Saturday, March 17, 2012

First Holiday

Today is St. Patrick's Day and officially Gabbie's first real holiday.  We didn't do anything, but stay at home today, but of course I had to get her a little outfit in honor of her first holiday.  She looked so cute to say the least.  Her Aunt Fran made her the matching hairbow.  I do have to say how impressed I was that she let me set her up like this for these pictures and didn't throw a fit.  She is definitely getting stronger with everyday.

I love this one!!!

Tomorrow we are going to have her pictures taken with her cousins in their matching Easter dresses.  I can't wait to see how cute these pictures turn out.  Gabbie is going to swim in her dress, but we will make it work.  :)

2 Week Dr's Appt

On March 7th, Gabbie went to the doctor for her 2 week appointment.  We made the decision to see Dr. Dean with the Lee's Summit Physician Group.  She came very highly recommended to us by lots of people.  Chris had to take her to see a doctor from that group on February 25th as her billyrubin levels were high.  Luckily in one day, they were slowly dropping which meant that she didn't need a blanket or treatment.  :)  Any how, we saw Dr. Dean on this day in which I was very impressed.  She is very young, personable, and willing to answer any of my crazy questions.  At this appointment, we found out that we have a very healthy little girl.  All of the blood tests that they did at the hospital checking for 35 different disorders came back normal and negative which made me really breathe a sigh of relief.  She weighed 7'15 when she was born.  When she was dismissed from the hospital, she weighed 7'10.  In a matter of two weeks she had regained all of the weight she had lost and was up to 8lbs.  This put her in the 37%ile for her weight.  I wasn't too surprised as she is skinny and long at this point.  Her length when she was born 20 1/4 inches long.  In a matter of two weeks she was up to 21 3/4 which put her in 92%ile.  I have a feeling we are going to have a very tall little girl.  Her head circumference was 35cm which put her in the 24%ile.  She has a very small head that is for sure.  It is alright though as her brain has plenty of time to grow.  She doesn't have to go back for another 6 weeks and at that time she will get her first shots.  :(  I am already dreading that to say the least.

My First Photo Shoot

When Gabbie was one week old, we scheduled to have her newborn pictures taken.  We went to a wonderful photographer that came very highly recommended to us.  She did an amazing job capturing some beautiful pictures of Gabbie and our little family.  The photo shoot wasn't to much fun with her as she screamed the first 40 minutes for some reason.  When we went to change her outfit, we realized that she was poopy like no other.  Whoops....  Luckily we have a beautiful little girl that helped Monica get some amazing pictures.  Here are just a few of them!

Some Fun Firsts

Here are a few fun pictures of things Gabbie did for the first time when she was at home.

First tummy time...she kept trying to go to sleep.  :)  Roxas knows how to do tummy time though.

She was so funny as she would turn her face down or to the other side so she could sleep, but we caught on real quick.  Can you say she already has a temper!

This was the morning after her second night home.  We had a much better night and just had to get up at 4am to feed her and change her.  WOO HOO!  You can tell by her cheering arms we were all happy that morning that we got sleep!  In addition, Gabbie doesn't like to be curled up in a ball at all.  She would rather be laid out straight with her hands above her hands.  She has a funny startle reflex where her hands fly above her head all the time.  We love it! only took one week for Chris to go into withdrawals from Call of Duty as he stayed with me at the hospital the whole time.  It was very quiet in the house and I knew he had Gabbie.  I crept down the hall to spy and this is what I found.  He still wants to get Gabbie her own X-BOX and is now pushing for a Playstation 3 for her.  I can't win with him.
Gabbies first bath time at home...she hates it!!!!

I am sure that the neighbors can hear her screaming bloody murder when it is bath time.

Gabbies first time sitting in her boppy.  I just love this picture of her HUGE feet!

One of Gabbies first smiles.  :)  She makes the cutest faces when she sleeps.  She also rolls her eyes in the back of her head which my mom calls her the exorcist baby.

Gabbie rolled over from my belly to my back on day 6.  She hasn't done it again, but she did it twice that morning!
She loves to play with her hands and feet.  This was one of her first nights at home. 

