Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dear Emma

You FINALLY got the memo. Mommy has been back to work for almost two months. Every Saturday and Sunday for the past two months, you have been waking up before 7am. No bueno. Every one of those days, mommy tells you weekend are for sleeping in. This morning you finally got the memo. You woke up at 8:30 am!! It was HEAVEN. You mommy has not felt that rested in a very long time.

If we could keep this trend going, that would be great.

All my (well rested) love,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

MILK Update

My Mother's Milk Tea and Fenugreek tablets came in the mail yesterday and to say I was excited was an understatement.  I called Wes at noon asking if they had arrived yet!  They had!!

I had my first tea last night, with two tablets.  Today I had another bag of tea, two tablets and I am having one right now. You are supposed to drink 3 - 5 cups a day which seems a little extreme (but maybe I will be able to kick my coffee habit).  As of 12:42pm today, I had already pumped 16 ounces!!!! I was soooo excited!!! It normally takes me the whole day to pump 16 ounces!  I don't know if it is a fluke, if it is my new positive attitude about pumping, or if the tea really works- but I will take it!

And maybe I wont have to give Emma any of that poison afterall ;).

Love you Bah Boo!

In case you are wondering- the tea is gross, but I am stuffing it down my throat regardless since I have six boxes!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Phrases I am NOT so Fond of

"She's so tiny"

"Just give her some rice cereal so she will sleep through the night"

"If you want Emma to sleep on the plane, just giver her some Benadryl"

Everyone has an opinion when you have a baby and they don't mind sharing it.

Emma is petite, but not tiny. She is perfect. I wish everyone would say- she is just right! Or she is just perfect! When I hear she is so tiny, I cringe. Then I google her percentile and when I read stories, I run crying hysterical to my husband. No good. She is just perfect.

I am against rice cereal. If I can avoid it, Emma will not be eating that stuff. Ps. She has slept through the night several times. And I have never added rice cereal to her bottle. Th end.

I am not drugging my baby so she will sleep on the plane. I will buy earplugs for those sitting around us. They can deal- she will be an adorable 5 month old. I will let you know how it goes. I am crossing my fingers Emma will be on her best behavior. But I will never giver her medicine to make her sleep.

I think I am turning into one of those people that has opinions :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Year Ago Today: Part 2

It was a Friday.  It was the day before my sister's wedding.  It was the day I turned 27 and a 1/2 (which is a big deal since my birthday is Christmas Eve).  I was going to work from home in the morning because I was going to take a half day off to help get ready for Austin's wedding.  We had family that was coming to stay with us so I had Wes mix up the roundup before he went to work (I couldn't have them looking at our weeds).  I was about to go spray for weeds when something told me to take a pregnancy test (since you are not supposed to spray for weeds when pregnant).  We had been back from Mexico for awhile and my monthly gift hadn't visited me.

I had a pregnancy test leftover from the time before, so I quickly went to the bathroom in a cup and dunked that stick in.  Much to my surprise before I could blink, there were two lines.  This time, there was no forcing myself out of the bathroom and not looking for the recommended two lines.  I was pregnant again.  Already.  How did this happen?  I was happy, nervous, scared, excited and scared (as you can tell mostly scared).  According to my doctor, we were not supposed to try again for two months.  I obviously didn't listen :).

I called Wes immediately since he was already at work.  I exclaimed "we are pregnant again!!!!".  I think this time he was surprised.  I hadn't told him I was going to take a pregnancy test, and I most certainly didn't feel pregnant.  I remember that I sent him a picture of the positive pregnancy test and even wrote the blue lines are darker this time, maybe that's a sign.

We had decided not to say anything this time around because of what happened last time and because it was my sister's wedding.  We didn't want to take away from her special day.

Going through the wedding weekend was so surreal.  Every time, I was by myself I thought about being pregnant.  Every time that Wes and I were alone (which wasn't much), we talked about being pregnant.  I was just in awe that I was pregnant again.

I was crazy.  I decided not to call the doctor's office and tell them I was pregnant because I thought I would jinx it.  I had no idea how far along I was, but I knew that I couldn't be much more than six weeks pregnant. I also knew the doctor wouldn't see you until you were 8 weeks pregnant so I didn't call.

Its hard to imagine, but I wasn't very optimistic that this pregnancy was going to work out.  I think going through a miscarriage makes you doubt your body's ability to carry a baby.  I wouldn't let myself get excited about being pregnant.

Then five days after taking the positive pregnancy test, I was driving to Christina's to meet Wes for happy hour before our Central Market cooking class, my body cramped, I leaned forward, and I could feel a gush of blood.  I started sobbing.  This is why I didn't get my hopes up.  This is why I wasn't excited.  I called Wes and told him the devastating news.  I also drank one margarita and two glasses of wine.  In my heart of hearts, I knew I wasn't pregnant.  By the end of the night, Wes and I had decided that we would actually take the doctor's advice and not try again for awhile.  My body was beat.  I couldn't take it emotionally anymore. We needed a break.

