Monday, 28 May 2012

Watch Me Grow - One Week

I can't believe it has been one whole week since we welcomed Kaitlin into the world. It has been simultaneously the fastest and slowest week of my life.

Mostly it went by fast...only at the early hours of the morning after hours of crying did it seem slow.

Luckily that only happened a couple of times.

For the most part she has been a rockstar - she's been amazing. For hours she will just look around and take in the sights. Not that she can see very well, but she can see shapes and contrasting colors. Turns out the wall decal in her room was such a good call - she LOVES staring at it while we are in the glider. Of course I am also learning that this can be a bad thing. Too much observing and she gets over-stimulated and over-tired...something I have learned over the last couple of days.

I can't wait to see how Kaitlin grows and changes over the next year - I'm really looking forward to this series!

Ok moms and dads - any advice for us newbies? What is the most important/valuable thing that you learned during your babies first few weeks of life?

Friday, 25 May 2012

She's here!! Welcome to the world...

She's here - she is finally here!!

Ok, so I'm a little late in posting the news considering tomorrow she will be one week old - hopefully you'll cut me some slack seeing how I'm a new parent and all ;)

I'm not going to lie, labor was not fun. But the staff at Texas Childrens Hospital and our Doctor were all wonderful and made the process a little bit easier to deal with. I was meant to be induced on May 18th in the evening. All day I had been telling the baby that it was time to come out now - and she listened! By the time we checked in to the hospital I was already in early labor on my own, so we didn't have to induce. I was so pleased at that news.

And then Friday night turned into Saturday morning. And then morning turned in afternoon. And then afternoon turned to evening. And then evening turned to night. 

And still no baby.

Man, I was so hungry (I wasn't allowed to eat anything eight hours before the induction time, and only allowed ice chips once I was checked in).

Besides having the baby the only thought on my mind was GIVE ME SOME FOOD!!

Typical, right??
Our first picture of Kaitlin sent out to friends and family - taken minutes after birth!
We were getting to the end of of our rope (and on our third round of nurses) when finally it was time!

(I'll spare you the details)

And at the very end I got to see this amazingly perfect little face and it was all worth it.

So, how have we been doing since then? Pretty good I would say!

We were able to stay in the hospital for three nights after she was delivered which was a god sent. The nurses and lactation team were angels and it was so helpful to have them on hand for whatever our needs or concerns were. It was also helpful to have the nursery close by so that Dad and I could get some sleep and try to get some energy back.

We finally checked out on Tuesday night and spent out first night at home as a new family of three.

Boy, was that interesting.

To say there have been ups and downs, good moments and bad, laughter and tears would be the understatement of the century. But slowly, we are getting there. We are learning about Kaitlin and she is learning about us. The biggest thing that I (we) have to remember is that it's going to take time.

It will take time to learn her hunger cues.
It will take time to learn how much she should and shouldn't be sleeping.
It will take time (for both of us) to get the hang of this breast feeding thing.
It will take time for all of us to operate as a threesome. 

Luckily, time is something we have plenty of.

I'm going to be starting another Weekly Update page - Watch Me Grow!

Starting with tomorrow I will feature a weekly photo of Kaitlin growing bigger and cuter every day.

I figured you have seen enough of my belly (and it's not nearly as cute now).

So stick around - we have a lot more to share with you!

PS - I have decided that babys fingernails are the cutest things I have EVER seen. I mean seriously, how are they so small and perfect??

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Forty Weeks

Well we are. My last weekly photo. The last time you are going to have this pregnant belly all up in your face.

I had my 40 week appointment today and my doctor confirmed that baby girl hasn't budged at all in the last week. She sure is stubborn - hmmm I wonder where she gets that from?? If she doesn't come on her own this week (which doesn't seem likely at this point, especially since this is my first pregnancy) we will be induced over the weekend. 

We are kind of disappointed that we will probably have to be induced - it seems a little anti-climactic after all this time we've spent waiting for her arrival. BUT as long as she is healthy and the delivery goes well then I am a happy mama (to-be). And let's face it - since I am a little type-A I am glad to have a plan and a date when we know she will be here!

My biggest fear is that I will have to have a c-section. I have always been nervous about that possibility but statistics show that when you are induced your chances of having a c-section are increased (by something like 40%). I am trying not to read too much into it and I know a lot of ladies who were induced and had perfectly normal vaginal deliveries. So, staying positive and staying relaxed is my goal of the week.

And who knows...maybe that will encourage her to come out on her own :)

So - stayed tuned this weekend and next week for our first photos of our little one!!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

"The Magic Hanky"

We received a lot of amazing gifts at each one of the baby showers that my friends and family threw for us. And while each gift was wonderful and super generous, I have to admit that I have one favorite gift.


Is that wrong??

Some of the most special gifts end up being those that are passed down from one family member to another or those that are hand made. These gifts come with a story and a history, and were made with love.

(That is NOT to say that the other gifts we received were any less filled with love and less special - am I just digging myself into a hole here??)

My moms cousin - who I don't get to see very often - was able to make it to my baby shower that my mom and sister threw for me. She brought me the sweetest present and I just had to share it here on the blog. I had never heard of this gift before (seeing how I have only ever been to about three baby showers my whole life) but apparently they are quite popular. Maybe you have heard of it?

The Magic Hanky.

When I opened the gift I saw that it came with a poem, which I read aloud to all of the guests. There wasn't a dry eye in the house by the time I reached the end, I thought we were going to have a group hug for a minute there!

"The Magic Hanky"

I'm just a little hanky
As square as can be
But with a stitch or two
They made a bonnet out of me.

