Sunday, May 30, 2010

Silent Sunday's: Family Photo

Friday, May 28, 2010

Mama always said there would be days like this.

Little Miss, you're doing a lot of this today:

But don't worry...Mama still loves you.

Happy long-weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

On Mac and Emeline

I've had a few inquiries as to how the old pup took to the baby. I'll be honest...I was nervous. Like, really worried. You see, my dog is cute as pie, and a cuddle-bug--but he's a brat. Like, a real, genuine, only-child-type brat.

There were times leading up to the baby coming that Declan and I talked about the sad, but real possibility of what could happen if he didn't get used to the baby (The joke was selling him on Craigslist....shhhh...don't tell him that!). We had hoped that he would warm up to her...we thought it was possible he would, but we also know he has extreme anxiety issues, and is really attached to both Declan and I. It could go either way, really.

Leading up to the baby coming, we started setting up the swing, pack-n-play, and such things around the house. Mac definitely noticed these unusual 'things', but he got used to them over the 3-weeks they were up pre-baby-entering-the-world. He sniffed around them alot, and soon they became normal to him.

When we went into the hospital to have the baby, Mac went to my parents house for those 3 days where he got showered with lots of love and attention. When my parents came to visit us in the hospital, they took the very first baby hat they stuck on Emeline's head (right after she came out). My mom took it back to the house, and put it in Mac's cage, where he slept with it...sniffed it...and got used to her smell. This is a key-factor (in my opinion) to getting a dog used to a baby.

The day we got discharged from the hospital, my mom made sure Mac was at our house, in his crate, as he normally is when we come home from anywhere. We read that it's always best to have the dog home first and bring the baby home, rather then bring a dog home to a new baby. Make sense?

I walked in first and greeted him, which is our normal routine. He noticed Declan carrying the infant seat, but was too excited to see us to care about the baby. I took him out, and then when he came in--he went right to the carseat to check out his new sister.

We read that giving him a lot of praise when he's exhibiting appropriate behavior is the best way to go about getting him to behave around a baby. Rather then yelling at him for doing something 'bad'.

When we got her out of her seat, he came up close, sniffed around...and tried to sneak a little teeny lick in around her ears. We gently told him 'no' (I'm not totally anti-dog-kisses, I just like them to be in moderation, please and thank-you), but made sure to tell him what a good boy he was being when he just sat there calmly.

Generally, dogs will accept a baby into their "pack" once they realize they are here to stay. Mac never exhibited any of the territorial signs (ie: peeing on things to mark territory,, which we were grateful for. He pretty much instantaneously became her little watch-guard-dog.

When she's swinging in the baby swing, he sleeps on the couch overlooking her.

When she gets her diaper changed and let's out some cries, he sits right down below and also let's out a few cries as in "What the heck are you doing to her, you big meanies!?" He has gotten better about this, though.

When she lays in her vibrating papasan chair, he sits behind it with his head resting on it looking at her.

In general, he's been fantastic.

Does he still require a lot of attention?


Does he still drive me completely nuts and bark at the most innappropriate times?

Umm. YEP. [Luckily, his barking does.not.phase.her. I hear they get used to barking and such in the womb...and well, Mac is a barker. Luckily, he hasn't woken her yet.]

But, he certainly loves Emeline and wouldn't let anything happen to her.

For that, I'm grateful.

So, my suggestion for those of you worried about bringing-baby-home to a dog (as spoiled, or rotten or however they seem to you now)...just test it out. You may be pleasantly surprised like we were.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some scenes.

Life with a baby is...well, different. My once-perfectly kept home...uhh...not so much anymore. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. I decided to share some scenes from around the house. They make me giggle a little because, life changes fastttt when you have a kid.


The boppy makes a nice accent pillow, no?

My messy (but once cute) houses medicine, hand-sanitizer, flowers, and ice-water (a MUST have at all times).....

Delicious dinners brought by family and friends...

A car-seat on the kitchen table...why not?
(and pots that belong to people who delivered dinner)

The permanent home of the diaper-bag.

Receiving blankets within an arms reach on the sofa.

Hair bows on the key-chain rack....

Random clothes hanging on the banisters....

...and for a laugh... :)
I may have taken away that baby-bug now, eh?


Okay--then I owe you this:

Happy Wednesday!


I am sorry for some of you who had difficulties viewing my blog in the last 24 hours. Fortunately, it was only isolated to users using the Windows version of Mozilla Firefox. We have fixed the issue and it is displaying properly now. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some things...

