Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kayla's Newborn Photos

As I had mentioned before, I love photography and enjoy taking pictures.  I especially love those cute newborn pictures photographers take.  I would have liked to have had a professional photographer take Kayla's pictures, but instead I took the opportunity to have some fun and did them myself.  I wish I could have also gotten professional newborn pictures taken of Rachel and Haley, but due to their very early birth that was not possible.  So it was exciting to have the opportunity to take these newborn pictures of Kayla.  These pictures were taken when Kayla was 12 days old.  She slept the whole time.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

This Christmas has definitely been different.  Different in that we didn't put up the big Christmas tree or get out all the Christmas decorations and we didn't travel to Austin to be with our families.  I also didn't get out Christmas cards.  This year was much more simplified.  This year we only put up our little Christmas tree and only got out some of the Christmas decorations.  We stayed home for Christmas this year and celebrated together as a family.  Life has been busy in our house this Christmas because of our newest blessing and gift - Kayla.  She is definitely a miracle, a blessing and a gift to our family.  We are so grateful to have spent Christmas together with her as a family.  Rachel and Haley also bring joy to our family with their active personalities and continual progress and development.  They are learning and doing new things everyday.  They don't quite understand Christmas yet, but they enjoyed the gifts they received or better yet the paper, bows and boxes. As I stop and look back over the past year we all have been truly blessed this year.  I am so grateful for our precious little girls. Haley, Rachel, and Kayla have brought so much happiness and peace into our lives. We love and cherish them so very much. Each one of them have a distinct personality that just brightens our home. Words do not describe how blessed Thomas and I have been. We also at this time of year stop and contemplate on the greatest man to ever live even Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. It is because of his selfless life that we have the blessings we have. It is because of Him that we all can one day inherit eternal life. This is the day that we celebrate the one person who came to this earth and payed a price we can not fully comprehend. I owe everything to him, for all that he has done and continues to do for me and my family. God be thanked for the greatest gift given to man, the gift of His holy Son even Jesus Christ.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Our little Christmas Tree

I love my Willow Tree Nativity set

Haley and Rachel
Haley and Rachel
Haley, me and Rachel
Haley and Rachel
Me and all my girls
Daddy with Rachel and Haley
Our Christmas family picture

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kayla's newborn Christmas pictures

I love photography and I had such a fun time taking some newborn Christmas pictures of Kayla.  I'm definitely not a professional when it comes to photography, but I think these pictures turned out good.  I wanted to post these pictures before Christmas is over.  Kayla is definitely our greatest gift this Christmas and we are so grateful for her.  We are also so grateful for our precious Rachel and Haley.  I will be posting Christmas morning pictures of Rachel and Haley soon.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Sweet Girls!

We are so blessed with our 3 sweet girls.  Each one of them is very special to us.  They each have their own personalities that bring joy and awe to our family.  We love our little girls very much!
Here is an update on each of our girls:

Haley:  Our non stop mover and shaker.  These days Haley does not like to sit still.  She is getting faster with her walking and can almost run.  She likes to jump and stomp her feet.  She loves to be tickled and bounced.  Lately Haley has been having some separation anxiety.  She gets upset if mommy leaves.  She is a momma's girl, but loves to play with daddy.  Haley is still small for her chronological age.  She weighs 21 pounds and wears 12 month clothes.  We have not decided on whether or not we are going to do the growth hormone shots.  We will be seeing the Endocrinologist in March and will need to decide by then.  We are working on getting her to eat more to see if that will make much of an improvement in her height.  Haley is a loveable little girl and melts our hearts.


Rachel:  Rachel is our feisty one and gets into everything.  She keeps us on our toes.  She is very curious about everything and wants to explore.  She has determination and persistence.  She pays attention to detail.  She loves to look at books and play with puzzles (with a lot of assistance).  We are still working on getting Rachel to eat.  She will put foods in her mouth and chew, but doesn't want to swallow much of it.  She is still fed exclusively through her g-button.  She is growing!  She weights 26 pounds and is wearing 18 month to 24 month clothes.  She has her mommy's build.  She is a daddy's girl for sure!  Rachel is doing so well with her progression to walking.  She recently started letting go and taking some steps on her own.  She is still not the strongest at it, but has made so much progress the past week.  We are so proud of her and are glad she is progressing with her walking.  Rachel is such a beautiful girl with her blue eyes.  She's our sweet princess.


Kayla:  Our sweet little Kayla.  She is doing well and is keeping us busy with her feedings every 2-3 hours round the clock.  I'm having to pump in order to give her my breast milk since she is not a very strong eater.  She latches on good, but just doesn't suck strong enough.  She tends to get very comfortable with her feeds and always falls asleep.  She is still sleeping a lot.  She is a sweet baby, but when she does cry she has a strong set of lungs!  She is good at letting us know when she is hungry, gassy or has a dirty diaper.  Kayla looks so much like her daddy.  Those chubby cheeks!  She is a cute little girl and also melts our hearts!


