Friday, June 30, 2017

June Around Here

I obviously have been failing at getting over here lately, a direct result of not enough sleep or hours in the day.  We are officially one month in as a family of four, and I've learned a lot about patience (or maybe losing my patience at times), priorities, multitasking and have definitely improved my ability to use my feet as an extra set of hands. ;)  Really, this month has been a lot about learning, and as cheesy as it sounds, a lot about love too.

 Willow is slowly (very slowly) becoming a tiny bit less nocturnal it seems.  Last night we even got in just under a four hour stretch of sleep, making it the best night yet.  At this point, she really doesn't do a whole lot except eat + sleep, because she's only one month old so let's be real here... but, we are starting to see glimpses of her personality come through as she becomes more alert.  She's got the cutest little dimples right by the corners of her mouth and I can't wait to see more of them once she really gets smiling!  We took Lo to her one month checkup this week and she's growing like a weed, weighing in at more than three pounds over her birth weight already!  Have I mentioned she loves to eat?? Because she totally does and I swear it's almost guaranteed that both girls will be awake + ready to eat righthissecond at every meal time, making me wish I had at least one extra set of hands.  Or an adult beverage.

Ellie seems to be getting bigger + bigger every single day.  We've been working on potty training after she decided to pee on the potty completely unsolicited a couple weeks ago.  We've had her potty since last fall but I've made no serious attempts at getting her to use it since we've had lots going on pretty much since we moved in December.  I also wasn't sure if she was ready, and really didn't want to waste anyone's time trying if she wasn't. She has been doing really well with it so far.  Of course she's had her fair share of accidents but she spends a good portion of her waking hours nude, so that definitely helps!  Ells tests our patience like no other on pretty much a daily basis, but we're so proud of her for so many reasons, potty training and big sister skills included.

I've been spending most of my time at home with the girls, so we try to get out of the house + keep busy on the weekends.  Yes, family grocery shopping on Saturday morning counts as getting out of the house. ;)  We've been trying to do some fun things here and there too, swimming, cookouts + time spent visiting family.

I can't hardly believe we're already at Fourth of July weekend!  We don't have any crazy plans, but July has always been my favorite month so I'm hoping to really enjoy it while it's here because I know summer will be over before we know it.  Hope you all have a happy long weekend + I'll hopefully be updating more often very soon!! :)

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
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