Friday, December 30, 2011

Sweet Rowan's birthday

Happy 1st Birthday, Rowan!
My, what a year it's been

 Last night I was thinking about what Steve and I were doing a year ago this time... I was remembering that I had an ultrasound on the 29th of December and that you were breech.  We got a call from the Doctor that night around 6 PM and he said you'd be delivered via C-section the next morning at 5:30.
We were in shock! We weren't really expecting you to be there so soon- but we were so excited to meet you.
Lily went to stay with friends and Steve and I tried to prepare for your delivery and arrival home as much as possible.
That night, I went into labor with you around 3 AM- And my contractions were so fast. I remember I tried to make a pot of coffee (even though I was directed not to drink or eat), but I couldn't even manage that. I told Steve that we really needed to hurry.
We got to the hospital and I was in such pain. I barely remember them getting me ready for surgery. I felt like I'd deliver you before they were able to operate.
They took me into surgery and you were born by 4:30 AM.

And it's been a wild ride since then, too, Rowan.  What a great year it's been having you with us. You're such a sweet and kind little boy.... I can't even think of the right words to describe you- but 'gentle' comes to mind.

The bottom line is that we're blessed. We're lucky beyond description that you're with us, and I can't wait for the years to come with you in our lives.

We hope you have such a wonderful day today, dear. And we really, really hope the next year blesses you with comfort, and growth, and with a life beyond our imagination.

Love, Mommy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

i carry your heart

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cuss words and crazy-eyes

Dear Lily-
I don't want you to think we've forgotten about you! How could we possibly?
You, my dear, are something else lately... You're such a lovely mix of sweet, sassy, smart, angry, kind, independent, and cute.

A couple stories:
The other day I was kneeling down doing something and you looked at me, grabbed my cheeks in your hands and said, 'mommy, do you have brown eyes?' and I said, 'Yes.' You said, 'they're crazy eyes! You're so gorgeous.'
I wasn't sure whether to be flattered or not! It was funny.

Your daddy put you in time-out a few evenings back because you were hitting. You got so angry and screamed, 'I want out of time-out RIGHT NOW, daddy!'. He asked you if you were ready to apologize and you said, 'NO! Goddammit, Goddammit, Goddammit, GodDAMMit!'
We hid our laughter and waited for you to cool off a bit. But I sure did relate to you, Lily!

I've also wanted to tell you a few things that have been on my mind, Lily. I want you to listen carefully.
  • I'll love you forever and ever- to the moon and back and past the stars.
  • I hope to be such a constant in your life- someone you can trust to be steady and understanding and who tries to remember that you're a little person. You're your own.
  • I never want you to feel burdened or put-off by our family's situation. It's something that will make us all better people... and I hope so hard you don't look back when you're older and feel you got less than you should have of anything.
  • It's time to start using the big-girl-potty.
  • Your temper is impressive! I hope this fiery side of you serves you in your life.
  • I'll always be by your side. No matter what. No matter where.
 Love, Mommy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Remember everything you learned?? Now switch that...

Well, we've been home for a few days now, and I guess we're getting back in the swing of things.  People have been asking how the trip to Mayo was- and why we went.
Before we left, I guess I didn't have an answer- mainly because I didn't really know why we were going.  I knew we were having some appointments and were consulting with a seizure specialist there- but beyond that, I wasn't certain.  I guess I'll just tell the story of our trip....

My friend, Lynnette, graciously volunteered to travel with Rowan and I to Rochester.  Having her there was a blessing to say the least.  I planned to go by myself with Rowan if she couldn't make it, which would have been an enormous mistake and would have certainly caused more meltdowns than I had.
We left on Sunday around 1:00 PM and dawdled our way there.  We found our hotel easily and unloaded everything from the car- 5 trips!! How in the heck would I have done that with just me and Rowan?

On Monday morning, we met with Dr. Broomhill and Dr.Wong (both females!).  They are neurologists and work with children having intractable seizures among other seizure issues.

They asked bunches of questions, examined him, reviewed his MRI images from Sanford and his EEG results. Then they set us up with the dietician and scheduled us to check in at the hospital for a longer EEG study.
The next morning, we met with the dietician, who was wonderful. She eased my mind quite a bit when explaining Rowan's new diet and made me feel infinitely more knowledgeable. I'm sure you all know Row's been on a Ketogenic Diet- but she and the doctors wanted to tweak it and to make sure his ratios were correct.
They switched him from RCF formula to Ketocal. They also showed me how to make meals for him; three 100 calorie meals per day.  All meals including formula need to be weighed and measured on a gram scale to be as precise as possible and to keep Rowan in Ketosis.  His ketones need to be checked 2x daily now to make sure he's producing enough to help with seizure control.
After meeting with the dietician, Lynnette drove us over to the hospital so we could check in.
Right away, they got Rowan hooked up to an EEG cap he'd wear for about 30 hours. It wasn't too comfortable for him, but he sure was a happy baby during the study...