We finally got a first family picture with all the girls.  Its not the best one since our little Christmas tree was behind us and due to where I was sitting the Christmas tree star looks to be sitting on top of my head.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

We are HOME!!!!

Well Kayla and I came home Tuesday December 13.  Kayla only had to spend 4 days in the level 2 NICU.  That was a relief!  It was so nice to leave the hospital with her in my arms!  We are both doing well, though Thomas and I are exhausted.  The first night was a little rough with the every 3 hour feedings, but last night was not as bad and we are getting into a routine.  Kayla is such a sweet baby.  She has been mostly sleeping and when she is awake she doesn't cry too much.  I look at her in awe at the miracle and blessing she is.  She truly is a gift from our loving Heavenly Father.  He has entrusted me to love her and take care of her.  She is a true testament of our Saviors love for us.

A big thank you to all for the kind comments and well wishes!!  We are so grateful to all our friends, blog readers, followers and family.  We love you!

As for Rachel and Haley's reaction to Kayla well I have not really let them get near her yet because both Rachel and Haley have bad colds.  The poor girls have been sick with one cold after another since Thanksgiving.  I look forward to when they get well so we can take a picture of the girls with Kayla.  I can say that both of them are interested in Kayla and want to touch her.  Rachel is particularly interested in her.  With time they will get some sister time.  

Today Kayla had her first visit with the pediatrician (we see Dr. Farrior) for her newborn well baby check up.  She did well and weighs 7 lbs 6 oz.  She did lose some weight, but she will gain it back.

Here are a bunch of pictures from the last couple of days:

Getting her dressed to go home

All dressed in pink!
So pretty in pink
Ready to go home.  She looks so little in this carseat.

At home sporting her longhorn cap.  This ones for daddy!
Kayla after her first bath
Eyes wide open
Sleepy Kayla

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Kayla has Arrived!!!

Kayla Amanda Stansel was born Friday December 9, 2011 at 5:09pm.  She weighed 7 lbs, 15 oz. and was 19" long.  I was 36 weeks and 5 days when she was born.  I almost made it to full term.  I'm so happy I made it that far. We are so happy she is here and healthy! We have been so blessed with this precious miracle!

Here is the story of her birth:
Friday morning (Dec 9) I started having some pain which was progressing to painful contractions.  They were coming every 8 minutes.  I called my doctor who suggested I come in to see him.  I drove myself to the doctor while having contractions every 4 minutes at this point.  They weren't too painful, but getting really uncomfortable.  I knew Kayla was going to arrive soon.  I got to my doctor and they hooked me up to the contraction monitor.  I was having a lot of contractions.  He checked my cervix which was not dilated, but was starting to stretch.  My doctor admitted me right away to Woman's hospital where I was to have an emergent c-section.  My doctor was not going to waste any time since I had a cerclage and he didn't want it to tear or rip my cervix.  The c-section went well with no complications.  Kayla is doing well and is breathing on her own.  Her lungs are great!  Kayla has been having low blood sugars and she is in the level 2 NICU due to that.  This is very common for babies from diabetic moms.  With time her blood sugars will stabilize.  She may have to stay in the NICU for a couple of days after I leave the hospital. 

Here are the pictures:

Thomas dressed for the c-section

Me waiting to go into the operating room
Kayla soon after birth
She looks so much like daddy
Daddy and Kayla

Me and Kayla
Look at those cheeks and rolls!

Beautiful Kayla

Sunday, December 4, 2011

36 Week Update

How many weeks?  I can't believe it I'm 36 weeks!  The picture of me above makes me laugh.  It looks like I have a basketball under my shirt.  I'm all belly.  I'm wearing a maternity shirt, but its obviously too small.  I didn't realize my shirt was kind of small until after Thomas took the picture.

How am I feeling?  I'm feeling ok.  I have another cold.  I keep catching them from Rachel and Haley.  My poor girls keep getting colds.  Its just that time of the year.  I'm definitely feeling so pregnant!  I'm sore and stiff.  My back hurts at times.  My sciatic nerve has really been bothering me.  I'm sleeping ok and only usually have to get up once to go to the bathroom.  All these things definitely make life uncomfortable, but its only temporary and in the end I will have another miracle blessing in my arms - our beautiful baby girl Kayla.  I'm so happy to be at 36 weeks.  I'm only 1 week away from being full term!  What a relief!  I know Kayla will be ok.  What a blessing!  With God all things are possible!

Weight gain?  Yes for sure.  I've gained a total of 29 pounds.

Doctors appointment?  At my last OB appointment, my doctor went ahead and got scheduled my c-section date.  It's scheduled for December 20.  I will be 38 weeks and 2 days.  I can't believe Kayla will be born 16 days from today!  My pregnancy has gone by fast.  My doctor is wanting to do the c-section at 38 weeks because I am a type 1 diabetic and from my last ultrasound Kayla is measuring a little big for her gestational age.  All looks good though!