Wes convinced me to call the doctor the next day.  I wasn't going to.  What was the point.  I called and I felt stupid because I had never even called to tell them I was pregnant and now I was calling them to tell them I thought I was losing my baby again.  I went in and did blood work.  My HCG levels were low.  I went back two days later to do more blood work.  My HCG levels did not double as they had expected, but they also hadn't dropped.  The doctor's office told me to prepare for a miscarriage.  I was emotionally numb.

I went a couple of more times for blood work.  My HCG levels kept rising, but not doubling by any means.  I can remember sitting in the cafeteria at work when the nurse told me that I would have to come in for the ultrasound.  They thought the pregnancy had stalled and I was going to have to have a D&C.  I asked her what she thought my chances were of finding a viable baby.  She said less than 5%.  I left work.  I went home and I cried and talked to Wes and cried.

We went in the next day for the ultrasound.  The paperwork that they gave me said threatened abortion. I can not tell you how seeing those words written down made it all feel so real.  This couldn't be my paperwork.  Since they were squeezing us in, we waited about an hour and a half in the waiting room.  It was torture seeing all of these pregnant women come in.  I wanted to be one of them.  I wanted to have a baby in my belly.

This was my first ultrasound ever so I didn't really know what to expect.  I laid back on the table, shut my eyes and just held Wes's hand.  What felt like forever was two minutes, the ultrasound lady exclaimed "there is a heartbeat.  This was the first time I had allowed myself to look at the screen.  I couldn't believe it.  We had a living baby!! Don't get my wrong, I was still very scared, but this is the first time I started letting myself get excited.  I was also kicking myself for drinking two weeks before.

We had to wait to talk to the doc next, but we just sat there staring at a picture of our baby.  We were going to have a baby.  This was my 5% chance.  We went into the doctor's office and he said he had some bad news for us and some good news.  My head started racing.  What could be wrong with our baby??  The bad news was we were going to have twins, and one of them hadn't survived (which caused the fluctuating HCG levels).  The good news was we still had one baby and everything looked great with that baby.

We were stunned, shocked, sad and overwhelmingly happy to have a baby.  I was extremely sad to have lost another baby, but overwhelmingly happy to have a baby in my belly.  It is a weird feeling.  I just couldn't believe I was 8 weeks, 1 day pregnant.  I couldn't believe how blessed we were.  

What a difference a year makes :).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Nonni

Happy Birthday Nonni!!! I heard you don't like to celebrate even talk about your birthday, but I still wanted to wish you a good day.  Please come home from Colorado soon!  I miss you and I need to show you my new tricks.

Love, Emma

Friday, June 22, 2012

Breastfeeding Woes

Nursing Emma is my favorite thing to do with her from day one.  Nursing her provided an instant bond between the two of us.  I could feel the immense love pouring out of her as she drank my milk.  In her first few days of life, I was all she needed and I loved that.  When I was pregnant, I didn’t set very high expectations for breast feeding.  Yes, I signed up for the class and made Wes go with me.  But, I didn’t want to set a time frame because I didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment.

That all changed when Emma arrived and I nursed her for the first time.   After that, I knew I would breastfeed her for six months exclusively.  I knew I would never give her formula.  Wes has mentioned before that I act like giving Emma formula is the same thing as poisoning her- and to some extent I do.  I want what’s best for her- and I strongly believe that is breast milk and breast milk alone.

That being said, nursing her is also one of the most frustrating experiences.  Emma spits up my milk like nobody’s business.  My body works so hard to produce this good milk for her and she just spits it up.  Now that I am back to work, I have to pump.  Pumping is annoying.  Every day, I have to walk five minutes to the mothers room, get my pump all set up, pump, clean up and walk five minutes back to my desk.  I have been doing this three times a day for almost two months now.  I have no extras in the freezer to show for it. 

My baby is tiny.  I hate hearing that, but I know it’s the truth.  This was confirmed during her 4 month old well visit.  She weighs just 12 pounds 8.5 ounces.  She still fits into her 0 – 3 month clothes.  I don’t know why I have been beating myself up about it, but I have.  The doctor seems to think she is ok for the most part, but I was instructed to feed her 4 oz every feeding (from a bottle).  This morning, I opened up the freezer and I immediately felt defeated.  The bottles upon bottles I had stocked up while on maternity leave were gone.  I had depleted my supply.  I was devastated.  And tired.  And sick of pumping.  Wes comes into the kitchen a few minutes later and I asked him if he had had to get bottles out of the freezer the day before, and yes, he had.  I wanted to cry.  I am not making enough milk for my baby.  For the first time in motherhood, I felt that I wasn’t good enough.  I pouted about it the whole way to work.  I wanted to give up.  I wanted to tell Wes just give her some formula.  But I snapped out of it.

