weekends are precious.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

They always have been. But since returning to work after my maternity leave, I have never cherished a weekend more. Each and every second with Lorelai is precious. And with Guinness too. Soaking up our family time by the ounce. This weekend we indulged in so many wonderful things together.

Target runs // giving Lorelai baths // giving Guinness a bath too // chinese takeout // watching Frozen with Lorelai // she loved it and watched it for an entire hour before falling asleep // kicking her legs during all of the songs // opened the windows in the house // so many iced lattes // filling our grocery cart with produce // Brian was Kirby's confirmation sponsor // and Lorelai got dressed up for the event // our favorite ice cream shop opening for the summer // embracing quiet, early mornings // singing (a lot) // cuddling // making cookies from chickpeas // and spaghetti squash chicken marinara // strolls around the block // watching Lorelai kick and play in her new bouncer // reading stories // walking dead finale // dancing to records // washing a lot of clothes // taking naps // tickling // kissing // loving.

Tomorrow is Lorelai's first day of daycare. I am kind of a mess about it. I am glad that I had the smooth transition of returning to work while Brian was able to stay home with her for a couple of weeks and family members helped out. But now it's time for the next step and I don't feel ready. I wish with all of my heart that our situation allowed me to care for her myself, every day. But I know that working is the best way that I can support her. I wish that made my heart hurt less.

I miss her already and I am still with her.

My reminder for the week:
[source unknown]

weekend adventures with lorelai

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Friday, March 14, 2014

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Week 10: She is my favorite birthday present.

confessions of a new mom.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It’s tough out there for mommas. Who knew? I sure didn’t. Until entering this part of my life, I had no idea how harsh and opinionated the mommy world could be. Breastfeeding vs bottlefeeding? Cloth diapering vs disposables? Working mom or SAHM? I believe that as a mother, or parent, only you know what is best for your child and your family. What works for one family may not work for your own. Everyone is different. Every baby is different! Below are my very honest confessions as a new mom.. someone who loves her girl with all of her heart and is just trying to navigate this whole new world.

If Lorelai was a boy, she would have been named Everett Milo. We are still madly in love with the name Everett Milo and pray that we will get to use it someday. (L, did you hear us calling you “Everett” in there sometimes?) The hard part of not finding out the baby’s gender is that you kind of fall in love with both a boy and a girl. More fun facts: if I was a boy I would have been named Dallas.

We had every intention of cloth diapering Lorelai, but once she was here we changed our minds. It's not that we didn’t want to do it, but it was hard enough keeping up with the laundry for her clothes, burp rags, blankets, bedding, etc. We just didn’t see benefiting much from the cloth diapers at that point. Disposables are working for us now, but maybe we will tackle cloth in the future.

Lorelai still sleeps in the Rock n Play and still in our room. We are currently working on transitioning her to a co-sleeper for our room and then eventually to her crib in her room. But she loves her Rock n Play and sleeps so good in it that it is hard move to make.

I use Baby Magic lotion on her every single day and I swore up and down to Timbuktu that I wouldn’t use anything with any chemicals on her baby skin. But seriously, this stuff is MAGIC.

Lorelai is a breastfed baby that also gets formula. This was hard for me at first because I never had any intention of giving her formula. But little did we know of the many, many struggles we would face breastfeeding. I am so thankful that we both worked so hard and are continuing to breastfeed, but my girl needed more and who was I to deny her what she needed? I consider it “medicine” that she needs to grow stronger and continue to work on my supply and we are both very gosh darn happy with that.

I am terrified of crib bumpers.

But she does sometimes get a blanket over her in the Rock n Play. For someone that is obsessive over SIDS this might be surprising, but we keep it very low (nowhere near her face) and only because she can’t move to reach it yet. Her footsies get cold at night, even in the sleepers/swaddle!

I still ride in the backseat with Lorelai while Brian drives.

I’m too terrified to let her sleep in the bed with us although I am so envious of those who bedshare.

I let my dog kiss her as much as he wants.

We play our music for her more than traditional lullabyes. Her favorites are Johnny Cash, The National and Birdy.

Brian changes more diapers than I do.

I have a problem with buying her clothes. I buy them at Target. I buy them at Gap.com. I buy them on Instagram, you guys. It’s a serious problem.

