Friday, June 16, 2017

Life Lately

I feel like time has been flying since Lo was born and cannot believe she'll already be three weeks old this weekend.  This week was our first full week just me and my little girlfriends all day (aside from some time with grandmas), so we are slowly getting into some resemblance of a schedule/daily routine over here.

The girls are on opposite sleep schedules for the most part, which has me feeling a little bit like a walking zombie but also has its perks (if I'm being optimistic here).  Ellie is really good with Willow - she loves to help me take care of her and loves to show everyone "her new baby".  She's about as patient with Lo as any two year old would be, but I think she also loves how much time she and I still get alone together to play during the day.  Of course, the only time Willow and I usually get alone is between the hours of 11pm and 6am. #secondchildproblems

As for Lo, she's been a really good baby so far.  She's not much of a crier, loves to eat, be held and snooze in her swing during the day.  She also seems to like being worn in my Solly Baby wrap.  Although I've only used it a few times so far, it's been perfect for when Ells wants to go play out in the yard, or when she insists on being pushed in her stroller up and down the driveway repeatedly in the 90 degree heat. ;)  While I don't want to say Willow is "easier" than Ellie because every age has its highs and lows, I definitely forgot how much less of a handful a newborn can be compared to a toddler who doesn't stop moving.  And I guess I'm not complaining! :)

We have yet to leave the house just the three of us, so maybe next week we will get a little more adventurous?  I'm feeling so much better after my c-section even compared to this time last week and it's so nice being able to do (most) of the things I would normally do with Ellie again.  These little beauties keep my hands full, but I'm loving life with my two girls so much already! :)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Willow's Birth Story

We are so excited to formerly introduce miss Willow Grey here on the blog!!  She arrived on May 28th and after the world's longest hospital stay (or so it felt that way), we have been busy adjusting to our "new normal" as a family of four.  I haven't really had time to get over here since her arrival, but wanted to share Lo's birth story before too much time passes by.

Willow Grey Noel // May 28th, 4:33 am
6 lbs 4 oz, 19.5 inches

I woke up Saturday night around 10:30 to a couple pretty mild contractions.  I was kind of keeping an eye on them, but actually fell back asleep for another hour or so until a stronger contraction woke me up again.  I timed them for about two hours after that, they were coming pretty regularly around 6-7 minutes apart, so I called the doctor around 1:30 am on Sunday.  She said to come on in to the hospital and they would "see if I was in labor".  I called my mom so she could come stay with Ellie and we were out of the house around 2 am.  I swear we hit every single red light on our way to the hospital and seriously contemplated driving through all of them, because thankfully there really wasn't anyone else on the road.  By the time we were pulling into the parking garage, I may or may not have already been telling Tyler that I never wanted to do this again (the first of several times that week)...

We got all checked into triage and possibly the sweetest nurse ever was getting me all set up.  One of the residents came in to check me and I was at 6 cm.  I was SO happy to hear I was only at 6 cm.  The first time I was checked with Ellie, I was at 9 cm so there wasn't enough time for an epidural.  This time, we headed over to the delivery room where I was promised the anesthesiologist would be in within five minutes.  After about 20 minutes of the worst contractions (I swear it was ten times worse than my first labor?), she finally arrived and agreed to place the epidural before she went over any of the paperwork.  The thought of an epidural kind of freaks me out a bit, but it was a piece of cake and I was so happy after it was done - seriously, such a night and day difference!

Within a couple minutes, I could start to feel some pressure so the resident came by to check me again - I was at 9 cm.  Around this time the resident broke my water and while we waited for that 1 additional cm, Willow's heart rate started to drop.  Similar to with Ellie, I was able to bring it back up by switching sides I was laying on and getting up on my hands and knees.  After a few minutes, this stopped working and her heart rate was consistently down in the 60's (for reference, it was at 152 at my last doctor's appointment two days prior).  The doctor finally got in the room and immediately said we needed to get down to the OR.

