Saturday, August 20, 2011

Our Little Princess

Our sweet little princess, Catherine Louise, arrived on June 9, 2011 at 9:04am weighing 7lbs. 11oz. and 20.5 inches long.  She's just perfect!  And, she's a redhead, just like Matthew!!  I can't even put into words how blessed I feel to have two healthy children.  Thankfully, my delivery with Catherine was much easier and faster than my delivery with Matthew.  I was a week early with Matthew, and a week and three days late with Catherine.  I started having contractions the morning of June 8, and they continued very randomly throughout the day.  I was able to spend the evening with some girlfriends, where the contractions started to get more intense and more consistent.  By the time I got home at 10pm, I knew that my sweet baby girl was ready to make her arrival!  I crawled into bed and tried to just relax as much as I could through the contractions, but when my water broke at 11pm, I woke Ryan up and we packed the last minute items into our suitcases to head to the Yokota base hospital here in Japan.  Our dear friend, Kate Chapman, was kind enough to come spend the night with Matthew so that Ryan could be with me.  It was so wonderful to know that Matthew was well taken care of and that we didn't need to worry about him so we could concentrate on welcoming Catherine Louise!

My labor progresses very quickly and I was able to get an epidural even though I was already dilated to 9 1/2cm by the time the anesthesiologist arrived.  Boy, was I happy to see her!!  Once the epidural was set and I was comfortable, Dr. George came in to asses my progress.  I was fully ready to push, but our sweet little girl was still sitting too high, so Dr. George made the call to let me labor under the comfort of the epidural for a few hours and let the baby drop before I started to push (her reasoning was that by doing this I would have to push for a shorter amount of time once the baby was lower).  They kept a close eye on me and on Catherine during those four hours (roughly from 3am to 7am) because the umbilical cord was loosely wrapped around Catherine's neck in the womb.  Thankfully, she was handling the labor perfectly and wasn't showing any signs of being in distress.  At 7am, Dr. George woke us up and did another progress check.  Everything looked good, so she was going to get her team prepared and I would start pushing at 8am.  Yippee!!  I pushed for less than an hour, but the epidural made me extremely nauseous, so I had to stop a few times to throw up.  Otherwise, the labor was beautiful and so much easier than my delivery with Matthew.  Praise the Lord!

Ryan picked Matthew up later that evening to meet his new sister, and it brought tears of joy to my eyes just to watch him instantly love her!  He was naturally a bit jealous of the time I spent with Catherine and that he wasn't the one sitting in my lap, but overall he has adjusted so nicely and is already such a loving big brother!  Here are some photos we captured during our first few days as a family of four!  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for our beautiful children!

My motivation to push!  :)

Catherine Louise

My two precious babies!

Sleeping Angel

My handsome boys

Our family of four!

Dr. George, the doctor who delivered Catherine

Our little princess

Heading home...can you believe that Japan is home, sweet baby girl?!?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Maternity and Family photos

One of our very talented friends here at Yokota, Kate Chapman, took some beautiful maternity and family photos of us at the end of May.  We took them at an off base park by the Tama River.  It was a beautiful (but very hot) day and Kate captured some amazing pictures of the three (almost 4) of us!  Here are a few of my favorites...

38 Weeks...our little Princess is almost here!

I was 38 weeks pregnant during the week of my birthday.  Ryan and Matthew made my day extra special, but I was so sure that our little princess would be sharing her birthday with me.  Thankfully, she held on a few more weeks.  On the night of my birthday, we got together with a few special friends and had a nice dinner at the Officer's Club.  My dear friend, Cara, presented me with my own special tiara, which I wore through our entire dinner.  I felt so blessed to have such sweet friends spend the evening celebrating with me!

A few days before my birthday, Matthew and Ryan decided to relax together and do some reading.  I think we have a little genius on our hands!  :)

Singing in the Rain

The rainy season in Japan is typically in June and July, but we had a pretty rainy May too.  On Saturday, May 7, Ryan took Matthew out that morning to go to the mall so I could get some rest before the baby's arrival.  Of course, it was raining, but that was the perfect opportunity for Matthew to wear his new sharks raincoat.  I love that it has orange in it too because it makes Matthew's hair look even more vibrant!  This rainy day didn't stop Matthew from having fun with Daddy and the pictures Ryan took from his iPhone came out surprisingly well so I just had to share.  Doesn't our little man look adorable in his raincoat and his backpack?!?  He's growing up WAY too fast!

The following day was Mother's Day, so Ryan and Matthew took me to the Officer's Club after church for their annual Mother's Day Brunch.  It was really nice and the food was delicious.  Sadly, all Matthew cared about were the "fry fries"!  At least he looked handsome in his little sweater vest while he ate them! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Celebrating and Anticipating our Baby GIRL

My dear friends, Emily and Cara, hosted a baby shower for our little princess on Saturday, May 14.  It was such a special celebration and I felt truly blessed to have such sweet friends take the time to shower our baby girl with lots of pink accessories! 

My Diaper Cake

They even had a Princess Tiara for me to wear during the celebration!

Since we're in Japan and Sushi is a big part of the Japanese culture, they made special dessert Sushi out of Fruit and called it -- "Frushi".  It was delicious!

With the wonderful hostesses, Emily and Cara

Shopping Made Fun!

They have shopping carts/strollers at the Japanese malls that are free to borrow while you are there (if you can find an empty one).  Matthew loves to ride in them and it makes my shopping trips so much easier!  Here's a picture of Matthew and his friend, Ellen, during one of our April outings.

Ryan took Matthew to dinner at Chili's on base one night while I spent some time with my girlfriends.  Of course, this is what they decided to eat for dessert! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cherry Blossoms - April 2011

The Cherry Blossom trees here in Japan are spectacular. We took some pictures of the ones on base, but we were really amazed at their beauty during a day trip to Showa Park on April 9, 2011.

Here are the pictures we took at Showa Park.

And here are the ones we took outside of our Tower apartment building on base.