I’m learning that I can’t control her nicknames. Some I love, some are cringe-worthy.

I cried hysterically (I mean, HYSTERICALLY) after she first projectile spit up (or as we call it, “waterfall”).

Once, I told her to “shut up”. I said it nicely and quietly, but it was in the middle of the night and I sort of meant it. Then I felt so terrible that I woke Brian up crying to tell him what I said. Sorry, L. I did still get up with you little love.

I had the baby blues from about 4 days postpartum to 12 days postpartum. And I was embarrassed about it. And they scared the crap out of me. It only affected me around 5-7pm each night, but it was HORRIBLE. I cried and cried and cried and cried. Brian did not know what to do for me. I am so glad that this went away naturally, but I will never forget the nagging, overwhelming feelings that took over my body. Any mother that deals with true postpartum depression is a freaking warrior.

I already want to be pregnant again.

It is not easy. Being a mother is my dream. It is all that I have ever wanted. But it is draining and terrifying and overwhelming. And rewarding. It is the hardest/best thing I have ever done.. will ever do.

I have never let her “cry it out”.

She has already watched episodes of Dexter and The Walking Dead… we should probably stop this soon.

On more than one occasion, Brian has come home from work and takes over for L, while I crawl into the bathtub with a jar of cookie dough and a Coke.

I am irrationally terrified of SIDS. I even have nightmares of me holding her in the water and suddenly the waves become too high and I can’t hold her head up above the water.

Lorelai doesn’t have a schedule. So far, we have been letting her tell us what she needs/wants. I feed her on demand (but never longer than 3 hours during the day) and besides that she naps when she wants, plays when she wants, eats when she wants. Her baths are never at the same time and she doesn’t go to bed at the same time every night. I felt horrible about this for a while because I thought that her schedule was so important, but soon realized that she is doing so wonderful on her own and why not just let her tell us? She sleeps through the night almost every single night and is sooooooo happy, so it’s working for us. After starting daycare I think that more of a routine may develop naturally and I kind of hope that it does (I’m very type A you know) but for now I am enjoying going with her flow.

If there is one thing I have learned about parenthood, it’s that you make your own rules. I know that I cuddle her too much, let her stay up too late, and wake her unnecessarily to make sure she’s breathing… but that’s just being a parent. It’s funny the things that you end up caving in on that you swore you wouldn’t do and the things that you obsess over more than you ever imagined. I wholeheartedly support any mama out there that is doing her best.. whatever that may be.

Thank you for making me a mama, sweet girl.


newborn must-haves

Saturday, March 8, 2014

One of the things that I loved most during pregnancy was researching baby products. I read so many reviews, researched materials/chemicals, sifted through Baby Bargains and talked to moms I knew. I wanted to share all of my findings, but it just didn't seem to make any sense because I didn't know how any of those products would work for us.

We created what we thought was a great list containing everything that we would need and checked items off as the pregnancy went by. Thankfully a lot of our research paid off, but sometimes you just don't know how well something will work for you until you use it. What is right for some babies and parents just didn't work for us, but now with an almost 3 month old (OH MY GOSH!!) I'm happy to report our absolute must have's for newborns. Besides the obvious car seat, stroller, crib etc. these are the items that we wouldn't survive without these days.


1// Snuza Hero This is without a doubt, my number one favorite baby product on the market. I knew that I had to have this and Lorelai has worn it every night since we came home from the hospital. It is a small attachment that clips to her diaper and monitors her breathing/movement. If she doesn't take a breath for 10 seconds it will vibrate to startle her and if she still doesn't breathe, it will alarm. I could never, ever sleep without this sensor because I am completely terrified of SIDS. It is honestly a God send. We have had a couple of false alarms, but they were user error as we just didn't have her diaper on tight enough and it came loose. But there was one time when I was nursing her that she quit breathing and the Snuza alarmed. I have never been so terrified, but she really wasn't breathing! Somehow she got choked up on milk and when I scooped her up she coughed and milk came out of her nose. We also have an Angelcare baby monitor that we will use when we transition her to her crib. But the Snuza is portable, no matter where she's napping, strolling, laying.. it can monitor her. I can't say enough great things about this product as it helps me sleep.

2// Puj Tub Love this tub! It's portable, flexible, comfortable and dries so quickly. And we just hang it to dry on the back of the bathroom door. Very convenient when you don't want tons of baby gear everywhere.

