Monday, July 25, 2016

Mother of Twins

Just 5 days after we got that first positive pregnancy test, I called a new doctor to set up my first appointment. My current gynecologist no longer delivers babies, so I had to find someone new. I didn't know how I could ask those around me for recommendations since I hadn't told anyone else about our news other than my immediate family. We hadn't even told Howard's family yet because we were waiting for my father-in-law's birthday dinner so everyone would be together. In my search online, I decided to look at a former doctor who left my current doctor's office to start her own practice. I discovered that she closed her practice fairly recently, but she recommended a doctor that even delivered her own babies. Well, an obstetrician who delivers other doctors' babies? Sounds good to me!

The funny thing is that when I found her Facebook page, I saw that a few of my friends actually liked her page. What made it even better is that I saw a review from my colleague's wife who raved about her. She was actually the one I wanted to ask since she had 3 babies already, and there you go! Thanks to the internet, I was able to find her without even asking! Thankfully, I was able to get an appointment with them after telling them it was somewhat through a personal recommendation. 

That first appointment was scheduled for Monday, March 21. Although we were excited to be having a baby, it still didn't feel real just yet. Sure, we did tell some more family members and my closest colleagues at that point, but I didn't feel any different. There was a part of me that was kind of like, "Well, I still have to get through my daily work days and plan lessons and pretend that everything's the same." I think I just needed that confirmation from the doctor herself, as if there was any possibility that the 5 positive pregnancy tests I had sitting on the toilet tank were incorrect.

I didn't know what to expect during that first appointment. I'm the type of person who prefers to be prepared as much as possible, so before any medical procedure, I look up anything I can online just so I'm not surprised. However, since there were so many different things that could happen during a first appointment depending on doctors, I wasn't sure. I just knew that I'd probably have to get used to peeing in a cup, haha, which is something I have always hated to do. In fact, I'd prefer to get blood drawn than pee in a cup, but now that I do it at every appointment, I've gotten rather used to it, thankfully! 

With no definite expectations other than that, I was a little nervous. Howard and I sat in the waiting room for quite a bit of time. When we were called in, the nurse asked if we were there because I was pregnant, and I said yes. She replied, "Yeah, the husbands don't usually come to the pap smears!" After the routine questions were asked and my blood pressure and weight were recorded, the doctor came in to ask a few questions of her own and run through her own tests. I was then led into another room for an internal ultrasound. It's funny how the things that you have always dreaded in the past are just things you have to do and can handle when it means it's for your baby! 

The room was set up so that instead of my having to turn to look at the technician's screen, I could just look up at the one mounted on the wall in front of me as I was lying down. When the image popped up, I noticed something unusual, but at the same time, I didn't really think too much of it since it was my first time really looking at an ultrasound carefully. But the technician then said something we both were NOT expecting at all. She said, "As you can see, it's twins ..."

WHAT?! TWINS?! She said she saw it right away, but she wanted to make sure she could see a heartbeat on both babies before she said anything. Howard and I looked at each other with wide eyes. We were shocked. We have joked for years that if we ever had twins, we would name the babies Luke and Leia if it was a boy and girl. Many people have heard the story of how I promised him that those would be their names since he loves Star Wars so much (even though it was kind of a joke, I think, haha). We had also only recently discovered that twins do actually run in his family. I think it was just something that he had forgotten since his extended family lives around the world.

In that brief moment, I had a million thoughts run through my head. I thought about how it would be so much more difficult on us to handle two babies at the same time at the same age and how it would cost twice as much to feed, clothe, and diaper our little ones! 

But as quickly as those worries sped through, they came to a complete halt. The technician actually couldn't find the heartbeat for the second baby. We heard the beautiful sound of Baby A's heart, but there was nothing for Baby B. And suddenly, the fears I had just a minute ago turned into bewilderment. What? How was there no heartbeat? As the news sank in, I began to cry.

