Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bucket Screaming -- Written by Bel

This is one of Kayleigh's favorite new pastimes. There's not much else to say about it...


Monday, November 16, 2009

Kayleigh's First Halloween -- Written by Bel

This year was Kayleigh's first Halloween & we made sure to have a blast! Our cousins Kirsten & Marissa were visiting us for the weekend so they got to go trick-or-treating with us & share in the fun :)

The day started off nice & relaxing.

It was REALLY warm outside but it looked like it was going to rain any minute, so Mommy & Kayleigh got our costumes on & headed out for trick-or-treating. Kayleigh even sat for a few minutes so that we could take some pictures!

My Friend Jim's parents' sent us a trick-or-treat sack that had Kayleigh's name printed on it! We couldn't wait to try it out! Thanks Mr. & Mrs. Fedor!!

Kayleigh wasn't too sure what to make of everything, but she held up pretty well. It looks like Reeses PB Cups are her favorite!

About halfway through, we decided to give Kayleigh a break & stopped at the park that we normally take walks to so that she could have some fun in her swing. Look out for the flying devil!!!

By the end of it, Kayleigh passed out & it started to rain. Can't wait to see what next year will bring!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Trip To Smithville -- Written By Bel

This weekend our cousins Kirsten & Marissa came for a visit and we took a trip down to Smithville to check out the shoppes & do some fun fall exploring :) It just so happened that we walked into an Irish festival that was going on that day! I took advantage of the chilly weather & bought Kayleigh a shamrock hat to keep her little head warm.

Kayleigh went on her first train ride throughout the historic village. It was all decorated for Halloween & it was a beautiful fall day out.

After the train ride, Kirsten & I took Kayleigh on the carousel. We had a great time, but I don't think Kayleigh liked it too much! Maybe next year...


Elmo & Talking -- Written By Bel

Every once in a while we will put Sesame Street on for Kayleigh. Most of the time she doesn't pay any attention to it at all. However, recently she discovered that she absolutely LOVES Elmo! Whenever he comes on, she will stop whatever it is that she is doing and look at the TV and laugh!! I thought it was just a one-time fluke thing, but she does it every time!

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In general, she has become a very vocal and interactive baby. She can say Mama (me), Mom (we think is Laura), she waves hello, says "buh-buh" and waves good-bye, claps her hands & has even started to dance and/or bounce!! She is crawling like a pro now and will trample over anything that gets in her way, including people. Haha! She crawls to the couch & walks from one end to the other, she has mastered getting back down to the floor from a standing position (without falling flat on her face), kneels, and is still learning to get back down the one step in the den.

Her latest favorite activity is to crawl up the stairs in the den, attach herself to the gate we have up there, and sing, scream, talk, babble, dance, for a good long while. Sometimes I'm afraid she's going to climb straight over the gate! It is very hard to get a clip of it because as soon as we take out the camera, she becomes preoccupied with that and stops whatever cuteness she has been exuding at that moment. Here's a little snippet of it, and hopefully we'll be able to get more of it soon. (Don't judge me on my lack of Lady Gaga lyrical knowledge - I'm surprised I know the song at all!)

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kayleigh's Baptism -- Written By Bel

This past weekend Kayleigh was baptised into the United Methodist Church! Laura & I have been attending services there since May and ultimately decided that this was the church we wanted to bring Kayleigh up in. Her Godparents were my sister, Mary and our closest friend, Matt, that I have known since high school.





Kayleigh was a perfect angel throughout the church service and the baptism itself. As part of the service, the pastor walked Kayleigh throughout the congregation to introduce her to everyone, and I think everyone was happy to get to see her up close too :)

During the party afterwards, Kayleigh wasn't as happy because her top 2 teeth decided to shove their way through that day, so she was in a bit of pain :( She now has a total of 4 teeth!

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us that day. Our little angel is blessed to have so many people that love her in her life.



Wednesday, September 30, 2009

From Crawling To Standing To Climbing In 2 Days -- Written By Bel

By now, Kayleigh has fully mastered the crawl.