3// We decided to go with California Baby skincare products for L and have never looked back. They are amazing, completely chemical free, smell great and offer everything you could need. We have also tried some Honest and Burts Bees which are great too, but you really can't beat California Baby. However, I have to say that one day visiting my nephew I needed lotion for L's face and didn't have any in her diaper bag. My sister and mother swear by Baby Magic and offered me some. I insisted I didn't want the chemicals, but after they insisted and I smelled it (hello memories) I tried it for her and it was a miracle worker. So now we use that too! It truly is a learn as you go process, this whole parent thing.

4// Solly Baby Wrap I researched so many wraps and even tried some on to see how they fit because I knew that this would something I would use a lot and wanted to make sure I found one right for me. I wasn't able to test run this one, but the reviews were just too great to overlook so I went for it. And boy, was that the right call. We love our Solly Baby Wrap so much and more importantly, so does Lorelai! She recently went through a growth spurt that left her fussy all of the time and this wrap was a complete lifesaver. It allowed me to brush my teeth and comb my hair without her fussing... PRICELESS. Brian has worn her comfortably with this wrap too. Truly a wonderful product.

5// Dr. Browns Lorelai gets bad gas and we learned after some trial and error that these are the only bottles that don't make her miserable. There are more parts to clean, but it's well worth it for a happy baby tummy. We also have some of the super adorable LifeFactory ones that we will use in a pinch, but sadly they just don't sit well with her tummy quite yet like the Dr. Browns do.

6// Gerber Birdseye Cloth Diapers Not sure what we would do without these. We have tons and tons of them and they are everywhere... in her stroller, car seat, bassinet, on the couch, on the bed.. always near by for wiping up spit ups, cleaning up spills, wiping noses, the works.

7// Aden and Anais muslin blankets I think these babies are on every mama's must have list, but I can't not mention them. We use them for everything around here.. swaddling, car seat covers, nursing cover-ups, burp cloths in a pinch.. they are wonderful, versatile and so pretty too!

8// Wonder Weeks app I was skeptical of this at first, but after Lorelai's first growth spurt matched what the app said... and then the second growth spurt matched what the app said.. I'm a believer. The app is based off the baby's due date/gestational age and charts when baby will experience growth spurts, including what their behavior changes will be and what milestones they may reach after the spurts. Give or take a few days and obviously not every baby is the same, but so far this app has been priceless because you can estimate when the next growth spurt will be, how long a current growth spurt may last and track milestones.

9// The cute outfits are great and all.. truly they are (have you seen Lorelai's closet?) but nothing beats the sleepers. We have tons and have bought even more after realizing how wonderful they are. If we're not leaving the house, she is usually in sleepers and sometimes even when we do leave. They are easy, keep her plenty warm, so practical and are so cute too. And for bedtime, I highly recommend zip-up sleepers. Buttons and snaps are not so fun at 4am.

10// Skip Hop diaper bag For months and months I insisted that I didn't need a diaper bag. I bought a really nice, big leather tote that I thought could be my "mom" bag and could hold everything I needed for both baby and me. At about 8 months pregnant I had a panic attack that I didn't have a "diaper bag" and ordered this one on Amazon (the least diapery bag looking one I could find). Turns out I love it and more importantly need it. You need the compartments, you need the slippery, almost-waterproof fabric, you need the changing pad that comes inside. You just need it. And it's pretty and simple and gender neutral too.

11// Vicks Rectal Thermometer After a lot of trial and error with other thermometers, this one has been the best and most accurate (without taking forever). We had a terrible rectal one from Target that was all over the place and so frustrating! Doctors recommend rectal thermometers for the most accurate reading for infants. And the NoseFrida is a the BEST. That sucker from the hospital is practically useless compared to this thing. Yes, you look crazy while doing it. But Lorelai has already been congested and I would do anything to get that gunk out of her!! Can't praise this product enough.

12// Rock n Play This should be at the top of the list because it is one of the best baby items we have. Lorelai loves sleeping in this more than anywhere (besides being held) and does majority of her sleeping in there. It's so simple and cozy and portable and say-it-together-now machine washable. Best, best, best sleeper/rocker.

