Friday, May 22, 2009

Two weeks!

Amelia is two weeks old and I have to say, time is FLYING. We're doing well, though, settling into a schedule and establishing some good eating and sleeping habits. The girls love Amelia's alert times...when she looks around, sometimes looking at her sisters; hand in constant motion, grabbing at Abbi's hand or her shirt. Lexi loves to pet Amelia on the head, and both girls insist on giving smooches to Amelia before bed (sometimes forgetting me!!).

Although I was unable to take the newborn pictures I had envisioned, I have taken Amelia's newborn photos on two separate occasions, and they are now posted on my other blog. Each photo shoot had to be done quickly and carefully, followed by a dose of tylenol and an extra long nap.

I'm also hoping to finally shoot Lexi's 2nd birthday pictures soon. I'm just waiting for an evening when we have the time, and a clean kid, and the right amount of sunlight!! And of course, Miss Amelia has to cooperate so I'm not in the middle of a feeding...

So, check out the pics on my photography blog and keep an eye out for Lou's pics as well!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Settling in...

Well, its been six days since Amelia joined us and I have to say, things are going well!! She's an amazing baby. Although she has an attitude about nursing (mainly, that its not easy enough for her!), we're persevering...most of my days are spent pumping, nursing, then bottle-feeding. Oy... I'm tired. Her arm is doing well, as far as we can tell. We won't see the pediatric orthopedist until June 8, but in the meantime, we're just pinning her right sleeve to her torso, which stabilizes the arm. And other than me picking her up too roughly this morning (half asleep), she rarely seems to be in pain. So far (knock on wood) she's my best sleeper... I'm enjoying 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night (in two shifts).

The girls are doing so great with her! Surprisingly, Lexi is willing to share me with her baby sister. She loves to watch me pump and ask questions about what I'm doing. She's a little too wild around the baby, but I can't blame her. She just doesn't know. Abbi is my little helper - when she wants to be. She likes to hold the bottle when Amelia eats and is willing to run around to get diapers or burp cloths when I can't get up. The best part is when they both sing a lullaby to Amelia. The windows shatter and the neighborhood cats howl in approval, but its a beautiful gesture all the same...

The plan is to take Amelia's newborn photographs within the next few days (I need a happy, sleepy, well-fed baby), but in the meantime, here are some pictures from coming home and Abbi's first time holding the baby.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

More Amelia - and the big sisters!

Amelia joined us in our room around noon today, and her sisters were able to visit her shortly after. So, I took a couple quick pics and Russ got one of the girls and me sitting on the bed. I can't wait to photograph the three of them together! Abbi thought her sister was very cute and gave her some smooches. Lexi was unsure of who was sitting in HER spot on mom's lap. But, she was happy to share my lap when all was said and done.

We'll be going home tomorrow! I can't wait...

Amelia update and more pictures!

Although Amelia spent last night in the NICU, she should be joining us in our room this morning. The pediatric orthopedist said we will not be doing anything extraordinary for her arm...we just have to be careful of how she is handled and try to keep it as stationary as possible. For now, we're doing that by safety-pinning her sleeve to the front of her shirt. That will hopefully keep her arm supported against her chest and not allow it to roll back under her shoulder, which would cause more pain and harm. Babies' bones heal quickly, though, so she should be as good as new in 4-6 weeks.

She's doing great, all things considered. She whines a bit when picked up, as I'm sure the change in position jars her arm. But, she settles quickly. She has been sleeping great. She's not loving the formula and I don't blame her. Hopefully this morning when she joins us, she can begin to nurse. Its going to be difficult for me; supporting her 10 pounds and being careful of her arm. I just don't want to cause her any more pain!!

A couple more pictures from when we visited her last night:

Her hair! Although its already starting to lighten up - I swear she has a few blond streaks in there. And that's exactly how Abbi's hair started...

Her smooshy face... sleeping on top of her pacifier!

Sleeping peacefully... I love her little mouth and nose. So, so, so cute!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Amelia Rose is here!

My baby girl has arrived and thank goodness she didn't wait a moment longer...

Many of you know its been a rough pregnancy for me... worries of prematurity, loads of contractions since early in the second trimester, lots of pain these last couple weeks. We've had 6 ultrasounds, 2 of which proved we were having our third daughter. The last of which guesstimated the baby's weight at 7lb 4oz (which would have put her around 9 pounds today based on the assumed rate of growth of a half pound a week). So, when my water broke at 4:24 this morning, I was beyond thrilled. She was finally on her way, and on her own!!

