Sunday, March 27, 2011

Just Call Me "Mommy-Worry-Wart"... FOREVER.

I've always been a worrier. I've always been a "glass half empty" type or as I like to call it, a "realist". I know the two aren't one in the same but I think of them in close vicinity. I think it keeps me from being disappointed when I don't expect much and then pleasantly surprised when great things happen. Becoming a mother has dramatically enhanced these characteristics.

All of this nonsense is leading up to this: As many of you know, Ally was born a little baby (6lbs.). She was perfectly healthy, just a wee-one. In the very back of my mind, I have always thought, "Is this going to affect her development in some way?" I try to ignore my back-of-the-mind thoughts and enjoy every minute of my beautiful Angel Face. It's hard to ignore however when she continues to reach all of her milestones later than the "average" baby. For example, the average baby should typically be able to roll over around 3 months old. Ally didn't roll over for the first time until close to 5 months and still to this day has only done it a handful of times. The average baby should be sitting on their own by 6 months old. At 7 months, she still didn't even seem close to sitting on her own. And then on Friday, she did it! And now she's practically an expert! I think she's very proud of herself!

But that's not all! The other night she picked up a puff from her tray and ate it all by herself! I'm thinking it might have been a fluke but I'll take it! Since then, she picks them up but that's as far as she gets.

But that's STILL not all! This week seems to be a great week of firsts! Because today she sat in a big girl high chair at the Olive Garden! Up until this point, we would bring her in her car seat. It's huge and awkward so I'm glad we're done with that! Yay for Ally!

Oh, she ordered the ravioli and a glass of pinot grigio in case you were wondering.

With all of these wonderful things happening lately, I'm STILL worrying! It exhausts me. I think maybe deleting my FB page would help. Too often I see things like: "My 5 month old is talking!" "My 6 month old is walking!" Ugh! (Nothing against any of my friends who are posting these things. I would post them too.) But every time I see one of these posts I ask myself, "Why isn't Ally doing that yet??"

Maybe she's just a late bloomer and I need to leave it at that. What I do know to be perfectly and honestly true is that I love that little girl more than anything in this entire world and nothing will ever, ever change that. Behind, ahead... In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. That's what I need to keep telling myself.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Heart

Having Ally was the best thing - without a doubt - that has ever happened to me. But something even more amazing has happened. My husband and his love for our child. Not that I expected anything less, but I had no idea how he was going to act with her before having her, even during my pregnancy. Those of you who know my husband, knows he is the shy, man of few words type. He told me he was excited during my pregnancy, but never really took initiative to learn about everything happening inside my body. It’s true what they say: A woman becomes a mother the moment she becomes pregnant; the man becomes a father when the baby is born. At least in my case it’s true.

We have been together since 1999. After 12 years together the romance has, like most, died down quite a bit. I’ve come to accept it. But seeing him with Ally makes my heart melt. He loves her so openly, so unconditionally. I feel like I have gotten all of that affection back even though it’s not towards me (most of the time). It’s like a new found love. And so I say, Ally has saved us. Not that we were in jeopardy of any kind before, but things are different now, better.

From the very beginning of our relationship, we have said that we only wanted one child. I was an only child and had a wonderful childhood (I know of some only-children who would strongly disagree however). I do not want to spoil her rotten. I DO want to give her everything she needs… And also things she wants. I want to send her to college; buy her first car. All of the things I had that meant so much to me, I want to give to her. We cannot afford more than one child. Let’s be honest here… we can’t even afford one child! But our mommy and daddy instincts are telling us differently. They are saying, “Hey! This Mommy and Daddy thing feels so amazing! Let’s do it again!”

So for now, it’s just the three of us. And I’m perfectly content with that. As for what the future holds? I do not know. And I kinda like it that way. <3

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Jumping Monkey

Ally absolutely LOVES LOVES LOVES this jumper. She could seriously stay in it for hours and I'd seriously sit and watch her for hours in it if I'd allow it. Work those leg muscles girl!

An if-you-know-what's-good-for-you note: Please watch the video on mute... For some god-awful reason, I sound ridiculous. Thank you.

REAL Food!

We've officially started Ally on solid foods! It's such a milestone! She is doing so well with it too. She was a bit confused the first time but got the hang of it quickly. She's just like her Mommy in that sense apparently. We started with Sweet Potatoes and she loved them! She has tried just about all of the jarred food now and seems to enjoy bananas and sweet potatoes the most. The only thing she spits out is green beans but as my sitter puts it (and puts it well I might add) "She's only 5 months old! She doesn't have the luxury of being picky!" So we will keep trying. If there's one thing I'm certain of, it's that she is NOT going to end up a picky eater like me. I will go to great lengths to ensure that!