Homecoming! February 24th, 2012

The car ride from the hospital was one of the most nerve racking experiences.  I got in the backseat with Gabbie which was easier said than done.  I tried getting in and didn't realize that the seat was too far back and about jumped out of the car as I thought I had ripped my incision open.  The nurse came running over to check me out and said I probably had just pulled something.  Scary.  I sat in the backseat with Gabbie as Chris drove us home.  Chris probably drove the slowest he ever had.  :)

When we got home...Chris had to take care of both of us.  He got Gabbie out of the car and upstairs as I was in the car still.  He had to help me up the stairs very carefully.  I was worn out and in pain to say the least.  Once I was settled on the sofa, we called my dad to bring the dogs home.  It was so funny when they came in as they didn't even realize Gabbie was here at first.  She was sitting in her glider and they had no idea.  All of a sudden Rudy started smelling the air and found her.  Roxas then crawled up on the ottoman to check things out.  They were definitely not sure what we had brought home and didn't like her.  For the longest time they hid from us and ignored us.

That afternoon we had tons of visitors to see Gabbie.  My parents came over as did my brother and his family.  The sweetest part of the day was that my brother went to the American Girl store to get Gabbie her first American Girl baby.  What a sweet gesture on his behalf.  He even got her with the same features as Gabbie.  I know that when she is older, she is going to love her first baby.  Of course I took pictures of Gabbie's first few hours at home.  :)  Better yet, I should say, I sat on the couch and Chris took the pictures for me.

Our first night with Gabbie was a nightmare.  We figured out real quick that even though the nurses said she was wonderful with her feedings and sleep, that she had her days and nights mixed up.  I don't think we slept at all that night and on top of that, I was feeling more than lousy and dealing with my own medical issues.  Not a fun first night at home that is for sure, but we knew the next day we would be keeping her up during the day to make that night a lot easier. 

We Are Going Home! February 24, 2012

Today was the day that we got to bring Gabbie home.  The morning started off with a visit from my doctor to tell me that I might not be going home.  :(  My right leg was still numb from the spinal tap that I got from the c-section and extremely swollen.  The doctor was more than concerned that I had a bloodclot in my leg.  I was ordered to go for an ultrasound of my leg that morning to make sure that I didn't.  I was so upset.  I remember asking the doctor if I have to stay, does Gabbie go home without me and she said no.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  I went for the ultrasound and found out all is good, but that I would have to see a neurologist after I got home.  I was so happy and couldn't believe that we were going home.  Chris and I packed up everything to go home.  My favorite nurse came home to give us lots of goodies and love.  She helped us get everything packed up and ready to go home.  I think this is when reality was really hitting that we were getting to take Gabbie home with us.  Here are some pictures of our last day in the hospital. 
I am starting to look a bit more normal, but oh so happy.

One proud daddy.  He of course wanted her to wear her Daddy's girl onesie home.
I am going home!

Pam, my amazing nurse and friend that I made with all of my visits to the hospital.  She was more than amazing through the whole process.

Our little family  <3  So in love!

Her first ride in the carseat.  She hated it!

Our Little Miracle

Each day we were in the hospital, it become more and more real that Gabbie was our little miracle.  Each time I would hold her and she would look into my eyes, I would tear up a bit.  Hear was this beautiful and perfect baby and she is ours.  On top of that everyone said that she looks like me.  I didn't see it when we were in the hospital, but I sure did when my mom showed me one of my baby pictures.  She is definitely our baby.  :)  Everyone that would come in would comment how beautiful and perfect she was.  The nurses in the nursery would fight over her and who got to take care of her.  We would send her down to the nursery each night to get some rest as my pain was through the roof and I would have nurses in every few hours for more medicine to help with the various symptoms and pain that I was experiencing.  When I would walk down the hall in the morning to get her, I would find her in the nursery with a bunch of other babies, but the nurses would have her out playing with her and giving her individual attention.  One of the nurses said to me, you don't have to leave tomorrow do you.  :)  That made me feel so good that she was being cared for like she was and that she was so loved.  I hope that Gabbie knows all of the people that loved her and supported her all the way from when she was a little embryo to this beautiful almost 8lb baby. 

One of my favorite memories in the hospital was one of the pediatricians that saw her one day came down to give us our daily report on Gabbie.  When she walked in, she said wow....I am so glad that I got to meet your miracle.  She then told us that she had read through my file and can't believe everything that we had been through to have this perfect little girl.  She said that she was perfect and she was honored that she got to meet her.  It made me tear up hearing this.  Like I said before Gabbie is so loved and her story of creation has touched so many people and given them inspiration.  We are even writing up our story for our RE with SHER Institute to give hope and inspiration to other couples as they deal with infertility.

