A Strong Girl

Our little Emma is so strong... she has been holding her own head up since she was a day old. Two of her favorite places to be is on Daddy's shoulder and Mommy's chest. In both places, she holds her head up high so she can look around!

And one of her favorite things to look at is our picture wall. I guess it's the bold black and white colors that attract her. She can stare at that wall for quite some time!

 Some friends came to visit recently and they brought Lea a big sister present. She got a new tiera with a matching necklace, ring and ear rings (her very first!). She was on cloud nine!

 Lea really is a great big sister. She is a huge help... fetching a pacifier, burp cloth, blanket... what ever I need help with, she is quick to assist. She loves to give Emma kisses on the nose and the top of her head and about every couple of days, she asks to hold Emma...

Tonight we were finally able to give Emma her first real bath (her umbilical cord stump fell off last night). Of course, Lea was ready to help!

We are loving life with two fabulous, little girls!!! :)


Two Weeks

Emma is now two weeks old. It's already hard to remember life without her! At her well check yesterday, we found out that she weighs almost 9 pounds (60th percentile) and is also in the 60th percentile for height. The pediatrician said she looks perfect! Emma sleeps very well at night. She typically nurses around 10:30pm, 2:30am and 6:30am. Kevin is still a huge help, even though he is back at work. He helps with Emma's midnight diaper change and with Lea's breakfast every day.

Going to her doctor appointment was my first outing with both girls by myself. Lea was really a big helper and was so well behaved. After the appointment, we got smoothies at McDonald's and then after a 30 minute camp-out in the parking lot at Walmart (I nursed Emma), we ran some errands. I was proud of myself...and my kids...for doing so well. :)

Lea is still doing pretty well with this big change in her life. She does have one or two random melt-downs every day... and when I say melt-down, I mean M E L T - D O W N. It's always over something super trivial and usually happens when I am nursing Emma. It breaks my heart! I'm praying she gets over it soon. I make a pretty big effort to give Lea personal attention every day but, in her eyes, I am sure it seems like ALL my attention goes to Emma. Lea is very gentle with Emma. She loves to help me get burp clothes, pacifiers and blankies. Any time she hears Emma cry, she has to rush over to her to "help".

So, we're doing well. It's a big transition for all of us to go from one kid to two. We constantly remind each other that we need to calm down and take things day by day. These days will be in the distant past sooner than we realize. It's hard to believe that this Christmas we will have a three year old and an 8 month old! :)


Let's Dress Up

Girls will be girls...
It looks like we need to invest in some dress up clothes! LOL

We use to try hard to somewhat "shelter" Lea from all the Disney Princess marketing in the world but some of it still found a way to creep into our home. The only "princess" movies she has seen are Beauty & The Beast and The Little Mermaid. She doesn't own any princess dolls (oops... wait... yes she does, she just got a tiny, pocket sized Cinderella doll) and she only has a couple princess books. But that was enough to spark the girly side of her. She LOVES dressing up in play jewelry and carrying around a purse. I honestly think it's in their genes... girls like girly things.

Don't get me wrong, though, Lea also loves playing outside in the dirt and looking for worms. :)


More Cuteness

I don't have the brain power right now to write a long post about how we're doing. Maybe it has something to do with the new family member that has us up every few hours, every night. ;) We are doing well, though. Emma is showing signs of having the same sleeping patterns that Lea had when she was a baby... fingers crossed because Lea has always been a great sleeper. Emma nurses around 11pm, 2pm and then 7am. Not too bad for a one week old! During the day, however, she wants to nurse every hour. Seriously.

Emma had her first check up on Saturday morning. When we left the hospital, she weighed 8 lbs 3 oz... at her check up (two days later), she weighed 8 lbs 4 oz. The pediatrician said an ounce in two days was great. She's showing some signs of acid reflux so we're keeping an eye on that. Lea had it, too...not the kind that made her spit up all the time but the kind that gave her heartburn. We're praying Emma doesn't have it. It makes nursing quite difficult.

Kevin goes back to work tomorrow morning. I'm a little nervous. Lots of friends and family are visiting this week, though, so that should help.

Here are some pics from the past couple days...

Emma meeting her cousins.

Emma meeting her Aunt Sarah and Uncle Dave

Mommy enjoying some Emma sunggles.



Big Sister and Little Sister

What a busy day yesterday! Emma was taken back to the nursery about 5:00 am for her final antibiotics and some tests. They checked her blood cultures for signs of GBS and that came back negative. :) Her bilirubin levels were checked and were normal. She also had to have a "car seat test" since she was in the Special Care Nursery. This consisted of strapping her in our car seat for an hour while they monitored her heart rate and breathing. Of course she passed!

My parents dropped Lea off so she could ride home with us from the hospital. We were able to get a few cute pics before we left.

Lea visited us three times while we were at the hospital. Each visit, I asked her if she wanted to hold Emma... she immediately said no as if she was afraid. Well, after we got home yesterday, we had quite a few visitors; my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, Kevin's mother and our nieces & nephew. Needless to say, Emma was passed around quite a bit. I guess Lea was paying attention because after everyone was gone for a bit, she just said out of the blue, "I want to hold Emma." :)

Even though Emma cried the entire time Lea held her, Lea was still so happy about her baby sister!


Big Sister Lea

Today Lea got to meet her new baby sister. It was such a special moment! Lea cautiously walked over to the bed where Emma and I were laying. She crawled up and immediately grabbed Emma's hand... Emma's reflex made her grab Lea's hand back and Lea thought that was the best thing ever!

