Wednesday, October 28, 2009


We went in for Emma's 4 month check-up today. She weighs 14lbs 6oz (50th-75th percentile) and is 24 5/8 in. long (50th-75th percentile). She had a great check-up. The doctor said that everything looks on target and she was perfect. She was amazed at her weight gain and asked if I was supplementing with formula! NOPE! I told her that mommy makes milkshakes for Miss Em.

The doctor ALSO said that we can try some rice cereal as soon as she starts to act interested in eating. So far she's watching us eat, but not trying to open her mouth to eat when we bring food to her mouth. She said to wait a little while until she really signals that she's ready for it. She also said to wait on other fruits and veggies until 6 months. However, the paperwork the doctor's office gave me says that after the baby really gets the hang of rice cereal, you can try veggies. We'll play it by ear.

I asked her about swaddling. I was able to get Emma to sleep yesterday without her sleep positioner, so we took a step in the right direction. She still refuses to sleep unless she's swaddled though. The doctor recommended loosening the swaddle so that she gets used to sleeping without it. Any moms have tips?? Carolyn, I know you just went through this - help!

The shots were not too bad. I got so nervous that I got hives on my chest, but Emma did great! She cried pretty loud, but there were no tears this time. It also helped that I had my boob in her mouth before the nurse left the room ;) I have no shame! So, all is well! Emma's been dosed with baby Tylenol and is taking a well-deserved nap. Lunchtime for Mama!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

4 Months

It's been a pretty laid-back sort of week around here. I've been trying to recover from my surgery, sans pain medication. Apparently Emma does not like percocet. Or chocolate. The combination of the 2 was enough to keep her up all night for a few nights just after surgery. That was the LAST thing we needed around here, but it's looking like we're on the uphill swing.

Emma has made the transition to the big girl bed! I was really trying to hold off on that until she was out of the swaddle during the night and no longer using her sleep positioner, but it wasn't meant to be. She INSISTS on being swaddled at night and absolutely screams without the sleep positioner. However, she also scoots a ton at night and she was scooting until she touched the end of the co-sleeper which would wake her up. Not good. I finally decided that last night was THE night. She did great. She only woke up twice to eat. I will say, it's a lot tougher to get out of bed and go into her room to feed her, but it was doable. I will also admit that I got up to check on her a TON, but that's all part of the business of being a Mama.

She turned 4 months old on the 22nd. She's getting too big for her britches these days! She's developed quite a bit of an attitude. She wants what she wants, when she wants it. When I stop between sides of nursing her to burp her, all hell breaks loose. She pitches the biggest temper tantrum you've ever seen. Something's gotta give! Don't worry, I'll break her....just as soon as she's old enough to understand what "no" means! It's first on my to-do list. I also hate to say it, but it's pretty cute to see her personality traits come out. I'm afraid that she got that one from me.... :(

We have her 4 month check-up tomorrow. Complete with shots. I may end up with my head in between my knees during that portion of the appointment. I just can't take the sound of the screams. The sound of your child in pain is something I may never get out of my head. It's awful.

As far as I go, my recovery has gone really well. I finally felt back to myself yesterday (day 6). I'm feeling great today. Still having to wear pants with elastic waistbands because of the incisions though. :( Maybe tomorrow.

I'd better run - she's waking up from her nap and talking to herself! We're off to the bank and to Sonic for a cherry-limeade!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Well, it's finally over. Mr. Fred and I have parted ways. My OB named the cyst "Fred" and told me that he would be the cause of our "divorce." He's hysterical. Here's the long and short of it.

The adventure actually started on Friday, the day of my pre-op appointment. I assumed it would be a quick one - signing consent forms, maybe bloodwork. I was wrong. After well over an hour in the doctor's office because of a long wait and lots of paperwork to sign, he told me that I had to go downstairs to Northside's outpatient surgery registration to fill out MORE paperwork and have blood work done there. Mind you, Emma's at my parents' house and I'm on a ticking clock (she's needing to nurse every 2-3 hours or so during the day). I FINALLY get called back and do my paperwork. However, the VERY lovely (can you sense my sarcasm?) woman behind the desk informs me that they are very backed up and I'll have to go to the HOSPITAL to have the blood drawn! I told her there was no way. I didn't have that much time. She had no sympathy for me, but told me I could come back on Monday for the blood work, which I did. Not the most convenient thing in the world - it's a good 30 minute trip from our house.