13// Wubbanub While we were registering for baby items, Brian added this thing and I thought it was ridiculous. Keep in mind, he pretty much let me go and pick whatever I wanted for the baby, but he had his heart set on this Soothie paci sewed to a stuffed giraffe thingy. Naturally it is Lorelai's favorite thing in the world. Even when she is not sucking on the paci, she hugs that giraffe like there is no tomorrow. Well played, husband.

Honorable mentions: Gripe Water (almost always cures L's hiccups/colic and it's completely natural.. no medicine, just herbs); Munchkin Dishwasher BasketMAM pacifiersSnuggabunny swing.


Friday, March 7, 2014

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Week 9: Lorelai's first pair of jeans!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Week 8: Lorelai makes this face whenever her dad carries her over his shoulder. She stares back at me with her big, curious eyes and she just lights up. She loves her dad so much it makes me weak in the knees. Even more, she has so many different faces. Of course, they are all irresistible to me. Her face when she's nursing and looking up at me with satisfaction; her giggling face; her happy dreaming face; her peeing face; her frown before she cries.. sometimes she looks like me. Sometimes she looks like Brian. It's amazing to me that she has so many little pieces of both of us.

lorelai's birth story

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sunday, December 15th of 2013 started out like any other ordinary Sunday. Football and laundry and a lot of lounging on the couch. Dinner time rolled around and I whined to Brian about the pizza I had been craving for a couple weeks now. Pizzaria Uno. A craving that had gone unsatisfied for weeks. The restaurant is about 20 minutes away though and I didn't feel like going out, so he drove out to get carryout to satisfy my craving.. what a guy.

all starting to happen
Brian returned with my long awaited pizza and we watched the Cowboys game on the couch with G. Near the end of the game, I adjusted myself on the couch and felt something... wet. At this point in pregnancy it could have been one of many things, but I got up to go to the bathroom and check it out. Walking to the bathroom.. and feeling a little more wet. Okay, this is interesting. I get to the bathroom, start to sit down on the toilet when water started pouring out of me. I mean, like someone turned on a faucet kind of pouring. I called for Brian to come.. as he rounds the corner and sees me hovering above the toilet with water gushing out, I can remember saying to him "I am not peeing.. I am NOT PEEING." His face literally went blank. Stunned. My due date wasn't for another week. I still have Christmas presents to wrap. Half of my shower thank you's remain unwritten sprawled across my coffee table. Yet, here we are! And what's with all that gibberish about your water breaking that they tell you... I specifically remember at our birthing class hearing that "it doesn't happen like it does in the movies, if your water breaks naturally it will be a slow trickle." Ummm.. this was no slow trickle. This was straight-out-of-the-movies, slippery-floor inducing, someone-turned-on-the-hose, water breaking.

Brian remained stunned and standing in the hallway, unable to move. I told him to first, call my mom. He retreated to the kitchen for his phone and tried calling and texting my mom repeatedly, but my mom wasn't in a service area at the time and wasn't responding. I found the largest pad known to man that I had stocked up on for postpartum and walked to the kitchen. By the time I got there and realized that Brian was frozen in place, unable to do anything but call and text my mom over and over, I had already soaked through and was dripping amniotic fluid all over the floor. Back to the bathroom I went, instructing Brian to follow me. I talked him through the fact that mom is not available, so we need to move on to the next thing! In retrospect it is seriously cute that he was so stunned he just didn't know what to do. Eventually we managed to put the pizza away (so not to torture poor Guinness while we're away), throw a few last minute things into the hospital bags and kiss my dear Guinness goodbye because I knew it would be days before I saw him again. I knew that once your water breaks, there is no being sent home from the hospital and that this was the real deal.

^one of my last bump photos^

We arrived at the hospital about 15 minutes after my water broke (we live 2 minutes away) and I will never forget the visual of this moment.... Brian dropped me off at the front doors and I waddled (dripping all the way) to the registration desk and he went to park the car. Two seconds later I see him running through the sliding doors of the hospital with our hospital bag in one hand and the baby's bag in the other... he was literally running so fast and the look on his face... I will never forget it. I asked him how he parked so quickly and he said he grabbed the first spot he saw and it was a handicapped spot! The man checking us in said that probably wasn't a good idea and that we were okay, so back outside he went to actually park this time.

