Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2 years, 2 months, 2 days

My sweet Addy-belle:
These are my 2 favorites of her 2-year pics that Aaron Yung took. He is amazingly patient and creative, and you middle Tennesseans should definitely think about using him!

Addison has had a wild start to being a 2-year-old. With a baby sister in the house, she has had to adjust quickly. She is a very sweet big sis, always making sure that Ansley has her pacie, her blanket, her lovey, her monkey... She is very into playing in her kitchen, dressing her Mr. Potato head family, coloring and drawing, baking with her play dough, and taking care of her dolls. Dora is her favorite doll, and it's not uncommon for her to nurse Dora and call her "sweetheart" and scold her "Dora Michelle Meek!" (Her cuz is Savannah Michelle Meek.) She is embracing her holiday season with her elf on the shelf "Bubba" and her Little People nativity scene.

We love our Addy-belle and are thankful for our happy little girl!

Monday, November 29, 2010

1 month already?

Can't believe that Ansley is already 1 month old! This season is flying by. Like we did with her sister, we documented the event last night propped up on her boppy. She was nodding off, so this picture was the best we could do, and she looks so serious. :)

This was literally one second later:
Ansley's first month has been an eventful one. She celebrated her first holiday--Halloween--in the hospital and her second--Thanksgiving--last week at Jaydee's. We went from having an extended hospital stay for jaundice to holding our breaths for a week as she had to be retested for PKU. Getting that letter from the health department saying she had received a questionable result began a week long faith journey of humility--as everything was beyond my control. Thankfully we celebrated good results the following Friday thanks to the resilience of my husband. He called the health department inquiring about her test results so many times he was on a first-name basis with them.

Through those events, we have been intentional about falling in love with our Ansley (even more than we were naturally doing), studying her, soaking in the blessing of her. She is a good eater and eats 6-7 times a day. During the day, I feed her every 3 hours, and at night she gives me 4-6 hour stretches. Patrick and I have dubbed her our "rock star" on those 6.5 hour nights that she's blessed us with.

She LOVES to curl up on our shoulder and sleep. She has found her thumb. She gets really mad when she has too poop--usually about an hour before she eats. She loves the Christmas lights. If her real smile is anything like her gas bubble smile, it's going to be absolutely beautiful!

Her legs are already longer than some of her 3 month pants, and she is filling out everywhere. She was up to 7 pounds and 14 ounces when she was 10 days old, so she's growing like a weed.

All three of us love our Ansley girl more every day, and she has rounded out our family of four!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I missed Halloween...

but thankfully my little Minnie Mouse didn't.

I'm so thankful that we had a Halloween Dress Rehearsal, so I could see my little girl in action. Her practice phrase came out like this: "Trick or Treat. Give me some candles, please!" She got to trick-or-treat with her friends at school thanks to Nana and Pop. Daddy took her to our church's trunk or treat, and she even came up and trick-or-treated at my hospital room.

In this picture, she is "smiling like the pumpkin" next to her. This is one of her favorite faces that she came up with all on her own, and it has also become our ploy for more effectively brushing her teeth!
We also had another sweet little treat, and even though she was being ushered in and out ever-so-quickly, we managed to snap this!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bear's Birthday Party... and the greatest coincidence of my life

Last night we celebrated Bear's birthday. We had a football party, ate football food, sat on football blankets, cheered for our team(s), and it was all super fun. Here is Bear with his grandchildren:Mommy with her girls:
Wardrobe change for the UA game, and Daddy with his girls:
So, now for my coincidence... My dear friend, colleague, literature lover, Conroy-worshipper-fan, Kris, sent me an NPR article about Pat Conroy's new book, My Reading Life. Turns out that his daughter's name is Susanna Ansley... Who knew? I already wrote about her middle name Carolina being chosen for my (and Patrick's) love for the states, the influence and memories that we have from there. Reading Conroy while living there was a big part of that developed love, and now, this! I almost jumped out of my skin with giddiness when I found out. Thanks, Kris!

Friday, November 05, 2010

First few days at home

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Pictures to go with our story below

Last outing as a family of 3. J Alexanders, YUMMY!

Welcome to the world, sweetie!
First photos with Daddy!
Big Sister and Little Sister meeting for the first time and swapping their build-a-bears.
Halloween as they were wheeling her out back to the bilirubin lights... Didn't want to miss her first Halloween without a festive picture--even though we just wish we had been home with her.

Finally... bringing our sweetie home!
SO excited for her sis to be home!

First night home--so relieved! More pics to come soon.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

She's here! Meet Ansley Carolina Crawford

Hey guys! I'm a little late sending this news out, and I know some of you have already heard through the grapevine or seen on facebook, but I wanted to let you know our news!


October 28. 2010

7 pounds, 9 ounces
20.25 inches
12:50 p.m.

Here is my story of how she came to be... and our first few days with her.

