month one with our ellie girl.

How in the world has a month already gone by?!

Ellie spent her first month meeting all the people we love and share life with. Literally she’s almost met everyone at this point. We took her first outing that wasn’t a doctors appointment, which was to her Uncle’s football game (he’s 14). We spent most of our time cuddling at home and adjusting to life. Figuring out a routine that will work for all of us and hoping each night we get a little more sleep!

how she’s growing.

This month has went by so fast and Ellie has changed right before our eyes! She went from this tiny, little newborn to a still tiny, but chubby one month old! She is filling out and quickly moving out of her newborn clothes and into the 0-3 month sizes. She can still wear some of her newborn shirts but the sleepers, onesies and pants are completely out! Which to me is just mind blowing considering she could fit into some preemie clothing when we brought her home from the hospital. This girl loves to eat… and is actually picky about it too since we have her on breastmilk and formula. She much rather would have an endless supply of breastmilk and will only take a couple ounces of formula. She’s growing every day and changing by the minute. She’s napping less and talking to us more. Giving us real smiles, not just gas smiles anymore! She coos when we have long conversations with her, because she obviously knows what we are talking about. Loves to hang out on her farm play mat with Dad and hit all the toys. We are still waiting for her eyes to give us a sign of color. They started off dark, then one changed to newborn blue and the other stayed dark. As of about a week ago, her right eye is now split between a newborn blue and dark… crazy looking, there is actually a line going down the middle of it… and of course I keep trying to capture it with my camera but something’s a photo just won’t do justice for! She’s still getting up every 1-2 hours but sometimes spoils us with a 2-3 hour stretch. Which then she wakes up super hangry and wanting to chat with us about it for at least an hour or more after she’s fed. She’s loving her crib and her room. Loves to look at the different contrasts in rooms with big windows that let in the sunshine.

what we are loving.

Mostly Mom’s arms… but… also.

Boppy Pillow - We use this for feedings whether it’s nursing her or bottle… great for under your arm and for the football hold while nursing.

Momaroo - We borrowed from some friends when Ellie decided that she didn’t like her swing or bouncing seat. She takes her morning nap in there now while I drink my coffee while it’s hot and answer emails. It’s turned out to be a lifesaver we need a minute from baby snuggles… which I would like to say is never but, let’s be honest. Having a free hand after a few hours is essential and I never realized how much I appreciate hot coffee until having a newborn.

Wildbird Sling - I bought three of these when I found out I was pregnant because they’re so stinking adorable! I am so happy that Ellie likes to hang out in the sling while I walk around and do cleanup around the house in the evening. I know you’re probably thinking “why do you need three baby wraps?” but check out their website and you’ll understand why just one wasn’t enough!

Baby Jogger Pram - This has been another favorite. Summer/Fall is our favorite time of year. We spend a lot of time outside taking walks and going to my little brother’s football games. I didn’t love the thought that she would have to be all scrunched and strapped into the carseat for long periods of time attached to the stroller. So, I did some research and found this “pram” which essentially turns the stroller seat into a bassinet until she can sit in the actual seat once she’s a little bigger. It gives her lots of room to stretch and nap. Plus, it gives us a space to change her when we are out as well instead of going back to the car or hoping there’s one of those dirty changing tables in a bathroom stall.

how recovery has been.

Recovery has been a journey.

