Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Fastest, Longest, Happiest, Tiredest Month of My Life

How in the world can my perfect newborn BABY girl already be a month old?!

{& How can ONE month be all of those things in the title? Oh just trust me.. somehow it is}

I love this picture of Emery it just melts my heart.

Our little em-cakes had her one month doctors appointment yesterday..
{These pictures are actually from the end of her 3rd week.. life goes so fast when you're counting by weeks}

She is already 9 pounds and I can't remember 3 or 5 oz. and she is 21 1/2 inches long!
I must remind you that she was only 6 lbs 13 oz when she was born. That seems like significant weight gain in just a few weeks when it's 1/3 of your body weight. And she has grown 2 1/2 inches.

{I love the nostril flaring, it's something that reminds me of Blake and I, and I want to remember it forever}

The doctor and nurse were both kind of laughing after they weighed/measured her and both made comments like wooow.. she must be eating really well.

Stop growing so fast baby girl. Just stop it.

I think that's why it's been so hard for me to blog.. because even though I have SO much I want to share and remember I feel like I just want to soak in every little thing about Emery right now because she seems to be growing and changing right before my eyes and I don't want to waste any of my day not spending it with her.. or sleeping if I can.

And speaking of sleeping.. it could also be hard for me to blog because it's also hard for me to do laundry and clean the house and unload the dishwasher and other basic needs. It feels like we are kind of in survival mode over here.. and I will be honest I pictured having a baby being a little higher functioning than we have been.

But I guess that's what happens when you are running on 4 or less hours of sleep a night.. for I don't know.. um 5 ish weeks?
It definitely starts to wear you out..

And, really, I don't know what I would do without this wonderful man of mine.

During the weekends I have gotten 6 ish hours of sleep at night on occasion and Blake will stay up with her.
I don't know how people raise babies on their own.

And quite honestly I am just impressed that people raise babies.. alone and not alone.

Because even though we are just SMITTEN and feel SO blessed to have each other.

People don't tell you how hard of work it is that first few months {so I hear we have a couple more to go}.. or maybe they do but seriously you do not BELIEVE/understand it until you are going through it.

And I thought that I should point it out because it can get really discouraging. I am pretty go go go and can be a neat freak.. and when things are just piling up and it takes you 40 minutes to unload the dishwasher because you are interrupted by feeding and diaper changing and crying because she wants to be held and let me remind you that you are doing all of these things on virtually NO sleep.
It's easy to get down on yourself.

But just try googling "the newborn phase" I have been dying laughing at everyone's articles.
And I felt better. It's hard.. and it seems like people who haven't had babies for a while forget how hard it is so I decided that I want to document it so I can be more empathetic and remember this phase of life with our little Em.
SO out of this world happy.. and so exhaustively hard.

I also have to be honest and say that there are some days that I get to the point that I feel like I can't even lift my head and Blake comes home and Emery and I are just sitting there crying and staring at each other.

But there is not one moment that I do not love that little girl more than I realized was possible.
I knew that I would love her.. but I didn't realize that every morning when I saw her and realized she was still here my heart would feel like it bursts out of my body again and I would want to just kiss her face for 10 minutes and squeeze her for the next hour.

And she really is the SWEETEST most loving baby. She can be really smiley and has laughed already and always holds my hand when I feed her and loves to be held and cuddled.
In fact if she is crying and isn't hungry it's probably because she wants to be picked up and cuddled.

{Having family in town the first month of her life has definitely spoiled her with love}
[[And speaking of family in town.. I want to say a special thanks to my sweet mother in law for taking these pictures for us while you were in town.. I love having them.. ]]

And how do you get upset at a sweet baby that as soon as you pick her up seems like everything is right in the world and just burrows into your chest?

And then there are moments like these..
Blake is literally the CUTEST dad ever.
He is SO patient with Emery and just sits over her bassinet or swing forever just watching her and telling me {and her} why Emery is so cute and why he loves her and why she is the best.

And it's crazy but I think that watching him with her and what a good loving dad he is makes me love him even more... if that's even possible.

I don't know if anyone will find this picture quite as endearing as I do but this is the sweet face she gives me when she is ready to be fed {and I wanted to save it in my mind and the blog}.. and she really is pretty patient. She will make a few noises and give me a little bit before she absolutely demands that she be fed now. Which is quite a blessing at 2 in the morning when I prepare myself to get up..

