June 29, 2010

Please join us

Many of you have heard the story of sweet baby Cohen, but for those who haven't, I urge you to take the time to read more of his story here. Megan is a fellow Oklahoman, and though I've never met her "in real life", I feel like we're old friends - probably a sentiment only other bloggers will understand. I remember when she so sweetly congratulated me on my pregnancy, and I was so excited when a short time later she announced hers. I remember when she found out she was having a boy, and I remember that first ultrasound that alerted them something might be wrong with Baby Cohen's heart. I have followed along every step of the way, praying and hoping for a miracle. Her sweet son was born on June 7th, and fought hard but ultimately went to be with Jesus on June 18th. My heart is so burdened for Megan and her family at their loss. I ask that you please keep them in your prayers during this very difficult time.

Megan's friends and a few bloggers have gotten together to ask the blogging community to take a moment of silence on July 1 for Cohen in support of his family. I've gotten the details from another blog I follow and am posting them here for anyone who wants to join us.

What: Moment of Silence for Cohen

When: Thursday July 1st from midnight to 11:59 pm.

How: Bloggers participating will post the Cohen banner (below) or simply post Cohen’s name in large letters on their blog.

Why: July 1st Megan and Brent will be holding Cohen’s memorial service. The moment of silence is an opportunity for Megan’s blog community to stand behind her and support her on this difficult day. Linking up will give Megan a chance to see the support at a glance.

Participating bloggers can Link Up on July 1st at Send Love To Cohen.

June 28, 2010

Our week & a few questions

We had such a busy week last week! We started off Monday by going up to the hospital to tour the new OB wing - it is SO nice and I'm sad I just barely missed the opening of it. The nurses there did such a great job taking care of us that I had wanted to do a little thank-you gift, so I made each of them a bag with their initial on it. Yes, it took me 5 weeks to get them to them, but I had to make 16 bags, so it took longer than I thought! I also made some White Chocolate Cinnamon Toast Crunch cookies and White Chocolate Cranberry cookies to take to them...they were so yummy!
That night Manny and I went to watch his favorite 14-year-old cousin play softball. My niece Gabi is such a doll, and is so good with kids. I'm still trying to convince her to be my live-in nanny. :) Anyway, I thought Manny needed the world to know who he was cheering for, so I made him a onesie using my freezer-paper stenciling technique.
He did so good at the game, and will always be her #1 fan! We love you Gabbers and are so proud of you!! :)
The next day we went to my nephew's birthday party, but somehow I didn't get any pictures of that. Then we spent the night with my parents, and while we were there Manny decided to do a little workout - it's never too early to start working on that 6-pack! :)
We also went with my mom to pick up my sister Jenny from the airport. She was selected to attend the Space Academy for Educators at the NASA place in Alabama - so cool! Here is her son Hayden with Manny before we went to get her, and the next picture is the adorable astronaut monkey she brought back for him! (notice E's outfit change - compliments of a major blow-out while in Old Navy.)
The next day we came home, and daddy was so giddy to see Manny us! It was a great trip but also good to be back home.

I know this post is kind of long, but I have 2 quick questions. E still loves to be swaddled, but he is getting SO strong that he's busting out of this one that we have been using, and waking himself up more often at night.
I have it in the next size up so am wondering if that will hold him in better? They're called SwaddleMe or Kiddopatamus...something like that. Someone also recently gave us some Luna Lullaby swaddlers. They're nice because they're huge - 44 x 44, and that soft cotton muslin material.
They work great when Patrick swaddles him, but I don't do it as well and sometimes he busts out. So my question to y'all is, what worked best in your experience? Is there a brand you really liked?

Also, how long can I wait to wash poopy clothes? I mean, I always rinse them after the explosion, but I hate to do a load of laundry for just a few things. However, I don't want the poop to set in if I wait too long to wash it. Any tips/suggestions?

