5.26.2016

Eleanor | One Month Old

So I'm almost a whole month late on writing Eleanor's one month post, but at least I remembered to take the pictures! Now let's see if I can remember all the details from her first month...
Weight: 9lbs 12oz
(exactly 2lbs smaller than her brother at one month)

Height: 22in
(but 1 whole inch taller!)
Eleanor likes...
her mom ;)
being held
lamaze peacock
sleeping
diaper changes
lotion massages
car rides
binky

Eleanor dislikes...
bath time
tummy time
daddy holding her
(sorry Steven!)
the baby swing

Health: Little Ellie is healthy and strong! I can't believe she's gained a whole 2lbs since birth! She was in newborn clothes and diapers until 3 weeks. Then we had to move up to size 0-3 months clothes and size 1 diapers.

Nursing: I thank the Lord that Ellie and I haven't had any of the nursing issues I had with Jack. No clogged ducts, no mastitis, and no need to use a nipple shield! Just some crazy engorgement the first couple weeks. Eleanor does have a moderate lip tie, but since she is gaining weight fine her pediatrician doesn't think it will need to be clipped. It does, however, cause her to swallow a good bit of air while she is nursing resulting in a ton of burping on her end. I feel so bad for her and work really hard to help her get out all that air! 

Eleanor came out of the womb a pretty schedule little lady. I nurse on demand but quickly noticed she was nursing every 2-3 hours during the day, but that I needed to wake her at night to nurse to meet the 3 hour time frame. After just one week though, after we saw that she weighed 8lbs 1oz (gaining back her birth weight and some!), they said I no longer needed to wake her at night to nurse every 3 hours. She now only nurses once at night and about every 3 hours during the day.

Sleeping: She is an amazing sleeper (crossing my fingers it stays this way)! After I got the okay to let her sleep as long as she wants at night, she quickly worked her way up to a 6 hour stretch. So she usually goes down between 7-8 and sleeps 6 hours, wakes to nurse, and then goes back to sleep for another 4 hours or so. We don't have any sort of nap schedule. She naps whenever her crazy loud brother lets her nap during the day and instantly passes out any time we go for a car ride. It isn't uncommon for her to take a 3 hour nap or longer some days and the rest mostly 45 minute or so catnaps here or there.
Steven and I are pretty amazed at how different Jack and Eleanor are from one another, and every day I think how amazing it is that they are such individuals created so uniquely. Eleanor is a very content and happy baby. She nurses and sleeps great. It is pretty rare that you hear a cry or even fussing from her unless she needs to be burped. Such a blessing after dealing with Jack's witching hour when he was an infant! She has easily put herself on a nice feeding schedule and doesn't comfort nurse every 45 minutes like her brother did... what a relief! She is quick to smile and coo and simply always a joy to be around.
Happy one month, Eleanor Joy! We love you so very much, sweet girl!

5.19.2016

Eleanor Joy

Welcome, Eleanor Joy!
Born April 4, 2016
7lbs 12oz
20 1/4in

Much to our surprise, our dark haired beauty arrived 4 days after her due date, throwing her momma off quite a bit! With Jack being 2 weeks early, I guess I expected something similar with Eleanor, and everyday I was pregnant after 38 weeks was mentally, emotionally, and physically challenging! I had severe morning sickness with this pregnancy until about 16 weeks.. throwing up all.day.long. And then late into my second trimester the whole family came down with an ugly stomach virus. And when my third trimester came around, I experienced such terrible restless leg syndrome that it wasn't uncommon for me to average 2-4 hours of sleep a night. It was a rough pregnancy to say the least! And although I started having contraction at 38 weeks, this little lady decided she was comfy as could be right where she was.
On Sunday night around 8:30 I started having mild contractions. This wasn't surprising since my contractions had been coming and going for the last two weeks. Sometimes they would last for hours --keeping me up all night -- only to completely disappear by morning. I always knew they weren't the real deal because they were never very painful and always irregular. But on this night, after about 2 hours, I noticed that they were coming closer together (about every 6 to 10 minutes.. but still irregular). Something in me just knew this really was it and I called my midwives. Unfortunately, the midwife on call was a fill in covering for another midwife who was on maternity leave... I had only meant this lady once and I know she wasn't up to speed on the details of my last delivery and how quickly Jack came for a first pregnancy. She asked me to wait a bit longer and call her back when the contractions were coming at a more regular interval...
I was actually pretty surprised she didn't tell me to go ahead and come in because I knew this baby was coming.. With my next contractions I got on my knees and prayed that God would let me know when the last possible minute I could leave for the birth center was so that I wouldn't have this baby in the car. Two hours later I called the midwife and informed her that as soon as my mother in law got to my house to watch Jack I would be heading to the birth center.