She surprised us with an early arrival--11 days before her due date, and 1 week before her scheduled c-section. Little girl decided that she liked October better than November. :) Monday night in the middle of the night, I began having contractions--only I didn't know they were contractions because I never labored with Addison. I thought they were "poop pains..." I know, I know... I did begin to notice that their "waves" were about 10 minutes apart, but I was certain that if I could just use the bathroom, they would go away. After a sleepless night, I got up, went to the bathroom again, and lost my mucous plug. Again, something that I hadn't experienced with Addison. So, after calling my mom, I called my doctor, and he did not seem too concerned; he said that some women lose that weeks before they go into labor. I confessed my confusion with identifying gastro-intestinal pain and contractions, and he described contractions as being exactly like what I was feeling...

So, I did what any normal almost full-term pregnant person would do. I went to work. Yes, I am crazy and, yes, I spent all day timing the length of and between contractions amidst "teaching" and getting my room and lesson plans ready. The heightened 6-7 minute apart, 60-second contractions began right during the tornado warning that sent the entire school into the hallways. My friends abandoned their students they were responsible for to check on me. I was laughing--still not certain that I was REALLY experiencing labor pains.

Thankfully, my mom and my mom friends convinced me to go to the doctor, and after sitting with me through 3 of my now 5-minute-apart contractions, he went to call the Labor and Delivery OR and found out that they were booked solid. (Seems that the full moon weekend and stormy weather was causing all kinds of women to go into labor.) So, he gave me medicine to try to stop my contractions and put off my c-section until Thursday. (He also forbid me from working on Wednesday.) By this time, they were becoming increasingly painful, and I was not sure the medicine was working. It finally kicked in during dinner with my family, and I was able to spend Wednesday with Addison, soaking in good time with her and preparing for sweet Ansley's arrival. Wednesday night we celebrated out last dinner as a family of three and "tried" to get some sleep.

After dropping Addison off at school on Thursday, Patrick and I headed to the hospital to check in at 9:30. Then we hurried up and waited. My surgery took place at 12:30, and surreal and nerve-wracking as ever, I still got to meet my newest little girl at 12:50 and hold her in my arms only moments later. She came into this world swallowing some meconium (kind of like her mommy did), but after it suctioned out, her cry was oh, so sweet. She stayed with me through being stiched back up and my 2-hour recovery. They even gave her her 1st bath in my room--something I had to miss with Addison.

We had a wonderful meeting of the sisters, a wonderful 1st family of 4 meeting, and a jam-packed Friday full of visitors. She was sweetly sleeping and eating and purring, and all was well--even though each of us had sneaking suspicions that her skin was turning yellow.

Saturday morning, when the pediatricians did their rounds, we found out that our little girl had dangerously high levels of bilirubin in her blood, would spend the next several days under ultraviolet lights, and there was no guarantee when we could go home. While jaundice is common, nothing about her levels were common. This reality hit me like a ton of bricks and knocked the breath right out of my. For the next 24 hours the only time I saw her was to nurse her every 3 hours for 30 minutes tops. I met with lactaction nurses to come up with a plan for speed nursing, borrowed a hospital pump, and prayed my heart out every time they wheeled her away. Patrick and I were able to go sit with her while in her "tanning" bed. We would hold her hands and talk to her, but she had shields over her eyes, and it was so hard. I don't know if I've ever cried or prayed more in my life. In the middle of the night, her nurse was so encouraging, and even though I didn't want to, I got my hopes up. The next morning, we learned that her levels had dropped, but only slightly... Another day under the lights with no end in sight. This day was even harder, but we just kept on... Patrick and I crawled in my hospital bet together, cried our eyes out and then prayed our hearts out for our little girl who we were missing so terribly. We did the same night, and Patrick, said through tears, "God, I just beg you... I need to take my girls home." Monday morning, we were met with good news. Her levels had significantly dropped, and while she needed to stay under the lights for another 7-8 hours, we would be able to take our girl home that afternoon. It was truly one of the most relieving, thankful, joyous moments of my life.

We are home! We had to go back to the pediatrician's office today, but her levels have dropped even more and we are REALLY home now. Praise God.

This was such a different experience.I feel like I missed 2 and a half days of her life. I don't have nearly as many pictures. I missed by big girl something crazy and ached for my little girl like I could not have imagined. Our reunion has been sweet.

Last night and today have been spent cuddling and getting to know my little precious Ansley girl--and making up for lack of pictures. She looks so much like her big sister with sweet little characteristics that are all her own. She has beautiful dainty little feet with "finger toes." She has LONG legs and sweet sleep noises and funny faces when she poops. She gets the hiccups and doesn't like to have her diaper changed. She has bright beautiful eyes. She furrows her brow and already "smiles" in her sleep. I am in love times 2, and my daughters have become even more precious to me as I have had time to reflect and pray.

Thank you, God, for my Ansley Carolina completing this family of 4 in such a special way.

More pictures to come--promise!