Tyler couldn't come with me and my heart sank since I pretty much knew what was going to happen next.  We got to the OR and it felt like complete chaos as probably 20 doctors + nurses ran into the room.  They gave me only a minute or so to try to push as they set everything up for surgery.  Willow's head wasn't budging and they told me it would take at least 15 minutes for the epidural to be re-dosed strong enough for surgery, so they would have to put me to sleep because they couldn't wait that long to get her out.  The last thing I remember was someone saying not to start anything before I was asleep because they didn't want to traumatize me anymore than I already would be.  Good times.

I woke up from surgery a few hours later.  The first thing I remember was crying, throwing up and having Tyler right there telling me that he got to see Willow (briefly) and that she was beautiful.  He told me that the doctor got her out within a minute of me being asleep and that she had been brought up to the NICU very shortly after she was born.  The pH levels in her cord blood were 6.9 and they need to be at a 7 to be considered stable - from what I understand, this basically translates to the fact that she wasn't getting enough oxygen before she was born and needed to be under observation in the NICU for at least 24 hours.

At this point, I still didn't know anything about our child - what time she was born, what she weighed, etc.  While I was so relieved to hear that she was okay, it was the weirdest feeling ever not even getting to see what she looked like.  I definitely felt like I missed out really the best parts of labor + delivery - getting to hear her first cry, feeding her for the first time, having Tyler cut the cord, etc...

We later learned that we were a "code white" (meaning cardiac/respiratory arrest) and that they really had no idea what happened to cause it.  They ran some tests on the placenta but nothing came up abnormal.  I was told, however, that Willow was face up instead of down, which is likely why it was so hard for me to push.  In my doctor's words, based on this being my second labor, how quickly I was able to push Ellie out, in addition to Willow's size, Willow really should have just "fallen out" when I pushed, but was kind of stuck in there due to her position.

We spent the rest of the day in our hospital room as we waited for the anesthesia + epidural to wear off so that I could get out of bed.  At one point, Tyler went up to the NICU to visit Lo and snapped a few pictures so that I could at least see what our daughter looked like (his phone had to be in a plastic bag, so the pictures are pretty blurry).

It wasn't until around 5:30 pm that I was able to get into a wheelchair and Tyler brought me up to meet Willow.  It was the best feeling finally getting to hold our baby girl and learn a little more about her.  Yes, I ugly cried.

The NICU nurse said she was doing  really well and thought she would be able to come down to our room the next day.  I wanted to stay with her all night, but was feeling pretty awful so we headed back to our room after a quick visit.  My parents brought Ellie to visit that night, and Tyler brought them up to meet baby Lo while I stayed back in the room.  The next morning, we went up to visit her again and I was able to nurse her for the first time.  She immediately ate like a champ, and my worries about her having a bottle for the first 24 hours of her life went away.  Willow was finally discharged from the NICU around 1 pm the following day.

We spent five days in the hospital, and while I was so happy to have a healthy baby girl, recovery from my c-section was kind of rough.  The pain became much more manageable after the first few days, but I had some lingering side effects from surgery that didn't go away until after we went home.  Tyler ended up staying with me in the hospital the entire time since I was kind of a mess.  He was definitely like a live-in nurse and I'm not sure I can even say how happy I was to have him there to help me during our stay.  I also have to say a HUGE thank you to our moms who spent the week with Ellie.  I missed her so, so much but they brought her to visit every day and she had so much fun with them that I'm not even sure she missed her mom and dad. ;)

It has been so much nicer being home than being cooped up in our hospital room.  Overall, I'd say I was probably in more pain from Ellie's delivery at this point than I am right now which kind of surprises me.  I was always terrified of having a c-section, and while I wasn't awake for the actual procedure,  I have to say it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be.  I'm actually feeling much better for the most part after my surgery, but would say the hardest thing right now is still not feeling comfortable enough to do everything I would normally do, namely letting Ellie climb all over me like her personal jungle gym.  It's pretty frustrating and I can tell this has been a little hard on her too.   I would love to be able to pick her up and carry her around the house, but I'm feeling more like myself every day and know we will get there soon.  Ellie has adjusted so well and really shined her in role as a big sister.  It really is the best thing finally getting to see the two of them together after months of waiting and talking about it while Lo was in my belly. :)

Willow's birth was nothing like I imagined it would be, but we are so happy + grateful to have another healthy baby girl.  :)  Welcome to our family, Willow Grey!  We love you so much. XO

Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Hospital Bag // Packing for Baby + The Extras

We are officially in the homestretch over here and are eagerly awaiting Baby Willow's arrival!!  My bags are packed + ready to go (for the most part), and I swear I add something new into my "baby bag" every time I go into Willow's nursery, so she better come out soon before her whole closet ends up packed up.  In all seriousness, I am trying to keep it simple, so here's what we've got...

