Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Half-Birthday Eliza

My princess is 6 months today! How did that happen?

Sweet Eliza, my how you've changed this past month! You got your 4 month shots a bit late because of our trip to the states but they didn't bother to weigh or measure you so I'm dying to know where you are in this. A few nights before we left the states, I stood on a scale and then held you and you roughly weighed 18lbs. Since then, you've started on solids and have been gobbling up the food! We have tried pretty much everything and you've loved it all. The only thing that has made you make a face, and a little one at that, was papaya but you still finished it. The only food that seemed to upset you a bit is peaches but there were a few other things going on... like teething, to know for sure if that was the problem.

You've been gnawing on everything and on Sept 20th, your first tooth popped through. I jokingly told Daddy that I hope the next one came in quickly because I thought you'd look funny with one and sure enough, 2 days later.. number 2 poked through. Now the sleepless nights and fussy days all make sense.

You've begun sitting up on your own early in the month and are getting stronger but you're still a bit wobbly. Just today I noticed a big difference in your sitting.

You've enjoyed being on your tummy quite a bit and last week you began getting into the crawling position. Daddy said you'd be crawling by the end of the weekend... and he wasn't too far off. On Tuesday, (the 28th), you crawled a few steps! You are now in the crawling position trying to gain balance on your toes. I'm afraid you are going to keep me busy!

You continue to suck your thumb but only when you're tired.

You are a very pleasant baby, very laid back and relaxed. Nothing seems to bother you too much... and everyone comments on how good you are.

You're smiles are heartbreaking, your giggles priceless....

You are well loved. Isaiah can't give you enough hugs and kisses but he does like to pick on you a bit. I give you full permission to tackle him when you are big enough. Isabella adores you as well and loves to carry you. You warm Daddy's heart with a smile every time you see him. Everyone loves your rolls, your beautiful eyes.

What I wouldn't give to bottle you up right now and keep you this way but I know God has exciting plans for you. I love you Princess!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy 2 Months!!!

My sweet Eliza....

2 months have already passed and we fall more in love with you as each second passes. What a blessing and constant reminder of God's love.

You are growing like a weed... at your appointment (which was at 9 weeks) you weighed 6.52Kilos! That's almost 15lbs! And your length was 56cm (about 22 inches) though I'm not convinced that's exactly correct. You are in the 97% for weight and average for height. There's no question if you are eating well and I think the rolls on you are adorable.
You are still waking at least 2 times a night which has been a struggle for me but at least I know you are healthy and growing. You eat on a 2 1/2 to 3 hr schedule and are awake for about 45-60 minutes total. You still eat quite fast, about 15 minutes... sometimes 20 if you've slept longer.
You started to smile at 7 weeks and cooing at 5. You are very happy and content. You don't require much attention though you love to be held, cuddled and talked too. You love your swing and can easily sleep a full nap in it.
You're a bit unsure of the snuggli and your brothers hugs. You do not like to be swaddled... I gave that up pretty early on but you do enjoy your bathtime.
You are still adored by your siblings and I'm so grateful for that and how they've responded to you. I pray you will be the best of friends as you grow up.
I'm still stunned by your dark hair. I remember preparing for your birth... I made the other two Big Sister/Brother t-shirts with them and a little blonde haired girl in them and bought a Sleeping Beauty doll because she had blonde hair and here you came with brown hair. I love it though because I don't get a million questions of 'where'd the blonde hair come from?' and people actually say you resemble me.
I know this month will fly by so I'm trying to take it all in and remember every sweet thing about you. I love you Princess E!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Today was a very special day... not only was it Mother's Day and I'm so thankful for the 3 sweet blessings that allow me to celebrate this day, we also dedicated Eliza Hope.

Pastor Mark asked if I would share a condensed version of her birth story, a testimony of God at work, and this is what I shared:

***When I think about all the events and details that went into Eliza's birth, I'm reminded of how truly amazing our God is and what a blessing it is to be His child and serve Him. We chose her name because of it's meaning, Eliza Hope which means "My God IS, Hope" and that meaning is what got me through a very tramatic labour and delivery.

My labour and delivery went extremely fast and as quickly as the excitement built in knowing 'this was it'... arriving at the hospital led us into a quick spiral of fear and uncertainity.

It wasn't long after I had been admitted that I thought I'd lost Eliza. I thought I would be leaving the hosptial having given birth but no baby to take home. But in the midst of this fear came an unbelievable sense of peace, that could only come from God. I was reminded that God had given us her, that He had given us her name and that He would protect her... in my mind I thought how could He not with that name?

After being confident that God was watching over her, I thought that it was me that was on my way to meet Jesus. I remember everything going very fuzzy and then seeing Isabella and Isaiah with Mike and thinking, "I'm going to meet Jesus. I love them very much but know they will be well taken care of." And just like that, I again felt an overwhelming peace about death and an excitement about meeting Jesus face to face... something that has always been a bit of a struggle for me.

