Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Hospital Stay

The rest of our time at the hospital was just as wonderful as our first day there. Well, maybe not AS wonderful as the day our daughter was born, but still pretty great. It was such a special time with family and friends coming to see us and celebrate Emily Elizabeth. We had so many special people come to visit.

Each night in the hospital was a bit rough trying to get used to a newborn and trying to stay awake long enough to feed and do all the things I needed to do, but overall, it wasn't too bad. All Friday night my nurses were coming in to check on us and early Saturday morning, my favorite nurse Tiia from Finland (whose mom happens to have the maiden name Takala) came to get me up and out of bed. After a very long time confined to it, I was thrilled to get out! Once I was up, they had a hard time getting me back in. For the next two days, we were surrounded by family and friends coming to fawn over our precious angel.

Here are a few pictures from our stay.

My sweet husband with our brand new baby.

Mommy and Emily

Sweet Emily

Our first Saturday visitor, Shelley.

Mawmaw meeting Emily for the first time.

Emily meeting my bestie, her Aunt Kimmy for the first time.

Emily with her great-grandpa. Great-grandma had to go out of town on Saturday, but she was there for the delivery on Friday night.

Lucas picked this one out specifically. The little doll says a prayer.

Mimi and Papa. I've never seen two people more in love with another person.

Me and my mommy, Emily's Mimi.

Emily and her Uncle David, one of our best friends.

Emily and Britney

Emily and Brad

Emily and my cousin Julie

Emily and Sarah

Emily and her great-great-grandma, Granny. She is 97 years young!

Emily and her future sisters-in-law, Eden and Ella

Emily and Sierra (and Stephenie)

A REALLY rough picture of me and my other bestie, the famous Kaylane (wife of David and mom of Eden and Ella, pictured above.) Even though it's not great, I had to include it. This is the woman behind the awesome tea party baby shower and also the one who was by my side all day long while I was in labor. She documented the entire day in photographs and made me an awesome photo album of the big day. She is a HUGE blessing in our lives.

These are just a few pictures of our special visitors. I wish I could include them all, but blogger has a limit. I'll be posting a slideshow tomorrow of all of the pictures from our time in the hospital.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Emily's Birthday

What an amazing week it has been! We've been the parents of sweet Emily Elizabeth for nine days now, and each day has been better than the one before. I can't believe what an amazing miracle we have been witness to. Emily is such a blessing, precious and perfect.

Emily's birth story begins with Lucas and I being admitted to the hospital at 10:00 pm on August 18th. After our doctor's appointment on the 17th, Emily was no longer breech, but we decided that it would be best to go ahead and induce in order to try to avoid her flipping back again and needing to have a C-section. I wasn't anti C-section by any means, but we were just trying to go the most natural way possible. After we were admitted, they gave me a medicine called Cytomax (I believe) to begin relaxing my cervix. I had to lay on one side and couldn't move after they gave me this medicine. This made my hips hurt really bad and they had to give me morphine. The morphine definitely helped with the pain, however, and also helped me to sleep. In addition to ripening the cervix, the Cytomax also helped me to begin having contractions, but they were pretty mild.

The next morning, they gave me Pitocin to really begin the contractions. Although I was having them pretty regularly, I wasn't really feeling them at all. Around this time, my parents arrived and a couple hours later, my wonderful friend Kaylane came. I began dilating slowly and was around a 2 by noon. At 1:00, my doctor came in and broke my water which was the weirdest thing ever. At this point, I began feeling the contractions, but they were nothing like I thought they would be. I was just very uncomfortable. We decided to go ahead and get the epidural at 2:00 and by that time I was at a 3. The anesthesiologist was great and the epidural was very easy. For the next three hours, I just worked on progressing. At 5:00, I was only at a 4. I really should've been further at that point, and also around this time, Emily started reacting a bit during some of the contractions and her heart rate was elevated. My doctor said that we were welcome to wait longer, but she didn't see this delivery happening without a C-section. I might've waited a bit longer, but after seeing that Emily was starting to get a bit distressed, I wasn't willing to risk anything. I was also absolutely exhausted at this point and couldn't imagine waiting around for several more hours and ending up with a C-section anyway. So, we decided to go ahead and go with it. We were in surgery in less than an hour and Miss Emily was born at 6:23.