June 26, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Yes, I'm a little late getting around to this, but we had a wonderful Father's Day! I am so blessed to have an amazing father myself. He set the bar high by being such a wonderful father to me. He has always been there through everything good & bad in my life. Even as I have gotten older, there doesn't seem to be much that a talk with/hug from dad can't make better! I remember so many special moments as a child with my dad, and even as an adult we still have our special moments. Thank you so much, dad, for always taking the time for me and being so wonderful. I am so proud of you & thank the Lord for giving me such an awesome daddy! :)

And now for the other man in my life - my sweet husband. It is so incredible to see him as a daddy! I love to see him rush in from work and watch his face light up when he sees his little guy - and maybe it's lighting up because he gets to see me too, right?! :) He is so good with Manny and I know they will have great fun together in the years to come.

We had a great day - went to church, and then hung out with his dad and brother who were in town visiting. Manny gave him some special gifts - a calendar with his pictures on it, a coffee mug with his pictures, and a framed photo. I put this in one of those picture frames that's clear glass with just the openings for the pictures - know what I'm talking about? It turned out amazing and I definitely have never seen Patrick's face light up so much when opening a gift - he loved it! :)
Here are my boys before church. It was kind of a fluke that I was able to match them, but it turned out so cute, huh?!
And I know it's Father's Day, but I still wanted a picture with my little man. :)He did so great at church! Of course he kept his Wubbanub nearby. :)
Sorry I haven't posted this week - we had a BUSY BUSY week! I will blog about it soon, and hope to be posting more frequently now. Happy Saturday!

June 17, 2010

1 Month

Emanuel, you are 1 month old {already} - wow!! This last month has been one of the best of my life. Here is what you've been up to, as well as some things I want to remember about our first month together.
  • You are nursing every 2 - 3 hours during the day, and about every 4 hours at night (on average). You definitely are a great eater and make the cutest little noises & sighs when you're nursing. You've learned that laying on the boppy pillow means it's mealtime and you calm down now when I lay you on it because you know you're about to eat...so cute!
  • You are GROWING so fast - too fast for mommy's liking! At birth you weighed 7 lbs 9 oz, and when we left the hospital on 5/21 you weighed 7 lbs 5 oz. At your 2 week appointment you weighed 8 lbs 9 oz, and at 3 weeks you weighed 9 lbs 8 oz!! I haven't weighed you this week but I'm certain you've put on (at least) another pound. Where is my baby going?!
  • You love to be swaddled, and sleep so well as a little baby burrito. :) You also love to sleep in your bassinet that Aunt Jen got you. You like to lay on your side when you're sleeping or hanging out on my chest.
  • June 1st was our very first day together; just you and me all day. We both cried when daddy left for work, but we made it through the day and are growing together as mommy & son. I love learning how to meet your needs and am becoming more confident as a mommy with each passing day.
  • You have several nicknames, which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me - I love giving nicknames! We call you Beebs, and I always tell you I have "Beeber Fever". I think it's funny but you just stare back. I have a feeling you're laughing on the inside though, right? We also call you Bubs, Mister Fister, and Choncho (like the chubby little kid on Nacho Libre). And of course, sometimes we call you E or Manny. You're not going to know what to answer to with all of these names!
  • You get the hiccups all.of.the.time! You had them often when you were in my belly, and that hasn't changed a bit.
  • You love to stare at lights and ceiling fans. You are totally mesmerized by them and it is so cute!
  • I left you for the first time on June 8th so I could go to the chiropractor. My back & neck were killing me from always looking down and loving on you! You stayed at daddy's clinic with him since my appointment was during a time he wasn't seeing patients. You did great, and your daddy teased me forever because I called to check on you 3 times in the (less than) hour that I was gone.
  • Here you are with your 1 month birthday gift from my friends in Waco. I am so excited that you will have a gift to open from them each month! You loved the onesies and gas drops they got you this month. :)

Our first month together has absolutely flown by. Being your mommy is the best job I've ever had, and I look forward to our 2nd month together and many more photo shoots! I love you, my precious baby boy. XOXO



June 15, 2010

Birth Story

As you already know, we decided to induce at 40 weeks due to high blood pressure. Going into it, I was so scared. I had no idea what to expect, how long it would take, and probably just all of the normal fears you have when you're about to experience child birth for the first time. Fortunately I had my mom, sister Rachael, and amazing hubs to encourage me and keep me calm. My goal was to labor as long as possible without an epidural or pain meds. I'm not against those things; it was just the best choice for me and my situation.