Her formula is still her primary source of nutrition so for right now, she is only eating a little bit of "real food". In the morning after her bottle, we give her a small amount of oatmeal and mix in some kind of fruit then in the afternoon about an hour before her last bottle, she will eat vegetables. It is so much more fun to feed her with a spoon than with a bottle!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ally's First Christmas

Was it just me or did the holidays come and go so quickly this year? Is this what it's going to be like from now on? If so, this girl is not a happy camper. The holidays are my very favorite time of the year. Even more so now that I have a beautiful daughter to share every moment with. This year with her only being 4 months old, it was fairly uneventful. She slept through the majority of Christmas Day at Mimi's house which was actually good because she has a hard time sleeping with so much going on around her. She's a nosy little booger!

We started off the celebrations at my Dad's house and my grandparents from St. George came down for a visit. It was so nice to see them and they got to spend some quality time with Ally. She got her first Gloworm (name Emily by her great grandma). I had a gloworm when I was young and I just absolutely loved it.

This year at Mimi's house, it was extra special because Shane's family came over too so we were all together for Christmas Day. It's difficult sometimes to bounce from house to house during the holidays. Everyone was there and it was wonderful! I even made the mashed potatoes and they were fantastic if I do say so myself! So it was: Shane, Ally, and I, Mimi & Papa, GGM & GGP, Aunt Fran & Linda, Grandpa Pat, Auntie Sarah, Christine, Paul & Lisa, Tyler, Kelli, and Mackenzie. Like I said earlier, Ally slept through most of it including the present opening. UNFORTUNATELY, I had to open all of her gifts... What a shame! (hehe) I don't care who they are for, I love opening presents! Of course, Ally made out like a bandit. I just wish she could have been a part of the whole experience. Because of that, I didn't get many pictures. But here's what I DO have:

All in all, it was a marvelous Christmas and I can't wait to do it all over again next year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


We got Ally's ear's pierced. A few people were telling us not to but we did it anyway. I never had mine done when I was little and it scarred me.. I was 23 years old and still hadn't had them done because I was too scared. What girl doesn't want their ear pierced? We did it now while she is young so she wouldn't mess with them while they were healing and so far, they have been perfect. She looks so cute with them! I have zero regrets! : )

Halloween 2010

Halloween! Ally girl was a bumble bee which was sooo cute! We went over to Shane's dad's house and hung out there for a while. We went trick-or-treating with Sarah and Cristine. Ally slept the whole time in my arms. It was pretty uneventful which was nice. I can't WAIT for next year when she's older! I'm already thinking of what she's going to dress up as!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our Baby Girl is 8 Weeks Old!

All I can say right now is... WOW! Yesterday was Ally's 8 week birthday. I have no clue where the past 8 weeks have gone. It has been such a whirlwind of ups and downs. The night we came home from the hospital, we were utterly exhausted. We hadn't slept at the hospital at all and though we were happy to be home, we were terrified. No nurses to help us anymore...

The first couple of days were extremely rough. I actually thought I may have had PPD because I wasn't feeling as much joy as I thought I should. Things got a bit easier after that so I'm assuming it was just lack of sleep that was causing my mood.

Things are much better these days! Though Ally doesn't exactly have a "schedule", I'm actually getting a little bit of sleep. I have to go back to work in 3 days and am kind of dreading it. Though I'll be happy to have some adult conversations throughout the day (my first graders are considered adults since they can talk back to me), I have no idea how I'm going to juggle working full time and taking care of Ally. Shane is great and I know he'll do his part but I know it's still going to be rough.. at least for a little while.

We have reached a few milestones! Though we have yet to experience the REAL giggling smile, we do get smiles from her for the past week or so. She is doing very well with Tummy Time and while holding her, she is able to hold her head up for a good 20-30 seconds. She has definitely put on some weight (Shane calls her his holiday ham, haha) but I won't know for sure how much until the 18th when we go in for her next appointment. She is sleeping longer during the nights and staying awake longer in the days, which makes Mommy very happy! She had transitioned into her crib in her own room for about a week but Mommy quickly realized she wasn't ready for that so she is back in our room, probably until she is 6 months or so or until she grows out of her bassinet, whichever comes first.

Our baby girl is such a blessing and we couldn't be happier! Can't wait to watch her grow up (not too quickly please!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ally's Birth Story

Shane and I arrived at the hospital at 3:30pm on August 12, 2010. My mom met us there and they took us to the room where I would be getting all of my pre-op stuff done which is also the same room I would recover in after the surgery. I was so nervous. I had never been through anything like this before and though I'd seen countless Baby Stories, it felt completely different happening to me. Once I got into the yucky hospital gown, the nurse took my vitals and put in the dreaded IV. I was hoping they'd give me a sedative before the IV but no such luck, haha! Turns out it wasn't that bad; the nurse got it in the first try thank goodness. By then it was about 4:30 and we still had an entire hour to wait for Dr. Swainston to arrive. I was going crazy but luckily my mom was there, as was our friend Mike to keep me sane.

