Monday, August 31, 2009

10 Weeks Old

We're into the double digits now and I'm not happy about it. Times moving WAY too fast for my taste. Emma's growing up and changing so much each week that I just can't believe it. She's SO precious. She's gotten really interactive and loves to flash me huge grins when she wakes up. She's such a happy baby.

Her baptism was on Saturday. It was a great day. We had her baptized at Holy Cross Catholic Church at 4:00 PM and then had dinner at home for everyone - Honeybaked Ham, baked beans, deviled eggs, potato salad, cake, and punch. We had such a great time!

Emma wasn't too happy about getting dressed in her gown. Getting dressed in general isn't her favorite thing, but getting dressed in a scratchy, lacey, double layered gown was her worst nightmare. She cooperated for the most part and was an absolute angel during the ceremony. She didn't cry once - even when the deacon poured the holy water over her head. She was so well behaved. There was only one down-side to the baptism. She was anointed with 2 oils during the ceremony - the oil of catechumens and the oil of chrism. Don't ask me to explain the difference - I'm sure I have that knowledge, just no idea where I've stored it! Anyway, the oil of chrism has a very strong smell. Everyone in our baptism class told us that it smells wonderful. They were wrong! Poor Emma has smelled like some strange old lady's perfume for 2 days now! I've scrubbed her little head in the bathtub every night and can't lose the smell. I guess it has to wear off. It's definitely a lighter smell now, but wow. It stinks!

She was wearing her Daddy's baptism gown, a religious medal from her Great-Grandma Claire, and a baby ring that was made from her Grandmother's (Brad's mom) engagement ring that was worn on a gold chain and cross that was her Great-Grandma Claire's. She wore an heirloom bonnet that her Grammy (my mom) bought her. It was one that turns into a handkerchief that she will carry at her wedding. She was also wearing precious satin booties - she was SO cute!

Emma's Godparents are my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Tim. They are also my Godparents. We were so honored that they agreed to be her Godparents. They happen to live in our neighborhood and Emma gets to see them a lot. She loves them both! It also worked out very well that Barbara knows her so well - Emma got a little squirmy during the baptism and Barbara knew exactly how to keep her happy. It was perfect.

We don't have any big plans this week. Just catching up on some housework and grocery shopping. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the baptism, along with a link to some others.

With my parents and Emma's Godparents, my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Tim

My best friend Amber

Friday, August 28, 2009


This won't be a long post because I only have a few minutes while Emma naps, but we've had some doctor's appointments over the last 2 days and I thought I'd update.

Emma had her appointment yesterday. It was an experience. When we got there, there were signs on the doors advising that they have seen an influx of influenza and that if your child has a cough and/or fever, come to the desk to get a mask. I saw 3 kids come in and get a mask while we waited. Scary. When we got back to the exam room, I asked the nurse if it was the regular flu, or swine flu. She said "swine flu." She told me (and the doctor did as well) that they had 20 cases of confirmed swine flu on Wednesday morning alone! They had 6 more after lunch. Scary. When I mentioned that the news had been reporting that Rockdale county was the only one with confirmed cases in schools, she said "No. It's in Dekalb - I can promise you that." Scary. She said it's particularly bad in Decatur. Ick.

Anyway, Emma weighs 12 lbs. 5 oz! She's in the 90th percentile for her weight! She's also 23 inches - 75th percentile there. She's a big girl! She had 2 shots yesterday, one in each thigh. I had a long talk with the doctor about shot schedules. She had a lot of good points and I really respected what she had to say. A lot of research has gone into the current recommended shot schedule and it's the most effective way to prevent childhood illnesses. In the end, I caved. On the plus side, I feel much more educated about vaccines and I really feel like Emma's doctor is very knowledgeable about it. She cried SO hard with the shots! She's had 2 in the past and only cried for a second and not very hard. This time she was hysterical - she was crying real tears for the first time ever. As soon as the nurse left, I cried with her! She eventually calmed down and I nursed her before we left. She was pretty fussy last night, but seems better this morning. I also got my flu shot while we were there. I didn't cry over that one. :)

My doctor's appointment was this morning. My mom went with me to help with Emma, which was good because she was awake for a good deal of it. The ultrasound showed that the cyst is the same size it was a month ago, which helps the doctor's think it's not cancerous. We'll schedule surgery sometime hopefully within the next 3 weeks. I'm waiting for a call from them to schedule. They are hoping to remove it laproscopically, in which case I'll be home that night. If, for some unlikely reason, they have to go in through a larger incision, I'll be in the hospital for 2 nights and 3 days. It's not likely, and I'm praying it doesn't end up that way. It's fairly likely that I'll lose my ovary, but the doctor told me today that my other one will compensate and I'll still ovulate every month. It will be very possible to still get pregnant in the future, though I may go through early menopause at some point.