And then I felt a slap on my face and realized this was reality and I had just given birth without any real recollection of it. I was congratulated on a job well done and told how I saved myself from having surgery. I was still a bit grogy and trying to figure out all that had gone on but I knew that God was there and that He had been with me through it all. I've never felt so loved by Him, I've never know peace like I did in those moments, and I've never been more confident that our God provides Hope and that He IS and always will be.

After the fact, I was able to see His hand in many of the smaller things. Having my family insist that I call Emelda for wisdom on when I should go to the hospital. If I had waited much longer, it could have been much worse. The fact that my labour and delivery happened so fast saved me from having to have a c-section and gave me the desire of my heart: a natural delivery without an epidural. And a little thing on top of that, I had a terrible cough that I could only imagine how painful it would have made a c-section recovery. Having Tim show up in the operating hall, I knew that God was not just watching over us girls but Mike as well as Tim was able to keep Mike updated on what was going on. Reading Eliza's discharge papers and seeing that her Apgar score at 1 minute after birth was a 9.... I still think that's amazing considering she was under fetal distress and born with the help of a vacuum.

I've been a Christ follower for 11 years and I've always understood that God is alive and at work today. I've always known that He provides Hope. But the birth of Eliza is a daily reminder of His hope. And in choosing her name, our prayer is that she will be one who brings the Hope of Christ to others. Little did we know that her birth story would be such a testimony to the truth of what her name means.***

After church we came home and rested and in the evening we had our usual, relaxing Sunday evening... friends over for dinner and a movie. The kids were in heaven having Auntie Frances, Becky and Arthur to play with. I enjoyed the wonderful dinner Mike cooked for us... amazing steak and baked potatoes! And Mike surprised with me some foot scrub and lotion (from the kids) for 'making me run after them so much.' (I thought this was clever.) And by telling me he ordered a necklace I've had my eye on for months now. It's a beautiful hand stamped necklace... 3 circles with 3 different Chinese lanterns and each one with a child's name on it. I can't wait until it arrives!

There is nothing greater or more fulfilling to me that being a Mom. The hugs, the smiles, the pitter patter of little feet.... Not every day is easy and there are many challenges along the road but it's so rewarding to see your child develop and grow, learn something new... see them blossom. I never knew such little people could bring such great joy and now I have 3... I'm spoiled!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

One Month

Children grow up way, way too fast....

Princess E is one month already. Where has this last month gone? I've surprisingly not felt sleep deprived and have enjoyed her first month, though there may have been a few nights where I wanted to pull my hair out.

I still look at her in awe... I'm still amazed by her brown hair... I'm still constantly reminded how blessed I am by this surprise gift and how she has changed my view and relationship with God. I will always look at her and think "My God IS" and not simply because that's what her name means.

This month has just flown by and I can't get over how much you've changed, how much you've grown, how strong you are getting and how fast you eat!

You are a very efficient nurser, taking at the most 25 minutes to eat though this past week, you've finished in about 10-15 minutes. What a blessing in the middle of the night! You eat every 2.5/3 hours and were very consistent even at night until the past two weeks where you've stretched your nighttime feeds to about 4/5 hours. You go to sleep quite early, around 9 or 9:30.... something I'm trying to change right now. And you're wake-up time is 7:30/8am. I don't know how much weight you've gained but I do know that you are approximately 24inches now. Unfortunately, they don't measure length at the hosptial here so I don't know how long you were when you were born.

You are very strong and curious. You are holding your head quite well and always looking around. You can stay awake and alert for quite some time unless we put in your crib... the only way we can quarantee a good sleep for you. You tend to fuss a bit, especially the later evening naps, but it's not too long before you are asleep and you do not like to be swaddled.

You do enjoy the swing and love to be held... though there are only two people who can seem to keep you sleeping for lenghy periods if being held... Uncle Tom and Natalie.

I still don't know who you look like... the brown hair still baffles me. I see a bit of Isabella when you are awake and a bit of Isaiah when you're sleeping. As far as Daddy or me.... I don't really know.

You're a doll.... loved by so many. You are blessed to have a sister and brother who adore you... Izzy loves to hold, talk to and kiss you. Isaiah loves to rub your head, give you kisses and most recently he's taking a liking to holding you too.

You are loved... my Princess E.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

2 Weeks

Eliza is now 2 weeks old, though by looking at her... many think she is at least that many months. I still find her quite small and though just a few ounces smaller than Isaiah was, she seems so much tinier. She doesn't have the rolls upon rolls on her legs and arms... just a big belly and multiple chins. :)

This week we've fallen more into a routine and shedule and therefore has been much more enjoyable. She eats about every 3hrs on the dot though in the evenings, I try to feed her about every 2.5 in hopes that maybe she'll sleep a bit longer in the evenings. She's given us one night of 5hours sleep but most nights it's still 3hrs and occassionally 3.5.