-Last night my hubby put together a new header for that our sweet Emeline has arrived. It just seems more appropriate now, eh? I don't need any of those ultrasound pictures, because! :)

-A few people have asked about how Mac has adapted to the baby. [I think by the above picture, you can tell he's doing very well--he is!] I haven't been ignoring your comments--its just very hard to get back to all the specific questions (especially if you don't have an email attached when you comment!). So, I have some hopes of writing a post about Mac and EmeKay and how we went about getting over that hurdle.

-I'm feeling better. The recovery part of labor can be not so fun...and honestly---that's another area I wasn't fully prepared about. However, 2 weeks post-partum and I can honestly say that I feel 90% like myself. Not totally there yet---but getting there. I helped my sister with moving into her new house today, and I did more heavy lifting then I've done in probably a year with being pregnant and all. Crazyness. I need to work on those muscles again, that's for sure.

-I think the key to parenting is not stressing out. Trust me, I do.not. have this figured out, by any means. But, I will say that stressed out mommies=stressed out babies. I've been trying to take each day with ease and remind myself daily that this is all new to me, too. I'm really enjoying my time with her, but I definitely look forward to 5:45pm when Declan gets home. Not gonna lie.

-I've managed to shower every day. I've also managed to figure out how to master multiple things at once. I'm pretty impressed with myself actually (but I still don't understand why mother's don't get to grow two more arms after childbirth--). Today, I straightened my hair, standing on one foot, while I rocked her fussy-self in her carseat with my other foot--all while throwing the dog his Kong to keep him entertained for a while. It was amusing. I realize now why so many new mom's sport the hair-not-done, and no make-up look. But, I'll admit--I've not once left the house without makeup or my hair undone. That's so not my style. Hey, I'm honest.

-Another thing that's going really smoothly is breastfeeding. We've also managed to already learn to take a bottle, and she still goes flawlessly between the boob and bottle, which is great. [I realize there are a million opinions on all this--to each his own, right? Parents know their own children best.] It makes going out sooooo much easier. I am not a fan of hooter-hiding, or trying to be discrete in public...therefore, a pumped bottle works nicely for us for those occassions.

-At her 2 week appointment yesterday we were told Emeline now weighs 7lbs 7oz! She has also grown an inch. I was in shock. I felt like that was a lot of weight. They said it's great weight gain in a week and a half--but she's still in the 20th percentile. But, gahhh! They grow up so fast! Slow.Down.Time!

-Sigh. I've successfully turned this blog into a baby blog. I guess I just need to talk about poop and it will be complete. I guess I'll spare you the details of that...for today at least ;) Kidding.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Emeline's Birth Story: The Finale.

Need to catch up? Read Part 1, and Part 2 first.

Please note: This is the birth story of my daughter--raw, and true. I'm a detail-giver (although you'll be happy to know I did leave out some of the not-so-pleasant details). Please remember that everyone has completely different labor and delivery stories. This just happens to be ours. Oh, and I'm going to show you a few more 'intimate' shots (taken by my SIL, Lyryn), they're so special to me, and I'm so glad I have them.


I was officially 'admitted' to the hospital. I trusted my gut forced myself to go and!

The baby was coming!

But holy cow....WHEN!?

I figured at this point I wouldn't make the mothers day cut-off. I didn't care anymore. I just couldn't believe that I was going to meet this little joy that will make us a little family.

I sent the necessary texts to a few family members that just said, "Admitted". They were thrilled! I had missed all the birthday/mothers day meal gatherings that day for my own Mommy, which, had me a little bummed. But, my mom didn't care one bit. She was just thrilled that her 3rd little granddaughter was going to make her debut somewhere in the near future.

[My mom, my sister Susan, and Declan's sister, Lyryn were all invited to be part of the whole delivery, by the way (in fact, I wouldn't have minded a whole 'nother slew of people, honestly...)--I just didn't want anyone coming too early, you know, during all the boring parts.]

The nurse-shifts had changed, and my new nurse who was assigned to me from 7pm-7am was named Lauren. She was young, and so so sweet. She was gorgeous, too. I remember asking her when she thought I'd have this baby---and her reply was, "My guess would be in the morning---first time moms often take a while to progress." I remember feeling slightly bummed and saying something like, "Well, I hope it's before you go off your shift." (Because how not cool to switch nurses a billion times....), and she said--"Yea, I'm hoping so, too."

By this point I was having some seriously intense the nurse offered me something to drip in my IV (that I had to have pre-epidural anyway) if I wanted it.

I really, truly thought about it--and said...."No...I think I'll walk again." I have no idea why I chose to walk--they were absolutely GRUELING at this point--but I knew it would help me progress and not slow things down, which the meds could potentially do.

