babies · Newborn · Uncategorized

Newborn tips

Years ago, my baby sister asked me to write her a book on how to be an adult. Needless to say, I never got around to it. Nor do I have any clue what I would even put in that book.

Now she’s days away from having her first baby & becoming a mama {!!!!!} and she’s been asking me to write the mama-version of said book for the past 10 months. I obviously haven’t gotten around to that either.

However, I figured it’s not too late {yet} to give her some quick tips based on my experience with newborns. It goes without saying {but I’ll say it anyway} that every baby & every mama & every experience is different and no one thing works for everyone, but these are things that I’ve found to be true and that I wanted to share.

  1. Have no expectations. Be excited. Be happy. Be nervous. Be whatever you want to be, but do not for one second have any expectations about a schedule or what your life will look like or that everything about the next few months will go swimmingly or that everything will be insane. None of that will hold true 100%, so just let it go and get excited for one of the sweetest, hardest, craziest few months of your life.
  2. If you’re breastfeeding, nurse on demand. Don’t worry if he doesn’t eat for 15-10-5. Don’t worry if he wants to eat every 2 hours instead of every 3. If he’s fussing and you don’t know how to fix it, try nursing him. I’m not saying it’s always the answer or to use your boob as a pacifier, but I am saying to let go of the rules and guidelines and schedule at first and just let your boobs figure out how to feed your baby and let your baby figure out how to eat and be comforted by his mama.
  3. Snuggle {and wear} that baby. I know I don’t have to tell you this, but newborn cuddles are the best. Soak them up. If you want to lay on the couch and snuggle, do it. If you want to get something done, put your babe in a wrap and enjoy snuggles AND be productive. Again totally your call, but snuggles are available either way and you cannot spoil your newborn so enjoy him!
  4. Get out of the house! If you want to, that is. If you don’t want to, then by all means stay home! But if you want to get out, now is the time. Do not worry about if he’ll cry in Target or how you’ll feed him or if people will think you’re crazy for going out so early. If you want to explore the world with your newborn, do it. You’re in charge, mama. I loved having down time at home, but I also loved being out in the world with my baby girl snuggled in close. This is where I’ll say again that every mama is different. I have friends who didn’t go out for weeks, and that is totally fine, too. I only say this to encourage you not to be afraid of nursing in the car or in public or of your baby crying in public. I don’t want you to feel like you can’t go out, so I’m just telling you that you CAN {and it’s actually a lot easier than you think}.
  5. Ask for help/advice. There are no dumb new mama questions. If you have a question or want help or advice, ask!!!  I hope & pray that everyone has people who check in on them like my people checked-in on me when my three were born. This is when you start to create your village, and it’s nothing short of amazing during this crazy new season.
  6. Don’t expect sleep. You’ve probably read this a billion times, but everyone will ask you “how’s the baby sleeping” immediately after he’s born. You’ll probably get all cocky because – pro-tip – brand new babies sleep a lot. So you’ll be all “oh he’s sleeping great, we have to wake him to eat, he sleeps anywhere!” which is all true and all normal and all wonderful. It doesn’t mean you’re getting boat-loads of sleep, but it does mean that at least he’s sleeping. And then he “wakes up” – because that’s what babies do. They get more and more awake and they have sleep regressions and sicknesses and teething and about a billion other excuses to make sure you never get too many decent nights of sleep in a row. He’ll sleep and he won’t sleep and you’ll sleep and you won’t sleep and it’s all okay and normal and you actually get used to functioning on less sleep than you ever have in your life. Let’s just say now isn’t the time to give up coffee….
  7. Don’t expect a schedule. Like the sleeping thing. And like #1, but this seems worth the extra mention to me. Newborns do not have a schedule. I know that we all read Babywise and we all have ideas for schedules and we all hear talk of nap times and bedtimes and eating times. But all of that is for slightly older babies. There is this glorious newborn window where there is truly no set schedule. Try {even if you’re type-A like I am} to enjoy this time with no schedule. Of course it makes it hard to plan your days, but it also means you have this flexibility that you don’t have when your kid needs a nap at 1pm sharp and you’re driving down the road windows down & blaring music because she will not for one minute sleep in the car if you can help it. Not that I’ve done that recently or anything…
  8. Accept meals and/or cleaning and/or grocery runs from people. Have someone to set up a meal train. Eat out or get take-out. If someone offers to run an errand for you or bring you food, let them. People genuinely want to help you during this special time and it is AMAZING to not have to cook or think about what you’re eating that night. In that same regard, if someone offers to bring food/coffee/whatever when they come to visit you, say yes and enjoy it.
  9. Don’t worry about bothering your baby while he’s sleeping. As newborns they can & should sleep through people talking, lights on, dogs barking, etc. Grandmas and other well-meaning folk will try to tell you to turn off the lights or the TV or whatever else could possibly be bothering this {clearly totally undisturbed} babe as he sleeps. Smile, nod, and keep the damn lights on. We vacuumed while ours slept. We moved them in and out of the car and into stores and they stayed asleep. This won’t happen forever so again, ENJOY IT. It’s like a newborn jedi trick and it’s amazing and I wish it stayed that way forever, but it doesn’t.
  10. Soak it up. This doesn’t mean you have to enjoy every second, but it does mean you should remember even the messy, chaotic, crazy times. There will be the sweetest moments you’ve ever known that you’ll want to literally hold onto forever. Those moments will get you through the sleep-deprived times when you’re wondering what on earth you’ve done creating this sweet babe who needs you all.the.time. But none of it lasts forever. Heck, it doesn’t really last long at all. So snuggle & feed & comfort your baby. Write stuff down, take a ton of pictures, smell his sweet head and enjoy this time of becoming a mama and getting to know your first sweet baby. This first-baby thing will never happen again and it is truly a magical, wonderful thing.