I really don't remember a whole lot about the day, but there are a few things that are vivid to me:

-hearing Emily's heartbeat on the monitor all night and day
-getting my epidural
-breaking my water
-Dr. Staud coming in and talking with us about the C-section
-wheeling me out of the room down to surgery
-reminding Lucas to get the camera
-the nurse trying to find Emily's heartbeat on the monitor in the OR and realizing it wasn't plugged in
-being so scared and squeezing Lucas's hand while we were waiting for them to get Emily out
-sobbing when Emily was finally out and healthy
-asking if she was a girl
-asking if she had all her fingers and toes
-getting to nurse her for the first time in the recovery room
-mom and dad kissing me as the nurses wheeled me down from recovery to my post-partum room
-visiting with family and getting to hold my sweet baby girl

This day was so wonderful and although parts of it were difficult, it really went well. The C-section was great, the doctors and nurses were wonderful, Emily was perfect, and I couldn't have asked for more. The Lord has been so good to us to bless us with such an amazing miracle. I've never done anything good enough in my life to deserve something like this, but the Lord blessed us anyway. That's the beauty of God the father. He gives his children good things in spite of ourselves to show us his love. We are so humbled and so thankful. We give all praise to him for blessing us with such an easy pregnancy, with good health for me, and a perfect, healthy baby. I am so mindful right now of my friends who haven't had such an easy go of it and I pray with confidence that the Lord will bless them as well, according to His will.

Lucas and my parents were there by my side all day, as was Kaylane who documented the ENTIRE day by photograph. I am so thankful to her for doing this, because I will be able to re-live this magical day for the rest of my life through the photo album she made me of pictures from the day.

And now, here are some pictures from August 19th, one of the most amazing days of my life. Some of these are by Lucas and some are by Kaylane.

About to leave for the hospital on the evening of the 18th.

Lucas and I waiting around on the morning of the 19th.

Lucas watching the monitor to see Emily's heartbeat and my contractions.

Me with my wonderful doctor, Jennifer Staud. I highly recommend her!

The very first glimpse of Emily. Lucas snapped this shot right after Dr. Staud got her out.

7 lbs, 13.8 oz

The first time I got to hold my darling angel baby.

Lucas's first time to hold his baby girl.

A close up shot of me holding her while I was still on the operating table.

Lucas coming out to tell everyone that she's here!

In the nursery getting cleaned up.

Already sucking on her fingers. She loves to do this!

Mom and Dad kissing me when they wheeled me out of the OR.

My grandparents waiting to see me and Emily.

My parents holding Emily for the first time.

The end of a wonderful day. Emily was being passed around at this point, so she isn't in the picture. :)

More pictures of our hospital stay will follow soon, along with Emily's first trip to the doctor and her first trip to her Mimi and Papa's house, among others.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Emily Elizabeth is here!

Emily is here!
Friday, August 19th
6:23 pm
7 lbs, 14 oz.
20 inches
More pictures to come once we are home...including one of the three of us!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Today is the day!

We are being admitted to the hospital tonight to begin the process of induction! She should be here sometime tomorrow. Hopefully we will be able to post pictures of our little Emily very soon!

Friends and Family Shower

On Sunday, August 7th, my grandma hosted a friends and family shower along with several other sweet ladies. This shower consisted mostly of family and friends from South MacArthur as well as a few other special friends. It was our last shower and was absolutely amazing. I began opening gifts the moment it started and didn't stop until after the shower was supposed to be over. Emily was SO blessed by all of these sweet people.

Me at the table.

The awesome cake! You might notice that this matches the tree in Emily's room. Ellen, the artist that painted the mural also does cake art! It tasted even better than it looks!

My grandmother is a very talented floral designer and she did these awesome centerpieces. Beautiful!

Me and Grandma.

Me and Mom.

Opening gifts! On my right is my cousin Julie and on my left is my sweet friend Kim. Julie handed all the gifts to me and Kim wrote it all down for thank you notes. Kim was also one of the hostesses.

Lots of gifts! In this picture is my Granny (Grandma's mom- 97 years old,) my Mawmaw (Dad's mom,) Julie, and me.

My Aunt Kathy, cousin Krystal, Aunt Donna, and Mary Lou, Julie's other grandma.

Look! More gifts!

Some of our sweet guests. All of these ladies are South Mac friends.

More guests.

My Aunt Debbi

Apparently this gift provoked a lot of thought, as evidenced by my face.

Lisa and Sharon, my Dad's cousins. Their mom is my Mawmaw's twin sister.

More fun guests! The woman in the pink chair is Mawmaw's twin, Corrine.

Wendy and Ann. I have been so blessed by these two women for years. I used to babysit Wendy's son Isaiah (he was also our ring bearer) and I interned with her when she was the Children's Minister at South Mac. She and her family just moved back from Minnesota a few days before the shower, so it was very special to have her there! I have known Ann my entire life, but the most meaningful time with her was when I spent five years teaching with her at Lively. The day of the shower was also her birthday, so it was very special that she chose to spend it with me!

Iris and Debbie, both good friends of my mom. I've also known these ladies forever. Literally. Debbie and her husband were like second parents growing up.

I look really happy here. And I was! But what you can't tell is that the reason I'm standing up was to take a break because I was SO hot and needed to air out. :)

There were lots of other sweet friends that were there and lots more pictures. I'll share all of them on Facebook!