Sunday, March 21, 2010

Finally a New Post

First, in case you forgot, we had to give you a picture of what pure excitement looks like.

We uploaded some new photos to the photo site so click the link to the left and view our new photos. One of the new albums is from a recent photo shoot the Emma had with a professional photographer. So you can order some prints if you would like. They have some great gift ideas and several framed photos or print sizes to choose from.

We also setup a new account on Vimeo for all of our videos. You can click here and bookmark the link or you can always check the left-hand navigation on this blog for the latest videos. The password for our album is 'emmastar' and you don't have to sign up for an account to view our videos.

Finally, if you would like your email added to our blog update list then email Katie or James and let them know. Once we add you to the list you will receive an email when our blog is updated so that you can come check out the changes.

Happy viewing!
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Friday, November 13, 2009


For our sweet Emma Star: The Story of Your Birth

October 30, 2009

Dear Little One,

Your journey into this world began on October 12th ... according to mommy :) That day I started having contractions and was convinced that you were coming that night. Your dad and I were babysitting the Lewis kiddos, while their mom and dad went to a concert, and after putting them to bed, I left your dad to keep watch over them while I came home, washed my hair, and started gathering our hospital bags together. We even made this silly little video ...

3 WEEKS LATER, after regularly having irregular contractions for what seemed like forever, we found ourselves having dinner with your Grama and Grampa Shotts. I had cooked Mimi's Sunday roast recipe for the first time ever (which happens to be the magic meal to induce labor for both me and your Aunt Ann) and after packing up the food and cleaning the kitchen, I got in bed, while your dad went into the study to watch Game 3 of the World Series. It was almost 10:00pm and as I laid there completely relaxed, I felt a little "pop." I was so perplexed about what I'd felt ... thinking maybe it was gas (??) but it sure didn't feel like any gas I'd ever experienced before. After 2 or 3 minutes of laying there wondering what was going on, you gave a big kick and I realized it was my water breaking! I called out for your dad and rushed to the bathroom and started shaking with excitement ... the day was finally here!! I knew without a doubt that we would get to meet you in less than 24 hours and I couldn't contain my excitement! After getting all ready to go (amazingly I had just washed my hair that night ... woohoo!), visiting with Allison ...

and packing up the car, dad and I laid in bed together and tried to relax to determine how far apart the contractions were. They were about 6 minutes apart, so after calling Brittany, my sweet doula, we left for the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 12:30 and were checked in by Kyle, our first nurse. We walked the halls and the contractions started coming on stronger. Around 2 or 3am, they really started to hurt! So I decided I would try and lay back in bed to relax in between as much as possible and Brittany and your dad got to sleep for a little bit.

3 or 4 hours later, the second nurse shift began and we met Kathy, the WONDERFUL nurse that delivered you. The contractions were stronger at this point and Kathy was truly an angel sent in answer to so many prayers we had offered up weeks before for a good, supportive nurse to be with us for delivery. She and Brittany (and James :) helped make me more comfortable, made sure you were facing in the right direction, and helped me stay on top of each of the contractions.

Just a quick word about the contractions. So many things are going through my head at this point, the first being ... WHY did I opt out of an epidural again??? But the question barely formed in my head before I was met with overwhelming peace and comfort from our sweet God who is SO faithful to provide when we ask. Yes, the contractions were strong! But they were only 1 minute long! Just long enough to do their job, then it was over and I was miraculously able to COMPLETELY relax in between each of them. Always remember 1 Corinthians 10:13 - "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear." Your dad had made me a playlist on the Ipod of praise and worship songs ... this was encouraging beyond belief! Worshiping through this swept me away from the struggle more than anything else could have. I think it was God's way of carrying me through this time.

After I'd gotten up to go to bathroom for the last time, I decided to stand for a little bit. And then it came ... this "urge to push" ... I'd read about it so many times and no written words can quite do justice to describing the enormous force of nature that this feels like! So many times during pregnancy, I wondered ... "how did cave women do this without doctors telling them when/how to push?" What a silly question. This feeling is crazy and intense and scary and beautiful all at the same time ... I felt SO blessed to get to feel it! So we got back up in bed, the nurse called the doctor and when she arrived a few minutes later, the pushing started.