Gratefully, he didn't have any seizures during the EEG that were of much concern. His brain activity is not normal- and seizure control will always be an issue, but right now they are as controlled as possible with the help of medications.
Speaking of medications... They switched almost all of his medicines to pill form. They called to our pharmacy to discuss prescriptions and made sure of the carb content in everything that he ingests. They're sure thorough! But medication switches plus diet reorganizations mean lots of work for mom and dad.

During our stay, Dr. Lindley, his neurologist in Fargo called to say that the results from the genetic testing came back positive for DCX X Linked Lissencephaly.
It's hard for me to express what that news means... We already basically knew this is they type Rowan had- but I don't think I really wanted to know.  It's good, though. It's good to know facts.  Information is power, they say.

The genetic results help everyone involved to know exactly what type of Lissencephaly they're managing- and it gives us as a family information necessary to take care of ourselves and of our children.

How IT happened, I'm not sure. I'm trying to be pretty matter of fact about the genetic results- but the truth is that my heart aches over how he got this condition. Ok, I'm done being emotional...

 Here is our room... Not bad at all. It was pretty big and ended up being right across the street from our hotel! Both mornings, Lynnette was kind enough to walk me over a huge mug of super strong coffee.... I can still taste it. It was definitely a bright spot in the mornings.

They ended up keeping us in the hospital for a second day to make sure he was tolerating his new diet and medications. It was a good thing- but we were sure excited to leave on Wednesday...

 We put some toys and things in Rowan's crib to help stimulate him and to pass the time.

So... Moral of the story??

We got more information- I think more specific and detailed information. We had to re-learn the medications and doses again along with the meal plan. But now our dear boy gets to eat foods and that is the best news I could have heard in Rochester.  He just loves his butter-filled meals.
We go back in February to meet Dr. Wong and Dr. Broomhill for a check to see how all of the changes are going- and then again every three months.

We were ready to be home- Lynnette and I were tired- and I missed my Lilygirl like crazy.

But I think Rowan was the happiest to get home....
We love you all and are thankful we've got such amazing people in our lives.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mayo with a side of chocolate

It's Monday night- Lynnette, Rowan, and I headed out yesterday with a Murano packed to the brim full of everything from shoes to celery to coffee to diapers to chocolate (I should also mention three (3!!) laptops, one iPad, one wireless WiFi device, and two cell phones) and drove in the direction of Rochester.
Rowan was referred to the prestigious Mayo Clinic for further testing and consultations with Dr. Wong, a seizure specialist, and a nutritionist.
This morning, Rowan and I went over to the clinic for an EEG at 7:30- he did a great job and was a model patient...  Later today, Nancy came from Minneapolis to visit and Rowan had a couple more appointments.
Tomorrow morning-bright and early- Rowan has a meeting with a dietitian to discuss his Ketogenic diet promptly followed by an admission to St. Mary's Hospital for a full day and night in the monitoring unit.

Here's the deal... I really don't want to write too much now, because I've got pictures and video from our special trip and I want to show y'all... so more to come- We love you...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Birthday wishes

Age 36 has come, and although I wasn't aware I had wishes, they seem to have come true. I got some time with my children, some much-needed time with Steve, and some time to clean and organize (weird, I know).
But wishes are funny things, aren't they? Sometimes I can't help but wish and other times I feel so silly doing so. Today Steve and I were driving listening to a story on NPR about a woman who'd been in an accident. She described all the therapies she'll need to endure - or get to endure- through the coming months and years and I said, 'I wish Rowan had that opportunity'. Isn't that funny, though. Wishing he had the opportunity to learn to walk, or to learn to do things. Maybe funny isn't the right word.
I guess what I'm trying to say is; life changes and your wishes adjust.  But this is true with everyone. No one has a perfect life without shifts and changes- happy times and sad times.  Everyone experiences pain. We're not immune from that- no one is.
I'm not scared. But adjustments take time- and orienting my brain and my heart to the changes that have occurred and preparing for the future sneaks up on me. Little by little we adjust. I suspect that's how everyone does it. 
Here is where my heart is, though... always.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Dear Rowan,