When we first came home it was a high that I can’t even explain. Pure bliss and love and ALLLLL the tears. Constantly tears, mostly happy… but after about a week they took a little turn. I experienced what I learned to be the “baby blues” which is not quite Post Partum Depression, but I honestly thought it was. No one told me what the baby blues were or that they were any different than PPD. I was feeling exhausted and defeated. Not only was Ellie not sleeping but on top of that I was recovering from an unplanned c-section and the recovery was something I never saw coming. Not being able to do all of the “mom things'‘ I thought I would be able to do like bending down to feed her and pick her up, etc. Really took its toll on me mentally. I honestly had some moments where I really though “am I cut out for this?” - Now that we are a month out, which doesn’t seem like that long… I realize that a lot of things played a factor in all of my rollercoaster of emotions in the last month. One huge one being my hormones being all over the place. Something you don’t think about when you are going to have baby. I did my best to communicate with everyone around me about how I was feeling not only because I didn’t have the energy to act any differently than I felt… but also because honestly, PPD scares the crap out of me and I wanted to make sure my people knew how I was feeling so that if things took a turn and I did end up with PPD, my people knew and I could lean on them. As of now, I am feeling much better. No more baby blues… no concern really of PPD. My anxiety has definitely been higher than usual but overall I am beginning to feel more balanced. Thank goodness!

Truthfully, I could go on and on about recovery and all the things I didn’t know, all the things I felt or didn’t. The expectations I had versus what actually happened but it was a lot like “instagram vs. reality” and I could honestly do an entire blog post on all of it… (maybe that will happen!)

overall.

This last month has been the most up and down month of our lives. BUT. To be cliche. We honestly wouldn’t change a thing… ok, maybe we would hope for more sleep… but. Honestly, since Ellie has started spoiling us here and there with longer stretches, I miss her during those times. She’s so alert and focused on us now when she is awake and the feeling of love when I look into her eyes is overwhelming (cue more tears). We’ve waited for this tiny human for so long and although at times I call her “the beast” (she legit growls at us) she’s the most beautiful tiny beast we could ever ask for.

ellie's birth story.

Where to even begin!

Our little girl is finally earth side and we are so exhausted and happy haha!

We went in to be induced at 37.5 weeks thanks to me ending up with gestational diabetes. Originally she was tracking around 6lbs 13oz and they didn’t want her to get too far passed 7lbs.

On Monday, August 26th we went in to start our induction. It was scary and exciting all wrapped up into one. We went in and started in triage where they got me into a gown and started a full work up. Checked on our little girl to make sure she was still head down and ready to go. While we were in triage completing our final NST we heard a woman clearly in active labor right outside the door. No meds. Barely made it into a room to deliver. Up to that point I had been sticking to trying to have a fully natural birth with no meds. I personally get really sick from anesthesia and wanted to make sure our birth experience was as calm as it could possibly be.

But… nothing ever goes as planned in life right? I was in for a treat!

Once we got into a room to start the process things were great… I progressed slowly the first day… stayed dilated to 2cm for most of the evening and next day. My contractions came to a stand still the evening of the 27th after being on Pitocin for a couple hours so they decided to restart the entire induction. Our doctor said sometimes restarting does like a reset on things and the jump starts active labor… so we did. That evening I had a few more doses of Misoprostol which is a medication that helps make the cervix “favorable” for birth. Around 6:00am on the 28th I started having stronger contractions that were between 2-4 minutes apart. Within the hour they were about 1-2 minutes apart. They came and checked me. Said I was dilated to 4-5cm and asked if I wanted to get the epidural. After another hour or so of contractions being 1-2 minutes apart I decided I definitely wanted the epidural. I really sat there thinking holy shit why did I think I could do this without meds. I commend anyone that is able to because DAMN DID IT HURT. By then I was dilate to 6cm and that was my goal going in… to at least make it to 6cm before making the decision to either do the epidural or push through the pain. Fortunately, I decided to do the epidural. After getting it, my water broke. They checked me a couple hours later and I was dilated to 9cm. They came in, prepped the room for delivery and told us I would be pushing within the hour which was so exciting for us. Things went from a standstill to go time so quickly and I was so excited to be pushing soon and meet our girl!