This time was really strange and completely different from the intensity of the contractions. The contractions happened TO me ... I really had no control over how often or strong they came. But in a way, I was in charge of the pushing. I was much more involved in this process, trying to make each push as fruitful as possible. It was during this time that my mind went to running. The last 4 miles of that first marathon I did with your aunt ... or finishing a long run one Saturday that was particularly hard. These memories helped so much, in addition to focusing on the music that was playing. Even though I didn't have any drugs in me, I am convinced that the Lord blessed me with some natural narcotics during this time. Maybe endorphins or adrenaline (??) but strangely, the 45 minutes of pushing is like a blur to me now. I remember your dad's strong voice telling me over and over "you are doing so good ... keep going ... you can do it!" I remember Brittany telling me ... "this is it ... she's almost here!" The only clear image I have during this time was Dr. Kindrick's face, covered with this silly looking face mask as she told me, "on this next one, I need you to push harder but relax more." ... I remember that not really making ANY sort of sense to me at the time :) But luckily I had Brittany to follow that with a little better instructions on how that was supposed to happen. At one point, after a big long push, I even felt you retreat back a little and was so sad! But kept on pushing. Just before we heard your first sweet cry, the song "Glorious Day" was playing. And what a GLORIOUS DAY it was as your little head popped out and we heard your voice for the first time.

As you laid there on my chest, all purple and covered in gunk, you opened your eyes and we saw each other face to face for the first time. You'd not yet told me you love me or obeyed me when I spoke or told me what a great mom I was ... actually, all you had done at that point is caused me a great deal of pain! But I was so sick with love for you that it felt like someone had punched me in the gut and I would never recover.

What an incredible blessing - to experience this moment, just a taste of the way our Heavenly Father loves us.
Your dad and I held you and kissed you and reluctantly let go of you so they could clean you off and start poking around on you to make sure you were okay.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Back to Sleep ...

I woke up about an hour ago (1 or 1:30am) and couldn't go back to sleep ... partially because I have an extremely itchy mosquito bite right on my very LARGE pregnant belly ... but also b/c I was feeling so burdened by the thought of the physical pain that I know is headed my way in just a few weeks. I've read several books on childbirth and I stop to "interview" all the mom's I know on what their experience was like, how they dealt with pain, etc. Women have been doing this since the beginning of time, so what is the big deal? Even my own mother and husband who know me so well seem so confident that I will deal with it just fine ... but even so ... in the quiet of the night when I don't have other things to occupy my thoughts, the fear starts to creep in. After an hour of sitting at the computer, reading facebook, blog posts, and even googleing "childbirth pain" :) ... still very restless. The clock is ticking and with every 15 minutes that passes I am thinking, "I really need to get back to sleep or tomorrow I will be worthless!"

Then I stumble across a blog post ( ... that leads me to looking up a scripture ... which leads to another scripture ... and in just minutes I am filled with comfort from head to toe, finger tip to finger tip, by the promises of my Creator ... the one who REALLY knows me (and happens to already know exactly what that day will be like).

"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering."
Hebrews 2:10

So if Christ was made perfect through suffering, and I want to be like Christ, why would I fear any kind of suffering? Could it be, that this day is not just the beginning of a precious new life, but an opportunity for a new mom to join with Christ in suffering in order to experience the perfect plan of our Creator? Could it be, that I might actually feel excitement for this kind of suffering? (OK - not completely at THAT point just yet :)

Father, Creator ... thank you so much for the comforting promises of your word ... like a Father does for his child - when we call out, you always provide exactly what we need.

"For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."
Psalm 30:5

Back to sleep ...

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pre-Baby Motivation

Isn't it amazing that in the 6-12 weeks prior to a couple's first child being born, you experience motivation unlike any other time in your life to FINALLY do all of the things that you've been just talking about doing since the beginning of time! Some call it nesting ... I call it a gift from God who knows us even better than we know ourselves and realizes we need a little fire under our butts (sorry mom) to get moving and finally finish all those unfinished projects! Not that I can take credit. While I have been slaving away with designing a new blog :); my sweet husband has been slaving over power tools, doing the REAL work. Here is a list of all the things we have been able to accomplish in the last month(s):

1. Building a super-cool enclosed outdoor litter box for our cats, Abner and Freckles; complete with swinging door to inside the house for easy access and a hinged lid with handle for easy cleaning. So now all the kitty litter will be tracked off outside the house on their way back in so that sweet baby girl is not crawling around in litter! Way to go hubby!!

2. Painting and installing bead-board in the nursery.

3. "Elfa-ing" the baby's semi-walk-in closet.

4. Re-doing the baby's bathroom, including painting walls, cabinets, new toilet and accessories.

5. Kitchen make-over, including a new microwave installed over the stove, re-painting kitchen cabinets, a new kitchen table, new accessories, and other re-organizing.

6. Buying a new (used) family car!!

7. Putting together a long-term financial plan.

... and last but not least ...

8. Starting a new family blog!!

We still have not officially arrived at "completion" on all of these projects, but we are pretty darn close and still have 6 weeks before Emma is here!

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