Saturday, December 28, 2013

Emmeline's Story: Our Winter Wish

We were so excited for you to join us.


Emmeline's Story: The Pregnancy

Dear Emmeline,

You are almost three weeks old and life with you is surreal.  I am very happy, though something happened that I was not expecting.  I miss being pregnant.

I never thought that I would feel that way.  So many days I felt like you would never come.  I felt like I was fulfilling every stereotype, walking around BYU with a big belly.  I felt like a joke, going to grad school when I will probably never use my degree as a professional.  Sometimes I felt like people looked at my middle instead of at me.  I felt tired and nauseous and swollen.  I had to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes.  My back ached.  The thought of kissing your dad made me want to vomit. I thought I would be happy to no longer be pregnant.

I didn't realize what a privilege it would be to be your home.  I grew accustomed to the sacred spirit inside of me, that gave me something more special than myself to protect.  I miss the feeling of being constantly accompanied.  I miss feeling your kicks and jabs.  I miss having a reason to remember to wear my seatbelt and eat vegetables and read scriptures out loud.  You allowed me to participate in God's work, and you helped me feel close to Heaven.

My first bath without you was memorable.  Just a couple days after you were born, I got into the bath, hoping to relax and heal my stinging bum.  But when I got in and looked down, I felt oh so alone.  My stomach had already reduced nearly to the size it was before you came.  I looked so bare and felt so empty.  I cried and cried and cried (cue hormones), and your dad tried to console me.  He was just happy you were here, where he could touch and feel and love you.  But I missed the bond we had when it was just the two of us.

Lucky for me, I came out of the bath and scooped you into my arms.  We are starting a new phase of life together, one which will also be wonderful.

So here are a couple things you may find interesting to know about the nine months you lived inside me:

  •  You were a surprise.  We got pregnant just 5 months after being married.  I was so scared - I thought it was terrible timing, the last semesters of my grad school and first semester of medical school.  Little did I know that God is a perfect architect, and you came at the perfect time.
    Taylor's Graduation, April 2013.  I had just found out we were pregnant, and we were very unsure of how to proceed with grad school for both of us.
  • Before I had any symptoms of being pregnant, I just felt sick.  I thought you were the flu.  The little house where we lived had a smell I couldn't stand, and I pretty much moved to my aunt's couch.  Your dad moved us out of that apartment alone.
  • We took several pregnancy tests, all of which came out negative.  You were very surprising.
  • Your dad bought a pregnancy test at the Twilight Zone in the BYU Bookstore, and I took the test in the bathroom on the 7th floor of the Tanner.  I would later throw up, pee nonstop, and take a nap in that very same bathroom. You are a Cougar Baby.

  • We moved into your Great Grandparent Hardy's house in Reno for the summer.  Your sweet Great Grandma Hardy tried to cook healthy things for me, but all the smells made me so sick.  I hardly got dressed for weeks, and just stayed in bed...and ran to the toilet.  Your Great Grandpa Hardy would hear me throw up, and yell "all right in there?"
  • We found the miracle pill - Zofran.  It was an anti-naseau pill which worked like magic and cost six dollars per pill - out of our price range.  But your dad wanted me healthy, so we spent the money.  He made many late night runs to Walgreens to get the magic pill.
  •  I lost 20 pounds pretty quickly. I hadn't weighed so little since middle school.  I had in my mind that I wanted an Olive Garden salad - I couldn't shake the craving (though I never loved Olive Garden before...).  So your dad and I went to the Olive Garden, and it was the best day I had in a long time.  I felt fresh and happy and healthy (probably because I had finally showered and gotten out of bed).  I thanked the waitress for the good experience, and told her it was the first time I had been able to eat because of a hard first trimester.  At the end of the meal we learned that the people behind me had heard me comments, and paid for our meal.  I was so touched by the generosity of these people.  I want to be that generous and kind.
    A little too skinny, trying to find something to eat!
  •  "Morning sickness" is not isolated to the morning, and it does not just last for the first trimester.  But I also learned that it subsides by always keeping things in my stomach.  If I ate as soon as I woke up, and snacked all day, I could keep food inside.  I didn't really have cravings, but just food aversions.  I never wanted to eat anything.  But I did love fruit, vegetables, and all things lime flavored.
  •  At 20 weeks, your Dad and I took a roadtrip to Oregon and Washington to take the MCAT and run the Seatlle rock n' roll marathon.  I packed lots of fruit. Taylor ran the marathon, and I shuffled through the half marathon with your Grandma, and we had a wonderful time.  It was a turning point - I started feeling more healthy and alive.  I looked anorexic.

  •  During the rest of the summer your Dad and I lived and worked at the Cabin in LaPorte.  It was so fun to be together in a beautiful place.  We were so in love.  This is where I started falling in love with the new life that was coming.  We planned for you happily.

  • We went back to Provo in the Fall for school.  I started working and studying and running around so much that I didn't have time to think about being sick.  I was six months pregnant, busy, happy, and still wearing my regular clothes.

    Long day at work, missing your dad away on an interview.

    Study, study, study!

    Texas Tech Interview
    Trying to see you!

    The day we got our first med school acceptance!  Celebrated at Cafe Rio.

    Celebrating Halloween at Cornbellys
    Anniversary Dinner.  One down, eternity to go.  I love your dad very much.
  • I loved feeling you kick and jab and bounce. Around 6 months pregnant I started feeling tight and painful aches.  I didn't know what it was, and finally your dad made me go to the hospital.  I was so worried that I was in labor, and you would come prematurely.  I realized then just how much I loved you - more than myself - and I needed you to be healthy.  The pain was the result of a UTI, however, and you were safe.  