For baby //
Swaddles - I've packed a few, which is definitely overkill, but can't narrow it down to just one.  Most are hand me downs from big sis, and I can't wait to wrap another baby girl up in them! :)  I also really love the classic look of the hospital blankets and am definitely hoping to snag one to have as a keepsake like I did for Ells.

Pacifiers - We waited a week or so to give Ellie a paci at first, but I'm packing a couple in hopes I can catch some extra Zz's in the hospital.  I'm also kind of wondering if giving Willow the kind I'm hoping she ends up liking so early in the game will convince her she likes it?  Really, I'm trying to avoid MAM pacis since those were Ellie's must-have item up until just a few short months ago and I'd rather not deal with her trying to steal them (although I don't even know if she would at this point).

Outfits - I've packed one "outfit" plus two pairs of pajamas, one newborn size + one 3 month, because I obviously have no idea how big baby girl will turn out to be.

Hat, mittens + hair accessories - I am SO excited to have another little girl to accessorize, so of course a few (or eight), of my favorite bows are packed too!

Extras //
Boppy pillow - The nurses were so good at setting me up with pillows to nurse Ellie in the hospital, but I could never get it quite right on my own at home afterwards without my boppy, so it's a definite must for me this time!

Of course I'll pack things like my phone charger, purse/wallet/insurance card etc. at the last minute.  Maybe it was the belly talking, but I couldn't resist grabbing one of my favorite candies to stash away in my bag and plan to have some more of my own snacks while at the hospital.  Also, bottled water!  I loved having a couple extra bottles of my own to refill my ice cup whenever I wanted and not having to wait around for a nurse to get me more water.

Tyler won't be staying at the hospital overnight this time around so he can be home with Ellie at night (and sleep in the comfort of an actual bed), unless of course Willow decides to come in the middle of the night.  Even when he did stay last time, he really didn't need much since he was going back and forth to feed our cats and could shower and everything while he was home.  He will of course be bringing the infant car seat with him when he comes to pick us up since we know we aren't allowed to leave the hospital without one. :)

Lastly, do you think I could fit my two year old in one of my bags??  I know I'll probably be enjoying my "quiet time" at the hospital with a sweet newborn baby girl (aka nursing + baby boot camp), but I'm missing my big girl already.  Have I mentioned how much I'm looking forward to the moment I get to hold my two girls at once?!  Eeek. :)

Hey, baby girl. We're ready for you!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

37 Weeks

How far along: 37 weeks 5 days today.  Yep, still alive (and pregnant) over here!
Gender: Girl!
Belly button in or out:  Out.
Maternity clothes: I still haven't unpacked much of my clothes since we moved because I figured most of them wouldn't fit for awhile anyway, but finally found my shorts so I don't have to hang around the house wearing Tyler's gym shorts on hot days anymore - thankfully, as stylish as that was. ;)
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep:  Aside from a couple really hot nights, I've slept pretty good.  I don't really have any trouble getting comfortable, just the frequent trips to the bathroom are getting a little annoying.
Best moment of the week: While the excitement of knowing we'll soon be getting to meet our newest baby girl is a bit overwhelming, we're also trying to enjoy the last bit of time we have just the three of us.  We were able to take Ellie to Davis Farmland over the weekend, which is what we had planned to do on her birthday but ended up getting rained out.  She had the best time and we can't wait to bring her back sometime!  I highly recommend it if you're local and haven't taken your kids there yet. :)
Miss anything: Already excited about my post-baby delivery grinder.
Movement:  Her little foot is always kicking right under my right rib cage!
Cravings: Fruit with every meal for the most part.  Also, I think I ate my weight in chips + guac this week.
Queasy or sick: Nausea is still coming and going a tiny bit.  Lots of Braxton Hicks that make it feel like I have a belly full of bricks approximately half the day.
Looking forward to:  So many people have asked me lately if I'm getting nervous, and while I wouldn't say I'm exactly looking forward to going through the pain of birthing a child again, I also wouldn't say I'm really nervous about it.  It does, however, go against every planning bone in my body not knowing when it's going to happen.  So, obviously looking forward to seeing if this week is going to be THE week! :)