We checked in, were taken to our room and the nurse confirmed what we clearly already knew.. my water had broke. Heck yes it broke.. and you could surely find a trail from my house to this very room! And then the bad news..  I was only 1 centimeter dilated. Yikes. I knew that this meant we were likely in for a long labor (I was half a centimeter dilated at my 38 week appointment, almost one week prior). By the time we got through all of the initial questions and checking in with the nurse, contractions had started on their own which was a great sign. They were not painful yet, and not very close together.. but definitely contractions and Brian loved watching the monitor to tell me when one was coming. Eventually Brian got in touch with my parents who were out of town for a concert at the time. They ended up leaving before the show even started and my mom was in the hospital room about an hour after we got there. I remember I kept saying "I can't believe it's really happening. I can't believe we're going to be parents!"

The next several hours were actually quite fun and I was enjoying every minute. It was the middle of the night, but I couldn't sleep no matter how hard I tried, even though I knew that I would need it. Brian's dad popped in for a bit in the middle of the night because he was too excited to stay away. I was slowly dilating and about 4 centimeters (which I think was the next morning sometime) and things started to get a bit blurry for me. I could no longer talk through my contractions, but they still weren't as close together as the doctors would like to see, so they started me on pitocin. Then things got horrible. I can honestly remember writhing in pain asking Brian how the hell I was going to do this?! I was so excited to meet our baby, but it was almost impossible to remember that through the pain.

At around 5 centimeters and contractions coming so fast and so strong I could barely breathe, I got an epidural. Getting the epidural was a horror. It seemed to take forever. They wouldn't let Brian near me while they did it. And I had about 5 majorly painful contractions while they were inserting the epidural that I could not move through. I had to sit there, perfectly still, while they inserted needles into my spine, while experiencing the most painful contractions yet. I'm sure many women have been through this, but it was horrible and seemed to take forever. But about 5 minutes later.. I was sooooooo happy. The epidural worked and I felt GREAT! Chit chatting with Brian and mom.. letting visitors come in to say hello.. getting to know the nurses.. and so flipping excited to meet our baby!! Again, I tried to nap, but silly me and my excitement I just couldn't do it.

Some hours later, and the epidural was starting to wear off. It worked so well at first that I never dreamed it would wear off so quickly. Again, the pain was becoming unbearable and they "boosted" my epidural to help for a bit longer. It did, but not nearly as well as the first time and I found myself again unable to breathe and writhing through my contractions. But finally.. we were there. I was dilated to 10 centimeters after nearly 24 hours of labor and could begin pushing. While the pain was almost unbearable, being able to push was a relief. I wanted so badly to push. And so it began. I could feel everything.

Brian held one leg and my mom held the other and I pushed harder than I thought was possible. Not only did I want to meet our baby, the love of my life, but I wanted this agonizing pain to be over. I knew the harder I pushed, the faster this would all happen. I pushed so hard that I think Brian is permanently scared from my facial expressions (or so he says). He was horrified at how much pain I was in, but I couldn't even think about what was actually happening. I just had to bare through the pain, no room for thinking. I was lucky if I could catch a breath in between the contractions because they were long and hard and seemed to be coming all at once. Most of labor, I had visualized the contractions as waves... knowing that if I could just "ride the wave" I would feel some relief eventually. But at this point, it felt like... a hurricane? No more waves.. just pain. After an hour of pushing, the doctor became concerned because the baby's heart rate was very high. The baby was moving down and they could see the head, so she said she would give me a bit longer to see if things improved.

Brian was so supportive, but had a very hard time seeing me in so much pain. Seeing how hard that was for him was truly heartwarming. But I was also glad that my mom was there to tell me to suck it up and push. I can remember looking at them as tears rolled down my face and I pushed and they wiped away my tears and nothing was said, but there was so much support and comfort and love.

Most of the time while pushing, the doctors aren't there with you, and sometimes the nurses step out too. This was complete news to Brian. I remember that I kept yelling at him because he was so worried that no one was there, so he would walk out of the room to find someone and a contraction would start and he wasn't there to hold my leg, making it harder for me to push. I could have killed him! This same fight continued and continued, because he kept stepping out into the hall, freaking out, calling for doctors and I just wanted to push as hard as I could.. couldn't give a care in the world about who was in the room! Looking back now it's kind of a sweet memory from labor; Brian being worried and me yelling at him in pain. I just wanted to remember that part.