The doctor came into the room at that time, and the technician explained to her what had happened. They gave me tissues and explained that it was probably Vanishing Twin Syndrome. Because ultrasounds are done so early nowadays, it's possible to see that there are twins before a miscarriage occurs and one is absorbed by the other twin. In the past, it wouldn't have been as easily detected because by the time they could see the baby in an external ultrasound, the other twin would have disappeared already. She said that instead of having me return in a month for my next appointment, she wanted to check me out again in two weeks to make sure that everything was okay. If I had any bleeding/spotting or any other miscarriage symptoms, I was to call the office.

Howard and I spoke to her a little more and got more information about pregnancy in general. We left the office rather quietly, but when we got to the car, the tears just started flowing again. I know that medically speaking, these things happen, but I was afraid that it was something I did or didn't do that caused it to happen. I'm sure plenty of other women have had the same thoughts I had, but I just felt guilty because I was the one carrying both babies. I also felt guilt about the immediate thoughts I had in the office regarding how I was scared about having to handle two babies at once. 

I went home, and we both called our parents and then texted our siblings to let them know. It was a very confusing time emotionally. I did a lot of reading online in an attempt to have a better understanding of it. Some articles definitely made me cry many times. For example, there was one woman in an article who mentioned it felt like going to a birthday party and a funeral at the same time. We were sad about Baby B, but we were also happy about Baby A. But at the same time, we felt guilty for being happy about Baby A. My emotions would flip flop on an hourly basis. Was I even "allowed" to be sad? Some women are only pregnant with one baby and have a miscarriage. At least we still had one with us, right? There are some women who have infertility issues and can't even get pregnant and stay pregnant with one baby. I should be thankful, right? We also knew that Baby B was already in heaven having the best time. I didn't know what I should or could feel.

We didn't share this information with many people at the time or since then. Other than our immediate family, I only told two of my colleagues at work the next day because I knew I needed their prayer and support. After some time, we also told our small group, but that was much later on when it was easier to talk about it. I just couldn't handle my own emotions and then deal with what other people might say too. My mentor teacher told me that even though we still had one baby, I had every right to be sad about the other baby and that we should give ourselves time to mourn that loss. I mean, even though I was still pregnant, I did lose a baby. One person I told attempted to comfort me by saying that at least we didn't hear both heartbeats during one appointment and then not hear them the next. Sure, I agree that would've been more devastating, but this was still taking an emotional toll nonetheless. When we told our small group, our leader said that sometimes when he has to comfort others due to his pastoral role within ministry, the only thing that can be said is, "That sucks." I couldn't agree more.

During those two weeks of waiting for the next appointment, I was incredibly sick from morning sickness, but it was made worse by the worries. There was a slight chance that the second heartbeat just wasn't audible because the baby was too small. I didn't know what to think. I admit I didn't even know how to pray. The doctor had explained that having multiples increases the risks in pregnancy and that I would have to stop working by a certain week and take it easy to prevent preterm labor. I knew it would've been a strain on my body if that was the case, but I couldn't help but ask God why there had to be another baby in the first place if it wasn't going to survive. It sounds silly, but I even wondered if Baby A knew that something was wrong and missed Baby B.

At the next doctor's visit, we could physically see that the second sac was shrinking. For those of you who saw Howard's Facebook post on our 4th anniversary in May, you already saw this picture. You can see that the second baby didn't grow the way the first baby did. I also had some bleeding in the uterus. As sad as it was, I actually started feeling a little better physically thereafter. Weeks 6-9 of my pregnancy were the worst in terms of morning sickness and stress, but once we had more of a final answer about our twins, we could move on to being happy that Baby A was healthy and growing right on schedule with a heartbeat at 185 beats per minute. We could look forward to being parents!

