Wednesday, May 11, 2016

10 on 10 :: May 2016

We're Smitten

Here are a few photos my brother took of our family now that Ellis has arrived.

Ellis in the hospital on his birth-day:

Ellis at 2 weeks old:

The four of us, getting adjusted to life at home with baby brother:

Proud big brother Harry, talking to Ellis. They're going to be best buds!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ellis :: Birth Story

After a traumatic emergency c-section with Harry, we opted to go for a planned c-section with Ellis. I didn't want to go through labor again only to find out I had to have the same situation as last time.

So Wednesday April 20th was the day. We were supposed to check in at the hospital at 5:30am for a 7:30am c-section...and as it turned out, Ellis had a different plan in mind. But it all kind of started on Tuesday.

I intended to have a really restful day on the 19th. It was my last day as a mom of just one boy after all. The weather felt more like summer, and I had no major plans. I figured I'd hang out with Harry, paint my nails, and "live it up" (aka: relax all day) before Ellis' long-anticipated arrival on Wednesday.

As with most "birth plans" this did not happen.

I woke up Tuesday morning with severe back pain. It felt similar to when you tweak your neck and can hardly move your head without sharp pain, but it was along my ribs and onto my back.

I could hardly move my torso (which basically involves every movement I tried to make) without being in pretty severe pain. I managed to take Harry to and from preschool, but spent much of the day trying to get comfortable on my bed. It took about five pillows...and even then I was still pretty uncomfortable.

Now looking back, I'm pretty sure I was experiencing back labor, all day.

Once Josh got off work, we dropped him off at my parents' house for his big sleepover before getting to meet his little brother the next day. You can tell in this picture that he was pretty pumped! Then Josh and I went to dinner and went to bed around 9:00, hoping to get some sleep.

At about 11:00 I woke up with contractions. I'd had some contractions here and there over the past month or so, but these were a lot more painful than any I'd experienced thus far. They were about nine minutes apart at that point, but by 12:30 they were 3-4 minutes apart and I decided to wake up Josh. It was time to go to the hospital.

He was half-asleep and tried to convince me that we could just wait. It was only a few more hours after all until we were supposed to get up and head out.

I managed to convince him that waiting was not an option. Good thing! By the time we got to the hospital and I was checked - I was already 7 cm dilated!!! What?!?!

Here we are, halfway to the hospital and stuck behind a train. Of course, right? I was sitting in the passenger seat breathing pretty heavily through the contractions which were now 2-3 minutes apart!

Needless to say, it was a relatively short amount of time before I was prepped and ready to meet our little guy. I was so relieved to have the spinal block because my contractions were SO PAINFUL by the time I was laying in the operating room. Not sure how much more dilated I got...but I'm guessing at least an 8 or a 9.

Everyone in the O.R. was so nice. They took great care of me and talked us through what was going on. Not exactly the "calm, planned" procedure I was anticipating, but it was night and day compared to what we experienced when Harry was born.

Josh watched over the screen, and told me when Ellis was about to "pop out" (as big brother Harry likes to say). As soon as I heard his wailing cries I burst into tears. It was such a healing moment for me as a mom. I didn't get to experience that with Harry...and then after two miscarriages I wondered if I'd ever get to experience becoming a mom again. This moment, this sweet picture of us holding Ellis brings me to tears, really happy and thankful tears! He was instantly calm as soon as he was in our arms. We got to hold and kiss and talk to him the whole time they were stitching me back up.

It was heavenly!

Here he is snuggled up "skin-to-skin" on my chest, where he stayed for the first two hours of his life. It was so wonderful to hold him like that.

I got to nurse him right away and he was a champ! He latched right on and hasn't stopped eating since. I think he'd like to be a chunk-ster like his brother ;)

After we got acquainted and were transferred to our new room, my parents brought Harry to the hospital. Josh got Harry and brought him into the room to meet Ellis. It was just us, a family of four, for a little while before we introduced our new little guy to the rest of the family. Harry was thrilled! He couldn't stop grinning and asking to kiss Ellis (his toes, hands, nose, cheeks, you name it)!

I LOVE love LOVE this picture of me with my two boys. This right here was the moment I had dreamed about and prayed for over the past nine months! I am SO THANKFUL to have the incredible blessing of being Mama to both of these incredible little boys.

Harry was just SO proud of his new little brother! :)

He even got to help the nurse give Ellis one of his first check-ups. It was so sweet to watch him helping her take his vitals. 

Love these photos that capture sweet moments snuggling with and kissing my new little bundle. Ellis was (and remains) one of the most laid back babies I've met. He is so calm and rarely cries!

And the hospital cinnamon rolls were delicious too. Mama's weakness ;) lol

After two nights we were more than ready to head home and get adjusted to life with two sons instead of just one. Harry was so excited to help us get Ellis situated in his carseat. H was telling him all about the fact that he would have a room next to his, and that we have a mini-van with "magnetic" (automatic) doors. So adorable!

And with that, we were off. We have a very similar picture of us with Harry (in the same carseat) ready to go home. I love that this time we have Harry and Ellis!

So there you have it! Ellis' birth story. It was planned and a surprise at the same time. He came in the perfect way, exactly the way that God knew he would...and I am just so thankful that this time, I got to hold my baby right away and bring him into the world in a way that was not an emergency, but felt just right. Crazy to think this whole post describes the very beginning of a grand adventure we are just now starting.

Both of my boys came into our families in their own ways - and I treasure the vivid memories (and the photos that capture them) of the births of both of my boys. Becoming a Mom is the greatest calling and gift I will ever experience in this life. A tad bit sappy, but one hundred percent true.

Now I'm off to go make coffee...or take a nap...or daydream about taking a nap... ;) 

Random Midnight Nursing Ramblings

I wrote this in the middle of the night while nursing Ellis. Random thoughts leading up to his "one week" birthday.

  • Ellis loves swaddles, but he likes his left hand out
  • He's either snoozing of looking around a ton, always super calm
  • Fusses when being changed/cold...but doesn't really cry
  • Sleeps with head turned way on its side 

The Gift of Waiting

Before Ellis arrived, I started this blog post...but never finished it.

My goal is to get his birth story all typed up and posted in the next few days, but before I can mentally go there, I want to finish this post. 

Here goes:

The way my maternity leave worked this time around, I was able to be home for my spring break plus another week before my scheduled c-section.

It was such a gift to be able to take time off beforehand because with Harry I worked up until the day he was born.

So here we are, waiting. I'm mostly hanging out with Harry while Josh works, but we also plan on having plenty of time just the three of us before brother makes us a family of four.

I'm so thankful for a pause to wait. A break from my normal routine of teaching and just enjoy my firstborn. Time to wait and rest (and nest). I know that once Ellis arrives, life will never be the same, and it's a change that we've longed for, for a long time now. All of this is so good and I am so thankful...and yet I find myself holding tightly to these days before. Wanting to savor and cherish them because I know that I'll never get them back.

And because I haven't posted much of his nursery on the blog (mainly because we just got it put together in the past few days ;) here are some pics of how we've personalized the nursery to be Ellis' new room.

This is how I initially "styled" his shelves and the wall above his crib:

And here are some updates I made...

We received this adorable little garland (after he was born) from my cousin Catherine...and I LOVE how it adds to the wall above his changing table. We will enjoy it every time I change his diaper! 

Here is the initial wall above his crib...

And here it is now :)