Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Day In The Life...

"Are you sure it's okay if I go to work?"

"Yes, babe.  Millions of stay-at-home Mom's around the world stay home with sick kids every day."

"Yea... I know.  But you don't want to be a Stay-At-Homer."

"I think I can handle it just this once."

"But I feel like I'm not doing my part."

"It's fine, babe.  Don't you think I can handle it?"

"I know you can handle it.  I just feel bad."


"Because I love my job.  And I feel like I'm leaving you at home with sick kids to go work on a hobby or something."

"Would you feel better if you hated your job?"

*Blink. Blink*

I think Benny's suffering from Acute Too-Happy-Itis. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One Month Update

Dear Millie,
One month old.  Holy balls.  That's right.  Balls. That may just be the fastest month in the history of maternity leaves.  There were so many things I planned to do the first month of my leave... and since you've been such an angel, I was pretty sure I would accomplish my goals.  Instead... well, let's just say that you and I are getting A LOT of rest.  Which means that Mommy is still in her PJ's at 2 p.m. because the only place you will sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time, is directly on top of me.  Luckily, I am okay with this because when you're sleeping that means you're NOT throwing up on me.  And, I appear to have scheduled maternity leave during several Law & Order SVU marathons.  So, you know... I've got that going for me.

We have thus far continued to avoid the "Purple Crying" that we experienced with your sister.  In fact, the only time you get even remotely fussy is when you have to push a poopy, or you need to burp.  And when you burp, let me tell you... you make Daddy proud.  We're talking adult-sized burps.  And then you immediately relax and fall asleep.  This is, of course, after you've thrown up all over Mommy.  Which you usually do twice a day.  Once in the morning and once at night. 

Ah, sleep... you're a big fan.  Which in turn makes me a big fan of you. But if we could only get you to sleep by yourself.  In your crib.  For more than 15 minutes at a time.  We've decided that it's time for you to move into your own room, so that Daddy could move back into our bedroom.  He's a light sleeper so having you in the room for the first month was pretty rough on him... and
 he moved downstairs.  But, we think you're ready for the nursery.  However, the first couple of nights haven't gone that great.

The last couple of weeks, I've noticed that you've got a case of the Jimmy Arms.  You can be perfectly sound asleep when all of the sudden, your arms jerk up, freak you out and wake you up.  In a word, it SUCKS.  Because then Mommy has to put down whatever she's doing (or, you know.... wake up) and calm you back down.  However, I've started wrapping you up and that seems to have helped the Jimmy Arms somewhat.  

You've also started a bit of fussiness.  It's nothing to write home about... I only mention it lest you think that you NEVER cried.  But I think that for the most part, you cry because your gut hurts from a gas bubble or you're trying to push a poopy.  Once one of those happens, you usually calm down.  You also calm down if I let you fall asleep on me.  That seems to be the go-to move right now. 

You also like to look at the flower stickers on the wall of the changing table while we work on your diaper.  I've even caught you smiling at them a couple of times. 

You are so aware of the world around you, and it doesn't seem to upset you at all.  You are all about eye contact and you and I spend hours looking at each other.  What you don't like to do is be rocked down by me holding you on my shoulder... I think this is because you can't look at me and that bothers you. 

I worry that because you're so chill and easy, we aren't as determined to get you into a routine and get you sleeping better as we were with your sister.  It once again amazes me how different the two of you are already... and how that means we have to parent you different.  And how that means I'm constantly asking myself if I'm doing it right because while we had NO clue what we were doing with Hazel, whatever we did actually ended up working.  So, is doing things differently with you going to screw things up?  Who knows??

Just know that we love you and we promise to always try to do what's best for you.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Differences

I've decided that not all of the posts on this blog are going to be letters.  Because there's simply so many other things going on in our lives that need to be documented and talked about for therapeutic reasons... and much of it is not appropriate to write in a letter to a baby.  Even though the babies will be reading this when they're not babies... it just seems wrong somehow.

So, without further ado...

Four weeks into life with Amelia and things are going so. much. better. than they did with Hazel.  I don't know if Hazel was a particularly difficult baby, or we were just that inept.  I suspect it's a healthy dose of both.  Benny and I were used to a life of quiet in our house.  We were used to sleeping through the night and if we did happen to wake up in the middle of the night, it wasn't anything a little Nyquil or Tylenol PM couldn't fix.