Anyway, that happened. Yesterday morning we had to wake up at 6:00 to get ourselves and Emma ready. Mom got to our house at 7:00 and we ran through the basics of her schedule. Emma had her first bottle with Brad the night before, just to make sure she would take it. A lot of babies won't once they've gotten very well established with breast feeding. Luckily, she was a champ. So the bottles are defrosted and made, we're packed up and ready and out the house at 7:15.

We got to the hospital just after 8:00 and checked in. We were sent to the surgery floor and I was hooked up to the IV. To be honest, it was the only part I was dreading. It was my second (first was when I had Emma - I was stuck a few times and the floor supervising nurse had to be called to do it!). Luckily, the nurse was nice and only had to stick me once. This was after she told me about a diabetic patient who was currently being knocked out so that they could try to get an IV started - IN HER NECK! Scary. The IV wasn't bad at all and they also gave me a shot of versed and something by mouth to make me really relaxed. We waited for quite some time. Naturally, after over an hour of laying down hooked up to IV fluids, I had to pee. Great timing! Brad had to go with me, which was great. He felt special carrying my IV bag! As soon as we got back in the bed, my doctor came in. Apparently, the surgery before me was in overtime and they were trying to find another operating room. My versed wore off, so they gave me more. That made the waiting a little more fun. :)

They finally came back to take me to the OR around 11:45. Brad headed down to have lunch with his handy dandy hospital pager while I was in surgery. I remember the OR being VERY cold and I remember my doctor rubbing my arm while he leaned up against me in the bed talking to me. I was really calm about the whole thing, which really surprised me. They gave me some gas through a mask and something in my IV and I was out.

The next thing I remember was asking my doctor whether or not I had to lose my ovary. He said yes. I didn't see him because I wasn't NEARLY awake, but I remember that conversation. I was in recovery for about 3 hours. It was hard to wake up - the nurse kept telling me to take deep breaths, which was hard to remember to do! My eyes eventually cleared up and I woke up enough to move to another room with a chair. That's right, a chair. I had to go straight from the bed to a chair, which was hard without my sea legs under me. After awhile Brad showed up. We sat for a few minutes, I had some percocet to top off the 2 doses of morphine I had already had. The pain wasn't bad at all....yet. Brad got me dressed and we were able to leave. We were home by 4:30.

I was able to sit up in bed to pump breastmilk which had to be thrown out because of the anesthesia. That's when Brad handed me the pictures that the doctor gave him of my ovary. Wow. All this time, through countless ultrasounds, we had all been under the impression that the cyst was ON my ovary, which was why we couldn't see the ovary itself. Check out the picture - the cyst was IN the ovary. Looking at the picture, it's obvious why I had to have it removed. The doctor told Brad it was approximately 11 cm in diameter. Had I not gotten pregnant with Emma, we would never have known I had it because I've had no symptoms whatsoever.

As soon as I was able, I got mom to hand Emma to me. I had missed my girl! She looked in my eyes for a couple of seconds and started to cry. It was SO sad. I'm guessing that she could tell that things just weren't right. So naturally, mom and I both started crying with her. I think we all needed the emotional release. She did great with mom. Mom left after we ate dinner and Brad was on call all night. She had another bottle just before bed, which I gave her. Because Emma sleeps next to me, I was able to hear her waking up (turning over to look at her was too painful) and wake Brad up to come get her. The anesthesia was out of my system and I was able to breastfeed her at 1:00 AM. He would wake up and give her to me to nurse, I'd nurse her, and hand her back for him to put back in the bed. It worked well.

Unfortunately, it was overnight that my pain really started to get bad. I'm pretty sore. I have 3 incisions - one in my belly button (the largest) and one on either side. I'm taking my pain pills, which are also the ones that I took when I had Emma, so they're safe for her. Unfortunately, this hurts a lot worse than the pain I had then. The pills take the edge off, but that's all. I'm hoping that this is as bad as it will get. It's manageable. I'm walking a little doubled over. Mom came over today and spent the day with us to take care of Emma. It was so nice. I feel rested. Sore, but rested. We're on our own tomorrow, but we'll be fine. I can feed her and burp her, but it's still painful to walk with her, much less to walk without her! Having her has really made the whole experience a lot more pleasant than it could've been. I have her to hold and snuggle and kiss on. It keeps me from focusing on the pain too much, which is really great.

I'm SO glad to have this all over with. It's out of my life. Fred has left the building. On the plus side, it's not supposed to affect my chances for getting pregnant again at all. The other ovary works overtime to ovulate each month. AND, the one that's left is the one that I ovulated from when I got pregnant with Emma, so we know it works.

