Thursday, July 31, 2014

Welcome, sweet baby Emi!

Dear Emi,

Welcome to the world, baby girl! You arrived at 8:13am on Friday, July 18th. You weighed 8 pounds, 2.5 ounces and were 20 inches long. You most resemble your big sister Maya but you have bluer eyes (we'll see how that changes), slightly more petite features, and a head full of short, dark fuzzy hair.

We spent about 3 and a half days in the hospital recuperating before heading home on Monday. You were a good sleeper from day 2, needing to be woken up for many of your night feedings. On Wednesday we went to your first pediatrician appointment where the doctor was so pleased with your alert, sweet personality. On Friday we went to mommy's appointment to get her stitches out. So, really, that first week with you we only had 2 full days at home to get used to life together before all kinds of craziness began.

In the early hours of Saturday morning mommy began hemorrhaging as a result of my uterus not properly contracting after the birth. Daddy took you and mommy to the ER and things started happening very quickly. For much of the day the doctors struggled to keep the blood loss to a minimum and to replace it as best as possible, all the while trying to encourage mommy's uterus to shrink. There were times when their efforts didn't seem to be making much progress, and everyone, including me, was very worried.

Aside from when mommy was under anesthesia for a procedure, I kept interacting with all the nurses and doctors and asking tons of questions, trying to keep myself alert and aware of what was happening. Despite a lot of treatments, some making me feel pretty terrible, I was determined to keep it together. I was also determined to keep pumping so I could go back to nursing you when all this was over. That was one of my strongest drives throughout the chaos.

On Saturday evening the decision was made to transfer me to a larger hospital with a bigger ICU. Luckily by the time I arrived there, the bleeding had pretty much slowed down thanks to the efforts of the doctors at the first hospital. Mommy still had to stay for a couple nights and days to be observed and recover from losing what probably amounted to half my body's blood volume. On Sunday morning all of my strength from the previous day evaporated and I became very emotional. I couldn't wait to hold you in my arms!

Thankfully mommy's lab results had improved enough on Monday to come home from the hospital! I still have a lot of recovering to do but I'm so pleased to be able to be with you and nurse you again. You may be just a tiny little thing, but you gave me so much strength throughout this ordeal. I love you, sweet baby Emi!

Dear Maya,

You are such a rockstar! When you first came to the hospital to meet your baby sister, you were so curious and so sweet. Each day you came to visit and were excited to hold Emi and fawn over her. You commented how little and cute she is, and you counted her 'piggies' often.

We had lots of family visiting for the birth and you were given various gifts of congratulations for becoming a big sister. One of these was a pretty necklace from Grandpa and Lori, but one night while you were in bed you managed to swallow its castle-shaped charm. Luckily you passed it within a couple days.

After we came home on Monday, you continued to be sweet to Emi. Only a couple times did you show any frustration in having to share our time and energy with her. You were more excited that you could play with Grandma, Papa Stan and Bobbie who were staying with us, and Kelsie and Gracie who visited a few times.

Then on Saturday when mommy went back to the hospital, you must have been so confused. Grandma brought you in to the ICU before I was transferred and I will never forget the worried look on your little face when you saw all the tubes hooked up to mommy. I'm so glad you didn't have to see that again. While mommy was in the hospital, I looked through photos and videos of you often. I missed you so, so much! Throughout this whole crazy couple of weeks you were so good. I'm so proud of you, big sister.

Dear Maya and Emi,

Mommy wishes she hadn't gotten sick over the weekend, but it only served to show me how much I love you two and want to be there for you always. I'm really looking forward to watching you both grow together and love each other. I'm so proud to call you my daughters!

Love you!

P.S. An enormous thank you goes out to our doula, Kristin. Your support through the pregnancy, birth, and the aftermath meant so, so much!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

End of an era...