But you're not allowed to give that to babies, so when Hazel was waking up every 30 minutes (or so it seemed) at night... well, we were understandably perplexed.  Added to the wake ups was the fact that Benny was struggling with pneumonia so he wasn't nearly as patient and wasn't enjoying fatherhood so much.  He obviously needed to get some sleep, so a lot of the care taking at night fell on me.  Which is fine... but man, was it frustrating.  Then when Hazel went through her "Purple Crying" phase, where she would scream every night from 4-10 p.m.... well, that just about did me in.  We actually thought that it would never get better.  That even when she was 18 years old, she'd STILL BE CRYING.  She's almost 18 months now, and sometimes it feels as though we're right... toddlers are FUN.

Anyway, an experience like that changes you.  Forever.  And yet... we still decided to have another one.  We figured that we'd just be miserable for the next four months and then try to recover from it.  Hopefully, without use of medical substances.  Or illegal ones.

But, Millie is drastically different from Hazel so far.  We call her Chilly Millie.  She is pretty relaxed and I can even put her in her bouncy seat or the swing, wide awake, and take a shower.  And not just a quick shower... a legitimate shower. I always get out of the shower fully expecting a screaming fit in the living room... but it's always quiet and sometimes when I check on her she'll be snoozing.  Other times she'll be wide awake, just looking around.  I remember taking showers while Hazel was screaming so loudly I could hear it while showering.  Those were also the times I was crying in the shower. 

Speaking of the swing, Hazel loved the swing.  Would spend hours in it rocking.  We would have paid $1,000 for that thing.  Millie?  Could take it or leave it.  She's okay with it if she's not actually swinging.  I wonder if she's got Benny's motion sickness issues.  She does sleep in the swing at night right now because... awesomeness of awesomeness, guess who got sick at 13 days old and has to sleep sitting up for the drainage?  Yea.  That's been fun.

Millie is a fan of the car seat... where Hazel was unequivocally NOT.  I don't remember in the first 2 months if we were ever able to put Hazel in the car seat without her screaming and crying.  Millie?  No big gig.  It's almost TOO easy.  

I don't know... maybe it's that I'm more patient with Millie because I know that it actually does get better.  Maybe I'm trying to do penance for how terrible I was with Hazel... how completely impatient and inadequate I was with her... how I actually thought that she should be able to get her shit together and let her cry it out at FOUR. WEEKS. OLD!!!  Seriously... poor, poor Hazel. 

So, I guess that there are differences between the two girls so far, yes.  But really... I think the difference is how Mommy and Daddy handle things. Hazel... she taught me about babies.  About having babies.  And living with babies. About letting go of my former life because my life is now her.  It was hard for me to grasp that concept when she was screaming 6 hours a night.  I kept remembering how awesome my former life was.  I was afraid I wasn't going to adjust or appreciate this new life.  I was afraid I wasn't going to bond with her.  I was afraid that I could never be the mother she deserved and that surely, someone else would do better at raising her.  Millie... well, Millie is teaching me that I have learned from my mistakes and that I may just deserve this title of "Mommy".

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Millie's New World - Three Weeks Old

Dear Millie Bean,
Three weeks in... and Mommy still hasn't lost her mind. 

Well, maybe just the once that required your Daddy coming home early from Poker Night after I had repeatedly told him to go... that I'd be FINE.  But, I've been sick and you just WOULDN'T  go to sleep. 

Okay, fine... maybe that happened twice.  Anyway, I don't know how it's possible that I forgot just how much the first few weeks of having a newborn sucked sleep-wise, but I apparently did.

The good news? You are one chill baby.  The only time you ever cry is when you're hungry or have a gas bubble or need to blow out your diaper.  I'm really hoping that you don't start the phase that your older sister went through where you cry from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day for a month.  That really sucked and caused Daddy and I psychological problems for a while!

