Monday, January 26, 2009

6 Month Photo Shoot with Auntie Em!

Thank you to Auntie Emily for taking such beautiful pictures of our baby girl! These pics were taken on Sunday, January 25th, exactly one week before Kara turns 6 months old! Sorry there are so many, but its tough to just choose a couple!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I have a new favorite website. You can find it here It is a free photo editing site and you can pull pics from Picasa, Photobucket, Facebook, Myspace.. its pretty cool! Here are a few pictures I have edited so far. I plan on spending lots of time on this website and learning all sorts of neat things to do with pictures!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Joe says that I need to post a new blog since I haven't posted one for a week. He wanted me to post something about all the reasons that I love my wonderful husband... but I thought this would be easier :) Here are some pics of Kara from the last week or so. She is turning into such a big girl! We are having her 6 month pictures taken on Sunday with Auntie Em, I cannot even believe my baby girl will be 6 months old so soon!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Joe's Newest Hobby

Not that Joe needed anymore expensive hobbies... but he went and found one anyway :)

Joe has recently become a master brewer, well, I don't know if I would call him a master quite yet.. how about an amateur home brewer? It has been a long time goal of Joe's to brew some beer at home.. his friend, Andy, received a home brew kit as a wedding gift, so they decided to enter the world of home brewing together!

After hours of boiling water, hops, and sugars.. sanitizing countless tools, bottles and caps.. filling our home with steam and the aroma of a bread factory..and weeks of waiting for the beer to be ready, it was finally time for them to indulge in their delicious masterpiece! I think they were both quite impressed with their first time success, for they came away with a drinkable beer!!

For Christmas I bought Joe his own home brew kit, and we went down to Northern Brewer and picked up a brew kit called 'Innkeeper'... it is currently sitting in bottles in our computer room fermenting...can't wait to try this one!

I can see this hobby taking up lots of Joe's free time in the near future! Here are some pics of Joe brewin it up!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Kara cracking up at us

This was a video of Kara from January 4th, all this laughing was just from me lifting my hand and hitting the chair.. you can see her copy this movement in the video. It was pretty hilarious! This is her new favorite move, I think she learned it in the bath tub, and learned that she could make really big splashes when her hand hit the water!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

To An Amazing Group of Women

A few months after I found out I was pregnant I joined a message board on Babycenter for first time moms. I thought it would be a great place to connect with other women experiencing pregnancy for the first time with me. I joined a group called First Time Mommas - July 2008.

Over the next few months, new members would come and go.. we talked about everything related to pregnancy and shared our experiences or thoughts to try and help each other out. By about 6 or 7 months into our pregnancies we had a pretty strong core group of members.

We had 'birth buddies' and exchanged phone numbers so that as soon as one of us was in labor the board could be updated by our buddy. It was pretty exciting in June once the babies started coming! It was so neat reading everyone's birth stories, and sharing in their excitement!

We have all been talking for over a year now, and we all are so connected.. its a really neat thing, I feel like I have known them all for years! I am so honored to be a part of this group! To all of you out there.. Thanks for everything!!

We have experienced so much as a group... pregnancy, childbirth, caring for an infant. I feel so honored to have all of these women in my life, they are always there when I need to vent, need advice or just need someone to tell my funny stories to!

Thank you to all my July 08 Mommas!

For Kara @ 7 weeks old

I cannot believe you are 7 weeks old today!! Where has all the time gone? This has been the most magical, challenging, rewarding and fulfilling 7 weeks of my life.

We have watched you change and grow so much already! As a newborn and your first week home you were so dependent on us for everything. You instantly responded to your Mommy and Daddy, we could calm you just by holding you. We could stare at you all day long. You are the most beautiful baby! You surprised us with how strong you are, trying to hold your head up so soon, scooting around on the floor on your belly. You were smiling at us by 2 weeks old, everyone told us it was just gas, but we know that you were truly smiling. By 3 weeks you were smiling and talking so much more, it is so amazing to watch you change each day and each week. We see you focus on objects, and listen to sounds, you are always so alert. You know your mommy and daddy so well, you know our voices, our scents, our loving touch. We love to talk to you and watch you respond, your eyes light up and your smile is contagious.

You amaze me everyday. It is amazing how much love I have for you, such a tiny little person, You are a spitting image of your daddy. No matter how tired, sick, sad or cranky I am, as soon as I see your smile you change my world. I love you more than anything. I promise to always love you, encourage you, and support you. I have to go back to work soon and it breaks my heart. I will miss our morning nap, snuggling with you on the couch, and watching you explore the world around you. I cannot wait to see what the next 7 weeks bring, I know that you will continue to change so much! I love you baby girl!

Birth Story.. Warning.. Lots of details! (copied from my Myspace page)

My original due date was July 27th, at times it seemed like the day would never come, but overall my entire pregnancy flew by.