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The day after she started crawling, she started pulling herself up into a standing position. She has been able to bear her weight on her legs since she was about 4 months old - She could even pull herself up to stand if she was on your lap & you grabbed her arms. But now she's crawling to things & pulling herself up on her own! I've even walked into her room & found her standing in her crib!!!

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And it wasn't long before she found her way to the steps in the den, which she can now easily crawl up into the kitchen.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crawling -- Written by Bel

Sunday was a very big day for us...we learned how to crawl! Kayleigh has been getting into the position now for a while but that's all it was for the longest time. But then she leaned forward to get to her toy piano & I guess that sparked something. Still not crawling, but definitely trying to move on her own.

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Later that afternoon, we held her Winnie The Pooh bear a little out of reach & she crawled right over to him!! What a huge difference just a few hours makes!!

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Unrelated but funny, Kayleigh discovered how to kick off her pants. She did this all herself.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Little Yellow Taxi -- Written by Bel

Kayeigh's BFF Kira gave her a toy taxi a few weeks ago. Normally she plays with it for a few minutes and then is done, as she is with every toy. For whatever reason, she found it particularly entertaining one day and laughed at it for a good half hour.


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Thursday, September 10, 2009

We're Back & Starting Foods -- By Bel

We took a brief hiatus there for a while, but we're back & can't wait to share everything with you! So much has been happening & Kayleigh has been changing so much!

One of the biggest changes is that she has started eating solid foods. We were lucky enough to have our friends buy us a baby food mill, so we have been making most of the food she eats & with organic fruits & vegetables. Our first try was some mashed bananas (or naners as we've been calling them). She didn't seem to like those too much, as evidenced by her gagging. LOL. We tried a few times, and she finally stopped making faces, but I still don't think they're her favorite.

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The second food we tried was avocados and she LOVED them!! Since then she's also had rice cereal, oatmeal, apples, peaches, pears, carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries, nectarines, and most recently green beans. Her favorite by far remains avocados.


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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Blogs To Come

I know we haven't blogged in a while, but there are new posts coming! The hard drive on our computer is full so we cannot upload any of the pictures from our camera to the computer. We're hoping to be able to fix this shortly, and when we do, we will have plenty to say! Sorry for the hiatus - things have been crazy around here, but we're starting to get back into the swing of things :) More Kayleigh to come soon so stay tuned!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

FEED YOUR STASH FRIDAY GIVEAWAY

I have been wanting to try cloth diapers for a while now, but haven't had the cash to do so. A friend of mine told me about this giveaway contest so I figured I'd enter & see if I can win some free cloth diapers to try. From what I have researched, the BumGenius are the ones I would want to start off with - they are the most like the disposables I am currently using & will make the transition easier on me. Wish me luck!

FEED YOUR STASH - 3 BG Deluxe AIOs & 1 Babylegs!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kayleigh Says "Mama" -- Written by Bel

For weeks now, as Kayleigh has been babbling we have all been encouraging her to say Mama, as all mothers try to. We have been unsuccessful up to this point & cannot really get Kayleigh to mimic anything vocally yet. Usually she starts making a noise & then we imitate it back to her & she repeats it. Yesterday was different.

We were at my parents' house, as we are on every Tuesday, and my mom kept egging her on with "mama". My mom does this every time she sees Kayleigh & usually nothing special happens. However, yesterday Kayleigh finally repeated it all on her own!! I know that she has no idea what the word is & that it has no real meaning to her yet, but she still said Mama!!! :)


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Monday, July 6, 2009

4th Of July Laughs -- Written by Bel

What a great weekend!! I'm so happy that the weather held out & that we were able to do such wonderful things!

Since the dawn of time, my family has been going to our friends Florence & Angelo's house for 4th of July festivities. This year was Kayleigh's first & she had a blast!! At first, she was afraid of their dog, Sandy, but after we showed her that it was OK she just found her amusing and the craziest case of the giggles ensued!!! We were throwing the ball back & forth with the dog & every time Sandy jumped, or in some cases just moved, Kayleigh was in hysterics. She got herself so worked up that eventually she was just laughing at everything, even the dog toy! The only way to share this with you is for you to see it for yourself. Sometimes it's hard to hear because we're all laughing but you can definitely see her shaking. And at some points, she laughs so hard that you can't tell if she's laughing or crying - I assure you that she is laughing!! Her faces are priceless!!!