Right now, you're battling a head cold.  Which.. yes, I gave you.  Sorry about that.  Even sorrier that the way we have to manage your cold is to suction out your nose.  However, you don't seem to hate it as much as Hazel did.  See?  CHILL.  We also have to have you sleeping in the bouncy chair to help with drainage.  I took you to the doctor last week for your two-week well-child checkup and the doc checked to make sure you didn't have RSV or strep.  For the strep test, they had to draw veinous blood.  Yea... that was NOT fun. Luckily though, everything came back negative and you were diagnosed with the common rhinovirus.  Blah.  During the checkup, the doc heard a slight heart murmur, which had not been there while you were still in uetero and right after you were born.  We are taking you back to the doctor next week to make sure it's not getting louder/stronger.  I hope it's nothing too serious... I don't have a bad feeling about it like I did with everything with your older sister.  I guess that I've actually grown up in terms of motherhood and don't freak out about everything.  For the love... Hazel fell off the porch head first yesterday and my head didn't explode!!!

You still sleep a lot... but the most you've been able to put together at night is about 4 hours.  I can't wait until we hit the 6 hour mark.  You're sleeping in our room with us... next to me in the Pack-N-Play with the bouncer in it.  Daddy has taken to sleeping downstairs so that he can get some good rest at night so he can deal with your older sister in the mornings.  That seems to be working well... but it really stinks for me as I miss him.

We've started to take you outside in the Bjorn or stroller... which is heaven for a mother on maternity leave who has been stuck in the house for a few weeks.  You don't seem to mind too much... usually just fall asleep.  Although during a walk along the river this weekend, you got a little cold and threw as big of a fit as you've ever had.  Once we got you back in the car where it was warm, you calmed right down and fell asleep.

Speaking of sleep.. you do seem to take after your sister in that any and all naps shall be taken either on Mommy or Daddy, in the bouncy chair or maybe (sometimes) in the swing. You're not as big of a fan of the swing as your sister... but I think that will change.  Hopefully.

You are such a little bean.  Your newborn clothes completely swamp you... and we've just barely graduated you from premie and newborn diapers to Stage 1 diapers.  And we only did that because you had two blowouts in the newborn diapers yesterday.  Honestly, I don't have many newborn clothes for you since your sister was pretty much in 3 month clothes the day she was born. 

We're still having issues with nursing with you.  You have a problem staying latched on so I am still having to use the nipple shield.  Which helps with the nipple soreness but is such a pain in the butt to get situated in the middle of the night. 

Speaking of the middle of the night... wanna know how you roll these days?  Sleep, wake, feed, blowout your diaper, feed again, get the hiccups FOREVER and possibly feed again before you finally go back to sleep.  You might possibly be the worlds slowest feeder, baby girl.  I don't know if you're just really hungry, or you get exhausted from feeding as you're not efficient yet... but you feed forever and then you fall asleep.... and then 30 minutes later you want to feed again.  Tonight, for example, I started feeding you at 7 p.m..  And finally cut you off at 8:20 when I realized that yes... you had, in fact, been feeding for almost 90 minutes.  I'm sorry... but by 3 weeks, you should be getting a leetle bit better at this feeding thing.

I think I'm already having supply issues... either that or you just cannot be kept satisfied.  Which is why we have to supplement you with formula.  Which I hate, but it's the only thing we can do to keep you full.  And help you gain some much needed weight. 

Your sister is finally warming up to you and insists on holding you every morning when she sees you.  We don't let her yet... but we do let her snuzzle you.  And this weekend when we took our first drive as a family of four, she reached down from her car seat and held your hand the entire way. It was so sweet.  I can't wait for the two of you to be able to play together. I hope you become best of friends that will always be there for each other. 

But, for now... I'll enjoy the fact that you're not fighting over toys and you much prefer to nap instead of pulling out all of the pots and pans while I'm cooking.  I couldn't handle two of you doing it at the same time. 


Dancing Queen

Dear Hazel,
It's been a crazy few weeks around here, and I thought I should update you on everything.

We brought your sister home from the hospital about 3 weeks ago.  You weren't quite sure what to make of her.  And you were teething.  AND had a cold.  So, to say that you were unhappy and acted out would be putting it mildly.  It was a frustrating first week in the house.  One which culminated with your Daddy kicking a few doors and having to regain his composure by taking a hot shower while drinking a beer.