So we got to the hospital around 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 16th. We got checked in, and I still hadn't progressed any. At 4 p.m. they put the first dose of Cytotech in. It didn't do much of anything, so they did another dose around 9 p.m. This started some very mild contractions, which was at least something, so we were thankful for that. At 1 a.m. they put the final dose of it in and my contractions started picking up, but not super painful. I had told my mom & sister to go home for the night and get some rest because nothing was going to be happening anytime soon. I continued to have contractions throughout the night. They weren't unbearable, but made it where I couldn't sleep. It was still very early on and nothing compared to what was to come. :)

Seven a.m. finally rolls around, and when they came to check me I had made no progress. Boo. So moving right along, my doctor ordered Cervidil. A side story I must include for documentation purposes: my doctor had told the nurse to just put the Cervidil in herself. She was kind of new to the hospital at the time, so Patrick said - "Hey, do you mind if I show you how I like it done so you know for my patients in the future?" So suddenly we're in a teaching moment, with me as the "visual aid", if you will. He's down there explaining everything under the sun to her, and I'm up there barking to just get it over with already. It was pretty funny, and the nurse got a big kick out of it. Hope that story wasn't TMI for anyone - I had to include it though just because it's so typical Patrick - he loves teaching. :)

It wasn't long before I felt the Cervidil working it's magic. Yes, it most certainly was bringing on the contractions, and when they checked me at 10 a.m. I had progressed to 2 cm. Woohoo! I'll take any progress I can get. My contractions continued to pick up, and about 10:45 a.m. my water broke. That was such an exciting moment for me because I knew at that point - one way or another I'd get to meet my baby within 24 hours!

After my water broke, my doctor had them turn the pitocin on. And let me tell you friends, Pitocin contractions ain't no joke. I'm pretty sure at that point was when I was telling Patrick I couldn't do this...I would need pain meds and/or the epidural NOW, thankyouverymuch. My mom & sister showed up right about then, gave me a pep talk, and my sister suggested I get out of bed and labor on the stability ball. (She is a total rock star at labor, by the way. She had a vaginal birth after cesarean naturally...no pain meds, no epidural, nothing...so she had LOTS of great advice for helping me...I couldn't have made it without you Rachie.)
I cannot begin to tell you how big of a difference it made once I got on the ball! Yes, the contractions were still tough, but it was nothing like being in bed during them. The movement on the ball eased a lot of the pressure while they talked me through them. My contractions were every 2 minutes at this point, but I was feeling pretty good. I had waited for this forever and I was finally experiencing it! Around 1:15 p.m. we decided to play a game of Phase 10 to pass the time and keep my mind off things. Yes, we had to take little breaks to get through the contractions, but it was a lot of fun and a special memory I'll always have! For the record, I won, even though I think they might have let some things slide. :)

When they checked me at 2:30 p.m., I was dilated to a 3. Again, not big progress, but hey - progress is progress, and I was happy with that. The contractions continued to intensify, and by this point we definitely were not playing any card games. :)

So 4 p.m. rolls around, and I'm dilated to a 4! Still making slow, but steady progress. They turned the pitocin up at that point to try to help things along. By 4:45, I had progressed to a 5. I was definitely hurting at this point, but was able to manage by changing positions, looking at my focus object, and listening to some calming music.

