I was pregnant, bloated and feeling generally awful. I was also extremely excited that my little girl was due in March and we'd be meeting her in the new year! I was busy planning her nursery and washing and folding clothes that friends and family generously handed down to us. I remember smelling the freshly laundered in Dreft detergent clothes and imagining what it would be like.
|looking at my face and hands in this picture makes me sick. I had such severe swelling (which was due to preeclampsia only I didn't know at the time) I had no idea what was to come! It doesn't even look like me!|
WOW, now this was a crazy month! I had very bad swelling for most of my pregnancy, but when I woke up on February 3rd and my eyes were so swollen I could barely open them - I knew something was wrong. We happen to have a blood pressure cuff at our house, and I decided to check mine just to calm my fears. My blood pressure was 100/90 or something crazy like that so I called the doc, they had me come in, took some tests, and sent me to the hospital. I had preeclampsia and had to deliver early. 6 WEEKS early! It was a bad experience, but thankfully our beautiful daughter Penelope was born healthy (although very small at 3 lb, 9oz) on February 5, 2011. She spent the next 3 weeks in the NICU so the rest of the month is a blur of driving back and forth to the hospital and going from wishing they would send her home to being terrified that they'd send this teeny tiny baby home with us!
Penelope came home! She was SO tiny and delicate. I was nervous for probably this entire month. Worrying if she would have some sort of episode and we wouldn't know what to do. She was still in premie clothes and her cry was so quiet. But Sean and I became more and more comfortable as time went on.
|I mean seriously....how tiny was she?!?|
I think this is the month that I went to my first mommy group. I went to the last 2 sessions of one group and the entire 8 weeks of another group. In those 2 groups I met the most amazing group of women. I am so thankful for this program because I now have about 20 new close friends who I never would have met otherwise! When I moved to Columbia I was kind of worried because I didn't know anyone in the area. And all of my closest friends from college have all moved to various areas and have their own lives and families - we don't get together as often as I would like. But at least now Penelope and I both have a group of friends that we can get together with on a regular basis. We have lots of fun!
Sean and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary. We had his parents come and watch Penelope so we could go out for dinner. It was weird being away from Penelope for even a couple of hours. I think we spent the entire time talking about our crazy first year of marriage and even more about our little girl.
|wow...that feels like so long ago!|
Penelope and I spent a lot of time taking walks with our new mommy and baby friends. I was also starting to get more worried about a birthmark over Penelope's eye. It was continuing to grow and I had read online that it could effect her vision. She had already gone to see some doctors about it but nothing major was being done about it. We had another eye and dermatologist visit scheduled for July and I was nervous.
Penelope went on her first vacation this month. It was definitely a new experience for Sean and I as well! No more spending hours lounging on the beach...our little Peanut wanted none of that! She did enjoy taking naps on the beach though. When we got back from vacation, we went to her doc appointments and it was decided that we would start her on propanolol for her birthmark. We ended up having to be admitted to the hospital for 2 days to watch her reaction to the medication. She did great, and we started giving her the medicine at home 3 times a day. 12 nooon, 8pm, and 4 AM!! This went on until very recently.
Lots more hanging with our mommy and baby friends. A lot of the moms were going back to work in September (lots of teachers in this group) so we wanted to get as much hang time as we could!
Penelope really started eating solids this month....well purees. It was fun seeing her try new things.
Penelope celebrated her first Halloween with a bang! We had a huge party with a lot of her baby friends. It was so much fun seeing all the babies dressed up! Penelope was a little black cat...so cute!
We enjoyed the leaves changing, and Penelope tried the swings for the first time. She loved it! We also celebrated Penelope's first Thanksgiving. She tried turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
Those who know me know that I LOVE Christmas! I was so excited to have our first Christmas with Penelope, and the season did not disappoint! She looked adorable in her little holiday outfits, she stayed healthy (although Sean and I were both sick this month), and she got her 2 front teeth (along with 2 more on the top!) We went to holiday parties, spent time with family and Santa treated her very well! I couldn't have asked for a better month! And to top it all off...the best present to ME....we weaned Penelope off of her propanolol treatment for her eye. That means she is now able to sleep thorough the night without me waking her up at 4am for medicine and a bottle! That also means that I don't have to get up at 4am either! YAY! She is now sleeping on average from 8pm-7:30am. IT IS HEAVEN!
So...this ended up being a lot longer than I anticipated. And I know that it's mostly about Penelope, but this year has been all about her. She has been our world and has turned it upside down. Sean and I were just talking about how difficult it is to remember life before her...and we don't mind at all.
For next year's resolutions (I'll keep this short) I plan to:
1. the obvious and cliche - get into shape, eat better, etc...bla bla bla
2. focus on my husband and relationship more now that the sleepless nights (and 4am wake ups) are over.
3. continue to hone my photography skills
That's about it. I hope you all had a fantastic 2011 and are as optimistic about the future as I am. I can't wait to see what 2012 will bring! Happy New Year!!