Saturday, July 26, 2008

So cute!

July 24, 08
Daddy does my hair...

Oh yeah! lol

Will someone please hold me??

Lost in the sea of our queen-size bed!

I told her she was so stinky, she needed to be put in the washing machine! lol (7/26)

Nuh-uh, she says!

Cutest load of laundry I've ever seen! ;-)

Monday, July 21, 2008

And more pix...

July 21. Wonder what she's thinking??

July 21- she slept 4 hours in this position & I finally woke her up!

July 20, with "Grandma Patti" holding Ryleigh
Patti is our longtime friend who made this adoption happen!

Patti's waited 40 years to be a Grandma, she says! lol

Weirdest things

People can say some of the weirdest things!

Last week, an older lady said, "What a cute dress! Is it a boy or girl?"

A few days ago, Ryleigh had on a blue dress and a lady said "Is it a boy or girl?" When I replied, "A girl" she said "I thought so, even though she's wearing blue."

Also last week, someone whom I thought would offer encouragement asked me how I was. I had had only 3-4 hours of sleep by the time of this phone call at 10 AM. When I told her I was exhausted, she said, "OOOOHHHH YOU JUST WAIT!!!!!!!!! YOU JUST WAIT!!!!!!! IT ONLY GETS WORSE FROM HERE. CONSIDER YOURSELF VERY WELL RESTED NOW BECAUSE IT ONLY GETS WORSE." Near tears by her vehement declaration, I said, "Well, you're just full of encouragement today" and she got snotty and said "I'm ONLY telling you the truth! YOU JUST WAIT."

So, let me share some advice. When you come across a new mom that hasn't had any/very little sleep for days and days, try telling her she's doing a good job; that it gets better because baby will start sleeping longer through the night, etc. even if it means you have to bite your tongue to keep the negative junk in! Even if you had a terrible experience with your baby, it doesn't apply to all babies!

OK, I'm done now! LOL

More pix

July 2, about 15 hours old

July 2, being fed by Daddy

July 2, less than 20 hours old

July 13, First trip to church

July 15

July 17

July 16, at Daddy's Pharmacy
being held by "Uncle Chris"

Ryleigh with Grandpa Peterson at Red Lobster July 18

July 17

July 19
Reflecting on the goodness of God =)

7/19-She's always putting her arms above her head.
We like to say she's praising Jesus! =)

7/19- She thinks she's "all that" laying in our bed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ryleigh Ema Jane

July 1st-the Big Day

We arrived at the hospital about 6:30 AM. Meranda was already in her room, hooked up to antibiotics. They didn't start inducing her labor until about 8:30 AM. I can't remember how long she went before getting some pain meds in her IV. She couldn't get comfortable in the bed or chair.

Sometime late that morning, the DR broke Meranda's water, which caused her lots of pain. I felt so sorry for her as she cried. Not much fluid came out until much later when she turned over in the bed. Fluid went everywhere, including in my step MIL's shoe! LOL She shouldn't have been standing so close, huh? ha ha

Mid afternoon Meranda was vacillating on an epidural. She was afraid to get one but thought she couldn't do it without one. She finally ended up getting one and after that, she was able to nap. She was also smiling again. =)

I think we went through 3 nurse-shift changes. Our nurse at about 7:30 PM called the DR and told him we were hanging in there...not a lot going on. Well, Meranda vomited about 10 minutes later and then said she could feel the head coming out! The nurse checked and sure enough, there was a head! The RN yelled at someone to call the DR. The RN thought she'd have Meranda do a couple of practice pushes...then had to have her stop because she was an expert pusher and the baby was coming out! The DR ran in and barely had time to get into scrubs. Meranda pushed less than 15-20 minutes and we had a baby!!

Fred ended up coming in and standing at Meranda's head. She wanted him to come in and be a part and now he is so glad he did! I got to see the baby being born...what a miracle!!!! Parts of it are such a blur because it happened so fast then other parts...I'll never forget it.

They immediately laid Ryleigh on Meranda's belly. I cut the cord!! Meranda held Ryleigh for a couple minutes then the RN took Ryleigh to clean her up, etc. That's when Meranda really started crying. It was heart-breaking. I left Fred with the baby and I just held my head to Meranda's and we sobbed together. I told her "thank you" over and over and she just smiled. When she thought I was out of the room, she cried so hard. I was on the other side of the curtain. I sobbed for heart was breaking for her in her emotional pain. I have bonded with her in such a special way. I told Amy that I couldn't leave Meranda and she told me I had take Ryleigh and go. Ryleigh was crying, so that didn't help Meranda to hear it.