Though I thought that would be the longest hour of my life, it actually went pretty fast. By that time, everyone else had arrived that was going to be there and the nurse came in to say it was time. I kissed everyone goodbye and walked down to the OR. Shane had to wait outside while the anesthesiologist put the spinal block in. It's true what they say... it HURTS! I had a great anesthesiologist though and he kept me calm. About a minute after I laid down on the table, I felt like I was going to vomit. The anesthesiologist ran to get something for me to throw up in and I did. It wasn't my most defining moment, that's for sure! He said it was completely normal and it should subside in just a minute. What a smart man! It did just what he said and I felt fine. Shane was allowed back in after they put the sheet up so we couldn't see what was happening. Boy were we nervous! I was actually more nervous for Shane. I was praying he wouldn't pass out. He did much better than I thought.

My friend Shannan, who works for Dr. Swainston, always talked about a "playlist" that he uses during his surgeries. He is such a character! The first song we heard was "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Frank Sinatra, which happens to be my FAVORITE Sinatra song. Then we heard "All American Girl" by Carrie Underwood which was very appropriate. And somewhere in there was "Breathe" by Faith Hill. See, I told you he was a character! By that time, I heard the anesthesiologist say it was almost time and told Shane to get the camera ready. I couldn't believe this was the moment I was going to meet the baby we've been waiting for, for what seems like an eternity. Just then, I heard Dr. Swainston say, "Nuchal cord times three and body times one". This meant the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck 3 times and around her body once. Holy crap! That made me so nervous however just as quickly as I heard that, Dr. Swainston showed her face over the sheet so we could see her (I think she looked me right in the eyes but I can't be sure) and she was whisked away to the other side of the room to be examined and Shane went with her. As I was being "put back together", I had a million emotions running through me. I couldn't put my finger on a specific one. It was the most surreal moment of my life.

There was a reason our precious baby did not flip from the breech position; she couldn't! The cord made it impossible for her to move. Dr. Swainston said if we would have tried to manually flip her (called an External Cephalic Version), it probably would have killed her. Thank God I declined to do it. And if I would have tried a vaginal delivery, it would have ended in an emergency c-section. We dodged quite a few bullets and feel so blessed that she is happy and healthy.

It almost felt too good to be true. She had zero complications... no breathing problems, no jaundice, no eating issues, nothing! Not only that, but my c-section went so smoothly and I recovered very quickly with minimal pain. The next day and a half was a whirl-wind of visitors coming and going from our hospital room as well as doctors and nurses galore. I honestly have moments I can't remember because I was so tired. Both Shane and I were completely exhausted and just wanted to be home. Luckily, we were released 48 hours after the surgery (typical c-section stay is 3-5 days) because we were both doing so well. And so begins our incredible journey as parents of this unbelievably amazing person.

Presenting Ally Marie Koehler, born August 12, 2010 at 5:59pm weighing 6lbs even, 18.5 inches long:

The amazing Dr. Swainston <3

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Latest Happenings...

On July 29th, I went to my OB appointment and when I got there, I had my blood pressure taken like normal. It was elevated which it never has been before. When I saw my doctor, he seemed concerned with it and sent me to the hospital to be monitored. Shane and I were pretty scared at that point because my doctor told us that if my blood pressure didn't drop, he would have to give me a c-section that day! After an hour of monitoring, everything was normal so I was sent home. HOWEVER, he put me on strict bed rest. This wouldn't be such a bad thing but I only had 4 and a half school days left. I was still finishing up things for my maternity leave and had a bunch of fun things planned for the end of the school year. My doctor knows what's best for me and my angel so bed rest it was.

The day after my appointment, I had come to terms with the fact that a random substitute would be sending my kids off to second grade. I wasn't happy about it, but I didn't really have a choice in the matter. The following day, I checked my blood pressure at home and it was way up again (160/110). I got worried and had Shane take me back to the hospital to be monitored. After 3 hours, everything looked normal and they sent me home.

I had a doctor's appointment 5 days later. I talked to my doctor about scheduling a c-section because she was still breech and I honestly didn't think she was going to flip. He finally decided to schedule it considering my elevated blood pressure and her being breech! August 12, 2010 @ 5:30pm! That's when I'm meeting my baby!!! It is only 7 days away! Unreal!