She is becoming more and more alert and when her eyes are open, she reminds me so much of Isabella. She's holding her head up for short amounts of time and when laying on her belly, she loves to look around. We've discovered that she doesn't like to be swaddled and when held, she holds her one arm up by her face.. just like Isabella did. One way she is totally different is that she burps incredibly well. Basically all you have to do is sit her up and out one comes. I'm terrible at burping babies so this has been such a blessing.
She is still adored by her siblings. Isabella jumps at any chance to hold her but Isaiah still seems a bit unaware of her... though he is does get curious when she cries or makes a sound.
She had her first major outing on Saturday for Isabella's Showtime performance. She did really well and was pretty alert for the whole performance. Isabella was quite proud to show off her sister and I think it meant a lot to her that Eliza was there. She had her follow up appointment at Ma On Shan clinic and they couldn't believe she was just 10 days old. She's gaining weight and slightly jaundiced but nothing to be concerned about. So no need to see a Dr again until 2 months!
It's been a long and yet short 2 weeks but I wouldn't change it for the world. We are very blessed!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Eliza's 1 Week Old

What an emotional week it's been but I've been reminded over and over of God's great love, compassion and care for not only me but my family and I'm continually awed by His grace and mercy and blessed by the hope that we find in Him.

Eliza you're one week and we can already get a sense of who God has created you to be. We know you're a fighter, you're curious and strong, beautiful and a delight. Similar to Isabella in some ways and in other ways, like Isaiah.

You're way more alert than Isaiah was... we've seen your beautiful blue eyes for minutes at a time. You're already beginning to hold your head up on your own, something Isabella did very early on as well. You're a pretty good sleeper as was Isaiah but not always the best nurser... similar to Isabella. You love to be held and like to sleep on your tummy too (though I'm only comfortable doing that during the day) as did both your siblings. You're darker skinned like Izzy but where did the dark hair come from? That was quite the shocker for Daddy and I.

Because you were started on formula, nursing has been a bit of a challenge but I feel that these past two days, we've established a routine that seems to work. I was concerned about you being jaundiced so was trying to feed you every 2 to 2 1/2 hours but you were just too sleepy. We've adjusted that to every 3hrs and you seem to do much better. You're pretty consisent throughout the day and night, though I dream of the day you'll give me a few more consecutive hours of rest like Isaiah did early on.

You are absolutely adored by your siblings. Izzy hates to leave you and wants to hold you all the time. Isaiah is still a bit unaware of what's going on though when you make noises or cry, he's always looking out for you and wanting to rub your head.

It's been an amazing week and I thank God everyday for you...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ENT Update

Last Friday, I had a much anticipated ENT appointment. The previous one occurred when I was in my early 2nd trimester with Isaiah and that's when they agreed to test for my balance/motion sickness issues. Though they wouldn't allow for testing until after I had him and it turned out that I didn't get tested until this past September. The testing reported all things normal and the way public health goes here.... if there's not something serious, you basically get put at the back of the line which is why it's Feb and I'm just now seeing the Dr about the results.

So I walk into the appointment and the Dr has this dumbstruck look on his face and the first words out of his mouth are, "You haven't given birth yet?" I think he was a bit confused until he looked at his computer and realized that it has been almost 2yrs since I last saw him. He begins to discuss my results and tells me that I struggle with motion sickness and that I need to take medicine and look out the window more when in vehicles. I looked at him and politely said that I do those things, that I have tried everything ever suggested and that it's not a simple case of motion sickness when I can't be in a room with blinds, when even a quick motion with my head makes me nauseous, or when a simple moving of my glasses causes me to stop in my tracks. I don't think he agreed with me but was willing to make me happy and sent me down to physiotherapy for an evaluation, with the warning that again I would get put on the waiting list and probably wouldn't get in until May or June.

So I must praise God for this... an answer to prayer! It just goes to show that God does answer prayer but not necessarily in your timing. (I've been praying about this for almost 2yrs now) But anyway.... I went down to phsyio and met with a man to discuss my issues and the treatment I've had before. He was a bit more concerned (saying it could be a bit more serious and related to the brain rather than inner ear) and hooked me up with an appointment 'before the new year!'

Today I went in for my evaluation and the lady was wonderful. She did some basic tests and agreed that I would need more than standing up/laying down training. She said we'd have at least 10 sessions and then go from there. But she is also concerned about doing too much while I'm pregnant because she doesn't want me to lose balance and fall or anything like that. So I'm starting with two basic exercises at home for 2 weeks and then I will see her again and schedule future appointments.

I'm SO excited! Just the thought of riding the bus into town without the need to throw up is very exciting. I must thank everyone for their prayers and would ask that you would continue to pray that these sessions will be as effective as they were in the past.