On July 28th I had a dr appointment, and happened to see my sister's doctor, since mine was on vacation. One of the first things she said to me was "Well, I hope you don't mind, but I went ahead and called Labor and Delivery and scheduled your induction for next Monday." This was the greatest news in the world to me. I really didn't want to be induced, but I was so ready to meet my little girl! At the appointment my doctor checked me and said my cervix was very soft, but I still wasn't really dilated much. So since I had my induction date I decided that Wednesday, July 30th would be my last day of work, and then I would have Thursday through Sunday to relax and prepare for delivery and bringing home the baby.

Thursday, July 31st - I woke up in the morning and seemed to have my bloody show, which can or can't mean that labor is coming.. so I didn't think too much of it. I started my day by cleaning the house and doing some laundry. I went to go bring lunch to Joe and told him that I think today might be the day, but I was only half serious, cause I really didn't know. After lunch I went back home and continued cleaning and by 3:00 in the afternoon I was exhausted, so I decided I was done for the day. Around 4:45 I had a little gush of fluid, I kinda wondered if it could be my water breaking, but I wasn't sure since it was just a little bit, and you always hear the stories of water breaking and it goes everywhere. So Joe got home a little after 5:00 and we went to Target to buy a few last minute baby items. While we were at Target I started getting really uncomfortable, feeling crampy and having a lower backache, but not having any regular contractions. By about 6:45 I had a few more gushes of fluid, so I figured I better call the doctor to see what they say.

I called the doctors office and they told me to go down to the hospital and they would test me to see if it was my fluid that had broke, and if it was that meant we would be staying at the hospital and having a baby. So Joe jumped in the shower and I finished packing up all of our hospital bags, we arrived to the hospital at about 8 pm, at which point I was still not feeling any regular contractions.

When we arrived at the hospital they brought me back to a room and had Joe wait in the waiting area. They hooked me up to some monitors to monitor my contractions and the baby's heartbeat. They did a test to see if it was my amniotic fluid, and the test showed that it was my water had broke, so the nurse went to go get Joe.

When Joe got into the room he noticed that the monitor was measuring my contractions and they were coming almost every 4 minutes, I was feeling them a little bit, but they weren't too bad. At around 9:00 they came and got us and brought us to our delivery room. The nurse had mentioned that the doctor wanted me to start on pitocin right away because I had tested positive for GBS, which basically means they don't want you to be in labor too long. But I asked to see how I progressed on my own for a little while before we started the pitocin. The nurse checked me and I was 3 cm dilated 80% effaced and my contractions were coming every 2-4 minutes. The contractions were starting to get stronger and I was getting more uncomfortable.

Around 10:30 the doctor that would be delivering Kara stopped in our room, she had to deliver another one of my doctor's patients that night, so she came and checked in on us. She basically just asked how I was doing, and told me that I could get an epidural at any point now. The nurse checked me again around 11:00 and I was now at 4cm. She asked if I was ready for any pain meds, and I wasn't sure if I was or not. I felt like we had just got there, and I hadn't been in labor long enough to have any drugs yet, and once the drugs were started I would be stuck in bed for the rest of labor. I decided that I might as well just go for the epidural and get some rest. The anesthesiologist came in around 11:30 to give me the epi.. it was a feeling of lots of pressure, but not really any pain, and I have to say it was probably the world's best epidural!

The nurse checked me again around 1:30 or so and because of the epidural my contractions had slowed and I was still only at 4 cm and 90% effaced, so she decided it was time to start pitocin. I was trying to sleep as much as I could in between visits from the nurse, but I was only sleeping about 10 minutes at a time.
The nurse came back around 4 or 5 in the morning and was concerned that the pitocin wasn't doing much because my contractions were not becoming regular. They were averaging around 1-3 minutes apart, but were going up to as much as 7 minutes between contractions, so she was very surprised that when she checked me I was at 6-7 cm and almost fully effaced. She told me if I started feeling any pressure or the urge to push to let her know as soon as possible.

The nurse came back in and checked me at 6:08 in the morning and I was fully dilated and effaced.. it was time to start pushing with the next contraction!! At 6:18 am I started pushing, it was kind of a practice push to see how I would do. The nurse was thinking that Kara could be born before her shift was over at 7:30 in the morning... we started getting really excited at this point! The nurse called the doctor around 7:00 in the morning, and I honestly have no clue what time she actually got there, once I started pushing I didn't pay any attention to what time it was. Even with my epidural I could feel pressure and tightness with each contraction, so I knew when I needed to push. I pushed through every contraction for 3.5 hours! Around 2 hours of pushing talks of a c-section started. Kara's head wouldn't come through my pelvic bone, so I think they were getting worried that she wouldn't fit through. With each push I was making progress though, so they let me keep pushing! Around 3 hours into pushing they called in an extra OB doctor, extra nurses and a NICU team. They wanted to see if a little help from the vacuum extractor would help get her out. They also wanted to have extra people on hand since she spent so much time in the birth canal. At this point they also realized that I hadn't had a catheter in for about 3 hours, so they thought having a full bladder may be getting in the way of her head. So they drained my bladder and were getting ready to use the vacuum. A few contractions later they were ready. I was so exhausted at this point, but I wasn't ready to give up and have a c-section... after all that work I wanted to deliver her on my own!! I got a 2nd degree episiotimy..Joe said that was the worst part of the whole delivery! He couldn't watch when she did it, and the sound was pretty horrible.. thank goodness I couldn't feel anything! So with my next contraction they used the vacuum for about 4 seconds and out came Kara.

