Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Baby Toes

I am so totally in love with my new baby girl. My entire existence has come to revolve around this tiny little person that I never knew I couldn't live without. I know that life will eventually settle back into a normal groove, although one that is substantially altered from what it was. For now, though, I am just completely enamored of my daughter. Everything about her, from her expressive little face to her tiny little monkey toes, amazes me. (I can foresee many Elora-based posts in the future...I hope I don't bore you all with my new obsession!) I've been taking more pictures; if you'd like to see them I've posted them here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Introducing Elora Marie Gager

She's here! Little Elora was born at 8:53 in the morning on March 23, 2009. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces, and was 19.5" long. She's incredibly healthy... her Apgar score was all perfect 10's, and she's already putting on weight just like she should. (We were able to start nursing her right away, and that has been going really well.) The pediatrician who examined her for discharge said that she's just perfect, and I couldn't be happier about it. :)

As promised, here are the pictures that we have of Elora, so far. Thank you so much to Corinnea, Kelly and Kara for stopping by to see us! And, thank you for posting some pictures so everyone didn't have to wait for me to get home. (I will, of course, be wanting copies of all the pictures that you took. ^_^ )

There is so much more that I could say --I am so excited and overwhelmed and happy!-- but it will have to wait. I'm still so tired! We're home now, and we are both still doing very well (Brandon has been absolutely amazing, taking such great care of us I know he is just as tired as I am) and I'm super happy to be here. The guys that Bran works with have gotten together to bring us dinner every night until Tuesday, which is an incredible blessing, since we both have our hands pretty full...me with the baby and Brandon with the both of us. I'll try to post again soon, if nothing else I know I will have new pictures to share.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

This is it!!

Well, I'm off to the Kreiskrankenhaus this afternoon, to get checked in and settled in. They'll be doing the cesarean in the morning, though I'm not sure what time, and I'll be there until probably Friday or Saturday. I'd love to have visitors, though I'm still not sure what the visiting hours are...

I'm about half way through packing. Really, I feel like I'm taking a ton of stuff with me! But the list that I have (admittedly not from the hospital, but from a book) includes all this stuff. I'm going to feel so silly walking into the hospital carting a suitcase with me. But it's better to prepared, right? Still, I'm not too worried about forgetting something, Brandon can always bring it to me later. Anyway, I suppose I should get it done. I'll post baby pictures when I get home!

Oh, and just so you know...I have it set up to automatically post a little something on Wednesday, just to keep things fresh. I'll still be at the hospital sans internet at that point, so I won't be able to communicate via the interweb until I get home at the end of the week.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Another Incredible Gift!

This is a quilt and matching changing pad (?) that Brandon and I received in the mail yesterday, from some of my friends at my church back home. They're both cotton; the quilt is backed in super soft pink flannel and the changing pad (I think it's a changing pad anyway) is backed in what reminds me of minky (also pink) but the fuzziness is shorter. They are gorgeous! I don't know if I could use the smaller one as a changing pad, if that's what it was intended to be, because I wouldn't want to risk soiling and staining it. I absolutely love them! And once again, I am reminded of how very blessed we are, and how very loved my little Elora already is.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Nursery

We finally have the nursery just about finished! Well, really, it's done, but I know myself well enough to realize that I'm going to continue to fuss with things for the next week*. I've already rearranged the armoire half a dozen times, and I'm sure I'll be doing it again. But, for all intents and purposes, it's finished. And we have the bassinet set up in my room, so that's ready to go too.

*Mini-Update: We had our last check up this afternoon. Elora is still breech, so we are still on for the cesarean on the 23rd, but we both checked out as perfectly healthy! Yay!

Also, I've done some more playing with Photo Shop Elements. (Can't you tell?) I'm still doing only what I've been able to figure out for myself, so it's nothing spectacular. I need to find out where people are getting those awesome backgrounds and embellishments and such...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Amazing Husband

Because I only work part time and I know that he works hard (sometimes for 10 or 11 hours a day) I rarely ask Brandon for help with things around the house. But since our new addition is going to be here in only a week, I kind of hit the panic button about getting everything ready... not just in the nursery, but the whole house. After all, we're both going to have better things to do than to clean the floors. The hitch was that I'm rather limited in what I can do at the moment (also because Elora's arrival is so close) and so I appealed to Bran for help. He didn't really understand my sense of urgency, but he was willing to help anyway, just because I asked him to. In the past several days, he has:

*Helped me cook dinner, every night. In fact, last night, he did everything except cut up the tomatoes so that I could wash dishes. (our dish washer just went kaput, so I had a full load's worth to hand wash.) Then, he thanked me for dinner.

*Taken me baby-shopping, and waited patiently with out even a single complaint while I changed my mind 4 millions times.

*Helped me to arrange and decorate the nursery, which included moving furniture, carting boxes up and down the stairs, and hanging things on the wall.

*Swept or vacuumed, and then mopped the entire house.

*Helped me bake chocolate chip cookies. (Ok, this one was just for fun, but it was still awesome! He is so much fun to cook with, and it was just as much fun to bake with him.)

*Cleaned out the litter box.