Dear Maya,

Well, this is it. Your last day as an only child. Mommy has been totally freaked out about how you're going to react to the arrival of your little sister. No doubt you will be happy and excited and sometimes frustrated but overall you will be fine. Still, in this hormonal state, mommy is worried about you.

First bath in about a year!! Thanks to Mo Willems' "The Pigeon Needs A Bath" for the inspiration!!!
We've had a busy week: two last doctor appointments for mommy, three shopping trips for last-minute odds and ends, and a bunch of other errands. We have eaten out more often in the past week than we usually do any given month. You've been a good girl each time and have really become fond of apple juice.

You also got in a few last-minute play dates. We went to the library story hour, your great-grandparents' house, and your buddy Wyatt's house. Also, on Sunday, we had a small birthday party for mommy here at home and you, Wyatt, Natalie and cousin Gracie were running around like nuts, even before having cake!

Well, mommy needs her sleep for the big day tomorrow. I hope you know that even if the number of people in our family changes, our love for you will never change, sweetie. Love you!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gaming, babies, and donuts

Dear Maya,

Yet another thunderstorm is headed our way right now so this will be a quick post. At least mommy has more pics to share this week, even if a majority of them were taken with a cell phone. The quality might not be great, but with mommy so swollen and tired it's hard to run and pull out the camera at a moment's notice.
  • Our 4th of July was rainy and quiet. You had a runny nose and mommy was tired so we played games, read books and watched videos all day. Below are your favorite games: Coconuts, Bugs in the Kitchen, and Richard Scarry's Busytown Busy Busy Airport. 
  • On Saturday morning we went to a Big Sibling class at the birth center. You were the youngest there and a little wild at times, but you loved seeing an absolutely adorable newborn in the nursery and you were pretty gentle with the practice doll, too. Changing a diaper will take some time, though...

  • Mommy has treated you to donuts after her last couple doctor appointments. It's kind of nice to have these little dates before your sister joins the mix. It's funny that you call sprinkles "sparkles," especially because it was kind of appropriate for the red, white, and blue star sprinkles.

  • And just in case anyone thinks you eat a lot of junk food, here's a picture of you falling asleep mid-dinner last night. You wanted a second serving of noodles but mommy was making you eat your beet greens first. You ate most of them but that last bite just was too much to handle!

    Love you, little sweetie!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Three and a half

Dear Maya,

So, mommy kind of forgot that you turned three and a half Monday. I knew it was coming up, but then on the actual day I forgot about it. It's not like a full birthday or anything, but it made me stop and think about how I want to treasure our last few weeks (maybe?) with you as our only child. So, here are some Maya-isms I've been collecting for a while, mixed with some things we love about you and don't want to forget. I'm going to try for 42 since that's how many months old you are. Wow, 42 already?!?!?! Well, here goes:

  1. "No beans tomorrow, beans today!" (you love beans!)
  2. "What is that this?" (though you don't really say that anymore)
  3. "There's two dems." (I think you may have outgrown this, too)
  4. "It's just a little pisser." (when showing off a new picture you drew)
  5. "Is that cool?" (we'll enjoy it now before you become more opinionated!)
  6. "This is my favorite song." (applies to everything from Beethoven to "Tequila")
  7. Your rendition of "The Farmer in the Dell" is the sweetest thing I've ever heard!
  8. When counting objects in a book, you often sing the numbers in ascending scales. Perfectly in tune!
  9. "I don't like two books. I like three books and four books and..." (your bedtime story negotiations)
  10. And when mommy tried to teach you "negotiation" you said "neko nation" ('neko'=Japanese for 'cat').
  11. Even though you used to say "octopus" correctly, you usually say "apple-pus" now.
  12. Mommy's not writing this on a "computer" but rather an "umputer" according to you.
  13. For a while you kept confusing the words "sour" and "sauerkraut" to mommy's amusement.
  14. You also use the word "now" when you mean "then." It can get a little confusing sometimes...
  15. You pick up songs SO quickly. We can be anywhere and you hear a song that you've heard even just once before and your eyes light up and you tell us that you remember it and sometimes start singing.
  16. You've been picking up phrases from books really quickly, too. Sometimes you can finish the sentences for me after only hearing them a time or two.
  17. You can write your capital letters and are usually right when we ask you the first letter of a word.
  18. Your pronunciation of the letters "J" and "L" sound more like "D" and "W" respectively, but sometimes you get them right so we're not too worried.
  19. You still hate bathing but will usually take a shower with mommy without too much fuss. 
  20. Not much really scares you aside from the bathroom drain. Thunderstorms are no big deal, even some of the doozies we've had the last few weeks. You're not crazy about strong winds at night, though.
  21. You can be pretty shy, like when we went to the clown show at the library on Tuesday. You wouldn't even clap your hands, but you did say "thank you" when the clown gave you a duck toy at the end.
  22. But you can also be pretty crazy. You still love to spin in circles, jump on furniture, and run, run, run!
  23. You love to put things back where they stores anyway. If you find a pack of berries in the veggie aisle you take it back to where the berries were. At home you go through phases of cleaning up after yourself or resisting, though, especially things with lots of pieces. Ugh.
  24. We've still never cut the back of your hair. Mommy used to trim your bangs but we're growing them for the summer to keep them off your sweaty forehead. And there was the time you cut the side of your hair, but the back is still untouched. I guess that's why it kinda comes to a point in the middle...
  25. Mommy and daddy were feeling a little guilty the other night that, because we're always so good about keeping your bedtime schedule, you've never seen fireflies (or fireworks, etc.). We went into your room that night and roused you for a minute to look out the window to see all the twinkling bugs, but you said you didn't want to and rolled back over to go to sleep. Oh, well...
  26. You've been making up stories a lot lately, usually featuring a dinosaur at some point.
  27. Aunt Rhi brought you home a copy of the book "Yoko's Paper Cranes" which has a map of the world on the inside cover. You can point out where we are and where your grandparents in Japan live. 
  28. That story talks about mailing a gift to Yoko's grandparents in Japan via airplane, so lately almost every time you see a plane in the sky you say it's going to Japan to your grandparents' house.
  29. When we Skype with your grandparents in Japan you are always super hyperactive. I think it's just excitement and showing off for them, but my goodness they must think you are a nut!
  30. You never want to talk to loved ones on the phone, but you have the most adorable pretend conversations with them on the old cell phone we let you play with.
  31. You've started watching "My Little Pony" on Netflix. Mommy will take out her old My Little Pony toys for you one of these days...
  32. You can use daddy's Ipod better than mommy can. You know how to get to Netflix and Google Earth and how to use them. 
  33. You still ask mommy to change the volume, though, or to use Pandora to turn on some tunes for you.
  34. You say at least once a day, "I want to dance with somebody." It puts Whitney Houston in mommy's head every time!
  35. You've been sitting on mommy's lap more in the last month than you have most of the last year. It's so sweet, even though it's hard for you to fit around my big belly.
  36. You point out babies whenever you see them lately and seem excited that we'll have one soon. You keep asking if she's here yet.
  37. But you are not at all interested in watching or feeling the movements in mommy's belly. 
  38. You chose your sister's name. We had a few in mind and were debating them, but you refused to even say any of them but one, so that's what we're planning to go with!
  39. "The baby's getting bigger. And I'm getting bigger, too!" (as though mommy needs reminding of either)
  40. "You're so pretty!" you've told mommy as I was throwing my hair into a ponytail or putting on some comfy clothes that just happened to have flowers on them or were flowy. You remind me to look for the good even when I'm not feeling it!
  41. "Mama, I want to keep you." (swoon!)
  42. While hugging you through a cranky moment on Monday in the late afternoon light, mommy noticed and fell in love all over again with the tiny soft downy hairs still on your nose and the rest of your face.
Well, that's it for this week. Love you!