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Then on Sunday since the bar that I work at closed early, we were able to go see Laura's band, Musaic, playing at Carolina Blue. We met up with Grandmom, Grandpop, Aunt Stephie & Auntie Cait. It was a great show! We got to sit outside & eat our dinner under one of the tents - the weather was gorgeous!! Kayleigh loved the music & her Auntie Cait was definitely her favorite person of the night - Kayleigh loved her pretty shirt & watching her dance :) Kayleigh is definitely the coolest kid ever - Not only was she an angel most of the time, but she impressed us all when she was able to sleep through a live band!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stand & Step -- Written by Bel

It has been a very exciting week for us! Kayleigh has always been strong for her age, but this past week she has amazed all of us!! If you are holding her up, she has been able to stand in your lap or on the floor for a few weeks now, but the other day I discovered that if you hold her up in a standing position, she will take some steps on her own! She does this all the time now & loves "walking" around the den.


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And then the other day we discovered that she can pull herself up into a standing position from either sitting on your lap or on the floor!! So strong & she's not even 5 months old yet!!!



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Friday, June 26, 2009

The Roll -- Written by Bel

Today we hit a big milestone...Kayleigh rolled over for the first time!!! She did it twice!! I saw it about to happen & I grabbed the camera as quickly as I could - This is the best I could do for now. Hopefully I'll be faster in the future :)






Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Our Little Screamer -- Written by Bel

Kayleigh has gotten increasingly more vocal over the last few weeks. She is definitely playing with sound & discovering new noises every day, most notably her little baby scream. Right now we think it's very cute & we love hearing it, but if it gets any louder (and I am sure that it will), I don't know if we'll find it so cute anymore. She's also getting more control over her legs & tries to "stand" whenever she can. She dances & bounces in her exersaucer & tries to stand when you're holding her. And if you hold her in a sitting position, she tries to pull herself up on her own, but of course she can't yet. She is definitely getting stronger & stronger!

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Yesterday we went to Grandma & Grandda's house for a visit & Kayleigh showed them all her new sounds! She also had a blast in the bouncer that Grandma got for her from her friend Rosa. She had such a good time that she pooped herself out & took a little nap in the moses basket that Grandma has.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Morning Cuddles -- Written by Bel

Almost every morning while Laura is getting ready for work, Kayleigh & I usually take a quick nap for a while (I know, we torture Laura). Even if we don’t get to sleep, we get some good cuddle time in to start off the day.




This morning she was very chatty with me & tried to eat the sheets for a while!


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Kayleigh’s 4 Month Doctor Appointment Updates -- Written By Laura

We took Kayleigh for her 4 month appointment on Friday. Bel & I were both very concerned because we knew she was going to get shots again, and last time was pretty horrible! She was definitely upset for the rest of the day and into the next day last time. That was two months ago, and now Kayleigh has a lot more personality than she did at 2 months. Needless to say, we were not interested in a repeat of last time.

I had done a little research trying to find out if there was anything we could do to reduce the pain of the shots, and we came up with two very simple steps: first, we gave her Tylenol before we went to the appointment instead of waiting until afterwards. Second, I took a pacifier and dipped it in sugar water, then gave it to her a few minutes before the shots were given. I don’t know that it helped, but whatever. I read in a magazine that this silly trick had tested incredibly well in very young children, and seemed to distract them enough with the pleasant taste that the impact of the shot is not felt as drastically as it would have been without it.

Well, who knows what worked and what didn’t, but all I can say is my little girl was fine! You might actually think they put a little “happy” in those shots, because she basically stopped crying before we even got her to the car, and was smiley and talkative all afternoon! We had smiles, squeals, giggles, and all! So it looks like Kayleigh has gotten better with coping with her shots.

Here’s the skinny on Kayleigh’s growth to date! She is 14 lbs, 5 oz right now! She’s in the 75th percentile with weight. What is probably more shocking is that she is 25 ¼ inches tall, putting her in the 90th percentile! So she’s pretty tall and a good weight. That’ll be my luck, she’ll be taller than me by the time she’s 5 or 6! I guess we’ll see what happens.