Around 5 o'clock, I started having back labor. Now that is some serious pain, my friends. Very different than anything I'd experienced thus far. I had the shakes, going from hot to cold, and throwing up. All not fun - but also typical signs of progression and being closer to the end, so I hung in there. My contractions were off the charts by this point so I had no doubt I was making good progress. So 7:15 rolls around, and they check me...and I had not progressed any. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I was still at a 5. Are you kidding me?! How is that possible with what I'd been experiencing for the last couple of hours?!

At that point I said to bring on the epidural. Patrick and I had talked about it, and sometimes women will stall out at a certain point, and I think that's what happened with me. Additionally, Emanuel's heart rate started dropping occasionally so it appeared he was not tolerating labor well. So by about 7:45 p.m., I was getting my epidural and life was good. I was SO tired since I hadn't slept the night before so I tried to get some rest. I didn't get to rest much though because the nurses kept having me change positions to see if that would help with his heart rate dropping.

They checked me around 8:30, and I had progressed to a 6! Again, not big - but progress. Unfortunately shortly thereafter is when things started to go downhill quickly. E was consistently having late decels, and they continued to get worse. My doctor came in and immediately called for an emergency c-section.

Everything was happening so fast, and I was doing my best to stay strong. A c-section was not the end of the world - all that mattered was getting E here safe and sound. I had got to experience labor, and we gave it the best shot we could but there was nothing we could do at this point, and we needed to get that baby out. :)

I'll admit, I was very scared. But I didn't let it show. I will never forget the look on Patrick's face. He looked so nervous, which is not like him at all. He's always the one to calm me down. After the fact he explained to me that it was just scary all of the sudden - being on the patient side but knowing everything you do as a doctor, and trying not to think of all the potential bad outcomes when it's your wife and baby there on the table. Definitely gave him a new perspective.

So everything's happening so fast now. They were pulling my hair back and told me I had to take my contacts out. I was disappointed just because I can't see a thing without them, but they said I could wear my glasses so that made it okay. I told Patrick to get them out of my bag, but he couldn't find them. That's when I almost started crying. I was trying not to get caught up in the fact that I wasn't going to get to deliver as I wanted and hold him right after he was born, but the thought of not being able to even see him when they did bring him to me almost pushed me over the edge. Luckily my mom saved the day and found my glasses! :)

At first my doctor wasn't aware I'd already had the epidural as he'd just come in, so he said I was going to have to go under general anesthesia since there wasn't time and we had to get the baby out STAT. At this point I was so beyond thankful that we made the decision to get the epidural when we did. I would have been devastated if I wouldn't have been able to be awake for his birth.

So off to the OR we go! My mom scrubbed in also because at first, Patrick was going to assist with the c-section. Fortunately another doctor got there in time to assist so Patrick got to just be dad. We still had my mom come in though and I'm so glad she got to - she means so much to me and it was so special to have her by my side; plus it was her birthday!

I was talking 90 miles an hour to anyone who would listen...just trying to keep myself distracted and not get scared and/or dwell on my disappointment of not being able to deliver vag.inally. I'll be honest - it was hard; it really was. But as I laid there on the table, I thought of many people - many of you specifically - who I know would give anything to just be able to get pregnant and give birth to a child, no matter how that happened. I thought of the miracle that Emanuel was, and just thanked the Lord for all He'd done. There was no way satan was going to steal my joy of what was about to come.

And then at 9:56 p.m, I heard the most beautiful noise ever when Emanuel let out his first cry. I in turn started crying, and I'm not sure which of us was crying harder. I just couldn't believe that was my baby I was hearing. Finally. Here are daddy & son shortly after he was born.He weighed 7 lbs, 9 oz, and was 20.5 inches long, which was MUCH smaller than we expected! He pooped all over the hospital paperwork, which was hilarious because Patrick was like, "That's how I feel about hospital paperwork, too, son!"
This was the first time I got to see him, and I was still trying to stop crying. I look a little rough. :)

Kissing his sweet cheeks for the very first time. :)I told Patrick to go with him to the nursery because I didn't want him to be alone. :) My mom stayed with me until I went to recovery, then I sent her down so she could be taking pictures, too. I LOVE this picture...he is holding on to my mom's finger...isn't it so sweet?!
Of course he was already chewing on his hand, just like he always was in ultrasounds.
He had low blood sugar, so ended up having to have IV fluids. Fortunately he responded well and it was no time before he was eating well on his own and able to have the IV removed, so it was no big deal in the grand scheme of things.