I'm dreading the surgery because I don't want to be away from Emma for so long and I feel like I really just recovered from her birth. I'm ready to have my body back! The recovery period is only 5-7 days, and Brad is going to take off the week with me to help. I'm pumping as much as possible now to have enough bottles for Emma while I can't nurse. Mom will be staying home with her while Brad comes with me to the hospital. I'm ready to get it over with. It will be nice to have a break from doctors for awhile!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

9 Weeks Old

When I look back at pictures of myself from high school I think "Man! I thought I was so overweight back then." If only I had known....I would have lived it up! I remember when I started high school thinking, "I wish I knew how easy I had it in middle school." I remember going to work for the first time after graduating college and wishing life were as carefree as it was just one year ago. It always seems like you didn't know how nice things were and how great you had it until they've passed. This is NOT one of those times. I can say with all honesty - these are the best days of my life. And the best thing? I KNOW IT!

I spend my days staring at my beautiful baby girl, soaking in every sweet expression, every smile, every sweet touch. I get to smell her sweet head, nurse her, and lay her down to nap in her co-sleeper next to me every day. There isn't a single moment that I've taken for granted so far, and I hope there never is. I'm determined to savor every single second of her life, knowing how amazing of a miracle she is and how close I came to never having her.

Today marks the one year anniversary of my miscarriage. Today, more than ever, I am feeling that loss. At the same time I am so much more thankful for Emma. It still hurts, but it also makes me appreciate God more and the miracle that he worked when he gave us Emma Claire. After I got pregnant with Emma, a friend told me 'without having lost your first baby, you wouldn't have Emma.' That is SO true. She is so perfect, so amazing, and so beautiful. I can't imagine my life without her. It just wouldn't be whole.

She's growing SO much. She has her 2 month pediatrician's appointment this week. I'm looking forward to finding out how much she weighs. She's a huge little monkey! She's getting so long. She fits easily into size 2 diapers, though she's still wearing 1. We're cloth diapering about 1/2 the time. I'm trying to go through some disposables that we have before she outgrows them before switching to cloth full-time. She's smiling much more this week and is really showing her personality. She's cooing up a storm, but still prefers to "talk" to her Daddy. He's had a bad sinus infection this week, complete with a high fever, and I wouldn't let him near her for about 4 days. It killed him, though he agreed that it was better than her in the hospital with a high fever and infection. He's glad to be out of quarantine now and is eating her up with a spoon.

We had a milestone this week, at least for Mommy. We left Emma with my mom for an hour while we went to dinner! It just about killed me, but it was good for all of us. I didn't worry about her for a second. My mom is the only one I can dream of leaving her with - she knows her almost as well as I do. She's more than capable of calming her down if she's upset and knows what soothes her and what doesn't. What I wasn't expecting was how badly I'd miss her. It was hard! We had a great dinner though and were home before she even got hungry again. It was perfect. Not sure how often it will happen, but it's nice to know we have the possibility there.

I also have my doctor's appointment this week to do another ultrasound and re-check my cyst one last time. I'll likely be scheduling surgery to remove it in the near future. I'm hoping for a miracle, but prepared for reality too. I'll be glad to have it over with. As much as I love my OB, I'll be glad to not see him for awhile. I can't count the number of ultrasounds I've had on both hands - almost all of the ultrasounds while I was pregnant were to look at that darn cyst. I was certainly happy to see Miss Emma at the same time. Now there's no baby to look at, only a huge black spot that is now officially larger than my uterus. Not fun.

Emma's baptism is on Saturday. I'm so excited. I was telling my mom last night that it will be so emotional for me. Throughout my first pregnancy and miscarriage we were going to that church and I was praying for a miracle. It wasn't meant to be. Before I knew it I was pregnant again. I spent my entire pregnancy praying like mad for her health, development, my health, etc. God came through for us when we needed it most. Emma even kicked for the very first time at church! Something about bringing her back there to entrust her life to God in the Catholic Church means so much to me. I wish her Great-Grandma Claire, her namesake, were here to see her. She'll be wearing her cross and a St. Jude medal of Grandma's and I'm sure she'll be there in spirit to watch over Emma. A very emotional day for so many reasons.