But I love her sweet little faces.. and her cooing. It is so high pitched and there really is no other word for it than just sweet.
I love how she still bends her little froggy legs up when you hold her and change her.. It has taken us a little bit but I actually even love feeding her and the sounds that she makes and how excited she gets.
I love when she lets you just hold her and she cuddles into you.

Yesterday after she got a shot, which neither of us knew was happening and completely scarred both of us, she held my hand and looked at me and gave me the saddest look and just started sobbing.
And as I held her tight hugging her in my arms and she burrowed her head into me and started to calm down I thought, even though I wanted to cry too, how wonderful it is just be this little girls mom and be the person she wants to hold her when she is sad.

I love her smell and eyes and cheeks and oh darling little perfect baby feet and soft sweet hands and just how perfect and tiny she is.

And even though all of this love might be overwhelming to our sweet little babe..

Basically I love every little last thing about her.

{And I know I have been on the other end where you are just ready for moms to stop it already and not be so obsessive because nobody loves everything about this baby quite like her parents do}

It's amazing to me still how wonderful it is to just sit and kiss and hold and watch her all day.

And even if I can never keep up with the cleaning of our clothes that are covered in baby spit up.. I am so grateful to get to go through this phase.. and I am excited to see you learn and grow this next year.

 {Just try not to do it too fast.. okay.. except for the sleeping through the night thing that could start tonight and I wouldn't even be mad.. but everything else let me soak it in}

Blake just barely had to go back to school and has been able to spend this whole last month with us..
talk about a blessing and just wonderful first baby experience.
And despite being tired I have loved this last month of Emery's life.. I really do just keep thinking how much more full and purposeful our life seems.

It is the best feeling in the world how much I love these people of mine.

Yesterday as I was walking back home from Emery's doctor's appointment..
{we live down the road from the doctor and since here January can be 70 degrees and we only have had one working car.. I have been getting some exercise and Emery has been getting to see the world}

 I was reflecting on before she was born how we kept thinking/saying WOW.. we are going to have this baby like
This is such a big commitment.. and we thought things like how we really hoped we were ready.

 And yesterday as I was holding her in my arms (or in the baby bjorn carrier) I was thinking how full my heart feels and how I can't even imagine not having our baby forever.

Anything less than forever with this little family of mine wouldn't be long enough.

And what a blessing {let me repeat.. a hard exhausting blessing.. that we are definitely having to work for} this first month has been. Our sweet little Em even though I will probably die of exhaustion {I have gotten quite the head cold the last couple of days I think just from being worn down}I would die before I would trade you for any amount of sleep in the world. Thanks for letting me be your mom.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Emery Jean Bingham

December 15, 2014

Emery Jean Bingham
After one long day for everyone our sweet baby girl was born at 9:38 pm
[a little over 2 hours before her due date, December 16th, let's hope the rest of her life is this punctual] 
She weighed 6lbs 13 oz and was 19 inches long.
Which for how worried everyone was about her size we thought she turned out perfect.
Really those couple of days in the hospital were kind of a blur, even when they were happening. I have heard of women who say that they love child birth..
 And although I am so grateful that I could experience it and I can't even describe the love I have for our daughter
{and dont get me wrong it was definitely worth it}-
I would never describe the experience as something I loved and wished I could do again.
The morning of the 14th I was really worried because Emery hadn't been moving as much, so the doctor had us go into the hospital.
The nurse checked and her heartbeat was healthy. I was dilated to a 2 1/2 and having contractions but they just weren't close enough together yet and so the hospital couldn't keep me.
{I had been just hoping she was healthy but they would decide to just take her out, I was so ready for her to be born and every minute passing was a minute she was born closer to Christmas, heaven forbid, but no such luck}
That afternoon Blake and I walked MILES we spent hours [seriously] power walking around the mall, we made a rule of no window shopping just focused walking... stairs, laps, you name it.
We ate pineapple, I bounced dilligently on my yoga ball, we drank raspberry herbal leaf tea, we made mint chocolate cake (because a couple of our friends said that worked for them)..
And then at 5:30 the next morning I woke up and kind of felt wet like [what I thought it might feel like if..] my water was breaking..
So I ran to the bathroom and GUSH... definitely the water broke.
Thankfully in the toilet. Sorry if that's TMI.
When I yelled to Blake that my water had broken he jumped out of bed and you would never have known it was early in the morning.. he was the sweetest most excited drill sargeant and meant business about getting to that hospital.
So as I changed and put make up on he had everything packed, food for me,
 [because do you know they don't let you eat while you are in labor, if that's not reason enough to think it's hard]
and practically dragged me to the car-he was not taking any of my lolly gagging.
After my water broke the contractions started..
Oh.. contractions.
They were the worst.
But luckily since most of the people in the hospital that morning were being induced and because I can be slightly dramatic probably when I am in pain.
I got pushed to the front of the line and they got me set up very promptly.
Actually almost everyone in the hospital that day explained to us how much more rare it is to go into labor on your own and especially for your water to break.
They said that it happens all the time in the movies but hardly ever in real life.
[But that is the way I was praying I would go into labor and so I was/am still SO grateful it happened that way]

I snuck one last last 40 weeks hospital pregnancy picture.