I was balling before she was even out, I think I could feel her coming and knew she was coming out. When she came out it was the weirdest feeling in the world, I think only a person who has delivered a baby could understand it. On her way out she promptly had her first poo all over my leg... which I didn't notice, and I didn't care, I was just so happy to finally have my little girl in my arms!

They laid her on my chest and Joe cut the umbilical cord. Then some nurses took her and cleaned her off and that is when she started screaming, it was the greatest sound in the world hearing my daughter cry for the first time. The whole experience was so amazing, but still seems so surreal to me. After 3.5 hours of pushing as soon as I saw her I knew I would do it all over again!

Joe was a trooper! He watched the whole thing, and handled it much better than I thought he would :) When they finally weighed her none us of could believe how tiny she was! She was 6lb 15.5 ounces and 19 inches long, and she was 5 days overdue! I think since I had such a hard time delivering her we all expected her to be much bigger.. but she is just a tiny little peanut!

Today Kara is one week old, and it has been the most amazing, rewarding week of my life. She is a little miracle and me and Joe love her to pieces!! We are just getting settled into our life as a new family and we are loving every second of it!


Well, since I am starting this blog 5 months after Kara was born, I decided I would like to go back and take a look at my pregnancy. I never really wrote anything down, or kept track of anything while I was pregnant. It was such a special and important time in my life, so I would hate to not have it somewhat documented. Here are some of the highlights...

We found out we were expecting on December 1st, 2007. This was probably one of the happiest days of my life! I think I took 5 pregnancy tests over the next few days just to make sure it was real! I had woke up bright and early that Saturday morning, and decided to take a test, and low and behold there were 2 lines on that pretty little stick! haha.. I kept trying to wake Joe up, but he just wanted to sleep.. both my mom and my friend Misty had called me that morning.. it killed me not to share my excitement with them, but I knew I had to let Joe know first! So finally Joe woke up and I shared the news, I think he was in shock...

Over the next few weeks we shared the news with our families. We handed out copies of the movie 'Knocked Up' to our parents to let them know the news.

Over the next nine months, I would come to experience the worst heartburn of my life, sleepless nights, never having clothes that fit, and the unbelievable feeling of a baby kicking in the womb.

All of our doctor appointments went well, there were never any problems or issues. Around 11 weeks we got to hear the heartbeat for the first time.. that was pretty unbelievable, it was proof that there was a little miracle in the making! At 20 weeks we had our ultrasound, and chose to find out the sex of the baby. I was sure I was having a baby girl, but everyone had convinced me otherwise... so, I went in prepared to hear that I was having a little boy. I was overcome with joy when the U/S tech told us she thought it was a girl.. I just couldn't believe it (don't get me wrong.. I would have been just as excited if I was told it was a boy). I remember after we left our appointment we were driving up to my Dad's house and I just couldn't stop staring at my ultrasound pics... I was so in love with our baby girl!! I remember I kept asking Joe "What are we going to do with a baby girl??" I was in complete shock!

The scariest thing that happened to me while I was pregnant was when I was 28 weeks along I fainted in the shower.. which turned out to be no big deal, but we learned that only after we sat in the ER for 5 hours.

I enjoyed every second of being pregnant, it was such a magical time!

Joe and I went back and forth with choosing a name... Everything that I suggested, Joe hated.. and everything that he suggested, I hated! We had decided a few years earlier though on a drunken night that when we had kids they would be named Cameron and Kara. One day at work I emailed Joe and asked.. if we name the baby Kara, what will her middle name be? Joe suggested Kara Elise.. and I emailed back and said that I had thought the same thing, but I didn't think that he would like it, he then told me that he didn't think that I was going to like it.. and from that point on she was Kara Elise.

The last few weeks of my pregnancy were uncomfortable... I took lots of baths at 1 in the morning.. the uncomfortableness, heartburn and lack of sleep must be your body's way of preparing you for life with a newborn :) Even with all that, I wouldn't change one thing.. I love it all!!

My due date of July 27th came and went.. and still no baby. I had a dr appointment on Monday, July 28th and my induction was scheduled for the following Monday.. August 4th. This was a huge relief.. I finally knew that I would meet my baby girl in the next week! I decided that Wednesday, July 30th would be my last day of work.. that gave me Thursday-Sunday to get everything ready! But, Kara had other plans! My water broke on Thursday, July 31st and Kara would be here within the next 24 hours.... but, you are going to have to check out my birth story for that!