Wish us luck this week. It will be my first trip to the pediatrician by myself with Emma. We're also going to opt for an alternative vaccine schedule which I'll be discussing with the doctor at this visit. I'm praying she's open-minded. I just can't imagine having 4 shots in one visit. That just CAN'T be good. We'll see how it goes! I'll update tomorrow with her new stats after the appointment.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Footy Pajamas

Here are a few pictures, as I promised. Emma is wearing her first pair of footy pajamas! I've always thought they were precious, but she makes them look even cuter. I love how snuggly she is in them! On a very happy note, my Dad got the results of his yearly PET scan today (to check for cancer). Everything was negative - no cancer!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

8 Weeks

It's official - I have a 2 month old. She's changing so much that I can hardly keep up! She's definitely a "mama's girl" these days. She wants me to hold her and entertain her constantly - most times Daddy just doesn't "do." I must admit - I'm pretty happy to hold and entertain her all the time too. :) I must also admit, I miss being able to take a shower without Brad coming in with Emma because she's crying. She must miss the 9 months we spent in the shower rocking out with my ipod up loud - she stops crying the instant he comes in the room with her. I'm able to do a little house work here and there with her in the baby sling. It's better than nothing, but I'm starting to feel like the list of things I have to do is way longer than the list of things I've done. I guess it's the beginning of a vicious cycle. On the plus side, I don't have to get up at 6:00 and go to work anymore! I can even stay in my pj's all day if I want....not to brag or anything ;)

She's cooing up a storm, but mostly for Daddy. He can start talking to her and making noises and she "talks" right back - who knew a 2 month old could carry on a conversation?? She's also drooling up a storm. After reading about her development in her 2nd month I have figured out why - she's learning to salivate and swallow and she's producing more saliva than she knows how to swallow. Nasty, but it makes sense!

She's also hit a rough patch with sleeping. I'm praying that it's temporary and really think that it is. We've tried to keep her normal schedule on weekends as well, but we were out and about quite a bit this weekend and her sleeping schedule has paid for it dearly. Last night she was up every single hour. NO fun! She also refused a morning nap. I can usually count on a good 2 1/2 - 3 hour nap and I sleep with her. This morning she slept for 30 minutes and refused to go back down. This afternoon was a touch better. I swaddled her, turned on the fan, and turned out the lights, just like I always do. I fed her and she usually goes RIGHT to sleep. Today she fell asleep and woke right up when I put her down. 3 more rounds later, I gave up, unwrapped her, and put her on the bed next to me on her belly (I know, I know) with a paci in her mouth and she was OUT. She slept for a good hour and a half and as I type this, she's being fussy again - a sure sign she's still sleepy.

I'm hoping and praying for a better night tonight! Mom thinks she'll pass out from sheer exhaustion. I think she's right. We don't really have any big plans this week. I'm waiting for Brad to get ready right now to go have dinner with some friends. A couple of my previous students and their moms and I get together fairly often for dinner and this time Miss Emma's coming! I'm hoping that she sleeps through most of it, or stays awake and pleasant through it and sleeps tonight - I'll take either one!

I have been remiss in picture taking this past week. It's fairly hard to take photos while you're HOLDING the subject! I'll try to snap some later this week and post them when I do.

Monday, August 10, 2009

7 Weeks

Wow. 6 weeks have come and gone and we are on week 7. Brad went back to work last week for pre-planning and Emma and I were on our own. It went very well and this week I'm much more comfortable and looking forward to getting Emma on a schedule. I'm still trying to feel her out as far as when nap times should be by when she gets tired. The biggest problem is that she wants to take 30 minute or less naps, rather than sleep for the 2-3 hours that she needs. We're working on that. I'll feel much better once I know that I have a guaranteed 2 hour stretch when I can do things (get dressed, do housework, etc.) Today I INSISTED that she take 2 2-hour naps and I've been able to get some extra sleep and get a little laundry done too. It feels great!

Brad's students started back today. I talked to him this morning and he said that it was crazy - new crazy schedules and the kids were confused, as were the teachers. I must admit, it's days like this that I'm SO happy to be a stay at home mom! He missed her so much this week. He comes straight home from work and scoops her up. I'm lucky if I even get a "hi" anymore!