Congrats, baby sis. I cannot wait to see you become a mama and I am beyond excited to snuggle my nephew and to become an aunt. I’m here for you anytime you need me & I love you more than words.

Uncategorized

Yes, I had a c-section

This post was originally published on www.2phines.com on March 9, 2015. 

*****

I’ve wanted to write this post for almost a year now.

 

I’ve started it several times, but somehow it comes across as too defensive, or like it will offend someone else, or I just don’t have the words to truly express how I’m feeling.
But then I read this article.  And YES.  Yes yes yes.

It’s a lot of what I’ve wanted to say – under slightly different circumstances, and without calling my actual delivery a “horror show”.

{Side note – random “birth” pictures are included in this post because all posts are better with pictures. Some are from our iPhones, but most were taken by my friend Jenny who was 6-months pregnant at the time and stayed in her car foreverrrrr waiting for it to be time to take pictures of a freshly born Harper.  Hours later, she captured Harper being cleaned off and shown to our families. This wasn’t our plan, but I cherish these first photos, especially since this is the part I missed while in recovery.  Thanks again, Jenny, you rock!}

I’m the first to say that my labor & delivery with HQ wasn’t “ideal”.  Phine & I have often joked that I had the easier pregnancy and she had the ideal delivery.  Phine went into labor on Saturday, was in labor all day, finally went to the hospital around 10:30pm or so, got an epidural, pushed like 3 times, and Kinley was born at 2:23am on Sunday morning.

None of this means that Phine’s labor was easy by ANY stretch of the imagination.  More ideal than mine, sure, but not easy.  I saw her all day Saturday.  Girl was in PAIN.  She was in pain but didn’t want to complain because we were both in labor {her’s was just progressing much faster, which neither of us knew at the time}.  And because she’s just hardcore like that.  It was painful and she was a rockstar the entire time.  She also chose the epidural and told me how wonderful it was {and then I would also choose it a day and a half later} and then pushed squirmy Kinley out like it was nothing. Like I said, she’s a rockstar.

But I’m a rockstar, too.  And she was the first to tell me that.

My labor didn’t go that way.  I was in “pre-labor” {which seems like a bullshit term, to be honest. 3-5 minute contractions for 3 days doesn’t seem very “pre” to me, but whatever…} starting Friday, all the way until my water broke Monday morning at 3am.  Thanks to the “golden ticket” {what I now call your water breaking}, I was admitted to the hospital early Monday morning. I was then in labor all. the. dag. gone. day.  I got the epidural late morning and then finally got to really rest for the first time in 3 days.  After 19 hours of “active labor,” at 10pm that night, it was finally time for me to push.

After 2 hours of pushing with no progression, we discussed allowing me to try to push for 20 more minutes before attempting a vacuum assist or c-section, or moving forward with the c-section then.  Harper was face up, so wasn’t coming out as easily as she should have.  I think I pushed maybe 2 more times, and then opted for the c-section.  My Dr {my FAVORITE from our practice, who I trust with my life} told me that was his suggestion.

{He also told me immediately after the c-section that we made the right call.  That I had done absolutely everything right & everything I could, and that if my next baby isn’t in that position, I’d be an excellent candidate for a VBAC, but because of Harper’s position, she wasn’t going to come out vaginally.  Talk about reassurance.}

The c-section was great.  They gave me some kind of meds {ha – I have no idea what all I took that day} in the delivery room, I waited {this was the worst part of the entire thing – no epidural at this point, lots of pitocin, no spinal yet, just contracting after the hours of labor & pushing while waiting to go to the OR}, they wheeled me to the OR, I had to sit up {ouchhhhh} so they could give me the spinal, and then they laid me back and I was in sweet relief.  The anesthesiologist and nurses were so nice, Cameron showed up and sat down by my head, and I knew our baby girl was actually on her way at this point!

