"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, April 27, 2009

This weekend was a big weekend! On Saturday, I walked for the March of Dimes on behalf of Morgan Kate Callahan. Team Morgan Kate raised $525.00 for the March of Dimes. We walked 3.4 miles and and every step was toward healthier babies!

Laura, Luke, Koto, Raven, Melissa, Travis,
Morgan Kate, Kathy, Loitton, Trenholm

On Sunday, our Caroline turned four weeks old! It's hard to believe that we've had her now for four weeks. It seemed like it would be forever until we got to hold her when I was pregnant and now four weeks have passed since she's been born. The last four weeks have been indescribable- filled with different emotions, exhaustion, and pure joy and delight! One thing is for sure- Caroline is a blessing, on loan from God for us to raise, and we are very blessed to have her! As a new mommy I've learned so much in the last four weeks then I have probably my whole life.

Some things I have learned in the last four weeks-
-Unconditional Love- this is hard to understand until you experience parenthood
-Patience- I would like to say that I'll have as much patience as my mother- this could be my lifelong goal- thanks mom for always having so much patience especially with four girls and two being a set of twins
-Perspective-my total outlook on life has changed, life is so very precious and every second counts (even though I sometimes dread middle of the night feedings I am thankful that I get the opportunity to have to feed something so very precious even if its in the middle of the night and I'm so exhausted that I can hardly put one foot in front of the other)- and at the same time I'm reminded of Darius Rucker's song "It Won't Be Like This For Long" and I know that I'll never get these little moments back with Caroline when she's older.

Caroline also has a few likes and dislikes:
Caroline likes:
-to be held
-she likes to swing even if its for only 10 minutes (she doesn't want to do more than this)
-to sit in her bouncey seat
-Pacis- she's just learned how to really suck on these tricky things and now she doesn't want
to be without it
-eating- she loves to eat- her nursing times vary from every two hours to every four- hopefully
she's starting to figure things out and will be on a Caroline schedule in the next few weeks
-Daddy talks- Caroline loves when her daddy talks to her- she just looks at him and takes it all
-Story Time- she likes being read to!
- Being Rocked- This really seems to calm her down and helps her get to sleep
-Sleeping- This girl loves to sleep
-Visitors- she likes to be the center of attention
-Lying on her tummy or her side- these are two of her favorite sleeping positions
-Laughing- She laughs even in her sleep
-Music- since her daddy sang to her in the womb she's loved music ever since- he's hoping
she'll have a singing voice just like him
-Car seat- believe it or not she likes sitting in this thing
-Humming- if music is playing she makes this noise as if she's humming right along
-Noise- she loves noise of any kind no matter if its loud or soft
-Bath Time- she's just now starting to enjoy these times

What Caroline Dislikes:
-Lying on her Back- she'd rather be on her belly but during the nighttime when we're all
sleeping she has to sleep in this undesirable position (I don't much blame her- I'm a belly
sleeper too, and when I was pregnant I terribly missed sleeping on my belly)
-Hands being Swaddled- no matter how tight we make her swaddle she always finds a way
to get her hands free
-Temperature checked- she hates this
Latest pics of our baby girl!
I'm going to be a finger sucker before long-
Caroline- 4 weeks old!
A visit from the Broadwells-
Jeffrey, Cortney, and Sarah Ann
Caroline- 27 days old!
Uncle Randy Kisses! 4 weeks old!
I'm a happy girl! 29 days old!
I love bath time! 29 days old

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Continue to pray for Kayleigh Anne Freeman and her family.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tomorrow is an exciting day for me as well as for a lot of other people in SC. On tomorrow I'll be one of the many walkers to walk for the March of Dimes at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds as well as in other cities in SC like Boiling Springs ,where my 15 year old niece, Courtney, will be walking to support research to ensure healthy full term births. I am walking on behalf of Morgan Kate Callahan as part of team Morgan Kate! Morgan Kate was born at 25 weeks 4 days and because of research by the March of Dimes and sponsors like you and me, Morgan Kate is here today and thriving! I am looking forward to spending the walk with Morgan Kate's family and friends! To read Morgan Kate's story click on the link "Morgan Kate" on the right hand side- once on Morgan Kate's blog click on the link on the left hand side that says "Morgan Kate's Story".
Here's some pictures of Caroline's latest visitors.
Natasha feeding Caroline her very
first bottle! Now Sam can also have
the opportunity of feeding Caroline
at times throughout the week.

Aunt Rhonda these are for you!
Caroline- 26 days old!

How sweet!

These faces are my favorite!
Caroline- 24 days old!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Please pray for this little miracle! Her name is Kayleigh Freeman. Please click on the link to hear her story.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Caroline's Visitors!
Its been so much fun showing our Caroline off!

Aunt Melinda!


First cousins Silas and Anna!

Aunt Angela and Anna!

Uncle Jason!

Uncle Lee!

First Cousins Franklin and Silas!

Uncle D!

Caroline's Nanny!

First Cousin Kelsey!

First Cousin Courtney!

Aw, my aunt Rhonda- she just loves me so much!


Gran and Courtney!

Granny, Granddaddy and First Cousin Samantha!

Aunt Missi, Granddaddy, and First Cousin Christian!

Uncle Randy!



Heather and Morgan Kate!

Stacey, Gracey, and Thadd Paul!






Stephanie and Ian!

Margaret Ann!

Jo Ann!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"... Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." Matthew 6:8

This Bible verse has come to mind many times over since having Caroline! It's amazing how God knows our needs before we ourselves do. Before having Caroline I worried about labor and delivery. When I was actually in labor I had the most wonderful labor and delivery nurse- Lauren. She was the person that I needed at that very moment. When I was delivering Caroline the Dr. that was responsible for our care was the very doctor that I needed that day! This same need happened again on last Friday. Some of you know that I've been worried about Caroline's eating habits. Soon after she'd eat she would spit what I think was everything she ate right back up. She did this even several hours after eating. She does not burp very well but after spitting up she would have horrendous hiccups for 30 or so minutes and then it would seem that she would gag or couldn't get whatever she needed to up. So our pediatrician suggested that we visit the lactation specialist thats with the practice so as to rule out a lactation problem or a digestion problem.

Friday was our consult with, Denise, a board certified lactation specialist. Our time with her was very lengthy but our minds were somewhat eased when we left. The first thing she did with Caroline was weight her- she weighed 9 pounds 5 ounces. Then I began to nurse Caroline and did all the things that I normally do with her during a feeding. As I began to nurse she immediately noticed that Caroline was such an aggressive nurser that she was getting to much air (the reason for all the gas she's having and for all the squirming and fidgeting she does after a feeding). She also saw Caroline do the coughing and gagging during the feeding and commented that it was not affecting her but only me (I do over react in most situations but no one likes to see their child in distress of any kind). After this she weighed Caroline again and she weighed 9 pounds and a little over 8 ounces (8 and 1/3 to be exact, so in five minutes Caroline consumed 3 and 1/3 ounces of milk- this would be the intake of a five month old. I was told in the hospital that I should try and nurse her for 10-20 minutes and my goal at home was ten. Denise, the lactation specialist said that Caroline should only be getting anywhere from 2.5-3 ounces at a feeding and suggested that I nurse for no more than 10 minutes. We stayed a long time after I nursed her so Denise could see her reactions to burping in different positions and how she handled herself when she spit up. Denise concluded the reason for why she was spitting up so much is because she was eating so much and she knew how to get rid of what she didn't need- this made perfect sense. Denise also told us that Caroline is very organized with her digestion due to being a 40 weeker! She said if mothers who wanted to be induced at 37 or 38 weeks knew what a 40 weeker digestive track was like then they would never want to be induced and that the babies she sees would be cut in half! She said that Caroline's digestive system is fully developed and that Caroline was extremely organized with her eating but was a little messy with the nursing- too much air and not knowing when she was full. I told her that even after 10 minutes of nursing, Caroline would still root- and she said that even babies that are full will still root just like they do when they are hungry and that it would be tricky to determine if she was still hungry or not. So she believes that Caroline's issues are mechanical issues- things I can do to help her control the amount of milk she's getting and not so much a digestive issue- like reflux like I first thought.

Denise also commented that we were already establishing good parenting skills and that Caroline was doing great in a new environment with different smells and voices because Caroline was very calm the entire time. She said that Caroline was even better than most 40 weekers she'd seen as far as controlling her environment- this made us smile!!

I also asked Denise when I could start pumping so that could Sam could feed her and enjoy this part of her. She said that Caroline would not have nipple confusion due to again being a 40 weeker and that anytime would be a great time to start. I'm still going to wait a while to pump just to be sure!

Here's Denise's advice for getting Caroline better with her eating:
1. Nurse no more than 10 minutes.
2. Burp her more often.
3. Do tummy time- this will help ease gas pains.
4. Use a paci- this helps reduce spitting up spells. (She's just now taking a paci! She likes the Nuk brand with the latex nipple instead of silicone- thanks Natasha- you gave us this type of paci!)
5. Hold her upright for a while after she's nursed. (I've been doing this but I was so worried about putting her back down after each night feeding thinking that she would choke and I wouldn't hear her because I'd be asleep and couldn't help her).

After a few weeks if these suggestions do not work then we'll need to see our pediatrician to rule out a digestion problem like reflux. So this weekend we have tried this new schedule. So far its working and I can determine for the most part if she's rooting due to being hungry or full. She's still quite the spitter upper but its not projectile vomiting anymore. I'm still sacred to lay her down in the night after each feeding but this I've been told is a legitimate worry and because I'm a new parent. I have felt better since our consult with Denise- she eased our minds and made me feel like I could do something to help Caroline. She was yet another person of need that the Lord crossed in our path!
Happy 3 Weeks Sweet Caroline!