And, finally:

*He took the old nail polish off of my toe nails, and then trimmed and filed them for me. Because I can see my toes, or I can touch my toes, but I can't do both. He's such an amazing husband--whatever did I do to deserve him?-- and he's going to be an amazing father. Really, what more could a girl ask for?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Baby Shower...#3!!

Holy cow, my baby shower on Monday was awesome!! Thank you so much to Mary and Jennifer, for putting it all together and to everyone else for being there and making it wonderful. There were so many great pictures! Kara and Kelly did a fantastic job as my official photographers, thank you! Between the two cameras, I had about 300 photos! I pared them down to just over 100, and got them posted to Photobucket. I could sit here all day to tell you about how incredible a time it was, but it would be better if you just went to see for your self. The food was tasty, the games were fun, the gifts were amazing, and a good time was had by all. Thanks you guys, you rock. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

How Lucky Am I?

Yesterday, Brandon and I went to a shower thrown for us by the wife of his division officer. It was a blast! It had all the traditional elements: games, presents, lots of baby related talk. Actually, I felt kind of bad, because Brandon and I we won half the games we played. I mean, why should we get any of the prizes, when we already had a table full of baby gifts? But Jen, the hostess, insisted and no one seemed to mind. And, it was fun to play. Anyway, in addition to all the normal stuff, it was a co-ed shower, so it also had all the elements of a good old fashioned party. You know, lots of food, a few cases of good German beer, a nice selection of mixed drinks... But nothing too crazy. There were a few kids there, after all. It was cute... for the most part, the two little girls played together, and the two boys ganged up on Brandon, because they know that Brandon will actually play and rough house with them. Really, we need to have a little boy next time, because Brandon definitely needs a boy to play with. ^_^

So, how lucky am I? My family put together a baby shower for me while I was back home in January, Brandon's co-workers held a shower for us yesterday, and my friends at work are hosting one for me tomorrow! We are incredibly blessed to have so many people who care about us. And Elora is already one spoiled little girl. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Coming to the End...and the Beginning

It's hard to believe that I'm into the last month of the last trimester, but it's true. We are both healthy, and for the most part, things are as they should be. I am as big as a house, or I feel that way anyway. Big and clumsy, like a beached whale. I'm up to 152 lbs, but it's still all in my belly, so I really can't complain. The doctor tells me that everything is good: my weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and iron levels, and who knows what else. It's all good. All the things I'm feeling--achy back, swollen feet, fatigue-- are perfectly normal for a woman in her last month of pregnancy, and I'd say I've got it good. Especially that since now Brandon is home from Virginia (yay!) I have someone to help me put on my shoes and rub my back. :) Still, I'm certainly feeling ready for Elora to make her appearance, and to move on to the next stage.

Elora herself is getting big too. She's up to nearly 6 lbs, according to the sonogram calculations. She's just about out of room in there... I can feel every little move she makes. I feel her squirming all the time, so I think I must even be feeling her twitch in her sleep!

The only hiccup is that she is still breech, and because she is so big, it isn't likely that she will be turning sometime in the next few weeks. So, Dr Krauss has recommended that we deliver by scheduled cesarean instead of waiting for me to go into labor on my own, and Dr. Mayer at the hospital agrees with him. I'm not too excited about this, but they have both assured me that this is what will be safest for me and Elora both. I'd kind of expected that I would need to deliver by cesarean, so I was prepared for that much at least, but I hadn't anticipated that they would want to go ahead and schedule it. I guess I'd been thinking that they would just do it, when I went into labor. But they would like to avoid an "emergency" cesarean, so we have scheduled it for about 2 weeks prior to my due date in the hope that I will not go into "spontaneous labor" before then. Monday, March 23 is the magic day; a few days earlier would be too soon, and a few days later is cutting it too close to my due date. They've asked me to go in mid-afternoon on Sunday, they will deliver Elora early the next morning, and Dr. Mayer said I can expect to be sent home on Friday or Saturday. I will be awake for the procedure, and they will allow Brandon to be in the room with me. Thank goodness! It'll be such a relief to have him by my side, holding my hand. And, they don't have an all-cesarean-babies-go-immediately-to-ICU policy, so (if all is as it should be) I will still get to hold her right away.

It's a pretty scary prospect. For all that it will be much faster, and will allow me to bypass the wait-and-see anxiety of waiting to go into labor and the pain of labor itself, and will be a less stressful transition for Elora, the operation is scarier to me than natural childbirth. Perhaps because my body was designed to accommodate that sort of delivery, but not to be cut openn. Even expecting it as I was, it seems both more imminent and more final, to have it penciled in my calendar. And I'm feeling a bit short-changed, as if I'm going to miss some element of the experience that should rightfully be mine. But, I'm smart enough to realize that unless she turns (which is highly doubtful) this is the best thing for both of us. That is the most important thing, and my fears frustrations and disappointment pale by comparison. I still feel all of those things (I think I would be crazy not to!) but they are tempered by the knowledge that this is what's best for my baby.

So, there you have it folks! Bran and I will be proud new parents, just 3 short weeks from now. I have one more check up between now and then, but I don't think I'll be doing another update unless there us something big to share. The next baby post, then, will probably be a birth announcement. Crazy, huh?