Harper didn’t cry right away, which is good because there had been meconium in the fluid when my water broke.  They took her to a room right beside us, suctioned her out, and we heard her sweet sweet cry.  At this point I was sobbing, naturally.

They called “daddy” to come get Harper, and Cam walked off to our sweet baby.  What happened next will forever be my favorite picture that only lives in my mind {dangit where was our camera?!}.

I will never ever forget the image of my tall, handsome husband wearing his scrubs and carrying our tiny newborn daughter toward me.  He was so so so happy & proud.  We were both bawling.  Then he laid that sweet girl right on my cheek and I cried big wet tears all over her beautiful face.  Her eyes were open and she was just as calm as she could be and staring at me all “hey mom, how’s it going?”

Best. moment. ever.

Is it how I imagined it?  No, not really.  I don’t know if you CAN accurately imagine that moment, honestly.

Did I want skin to skin & immediate breastfeeding?  Yes, that’s actually the ONLY thing I cared about in a so-called “birth plan” and it didn’t happen.

Did it matter?  Not one freaking bit.

Our girl was here.  And safe.  And I’ll never forget my first look at her gorgeous face.  Or my first time holding her & nursing her a couple of hours later.

Of course I would’ve preferred to do that immediately vs 2 hours later, but in the grand scheme of things, it honestly didn’t matter.  She still latched like a pro, breastfed like a champ for 12+ months, and we’re crazy bonded.  Trust me on that one.

But here’s the thing.  Yes, I’m just now getting to ‘the thing’….

Like the author of this article said, I so often get the “I’m so sorry” response when people hear that I had a c-section.  As the author says…

It is always, always, delivered with genuine caring and disappointment on behalf of my subpar birthing story. 

That’s exactly how it has always made me feel.  Subpar.  Like I didn’t do something right.  Like I should’ve chosen to never have had a c-section despite my feelings for how right it was for us, and how honestly great of an experience it was overall.

You should’ve seen me in that recovery room, shaking as I came off the fluid & meds, finally eating ice chips as the first thing I’d eaten in days, not holding my brand new baby who was in the nursery getting cleaned off.  I was as happy as I have ever been.  Just knowing my girl was out & safe & in the same hospital as I was and that we were about to be together made me the happiest mama in the world.  I was beaming {through the shakes}.  Maybe it was the drugs, but I don’t remember being worried or scared or upset or anything – just so unbelievably and uncontrollably happy.

So, don’t feel sorry for me.  Don’t pity me or any of the mamas who had c-sections & and are here to hold their babies.

I’m tired of the well-meaning “sorrys” and the feeling that those of us who had c-sections somehow had a subpar birth experience or just didn’t try hard enough.  I’m done with it.

Because this. {not my words, but I agree with it so so much…sorry for the language…}

Speaking of nature. I’m all for nature. Totally on board with nature. I understand that babies have been being born the way they’re born for however long humans have been around for, and it’s all worked out fine. But a lot of the time it actually hasn’t worked out fine. Many mothers and babies have died along the way, for things which medicine routinely corrects for these days. Prematurity. High blood pressure. Babies in wrong positions. All of these could and often did spell death for both parties not so very long ago. The Caesarean section is a marvel. Medications which can help labor along and reduce pain without permanently damaging mother or child are wonders of modern medicine.
Sure: I love nature. But when nature wants you dead, fuck nature. Take medicine and science. Hell, if nature just wants you to be less comfortable than you’d like to be, fuck it. Take the epidural, and don’t feel bad about it.
I remember the moment my daughter was born. I don’t have any more “natural” scenarios to compare it to, but I can’t imagine anything could be better than those few minutes.
You can argue that having an epidural should be considered under the umbrella of “natural” childbirth, but maybe we shouldn’t even bother. Maybe calling one birth natural and the others… “unnatural” (I guess?) is fucked up and childish, perpetuating the myth that there are definitively better routes to getting a baby out than others. 

Preach it, sister.

babies

Bath time.

Baby bath time is my favorite. It can be crazy, yes, but they’re naked and cute and usually happy to splash around in the warm water.

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Plus there is the adorable hooded towel at the end to really wrap up {punny} the evening.

I’ve learned there’s this nice progression with baby bath time. The sink baths that are on your schedule and a good level for your back and just adorable because this tiny baby is still small enough to fit in a tub in the sink.