Sorry that was such a long and detailed story. I write these blog posts mostly as a journal for Emma when she grows up. I plan to have them made into a book for her eventually and want to have as much detail as possible. Hope you are entertained as well! Be glad you didn't have to live it - just read about it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

16 Weeks

Well, she may be 16 weeks old, but she's not 4 months until 10/22! I keep telling myself that so that I can try to slow down time. It's not working. She's thinking she's a big girl these days. She's grabbing toys with her hands and trying to get everything in her mouth - her hands are there most of the time! She's talking up a storm and is as cute as ever.

Not a lot has happened this week, which is sort of how I like it. It's nice to have our days relaxed and slow. We've been working on sleep a lot lately. Like I think I mentioned earlier, she's been waking up after just a few minutes of sleep and cycling like that off and on for a few hours. I'm VERY happy to say that we broke that bad habit. I'm not a believer of "cry it out," so I did my own method based on my behavior modification training. I knew it would come in handy sometime! :) When she cried we would wait a minute to see if she was actually awake or just crying in her sleep. If she was really awake we would go in and put her passy back in her mouth and walk out. We would ONLY pick her up if she was really hysterical, which only happened a few times. Within a few days she was over it. Naps have been another story. Some days she still thinks she only needs to sleep for 30 minutes, when I KNOW she needs a good 2 hours or more. In fact, right now she's in the middle of a 2 1/2 hour nap and going strong. We're getting there! She's also learned to wake up and "summon" us by talking - the cutest thing in the world!!

I always have great and happy things to say about Emma. It's not because I'm sugar coating her, it's because she really is great and happy....most of the time. We have had one struggle that has been ongoing since she was born. She HATES the car seat. She has hated it since day 2 (day 1 she slept through - the car ride home from the hospital). She screams almost everytime we go anywhere. When I say she screams, I mean she screams until she has to stop to catch her breath, turns red, chokes, and occasionally falls asleep (though those days are nearly over). She has screamed for over 30 minutes at times. The bad thing is that there is NOTHING I can do. It's taken me 4 months to really accept that. You see, when she was tiny I would pull over, nurse her in the back seat, change her diaper, do whatever I could think of that could possibly be wrong. It never helped. As soon as she got back in the car seat, she was screaming again. I've tried putting her in there asleep - she wakes up. Putting her in there when it's nap time - she screams even more uncontrollably. I've tried toys (she's not quite to the point of holding a toy to entertain herself), the pacifier, 3 car seats now, and Baby Einstein videos on Brad's portable DVD player. None of it is the cure all. Music helps some, but only when it's what she wants to listen to (she's PICKY with her music, just like her mommy) and when she's calm enough to hear it. The DVDs help some, but not for long. We can typically make it 10 minutes or so if she's very well rested, well fed, and all is right with the stars and their alignment. It doesn't even help if one of us sits in the back seat to entertain her. Heck, my mom, the living interactive toy, sat in the back seat with her on the way to the park the other day and she screamed as loud as ever. I honestly don't know what else I can do. It has weighed on my heart heavily for 4 months, and it seems to have gotten worse lately. In my mind I know that there's nothing that I can do, it doesn't hurt her to cry, and that I need to focus completely on driving.'s SO hard with the love of your life screaming hysterically in the backseat.

I went so far as to take her to the pediatrician this week. Her check-up is in 2 weeks. She was just not quite herself with her sleep stuff going on, all the yelling in the car. My guess was an ear infection. The culprit?? Her attitude. I'm in for it when she hits 2!! The doctor checked her over and she was perfect. She weighs 13 lbs. 14 oz. 75th percentile. Nothing wrong with her. So I have a gorgeous little girl who is sweet as pie 99% of the time and a demon child that 1% of time that she's in the car. What do you do?? Anyone have suggestions?? I'm all ears.

Please don't think that I'm complaining or that I don't love my little girl with everything that I have. I wouldn't trade her, or my time with her, for anything in the world. I just am at a loss when it comes to the car situation. Help!