Off we went for another walk. This time, I only made it half hour before I needed to sit down again. I can't lie--that walk was torrrrture. But, having Declan by my side made me love him even more (if that's even possible)--because he was so strong for me.

At this point, I used the bathroom and emptied it all out. [Holy cow--going to the bathroom while having contractions like WHOA=not cool....not at all.] Like every pregnant woman, I had that fear of pooping on the delivery bed--so I wanted to limit my chances.

I got hooked back up onto the monitors--and I noticed my husband getting his very-hungry-might-pass-out look. I needed him badddd. But, I needed him more in a few hours. So, I told him to go-go-go, and get some food in his system because he would need the energy to help me through having this baby. At this point, it was almost 9pm.

During this time, I was getting the bag of fluids in me so I could get my heavenly epidural. I've always had this in the plans, because I'm NOT fun when I'm in the pain...heck, I'm freaking rude when I feel like crap--and I'm irritable as all get-out. So, I knew going the epi-route was the way for me.

Contractions still coming...but oh so much faster...and more painful. I had to bare them myself, and try to work through them without Declan there to help. I sort of went within myself to deal with the pain. I made no noise at all. I knew that each contraction brought me closer to meeting my daughter.

Truth be told: I couldn't wait to have that needle put in my back and get some sense of relief.

The nurse came in and told me that the doctors had changed shifts--and as soon as my doctor got here, the anesthesiologist could administer my epidural. By this point, Declan had returned and looked fully satisfied. Although my rumbling belly was jealous, I was happy he now had some energy, and you know, not pass out.

At 10pm that amazing man of an-anesthesiologist came walking through the door. He rambled on for a few minutes and I pretended to listen. I signed a bunch of papers and I just kept thinking, "Let's do this, already!"

The whole process of it was absolutely within 5 minutes or so....I could literally feel my body going into relaxation. The contraction pains were getting more intense, but I couldn't feel them....oh hallelujah, after all those hours of pain---this was heaven. The doctor broke my water at this point, too--to help speed things up, because often an epidural can slow down the natural labor process. They also decided to put a little pitocin in my IV to off-set things slowing down. They gave it to me at the smallest dose (and never ended up having to up the drip).

My mom and sister came at this point. It was so nice to have some fresh faces, and catch them up on all that's been happening. I think I even remembered to tell my Mom "Happy Birthday" and that I was sorry I missed all the get-togethers today. She chuckled at me for being so silly.

My doctor and nurse both told me to get some rest...and they dimmed the lights. My body was in such a state of relaxation--I thought it would be easy to sleep. Notsomuch. The anticipation was killer. I just wanted to stay up and talk. It was like a little slumber-party in there, anyway. Finally, though--I drifted off into semi-dreamland and got a little sleep.

I woke up around midnight and I told my mom that I felt like I had this urge to poop (TMI, no?)--but that I KNEW I didn't need to poop. She said all giddy, "Oooo! Thats a great sign! Tell Lauren when she comes back in!"

A few minutes later when she came back in, I told her--and she said, "Well, let me check you and see, then."

She poked around and then goes, "Oh! Awesome...! You're 100% thinned and 6cm dilated. That's great progression."

The room started awakening a little bit--

"Why don't I get you a popsicle so that you have a little sugar in you to give you some energy when it comes time to push in a few hours.....okay? What color to do you prefer?"

I asked for red. I'd had orange earlier and it was Nasty with a capital N.

She'd left the room for maybe 20mins-half hour....and while she was gone something crazzzzy started going on. I felt this INTENSE urge to push....but I knew...I just knew it was bad to push when you're not fully dilated. But why the heck was I feeling this?!

By the time Lauren came back in with my red popsicle, I had both hands on the bed railings and was practically crawling up the back of the bed to resist the urge to push. It was the craziest, most uncomfortable feeling ever.

She seemed confused. "Well...I hate to check you after only this short time...we don't like to do it that often for risk of infection---but....I think I'm going too...."

(This time, now 2am)
"Okay---you're a 10 and ready to push!"

The red popsicle got thrown in the trash.

Holy crap. This was it. I knew it. I'd had some super-speedy progression and I wasn't complaining.

Before I knew it, the bed was reassembled for delivery, my nurse was directly in front of me, I had my legs up in supports (I'm SO glad I used them vs people holding--will explain), and Declan was by my head counting to 10 while I took a deep breath, then held it---pushing with The urge to push was so strong, it was the craziest, most intense URGE I've ever felt. It was painful, too. I remember thinking, "Wait...I had an epidural....I don't think I'm supposed to feel all this..." and, "if women get epi's all the time and say they didn't feel a thing--why the heck am I in such agony?!", but because of being so intent on the goal, I shut my mouth and kept pushing.