Yep.  The first week as a family of four and Millie wasn't the challenge.  YOU were.  Holy goodness, baby girl.  Were you a terror!!!  There was so much crying going on in the house that it reminded me of when you were a newborn.  But it wasn't Millie crying.  It was you.  You wanted to be held ALL THE TIME.  But you were very specific as to who you wanted to hold you.  Yep... you turned into a bit of a Daddy's Girl.  Which is great, but put a lot of pressure on Daddy.  A few weeks later and you're still all about Daddy.  But you seem to be okay with me holding you or reading you stories.  So that's good.

It took just that first week for you to adjust... thank goodness.  Since then, you've become very curious about our new addition and want to hold her.  In fact, when we come out of the bedroom in the morning, you run up to me with your arms outstretched as if to say:  My turn to hold Millie?  Since your little sister is still a teeny, tiny thing, we don't let you hold her yet.  But we do let you snuggle with her.  Which you do first thing in the morning by putting your head next to hers, and at night right before bedtime.  It's seriously the cutest thing and it melts my heart every time.

But, let's talk about everything else about you that's happened this month.

*  You Can Dance!:  You STILL lurve to dance.  In fact, sometimes a fun jingle will come on during a commercial and I'll look over at you and you're just shaking your booty with a huge smile on your face.  HILARIOUS.  You've also learned some of the movements for the Hokey-Pokey and we sing it to you every once in a while before you go to bed.  You get so excited when we start and the joy that lights up your face... wow, I wish I could bottle it!

*  Baby Signing Time: When things are hectic in the mornings, we've taken to turning on the Baby Signing Time video to distract you from tearing up the house while we try to feed Millie and fix your breakfast.  It kind of feels like cheating, but it's worked really well for us.  Plus, you've gotten really good at signing certain things.  Like "cracker", "water", "milk", "eat", "cereal" and the newest one "please".  But all of this signing means that you're not really in a hurry to talk or communicate verbally... other than, you know, the standby whining.

*  Using Your Words:  While you're not talking a whole lot, you are occasionally throwing out some words that get us super excited.  We'll ask you if you want to go to school and you'll say: "Yea" and head to the door.  You've said other words like water, Momma, ball and nose.  Just not consistently.  What you do like to do consistently is make animal noises like Daddy.  So far, you're a big fan of monkey sounds, but you like to try to do an elephant.  Which is impressive because not even Mommy can replicate the elephant noise Daddy has made so popular around here. You can also make a buzzing sound like a bee... which I'm proud to claim I was able to teach you.

*  Miss Independent:  You neither want nor need to hold our hands while you're walking.  And if we do the unthinkable and actually pick you up so you don't get hit by a car in the parking lot...well, it just might be the end of the world.

*  Hitting:  So... guess who has started to hit when she gets upset?  And when she's playing?   Yea... I'm kind of over THAT.

*  Rough Housing:  Also, guess who's a big fan of rough housing every night with Daddy??

*  Diaper Duty:  You are so helpful these days.  (When you feel like it, that is!)  After we change your diaper, you will take it and throw it in the garbage for us.  You also will find Mommy's phone and bring it to her... which is much better than what you USED to do... scream when Mommy took it away from you because you were somehow purchasing apps.  You also have a habit of finding THEEEE MOST OBSCURE items in the MOST obscure places (a piece of an orange peel underneath the couch) and bring it to me for inspection.  I guess that's better than when you would find said item and immediately put it in your mouth.

*  Cabin Fever:  Since it's March now and the sun is actually out some times, you insist on going outside.  And you NEVER want to come in.  It's days like that that remind me of how much open space I had available to me growing up.  I mean, sure... it meant that every Saturday was spent doing yard work ALL. DAY. LONG.  But, it also meant that my sisters and I had a ton of space to be a kid in.  Including the stream behind the house where we would spend hours making mudpies.  It saddens me that we don't have that for you and that our backyard isn't exactly a kiddie playground paradise.  Yet.  But, we're hoping to work on it for you and your sister this summer so that you have a fun, safe place to play that doesn't require a hike to the nearest park.

*  Organic Finger Painting:  The whole hands down your diaper phase has morphed into a new phase... on in which you poop your pants and then wipe the poop in your hair, on your sheets and anywhere else you can think of.  Short of putting you in a onesie at all times, I'm not sure how to fix this problem.  Other than to teach you that it's ICKY.