After a quick stop in the waiting room, we went to the nursery where they had me put on a gown on the top and do skin to skin bonding with Ryleigh. It was so amazing. They placed her head right on my heart. I just rocked and cried! Fred gave Ryleigh her first bottle in the nursery.

The next day I went downstairs about 8:30 AM and Meranda was standing at the pop machine! lol I took Ryleigh to Meranda's room. Meranda held her, looked her over, had pictures taken, said her good-byes and kissed Ryleigh, then handed her to me. It was difficult for everyone in a sense, but Meranda needed that closure. 3 hours later, she met with our attorney and signed the adoption papers! Our attorney raced to the courthouse and went before the judge. By 4 PM, we had a copy of the notarized papers, signed, sealed and delivered! Baby Girl Min**** was offically Ryleigh Ema Jane Peterson when she was only 20 hours old!!!! The social worker said he'd never seen an adoption move so quickly! I said to him, "I don't know if you believe in prayer, but there are lots of prayers being said on our behalf!"

Then, this past Tuesday, Meranda had her final hearing before the judge and we got those papers in the mail on Wednesday that her part is final.

The next step is checking the Putative Father Registry the end of July. Our hearing will be the first week of August and then it'll all be over!!

God is so good!


July 1, 6 AM. Heading out to the hospital

Grandpa Peterson, July 2

Daddy & Ryleigh, July 2

July 3. Not quite 2 days old

First DR's visit, July 5

July 7. Her fave sleeping hand & arm above her head.
Fred sleeps the same way!

July 7. Evidence of her long fingernails on her cheek. lol

July 8, shopping @ Kohl's

July 12th. She'd been to the local Mexican restaurant & took a spin through Goodies

July 16-tuckered out.
We went to see Daddy at his pharmacy
& everyone there had to hold her! =)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


We are exhausted. Exhausted, exhausted, exhausted.

We knew this would be hard, but when you're smack dab in the middle of no sleep, it seems exceptionally hard.

Regardless, we are calm (trying to be, anyway. lol) and enjoying every (almost. ;-) ) minute.

I took her out by myself for the first time today. We did pretty good. =)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pharmacy screen saver

Fred sent me this pic with his cell phone. This is a computer at his pharmacy! lol

He's not a proud daddy, is he??


Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. Before you were here an hour, I would die for you. This is the miracle of love. -Maureen Hawkins

Photo taken in hospital nursery within 30 minutes of birth


It's no secret that Fred was not on board for this adoption in the beginning. He's always feared adoption, thinking a birth parent could come back in 2 months or 2 years or whatever and say they'd changed their mind, etc.

He worried about the financial aspect.

He worried about how we'd adjust...having been just the two of us for 15 years and being set in our ways and our schedule and so on. Fred & I are very close. We've been through some heart-wrenching times together. Infertility literally knocks you to your knees.

He worried about being able to love someone else's child as his own.

This husband of mine has amazed me. He continues to amaze me on a daily basis.

He held her for the longest time right after the delivery. He rocked her in the nursery. He gave her her first bottle. All the while saying softly, "Daddy's here. Daddy's here. It's OK, Ryleigh, Daddy's here."

When we got in our own hospital room, he could barely stand to put her down. He fed her. He puts his mouth to her ear and whispers over and over and over "" The other day he was doing that and she said "Coo" and he said, "DID YOU HEAR THAT??? SHE SAID DADDY IN HER OWN LANGUAGE!!!!" He was hysterically happy and I had to laugh.

He wants to hold her constantly. He rocks her. He burps her. He prays over her. He tells her how beautiful she is. He makes her bottles. Everyday, I wake up to a rack full of clean baby bottles that he's washed during the night or the early morning hours.

He reads everything he can get his hands on about babies. He sings to her. He marvels at her eyelashes and eyebrows.

At 3 AM this morning, when he stirred from sleep and realized I hadn't been to sleep yet, he tucked me in and took Ryleigh into the living room and fed her. He came back to the bedroom, put her in her swing, climbed into bed and rubbed my shoulders and my back and my legs and feet. This morning he told me he'd felt so sorry for me because I hadn't gotten any sleep yet. He took care of Ryleigh in the living room until 10:20 AM so that I could sleep.

He hugged me in the kitchen the other day and said, "You know how I was worried that a baby would come between us? Well, it's done just the opposite. We are so much closer together."