And this is more so that I will remember than anything.. but I weighed 127 before I gave birth and was more uncomfortable/ready than ever to get our dear Emery out.

If you think [or if I thought] I looked sad here.. just wait until those contractions started getting serious.
Nobody wants to see those pictures.

So I think I was dilated to a 5 a little before noon,
{I told them I didn't want petocin and wanted to see if my body could just deliver this baby naturally on it's own.. which actually it did by some miracle}
And the doctors were coming in trying to have conversations with me and I was very close to the point where I told them to just make up my medical history and I would sign whatever they wanted me to if they would just let me sit there and die in peace.
[I think that's their way of making you get the epidural.]

When I started thinking.. so I am at a 5.. and have to get to a 10..could the pain get twice this bad?!
The doctor explained to me that an epidural didn't go through my blood so it wouldn't affect the baby like any of the other medicine they could give me {which would affect her being able to feed right away and other things} So I finally said give me that epidural before I am in too much pain to sit still to get it.

And I will tell you what.. I am a believer. #teamepidural

Originally I had wondered if I would feel bad for getting one because there are so many people against them {I also was really scared of getting a needle put in my back.. } but after going through the experience I decided I wouldn't go through any other part of my body getting cut open without medicine if I didn't have to.. and truly as much as I hate needles it completely changed the whole experience so I personally am SO grateful for modern medicine.

The epidural relaxed me so much that we took a nap.. in fact I would dare say I was thoroughly enjoying myself {minus the lack of food} for a few hours.

Also... I know I say this about Blake a lot but that man is a keeper.
He hardly ate anything all day and stayed with me feeding me ice chips, telling me I looked great {um which I have seen pictures.. guys I really didn't}, loving me, and waiting on me hand and foot.

Then at 5 pm or so I was dilated to a 9 1/2 I think.. or maybe a 10 but there was some lip of cervix that was over Emery's head and was keeping her from coming out.
They waited to see if my body would work it out by itself.. but it didn't.
So I think around 7 pm I got a new nurse (because the sweet one that had been working with us was OFF seeing as we did get there at 5 in the morning) and I started pushing.

Our new nurse was so funny she was this little black nurse named Tia and she had such a personality.
"Girl this baby better be born today I already wrote down the 15th"

I was SO against having a C section but the next couple of hours were definitely less than ideal. We couldn't get her under my cervix.. everything started swelling.. and then my pelvic bone was too small.
So everyone kept bringing up that I might have to, and I kept praying and praying and crying and pushing.

A hard thing about the whole experience was that the doctor we had been working with the whole pregnancy (at least the part of it that was in San Antonio) was off that day so we had a different Dr. and he kept telling Tia, the nurse, to have me push and he would come in after we got the baby past the cervix.
She said he was sitting out in the hallway just waiting, which was really frustrating since we were having such a hard time and a C section was starting to seem more and more real.
{And I think at that point we were just tired and I was hungry and it had already been a long day}

So moral of the story.. we started off on the wrong foot. And finally after I had been pushing for a couple of hours and am physically just exhausted he comes and is telling me all the things that need to change and repeating
"Do you WANT to have a C-section?!"

While funny Tia is telling me "Girl we gonna get this baby out TOGETHER"
And other probably not so blog appropriate things..

And I thought I was going to have to give up all together it was so hard.
There was a lot of crying on my part. I would like to point out however..
I don't think there was screaming.
No screaming.

{While we had been waiting that afternoon you would have thought the woman in the room next to me was being killed.. or having her foot cut off.. slowly.. the way she was yelling. Luckily I had assumed she had to have been being a little dramatic so it didn't freak me out anymore, although the nurses did keep coming in and checking to see if I was okay having to listen to all of it. Blake and I were dying laughing.}

Then finally [after having to cut me.. and my epidural wearing off and about 3 hours of pushing and crying] we had a miracle and Emery was born naturally with no C Section.
Can I get a Halllllellluuujjah..?