[Because of how fast everything had progressed, Lyryn made it in the knick-of-time, and walked in while I was pushing, camera in hand--ready to document this for me.]

After about 20 minutes of pushing, my doctor came in. My mom excitedly said, "This is all going so much faster then expected!" (afterall--they didn't expect this baby to come until breakfast!) My doctor (who are buzz-kills, lemme tell you) says, "Well, it's not over yet." [Afterall--haven't you heard that "first time moms can push up to 3 hours". Sigh.]

Once she got down there and started really seeing the progression I'd made with my first 20 minutes of pushing, I see her entire demeanor change into rush-mode. She starts to gear up, I see the delivery cart wheel in out of the corner of my eye, and things are starting to buzz around the room. Meanwhile, I'm still pushing...with Declan holding my head, counting along for me.

It turns out that during all the pushing, it had made Emeline's heartrate drop a bit--so my Doctor told me to hold out and push every-OTHER contraction. Everything in my body told me that was physically IMPOSSIBLE. How do you resist the most intense urge you've ever felt?! (Well, since they assumed my epidural was alive and kicking--they didn't realize it was such a problem because many women can't feel anything at all!) But, since I was feeling literally feeling e v e r y t h i n g, and they wouldn't let me push, I was grateful for the stirrups, because I kicked my legs around like a freak and panted like a dog. There are no words to describe how crazzzy it felt. They were trying to pump a little oxygen into me (for the baby's sake) at this point, too---and it only ticked me off more. In fact, I flung it off my face multiple times (almost hitting poor Lauren) because who wants that god-awful thing around your face when you're trying to focus on getting your baby out?


"Give another push like that, Katie....She's almost here...."

Declan leans down by my face and says, "Babe! She has hair!"

It clicked.

He could see her hair?? She's almost here!"

I hear the doctor say, "Katie, if we don't get her out in the next few pushes--I need to use the vacuum to give you a little help because her heartrate isn't looking so great."

I decided to try for a few more pushes, and I pushed like no other using every muscle in my body because who wants to use a little vacuum to suck your kid out?!

Well--during those intense pushes, I literally FELT in detail myself tearing down there....and it was the most cringe-worthy, grueling, disgusting and painful thing I've ever felt.

AND so quickly the girl (ahem, me) who just thought, "Who the heck wants to use a vacuum on their kid?" yells to the doctor, "Just suck her out already!!"

Within seconds she was here.

This photo says 1,000 words.

40 total minutes of pushing, and at 2:40am...our beautiful little girl came into the world and made us parents.


I know this was not glamorous in any way.shape.or.form. I'm a teeny bit sorry for my brutal honesty about the pain (because I don't want to scare anyone...). The truth is, (after talking to my l&d nurse friend who came on shift later that night), what I felt was NOT normal. Since I wasn't vocal enough about my pain, they didn't realize how low my epidural was running, which ultimately--left me feeling virtually everything. Little did I know that had I said something, with a click of the button I could have had more meds pumping through me to ease the pain. See? Things you don't know when you're a first-timer. I'll tell you this---even after all that, it was so very worth it---and within a day or two I was already talking about how excited I was to do this all again. I'm

Friday, May 21, 2010

12 days post-partum

If you missed it, I wrote Part 2 of the birth story yesterday.


There's already been a noticeable change (at least to me) from my 5-day post-partum belly shot-- so I figured I'd show you what I look like 7 days later then this.

The belly has definitely gone down in 'roundness'--but obviously my body is not the same. I still can't quite fit right in pre-pregnancy jeans. So yes, I'm still wearing maternity jeans for now. The secret-belly-fit are so nice for post-baby-belly too because you can easily fold them down.

According to my scale, it looks like I have lost about 20lbs and have 11lbs to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

I'm not sure if she's as big of a fan of bathroom photo shoots as her mother...

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Emeline's Birth Story: Part 2

In case you missed Part 1, click to read here.


We woke up around 11am, and I rolled over to Declan and in a cruel tone of voice I said something out of frustration that I wish I never said...."It's Mother's Day...I bet you didn't even think to get me a card since I'm not even 'technically' a mom. Oh, and take the dog the out."

He said nothing, and got up to take Mac out.

When he came back up to our bedroom, he handed me an envelope that read, "To the best mother-to-be ever". He said something to the effect of "....and I've had it for a week."

I felt like crap.

Dog poop to be precise.