*  Wake Up:  Remember when I used to brag that you slept until at least 7 a.m. every morning?  It's like you knew how much I loved that and decided to poop on it and devastate Daddy by getting up at 6 a.m. every morning since Millie joined our family.  Quite frankly, it's pure evil.  I mean, I know it could be worse.  I know someone who's little boy woke up at 1 a.m. the other day and stayed awake until 6... but seriously?  Mommy's not that patient and when I return back to work in a few weeks, you're going to have to start waking up at 7 again.  Sorry.  Those are just the rules.

*  Chairs:  You have decided that any chair is your chair.  You use your newfound climbing skills to pull yourself up on the kitchen chairs, but you also have decided that you are entitled to all chairs... even baby bouncy chairs.  Which means that if Millie isn't in her bouncy chair, that it's fair game and we can usually find you laying back in it reading a book or just sucking your thumb.  You also let us know it's time to eat by pulling out your high chair, bringing it to it's normal position next to the table and lifting your arms up for us to lift you into it. 

*  Who's The Baby?:  You experienced a little bit of jealousy when Millie arrived home.  You wanted to be held just like she was... all day long.  And when we took the two of you for a walk and stupidly decided you would walk, rather that ride in a stroller... well, that was a rookie mistake that we won't make again as you threw a fit and had to be carried most of the way.  And when you weren't being carried or throwing a fit, you insisted on pushing the stroller Millie was in.  Even though you're not quite tall enough to do it by yourself . And, you know... you NEITHER WANT NOR NEED OUR HELP PUSHING, MKAY?  So, that was another fit that was thrown.  You've also been confiscating Milli's binkies and keeping them as your own.  As well as her blankies.  Luckily, you've gotten over this (for the most part), and we're trying to remember that although you're the older sister, you're not an adult yet and you're still (for the most part) a baby.  A baby turning into a little girl, but a baby nonetheless.  

We can't wait to see what the coming months bring.  Hopefully more talking.  Definitely more laughing.  This is by far my favorite age. 


Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Amelia Grace!

Dear Amelia,
Well... it's taken me a couple of weeks to get settled with you, but things have calmed down a bit and I'm ready to tell you about your birthday!

You were due on Saturday, February 19th.  I actually thought that you would come much, MUCH earlier than that.  But, Mother Nature likes to mess with Mommy (remember that) and keep me as uncomfortable as possible... for as long as possible.  So, on Friday the 18th we went to the doctor to check my progress and... yep.  No progress.  But, your cute little head was sitting right on a nerve that was causing me a lot of pain.  So, the doctor decided to induce the following Monday.

We were scheduled to go in at 9 a.m., but at 6:45 that morning, the phone rang.  (Just as a side note, no good ever comes from a phone call before 7 a.m., baby girl.)  Anyway, apparently every woman in Ogden (with the exception of your mother) went into labor that morning.  The nurse told me that they were completely swamped and didn't know when they could get me in... or even if they could get me in that day.


So, we spent the day with your grandparents and your older sister.  Just basically sitting around twiddling our thumbs.  I did, however, manage to throw my neck out while getting dressed after a shower that afternoon.  It was bad enough that I had to make an emergency trip to the chiropractor... who was a little taken aback at how in the world he was going to adjust the HUGE pregnant woman who was due THAT DAY.

After the adjustment, I came home and laid down to rest and ice my neck.  And your Daddy decided that he would take Hazel to the Treehouse Museum for one last day of fun for her before your presence blew up her world.  Right about then, the hospital called and told me that we should be there in an hour.  I jumped up and caught your Daddy just as he was about to pull out of the driveway.

Prior to leaving for the hospital.  Our last photo as a family of three!

We got to the hospital at 3 p.m. and got checked in.  By 4 p.m., they had broken my water and induced me.  When they broke my water, they discovered some meconium in the fluid and the doctor told us that it was a good thing we were inducing now, as it would be possible that you would have developed an infection from the meconium if we had waited much longer.   Which is good because we had been questioning whether or not inducing was the right way to go with you, or if I should just be content with being fat and miserable for however long it took for you to come on your own.

One last bump pic before you joined our family.

And then the waiting game began.  We had waited for you for 9 months, I suppose what's a few more hours, huh?  The thing is, I forgot how utterly uncomfortable labor and waiting for labor is in that stupid hospital bed... hooked up to every monitoring machine known to man... which my insurance company willbcharge me an ungodly amount for using.  