Writing this entry definitely brought up a lot of the emotions that I thought were long gone. I guess there's no way to truly make the sadness about our other baby go away forever. Even though I will be giving birth to one baby in November, I am and always will be the mother of twins, and we both look forward to meeting our other baby in heaven!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sharing the Big News: My Family

When we found out that we were pregnant on Wednesday, March 2, we were still a little skeptical. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I took another test the next day in the morning for a confirmation. We didn't tell anyone right away because we wanted to let the news sink in and enjoy it when it was just the two of us. It definitely is different once people know. It felt odd keeping such a secret though because that Friday was my school's annual Pajama Movie Night, and I had to order a well-done burger when a few of my colleagues and I went out to eat before the event. Everything I did made me wonder if I would do or say something that would give it away.

I always thought I'd tell my mom immediately, but it happened to be that my dad's birthday celebration was that Saturday. He always tries to tell me things, and I'll reply, "Mommy already told me." If there's anything new going on with me, he typically hears it through my mom because we talk so often and about everything. I thought it would be extra special to make the announcement specifically to my dad so that he would also see just how important he is to me.

Just to be on the safe side because Howard and I were still doubtful, I took another test on Saturday morning. This was just two days after the last test, and that line could not be any darker! There was no waiting for it to appear; it automatically appeared! It was amazing to see how clear it was; there was absolutely no denying it at that point! I also kept thinking about how great it was that my colleague told me to get the Dollar Tree tests. I mean, I took so many just to confirm!

Okay, now that we had that confirmation, I had to figure out how to reveal the news. I just knew it would be the perfect opportunity because my entire immediate family doesn't get together that often, and I really didn't want to just text it. This was a rare occasion with the best timing! I decided to make a card because I've done that once in a while in the past so it wouldn't be too out of the blue. My dad isn't really someone who likes getting gifts; he'll worry that we spent too much money on him! Anyway, I didn't have the time to make anything fancy with my Cricut or Silhouette, so I used the internet to get a simple black and white picture of a slice of cake and copied and pasted it so that there would be 9 slices on the front since the addition of our baby would make us a party of 9!

When we go to the house, I knew we would have to wait a bit. I wanted to make sure my brother, sister-in-law, and niece were there too. I kept waiting for the best moment because I did want Howard to film their reaction or take pictures if possible. When we went upstairs to the living room, I was thinking it would be the right time because we were all taking pictures of Ava, but my mom wasn't sitting anywhere near my dad. I wanted to make sure that they were together so that she could read it too when he opened the card. Okay, I'd have to wait a little longer.

Later that night, we were in the kitchen for dinner. We had ordered in so it was fairly relaxed, but I thought it was hilarious that my mom had brought up a Seagrams Escape Fuzzy Navel, which is what we used to get in Florida and is the only drink that I ever have that's considered alcoholic. I had to pass on it as I claimed I wanted Martinelli's instead and that I'd have the Seagrams later. I ate a little but not too much because I was feeling a little nervous! 

Finally when we were getting ready to have some dessert, I gave my dad the card. He took it, thanked me, and then put it aside. I told him to open it, and while he was doing that, my mom realized she had miscounted plates, but I didn't want her to miss out on reading it too! I had to tell her to look. My younger brother was on the other side of my dad, so he leaned over to take a look too. 

As I said before, the front of the card just had 9 slices of cake on it with the beginning of the happy birthday song, but instead of finishing the lyrics, I wrote, "Happy birthday dear ..." with the continuation on the inside of the card. On the inside, I wrote "Goong-goong!" because that means maternal grandfather in Cantonese. Even though my parents are already grandparents, they have different titles in Chinese because my brother had a baby. My parents can only be Goong-goong and Por-por because of me because I'm their only daughter. Anyway, I inserted a picture of the pregnancy test and then wrote the following: "We're going to have to split the cake into 9 pieces! Love, Howard and Rae (plus one)."