In the midst of what I felt was misery...I was cruel to the one person in this world that always has my best interest at heart...the man who loves me for me. What a jerk I am.

Since we had missed church due to the much-needed sleep, we decided to head out to get some late breakfast or lunch...whatever it ended up being. My contractions started coming back again, but they were still a good distance apart, but painful nonetheless.

We ended up at a little diner...not our typical diner--a different one. Luckily, they were able to get us in right away. [I was shocked how many people eat at the diner on Mothers Day...just sayin'.] I ordered a simple BLT, as my appetite wasn't too big.

However, something crazy started happening as we sat there in that red-patent-leather booth. Those contractions...yea...they were coming now much harder and closer together now. I thought "Hmmm...maybe I should time them....", but it was such a mind-battle because I truly felt like this wasn' My hope had been shot out the window.

When I finally did time them, they were coming at 6 minutes apart....5 minutes apart....heck, sometimes even 3 minutes apart. I had to stare out the window of that little diner and breathe. Like, really breathe. I barely ate any of my sandwich.

When the bill came to the table, I told Declan to pay it and I'd meet him in the car. I couldn't stand another minute being in there trying to hide my pain.

I had determined that when I got home, I would call the doctor to let them know the contractions were coming steadily again and anywhere from 3-5 minutes apart. I was pretty sure now that this was "it".

We got home, and I called into the office. Unfortunately, it was that same doctor who made me feel this small earlier who returned my call. I quickly said, "Umm. Hi. It's me again. The contractions are back at anywhere from 3-5 minutes apart now and it's been that way for the last hour and a half". She quickly said, "Okay. I'll tell the hospital and you can head into L&D."

It was official. I was going to the hospital.

I thought

Declan packed up the car with everything including the dog to take to my parents where he was going to be staying.

We were ready.

But yet a g a i n...on the way to my parents house, I felt my contractions slowing down again. They seemed to be more like 8 minutes apart now. What.the.heck. So I did what I do best...and I cried. I said lots of things to Declan like, "Maybe this isn't it..." and "Will you be mad at me if they send us home and tell us this is false labor...?"...."Promise me you won't think I'm an idiot because I have no idea what my body is doing!"....

Of course, he thought none of those things. He wanted to do whatever I felt was most necessary. He obviously hasn't been through this before either.

So when we got to my parents to drop Mac off--I insisted that we take a walk around the block to get those contractions moving closer together again. We hooked him up on the leash and off we went. [No one was home at my it was just us.] During the walk, I had been keeping up with some people via text on my status. My sister-in-love, Kesh being one of them. I texted her something about how confused I was, and I'm not sure what I should be doing...and how dumb I'll feel if I get sent home from L&D with the big "LOSER" sign on my forehead and a "This isn't it" tap-on-the-butt out the door.

Instead of receiving a text back, she called me.

I answered.

She told me a story about her sister and how she went to L&D twice in one day and got sent home, and then ended up back there that same evening and had the baby within the next hour or so. She reassured me that if I did get sent home, it was, that I didn't have to even tell anyone....and that no one would judge me or make me feel dumb if that happened to me. She made me feel much more at ease about at least going in to be checked out...and heck...if I get sent home, Life goes on. At least this way I would know if there is any dilation going on or what the crap my body is doing afterall.

We said goodbye to Mac and off we went to the hospital. The whole way there I prepped Declan that we would definitely not be staying, and that we were leaving our stuff in the car. He was fine with that.

I walked into L&D (at 2:30pm) and the nurses at the front desk said, "I'm guessing you're Katie"

"Yep, that's me." Before I could even stop myself I started word vomiting, "I'm sure this isn't it. But I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm so confused. They come and they go. They come fast...then they stop. They hurt. But I'm seriously confused--I've never done this before."

Those poor nurses.

One sweet nurse piped up, "Well, we'll just get you checked out and see! You look like you're uncomfortable. Let's get you to your room."

Into the room we went, and right away I got changed into my gown. I told the nurse who was assigned to me that, "I'm sure I'm going home...but, I'm here what the heck, check me". She hooked me up to hear the babies heartrate, and Emeline was doing great and in the 140's as normal. She put me on the monitor to see what my contractions were doing, and sure enough...they were coming at only 3 minutes apart.

Turns out, I was having the big contractions, and then a smaller one in between that I hadn't been counting because it wasn't as intense.

The nurse checked me, and I was 80% effaced and only 1 cm dilated. When she said that I was only 1cm dilated, I was in shock. FOR REAL? All those contractions did NOTHING?? For sure, we were going home.