Please keep us in your prayers next week. I have the surgery to remove my ovarian cyst on next Tuesday. I'm a little nervous, especially because it's the longest I will have been away from Emma, not to mention it's "technically" my first surgery. No pictures to update with, but I figure the videos from a few days ago make up for it ;)

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I know that although there are a lot of people who read this blog that have actually MET Emma by now, there are also a lot that haven't. I thought I'd post a couple of videos from my camera so that you can see her "in action." It's hard to see her personality very well in pictures. Here she is getting a bath. I almost didn't post it, for her own privacy, but how long will I actually be able to get away with showing her little dimply butt?? So, if you have a problem with nekkid baby butts, don't click "play." You'll hear me telling her "you're NOT a big girl, you're Mama's baby" in the video. Whenever she does something new or "big" like wanting to stand up all the time, I tell her that, while she may THINK that she's a big girl, she's still my little baby. Wonder how long that will last?? I'm sure it won't be nearly long enough.

Emma's Bath from Susan Gilchrist on Vimeo.

This video is the cutest ever. When Emma gets out of the bath, her Daddy lotions her up with a little baby massage. He uses a different accent every night and she just beams at him. She loves her Daddy! I just treasure this video - the sweetest thing to watch. Hope you enjoy them!

Lotion from Susan Gilchrist on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

15 Weeks Old

Emma has had quite an exciting week, both in a good way and a bad one. Most of you already know that this week I had a car wreck with Emma in the car. A woman pulled out of a McDonald's less than a mile from our house and decided to cut across 3 lanes of traffic. I didn't see her and she didn't bother to look good enough for other cars before pulling out in front of me. We hit head on. Luckily, I had just gotten into a turn lane and was going no faster than 20 miles an hour. It really wasn't too bad. Not too much body damage to either car. She was ticketed and found to be at fault. Unfortunately, my car wouldn't start so the police officer had to push my car with his front bumper to get me out of the street! Scary. The car was towed and is now at a body shop and will hopefully be fixed soon. Emma and I were just fine. She cried for a minute or 2 and then fell fast asleep. She was a trooper. I can honestly tell you though, I've never been so scared in my entire life. I SCREAMED at the other driver "CALL 911 - I HAVE A BABY IN THE CAR!" I have never gotten her out of that carseat faster in my life. It could have been SO much worse and I thank God that it wasn't. Now we're cruising around in a Chevy Cobalt from the rental company. It' Did you know that they still make cars that don't have power windows, locks, or even cruise control?? Well, let me tell you - they do. I haven't rolled down the windows in a car since the 80s. Wow.

I was determined not to let the wreck spoil our entire weekend so we loaded up on Saturday and drove to Berry Patch Farms for a trip to the pumpkin patch with my mom's company. We had a blast. It was Emma's nap time so I put her in the sling to nap and she slept HARD. We tried to wake her up for a photo op with the pumpkins, but as you can see, she was much more interested in her beauty sleep. She even slept through the hay ride. She's a girl after her mother's own heart!

Speaking of sleep, we've had a tough time lately. For the last few weeks she has gone from sleeping soundly all night (waking up once to eat) to waking up screaming within 30 minutes of being put down. She doesn't just wake up once, she wakes up every 15-30 minutes for the first few hours of being put down. It's miserable. She's learned to put herself to sleep after we put her in the bed, but only stays asleep for 30 minutes before the screaming starts. After she finally goes to bed, she's out all night. Naps haven't been great either - she's had several days of 1 hour naps, instead of 2-3 hours at a time. It's been rough on Emma, and even more rough on her Mama.

I finally determined that she was overtired when we were putting her down. Since then, we've moved her schedule up 2 hours. Instead of starting her bath at 9:00, we start at 7:00 and she's in bed by 8:00. She's been gradually getting better. Last night, we put her in bed still awake with her soother turned on, she put herself to sleep, and didn't wake back up! She stirred around 3:00 and I decided to go ahead and feed her because her 2 best friends were beckoning her, if you know what I mean! ;) She slept until 8:00 this morning! Unfortunately, she only took a 45 minute nap this morning and I paid for it in the car on the way to and from the grocery store - she was an angel and slept in the sling while I shopped. She's back down now and I'm determined that she will have a GOOD afternoon nap!

The cloth diapering is still going great. In fact, I just got a package of new diaper service quality prefolds that I ordered last week. I'm excited to use them! Is that sad? It's fun! We're even using them at night now with no leaks. You can probably spot her little cloth diapered butt in these pictures. Her little pants barely fit over it! She's wearing 3-6 month clothes for the most part, but pants have to be 6 months at least! It's so cute, and extra padded so she can take me smacking on it a little ;)

Emma's 1st tractor ride!

Ready for nap time!

Family Photo - Emma was fast asleep.

1st Hayride - still napping...

At the pumpkin patch picking out our pumpkin. See the cloth diaper??

Still half asleep...

Watching Baby Crack....I mean Einstein!