But, I digress.   Let's just say that the next few hours were not ones that I care to repeat.  I wasn't in pain, per say.  Because, well... yea, I'm all about the epidural.  But, the epidural doesn't fix the lack of any kind of comfort to be found in that bed.  And the nurses who keep coming in and asking you to roll to the other side because apparently, baby doesn't like the side you're lying on.  As if rolling over while 40 weeks and 2 days prego, while attached to every monitoring device this side of the Mississippi is the most natural and easy thing in the world.  And... oh wait!  The baby doesn't like THAT side, either!  Time to roll back.  And let's do this ALL. DAY. LONG.  

But, you know... other than THAT, things were good.  Daddy and I watched some movies (in between the rolling) and  reminisced what our life was going to be like with two little girls running around.  I have to also admit that I was silently girding my loins for the hell that would be the first six weeks of your life.  The scars we developed from your older sister's first few weeks of life are still visible and just a little bit of salt on the wound brings it rushing to the forefront of my brain.  All the crying, all the screaming... and then, of course, there was how Hazel handled her first few weeks of life.

Honestly, Daddy and I were pretty convinced that the reason we struggled so much with your older sister is that... well, we just pretty much sucked.  And we were hoping that with you, we would be better since we would learn from our mistakes.  But who knew???

Anyway, by 9:30 p.m. that night, I was at a 4.  A. FOUR.  All of this misery and moments of outright dignity killers (oh, trust me, you'll know what I'm talking about one day when you have kids of your own) and I'm only at a four???

Two hours later, I had progressed to a whopping 4.5.

And my brain exploded.

The doctor told me to get some rest and brace myself for a long night... and that she was going home and would be back when I was ready to deliver.  Your Daddy and I decided that we would try to catch some shut eye.

At least, that was the plan.  After we shut off the TV and turned out the lights - and after your Daddy managed to fit his 6-4 frame onto possibly THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE COUCH EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, because why should Mommy be the only one uncomfortable during delivery? - well, see, that's when the LifeFlight helicopter touched down right outside our window.

And your Daddy has always had a fascination with things that can fly.

Which is why whenever I think about the moments immediately preceding your birth, I picture the profile of your 34-year-old father, on his knees on the couch in the dark, looking out the window in fascination at the helicopter as it landed.

A few minutes later, I started feeling a certain pressure that followed every contraction and it dawned on me:  I hadn't pooped in about 24 hours.

Perfect.  I'm in labor with an epidural that has rendered me effectively paralyzed from the waist down... and the only thing I fee like I'm about to deliver?  Not. A. Baby.

So, I woke up your Daddy and asked him to call the nurse and asked her what the poop protocol was.  Surely, they had one.  Which - because he's a rockstar - he did.  The nurse who came in didn't seem to be fazed by the question and responded that if I had to go to the bathroom, it probably meant I was ready to deliver.... so let's just check, mkay?

I remember rolling my eyes and explaining to her that it took me 2 hours to get to a 4.5 from a 4, and there was no way I could be at a 10 right now because it had only been 20 minutes and SERIOUSLY?  I just need to poop.

But, after a quick check the nurse said:  "Yep... you're ready to go."  

To say that we were a bit stunned would be putting it lightly.  To say that it took every ounce of willpower I possessed NOT to push for the next 10 minutes as we waited for the doctor to get there would be a HUGE understatement. I remember holding your Daddy's hand and looking into the corner of the room and thinking to myself:  "What are they going to do if I do push?  Put me in delivery jail?"

Luckily, the doctor got there just in time and didn't even have to say the word PUSH.  The first contraction I felt I went for it.  I remember the doc counting to 10 while I pushed.  And then telling me to rest for the remainder of the contraction.  And I remember thinking to myself that she could shove it... and then saying out loud:  "NO!  Let's go!" and I pushed again.

Right then, I could see your head.  Yes.... I caved and asked for a mirror.  I knew this was my last pregnancy and would be the only time I would have the opportunity to see a baby being born, so I thought what the hell?  And yes... seeing your head down there was just... WOW.  Unbelievable!

I rested until the next contraction, and the doctor told us that on my next push, we would get to meet our new little girl.  Boy, did that give me some motivation and on the next contraction... there you were!  (And, sidenote: I have to say, if all women could have a two minute, two contraction delivery like that... well, I think more women would be willing to give it a shot.)