Soon to be Goong-goong!
We took this at the end of the night. I actually wanted Howard to get a quick shot of the card, but when I picked it up, my dad wanted to be in the picture too, which I thought was adorable.
The reaction was priceless. My dad laughed, but I don't think he realized what it meant or what the picture was until he saw the "plus one" portion. My mom and younger brother both looked up at the SAME EXACT TIME and said "Really?" at the SAME EXACT TIME! And then they both did a little celebratory dance IN THE SAME EXACT WAY. Here's just a snippet of the video:

It made me laugh so much, and even now as I watch the video, I'm reminded of what a great moment it was. I'm really glad that it worked out that my entire family was there. We were saying to my baby niece that she was going to be an older cousin! Now when we get together for dinners and celebrations, we're going to need an even larger table as our family continues to grow!

Friday, July 1, 2016

God's Impeccable Timing

After months and months of trying to get pregnant, there was a part of me in the back of my head that was convinced that maybe we would be one of those couples dealing with infertility. There were articles I read that stated that 6 months to a year was the typical amount of time it took, but at the same time, I knew of people that got pregnant rather quickly or without even trying. I told myself that it would happen at the right time, but I kept thinking that with the health problems I've had since college, I'd come across some issues preventing it from ever occurring. 

At the same time, Howard and I had also been searching for a new place to live. Initially, we started apartment hunting and found an apartment we LOVED in a great location with a ton of space and a reputable landlord only to realize that there were no hookups for a washer/dryer and it wasn't possible to add them up because it was above a dental practice. Another apartment was actually a newly renovated townhouse, and the two of us seemed to really get along with the family and daughter that were renting it. We told them of our interest, and it came down to two parties, but the owner ended up not choosing us and apologized because of how much he knew we loved it. 

We then switched to looking at houses after our parents advised us that it made more sense to pay a mortgage than pay rent, but the houses we liked sold quickly. I didn't think we'd be able to handle a down payment on a house, so we then began poring over the online listings for townhouses. There was one we absolutely adored and even put an offer on it, but the owners insisted that they wanted $5000 less than full price. It wasn't worth it in our opinion, and even our realtor said that their counter offer was ridiculous. 

As you can see, there were many internal struggles and even faith struggles throughout this time because I felt that we were ready to move on to the next stage of our lives. We both cried many times when the pregnancy tests came back negative despite symptoms suggesting otherwise and also when housing situations fell through. 

Of course, now that I have hindsight, I see just how BEAUTIFUL all that time was. Howard and I not only grew stronger as a couple, we really grew stronger in our individual faith in Him. When I was upset, he wasn't. When he was upset, I wasn't. We learned how to support each other and remind each other of God's perfect timing. And suddenly, things seemed clearer to us. We were ready to give up the pen and stop fighting the Creator and Author of our lives. And doesn't it just make sense that things then fell into place? 

On Monday, February 22 of this year, I was on the schedule to share a devotional with the staff at my school during the morning meeting. This is what I wrote and read to my colleagues: 

If you know anything about me or if you've ever sat in on one of my classes, you know just how much I love everything Disney. My husband and I love it so much that we even chose to go to Disney World for our honeymoon. One of my all-time favorite movies is actually the recent 2010 animated film Tangled, which is the story of Rapunzel. I find myself singing or humming the songs without even realizing it. One in particular is called "When Will My Life Begin?" The beginning goes as follows: 