Monday, May 15, 2017

36 Weeks

How far along: 36 weeks 5 days!
Gender: Girl!
Belly button in or out:  Out.
Maternity clothes: Of course.
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep:  Not too bad, but never enough at this point.  Obviously there is no such thing as "banking" sleep, but I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can while I still can. :)
Best moment of the week: A good doctor's appointment!  I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with these weekly pelvic exams - it's exciting to hear something is happening but knowing it kind of makes me feel like a ticking time bomb. ;)  I was at this point for just over a week when I was pregnant with Ellie, so we are hoping that this week's appointment might be my last.  So crazy!  Also, my belly is measuring about a week behind so I'm curious to see how big she will be whenever she does decide to come out.
Miss anything: Patience with my little toddler tornado. Have I mentioned she has been a little bit of a handful lately? :)  She may or may not have been melting down in the background as we took this week's picture...
Movement:  She's still moving around like crazy.  I'm trying to enjoy seeing my belly move around while I can!
Cravings: Lots of fruit still. Cereal (with bananas) too!
Queasy or sick:  Nausea has come and gone a little bit lately, usually if I don't eat or eat too much.
Looking forward to:  At this point, still dying to see when her birthday will be!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

All About Ellie

It's been awhile since I've done a little Ellie update, and with her second birthday just having gone by, I thought I'd do another. :) I love having posts like these to look back on since I completely failed at updating her baby book and honestly wouldn't remember lots of these little details if I didn't have them written down here!

 Age: Two years old!  With the attitude to prove it lately. ;)

Nicknames: While I always type "Ellie", I do actually call her "Ellia" when I'm talking to her quite a bit - usually when she's not doing something she should be or not listening, which is more than I care to admit. :)  I totally think it's weird to hear someone else other than Tyler call her by her real name, everyone calls her Ellie for the most part!  Other frequently used nicknames are Ells, Ellsie, E. Summer and Monkey.

Stats: 29.2 lbs, 35 1/4 inches - just shy from the height of an average three year old!  Whenever we are out and someone asks how old Ells is, they never believe me that she just turned two.  I definitely blame it on her height, and have no idea where she got that from?!

Clothing: Currently mostly wearing 2T, but her pants are all way too short.  Anything I've bought for her this year has been 3T.  Shoes are size 7.  She either loves to help pick out her own clothes or would prefer to wear nothing at all these days!  Hats are usually a win, and she loves picking out which shoes she's going to wear each day.

Eating:  Girl loves food!  She loves snacks and will graze all day long if we let her.  The key to getting her to eat a full meal is definitely patience.  It is no exaggeration when I say I sometimes spend a full hour feeding her lunch - she will finish her whole plate if she gets to do it on her own time.  Ellie really isn't too picky about the foods she likes, but is sometimes picky about when she wants or doesn't want them.  Some of her most favorites are fruit (watermelon, strawberries + apples), mac + cheese, scrambled eggs (I easily make them 5/7 days of the week), chocolate, ice cream, goldfish, chips + salsa and hotdogs.  She also loves starting her day off with a cup of milk and is obsessed with sparkling water if served in a "big girl" cup and with a straw. ;)  She's a little picky about meat, but I'd say getting her to eat veggies is probably the hardest right now.