She told us to go for a 1-hour walk around the halls of L&D and that they'd check me when I got back to see if I'd progressed. If I was progressing, then this was real labor.

Off we went for our boring walk around the halls. I was definitely struggling when the contractions came, and they were getting much more oh my gosh, worst.pain.everrrrrr (and honestly, NOTHING in comparison to the contractions I was feeling the last 24 hours). When one hour was up, we went back to my room and the nurse checked me.

"You've dilated to a 2! That's great news. Now, I want you to go for another 1 hour walk."

The progression was good news...but another hour walk? NotSoMuch.

Believe it or not...this walk was 192908x worse then the previous. The contractions were oh so much stronger, and coming so frequently. I felt like I was hobbling around like an idiot...Declan had his hand around my back, and I held one of his hands and squeezed the heck out of it when the contractions would come. He tried to help me breathe through the pain. While I tried...most the time I just said, "Ow..ow..ow...." and "all that 'going to your happy place' stuff is CRAP." He was such a good sport and kept encouraging me that I was doing a great job.

Not only was I dealing with contractions so bad I had to keep myself from crying (for fear the tears would NEVER stop), I was dealing with extreme hunger. I was kicking myself for only nibbling at my BLT earlier. I was s.t.a.r.v.i.n.g. Once you're in the hospital, they don't let you eat--only munch on ice chips or a popsicle--and possibly hard candy if you bring it along. So, on this hour long walk everytime I would pass an ice-machine I would put my hand under and grab a few ice-bits to keep me going. Declan was a good, good man and also brought along some jolly ranchers for me, too.

That jolly rancher tasted like heaven itself, let me tell you.

Once that walk was over, back into the bed to be monitored I went. The internal exams were getting horribly painful as the contractions were just coming so much more intense at this point.

The sweet nurse, Jen, said...."Hmmm....well, looks like you're now 3cm dilated! I'm going to call your doctor and see what she thinks."

A few minutes later (around 7pm) she came back into the room and said...

" do you feel about staying and having this baby?"

I was thrilled.

I went at the right time.

I followed my gut (with the help of my sweet, sister-in-love--)...and it was right.

This was "it".


I'll finish the rest of the story in Part 3. I don't mean to drag this book story out--but you know how I am. ;)

I swear...

I am really trying to finish writing the birth story...and it's taking me for e v e r. Having a baby attached to you most hours of the day makes it hard to two-hand type. I'm trying to master typing with one hand--it's not going over so well.

It looks like the birth story will have to be in a dreaded ::gasp:: three parts. I apologize for that, but holy cow...I'm a girl of many details, as you know. These are like chapter-books.

So bare with me...part 2 is almost done.

Until then, I'll hold you over with some more sweet pictures of our Eme Kay from this morning.

I told you...I have a problem.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I have a problem...

I cannot take my camera off this girl. It's even causing me to post more then once a day because I have to share her cuteness with the world [or just be able to look back and remember every.little.detail.] She's seriously such a doll. Declan calls her my "real life baby-doll".

"Ma--get that camera out of my face already."

Cousin Jayden came to visit today. He does great with her.
How tiny is she!?

I may or may not have danced for joy when I got this yawning shot...and I may or may not want to shed a few tears because this little being is mine...all mine.

Thinking about cracking a little smile....

Seriously...those lips kill me...

If you don't have the baby-bug yet...I bet you do now. :)

Our first day alone

I was so blessed to be able to have my awesome husband home from work for the first 6 days of Emeline's life. Not every hubby can take that type of vacation time when a baby is born--so I feel very lucky. He was able to be there with me and didn't leave my side once at the hospital....once we got home, he helped his recovering-wife with everything. When I sat down to feed the baby, you'd frequently hear, "Hey babe, could you get me a glass of ice water...with a straw" or "Oh crap, I forgot my cell phone...! Can you find it for me?" (Breastfeeding mommy's know how important it is to have a cellular device to keep you occupied...thank God for the iPhone.) He basically was my right-hand-man.

Despite being fully prepared that being alone during the day is the life I'm going to be leading as a stay-at-home mom (for the time being), I still let my hormones get the best of me Sunday night. I was extra-clingy to Declan. In fact, at one point...I sobbed (hello...let me just tell you...the hormones do.not.leave once the baby comes to Declan about how sad I was he was going back to work, and "who's going to take the dog out?"...and "who's going to get me water when I need it...?"...and "I don't know if I can do this...!" and...."I just love her so much and want to be the best mom ever--".

He was awesome, as usual...and affirmed me that I'm doing a great job and he's loved watching me learn and shape into a mommy. He told me I could do it.