7 AM, the usual morning lineup:
Start on the chores and sweep 'til the floor's all clean,
Polish and wax, do laundry, and mop and shine up
Sweep again and by then it's like 7:15.
After listing some more activities that she partakes in while being locked in her tower, she sings, "Stuck in the same place I've always been" and "When will my life begin?"
Now in no way am I comparing my life with the plight of a young, long-haired girl confined to a secret location, but as I think back on my own inner monologue, I find myself asking myself something to that same effect - when will my life begin?
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I spent my middle school and high school years waiting for the day I could finally have a guy call me his girlfriend. It was as if my life would surely have more meaning and purpose once someone else determined that I was worthy. I eagerly waited for high school graduation when I could stop worrying about the competition for being ranked first and second. Once I began college, I would be able to study what I wanted to study and leave behind the world of classes like economics and history (sorry, Jess). Then after receiving my Bachelor's degree, I was anticipating the moment when I would finally have my MRS degree. Knowing that I would undoubtedly have my spouse by my side for the rest of our lives gave me feelings of comfort and peace. And now that I have been happily married for almost 4 years, there are two things that I look forward to hopefully happening sooner rather than later. Much of what Howard and I have thought about is how things would be easier if we were as financially "set" as my brother or his sister.
Some of you already know that Howard and I have been looking to move. We initially thought we were going to rent a 2-bedroom apartment, which would be an unbelievably amazing upgrade considering we live in a studio right now. After many prayers and seeing God close many doors and giving us the clear "no's" that we ask for, we have been house hunting instead. I feel that once we find the right place and we can move, we'll have more closets to get organized, better kitchen appliances and space to prepare healthier meals, and more room to finally be able to repay our families and host dinners. And don't get me started on just how thrilled we will be when we finally have access to our own washer/dryer!
The other stage of my life that I am looking forward to is having a baby. I have always felt that being called a mom is such a prestigious title. I think fondly about the way my mom parented my older brother and me and feel that it is such a high calling. I thoroughly enjoy my nephew and nieces, but there's part of me that wonders when it will happen for my husband and me. 
During all these instances, it's as if I'm somehow always thinking that at the next phase, I will be set and my life will surely begin. Since the start of the school year, however, I have been learning how to be patient with all the things that I think will mean some sort of completion in my life. I have been reminded time and time again that God is the one whose plans will far surpass any plans I attempt to make. I have worried about many things, but I see over and over again that He orchestrates all these phases. For once, it is as if I am finally learning to fully submit the desires of my heart to the One who knows it all.
Yesterday in church, I was especially touched. There was a new song included in worship called "Death Was Arrested." Part of the lyrics are as follows:

Our savior displayed on a criminal's cross
Darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost
But then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand
That's when death was arrested and my life began 

Oh your grace so free
Washes over me
You have made me new
Now life begins with you
It's your endless love
Pouring down on us
You have made us new
Now life begins with you
Those lyrics just seem to directly address Rapunzel's and sometimes my thoughts of "When will my life begin?" I admit that I sometimes lose sight of God's plan for my life when I try to take things into my own hands and plan and organize it the way we all plan our lessons and organize our classrooms. 
I hope that over the past 31 years, I have gained wisdom and not just head knowledge and looking to His Word is definitely the best way to get plugged into the true source of wisdom. Some of the many verses that have reminded me of God's wonder can be found in Psalm 139:1-6, 13-16.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
When I am reminded of how great He is and how small I am and how much He knows and how little I know, it kind of puts me back in my place to realize that I can hope and plan all I want, but ultimately, He is the one who is in control since "all the days ordained for me were written" even "before one of them came to be."

Just a few hours after sharing that with everyone, Howard texted me to tell me that after adjusting our initial offer, the new offer we had made on a house the day before was accepted! And then as you all read in my previous post, it was just a little over a week when we saw those two lines indicating that we were going to be having a baby! It's funny looking back on everything that happened and seeing how God was in charge the entire time even though we kept trying to control our steps and do things according to our own timing. It was clear that He was wanting us to surrender and trust, and I can truthfully say that I'm glad He waited for us to get to that point. Because in the end, what do I know? Nothing. What does He know? Everything.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

When Those Two Lines Appeared

"Can you stop at the store and get like, steak? Or tofu? Some kind of protein?" That was a slightly odd text for me to send Howard back at the beginning of March.

Anyone who knows me is aware that I would much rather enjoy plentiful helpings of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole at Thanksgiving instead of the turkey or beef. I've been known to choose an entree at the restaurant based on what comes with it on the side. My mom used to remind me when ordering that I had to choose something with protein in it because, in my opinion, that's just not the best part of the meal so I would avoid it if I could. So when I had this sudden craving for protein, I had a feeling something might be different.