Another hour and a half of pushing passed. The time seemed to take forever and fly by at the same time. The baby's heart rate had improved momentarily, but it was starting to speed up again and suddenly I had a fever. After the hardest two and a half hours of my life, pushing through contractions with everything in me, the doctors approached us and insisted that I get a c-section. I was crushed. I did not have anything against cesarean deliveries in general, but after laboring for 26 and a half hours and pushing through the worst pain that I could possibly imagine, they were telling me that I had done all of this for nothing?! The baby was moving down, they could see and feel the head and hair. But because of the baby's high heart rate, my fever, and the fact that my water had now been ruptured for 26+ hours, the risk of infection was too high and they insisted on a c-section. My disappointment was evident, but who was I to argue? I wanted to do whatever was best for my baby. I cried, but I agreed.

Once the decision was made, the room around me changed into fast forward. People buzzed around me so quickly I couldn't follow them, prepping me for surgery. Brian changed into scrubs and I could see the look of relief all over his face. He was glad that I wouldn't have this pain anymore. I felt such a mix of disappointment that I wasn't able to give birth naturally and also excitement that we would soon meet our baby.

I remember being wheeled past our family in the waiting room on our way to the operating room. They were all so excited and my sisters cried when they saw me and I couldn't help but cry too.. everything was so heightened. I have never felt so many emotions. I was thankful to have Brian with me and holding on to me. Throughout it all I remember looking at him (so cute in his scrubs) thinking how he was already the best father.

meeting her
The doctors and nurses were wonderful to me and made me as comfortable as possible. I felt a lot of pulling and tugging and pressure. It wasn't pleasant, but it was absolutely nothing compared to the agony of labor. After what felt like an eternity, I heard the doctor say "oh there you are!" in a way that I will always remember perfectly in my head. Seconds later I heard a wonderful, beautiful cry. A moment that froze in time. Cries hung in the air and I knew that it was my child. I was a mother.

They gave the baby to Brian a couple minutes later and he came over to show me.. "it's a girl" he whispered. The happiest moment of my life. The moment I laid eyes on her I can honestly remember thinking "oh my gosh, she looks like me" followed by an overwhelming gush of the purest kind of love I have ever known. A love so overwhelming that I couldn't have possibly imagined it before this moment. I had a daughter. My perfect, beautiful, darling daughter.

^our first family photo^

Brian went with our daughter to document every single thing while they finished closing me up. I don't remember much after they left the room (they knocked me out) because the next thing I remember is waking up back in our room. I remember being so groggy and unable to focus because of the drugs from the surgery and getting so mad because I wanted to hold my daughter right away. I don't remember the exact moment that they laid her on my chest, but I do remember not wanting to let her go. Slowly, but surely my grogginess began to fade. Our whole family came in to meet her.. my parents and sisters, Brian's father and brother.. they all surrounded our new little family and the love bounced off of the walls. Lorelai Mabel, I have waited for this moment.

^skin to skin with mama after birth^

Brian filled me in on some of the details that I missed after surgery... he captured her first moments for me because he knew that I was heartbroken to have missed them. The doctors had said that when they opened me up, Lorelai was grasping the umbilical cord with both hands and a tight grip! Little buttercup didn't want to come out yet after all.

At this point it was very late in the night and our family slowly left. Then it was just us. Everything seemed so surreal and so magical at the same time. I was completely exhausted after 26+ hours of labor and almost 48 hours without sleep, but I couldn't help but just stare at her. I barely slept all night because I couldn't quit staring. I kept dozing off and would sleep in 20 minute increments before jolting awake to stare at her some more.

^her very first night; I could not stop taking pictures of her..
or sleep. I mean, look at her!^

our daughter
Waking up the next day was a dream. I can remember the sunlight filling the room and I couldn't wait to get up to cuddle and take photos of our girl! Unfortunately, I was still in rough shape from the cesarean, including a catheter. Uhhhhhh. I begged the doctor to take it out and allow me to be mobile, which she reluctantly granted, but I just couldn't wait to do everything with my baby. (Yea, my eagerness later caught up with me. Ouch).

We spent every waking second staring at the beautiful human that we created; visiting with guests; our room flooded with pink balloons and flowers and teddy bears that said "it's a girl!" We were also working hard to feed her every 3 hours; pumping to stimulate my milk to come in; recovering from labor and surgery and getting to know our little daughter. It was overwhelming and all very wonderful.