Inside, I knew I could...but for some reason I was letting fear well up in me that was completely unneccessary.

Monday rolled around and Declan got ready for work. Emeline and I were still sleeping, and we both got a good-bye kiss.

We woke up a little bit later...and started our morning 'routine' (there is really no such thing as routine with a newborn in my opinion). After feeding, my little girl went down for a nice long nap...and she hung out with me in the bathroom in her vibrating papasan chair while I took a shower. I probably peeked out from the curtain approximately 349 times in the span of my 10 minute shower. She was sleeping soundly...and no noises seem to bother her...ever. I even had enough time to do my hair, makeup, and get both her and I dressed and ready for the day.


On my first day home by myself with a 1-week old, even getting a shower is considered a success in my book.

Heck, I was even able to put in a load of her laundry too. I know...I impressed myself, too.

I sat down again, you feed the little peanut...and I pulled up my email.

I saw an email from my husband that was titled: "The Best Mom Ever"

and it read:

"Hey Love,

I just wanted to check in how you're doing. I know you're sleeping as I type this email but when you get up let me know. I love you and admire your strength. you are doing incredibly well as a new mommy. I am proud to have my daughter brought up by you. Can't wait to see my girls at lunch. Love you guys!"

I was instantly in tears.

1. Because of hormones. (
2. Because I love that man so much.

The next time I looked at the clock, it was 12:30 and time for Declan to come home for lunch. He came home and greeted us girls with lots of kisses. It was a breath of fresh air to see him in the middle of the day. He held the peanut while I made us some grilled cheese sandwiches (we're sooo fancy around here), and we caught up on our days so far. Mine, obviously--consisted of feeding her, changing diapers, taking a shower, feeding her, changing diapers and putting in a load of laundry. All of which resounded "success" in my ears.

I had plans of going out that challenge myself and see if I can really handle this. I wasn't too worried, but, it's always a little bit scary your first time out with a newborn on your own.

Funny thing is...someone had JUST sent me a facebook message that day which had a note of encouragement in it that read:

"Being a stay at home mom has it's own challenges and adjustments. My little bit of advice is to try to go somewhere by yourself the first day or second day. Grocery store, meet someone at the park, anything! It will give you so much confidence!"

Declan headed back to work and I packed Emeline up for a little outing. Off we went to Kohl's to return a few outfits that were too big for my petit baby. However, as soon as I pulled in the parking lot--she started freaking-out-crying. I parked and jumped in the backseat, and like an old-pro, I fed her right there. Not only did I feed her there, but I also changed a dirty diaper. I have a feeling this was the first of many car-feedings and car-changings. Either way...for my first day alone? These are all huge, ginormous successes.

My sister met us there, which was nice to have a little moral support on my first day out. With a sleeping, peaceful baby I was able to make it through Kohl's...return some things and get some newborn outfits that will fit. Not only that, but we were able to make it through Babys-R-Us too, where I needed to purchase a few baby-related essentials.

Next thing you know, we were back at home--I was able to put away laundry and Emeline slept in her swing.

Within the next hour...Declan was home.

Phew. I had made it.

We did it.

I felt really good about our day. It went pretty flawlessly...and it did give me confidence that I can do this.

It may not seem like a lot to anyone else--but, it did to me.

Me and my girl...we had a great day. And I'm smiling because I know we have a lot of other great days together in the future.


Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Emeline's Birth Story: Part 1

It was Saturday morning...THE Saturday morning. You know...May due date. As an expecting mommy, you literally count down every single second until you get to meet your new baby. Here it was...the day I was waiting for. Yet, there was no baby, and no real good signs she was coming anytime soon, either.

I remember waking up and laying in bed that morning--feeling utterly hopeless and really down. I just wanted to meet my little girl so bad it hurt. It was about 9:30 in the morning (we were taking advantage of sleeping in), and I prayed a short prayer to myself, "Please God...pleeeeease. I know these contractions can start any minute. Give me something--anything..."

At 9:45am I had a pain. A very, very, obvious contraction. It started in my lower back, radiated around to my front, shot around my thighs/hips-and went up my belly. Exactly how everything I had read explained it would feel-like the most intense menstrual cramp. It was undeniably a contraction much different then the braxton hicks I'd been experiencing all through this pregnancy. I laid there, and although I was in pain--I got excited.

Was my prayer really answered this quick?!?!

I took note of the time...and prayed, and prayed for another one to come...