You came into this world at 12:12 a.m. on February 22.  Seeing you come out was an amazing experience, and one that I'll treasure forever.  You came out crying.  Immediately.  When your sister was born, it took a little bit before she started crying.  You?  You were crying the second your nose and mouth were out.

You were SO tiny, baby girl.  I couldn't believe it.  You came into this world at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 20.5 inches long.  A skinny little thing.  I still can't believe that your Daddy and I could roll out a 7 pounder.  We were expecting AT LEAST 8 pounds.  For as big as I got during the pregnancy, I couldn't rule out a possible 9 pounder!  SEVEN POUNDS?  Unheard of!

Anyway, after you came out, the doctor held you up for me to see and I was expecting her to hand you to me and let the nurses clean you off while I held you, as had been the plan prior to your arrival. But, she didn't give you to me.  Instead, the nurses took you and started cleaning you off and suctioning you out.  I didn't realize for a little bit that this was because there was something wrong.  Apparently, you had inhaled some fluid during delivery... and since there was some meconium in the fluid, it was further cause for concern.

I don't know how long it was before they finally let me hold you.  It felt like YEARS.  And when I did hold you... it still brings tears to my eyes the laborious sound of your breathing as you tried to expel the fluid on your own.


I just held you and you looked up at me while you struggled for breath. It was an awful rattling sound and you looked miserable.  It broke my heart.  I just kept encouraging you to breathe.  I thought maybe that if I sang a song to you, that would somehow help.  It didn't.  I don't know how long I held you... three minutes, maybe?  But the nurses decided that you weren't going to be able to kick it on your own, and that you needed a breathing treatment.   And the next thing I knew, you were out of my arms and out of the room.

I made Daddy go with you... to wherever they took you for your treatment.  And the next thing I knew, I was alone in the room.  EVERYONE had left.  The doctor.  The nurses.  The technicians.  I was just sitting in my bed, crying and staring at the door just waiting for Daddy to come in and tell me that everything was okay.  But, the door remained closed and I have never experienced a fear like that.  And hope that I never do again.

When the door finally opened, it was your Grandma and Grandpa Paskins and I immediately sent your Grandma to go find you and Daddy and report back to me on what was going on.  Right about then, the nurses and doctors suddenly reappeared and began filling me in on your progress. There were a lot of medical terms and explanations of what therapy they were performing on you... but the gist of it was:  You were going to be okay.  Shortly thereafter, Daddy came in and told me the same thing... before rushing off to watch over you some more.  A little while later, he sent one of the nurses - who happens to be a friend - in with a camera to show me pics of you with the oxygen tubes in your nose holding your Daddy's finger.


Right about then, I demanded that they take me to see you.  It had been FOREVER since I'd held you in my arms.  So, the nurses got me in a wheelchair and wheeled me to the nursery.  It wasn't until that moment that I actually knew you were going to be alright.  Your breathing was so much better and the icy fist that had been squeezing my heart since the moment you were born finally started to loosen its grip. I got to hold you and we posed for our first photo with you.

Your first bath!

And that's when we decided to officially give you your name:  Amelia Grace Nadolski.  But you are currently known as Millie.  We chose the name Amelia because we love the name. And there was also a movie about the life of Amelia Earheart on HBO this winter and every time I turned on the television, there it was.   We also love the name Grace. 

We spent the first night with you in the room with us and you pretty much slept through the night.  This was a new experience for us, as your sister didn't let us get a whole lot of sleep that first night.  But you?  You were chill.  And have been ever since.  Sure, we've had some issues with nursing... in that you're not really good at it yet and it requires a LOT of patience on Mommy's part.  Even two weeks later.  But, we're getting better.

Your older sister wasn't quite sure what to make of you when she met you the next day.  But you have to give her a break, she was sick and teething three teeth, so she wasn't really herself.  The first week you were home was pretty tough as she acted out quite a bit.  But even while she wasn't happy with the situation, your older sister sure liked to love on you.  Every night before she goes to bed, she gives you a "hug" by putting her head next to yours. I hope that you and she will be best of friends when you get older.

We are so happy that you're a part of our family, Amelia. Our family feels like it is complete with your arrival.  I hope that we make you as happy as you have made us already.