Monday, March 29, 2010

5 Weeks


Emma Claire was 5 weeks old on Thursday. She's doing great and growing every day. She's starting to hold her head up on her own for brief periods of time and several times a day she's awake for a few hours at a time. She started tummy time this week which she doesn't mind at all. And she already likes to talk with her hands - they are constantly moving around through the air when we don't have her swaddled. Here are a few pics from the week...


Full Belly

Tummy Time

Sleeping in with Mommy

Skyping with Nanny and Poppy for the 1st Time

Friday, March 19, 2010

1 Month Old!

Emma Claire was a month old yesterday! This past month has been one big blur and I can only hope it slows down at least a little. She had her 1 month checkup today and she had gained .5 oz shy of a whole pound in the past week! She is now up to 6lbs 7.5 oz and measured 19 1/4 inches long. She is still a great baby and is starting to be more and more alert. Here are a few pictures from the past week...

Modeling her outfit Aunt Katie gave her

Her first stroll around the neighborhood



Happy St. Patrick's Day!



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Perfect Faithfulness

I wrote the below blog entry in italics on the morning of February 18, the day Emma Claire was born. I did not post it that morning because I wanted to go back and read over it one more time before I did. That night as I laid in the operating room I told Kyle about the post while our little girl was being delivered. Over the past month I have wanted to share it with you all but I wanted to wait until I could take the time to add her birth story to it so those of you not aware of the circumstances of her birth could truly understand how amazing God's hand has been in both my pregnancy and Emma Claire's birth.

O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. ~ Isaiah 25:1

The one thing that has been undeniable about this pregnancy is how God's hand has been over it the entire time. Literally, every prayer has been answered and I'm continually amazed at his faithfulness.

Early in the pregnancy when we went for our first ultrasound, I was told I was going to miscarry and sent home. I was obviously upset but after the initial shock wore off I was overcome with peace. I knew that I had prayed for a baby and that if it was God's timing everything would be fine. A week later we went back in for another ultrasound and there was her beating heart strong and healthy. That peace has stayed with me for the entire pregnancy.

Another huge answer to prayer came last week. I've known for a long time, long before I ever became pregnant that going back to work was going to be extremely hard for me. I've prayed even before I was pregnant that God would somehow work out a way where I would not have to put our child in daycare full time. His answer - I'll be working from home 2 days a week and the other 3 days she'll be staying with a former elementary school teacher and stay at home mommy to an adorable 5 month old little boy who lives just 3 miles from our home. And yet again, he has given me complete peace with this arrangement.
As we face this last 6 weeks of pregnancy, I continue to trust God for strength during delivery, a healthy baby, continued peace, and most of all for his guidance in raising our little girl in a home full of love where she will grow up in His "perfect faithfulness".

On the afternoon of the day the post above was written, Kyle texted me to tell me he was going to go visit his friend at the VA Medical Center in Durham. Tracy had been in the hospital off and on for months and after being rescheduled several times he had surgery earlier that week. I debated on whether or not I wanted to go with Kyle since I had been busy that week and needed the rest. I texted him back however and told him to come by my office and pick me up and I'd ride with him.

As we were finishing up our visit with Tracy, I felt a gush which I thought a bit odd but wasn't too alarmed at first. As we were walking to the elevator I felt several more and told Kyle that I thought my water had broken. When we got to the car I looked down to discover that I was covered in blood. After a moment of panic, I pulled it together and called my OB. I got the standard press 1 for this, 2 for that and finally "if this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 911 or go to your closest emergency room". The closest emergency room was Duke Hospital which is literally across the street from the VA Medical Center where we had been visiting Tracy. Kyle had already pulled out of the parking space in the deck so I had him let me out so I could walk over the ER while he found another parking space. After 10-15 minutes which seemed like forever, they got me up to Labor & Delivery where the room quickly filled with doctors and techs. They started an ultrasound and got Emma Claire on the monitors. At that time she was doing well and the plan was to continue monitoring me but to hold off on a c-section unless the bleeding didn't stop or she started to show signs of distress. While I was in triage waiting for word on what exactly was happening and if she was going to be born that night I kept thinking of the verse above and despite how overwhelming that evening was God's peace stayed with me.

They had just moved me from triage into a room and got me settled when the doctor came back in and asked if I was feeling anything. She told me I was having contractions 2 minutes apart and that Emma Claire had a spell where she seemed to be stressed. After talking it over with the doctor, we decided to go ahead and deliver that night via c-section.

Emma Claire was born 6 weeks premature at 11:01 PM, about 4 1/2 hours after the bleeding started. She weighed 5lbs, 1 oz and measured 18 1/2 inches long. The c-section confirmed that I was having a placental abruption. "Placental abruption is an complication of pregnancy, wherein the placental lining has separated from the uterus of the mother. It occurs in 1% of pregnancies world wide with a fetal mortality rate of 20-40% depending on the degree of separation. Placental abruption is also a significant contributor to maternal mortality. Many women can die from this type of abnormality."

It is very apparent that God orchestrated the events of that evening... An unplanned visit to a friend whose surgery had been rescheduled multiple times to occur that very week across the street from one of the best hospitals in the country with the highest level NICU around where my bleeding started right as we were about to leave to go home. Some might call it chance, good fortune, or coincidence. Our family calls it "Perfect Faithfulness" and our beautiful daughter will be a daily reminder of it.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

3 Weeks Old

Emma Claire is 3 weeks old today! She had a follow up appointment with the pediatrician and she gained 9.5 oz in the past week and now weighs 5 lbs. 8 oz! We've had a great first week at home - it has flown by! Here are a few pictures from this week's happenings...
Her first pediatrician appointment
Hanging out in her bouncy seat Nanny brought her
At her baby shower!
Showing off her afghan Grandma made her

3 Generations



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3/3 Update

As promised, here are a few pictures of bringing Emma Claire home. When we left the hospital yesterday, she weighed 4lbs, 13 oz. Tomorrow is her first pediatrician appt. so we will see then if she's gained any since being home. She's doing good and we are doing good. She's spent most of the day being held by her daddy. Right now she is pretty easy - change her, feed her, let her sleep, wait 3 hours and repeat. In between all of that, Kyle and I take turns sleeping ourselves.

Now that we are home the posts may not be daily but we will definitely post at least once a week if not more with plenty of pictures to keep you updated as our sweet baby girl grows. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. We've been so touched and blessed by each of you.

Her going home outfit - a bit too big but she will grow into it.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

She's Home!

We received a surprise phone call this morning that they were releasing Emma Claire today. We are home now (Kyle is currently snuggling on the couch with her) and relaxing from the past 12 days. I'll post more tomorrow including photos.

Thank you for all your prayers and support! This is the day we've been praying for!

Monday, March 1, 2010

3/1 Update



Our sweet baby girl had a great day. Her bili levels were down in the 6's this morning! They took her out from under the lights so hopefully her levels will not have rebounded back up when they check them again tomorrow morning. If they have not and nothing else changes, it looks like we will get to take her home on Wednesday. We have finished our discharge training and they are doing her car seat test tonight. I spent the day snuggling with her and Kyle got a few hours of snuggling in tonight. She is being taken care of again tonight by her amazing nurse, April, who we are just so thankful for.

Thank you for your support and prayers!

Nurse April and Emma Claire


Our Big Girl trying to hold her bottle already!