So, our little girl was a perfect angel and did very well! I’m very happy that things turned out the way they did. Yay Kayleigh!

(I didn't know this video was being taken - I was on the phone with my mom giving her the updates as you'll be able to tell from the background conversation)


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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Our Little Weeble -- Written by Bel

This weekend was very fun! We spent Friday morning playing in her bouncy seat. Seemingly overnight, Kayleigh has mastered the art of bouncing & wobbling in her bouncer. Last week, her feet barely touched the floor in it & now she's a pro. She's also gotten very proficient at holding up her head during tummy time.










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Since she loved Kira's exersaucer so much, we ordered Kayleigh one of her own. She wasn't too sure what to do with it at first, but then she LOVED it! On Saturday we put it in front of the mirrored doors of the buffet in the dining room, and she had even more fun chatting with herself! Turns out all we really needed were the mirrors :) LOL



But what we love most of all are the giggles. We've been trying to get them on video for a while now, but as soon as we pull out the camera she starts paying more attention to that than anything else and stops giggling. Today, Laura was able to sneak up on us at the tail end of one of Kayleigh's giggle sessions. Mostly, all you'll hear is a short squeal, but there are a few laughs in there. Maybe one day we'll be able to get the full thing, but until then...

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kayleigh & Kira, BFF -- Written by Kayleigh

Well today was certainly interesting!! We started off our first few hours without any power, so it was kind of hard to do much of anything at first. Poor Mommy had to shower in the dark! But then we decided to go visit my BFF, Kira. When we first got there Kira was sleeping so I played in her exersaucer until she woke up.




When she did wake up, we played for a little bit & Kira gave me kisses. It was nice because she's my BFF!! Then Liz & Camp Lauren stopped by for a while too - it was nice to seem but I was so tired already that I ended up taking a nap for most of their visit. I hope I get to see them again sometime soon!!




Then we headed off to visit Grandma & Grandda for dinner and Great Auntie Carol & Nanny (my Great-Grandmother) were there too!! Kristin & Kira also came by for dessert and then Uncle Matt came too. I saw a whole lot of people today!! But I really missed my Marmy. She was at band rehearsal so she couldn't come. Maybe next time she will. Thanks for a fun day everyone!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Sounds Of Kayleigh -- Written by Bel

Kayleigh has been making some ooh's & aah's for a while now, but recently she has discovered that moving her mouth creates different noises. I also think she discovered her tongue & is playing around with that too. Here's what she had to say while we were waiting for Marmy to get home:

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Kayleigh also really likes all kinds of music. She loves all the CD's that her friends & family have given her (thank you everyone!), she perks up at church whenever there is music being played, and she especially loves whenever we play music for her at home.

This one song was written out of sleep deprivation - I'm sure we've all been there. Pacing the house at 4am trying to soothe a crying newborn to sleep. I don't think I've ever sang so much in my life! And all of them are ridiculously simple 2 line-ers made up on the spot - basically whatever comes out of your mouth at the time. Luckily, she is a much better sleeper now, but we still sing some of those songs to her, and Laura has added guitar to some of them as well. (Don't judge me, I know I'm not a singer. LOL.)

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Things I’ve Learned From My Daughter -- Written By Laura

Well, Kayleigh’s been here now for just under 4 months, and already she has taught me quite a bit! I thought it might be interesting to share some of these droplets of wisdom…

I’ve learned that birth is a really hard thing to witness. Who am I to complain, I didn’t have to do it! But in all honesty, being the partner in the experience is not easy either. I spent most of that evening nauseous, as I had extreme difficulty watching Bel suffer for so long without being able to offer her any relief. It was rough. I just wanted the pain to stop for her. In the beginning, it wasn’t so bad, but by the time the pushing came, it was pretty hard to take. I just wanted to move to the good stuff. I also thought I was going to get punched eventually, for being so annoying. The entire time I found myself repeating the same things over and over every time a contraction came – “You’re doing great! You’re almost there! You’re past the worst part, it’s letting up…” Blah, blah, blah. All useless garbage that started to annoy me. Bel later admitted that she wasn’t listening to the words, just the soothing sound of my voice. I guess that’s how I escaped a beating! Under normal circumstances she probably would have told me how annoying I was.