I went on Amazon at lunch and I bought six boxes of Mother’s Milk tea and 200 Fenugreek vitamins that are both supposed to increase my milk supply.  I bought in bulk to prove to myself that I believed I could do it.  I am determined that this is going to work.  I am going to produce enough milk for my baby without having to wake up between 1am and 5am to pump (Wes tells me that’s the trick J). 

Breastfeeding has been a whirl of emotions.  It is joyful, exciting and amazing.  At the same time it is hard, annoying, time consuming and sometimes disappointing.  But that flushed face and drunk milk look she gives me after a feeding session is priceless.  It makes it all worth it.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nursery Rhyme for Bah Boo

Austin graciously offered to babysit Emma on Sunday so that Wes and I could sneak away for a date!!!  While we were gone, Austin made up this precious nursery rhyme for Emma.  It is too cute not to share.  

Imagine that it is to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb :)

"Emma loves to go on walks, go on walk go on walks
Emma loves to go on walks
She loves to go on wa-alks”

“Emma loves to exercise, exercise, exercise
Emma loves to exercise
She loves to exerci-ise”

“Emma loves to meet her neighbors meet her neighbors meet her neighbors
Emma loves to meet her neighbors
She loves to meet her neighbors”

“Emma loves her little red shade, little red shade, little red shade
Emma loves her little red shade
She thinks it keeps her co-ol”

Emma is lucky to have such a great Godmommy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Emma's 3 Month Photos

I bought a Groupon from Target Portrait Studio for $25 back in February with the intention to use it for Emma's three month old photoshoot.  I didn't have high hopes that the pictures would turn out fantastic, but if they turned out terrible, I only wasted 25 bucks.  Well the dress cost me $25 bucks too. But it was precious and I couldn't pass it up! Armed with her pretty dress, beautiful pearls (gifted to her by Austin and Craig for her Baptism), and the blanket my grandma gave me, we set out hoping for the best on Memorial Day.  

There was plenty of crying during the photoshoot, so I thought all of the photos might turn out like this:

Not so cute. But actually they turned out even better than I expected.  There was a lot of Emma chewing on her hands, which is appropriate because if she is not chewing on her paci or spitting up, she is most likely chewing on her hands.

And then there were some cute smiley ones:

She didn't give us her award winning smile (which I like to refer to as her gummy grin), but with all of the meltdowns and the emergency feeding session- they turned out pretty cute.  My mom and I also took some pictures with her.

Looking at these pictures just confirms that she is her daddy's girl.  Where is her brown eyes??  Where is her dark hair?? Oh well- she is beautiful just the way she was made :).  Love you Bah Boo!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Letter to Emma: 4 Months

Height: 23 inches
Weight: 12 lbs 8.5 ounces (25th percentile)

Bah Boozle: I cant believe you are already four months old!  It feels like just yesterday that you were in my tummy, not ready to come out.  Now you are my big girl.  My love for you grows every day.  Sometimes when I think about how much I love you, my heart literally aches.  I would do anything for you.  You have the most beautiful, sparkling blue eyes.  They just light up the room whenever you are there.

This month has brought a lot of milestones.  You LOVE to sit up or stand up.  Now you prefer sitting or standing to laying down which means a lot more work for mommy and daddy.  That is ok with us though because the look on your face when you stand up (assisted) is the best look ever.  You are so proud of yourself.  This month, we went to a lot of outdoor concerts.  We spread out our blanket in the back and enjoy the live music.  You don't really know whats going on, but mommy and daddy are starting out your cultural training early :).  You sit in your Bumpo a lot too.  You like to watch mommy cook dinner and join us for family dinners in your Bumpo.  You also had a blowout in your Bumpo- it was gross.  I am so glad you dont have those in public!

You have also been smiling and giggling up a storm.  Now we dont even have to ask for smiles, you just give them to us.  Your favorite times to smile are first thing when you wake up in the morning or after your long morning nap.  Your belly laughs are the cutest.  Daddy is working on posting them on YouTube and then I will post them on here.  Daddy will try to tickle you and you bring your arms over yourself as if to protect yourself and then giggle.  We die laughing.  You have also learned how to turn the page on a book.  Your daddy taught you how to do it and your mommy video taped it.  It is precious.  You are wise beyond your four months :).  You are still a spitter.  You spit everywhere.  It can be depressing when I think about how hard it was to make all of that good milk.  Luckily though, you are a good nurser.  A couple of times, you have tried to go on strike, but after three of four times mommy normally wins the battle. Nursing you is still one of my favorite things about you.  I hope you get my killer immune system.  