We celebrated Thanksgiving this last weekend with your cousins, Aunt and Uncle and Grandma and Grandpa. Everyone had a great time. And you had a really nice time, too. You didn't sleep very well, but none of us did, really. We all came down with a cold and I think it took its toll at night.
I was talking with Leah today and was saying that I'd gotten pretty sad in the midst of all the happy this past weekend. I was so proud of you and of all the kids- and was happy to see everyone together and having fun. But I couldn't help but think about you.  I was so sad you weren't able to run around the yard with the other kids. I wasn't trying to feel sorry for you- or us, I want you to know.  Sometimes it's being around other children that can remind me of the things you won't get to do.
And my dear, I sure do know that there will be loads of things you will do. And that you'll learn and grow and will experience as much of life as possible.  I know that. But I'm still sad.
Last night when I was feeding you you put your hand up by my face and I kissed your hand and tickled it with my mouth. Then you did it again, and again... Then you just held it up my my face.  And I know like I know that you are so smart.
So, Rowan. You're such a great kid- and you're taking this all in stride. You're patient with us and with Lily and you have the most beautiful smile.
I love you to the moon and back and past the stars; forever and ever.

Monday, November 21, 2011

On the rooftops shouting

This morning I was lucky enough to listen to Rowan.
I can't even explain how full my heart feels today. He's doing amazingly well and I want to tell anyone who'll listen...

Here he is talking to the Christmas Tree.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Benefit day

I've been thinking for a few days about the benefit that was held on Sunday for Rowan. I've wondered what to say and have wanted to make sure when I wrote I didn't leave out anything, didn't forget to acknowledge people, and that I addressed benefit-day with appreciation.

I sure hope I do that- and those who know me know I like to communicate with pictures.  Unfortunately, I was so busy on Sunday saying hello to family, friends, and thanking people for attending I didn't have my camera with me much.  I wish I'd taken more pictures- and some in color!

Anyway, here is the story about Rowan's benefit:
  1. People drove from all over the Upper Midwest to show support and love to us.
  2. More businesses and individuals donated items and hard-earned money than I can barely comprehend still today.
  3. Friends spent two months preparing, promoting, gathering, and allowing us to take care of our son and daughter.
  4. Even more friends gathered on Sunday to serve food, take tickets, set up, tear down, and head up the auction
  5. My wonderful Grandma and Grandpa Mayer came- in addition to family on the Matz side, the Hammer side, and the Mayer side (all driving great distances) to see us and to love us.
  6. DMF Lend-A-Hand showed support and promoted the event while matching funds.
  7. We got to see people from every little niche of our lives; AA, family, work, school, ex-colleagues, nurses, caregivers, strangers... All friends, though. And we sure have loads of friends.
  8. Cards have poured in since Rowan's diagnosis.
  9. Prayers have come our way from all over the country.
  10. Lily thought the party was for her and in the middle said, 'I'm so happy, Mommy- I'm so happy'
  11. I forgot to take a picture of Michelle
  12. I can't figure out how to write anything at the bottom of this post
  13. People are amazingly generous.
  14. Their generosity has inspired me to do the same.
  15. We are so very lucky. Our life is exactly how it's supposed to be.
  16. 'Thank you' will never feel enough to express our appreciation.
My Aunt (one of the people I want to be like when I grow up), Holly

My beautiful cousin, Becca, on her 17th birthday

Amundsons bidding on the guitar and amp they won for their boys

Grandma Joyce and Canyon

Grandma GG and my smart Uncle Karl

Dan and one of my favorite people, Rose

Our lovely friends took time from their weekends to work

More working friends- one I only just met

Olivia with lettuce-and a scarf

Lily had a blast- and was exhausted.

Monday, November 14, 2011

August and everything after

My friend, Jay, was kind enough to fix my broken computer.  Because of my good fortune in friend-selection, I can now upload pictures from my camera to this thing- so you can see what we've been doing since the Summer.
This will most certainly be a mish mosh- just so you know what to expect...
Our Rowan pre-diagnosis

Lily and Daddy carving a pumpkin for Halloween- they had such a great time

 One September Sunday afternoon, Steve and I decided to take Lily for a special trip to an apple orchard in Minnesota.  We really enjoyed our one on one time with her.  She's sure a good girl.
Lily peeking through a thing

Three out of four

Lil got to paint pumpkins

 Grandma Joyce must have taken this picture of Rowan while he slept-

One of Grandma Joyce and Lily's special things is making crepes together.  Lil stirs the eggs, the flour and helps- and Grandma Joyce probably loves it even more.