I thought I knew exhaustion… I was wrong! Or maybe I’m just old. I remember back in the days of college, being able to stay up 2, maybe 3 days in a row before coming to a complete collapse. Not anymore. It’s a strange existence to spend all of your days running on empty. I’m glad we finally got through it! I can’t count how many times I thought I might die if I didn’t get at least a little bit of sleep. In the end, it has all worked out, and I am a much more rested person.

I have learned that there is nothing better than a baby’s smile. Wait, scratch that. I had thought there was nothing better than a baby’s smile, until the first time I watched Kayleigh throw her head back and giggle. That was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was! She looked like such a little person.

I have learned that I make a lot of noise! I guess I kind of already knew this was true, as Bel is always quick to point out how loud I am, especially when she’s trying to sleep. But I didn’t realize how loud I was until I was trying to quietly sneak into the room with Kayleigh sleeping next to us. Yeah, I am loud. I’ve since tried to learn the art of “stealth walking”, but it’s definitely a skill I could use more practicing! Interestingly enough, before Kayleigh’s arrival I always thought our floor wasn’t too creaky. I now know where all the squeaky spots are, as I learned the hard way by trying to put Kayleigh to bed and inadvertently stepping on all of them!

I’ve also learned a thing or two about little miss Kayleigh… She likes the guitar, she enjoys lullabies and music. She has an octopus that I’m pretty sure she thinks is her best friend. She enjoys trying to cram her fingers into her mouth, and rubs her eyes often, which certainly sends Bel and me into a panic! She’s great at blowing spit bubbles. She is a little princess already, and has no trouble telling you when she’s a little aggravated. And today, Kayleigh discovered something new – her tongue! She is sitting here making all sorts of noises and finally using her tongue to change the sound. She’s going to town with it, too!

I can’t wait to see what Kayleigh turns into over the next few years. I think she’s going to be a pretty interesting little girl!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Birth Story -- Written by Bel

A lot of people have asked me about Kayleigh's birth experience & I've never really had the ability to put into words what it was like, nor have I really tried to explain it before. Don't worry - I will leave the REALLY gory details out of it.

Kayleigh was due on Monday, February 2, 2009. She was ready to come out, but I wasn't ready for her to. I was actually terrified of the whole labor & delivery process. Until the doctor started talking about induction. We had an appointment on the 2nd, and
the doctor scheduled an induction for the following week for if she hadn't been born yet. Once that was set up, I guess I decided that I was ready because I went into labor the very next day.

Around 1:00pm was when the first twinges of contractions started. At first, I wasn't sure they were really contractions at all, but by 5:00pm, they were in full swing & that's when I called Laura at work. So what do you do when you realize you're in labor? What anyone else would do - take a shower & make a giant mesquite steak dinner with baked potatoes (so much for a light meal!).

Since I wasn't sure if I wanted to get the epidural, I wanted to labor for as long as I could at home so that I could stay mobile & more comfortable. Once they give you the epidural, you're pretty much tied to the hospital bed & can't move around anymore. My biggest fear was that the epidural wouldn't work & then I'd be in horrible pain & stuck in bed. And since moving around was really helping me get through the contractions, I REALLY didn't want that. To add to the stress of everything, we were in the middle of the biggest snowstorm of the winter, so timing was going to be everything. We didn't want to leave too early & get sent back home in the snow, but we didn't want to get there too late for the epidural, in case I decided I wanted it.

At 2:00am, after over 12 hours of labor, we decided to leave for the hospital. We were hoping to be at 3cm when we got there so that they would admit me & I was really happy to find that I was already at 5cm! Woo hoo, halfway there & we were admitted at 3:00am. Most of our families were in the waiting room by 5:30am, little did they know we still had a long haul ahead of us.