While we were in the hospital a lady came in to take her newborn pictures.  Here are just a few that I snapped with my camera of her and her adorable dress that I bought her.  Little did I know that when I bought her dress that she would be so tiny.  Gempeler babies are normally not tiny.  :)

Meeting Family and Friends At The Hospital

Once Gabbie was here, I got to hold her as I was wheeled down to my room.  This was the first time I got to hold her and I didn't want to let go.  When we got to the room, I knew that we would have a room full of people pretty quick.  Boy was that an understatement as there were nurses in there checking on me, checking on Gabbie, and then my family started showing up.  The sad part is that most of this is just a blur to me as I was recovering from the c-section and dealing with the morphine.  The lovely morphine made me itch all over and feel like I was losing my mind. 

Here are some of the pictures from Gabbie meeting the family and some of my closest friends at the hospital.

Proud Dad

Excited Aunt and Uncle
And of course, Gabbie's Cousins

Grandparents that are over the moon happy!
Gabbie and I...I love my daughter and I love saying that!

My amazing and supportive friend Julie

My buddy Connie...I couldn't have done this without her.

My honorary little sis...  :)

My cousin Susan...
My cousin Blair

The Gouldsmiths...amazing and supportive friends

The Hardings...Heather has been there every step of the way!

Gabbie Gempeler

It is Baby Time!  Being wheeled down the hall to the delivery room, I was on edge to say the least, but so excited.  I was keeping it together until we got to the delivery room and the nurse said Chris sit here and we will come get you when we are ready.  It was at that point, that I started to panic and tear up.  They had me get off the gurney and walk into the delivery room where I swear there were 15 people if not more in there.  It is a good thing that I am not modest any more about who sees me.  :)  They had me sit on the edge of the bed for the spinal.  I remember looking at my favorite nurse Pam and saying, I need Chris.  She said I will get you through this.  I told the man I hate needles and don't let me see anything and he said I wouldn't.  Thank God!  I still don't want to know what they stuck in my spine.  My nurse sat there and held me as I held onto a pillow with tears running down my cheeks.  She just stood there and smiled at me and talking to me to keep me calm.  I really don't know what I would have done without her.  I remember feeling something cold on my back and then a huge sticker of some sort that was stuck on my back.  I think not knowing what was going on was good, but bad at this point as the anaesthesiologist had told me some of it, but I really tuned it out as I didn't want to know.  Then came the pain and weird sensations.  I remember the pain and then the stinging and then the cold sensation throughout my body.  The next thing I know people are helping me lay down and get my body situated as my body was numb from my chest down.  Then things really started rolling as I was hooked up to all kind of monitors and people were getting everything ready.  I was laying there thinking where is Chris.  Finally after what seemed like hours, I heard a nurse say can I get the husband.  I was pretty happy to hear that as I was about to lose it.  Next thing I know a curtain was hung up so I couldn't see and then Chris came in.  I felt like I was strapped down to a cross as I couldn't move.  The oxygen in my nose was about to drive me nuts.  When Chris sat down next to me, I just looked at him with tears and he looked at me with a concerned look like what is going on.  I wanted nothing more than for him to hold my hand, but he couldn't.  Pretty soon my doctor asked if I could feel something and I couldn't so they got started.  At this point I am guessing it is like 7:55am.  I have to say I felt more than I thought I would that is for sure.  You felt pulling and some of the weirdest sensations in the world.  I heard my water break and them sucking it out.  Then my doctor mentioned that when I felt like someone was sitting on my chest, Gabbie was coming.  Not too much later, I felt like someone was seriously sitting on my chest.  I looked at Chris and said she is coming, I feel it.  Then I hear my doctor say, we have a head.  Then she said, Chris do you want to look, he said no.  :)  Next thing I know, I heard the greatest noise in the world, I heard my daughter crying.  I immediately had tears running down my face as I just realized that I am a mom finally.  I knew that they were taking Gabbie to the warmer and I told Chris to go to her.  He looked at me and was like are you sure and I said yes.  I wish he could have stayed with me, but there was no way I wanted her over there by herself and I wanted pictures.  Here is our beautiful daughter.

Gabbie was born at 8:07 on February 21st.  She weighed 7lbs and 15ounces.  She was 20.25 inches long.