This year, Lily wanted to be Felix the Cat for Halloween.  Steve and I were likely more eager than she was to go trick-or-treating with her.  I was a tad sad because I thought I'd stay with Rowan while Steve took her out- but Kate and Gene were kind enough to spend time with Rowan while we went out with Lil-everyone was happy.
Me and my Felix

A happy kitty

And on to other things...
Goofy Lily feeding her brother

And Goofy Lily eating worms...
Life is good today- there was a benefit for Rowan yesterday, and I'll write more about that tomorrow. I want to give it the space it deserves... Good night!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Too much Medicine

We took Rowan in to the hospital on Saturday- it's now Tuesday and he may be getting out today.

He was having some really severe seizures, Clonics, and was vomiting so much he couldn't keep any medications down, so he needed an IV as a way to get his medicine.

Last Friday Rowan had an EEG.  The results were read at MEG (Minnesota Epilepsy Group) and showed he has Infantile Spasms.  This type of EEG or seizure is extremely difficult, if not impossible to control.  The doctors decided to start Rowan on Depakote and on a very new medication called Vigabatrin.  The latter is quite a risky drug and Steve had to sign a consent form for them to administer it... can cause vision loss among other things.  Well, all are risky, I guess- the Depakote can cause significant liver damage...

Changes are being made to his Ketogenic diet- lowering Carnatine and adding in some oil.

Long story short- our baby is on loads of medicines.  (Keppra, Phenobarbital, Depakote, Vigabatrin, Carnatine, and CytraK) He's got a Valium suppository for emergencies, as well.

Please pray for Rowan; that he responds well to the medications and that they don't cause the adverse side-effects.

We'd sure appreciate it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Beautiful boy

It's just over a month now that we learned Rowan was sick. And honestly, I think it's harder to accept now. I have been more emotional- more scared-more heartbroken as time's gone by. Don't get me wrong, I adore my beautiful boy. And that's why my guts hurt.

A couple of weeks ago Rowan developed a small rash on his inner elbow. Steve's been taking him to the neurologist to check it regularly. They're worried it'll turn into Stevens Johnson's Syndrome, so no one wants to take it lightly. it. Last Friday Steve and Rowan were at the doctor again to have levels checked and the rash looked at. Steve called me and said, 'don't freak out'. So immediately, I started freaking out.

The doctor said Rowan would likely have to be admitted to the hospital, either here or at Mayo so he could be monitored for the rash while his meds were reduced or stopped. She is a pediatric neurologist, but she doesn't know everything...

She made some calls to other doctors and decided we wouldn't have to be admitted, which was wonderful!  We'll go there eventually for outpatient appointments, though.

They took Rowan off of Topamax and we're to watch the rash- it's now a week later, but the rash is still there, so we'll see tomorrow what comes of that.

Rowan had a swallow study done today to see if any liquid was going into his lungs.  We have been worried about that.  He's been vomiting from time to time and has a cough pretty regularly.  If he wasn't swallowing well, a feeding tube would be the fix.  It would break my heart to go that route since sucking is one of the things that makes him feel better.  So happy to say that his swallowing is great for now- a little weak, but nothing seems to be going into his lungs.

What a relief that was today.  I sure needed that.

My beautiful boy likes classical music- we listened to it in the car on the way to our appointments.  His eyes were open, focused, and he didn't make a peep.

He's been around a little bit more the past two days.  I wish I could convey what a gift that is. He tried standing a little last night and I was so proud of him.

He is so smart....

Monday, October 31, 2011

baker, baker... make me a crepe.

This weekend Grandma and Grandpa Hammer came for a visit... Lily loves Grandma's crepes and helped stir.

She's a good helper with a sweet little voice.  She's been such a good kid through all of the recent changes; so patient with us.

We love you, Lily.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A wonderful day

What a wonderful day for my brother, Matt and his wife, Jill... I can't even explain how happy I am for them.  My niece, Mia is lovely.

Mia Gisele Mayer   born 10-25-11

I want her to have this....
and maybe these...