  • You were a compact little babe.  Even at the end of my pregnancy I often had to tell people I was expecting, not just a little round in the middle.  You made being pregnant wonderful.  My hair grew healthy and pretty, people were kind to the pregnant lady, but I never felt too big or uncomfortable. Only once or twice did my feet swell - but oh did they!  I had just enough pregnancy pains to make your dad dote on me.

    Thanksgiving dinner
  • I craved healthy foods and Chimichangas, and was hungry ALL the time.  I had to go to the bathroom literally every 20 minutes, or every time I stood up.  I couldn't walk from class in the Tanner to work in the library without going to the bathroom in both places.
    Bathroom Pics
    I started spending so much time in the bathroom, with you jumping on my bladder, that I used this time to bond with your dad.
  • People loved you before you were born. You were given a baby shower from the Mogul ward ladies, the MPA, American Heritage, the Ortons, and my Aunt and Jenny Dunn.  It was fun to put all your little clothes on to little hangers in your closet.  You are adored.
    Your room that your Auntie LaRobyn helped decorate 
  • Black Friday was a very exciting day.  The day after Thanksgiving, we were going to go take family pictures.  On our way, however, I thought my water had broken, and we went to the hospital.   I was having slight contractions, and we thought the time had come for you to join us....before anything was ready!  It turns out you had just jumped on my bladder, my water was intact, and you were not ready to come out.  After that, though, I just wanted you to come!
  • We knew your name, but wanted to meet you before telling anyone to be sure it was correct. You instead inherited the name "Raspberry Belle."  This was because we measured your growth on the "What to Expect" app, and your Grandma and Great Grandma Hardy constantly checked to see your size.  When you were the size of a raspberry, they referred to you as that, and the name stuck.  "Belle" is after your Aunt Abigail.
  • Our little Raspberry
  • I loved to take baths, and see you move in my belly, just above the water.  You made me feel beautiful.  I miss you in there, but I am so excited to get to know you on the outside.                                                                                                                                                

Friday, December 27, 2013

Week 3

Dear Emmeline, 

Oh, how we love you.   You have rocked our world.

Before you came, I was excited for the first couple weeks of your life, when I would be on break from school, and we would just hang out and read scriptures and smile at each other and document every second of your little life.  That hasn't happened - I had no idea how busy I would be just smiling at you.  I will try to document now your last weeks as my little roo, your entry into the world, and the person you have become.  We are so proud of you.

But first, a short description of our three week old Emmeline:

- You have piercing eyes, which (when open) are alert, beautifully shaped, and dark grey.
- You love your daddy.  I have never seen a little girl love her daddy so much.  You snuggle up inside his sweatshirt, put your little hand near his chin, and sigh contentedly.
- You seem to be patient.  I feel you look at me with wise eyes and an old soul, patient with my uncertainty.  
- You like to be on the go.  As soon as you get in your carseat, you calm down and look content...soon to fall asleep.
- You are soooo tired.  My favorite thing is to watch you try to wake up, offering big yawns and deep stretches.  You are precious.
- You are loved by so many.  Your Auntie Morgie lights up when she sees you.  Abigail adores you.  Your Orton aunts love to hold you.  Your Grandma Hardy lives to love you, even after three weeks.  You changed our lives.
- You don't like to be swaddled, but rather stretch out your skinny little chicken legs.
- You went to the doctor for the first time - and gained weight!  A chunky 6'9.  So proud of you.
- You sleep like your daddy, with an arm above your head.
- You hate your cradle, and have yet to sleep alone for more than 30 minutes.  You are most happy with a warm chest and live heartbeat.

You make me very, very happy.  My biggest fear is that you are growing too fast, and I don't know how to take advantage of every second.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


As I hurry to record this past year, I think I should include timely entrys of how I spend my days as well.

I spend them running.


Wake up early, rush to get ready, go to school, kiss my husband goodbye at the Marb, shuffle to the Tanner, work at MPA recruiting, leave early to go to class, go to MBA team meeting, quickly eat with Taylor as I chat on the phone with Dad, go to MPA recruiting, go to MPA team meting, leave early to RUN to American Heritage forum (while reading material on the way), talk to beloved friends, talk to Dr. de Schweinitz, walk home worrying about the hours of homework ahead of me.

I dragged my feet through the door, only to see the wonderful surprise that my sweet husband had come home during the day to do the dishes (which make me want to cry every time I pass the kitchen).  I don't know how I got so lucky to snag him.  He works two jobs, spends countless hours applying to school, and still has the energy and kindness to serve me.

I haven't been able to get off the couch since I got home.  I have been lucky to not have too many pregnancy ailments....except exhaustion at the end of the day.  I love how I spend my days, but my body is working for two and doesn't handle the constant movement and long hours like it did just a few months ago.  I am grateful for a good husband.

Yesterday I went to the doctor for a monthly checkup.  I had to take the glucose test, which meant drinking syrupy nastiness and then being pricked by a needle to ensure I don't have gestational diabetes.  I may never drink fruit punch again.  I told Dr. Savage that I am nervous because of how little the baby is - I still am hardly showing.  She measured my belly, however, and told me I am longer than she expected.  I am growing, just not poking out too much.  She moved my date closer to December 12.  Here come finals!

Exhausted and grateful.  We are so blessed.