I remember lying there and just crying as I couldn't see her, but I knew Chris was with her.  I was feeling sick and nauseous to say the least as things continued.  My blood pressure dropped and I was wishing that someone was by my head comforting me, but before long, I heard my doctor tell me that they were putting my guts back in and finishing up.  Thank God!  I knew that Chris was probably just about to faint hearing that and I was a little sick over the news, but I knew I was closer to getting to meet my doctor.  I heard a nurse say across the room, Becky Chris is about to bring her over to you.  My emotions picked up even more as I knew I would finally get to see our miracle.  I will never forget seeing Chris walk across the room to me with Gabbie.  He was so happy.  I couldn't see his mouth, but I could see that he was just smiling in his eyes.  He laid Gabbie on my chest so I could touch her.  What an amazing feeling to finally have my daughter here with us.  Here is a few more pictures. 

It's Go Time: February 21st, Gabbie Is Coming!

The day is finally here for us to becoming parents!  7 long years of trying and fertility treatment and we are finally going to be able to hold our actual baby in our arms!  When I sit and reflect back on this journey I have done things that I never thought I could.  Who would have thought I could do multiple injections a day for months at a time.  Unreal!  This journey has been hard and emotional, but it has brought Chris and I together closer than ever.  Even the heartache along the way of losing babies has taught us to not take anything for granted.  Today we would get to meet our daughter and have the end result we had dreamed of for so long.

That morning I was in tears and honestly I don't know how we got to the hospital as I was shaking with nervousness and anxiousness.  Chris was trying to act calm, but I knew he was feeling the same way that was for sure.  The whole way to the hospital at 5am, neither of us really said anything.  Actually I think we argued some on the way, but that is normal when I am on edge.  When we got there, we had no idea what was going to happen next, but I would have rather have not known then known and worried more.

We were taken down the hall to a huge hospital room.  I had been admitted there before and thought the rooms were big, but this room was huge.  Once I got in there, a nurse came in with lots of instructions.  Before I knew it I had scrubbed up and in bed.  Chris sat on the other side of the room watching television as various people came in and started poking me.  Of course the IV was a disaster and I was so sick at my stomach and my blood pressure dropped.  Good times.  Meanwhile another nurse was doing a "fun" job, another nurse taking my blood to check my blood type in case of a transfusion, another nurse was checking my vitals, another nurse was with Chris giving him his scrubs, etc.  I was just laying there going what did I get myself into.  A little bit later my mom showed up and was excited which helped me some, but I am sure that this picture says it all on how I was feeling.
From here, more people came in including Dr. Leverett, an anaesthesiologist, and more nurses.  By this time my dad was there and it was a big party in my room.  I was so scared by this point that I just wanted her to magically get here.  I go have to say that once my nurse, Pam, got there, I was a bit better as her excitement and reassurance really helped me.  Before long, I was being wheeled down the hall to the delivery room and there was no turning back now.

Last Night of Just the Two of Us: February 20th

Wow...this was our last night just the two of us before we really become a family.  I was a ball of nerves to say the least.  I had spent the day with my mom tying up lose ends to make sure that I had everything ready for Gabbie's arrival.  There were lots of little things that I needed to buy and honestly I just needed my mom by my side reassuring me.  I remember people wanting to tell me what to expect with a c-section, but I didn't want to know.  Sometimes it is better to just go in and let it all happen.  :)  On this whole day I just kept thinking there is no way that there is really a baby inside me that is coming out.  It just didn't seem real.  That night we all went to my brother's house for dinner.  Chris had to work as he was putting in crazy hours so he didn't have to waste a bunch of vacation hours that week.  I hated that he wasn't there and we didn't get to spend some quality time together, but was glad that he would be with Gabbie and I when the time was right.  Dinner was so nice and spending time with my family is just what I needed.  My nieces were cracking me up and my little 2 year old niece just kept touching my tummy asking when Gabbie was coming out to play.  I remember back to months earlier when she would lift my shirt up and look at my belly button saying it was broken.  What a long road this was, but it was so worth the wait that was for sure. 

When I got home that night Chris and I just didn't know what to say or do as we both were getting nervous.  I was a huge ball of emotions and just kept crying.  Damn my hormones!  We just kept walking into her room and realizing that the next day she would be here.  All of the years of heartache and disappointment to finally have our miracle here.  Unreal.  We are so thankful to God for leading us on this long journey to our child.  In just a few hours, we are going to be parents!  Do you think either of us slept that night?  NOPE!  Chris got up at 2:30 in the morning to go to the gym to get a work out in.  He said that this reminded him of Christmas and he needed to get some of his excitement and nervousness out.  :)  Me on the other hand, I just tossed and turned as usual because I was nervous, anxious, and of course uncomfortable.

Here is the last picture we took at home of my huge belly.  :)