Love to you, Mia.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Dear Rowan,

I saw the images of your MRI today. I've wanted to see them for weeks. I wonder why, though.
Maybe I just wanted to see if this whole thing was real. It is real, I know that... but I guess I needed proof.
Mostly, I wanted to see your little brain. I wondered what it looked like. I hoped that maybe it wasn't that badly damaged as other baby's brains with Lissencephaly are.  I thought maybe only a couple areas of your brain were affected, but that maybe some was normal and was ready to learn- to absorb the world.
Well, my dear, it all seems to be affected...

In a way, I wanted to jump into those pictures. I wanted to stare, and look, and to be near them, I guess.  I wanted to curl up in them and examine them for some hope.  I have no idea what I'd look for- I'm no expert- but I'm your mom and I want to take it all away. I know there's no fix. I know there's nothing I can do but hold you and enjoy you... I wanted to see those pictures, but now I have proof. And I sit here wondering what to hope for.

Hope is a funny thing, though.  I doubt I'll ever stop hoping for you. I hope I'll never stop hoping.

Today I wish the medicines you're taking will relieve you of enough seizures that you're able to interact with us and to make noises and to look at us.  I also hope all of the medicines don't sedate you so much that you aren't even present.  I want that one little golden window somewhere in between.  That's what I'm going to pray for as often as I can.  I pray we can have some time with you every single day where we know you're with us and where you can understand that you're a part of this family. I want you to feel so loved, Rowan. I want you to feel safe and taken care of and I don't want you to ever, ever feel like a burden to us. God, I hope you never feel that.

I miss you more than I could ever explain- and my heart hurts.

I think I want those pictures of your brain, though, because I want every single part of you and every single memory.

Today your daddy and I are sad.  But we love you so much, my dear.

Love, Mommy.

Letters to Lily

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2011
Dear Lily-
You've taken to screaming a lot lately.  I'm not too sure why... maybe you want to assert yourself? you want to be heard? or you just want to annoy me...
Regardless, you're a great kid.  You and daddy carved a pumpkin the other night because Halloween is fast approaching.  He takes it into your room and shuts off the lights so you guys can look at it glow.
You now have 5 ponies and like to carry them around with you. You're super creative and like to make up little stories about different characters; your mermaid, strawberry girls, cow, ponies, and others.  Everyone likes to hug each other and the like to say, 'help me, help me!'.
I sure do miss you when I'm at work- it's always the best part of my day; the picking you up part.  I speed over to Nikki's house and can't wait to see your smiling little face.
And I think I kind of miss you overall.  I feel like I haven't gotten to really spend time with you in weeks.  Maybe I just need to try to be more present when we are spending time together? 
A lot has changed and you are unaware.  I hope to keep it that way for a while.

Love, Mommy

Friday, September 30, 2011

Dear Lily-
This morning I dropped you off at Nikki's house for daycare.  You didn't really want to go- wanted to stay home and play with your purple ponies I think.  You've been so great this past week travelling back and forth to the hospital with either me or daddy to see Rowan- or to switch off, rather.  You were especially tired last night and I felt terrible for that.  You had a hard time sleeping and woke up a bunch- you do that when you're over tired. 
I just wanted you to know that I love you so much and know all of this with Rowan will affect you.  But your dad and I are convinced that going through this with us will help you to be a compassionate person...
We will make sure you get to do all the things you want and that your life is wonderful.  I'm not too sure why I'm writing this- probably mother's guilt, but I just wanted you to know that we love you so much. 
I've missed you the past couple of weeks.

Love, Mommy

Monday, August 8th 2011

Dear Lily-
IMG_5503I've been thinking a lot lately about how I felt when I was pregnant with both you and with your brother.  I was wondering to myself if your personalities matched 'on the outside'. I remembered how you seemed to move and kick pretty regularly, like all babies do, I suspect... but that you seemed to get mad or frustrated at being trapped, or without room, and you'd have little tantrums.  You'd kick and kick relentlessly- and then you'd wear yourself out and rest.  It seems to match your personality today, too.  You are really so very smart and have such a sweet and interesting disposition.  But when you're mad, you're mad! You have a fiery little temper, but if you're frustrated it's over as soon as it's started. 
I've found during these times that you mostly just want a hug.  You don't really like to get in trouble- it seems like you get embarrassed or like you feel bad... and I don't want you to feel bad, Lily.  It's ok to make mistakes.  (this is me worrying about you when you're older...) So, I just hug you and try to guide you in the ways I think are best.  I just try to love you through and through so you always know you can come to me.

I was also thinking of some of the funny things you say and wanted to remember them:
  • Watermelon = meller wadin
  • "Will you hold me, mommy?"= "Can I hold you, mommy?"
  • Dental floss = sloss
Love, Mommy

Monday, August 1  2011

Dear Lily-
I've recently started this blog as a way to save memories, pictures, stories, and my love for you.  I wish I had started it sooner... I hope these letters will chronicle your life and will help you to always remember that you are absolutely wonderful.  I love you so much.

I went back and found some pictures I think you'll love to see.  Some of the day you were born... I should tell you the story of the day you were born, now that I think of it!

You were due to be born on March 26, 2009.  Daddy and I were in Fargo, but there was some really terrible flooding going on, so all of the hospitals closed and evacuated their patients.  They said that we should go to a neighboring city either to have you or until the hospitals here in Fargo opened up again.  Your Aunt Emily and Uncle Rich live in Bismarck, and Aunt Emily is a nurse, so we decided to go stay there for a little while.  We loaded up all of our stuff, the dogs, and some baby clothes (just in case) and took off to Bismarck on your due date.  Before we left, though, we had to take the toilets up out of our house, close up the drains, and shut off the water in case it flooded.  It was a mess and kind of a mad dash to get out of town.  They were about to close all of the interstates, too!

We arrived in Bismarck, and I was huge! I was so ready to have you, but didn't know what to expect.  On Saturday, my mom and dad- your grandma and grandpa Mayer, came to Bismarck to see Steve and I.  It was almost Daddy's birthday, and we all went out to dinner.  I sure didn't feel very good, but I walked around the mall and tried to keep up with everyone.

That morning at about 3:00 AM I went into labor.  I woke your daddy up and we called the hospital in Bismarck to make sure they had all of my records from Fargo.  They did and told us to come right in.  My contractions came on very fast and I was starting to think you'd come soon!

We checked into the hospital and got all ready to have you.  I got into my gown and your daddy was by my side.  He held my hand and got me water to drink.  We were so nervous and excited.  There was a time during my labor with you that your heartbeat began to slow, so I had to change positions and we had to make sure you were getting enough oxygen.  Eventually the doctor came in and I started to try to push you out.  The doctor thought you were a big baby and you weren't coming as fast as he thought you should have.  He gave me an epesiotomy and had to help you get out with an instrument that suctioned you out.  You came soon enough, and the doctor laid you on my chest.  I wish I could describe that feeling, Lily... I had gone from only being able to feel you move and kick and wonder what you looked like to touching your warm, soft skin.  Your little voice squalked and you had the sweetest poutiest look on your face.  We cried and welcomed you and in an instant we were changed. 

Grandma and Grandpa Mayer happened to still be in town, so they came over eventually- and Aunt Emily was there the whole time taking pictures!  We had you at 2:16 in the afternoon and it was so wonderful.  You were tiny; only 5 pounds 14 ounces.  The doctor was pretty wrong about your size... I think I was so chubby, he thought you were big! 

The nurses made sure you were ok and the doctor made sure I was ok.  Then they moved us all to a family room so we could have some more space and could be together...A few hours after I had you I didn't feel very well.  I had to go into surgery, so Daddy stayed with you.  I was scared and Daddy was scared, but mommy's best friends, Leah, Lynnette, and Kirsten had driven all the way from Fargo to see you, so they stayed with Daddy.  Grandma Joyce was also there.

That night there was a terrible blizzard! Twenty inches of show! The girls got stuck in Bismarck and had to stay in a hotel room.  But they didn't care- they were so happy to meet you.

You, Daddy, and I stayed in our hospital room for a couple more days.  We held you and kissed you- I nursed you and changed your little diapers.  We think those were some of the best moments of our lives.  You were here, Lily, and our lives had changed.  Our hearts had changed... We were never the same again. 

There is nothing your daddy and I wouldn't do for you.  We love you more than anything in this whole world, Lily.  You are wonderful.

Love, Mommy.

your 'Castle' from Grandma Joyce

You look so much alike!

Grandma and Grandpa Mayer think you're just wonderful

The first time you held your brother, Rowan

Hanging out with Grandpa Doug

Playing with Daddy's 'toys'

Grandma Joyce thinks you're so sweet

Great Grandma GG loves you so much!

Playing with Grandma Gretchen

Daddy holding you while mommy was in surgery.

What a sweet little face!
Aunt Emily holding you

Mommy and Daddy are so happy to meet you

With cousin Canyon on your 2nd Birthday

Helping Grandma Joyce cook crepes