At around 8:00am is when I finally gave in to the epidural. Even though I was in a lot of pain, I was still afraid of it - I didn't want to be completely numb, I just wanted to take the edge off. But I also didn't want it to not work at all - I have heard plenty of stories where the epidural did nothing for the woman's pain. Also, there's the whole giant needle in the back thing, which I wasn't looking forward to, especially since they were going to make Laura leave the room. But I guess I thought I was in enough pain to ask for the epidural. And wouldn't you know it - my worst nightmare came true. My right leg was completely numb. Like, dead, motionless, I cannot move it numb. So now I was definitely stuck in this bed for the duration. And NOTHING else was numb. It did nothing for my pain, whenever the nurse would pinch me to see if I could feel it, I could feel it. Except for my right leg. So if the baby was going to come out of my right leg, we would have been set.

Right after the epidural, the nurse said she was leaving for a minute & when she came back we could start with the pushing. But then she was gone for almost 2 hours and a new nurse came in - I don't really know what happened there. So around 10:00am is when we started the pushing with a new nurse.

At first it was overwhelming, mostly because I couldn't hold my breath long enough to push for as long as they wanted me to. And because when you're pushing, you can actually feel the baby moving down & out and it's scary because you're not sure if your body can actually handle it or not. But once I gave myself over to it, it got easier & I was less afraid. It was just a matter of will at that point.

When we got to the crowning part, they told me to stop & there was a mad rush of people into the room. There was at least 3 doctors, an intern doing his OB rotation, a group of nurses & a nursing student. I felt like I was becoming some kind of sideshow act. Especially when one of the doctors put on a splash guard over his face. I kid you not. I even made a joke about it to him.

I don't know if I can explain what the actual moment of birth is like. I think it is unexplainable. I've heard many, many women telling their stories, and none of them compare to what it is like to actually live it. We all know that the head comes out first, but you can't explain what it is like to see that & to see her little face being suctioned when she's not even fully out yet. And you don't even know that she's a she yet!! And that minute or so in-between, while you're waiting for the final contraction to push out the body...it just seems like an eternity. All along, you've been fighting the contractions because they are so painful and here you are, impatient for the next one to come. And when it does...I can only describe it as an explosion. Literal, emotional, physical. You feel your body give out. There is an eruption of fluid & blood. It is a burning pain like you have never felt before in your life. And the weight that you have been carrying around this whole time is now magically...just gone. I think my friend Sarah put it best when she said that you feel hollow - There is nothing but flappy skin left where your baby once was. Like the quote, you can almost feel your heart leaving your body. And then they announced that she was a girl, which was shocking because I was so convinced that she was a he. They put this bloody, gooey little thing on you that is screaming because she doesn't know what just happened. And the moment that your eyes connect, there is a wave of emotion that is simply inconceivable. Her little eyes, swollen from being smushed down the birth canal, look right into mine & you can actually feel the instant connection between the two of you and everything else just disappears. I had no more awareness of what was going on around me in that moment & no one else was even in that room full of 50 strangers. It was the quickest, longest few minutes of my life. We've all seen women crying at that moment, and I knew I would probably cry. I just didn't think it was going to be that unstoppable. I thought it would be like every other time I've cried - I thought I would feel it building up and eventually the tears would come. But it's not like that at all - you literally can't control it - it just happens to you. There is no warning, there is no buildup - it just overtakes you.

When they took her away to clean her up a little bit is when I noticed all the blood and the rush of doctors around me. It was quite an overwhelming amount to be honest with you. The doctors were covered in it, I was covered in it - It actually looked like something out of a bad horror movie. The guy with the splash guard - not as funny anymore. I see his point. Thank God I was somewhat disconnected from it all because if I was fully aware of what was going on, and that it was all my blood, I would have started freaking out & would probably have passed out. And luckily I was so focused on Kayleigh, I only heard fragments of what the doctors were saying: "Pretty bad tear", "We have to stop it", "Move quickly".

Thankfully, all I could focus on were her little feet sticking up in the air as the nurses surrounded to tend to her in the layette. The little feet kicking, toes spreading, her little raspy cry, and the almost daunting feeling that I am responsible for another human life. I just gave birth. I am a mother. I can do anything now.