It did...about 8 minutes later. Then, another one came...8 minutes later. This went on for a little while before I decided to wake Declan and let him know the news. He also got excited, and up and out of bed we both went...making sure that we really had those bags packed and everything together in case this was "it". Declan hopped in the shower, and I continued timing them. I knew that something was going they were getting more and more painful. But, they weren't getting closer and closer together.

In fact, after a few hours of this...things started slowing down a little bit.

I got super discouraged again.

Knowing that things were obviously starting to happen in my body (whether consistent or not), Declan really needed to head to work for just a little while to get his department ready for him to be off work for a week. So, since things were slowing down with me (and he's only a phonecall away and literally a 10 second drive), I had no problem with that. While he was gone, my contractions slowed down to 15 minute intervals.

I was so upset...and all I heard ringing in my ear was the saying "real labor only intensifies...false labor slows down and can go on for days or weeks". Was this false labor? But it felt so REAL.

While Declan was gone I took Mac for two different walks...I bounced on my birth ball...I was doing anything to try and get those contractions back again. When Declan came home around 2pm that afternoon, we bummed around the house while I had a contraction here or there, watched movies, and I may or may not have let out a few little cries. My due date was here, and was quickly about to pass.

I insisted that we go out that evening to do anything. It was a nasty-stormy kind of night, so to the Mall we went. We ate in the food court, we walked from store to store, we even bought Declan a new pair of jeans and shorts he needed. During all this, my contractions were back again at about 8-9 minute intervals. I tried to push away any excitement that this could lead to anything, because of how let-down I'd been earlier.

The contractions kept coming at about 8-9 minute intervals all night until 6am that morning. So, as for sleeping...that didn't quite happen for me. I was up, on my computer, walking around the house...doing anything else but lying in bed focusing on each pain that came and went. I even took a shower, blow dried and straightened my hair, because I was sure "this was it". It was only a matter of time before the contractions went down to the magic number of 5 minutes apart.


Yet again....those freaking contractions stopped. Just, dead stopped.

At the time, I was ticked off. But, I decided that heck--I should call my doctor anyway to let them know whats going on.

Since it was after hours (and now Sunday morning and Mothers Day) I had to leave a message with the call center. I waited for the call back from one of my doctors (I go to a practice with 4 female doctors on rotation). When she called back, I proclaimed, "This was the weirdest 24 hours of my life. I think I'm in labor...but I have no idea."

She asks me to explain the details. I did.

She almost seemed bothered when she called (to an overly-hormonal-me) and I hated the way she made me if I was a stupid first time mom. Well guess what? I am a first time mom, and how the heck will I possibly know how things feel when I've never.done.this.before?

Then she said that freaking thing that I dreaded hearing:

"Katie...this isn't real labor. Real labor will not slow down. It will only intensify and contractions will get closer and closer together. This isn't it."

I basically hung up on her and burst into big.ugly.tears. I called my mom right away (on her birthday and Mothers day!) and bawled like a freaking baby over how stupid the doctor made me feel, and how "I'll never have this baby", and how miserable and tired I was....and "I hate my body for lying to me!".....

...and my mom sat on the other end of the phone and just listened....and cried with me. She knew how frustrating this was for me...she knew how much I've been anticipating her arrival...and she knew I was plain exhausted from getting no rest whatsoever.

I crawled back into bed and sobbed in Declan's arms. He rubbed my back and told me it would be soon...and to rest and relax since I hadn't slept at all that night.

I drifted off to sleep from about 7am-11am---and little did I know how badly I would need those 4 hours of sleep.


The story is quite long....stay tuned for Part 2....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Silent Sunday's: Of course it's a baby photo

~6 days old~

ps: interested in seeing some of the professional shots they took in the hospital?
Go to:,
then "view photos"
password is: 0510emelineballa

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sunny Saturday

Sunny and 74 degrees today in PA....and just absolutely beautiful.

My little brother came home from San Diego last night after his 4 month internship with Invisible Children....
and boy was he missed...

He met little Emeline Kay for the first time--and of course, she loves her Uncle Wit just like her other two cousins.

So we all got together at my parents...who are celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary today...

...and enjoyed some yummy food, sunshine and lots of laughter-

Of course--Emeline was given lots of snuggles, especially by her Mom Mom.

And Pop Pop (my dad) was busy playing with the older girls, Kyra and Kylie--my adorable and spunky nieces.

The new hammock was thoroughly enjoyed by all....

...and at the very end, I got a few snuggles too after little miss got passed around-

and then we packed up to head home--and of course had to get picture with Aunt Sue and her sweet little niece before we left. Who can resist jumping into a picture with a 6.5lb little bundle of cuteness?

Hoping your Saturday was just as lovely...