeling pretty good.
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9:55 am- Emerson’s heart rate started going down sharply after each contraction. Pitocin was stopped so that we could monitor her heart rate.
10:00 am- Jesse boarded his plane to make the long trip from Africa. We knew he wasn’t going to make it for the birth, but we were excited that he would be there soon after. This was the last time I talked to him until he landed in Texas. He tried calling and checking his email during his travel, but had trouble with his credit card. He traveled over 35 hours without knowing if his baby girl was born and how we were doing.
10:30 am- Dr. came in and inserted a balloon catheter to dilate the cervix. This was probably the most painful part of the whole process. It caused my cervix to dilate more in an hour than it normally would in 5 or 6 hours. I started having very painful contractions and asked for my epidural. The nurse said I had to get in one more bag of IV fluid before she could get me the epidural.  This was the longest hour of my life! I kept watching the IV bag and praying that it would empty quickly.
11:30 am- Finally got my epidural! It did not hurt at all and started working immediately! I am SO GLAD that I decided to go with an epidural. I honestly don’t think I could have made it through labor and delivery without it.
12:15 pm- Doctor came in and broke my water. They continued to monitor my contractions, which were two minutes apart. Progress was still slow because we had to stop the Pitocin.
3:00 pm Started Pitocin again! Yay!
4:00 pm- Dilated to 5 cm
6:00 pm-  Dilated to 7 cm- getting closer
7:00 pm- Doctor came in to check me and I was 100 complete and ready to push! Woohoo! I started shaking because I was so nervous. Even though I was completely numb (especially my left leg) I was kind of scared about the actual delivery. The nurse got the bed set up and my doctor came back.
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7:15 pm- I finally started pushing! I couldn’t feel my contractions because of the epidural so the nurse and the doctor had to tell me when to push. After pushing for a while, the doctor told me that Emerson was stuck because my pubic bone is curved downwards. I continued to push but was not making any progress.
7:30 pm- My doctor used the vacuum to try to help Emerson out. Despite his pulling and my pushing she was still stuck. My doctor stopped for a few minutes and I started getting really scared that he was going to decide that I needed a C-section. I didn’t want one at all after everything I had gone through to have her.
7:45 pm- The doctor decided to try forceps to help get her out. I continued to push with every contraction and he continued to work.
8:09 pm- Our beautiful princess was finally born! She didn’t cry right away and I said something about it but my doctor said she was fine. My Mom cut the cord and she let out a little cry. They laid her on my chest immediately and it was the most amazing feeling I have ever felt in my life.  I couldn’t help but bawl after finally seeing my sweetheart’s beautiful face.
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They immediately took her over to clean her up and weigh her.  I watched from my bed as they aspirated her mouth and nose. She wasn’t crying very loudly and sounded more like a little kitten than a baby. The nurse told me that they were going to go ahead and take her to the nursery a little early. I didn’t know what was wrong with her but the nurse assured me that she would be okay. They brought her over for one more snuggle and kiss and then took her away.
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My doctor stitched me up- I had third degree tearing due to the difficult birth. My doctor told me that he recommends that I deliver by c-section in the future because of the shape of my pelvis/pubic bone and the degree of tearing that I had.  (Sorry if this is too much information!!!) Winking smile It seemed to take forever and all I could think about was how my baby girl was doing.
11:00 pm-  After being given Morphine in my epidural and being hooked up to  more IV’s and a heart monitor, I was finally moved to Post-Partum and still hadn’t seen Emerson since her birth. I was really starting to worry that something was wrong so I called down to the nursery to check on her. They told me that she had swallowed a little bit of fluid and that her temperature was low so they were trying to regulate it before bringing her to me.
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Thursday May 19th
1:30 am- I finally got to hold my baby girl. I never really understood what people meant when they talked about the unconditional love that they have for their children until this moment. Holding her and staring at her sweet face- I felt a love like I have never known. All of my anxiety and worry was completely gone. I knew then that I was born to be Emerson’s mother and that it would be the most important job that I would ever have.
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We spent the rest of the day resting and cuddling and waiting for Jesse to arrive.  He finally made it around 8:00 pm. It was such an amazing feeling to see Emerson with her Daddy.
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We were finally discharged on Friday around 5:30 and have been enjoying our new life as a family of three!
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More pictures to come soon!
tlSMALLER

Fun Fridays

5.22.2011

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Happy Friday y’all. I’m linking up with Jen for Fun Friday! Smile
This weekend I’m going to:
-Spend lots of time cuddling this little sweetheart.
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-Finish my thank you notes
-Maybe do a little bit of shopping. Although I’m dreading it, I really need to buy a few things for myself. I may not be back to my old size, but I can’t wear yoga pants forever. Smile I’m on the lookout for a cute pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, and a few shirts- maybe something like these.
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I’m also planning on buying Miss E a few things. I’m loving these outfits from Gymboree and Crazy 8.
-Work on our 2010 and Cape Town photo book. I loved the way our Garmisch book turned out so I really want to start making one for each year and for our trips. It takes forever because I literally have thousands of pictures to go through but it’s so worth it when it’s done.
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-Start organizing and packing for our move.
-Celebrate Emerson’s one month birthday (I might cry- I can’t believe my baby is already one month old!)
-Unfortunately we won’t be able to celebrate Jesse’s first Father’s Day just yet but we will definitely celebrate it when we are all together again (in a little over 3 weeks- WOOHOO!) Smile
-Of course, most of these things will only be done while my sweet girl is sleeping. You know what that means- I’ll probably only tackle about a quarter of this list. I’d much rather hold Emerson- she’ll only be this little once and my list can definitely wait. Winking smile
What are you up to this weekend?
tlSMALLER

Introducing Emerson Olivia

5.20.2011

I just wanted to let everyone know that our precious baby girl has finally arrived. She weighs 7 lbs and 4 ozs and is 21 inches long. She and I are both doing well.

Her Daddy didn’t make it for the birth but he finally arrived last night and we are both completely in love. We’re still in the hospital but hope to go home soon. When we do, I will post more details about  her birth.

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Thanks for all of your prayers and well wishes. Nothing could compare to this amazing feeling! We are incredibly blessed and are enjoying every second with our precious little miracle!

tlSMALLER

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