So there you have it...my very detailed & long birth story. Was I disappointed I didn't get to have the delivery I wanted, and not hold him right away? Sure. Was recovering from a c-section fun? No, but it wasn't near as bad as I anticipated. Bottom line is: it could've been much worse, and I have no regrets whatsoever and am simply very thankful that I have my happy, healthy baby boy in my arms. The Lord was with us every step of the way, and I will forever be in awe when I look at this precious face. :)

June 14, 2010

4 weeks!

And yet another week has flown by! It's so weird...I always imagined the days creeping by when I would be staying home with a baby. Ha! It seems like before I know it it's already 5 p.m. It's so crazy.

Speaking of time flying by, I can't believe it's been almost a month since he was born and I have yet to finish writing my birth story. Well, technically I wrote it long ago, but I haven't dropped the pictures in the post yet and finished a few parts of it. So I plan to do that this week and finally share how he made his grand entrance into the world. :)

This last week I finally finished thank-you notes and got his birth announcements in the mail. I decided to use the wrap-around label idea from Martha Stewart...and why I thought that'd be a good idea to attempt with a newborn who must likes to be held 23.5 hours of the day...well, I'm not sure that was the most genius plan. :) They're easy enough, just took a little time to cut them up and glue them on...twice. Yes, twice. The kind of glue I used the first go around didn't quite get the job done, so when I went to mail them I realized about half of the labels were falling off...aack!! Needless to say, they are in the mail now and let's just hope they all arrive safely at their destination. Lesson learned in using the appropriate glue...be patient if you don't have it on hand Sarah, because the junk you try to substitute will just cause more problems in the long run. :)

Moving right along...a few pictures from our week!

He hung out in his play gym a little more. He still doesn't love it all the time, but he'll spend some time there a couple days a week.

Yesterday we went to church, and it was much better with daddy along. I tried to make E wear a hat, but he wasn't going for it...plus it was a little too big. :)

And finally, I absolutely LOVE these pictures of him holding on to his little pacifier buddy. I think it's so cute how in the picture at the top he's got a death-grip on it. :) This thing is genius! It's great because E is getting big enough now that if his paci comes out in the car, he kind of roots around for it, and the monkey keeps it near enough that he's able to get it back in his mouth (sometimes). On the other hand, it also makes me sad that he is getting big enough to do that though. :)

My little guy was definitely worth the wait!! :)

And couldn't you just eat these cheeks?! Love 'em!! :)

June 7, 2010

3 Weeks!

Eventually I will get to the point where I am posting more than once a week, but for now, this is what we got. :) I'll save the "I can't believe it's been 3 weeks..." spiel, because you all know I feel that way already. E is doing great and definitely keeping me on my toes! He is still eating like a champ and makes the cutest little noises when he nurses...I love it. At his 2 week check-up on Tuesday he weighed in at a whopping 8 lbs, 10 oz....my little man is growing so fast!

Here are a few pictures from this week. We went to the drive-in with some friends Friday night - it was so fun and he did great! He absolutely loves to be swaddled, and sleeps so much better this way. I love his little face in this picture! His favorite hobby is staring at the lights. :) Here we are before church yesterday morning. I tried to take him for the first time, and was by myself because Patrick was on call. Suffice it to say this was not such a great idea. The scowl on his face here is pretty telling of his mood....so yeah, better luck next time, right?! :)
And here he is just a few moments ago, hanging out on my lap in deep thought. He LOVES to have his hands by his face - so precious. :)

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