Lea was very gentle and spoke softly. She loved pointing out Emma's hair, toes and "owie" (the IV port in her arm). She played "This Little Piggie" with her toes and then the girls exchanged gifts. A couple weeks ago, I took Lea on a special shopping trip to pick out a gift for Emma. Lea chose an adorable, organic cotton bunny blankie for Emma. Emma "got" Lea a few things she had been wanting... Lea was so surprised that Emma knew exactly what she wanted! lol

It didn't take long for Lea to lose interest. She played around our huge hospital room for awhile and then we occupied her with food for a little bit. :) My parents have been keeping her while we're here (Thank You, Gaga and Papa H.!).

My parents and Kevin's parents came by to meet Emma today, too. Everyone agrees that Emma resembles Lea quite a bit!

Emma has another dose of antibiotics to take around 5:00 this morning. At the same time, we'll take care of all the other little things that need to be done before we can head home (hearing test, discharge papers, etc.). I'm not going to lie, I am pretty nervous about going home with TWO kids. Wish us luck!

Another Emma Update

Emma is finally in our room!

We went back to the nursery last night and were told that Emma's glucose level was up to 66 (remember, it's supposed to be over 50). So, they reduced her IV to 3 ml. A few hours later, her glucose level was 61. They were very happy with that so decided to take her off the IV. A few hours later, her glucose was 55...still good! So, at midnight last night, Emma was able to finally come join us in our room. She was as content as could be and we couldn't put her down. Daddy has spent a lot of time rocking her and I am enjoying being able to nurse her from the comfort of the bed. :) (Her glucose level was checked one more time around 3:00 this morning and it was an impressive 68. She also has not had any more breathing issues.)

The final thing she is dealing with now is the threat of GBS (Group B Strep). Since the antibiotics for GBS have to be administered through an IV, she is taken back to the nursery for about an hour, every 12 hours, while we're here. It's not a continuous IV, however, so when she is in our room, she just has an IV port in her arm.

Emma is such a trooper! She is doing great and we are enjoying our new baby girl. Her big sister, Lea, will finally get to meet her today, as well as her grandparents and some close friends.


Emma Update

Emma was taken off of oxygen this morning around 7:00am. She was doing great so I was finally able to nurse her. After a rocky start (that really only lasted about 5 minutes), she was nursing with no problems! A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. :) We spent a good hour with her and then left to get some rest and some lunch. It will never feel right leaving my baby behind in someone else's care... I can't image how so many families do it in much worse situations.

Anyhow... we returned around 12:45pm and were told that she had a bad spell where she actually stopped breathing for a bit. Her face turned blue and she needed to be stimulated to start breathing. Let's hope that doesn't happen again! But since it did happen, they want her to stay in the Special Care Nursery a little longer.

After a little help from the lactation consultant to wake her up (and keep her awake), she nursed very well, again, this afternoon around 3:30pm. Poor thing must be exhausted... we've had a very busy day!

Besides the oxygen issue, the other thing that is being monitored is her low blood glucose level. It should be above 50. With an IV dose of 13 ml an hour, Emma's level was 61. So, after we nursed at lunch time, they reduced her IV to 6 ml. Her level was tested again before we nursed this afternoon and it was down to 50. :( So... we're leaving the IV at 6 ml and will see if her glucose level comes up any. This means she will need to keep the IV a little longer.

The original plan was to have Emma rooming in with us as soon as she got off the glucose IV, however since she just had this little breathing set back, they want to monitor her more now. So... we have to pray that she can get off the IV and can continue breathing well on her own so she can leave the Special Care Nursery.

Our chunky monkey!

Lea getting a ride on mommy's chair.

Baby Sister Emma

Daddy trying to console Emma...
it's hard with all those tubes and bandages!

Emma Margaret

Around 10:00 pm on April 30th (my due date), the Braxton Hicks contractions started getting a lot stronger...but still did not hurt at all. They were a little consistent for about 40 min. and then started going all over the place, again. So, at midnight I decided to go to bed. At 1:30 am on May 1st, I jolted out of bed with a very painful contraction. About three mins. later I had another one! After a few of those, we decided to call my parents. They needed to come up and stay with Lea so we could head to the hospital. By 2 am, my contractions were only 2 min. apart! We called our friend, Amie, to come over because we didn't think we could wait for my parents. Once Amie arrived, we rushed to the hospital, arriving just before 2:30 am. I was taken to a room right away and as we walked through the door, I told the nurses I needed to push! Just after I sat down on the bed, my water broke and Emma was crowning. She was born at 2:49 am. :)

A big girl, weighing 8 pounds, 9 ounces and measuring 21 1/2 inches long. Everything happened SO fast... unfortunately, that meant she swallowed a lot of fluid. Also, her oxygen levels were low. I got to hold her for maybe 20 seconds and then she was taken to the Special Care Nursery. They hooked her up with oxygen and also discovered that her blood glucose level was low, so she got an IV for glucose fluids, too. We didn't get back to see her until about 5:00 am.

Check out all that hair!!
I haven't been able to nurse her, yet, because of the oxygen. She was just taken off of it, though, at around 7:00 am. So, as long as she is doing well without it, I can go nurse her! Now, we're just waiting on the glucose IV. They have already started weaning her off the glucose so our hopes are high that she will be done with that soon, too. But that's not the end of it... I had GBS (Group B Strep) with this pregnancy and since my labor was SO fast, I was unable to get an antibiotic in time. So, little Miss Emma has to have two antibiotics (one every 12 hours and the other every 24 hours) to be sure that she doesn't get GBS.

It sure is strange sitting in a big, empty, quiet hospital room with NO baby! I can't wait to have her here with me. Until then I am just resting and twiddling my thumbs with Kevin. :)