^lots of sleeping and visitors at the hospital^

She took to breastfeeding right away, but would soon after become very, very lazy and fall asleep. The doctors soon became worried that she was not being aggressive enough and that we would have to supplement with formula. I was not in agreement because I knew that we wanted to breastfeed and would not allow anyone to push formula at us so soon. Thankfully, the nurses were very supportive and we soon began working with a lactation consultant. Even though Lorelai was latching and appeared to get the hang of it, she was just not aggressive enough at the breast and her blood sugar began to drop, which also caused her body temperature to drop. At this point, the lactation consultant agreed with the nurses that we needed to supplement with some formula until my milk came in (and would hopefully help her to eat better) but that we could do so using a syringe and nipple shield at the breast, so that it would not interfere with her learning to breastfeed. We agreed because this was obviously best for Lorelai and seemed like a good compromise. It was a lot of work, but I'm so glad that we stuck this out. It took both Brian and I to feed her, including in the the middle of night, because there were so many things to set up and hold, etc. But all was well.

^these precious, priceless moments^

hospital stay
On the day that we were to be discharged, the doctors gave us the news that some of Lorelai's labs did not return the results they had hoped for, specifically her white blood cell count indicated that she may have an infection. Because my water was ruptured for so long, this was the concerning reason for the cesarean and rightfully so since it appeared that she did have an infection of some sort, this could be the culprit. The doctor explained that we would not be discharged and Lorelai would have to get an IV to receive antibiotics for either 3 or 10 days (he was not yet sure; this would depend on how her labs appeared after a couple of days). This news was very frightening and disappointing to us because we were obviously very excited to take our new baby home! However, we wanted what was best for her and were so grateful that this was caught before we did go home and it escalated. This was also an indicator as to why she was so sleepy and not eating aggressively.

She ended up needing the full round of antibiotics for 10 days, so our stay in the hospital was long. After 3 days of the IV being administered in Lorelai's hand, they had to move her IV to her head (!!!!!!!!). Apparently this is the best location for newborns because the veins are bigger, but boy, this mama was not very happy when she learned of this initially.

^poor little thing with her IV; she handled it much better than her parents did^

We are so grateful for the care and love that Lorelai received during our long hospital stay. At first, it was wonderful because the nurses were able to work with us after my milk came in and help us establish breastfeeding. We also had extra help at night when we needed it for that first week, which was very welcome. We grew very close to several of the nurses and were sad to say goodbye to them when our stay had ended.

^hanging out at the hospital and rocking her bilirubin blanket that she had for a day^

^we got pretty good at being in the hospital after a while^

going home
We were discharged on Christmas Eve and the feeling was indescribable. Thrilling. Exciting. Relieving. Terrifying. It was everything. We had to wait until around 7pm so that Lorelai could get her last round of antibiotics. We loaded her into the car seat for the first time and Brian started the car about an hour before we had to leave to make sure it was warm enough. We walked outside the doors of the hospital; it was dark and had just started snowing! I sat in the back with Lorelai and insisted (over and over again) that Brian drive so slow because the roads were slick. We live literally down the street from the hospital and it took us all of 5 minutes to get there we were driving so slow. It is one of the fondest memories I will ever have. So many emotions flooded my heart as we drove our newborn little baby home as the snow just started falling on Christmas Eve. I cried tears of happiness the whole way.

^discharge day!!; Christmas Eve^

Our first Christmas Eve together is a night that will always be in my heart. She met her brother for the first time. My heart literally aches remembering it... he licked her face over and over again. And we weren't sure if we were suppose to let him do that or not, but we did. And it was wonderful. We all sat on the couch for the first of many nights and just loved each other.

This entire experience has been everything that they say it is. And then even more. It's the most overwhelming love that I could ever dream to feel. It's the most pain that I have ever endured.

It made my husband a doting, loving father.

It made me a mother.



"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Week 7: Lorelai has a "happy time" every day from around 4pm to 6pm. She loves to kick and squirm and wriggle and talk and giggle and melt my heart to pieces.

Her daddy is convinced this is her happy time because this is when he gets home from work.

I usually can't even get a photo of her without blurry arms & legs because she's moving so fast. My little love.

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan