Little Lo had her first bath on March  30th.  Lucky for us, her belly button healed super fast so we were able to bathe her pretty early on.  She really likes having a nice warm bath.  She doesn't like being cold after the bath!
Enjoying her first shampoo.

We keep her nice and warm by leaving a warm washcloth on her lap.

Getting dried off.

Daddy keeping her good and snuggled while drying off.


One Week

Well, it's been a whole week since we welcomed our baby girl into the world. I cannot believe how fast the week flew by and how much happened in that short amount of time.

We were released from the hospital ion Friday and couldn't have been happier to be going home with our little bundle. My fabulous sister came and stayed with us until Tuesday...what a lifesaver! As it turns out, recovering from surgery (c-section) and caring for a new baby/tending to a house is hard work and I'm glad she was here to fill in where necessary.

Every day I feel better and better. My incision is healing quickly and I am grateful or that. I have mostly stopped taking pain medication at this point with the exception of ibuprofen and am slowly regaining feeling in my abdomen from where my nerves were cut. I am moving around with ease and can even do things that I once thought would be impossible like- laying on my side, sitting Indian style, touching my toes, showering solo.

I finally feel like a mom to this little girl. If I had to pinpoint it to a single moment I would say that it happened in Saturday night/early Sunday morning. I had just given Lo a bottle and was holding her trying to get her settled while my engorged boobs were wrapped up in cabbage leaves and had ice packs in my bra, I was washing bottles while sterilizing nipples and I thought- I'm a mom. This is what a Mom does.

I have finally stopped sweating- thank you hormones! But, seem to have entered the weepy phase. I just know that I can't read or watch anything remotely sad right now because it'll hit me quick! Also, my husband being his normal sweet self telling me he loves me or that I'm doing a good job makes me cry at lightning speed. Oh the joy!

Hubby is back at work and maintaining a normal schedule. He is such a good daddy to our little girl and I couldn't ask for a better partner in life. He is changing diapers like a pro and can burp our girl like a champ. His daughter knows her Daddy and looks for him anytime he is home.

As for Lo, she lost 5 ounces before leaving the hospital but regained those plus an additional ounce by Monday. She had her follow up at the pediatrician Monday and checked out healthy. She doesn't have to go back in for another month. She is eating well and doesn't seem to have any stomach problems or reflux. She is sleeping better at night these days, I think she had her nights and days a little mixed up the first few days. She is the center of our universe.


Lo's Newborn Pictures

We are so lucky to have a fabulous photographer as a friend/sister from another mister.  Without further ado I present to you the work of H. Alexandra Photography-

I love every single picture. Heath captured the essence of our sweet little bundle of joy and I am forever indebted to her.  These pictures were taken when Lo was just a few days old. Heath suggested that we do the majority of the shoot in her nursery (which never even occurred to me) and I love the way they turned out.


Thoughts From A New Mom

Our Sweet little girl made her arrival on Tuesday. I still don't know if it's really set in that she is my baby but I'm feeling more like a Mom the second day in than yesterday. I won't write about her birth just yet but these are some random thoughts that I'd like to remember-

I've always heard people say that watching their spouse with their new baby makes them fall deeper into love and I couldn't agree more. My husband has been a pillar of strength for me throughout this entire process but since being in the hospital I am amazed at how he has really stepped in and taken over. He has done things for me that I never thought he would have to do and hasn't complained a bit. He is so, so good to us. With me recovering from major surgery he has tended to every single need of his 2 girls and done it with eagerness and love.

I have always watched new Dad's be a little scared of the tiny baby, like they are going to break or something, and I fully expected my husband to be that same way. I would say that he is more comfortable with her than I am which was a complete surprise to me.

It's crazy how fast the parenting instincts kick in. I always thought it was more just the Moms that felt this way but I know different now. Even though we haven't been parents for long we both seem to instinctively know what the baby needs.

Little Lo is nothing that I expected and yet more than I expected. The first thing I said when they showed her to me was "she doesn't look like anything I was expecting" yet I think she is a perfect combination of the 2 of us. I could look at her all day.

We seem to have been blessed with a good baby. I know things seem to change when you go home so we'll see what happens then, but for now she is an angel baby. She seems completely content with life unless she is getting her diaper changed. She does not like to be unsnuggled and hanging all out for the world to see!

As far as recovery is concerned I an honestly amazed at the difference a day makes. The first day I was well medicated from the spinal and morphine. While I couldn't move for about 20 hours due to the amount of medicine, I felt great. I was groggy but in good spirits. The day after though was a REALLY rude awakening. I was trying to take the pain and then realized how dumb that was...why be the hero?! Yesterday was tough- The pain got ahead of me, my iron was low from the loss of blood in surgery, I didn't eat enough and I was feeling all of those things. I got back in control of my pain, got some iron, ate protein fruits and veggies and this morning I feel like a new woman. Oh, and sleep...glorious sleep! I didn't sleep at all the first night and took only about a 15 minute nap between visitors. Last night my nurses left me alone from 12:45 to 4:45 and I slept like a log. When I woke up I got out of bed with so much more ease than I did yesterday, took a walk, came back to the room and used the restroom with so much more ease than yesterday, brushed teeth, washed my face, put on lotion and mascara...such an improvement!

Nurses are a gift from God. I haven't had a bad nurse thus far. They have stayed by my side and at times talked sense into me-like when I wasn't accepting pain killers they let me know that that was dumb! The sweet woman that helped me shower yesterday went above and beyond; she even scratched my back for me.

And lastly, they say that when you have a baby modesty goes out the window and I agree to an extent. I've never been a prude by any means BUT, my mother-in-law seeing me butt naked (when the door swung open by accident during my shower) was slightly awkward!


Hospital Stay

Besides all of the healing and visitors that we had at the hospital, here's what else went on-
Lo had her picture taken for the hospital website with her Lovie.

Mimi brought Lo's first birthday cake-mini cupcakes!

Obviously she enjoyed them.

We got to enjoy our fantastic view of "The Tunnel".

This was our room number,best room in the hospital if I do say so myself!

We stayed in the Daisy Ward.

Lo's nursery.

We handed out these "It's a girl" lollipops to our visitors.

Lo's name plate on her bassinet.


The Birth Of Our Baby

On our way in to the hospital.  My last pregnancy picture-39 weeks.
 It was still dark outside when I woke on that anticipated Tuesday morning. I checked my phone for the time, it read 6:30 AM. I could hear the birds singing outside heralding in the first day of spring and my husband, who to my surprise, was sound asleep. I couldn't sleep anymore, I had to pee! Not at all shocking considering I had reached that point in pregnancy where I had to pee about every ten minutes. I remember thinking to myself that soon enough I would have my bladder back! I jumped in the shower and then did my makeup as quietly as I could as to not wake up the husband. I checked and rechecked the hospital bag and did any last minute tidying of the house before finally waking Hubby at 5 after 8. He got up and got in the shower while I blow dried and flat ironed my hair. I figured I wouldn't get to shower for a few days (I was wrong about that) so I wanted to look and feel good. After hubby was dressed we grabbed our bags and left for the hospital. It was a beautiful sunny day and I noticed backing down the drive that our azaleas had started to bloom.I had been fasting since midnight (doctors orders) but I wanted to make sure that Hubby got something to eat. We stopped at Bojangle's and got him some breakfast and gased up my car then it was a mad dash for the hospital. We checked in to labor and delivery at 9:30 where they had been expecting us. Barbara, our nurse, took us back into holding area number 5 where I changed into my hospital issued gown, gave my medical history, got my IV that I had been dreading, and made other necessary preparations prior to surgery. I was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and the nurse informed me that i was contracting every 3 minutes. That was news to me, I didn't feel a thing! I was dilated 3 centimeters and contracting every 3 minutes. The doctor the day before told me that baby girl was coming on the 20th one way or the other but she was relieved that the c-section was already scheduled. Hubby was given scrubs, a hat and booties to change into for the operating room.

All decked out in our hospital attire.
The anesthesiologist came by and made sure we didn't have any questions. The surgery was scheduled for 11:30 but the doctor the day before said it looked like I could be taken back earlier if all went well. Well, 11:30 came and went. At that point my sister was with Hubby and I in the holding area. Hubby had requested her there to keep him entertained and distracted while he was alone when I was getting prepped in the OR. Around noon Barbara told me that the doctor was finally on his way, he had an emergency that he got tied up with...a tubal pregnancy. I honestly had no concept of time at that point. I had no idea that it was a good bit past 11:30. The doctor came by and asked if I was ready and if we had any questions and then I was wheeled off to the operating room that was literally behind the wall I had been sitting beside for 2 and 1/2 hours. Barbara was there with me the whole time as my moral support...that woman is an angel. The anesthesiologist and his assistant (who stayed with me too and was a trip) had a hard time finding the spot for the spinal. I don't remember exactly how many times I was poked and stuck but it was A LOT. I sported a large bruise with lots of tiny scabs on my back for over a week afterwards. I was hunched over on the operating table scared out of my mind, holding Barbara's hand trying to remind myself to breathe through the intense pain that came from the spinal being inserted into the wrong place time after time. They finally found my "sweet spot" and I was feeling good and numb in no time. I remember feeling a weird warm and fuzzy feeling that went from my waist and down my legs to my toes. The room was bustling with activity as the doctor came in, 2 students, the neonatologist and nurses from the nursery, the operating assistant and, of course, Barbara and the anesthesiologists assistant. Once I was completely prepped and the sheet came up Hubby was let in. I kept asking him if he was okay and he would ask if I was okay. We were laughing and joking with the doctor and nurses. We all teased one of the students because she announced that she was a fainter and had never seen a surgery before. I assured her that I had seen a c-section on video before and it wasn't that bad. Because the students were there we got a play by play from the doctor about what he was doing at all times which was pretty cool. Hubby didn't find it as fascinating but I honestly think I would have been okay watching it if that had been offered to me. After a few minutes we heard him say that he was getting close. Then he commented about how crammed in the baby was and that she was coming out butt first. And the the most magical moment of any new parents life, the sweet sound of a crying baby. We both cried tears of joy and relief just knowing that she was healthy and finally here.
Our first time seeing our daughter.
The doctor announced to Hubby to have his camera ready and then we got a peek at our new baby girl over the curtain. Hubby said "she looks like my Dad" and I said "she doesn't look like anything I was expecting". Hubby had already told the nurses that he didn't want to see ANYTHING so one of the nurses came and got him and escorted him with his back to the operating table over to the baby. She got cleaned off and swaddled and a nurse brought her to me.
Our first family picture.
The anesthesia nurse took our camera and got our picture. They let me look at her and give her a kiss before she was whisked off with her Daddy to the nursery.
Getting printed.

I was in the OR for probably another 20 minutes getting put back  together. The 2 students came around when the doctor was almost done and told me congratulations and that they both cried when she came out because they had never seen a baby being born and how special it was. I was wheeled out into recovery area number 3 where Barbara got me settled. I was left alone for a few minutes and I just lay there trying to remember what my baby looked like. My sister came in because she didn't want me to be alone and I was so glad that she did. We talked about what everyone's reaction was. Gigi was concerned about my well being so the nurse said that she would allow her to come back for a minute. My sister left and sent Gigi in with my Dad for a short visit before Dad had to get back to work and Bab and Gigi had to go get the other kids from school. Hubby came in wheeling our little baby girl in her bassinett. We were able to have a moment together just looking at our beautiful daughter. Then more visitors- Grandma and Grandpa from Hubby's side, then my Mom and then our BFF Heather.Before I knew it, my hour and a half in recovery was over and I was loaded up with all of our bags and flowers and wheeled into my room.

My first time holding my daughter.

One proud Papa! 

Getting settled in to our room.


Date Night In Labor And Delivery

I had been feeling dizzy for a few days.  I didn't really think a whole lot of it until Saturday though, I couldn't shake it.  I was home alone and taking it easy all day but the dizziness was turning into occasional double vision.  I was supposed to meet up with my Hubby and some friends that evening for our last hurrah before Miss Lo makes her debut but things didn't go quite as planned.  As I started making my way down the interstate I couldn't focus on what was in front of me.  Everything was blurry and doubled, I kind of thought I was hallucinating!  I finally decided that it probably wasn't safe for me to be driving so I pulled off on the next exit and called my Honey to come and get me.  After that alarming phone call he encouraged me to call the doctor.  The doctor told me to go to labor and delivery for observation.

To make a long story short, everything checked out fine.  Blood pressure was perfect, blood sugar was a little low but that's because they wouldn't let me eat my dinner that I brought!  Baby was perfect, she is a "Category 1" baby which means that she is super active and I don't know what all else but she was fine.  After some google research we found that it is a common side effect with preeclampsia (which I don't have) or that it could be a visual migraine.  I was given no reason by the doctor since all of my vitals checked out fine they just let me go.  Here are some sexy photos of myself...you have been warned!
Workin' that hospital gown!

Where's my neck?!  That would be a Pepsi in my hand, my pregnancy craving as of late.


37 Weeks and Showered With Diapers

Well, here we are 37 weeks in.  At my appointment this week my doctor seemed alarmed at how big I was measuring.  Let's keep in mind that I have always measured 2 weeks small so this was quite a shock to hear.  I mean, my ribs have been feeling it but I'm a pretty small package to be carrying a baby anyhow.  The doctor sent me to ultrasound where we found out that our little lady is:
*Big headed
*Weighing 7 lbs. 8 oz. according to the ultrasound tech, the doctor thinks she's at least 8 lbs.
*Stubborn, she refused to take her hands down from her face for a picture.
*Super Active- every technician has commented on how active this girl is.

So, it has been decided that a cesarean is the way to go and I can't say that I disagree.  I have felt like I would end up going the c-section route the entire pregnancy and was honestly relieved when the doctors suggested it.  I have a lot of factors working against me to go the other route.
 The new ward (church) that we are attending so generously offered to throw me a baby shower.  Since we have been so abundantly showered with gifts of every kind I asked that it be a diapers and wipes shower.  Up until the shower we had only been gifted one pack of diapers and one pack of wipes so we needed them.
 Here is a shot of the spread...well, some of it.  These ladies here really know how to throw a party.  Everything was beautiful.
 How precious are the napkins that were handmade for the shower?  I have never seen so much effort put in to a napkin before.
 We played some games, games that involved candy...you can't go wrong!
And at the end of the night this is some of the loot that I ended up with.  I am still overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people that barely know me.  We are loved!


Our Engagement Spot

It's been almost 9 years since our engagement...time flies!  On April 4, 2003 my Hubby got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife at this beautiful location.  We traveled to Chapel Hill so that my uncle (the jeweler) could set my diamond into it's setting.  I had no clue that it would be done that day so I was completely shocked when Hubby proposed to me at the wishing well on the campus of the University of North Carolina.  We were able to travel back to that exact same spot just a few weeks ago and it was just as gorgeous as  I remembered.


I'm A Wreck

So today I was out running errands with my Mom, sister and niece. After we finished all of our miscellaneous stops I took all parties back to their vehicles that were parked at the mall where we all met. As I pulled into the spot next to my mom's car I made contact with her vehicle. I was so aggravated with myself, a completely careless mistake! And, worst of all, I was driving Hubby's car. He was really sweet about it when I called to report the bad news. When he got home from work, he took a magic eraser to the fender and you can't really tell that it ever happened. Yay! I mean, compared to the time that I literally ran over his sports car with my Jeep this time seems like a breeze! And, for the record...the only 2 fender benders that I have ever been in (that were my fault) have been with family member's vehicles. So, to all my family...this is your warning!
Before the magic eraser