As Steven and I drove to Bellevue I thanked God that this little girl decided to come in the middle of the night so that traffic wasn't too intense! We have a bit of a commute to the birth center but were able to get there in just under an hour. I knew when I got into the car that I was already in transition. My contractions were coming every 3 minutes like clockwork and it took everything within me to relax through them. I started to feel a little bit panicky because everything seemed to be happening very quickly.

(Side Note: With both of my pregnancies I decided not to wake Steven while I labored at home because I figured his sleep was more important than helplessly watching me breathe through contractions. So when I woke him up at 2:30a and told him we had to go to the birth center NOW he totally thought I was kidding.. little did he know he'd be a daddy all over again in just 2 hours!)

We arrived at the birth center around 3:40 and basically after this it is really just a blur. Everything happened so fast!
Since I was Strep B+ they had to administer an antibiotic. I sat down trying to relax during the contractions (which were now coming what seemed to be one right after the other) while they tried to find a good vein for the antibiotic. I feel like this took a really long time, but then again my concept of time at this point was probably pretty warped. All I know is Eleanor arrived 50 minutes after I got to the birth center and less than 5 of those minutes were spent pushing. So I'm pretty sure I sat there for at least a half hour as they tried to give me the antibiotic (2 failed attempts.. now I do remember that clearly). Once the antibiotic was administered I quickly got into the tub. The midwife kept talking about how when I got comfortable in there they would leave and let me relax and have some space to labor... As soon as she was done uttering that sentence I informed them that my water just broke. They come over and checked the water to confirm (after first asking me if I was sure...) that my water did indeed break.

The contractions really were coming one right after the other at this point. I kept trying to relax in between them, but there really was no "in between." Almost immediately after my water broke I told them that I needed to push. Again, I'm not sure they believed me at first, but after checking they confirmed that I was fully dilated and could push. I was already feeling a little panicked since the car ride that this was happening all too quickly, but now I was honestly afraid. I asked if she was sure I could push but I really didn't have a choice, Eleanor was coming whether I pushed or not. All of the pushing this time around seemed to be involuntary as though I had no control over my body! Pains were coming so quickly I didn't have time to breathe and I just remember starting to cry. I also vaguely remember saying I can't do this and Steven reaching over and putting his hands on my back and telling me I was doing great. Minutes later the midwife said she could feel Eleanor's head.. and then all of a sudden she was here...

4:33am

I remember thinking she had the biggest eyes and so much DARK hair! Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
I didn't want to let her go but I finally decided Steven could hold her while I showered off real quick. I was shocked that everything had happened so quickly and praised God that He lead me to leave for the birth center when He did...50 minutes later and this little girl would have been born in the car!

After 2 hours of monitoring, the midwives sent us home (which I know many people think is crazy, but I love it). I was so happy to finally have my baby girl in my arms and be able to go home and rest in my own bed. I kept thinking she is so petite and perfect and DARK! What a surprise after having her very blonde brother...
Unfortunately, when I think back to Eleanor's birth the dominate emotion I remember most is fear. I feel as though the midwives didn't listen to me this time around.. not believing me when I told them I needed to come in the first time...or that my water broke...or that I needed to push! And all of this made me question my body and instincts as well. Also, just the speed of the labor was frighting for me (and knowing I was already in transition while en route to the birth center!). From start to finish, my labor was only 8 hours and less than 5 minutes were spent pushing! Actually, Eleanor came so quickly that she had some bruising on her head from the pressure. But she is a beautiful, healthy little girl and I had no complications with the delivery and am beyond thankful for that.