Sleeping:  Sleep has definitely improved since we moved her into her big girl bed a few months ago.  For whatever reason, she just seems to sleep more soundly in it than she ever did in her crib.  We still have our share of long nights and she does still wake up a decent amount, but I can usually just tuck her right back in and lay down next to her for a few minutes and she's back asleep pretty quickly.  The best part of it all is that I can count on one hand the number of nights she's wound up in our bed since we made the switch, almost all of which were when she wasn't feeling well.  I miss her snuggles but she was quite the bed hog, so I definitely sleep more soundly without her there.  If she's not already asleep, bedtime is 8 p.m. and she's usually up by 6 a.m.  No naps, unless they're in the car or sometimes if I take her for a walk in the stroller.  Any nap that lasts more than a half hour totally makes me cringe because I know it means we're in for a long night.

Vocabulary:  Speech is not something that has come quickly to Ellie.  While her pediatrician wasn't overly concerned at this point, she did give us the option to have her speech evaluated and I am pretty sure we will do that in the near future.  She is stubborn about speaking, even with words we know she knows, and seems to have developed her own way of communicating (most) of her needs without saying a whole lot at all.  Luckily for us, she has mastered telling us "no".  Other frequent words/sayings are "oh no" (very dramatically), "one more", "buh bye", "go" (as in let's go), "that's mine" (which sounds more like ma miiiiiiie) and "come here" (which sounds more like ma meee or mee mee).  She's a professional babbler and animal noise maker.  We've also been working on colors lately (picking them out + saying what they are) and seem to be getting purple, blue, green, red + yellow down pretty well!  Patience is definitely key, but it always feels good when she learns to say something new. :)

Loves: Animals of all kinds, her dolls + stuffed animals - we fly through changing all of their diapers these days!, watching TV, playing outside, going to the playground, cooking/baking (she loves her step stool so much so she can help me with everything), helping clean + doing laundry, doing her makeup, brushing her teeth, playing with water, coloring, dancing, jumping on the bed, playing with anything that has a buckle (car seat, stroller, any baby contraptions we've pulled out from storage).

Least favorite things:  Naps/going to sleep, getting into the tub (although she loves them once she's in), diaper changes, being told no, getting her hair brushed or done, going to the doctor, playing by herself (most of the time).

We can't believe our sweet girl is already two whole years old!  She is very strong-willed + challenges us on a daily basis, but is also the sweetest + most affectionate little girl in the world.  She has a big heart and seems extra aware of people's emotions for someone so small. We know she's going to make an awesome big sister and cannot wait to see her in that role!

  We love you so much Ellia Summer! XO

Monday, May 8, 2017

35 Weeks

How far along: Picture taken today at 35 weeks 5 days.
Gender: Girl!
Belly button in or out:  Out.
Maternity clothes: Yes, but clearly trying to make the most out of my non-maternity clothes and thinking that the horizontal stripes aren't so cute on a 35 week baby belly.
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep:  Aside from frequent bathroom breaks, sleep has been pretty good lately!  Regardless, I'm always wishing I could have just one more cup of caffeine a day, especially come early afternoon.
Best moment of the week: Some surprise sunshine this weekend, pulling out more baby stuff from our storage bins, having a freshly vacuumed car + baby car seat installed!  This means I officially have no backseat, but Ellie has been busy bringing her baby dolls outside to test out baby sister's seat which is pretty darn cute. :)
Miss anything: Seeing my pre-pregnancy weight on the scale...
Movement:  She seems to be getting huge! Also, lots of hiccups lately which I hadn't really noticed until the past couple weeks.
Cravings: Anything sweet, but so much fruit salad!  Ellie and I have both been eating it like crazy lately, it's so nice to have some good fruit coming back in season.
Queasy or sick:  Still feeling good for the most part.  Braxton Hicks have been getting noticeably stronger over the past few days, but I am overall still feeling surprisingly comfortable (for being at this stage in the game) so I really can't complain.
Looking forward to: I can't believe we are less than a month away from baby girl's due date now!!  I am so eager to see when she will decide to make her debut.  Part of me thinks she will come a little early, the other part can totally picture her being stubborn and making us wait.  Surprises are so not my thing, so not knowing when the big day will be is possibly one of the most annoying parts of pregnancy for me!