Saturday, January 29, 2011

Daddy's Girl

Whether they are playing on the playground, reading books, or chasing each other around the house, Sierra is and will always be her Daddy's little girl!

Introducing Our Little Angel, Audrey Faith

Words are not enough to describe the amount of love we have in our hearts for our darling daughter Audrey. She's calm and curious. She cries when she's hungry and sleeps for most of her days.

Sierra is gentle with her new baby sister and kisses her often on the head. When Audrey cries, Sierra says the new baby needs a "sip of milk" or has a "poopy diaper". Sierra is a good big sister and is making sure we're taking good care of her new little sister, Audrey.

We're still trying to find our rhythm with our new family demands. Thank you all for all the love, kind thoughts and gifts. All the support makes us feel whole. Thank you so much!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sierra In Her Little Red Dress

This afternoon at sunset, we all went for a family walk. Looking adorable in one of her favorite red dresses, we took a few photos of Sierra and her fancy shades!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Audrey Faith Robért is Born!

Our long awaited bundle of joy has arrived. On Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm, Audrey Faith Robért was born weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 21-1/4 inches. Enjoy the photos of our early morning rush to the hospital and the delivery that ensued...
Our drive to Winnie Palmer Hospital started at 3:30 am Tuesday morning. We were happy and excited to know we woud meet our new baby girl. Today would be the day!
We were admitted to the triage unit immediately. There were no lines, no other expectant parents waiting in the halls. The evening was quiet and calm.

At 4:30 am, the nurses set me up on their equipment to monitor my contractions and the baby's heart rate. As you can see below, Audrey's heart rate was 133 bpm and I was having contractions every 5 minutes or so...
Once the nurses talked to my doctor, they admitted me to a room and started to administer the pitosin drip. Since I was only 1 cm dilated, we had a long way to go to 10.

By 7:00 am, Dr. Tortorella had arrived to the hospital to break my water and start the process. After about 10 minutes, my contractions were ten times stronger than normal and I wanted the epidural, but felt I should ride out the pain for a while. After an hour of suffering, the time for the drugs had come. Above, the photo shows me beaten down from the labor.
By 11:30 am, I was only 3 to 4 cm dilated, so I told Victor and his mom, Linda, to go get lunch. Within 15 minutes, I started to feel pushing contractions and all the nurses were in a panic. I had dilated completely and the baby was in the birth canal ready to be born! I called Victor's cell twice with no answer. The nurses called Dr. Tortorella to have him rush to the hospital from his office15 minutes away. Then the panic became real, when there was a 3 car pile up on I-4 and he was now 30 minutes away. We all waited patiently. I was given a drug to ease my pushing contractions and we waited...
Once the doctor arrived, we started birthing Audrey. But, then he shoulder's got stuck and her umbilical cord was being contstricted. The charge nurse took Victor's place by my side and nurses surrounded me to push on my belly to help birth our daughter. Several pushes later, Dr. T managed to get Audrey out without crushing her collar bone. They tested the oxygen levels in the cord blood to find it was fine and our daughter had not sustained any damage except for a really bad case of facial bruising due to the length of time she stayed in the birth canal.

We met Audrey Faith Robért for the first time and enjoyed cheek to cheek contact giving her hugs and kisses from that moment on.

We are proud to introduce... Audrey Faith Robért!
Linda, Victor's mother, was able to meet Audrey shortly after the birth. We all enjoyed seeing and bonding with her.

The next morning, Audrey looked much better. Her face had a pinkish glow and the bruising had lessened. Her head was round without the infamous "conehead" that many babies get during birth - including Sierra, her big sister on her birthing day.
It's amazing the amount of love that pours out of your heart upon seeing your own new baby. Victor and I wondered how it would ever be possible to love another child as much as Sierra. And, upon seeing Audrey, we were overwhelmed with love and affection for her.
We forgot how small babies are when they are born.
Linda holding baby Audrey in our private room. Thank you Linda for traveling so far to meet your new grand-daughter. We love and appreciate how far you came to be with us for this special day in Audrey's life.
After taking Linda to the airport early Wednesday morning, my mother brought Sierra by the hospital to meet her new little sister....
Sierra met Audrey and said, "Hi, new baby!" She reached out a hand to touch her hair. She was curious and shy. My worries of Sierra being jealous may be unfounded. She is doing so well with Audrey so far and loves to reach out and touch her. She even gave her a kiss as she left the hospital.
Below is a photo as my Mom took Sierra back home after meeting Audrey. Thanks Mom for taking care of Sierra and our new puppy, Cerberus, while we were at the hospital! We couldn't have done it by ourselves! You are so wonderful to help!

Victor bonds with his new daughter, Audrey.

My mother holds Audrey for the first time...
One last photo of me holding Audrey & hoping we will be discharged this afternooon.
Released later that day, we were happy to leave the hospital just after 24 hours.
We did it! I feel so happy and proud of everything we went through over the last day! Happy birth day Audrey! We love you!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Audrey Update...

We just returned from the doctor's office and our darling daughter, still in the womb, is showing no signs of wanting to be born. Since she's 4 days past her due date, our doctor wants to induce her tomorrow morning.

We'll be heading off to the hospital tomorrow at 3:30am to make sure we get a room at the hospital. I'm not dilating yet (still at 1cm), but this morning, I was feeling a few strong cramps. I could still start contracting anytime this afternoon or this evening and have to rush off to the hospital prior to our early morning drive. But for now, we're happy to know we have a plan and birthdate.

We'll let you know more as the days progress. Photos will follow once our darling Audrey Faith Robért arrives! Keep us in your prayers for a safe delivery!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Our New Family Puppy!

Introducing our new family puppy...Cerberus! Of the Cane Corso breed, Cerberus is an Italian working dog similar to German Rottweilers, very intelligent and fiercely more protective of their owners.

Victor found a local breeder and coincidentally, a litter was due to be given away around the same date as Audrey's due date of January 13th. A few weeks ago, we introduced Sierra to her new puppy at 5 weeks old. This past Friday night, Jan 14th, Victor brought him home.
When Cerberus is fully mature, he'll weigh about 120 lbs. Right now, he's 8-weeks and about 15 lbs. He's as cute as can be with massive paws! His temperment is easy going and after 2 nights at his new home, his personality is starting to come out a bit more.
Like most puppies, he nips a lot. Sierra loves to run away from him and he's always charging behind her wanting to play. We spend a lot of time playing with him outside.
After missing our last dog, Morpheus, so much, it was long overdue to find the right puppy to be part of our family. Now with Audrey on the way, our family is almost complete.

Welcome Cerberus!

Sierra's 2nd New Year's Eve!

For our New Year's Eve celebration, the temperatures dropped a bit to the lower 50's. To warm things up a bit, Victor made a fire in our firepit and we made smores! Sierra especially loved the roasting of the marshmellows, AND the sparklers! We laughed and played around the fire. It was a wonderful way to end the year! Enjoy the photos...

Happy New Year Everyone!

Friday, January 7, 2011

What Is In a Name?

For our second daughter, we chose "Audrey" as a first name for it's classic beauty & simplicity. And, as Victor says, "it's nickname proof!" We both loved the name as soon as it came to us. But most importantly, it reminds us of "Andrea." Andrea was the best sister a girl could ask for and had so many qualities in her life worth remembering. Without giving her name, Audrey is close to it, but still unique on its own.

Audrey's middle name was a challenge for us, although we did know we wanted it to be one syllable - a short name with meaning - one that would give balance and flow to her full name. We considered: Rose, Scarlet, Amber, Rain, Sky, Hope, Faith, Charity, Chastity among others.

In my Christmas letter this year, the word "Hope" was a dominant theme for us, so we considered it as a leading middle name for Audrey. Although, after consideration, hope didn't really describe what we felt for her. It wasn't a characteristic we were striving for. It was an emotion we felt to get us through the rough periods of our year, as in: We were hopeful Audrey was healthy and strong; and We were hoping for a happy and healthy pregnancy.

Of the other middle names we discussed, I tended to be attracted to colors names, such as Scarlet (for it's passionate emotion), Amber (for it's warmth) and Rose (for it's calming ability), but none seemed like the perfect complement to Audrey.

We also both liked "Rain" because when it rains, the world seems so peaceful and serene. Rain has a cleansing effect on the earth and in our minds. Victor especially loves the rain and it offers a calming effect to him, so it felt like an appropriate first or middle name for our daughter.

Of the other names we discussed "faith" was at the top of my list. Not only because I have it in my life, but because it's a virtue worth striving for. I believe it is important to have faith in your heart in order for life's events to unfold as they should; or so that we may be open to accepting God's plan once revealed to us. It's also important to have faith in ourselves for what we can accomplish in this life.

So there we were two weeks away from our due date - January 13th - without a name for our daughter! Then just last week, Victor and I went for a walk and he says to me, "I'm okay with the name "Faith." For me, that's all it took. We decided our daughters name would be: Audrey Faith Robért