And I was so absolutely exhausted that as she came out and Blake yelled "Look that's our baby?!"
I could barely do more than smile and look.


But Blake cut the umbilical cord and was the cutest proudest papa you ever did see..
Thank goodness for him. I was so grateful Emery had someone to love on her as she entered this world because she was just about as traumatized as I was through this whole experience poor baby.

And although probably neither Emery or I want the world to see these pictures I thought I would add just one of our swollen crying faces right after she was born just to prove that I loved her and did hold her after she was born
{after they finished stitching me up and I could even process what was happening}
The poor girl was so swollen, had the worst cone head, and had quite the distinct ridge on the top of her head where she had been stuck for hours.
We both looked/felt like we had been through a war.
Right after she was born they let us spend maybe an hour with just our little family of three,
 holding her and loving on her and I think that's when my heart almost burst.
I was a mom.
We were parents to this tiny sweet little human being.
And when I kissed her for the first time she shook her little body and looked just absolutely shocked like she couldn't comprehend what had just happened.
It was SO cute. And Blake looked at her and said "Don't worry this means that we love you."
Seriously one of the sweetest moments in my life.

And this picture absolutely warms my heart..
I love it. & This man. & How much he unconditionally has loved our daugther since the moment she was born into this world.
Blake didn't even know I was taking the picture but he just has so much love in his eyes when he looks at her and holds her
I wanted to remember it forever.

We are the luckiest girls to have him.

That night after we all got cleaned up and to bed around 3 am, every time I would wake up I would just stare at her and have to make sure she was real.
There was no way this beautiful little human was ours and we were going to get to keep her forever..
Oh my gosh and as we were moving rooms Blake was carrying the diaper bag and the bag I packed with our clothes and.. probably my purse and clothes I'd been wearing and who knows what else..
And the nurse looked our things up and down and said
"Alright NEXT time you bring ONE small bag.."
Blake laughs and is like I TRIED to tell her..
Then she looks at him and shakes her head says
"mmm-mm, Boy. This is YOUR fault. YOU married a diiiivva." 
We were dying laughing.. because did I mention my birthing experience was pretty traumatic?
I obviously made an impression, poor woman.

We had to stay a day and a half in the hospital and I think Blake changed basically all of the diapers and took care of everything while I tried to process the idea of standing up again.

We also did/still do a lot of this staring thing.. it feels like you don't want to miss a single moment of her being in your arms.

& My family couldn't make it down for another few days, but they still managed to brighten up the experience.

I think it was good for us to figure out sweet little Emery and get used to being a family of three before we had all of our fun house guests for the next month.

{Also, my grandma is one of the most talented people..ever.. and made these darling booties for Emery. My favorite cutest tiniest little feet in the world.}

Eventually we got up.. and dressed and decided to try to live in the world again.
Emery's newborn clothes were all just drowning her, this was the closest one we could get to fitting.
I LOVE how tiny she was/is it's perfect.
When Emery was born I joked with Blake and asked whose baby that was?!
We didn't think she looked like either of us really with all of her dark hair and button nose.
But as we have looked at baby pictures and as her face has recooperated from being squished inside of me she has looked more and more like we did as babies.
I think the second morning after she was born when I was somewhat functioning again I just felt this overwhelming love and humbleness in my heart that it {& probably lots of hormones} made me start just crying and crying.

I couldn't believe that we had been given this wonderful blessing of Emery in our life and that I could be lucky enough to be the MOTHER of this sweet teeny tiny wonderful human.

Or how much I am so so crazy in love with this darling baby of ours.

When it came time to take our little (and I do mean little tiny.. look at her in there) bundle home.. she was not ready for it. It took her a while to warm up to the idea of a carseat.
It was like 30 degrees and rainy when we got released from the hospital.. which for San Antonio that is FREEZING.. but they wheeled me and Emery out {she didnt even have to be in her carseat, we put her through that torture for nothing} and had Blake pull the car up to the door..

And then as Blake strapped her carseat in the car, packed our bags back in the car, and we drove back home with this darling girl I thought to myself we have to be the luckiest/happiest family in the world right now.
I was on cloud 9.. and I don't think I've left since. Our life seems so much more complete.

Emery you are the greatest blessing your dad and I could have ever imagined and you are everything we could have ever hoped for in a baby girl.
I'm so grateful that you chose us and Heavenly Father let us be your parents.
We love you forever... with everything we are.

Happy Day of Birth Sweetheart.