Welcome to the world, Eleanor! Your father, brother and I absolutely adore you!


All photos by ADN Designs.

5.12.2016

I'm Back... Sort Of


I’m back after more than a year’s hiatus! And, wow, has it been a crazy year!! I wouldn’t even know where to begin to fill people in on the in’s and out’s of this past year, so I’m not even going to try. So much has changed from home projects, major Jack Jack milestones, and the addition of a new family member. And it’s because of that last change that I’ve decided to resurrect this blog.

See, I need this space because I need to remember. I need to remember all the moments with these precious littles the Lord has entrusted to me. I want to remember the happy first baby coos and the disgusting blowouts that defy gravity. I want to remember the easy times of contently rocking my babies to sleep and the hard times where I feel like I’ve failed them as a mother, yet am grateful for the lessons learned and the grace they show me day in and day out.

The truth is, this season of life is hard. Like really freaking hard. But I know it’s so fleeting. I just don’t want to forget…

I have no idea how often I’ll write or what I’ll write about. It may just be month to month updates of my new baby girl like I did for her older brother. I don’t think I’ll be able to carve out a lot of time for this space, but I’d like to try.


So I’m back! Kind of? Maybe? I guess we’ll see… There are just so many moments – good and bad – that I never want to forget with this little tribe of mine.

5.09.2015

Happy Mother's Day to You!

Happy Mother's Day to all you with the dark circles under your eyes and yogurt smudges on your shirt. Happy Mother's Day to you who has become a pro at changing a dirty diaper while your little one toddles away, and you with the 15 month old who still doesn't sleep through the night (oh wait, that's me..Ha!). Happy Mother's Day to you with the toddler who is throwing a tantrum on the floor in the grocery store, and to you who is feeding your kid macaroni and cheese for lunch for the third day in a row because that is simply all. he. will. eat. Happy Mother's Day to the momma who is overwhelmed and feeling unappreciated and happy Mother's Day to you, Momma, who longs to hold your sweet baby in heaven. Happy Mother's Day to the beautiful, exhausted, selfless, caring, gracious, center of that little heart's world, Mother. You are doing the most important thing God has placed you on this earth to do and I just want you to know that you're doing a great job.

And happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mother who I am endlessly grateful for. Thank you for all the lessons you have taught me and all you continue to teach me. Thank you for being the best mother and grandma to my son I could have ever prayed for. Thank you for teaching me what it looks like to be a great mom.
I love being a momma to this cutie! ...Who refused to look at the camera because feeding his big brother sticks was much, much more important ;)

Hope all you amazing moms have a great Mother's Day spent with those precious little one's that make it all worth it!

4.27.2015

Hanging Gardens State Park

Steven and I are terrible at making plans for the weekend. We are so excited for it all week, but then when Friday night rolls around we're all, "what should we do this weekend? I dunno.. what do you want to do? I dunno.. what were you thinking?" And then the usual errand running / baby chasing weekend ensures.  But every so often we decide to just get the heck out of dodge! Recently we did just that and discovered a beautiful little gem just 20 minutes or so from our house.
We stumbled across Hanging Gardens State Park (and no there were no hanging gardens) and it was so beautiful. After a steep climb down a rather frightening hillside that I was sure Huckleberry was going to run off, we came to the most beautiful, crystal clear water nestled within in impressive gorge. Huckleberry took a much deserved swim and I simply marveled at the fact that a place so beautiful was literally 20 minutes away from me and I never even knew it!
Jack wanted to jump in the water alongside Huck but opted for playing with some rocks instead. Steven and I explored a bit more and then decided to make the steep 2 mile climb back to our car. It was a simple, conveniently close to home hike but so gorgeous and unexpected! 

I forget more often than I like to admit how important it is to get away... even if "getting away" only means 20 minutes down the road. Just go outside and explore! There is so much beauty out there and not only do I want to enjoy it more often, but I want Jack to grow up loving the outdoors and the beauty of God's creation. And let's face it, it definitely beats out Saturday morning Costco runs in the fun department. So local hikes for the win!