He still takes my breath away.

Being a first time dad at age 38 is such a blessing for our tiny girl. Fred is older, wiser, not as self-absorbed as a young dad usually is and very, very patient.

Ryleigh and I are very blessed. =)

Changing everyday

Here's some pix I took today. Each day I can't believe how much she changes in her looks! One day I think she couldn't get any more beautiful and then lo and behold I wake up the next day astounded! ;-)

First shopping trip

Tiny baby Ryleigh in her car seat that fits in her stroller. We were in Kohl's...her first shopping trip! She never made a sound and we were in there well over an hour!

Breathing easier

We're starting to get our "sea legs" under us from the exhaustion of a newborn.

The first night at the hospital, the nurse kept Ryleigh in the nursery for us so we could sleep. It had been an exhausting day.

The next night, we kept her in our room and it was a looooong night. I remember sitting up with her in the rocking chair in our hospital room and Fred sitting on his little cot saying "I don't know if I can do this." I was like, "That's not what I want to hear at this particular moment...with a screaming baby in my arms!" We got about 3 hours sleep.

Our first night home was tough. Ryleigh wouldn't sleep anywhere but my chest. So, guess who sat in the recliner all night, holding a tiny baby girl? I know I got some sleep, cause I woke myself up snoring. =)

The next day, my sister and mom came to visit. After they were here about an hour, I told them to enjoy the baby =)...I needed a nap. And I slept for 3 hours! I felt like a new woman after that nap!

Fred wants to pick Ryleigh up everytime she cries, including in the night, etc. So, Sunday night, I had him go to bed in our room with the fan on high for the noise and I slept in the living room so I could get Ryleigh to sleep in her swing and not on my chest. I told him not to come out of the room even if he heard her cry! lol I told him I'd come get him if I needed him. After a rocky start, Ryleigh slept in her swing 5 hours! I got her up to feed her and she never even opened her eyes! She went back to the swing and slept 4 more hours! Woohoo! lol Now she sleeps in her swing every night and I get to sleep in my bed! She wakes up every 2 to 3 hours to eat but goes right back to sleep.

She's such a good baby! She never cries unless she's hungry. She doesn't even cry with a wet/dirty diaper!

We are very blessed!


I just laid Ryleigh on her belly and she used her arms and feet and rolled over on her back!!!! Fred & I were jumping up and down!!! LOL

Earlier this morning while on her tummy, she raised her head up and looked all around while holding her head up real strong. So adorable!

Oh my gosh!! She just rolled over on her back again! I'm getting it on video next time! lol

Monday, July 07, 2008

He is Mine

Of course we have a baby girl, but still, this poem touched me and made me cry.

"He Is Mine"
I tiptoed into your room one night.
I watched you sleeping there.
Your tiny body looked so snug
wrapped in peaceful slumber's care.
I thought of how you came to be
The child we'd longed to know.
I wondered at the sight of you:
"How could she let you go?"
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I
Felt the pain she must have known.
For I will have to let you go
Some day when you are grown.
A mother I might never meet
Had given me her son.
Yet, surely as you've filled my heart,
A peace of hers you'd won.
"How could she let you go?"
The question kept returning.
And in the depths of my own heart
A question kept on burning.
"How can I ever let you go
When years have come and gone?"
I stood there by your crib until
The nighttime turned to dawn.
And as the sun peeked through the shades,
The voice of God broke through.
"I trusted her to give him life
And now I'm trusting you.
"To show him what is right and wrong,
To love him and to be
The one who teaches him the way
To come back home to me.
"He wasn't hers to give, you know.
And he's not yours to own.
I've placed him in your life to love
But he is mine...on loan."
-Valerie Kay Gwin

I'm learning

As of last night at 8:19 PM, I've been a mom for 5 days.
These past 5 days I've learned:
1. I can love a baby I didn't give birth to, as if I did.
2. Hearts really do melt!
3. I can sleep places I never thought I could.
4. I can survive on 3 hours of sleep.
5. The sound of a good burp is music to my ears!
6. I'd rather gaze into Ryleigh's eyes than eat or sleep or shop or travel or read or...
7. It's possible for Fred to be in love with two girls at once. =)


Ryleigh Ema Jane Peterson

Born July 1, 2008
8:19 PM
7 lb. 10.5 oz.
22 inches long
Big brown eyes
Tons of dark hair!
Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone from my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow beneath my heart,
But in it.