You also (allegedly) ROLLED OVER this month.  Mommy and daddy missed it, but you rolled over three times from your tummy to your back for your grandma.  You are a stinker.  You can roll over for your mommy and daddy any day now that you are ready.  We are ready!  You have had your first and second swim in our swimming pool and you seem to like it :).  We hope you are a pool baby just like your mommy and daddy.  We cant wait to teach you how to swim.  You are also still a good sleeper.  You for the most part sleep through the night now, although sometimes you wake up one time.  Mommy doesn't mind since you go right back to sleep.  She loves those special moments with you.

The most important thing you did this month was get baptized.  Emma, we were so proud of you to have you baptized in the Catholic Church.  Austin and Craig are your Godparents, but of course you already know that since you asked them :).  All four of us will do everything that we can to ensure you are raised in the faith of the Catholic Church.  Several of your family and friends came out to celebrate your special day with you.  Your aunt, Adrienne, came all the way from Colorado to see you.  This was her first time to meet you and it was so special.  We had a big party to celebrate you afterwards at our house, but with the big day you were tuckered out and slept through most it.  Mommy will post soon on all the details.    

This month you also got to meet some of your cousins that you have never met before.  You had fun just watching everyone around you.  It wont be too much longer before you will be able to splash all around the pool with them.  You also had your three month old photo shoot this month.  It was hilarious and stressful all at the same time.  Mommy will post those pictures next.  

Emma- I know I say this every time, but you are the best thing that has ever happened to us.  You bring so much love to our family.  You have a great, big family that loves you sooooo much.  I love you more than you will every know.  I hope you continue to make mommy smile every day.

All my love,

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Emma's Tree

Shortly after Emma was born, my dad got her a tree as a present.  The tree is a Texas Mountain Laurel (it is going to have really pretty purple blooms).  Here it is in all of its glory!! 

Dad deciding where to plant the tree.

Mom and Emma watching dad dig the hole.  Since they are girls, they don't have to join the work party :).

The hole is dug and the tree is ready to go in.

Mom and Emma decided it was time to help out!

Emma is  not interested in working in the yard.  Check that uninterested look of boredom!

All FINISHED!!! Emma's first pick by her tree with dad.

A close up of Emma holding onto her tree.  She is holding onto the tree for dear life- I think she approves.

It is going to be fun to see how Emma grows in comparison to the tree since they are both babies!

Thanks for my tree!  Love, Emma

Thursday, June 7, 2012

You Know You Have a Healthy Breastfed Baby When

He or she has 4-5 bowel movements a day.

This is the sign that hangs in the mother's room where I work. Emma has never had a lot of bowel movements. She once didn't have one for five days. After that episode though, she has consistently had 1 bowel movement every other day. This is nowhere near 4-5 a day. Every day I walk into the mothers room, read this sign, and leave somewhat sad that Emma is not considered "healthy".

Well that all changed yesterday. She has three bowel movements in one day- we were astounded. Today, she had not three but FIVE bowel movements. I was so proud of my little girl. Until the last bowel movement was green. Now I am worried again.

Worry when you have a baby is a never ending cycle.

I promise not to write about bowel movements ever this much again.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Emma's New Toys

Babies don't need many toys the first few months of their life.  Emma has exclusively used her play mat and her swing which fits in well with my minimalist baby gear approach.

Emma has always been relatively strong for her age.  I would say she has always been able to hold her head up better than the rest.  At her two month doctors appointment, I asked her pediatrician when she could start to use her bumpo.  I scoffed when he said four months.  I thought to myself, not my daughter, she is stronger than that.  Well, this is the result that we got when I put her in her bumpo at two months old- not pretty.

Tears, tears and more tears.  We think it may have hurt her spine.

Fast forward one month.  Her grandma had been working on pulling up with Emma and once I saw this, we decided to give the bumpo another go.  Here she is looking a little tense at first (love that fist all curled up)!

Ahhh finally settling in.  She loves it.  She spends about thirty minutes a day in her bumpo right now.  She watches us cook dinner, do the dishes and even take a shower occasionally.

She has also shown a strong interest in standing lately, so we decided to pull out the jump-a-roo and see how she handled in.  She loved it.  Here is her first experience.

Oh look at me- I am standing!

Oh, I think I may be able to nibble on this new toy.  I am going in!

I can chew on it!  Yummy!

Close up :) Mommy- stop taking pictures of me!

Uh oh- I don't think my hand is supposed to go through the leg hole!  Mommy- help me!  Please stop taking pictures of me already!

Yes, we really do have conversations like this at our house.  It is hard when there is only one person talking!