I'll be worn from the hospital
Or on the Christening Day,
Then I'll be carefully pressed
And neatly packed away.

For her wedding day
So I've been told,
Every bride must have 
That something old.

So what could be more fitting
Than to have little me?
A few stitches snipped
And a wedding hanky I'll be.

And if, perchance, it is a boy
Someday he'll surely wed
So to his lovely bride her can present
The hanky once worn upon his head.

It's ok, I'll wait for you to dry your eyes - go get a tissue.

All set?

Isn't that the sweetest?! I just adore it. I love that it can be used for a special occasion when the baby is very little and then again when the child is all grown up on her (or his!) wedding day. I used one of my grandmothers hanker chiefs during my wedding so this tradition is right up my alley. We haven't decided when we are going to use the bonnet yet, but I am looking forward to storing it away for when our little girl gets married and then telling her the story behind it.

And with the thought of my unborn daughter getting married I am off to cry my eyes out (they grow up so fast!!) 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Thirty-nine Weeks

Thirty-nine weeks and three days to be exact. And zero progress from last week. 

I just got back from my weekly doctors appointment and while everything is still going A-O-K, there hasn't been any progress from last week (or the week before, for that matter). Which is fine, technically it's still early - but boy are we anxious for her to get here! I think most first time moms are convinced that their little one is going to arrive early (inexperience? wishful thinking?) and then many of them don't. I've been trying to remind myself that the due date is really just an estimate, not a concrete date, and that if she arrives anytime between now and next weekend and is healthy we should consider ourselves extremely blessed.

(and actually my original due date was May 15th, but shhhhh - don't tell the baby that) 

I have been going on walks every day to try and encourage her to move down, whether this is in vain or not I'll never really know. Either way, it makes me feel better and I get to explore our neighborhood - both of which are awesome. I've taken the last week really easy and am starting to get antsy, so I think I'll be starting up some small projects around the house. If nothing else it will focus my attention on something other than her arrival and cross a few more items off our to-do list.

While we are so excited for Baby C to arrive, I can't help flip-flop between supercrazyexcited and supercrazyscaredashell. Sometimes I think to myself - "I can't wait to meet this little person, start to get my body back to normal, be able to stand/sit/lay down for longer than 20 minutes at a time". And almost as soon as that thought completes itself in my brain another thought jumps right in - "Oh god - but when she's here it's going to be so crazy, I'm going to be even more exhausted than I am now, my body is going to go through some weird ass changes that I don't even want to think about right now much less go through".

But mostly I am excited :)

Friday, 4 May 2012

A Room for Baby - the reveal!

We have finally finished the babies room! And we pushed it to the limit if you ask me (considering I am due in 8 days). Annndd I still have a few more bits and pieces that I still want to add (I have a few more things to hang on the walls) but for the most part, we are done!

First I want to apologize for the bad picture quality. I took these yesterday afternoon when the sun was already behind the house, so the room looks pretty shadowy and cool. The walls are a very pale blue though so at least it shows up in the photos! (How to house photographers take such amazing pictures?? I need a wider angle lens I think...)

If you remember, here was my original revised inspiration board:

And here is the finished room:

I stuck to a main color palette of white, chocolate and baby blue. Weird for a girls room, I know. But I made sure to fill the room with lots of pastel accents, mostly which is seen in the massive decal on the wall. The ruffle curtains and pink details help to make the room more feminine, without being overly girlie.

Not that an infant is going to care if the room is overly girlie or not, but we like it.

Crib and changing table, with birds and owls keeping watch
Baby C already has a growing book collection - which I love!
Dr Seuss artwork that I made myself. I dont think it turned out half bad!

More inspirational homemade artwork - and HI! you can see me in the reflection!

From L-R: Brian bought the teddy bear from Harrods before we left London to move to Texas, I love that he bought this for her. The Guardian statue was a gift from my Aunt and Cousin. Every baby needs a Sleep Sheep! Pony fund money jar was a gift from a dear friend in London - she even put a one pound coin in there to start her off right. I wonder how much that will be worth in 18 years??

There are those silly pom-poms that I tweeted about the other day...I'm still not in love with them but I wanted to add some more texture to the room. I'm leaving them up for now but might end up taking them down. They are supposed to be some clouds and a sun. I'm looking into some other cloud mobile options that might work a little bit better...

Hello Mr Owl

Here is a closer shot of the bedding that was the original inspiration for the room. I love the playful colors and design of the birds and owls. I think we matched the color scheme pretty well!

lots of toys for Baby C!

Baby C is lucky enough to have TWO closets in her room! I'm using one for storage (gifts and items that we don't need to use just yet, extra blankets and swaddles, diapers, etc) and one for clothes! Most of her clothes at this point are little onsies that are folded and stored in the changing table, but she received a bunch of beautiful dresses and outfits and deserved to be hung!

PS - I can't wait until she is big enough to wear that raspberry colored Burberry quilted jacket (all the way to the right) that I bought for her before I stopped working there - how cute is that?? I got it in a size 24 mo though so she has some time :)

I was really hoping to get some of those colorful hooks (from the inspiration board) but they are all on back order until the summer time. Guess I will try again later!

Overall I am really pleased with how the room came together. I can't wait to start using it :)

If you're interested in some of these items, here's were I got them!
Crib - Delta 'Springtime' Babies R Us
Glider - Dutailier
Changing Table - Nursery Smart Buybuy Baby
Bookcase - Cameron Pottery Barn Kids
Curtains and Rug - Xhilaration Target (could only find the link for the cream version)
Wall Decal - Couture Decals Etsy