Emma had a few firsts this week. Last Monday she smiled VERY intentionally for the first time. She's always smiled in her sleep, and smiled at my hair, or her "food sources/best friends" just before she eats, but this was the first time she actually smiled at ME! She's stingy with them, but they're there. She also started to coo this week. She "talks" the most when she's in her bouncy seat looking out the window. On Saturday in Thomson she showed off by carrying on a full conversation with her Daddy - too sweet.

She's sleeping so well at night now. She usually goes down around 10 and wakes up around 2:00 and 5:00 to eat. She usually goes right back to sleep once her tummy is full, which is great because I've been letting Brad sleep through the feedings now that he's back at work. It's more work on my part, but I feel like it's only fair because I have the possibility of a nap later in the day and he doesn't. So far it's working out well.

We took a bit of a road trip this weekend. My grandfather is ill and living with my aunt in Thomson, GA. I had been wanting him to meet his great-granddaughter since she was born and the time was right. It was awesome. When we got there he was asleep. My mom put Emma in bed with him and when he woke up he saw her - his eyes lit up in a huge smile. She was an angel. She cuddled with him for a long time and then we posed for pictures. It was a great memory making trip and I was sure to get a ton of pictures to remember it by.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

One Month Photo Shoot

We had Carrie Tabb come to our house and do a photo shoot for us - it was awesome! She's a friend of Josh and Carolyn and they had her do several photo shoots for their baby girl, Kaitlyn. In fact, she was supposed to meet us to do maternity pictures on the day Emma was born! I figured we had plenty of time, seeing as she wasn't due to come for 2 more weeks. Little did we know, she had other plans. I think she secretly knew that photos taken of her mama at that point in pregnancy would NOT have been flattering ;)

The shoot went great - Emma slept through most of it. A couple of "nursing breaks" and a pacifier go a long way with Emma. Here are a couple of my favorites. To see all of them, click on this link. Click on "clients" and then enter the password "Gilchrist." The "G" has to be capitalized.

Do me a big favor - comment on this blog and let me know the numbers (on the bottom right of the photos) of your favorites. We're going to order some to frame and can't decide on which ones.

Monday, August 3, 2009

6 Weeks Old

Our little girl turned 6 weeks old yesterday! I would have posted then, but we were a little busy. It also happened to be our first day on our own with Daddy back at work. I was a little nervous to be on my own without his help - I've been spoiled these last 6 weeks. It went very well. We even ventured out to the mall to meet a friend of mine and her baby girl who was born almost exactly 2 weeks after Emma (their due dates were 1 day apart!). It was quite a feat to organize the car seat, stroller, diaper bag, etc. I really amazed myself - you'd be surprised at how heavy some of the "gear" is! Shortly after we got back Brad got home from work and grilled out for dinner. The pictures at the bottom are from that endeavor. He missed his little girl and wouldn't let her go - even to cook!

I had my 6-week check up with my OB on Friday. He was amazed at how well everything has healed. I also had an ultrasound to check on my cyst. Unfortunately, it's the same size that it was before Emma was born. He is certain that surgery is in my near future. I asked if we could wait a little longer to give it more time to shrink and he agreed to one month. At that point, if it's not smaller I'll have laproscopic surgery to remove it. The bad news is that I'll most likely lose my ovary. The good news is that it's outpatient and I'll be home sooner rather than later. Please keep this in your prayers - I'd really like to avoid surgery if at all possible.

Emma's changing on a daily basis. She's started to smile on occasion and is really loving "experimenting" with holding her head up. It's precious to watch her little bobble head when I burp her. Too cute!

We've discovered that she most likely has a milk protein allergy. It's similar to being lactose intolerant, but lactose is a sugar and what she has trouble processing is the protein. It's made for a very fussy, gassy, miserable baby these last few weeks. The solution is for me to cut all dairy out of my diet. You have NO idea how hard that is until you try. Trust me. On the positive side, most babies are able to process it by 6 months, so I can try it again then. I've always said that I'd do anything for my baby - if the last 9 months have proven anything, it's that. I guess it never ends, does it? :)

Emma's been much better since cutting out dairy, but has been a little clingy this morning. I think she's mostly sleepy and it's past nap time. The only way that I could get ready this morning is with her in her sling (picture below). I'd better go - we're off to meet Daddy for lunch and to show Emma off to some of his co-workers!

My view -

It looks like he's about to throw her in!

Playing with Daddy after his day at work.