So, we waited for my mother-in-law to come watch the big sisters and made it to the hospital around 6am. Due to my contractions coming just 2 minutes apart, we had to bypass breakfast for Russ. I'm so glad we did, because we got checked in to L&D triage and the nurse checked me... I was already 6 1/2 centimeters dilated and barely able to stand through the contractions. At 8am, I had enough fluid pumped into me to get my epidural, but was warned that my platelets were low...which carries more risk for the epidural. Great. In the midst of a very painful contraction, I said, "Screw the risks. Give it to me." THANK GOODNESS I did.

For the next hour, I relaxed... feeling definite amounts of pressure. The nurse (Cheryl, you ROCK! And btw, she also helped with Lexi's labor!!!) wanted my epidural to work as much as possible. She checked me at 9 and I was complete! Time to push!!! So, we went to work...and work I did! (Anyone remember the meaning of the name Amelia?!) The mood would shift from joking (Dr. Cannon is awesome and he and Cheryl did so much to help me out emotionally AND physically) to serious and back... at 9:45, the NICU team was called in, 3 nurses jumped onto my bed, and the mood definitely turned serious. Cheryl had pissed me off enough to get me pushing to avoid a c-section, but Amelia's arm was stuck behind my pubic bone and the cord was wrapped around her neck. So, Dr. Cannon had to basically break Amelia's arm, pull her head out and hand her off to the neonatologist (whose dad was Abbi's neonatologist!) at 10:00 am on the nose.

I got to kiss Amelia before Russ held her, and then she left for the nursery. News of her weight has quickly made the rounds of the maternity ward... my "little" lady weighed in at 10 pounds, 2 ounces. She's 21 inches long. And she is HUGE. Already bullying the other kids around. lol!

Actually, we're waiting on news about her arm. Xrays show that the right humerus is definitely broken, but we're waiting on a pediatric orthopedist from Childrens' Memorial in Chicago to decide how we're going to proceed... and once we make that decision, we'll know when she can join us in our room.

Here are some pictures that Russ took of her, and one that our NICU nurse Ruth took for us as a family. The girls will come to meet baby sister once she leaves the NICU. And then we'll have a billion more pictures!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Final shots of our family of four!

I don't know when we'll cease to be a family of four, but thanks to the offer of a friendly woman at the zoo on Monday, we have one last picture of us pre-baby. We're standing in my favorite exhibit of the zoo - the penguins - although no penguins are in the picture!!!

So, thank you to that woman... and thank you to my girls for looking in the vicinity of the camera... and thank you to the powers that be for letting me look decent in these final pregnant days! (I look better here than I've looked during either of my other two pregnancies!!!)

I also got a pic of me & my two big girls, thanks to Russ.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

She's almost 2 - my big girl, Lou!!

Two short years ago, at this moment, I was in my 12th hour of induced labor... wondering when my stubborn Lexi would arrive. Who knew I still had 4 hours to go?! Yes, Lexi was born on Friday, May 4, 2007 at 12:40 a.m. I can't believe those two years have flown by so quickly...

So, today was her birthday party. We just planned a small get together with close family and a couple friends, and it turned out very well... very relaxing and we had plenty of time to chit-chat and watch the kids run around.

The calm before the storm...

The cake... Lexi LOVES animals. So, we bought a plain cake and I decorated it quickly before the guests arrived. Thanks for the cake, Jan. It was yummy!!

Lexi opening her first gift... from her godmother Chrissy. The #2 animal for her birthday train! Cute!

Excited about clothes! Let's all treasure this moment!

Reading the card. I love how both my girls read their cards prior to attacking the gifts.

The hat is cute, but...

...the sunglasses were waaaaaay better! Love the expression!!

Abbi was such a great helper! Not too eager, but handy when Lou couldn't figure it out.

What's in the bottom of the bag?!

Showing off the fort/tunnel from Uncle Jay! Awesome gift!!!

Daddy went downstairs to get the last Lexi was watching for him.

ALL the kids loved the final gift... a basketball hoop for my little lady!
Daddy is excited, too... it extends to 6' high.

Lexi was less than thrilled about everyone singing to her.
She was ready to grab the spatula and dig in to the cake..

...she tolerated Daddy showing her how to blow out the candle, but still left the job up to him!

When she was given the OKAY to rescue the animals off the cake, then she was happy!

But, she was happiest eating that cake...

Don't let the facial expression fool you... she enjoyed it! I just think she's in a sugar coma.

It was unfortunate that we spent a beautiful day inside... by the time we ventured outside to see the last of our guests off, Lexi was exhausted and ready to go back inside.

She cuddled with mommy for just a moment or two... and then she was out.