Howard came home from work and stopped at our local store for two small steaks. I was excited to have some beef, which is somewhat rare in our household. But because it was an out of the blue craving, I decided that maybe I should take a pregnancy test in case there was a need for my steak to be cooked all the way through. In all honesty, this was probably the first time I didn't really have high hopes for what the test would reveal. This was the second batch of pregnancy tests that we had purchased, which meant I had gone through some months of feeling hopeful and then ultimately feeling disappointed when the test came out negative. I had come to the point in my walk with God when I realized that if He wanted us to be parents, it would happen in His time instead of our own. Taking the test this time was done just out of precaution.

Even so, there's something somewhat nerve-wracking about waiting even if it's for just a short interval. I set the test on the top of the toilet tank and sat down on the bathroom rug with the timer on my phone set for 3 minutes. When the buzzer indicated that it was time to look, I stood up and peered over and saw ... nothing. Nothing had happened. There wasn't even one line for the control. I was wondering what happened because it didn't look as if liquid had even moved at all, so I picked it up and for some strange reason, looked underneath the test to see if I could visually detect any issues with the test. Then because I tipped it one direction, the liquid moved down the testing strip and two lines automatically appeared. The testing line wasn't as strong as the control line, but it was undoubtedly there.

I froze. The test had to be faulty, right? But then again, any line even if it's faint means that there's HCG present. I called Howard to the bathroom and told him what happened. Maybe I put it on a spot of the toilet tank that wasn't level. But I had done that before in the past. We decided we would just try again with another test. Thankfully, my colleague at work told me to just grab the ones from Dollar Tree because that's what she had successfully used for her two kids, so I didn't have to feel bad about spending so much money on pregnancy tests! But since I had just used the bathroom, I had to keep drinking water and wait a bit at first! We were in denial at that point because of all the times I've read about tests that were faulty.

About 20 minutes later, I took the second test. We both waited in the bathroom and when the 3 minutes was up, we turned to read the results. There it was again! That second line! We just stood there staring at each other as we were not quite sure what to believe. In the past, I wondered if I or both of us would cry especially after wanting a baby for a while, but we were just in shock and kind of laughing at what was before our eyes.

The rest of the night, I kept saying, "Am I pregnant?" but it was closer to a statement than an actual question. We kept looking at each other and then bursting out in laughter. I know that any line means there's HCG in the urine, but I just couldn't fully believe it. We decided I'd take another test in the morning when the HCG is supposedly the strongest, and that third test confirmed it! What?! So now we know we're definitely having a baby?! We're going to be parents?!

And yes, Howard did cook my steak all the way through.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Meeting My Niece

Hello everyone! It's been quite some time since I last wrote here! I always kick myself for not jotting down a thought once in a while or a recap of the important moments of my life, so I figure it's better late than never despite the fact that it's been EXACTLY two months since this momentous day. What happened on May 27, 2015? I finally met my niece! She was actually born the day before a little after 5pm, but my parents were the only ones in my family who were at the hospital all day. 

If you've been reading for a while, you know that last August I was completely in love when I met my nephew Toby. Obviously a baby changes the life the parents, but I have to say that becoming an aunt was definitely one of the highlights of 2014. It's incredibly fun to get to experience the joys of having a baby in the family without actually having to deal with waking up in the middle of the night and poop explosions. All of you people out there who aren't parents yet but are aunts or uncles probably understand what I'm talking about because as a relative, you can just pass the baby back to the parents! We also get to go home and sleep well that night!  