Our girl had other plans... I stayed dilated to 9cm ALL DAY on the 28th and most of the evening. At this point… I had been in latent labor for 39 hours and active labor for about 13 hours… and still no baby. Her heart rate kept dropping when I would have strong contractions so around 6:45pm our doctor came in to tell us our options. We could continue waiting and monitoring her heart rate, but know that if it dropped too low again we would be rushed in for an emergency c-section, put me back on the Pitocin and again monitor her, or go in for the c-section on our own so it was non-emergent and more “planned” so to speak. I will be honest at this point I was feeling exhausted and defeated and totally emotional. Brian was continuing to be my cheerleader and put my focus on the fact that either way we were about to meet our little girl. After asking our doctor what he thought… he said that in the 23 years he had been in practice he had never had a baby that got to this point and stayed at this point for so long come down through the birth canal. So… we decided the c-section was the best choice for not only her health, but mine as well. Within a matter of minutes an entire team came in and changed the room over from delivery to prepping for a c-section and getting the OR ready. It was literally an art. They gave Brian surgical gear and prepped me for the spinal. Our amazing nurses walked me through everything as I laid there crying. I honestly was so nervous and excited and exhausted all at the same time. It was something like accepting defeat but also relief at the same time. Hard to explain. Our nurse anesthetist was truly amazing and since she had had three prior c-sections she literally walked me through every single aspect of the process and made me feel much more at ease getting rolled into the OR.

I will spare you all the specifics of the c-section, but truthfully... It wasn’t that bad. I felt nothing but pressure and within minutes our Ellie girl came into the world and of course again, I could not stop crying haha!

(looking super awful in all these photos, but hey, real life!)

In all honesty… I feel like everything worked out exactly how it was supposed to. Once Ellie arrived my doctor told me that her cord was actually wrapped around her neck, loosely, but still around her neck. Had I dilated to 10cm and started to push it would have acted similar to a bungee cord and tightened and pulled her back with every push. So I would have ended up with an emergency c-section and with her in distress. Everything happens for a reason I suppose!

After hanging out in recovery for a couple hours we rolled passed the lobby with our girl to head to our room and it was full of family and friends waiting to meet our girl. All people who have been there every step of the way through our fertility journey through the last three years. My heart was so full.

The next couple days were honestly a blur full of visitors and recovery for myself. Recovery from a c-section is no joke. Not only are you recovering from major surgery and limited on things you can actually do, for instance get out of bed without supervision, go to the bathroom, move around at all truthfully without some kind of discomfort… but, you’re also feeling all these crazy hormones. I truthfully felt like I was on a complete life high while we were in the hospital. Some mix of the best feeling in life while also being so incredibly exhausted you can barely keep your eyes open. After being at the hospital from Monday to Friday… I woke up Friday ready to go home. Physically, I probably could have used another day in the hospital, but mentally I needed to be back home and recovering more comfortably and starting this new chapter. I told the nurses that I wanted to go home and they said if I checked all the boxes we were good to go! At that point, Ellie had already had all her testing done so, she just needed her bath and one last weight! Our girl was perfect, leaving the hospital at 6lbs 1oz!

Ellie’s birth truly showed me that no matter how much you think you are prepared… you truly can’t be when it comes to bringing a tiny human into the world. She had her own agenda starting from when we found out about her on New Year’s Eve and we’ve been wrapped around her tiny little finger ever since.

xxo, koiya

ellie's newborn session.

Our beautiful little Ellie came earthside on August 28th, 2019 at 7:42pm via an unplanned c-section… her birth story is coming to the blog, I promise… who knew such a tiny person could take up so much of my free time!

We originally planned to do a Fresh 48 in the hospital with Jacquelyn Genevieve Photography but recovery from a c-section was no joke for me and I was not up for photos… so instead, she came to our home along with Kristin Ackerman of Ackerman and Company to do a short video of our new little family!!

I highly recommend both Kristin and Jacquelyn! They were amazing to work with and captured the best moments of not only our new baby but our fur babies as well! Here’s the video Kristin did along with some of our favorite photos that Jacquelyn took!

Newborn Video: Ackerman and Company

Video by the super talented Kristin Ackerman: https://www.facebook.com/AckermanandCompany/

 

Newborn Photos by: Jacquelyn Genevieve Photography - https://jacquelyngenevievephoto.com/

xxo, koiya