Christmas normally only lasts one day a year… not 2011. Our biggest gift came the day after, as we found out that we were pregnant! The majority of year 2012 was spent preparing for the impending change in our lives. On our second ultrasound visit, we were happy to find out we were having a girl. Even though we had been talking about girl names (and boy names) for some time, we changed our minds at the last minute and decided on Emma. For some time we have been searching for a Chinese name to accompany her English name. With the help of Sherene’s parents and a few options, we settled on Kai-Lin (恺 琳). Kai meaning joyful and Lin meaning beautiful jade.
For those who are not in the know, during pregnancy, mothers are required to take a glucose blood test. They have you drink essentially orange soda and then test your sugar after some time. Well, Sherene failed the first test with room to spare. Even though she passed the second one, we were told we should seek a consultation from a doctor specializing in gestational diabetes. Being the ultraconservative practice that they were, the provided us with a blood glucose monitor and continuously were pushing Sherene to go on insulin. Instead, we went with the Jared diet! Many thanks to Subway and their summer bacon & avocado special subway sandwiches. Throughout the pregnancy, we had a few ultrasounds to ensure Emma was growing prop-erly. There were two things we noticed in every ultrasound session. One, she always had her hands by her face as if she were a boxer. And two… she has big feet like Daddy!
In preparation for Emma’s arrival, our family and friends threw us a pair of baby showers: one in Buffalo and one in Rochester. Next to receiving all the baby necessities and more, we were able to fill Emma’s entire closet and dresser full of clothes. She is going to be one stylish girl!
We were told that Emma was likely to not be on time. So on August 21st, at 7 am, Sherene was induced and her doctor planned for a 3pm – 5pm delivery. Both of us had decided to “go with the flow” and see if Sherene could handle the pregnancy naturally. Unfortunately, we did not realize how painful the Pitocin can make it and we opted for the epidural a few hours later. Up until this point, Sherene had only dilated 2 cm. Once the epidural kicked in, she went straight to 6 cm. She was even enjoying it! Jokingly, she asked if she could have something eat because she was having hunger pains. To which, our nurse calmly responded, “Those aren’t hunger pains, those are contractions.” 10 cm came shortly thereafter and it was time to push. Sherene’s OBGYN is called down for the final hurrah and oh was it. Her doctor sounded more like an overzealous cheerleader than a medical professional. It threw Peter off guard but we love her just as well. But on cue, as if Emma and our doctor had planned it, she was born at 3:31 pm, 6lbs 13oz and 19 ¾ inches. Ten fingers, ten toes, she is perfect - our precious bundle of joy!
Our stay at the hospital was brief but memorable. Pete’s first attempt to change a diaper, during his food deprived and exhausted state, lead him to try to put it on backwards! We had a whirlwind of visitors throughout our time there. Nurses, new parent aides, and friends in and out every couple of hours for three days. Emma even had a photo session at one day old! Thankfully our families were there to temper the craziness. Grandma Tinny, Aunty Sharon, and Grandma Nancy & Grandpa Mario all came to the hospital to meet their newest family member. On our last day, one of the aides who came to see us said something that I didn’t expect. “This isn’t your first child, is it?” To which we replied, “No, it is our first.” Her response was, “But you seem so calm.” And I guess we were. Thanks to all the support from all our families and friends.
Emma proved to be an extremely healthy baby, week in and week out eating her fair share. Putting on that baby fat and filling out those cheeks! At two months, she received her vaccinations: 3 shots and 1 oral. Although painful, she cried off and on for 30 minutes, she took it like a champ and slept it off for the rest of the day and that was it.
Emma’s first Halloween and Thanksgiving was calm - she slept through all the festivities. She is almost 4 months now and doing great every day. She never forgets to remind the new Mom and Dad who is now the boss in the house. We are planning a trip back to Malaysia sometime next year so that she gets to see Mommy’s old stomping grounds and the rest of her extended family. It should be a wonderful time and we are looking forward to it. We want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and hope to see each and every one of you very soon. Take care and Happy New Year!
Peter, Sherene & Emma