Toby was the one who made me an aunt for the first time, and nothing will ever replace that. However, there was something extra special about the birth of my niece. It might be because it was my own brother's baby instead of Howard's sister. Of course, I grew up with my brother and experienced so many of life's adventures with him since he's only two years older than I am. It made me melt to think that he was going to be a father when we first found out that my sister-in-law was pregnant. All the things that he loved as a little boy were sure to come out when he had a kid of his own. I love my in-laws, but I don't have all the memories with them that I have with my own family.

The arrival of the baby might have also been extra special because she was a girl. When I imagine having my own kids, it's so much easier for me to picture having a little girl! Also, I've written about it before, but I am addicted to clearance shopping. I can be completely starved and so desperate for food (as I was during our recent road trip to Lancaster!), but the one thing that can quell the hunger other than actually eating is clearance shopping. The baby girl clothing racks are always rather full compared to the ones for baby boys. Plus, they're completely adorable! I get so excited when I find items that match the new mommy's own style that would be so cute on her new baby daughter!

As an aunt, I definitely get the best of both worlds since now I have a nephew and a niece! Now let's rewind to that wonderful day in May!

When my family arrived at the hospital, I was already jumping up and down with excitement. Literally. I was ecstatic to finally meet her! It did take some time getting used to the idea of her having a name since my brother and sis-in-law didn't reveal it until she was born. All along, we were calling her "Baby L." Even at the baby shower, the banner that my sis-in-law's friends strung up said that! Since my parents were at the hospital the day before when she was in labor, they knew where the room was. We walked down the hallway and used some Purell that the hospital had placed on the hallway wall. Alas, the timing wasn't exactly right as my sister-in-law was feeding, so we went to the waiting room until they were ready.

During that time, one of my sister-in-law's friends and her fiance arrived. My mom and I met her already at the bridal shower and baby shower, so the time passed by somewhat quickly with good conversation and some Cartoon Network playing on the television. After a bit, my brother told us we could go back to the room! Howard had his camera in hand, ready to snap the pictures of this wonderful occasion.

My mom carried her before handing her off to me. I admit I was a bit hesitant because she was unbelievably tiny. I remember being nervous about holding Toby, but my niece was even tinier because she was under 6 pounds. There was no way I was passing up this opportunity though. When we each had our turn, we sat in the chair that was in the room just to be on the safe side.  

I could have stared at her all night. The best part was that we were all discussing whether or not she had a dimple, and then she showed it to me. Even better was Howard capturing it with his camera! I cropped her face from the following picture and made it my lock screen on my phone. Even though she's already two months at this point and adorably round with squishy cheeks, I still have that picture on my phone just because it was such a special memory!

Talking about how my lock screen is a picture of my niece reminds me of this Buzzfeed video though! 

My younger brother also had a chance to carry her, and that was definitely something that had to be recorded since it was the first baby-baby that he ever held. I don't remember the last time my siblings and I took a picture together, but the birth of the next generation is definitely cause for one!

My parents are now grandparents! Even though she is still really young, I know exactly how they're going to be as she gets older. When my brother and I were kids, we knew not to ask my dad for the special treats that other kids got. We didn't ride on the carousel or the train at the mall or get ice cream from the ice cream truck. However, I know that my dad's going to be the kind of grandfather who buys his granddaughter a Mickey bar in Disney World even though he never bought it for us kids! Haha, he says he won't be like that, but we know it'll be true. My mom, on the other hand, will spoil her with activities by playing games with her and taking her to the zoo. 

Unfortunately, we did have to eventually go home. Although the visiting hours were over, we did get to stay a little bit longer than when we should have left. It was time for the little baby to get some rest from all the extra attention and stay with the new mommy and daddy! I personally love this shot that Howard captured of my brother holding her as we left. Hubs did also take a picture of the new family of three, but as I've said to them before, it's more for the sake of documenting it even if it's just for them. I didn't want to post a picture here just because I don't know that I'd necessarily want people posting pictures of me after being in the hospital for almost two days! 

The moment we walked out of the room, I was already missing her. My mom and I say it every time we leave from visiting her even now! I can't wait to see her again and again!