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Then they move on to the big kid bathtub where they are slippery and they roll and eventually try to crawl/walk all over the tub.

And if they have a sibling or two, it’s like a visit to the splash pad every night.

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But here’s where it gets real.

{warning: don’t snack while reading this part…}

{no, seriously…}

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One night, we had all 3 babes in the bath, per usual. They were splashing & playing around while Cameron watched them & I laid out jammies & diapers & lotion.

I came back in the bathroom and Harper picked something up out of the bath and says “here mama” – a raisin that we clearly missed when stripping them after dinner…

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A few seconds later, I see Ellie with something in her mouth. I scoop it out…another raisin. Weird. How did we miss so many dang rai….

HOLY CRAP.

No, literal CRAP.

There is crap in the tub.

Ellie has crapped the tub {again}…

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…and was EATING. HER. OWN. RAISIN.

Y’all. I just can’t. There aren’t words.

There were however, showers all around, a deep clean of the tub & the mat & all the toys, and a few days {weeks?} without raisins.

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Uncategorized

What I’ve learned about potty training

Harper Q is potty trained {if that’s ever a thing you’re done with…}. “I wear good {big} girl panties – I no wear diapers, only babies wear diapers.” “I tried, mama.” “I need to go potty!!” “I get an m&m because I peed. I get it myself.”

All those are things we hear on the regular these days.

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It actually happened faster than I thought it would, now that I can look back and see the past few weeks from a spot that is not eye-level with our or any other toilet that we’ve visited.

But in the middle of it???  I thought I was going to die. I was signing myself up for the crazy house & packing my bags.  And lucky for y’all {?} I wrote about it at the time.  I waited to post it because I didn’t want to jinx my sweet girl or our carpet, but I feel like if she regresses now it’s pure rebellion, so that’s a another issue {and another visit to the crazy house}.

Here you go.  The truth about potty training…

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Oh, friends.  We started potty training last Friday afternoon.  Harper had school in the morning, so we started that afternoon after naps. We did the whole strip her down the first day thing & it worked like a charm. She peed the first time, looked down like what the heck is happening down there, started to go a 2nd time and then turned into this child who told us when she had to go potty & hit the mark every time. For the evening. And the next day.

{By the way, there’s a 2/3 day regression/rebellion/visit to hell. My friends said they didn’t want to tell me about it until I got there. Cool. Thanks, guys.}

Nothing can be that easy, and obviously we’ve had our fair share of accidents & trying not to poop & washing big girl panties with pee in them. Overall, I’m a huge fan of the strip-them-down method & I think it worked super quickly for Harper, but not in the 3-day way. I’m not sure if the 3-day thing ever really works, but for us it took longer than that. And in that time, here’s what I learned:

  1. It will give you all. the. emotions. Thank GOD I didn’t do this when I was pregnant with the twins. I would’ve been a hot mess. It’s literally the highest high when she goes all by herself and you can see on her face how dang proud of herself she is. Or when she goes all day without an accident & it’s party central up in this house. Or when she makes it on 2 hours worth of errands without an accident and then goes on her own when you get home. YAYYYYYY!  But then there are the lows….ohhhh man, there are the lows. When she has her first accident in a couple days and you blame yourself for not asking her, but you are also like come on kid, what the f. When you have to sit eye level with the Trader Joe’s potty twice in a 30 minute span only for nothing to come out. When she jumps down says “okay, I tried” after approximately 2.5 seconds and you have to somehow get her back on the potty  or watch her like a hawk until she finally goes again. Emotions, y’all.
  2. The regression/resistance day is a b. Like I said, Harper took to the whole potty training thing SUPER well for the first 2 days. Rockstar. I’m over here doing a happy dance and getting all excited about all the pee going into the potty. And then day 2/3 hit. I say 2/3 because it was late Sunday morning, so since we started mid-day it was almost at the day 3 mark. When I started complaining to a couple of my best mama friends about what was happening, they were like “ohhh yeah, we didn’t want to tell you, but this is the resistance day. enjoy!” How’s that now??  So apparently it’s a thing. It lasted 24 hours of her not wanting to go on the potty/she’d “try” but nothing would come out & then later she’d pee on the floor, etc. And then it stopped. Just like that it up & stopped and no more accidents & she was back to telling us when she had to go. Now this may sound all easy breezy and just like 24 hours worth of pee, but y’all. In the moment?? I was GOING. FREAKING. CRAZY. It’s not a good time. Get wine/liquor/coffee/chocolate & just ride it out. Trust me.
  3. You’ll eat at least as many m&m’s as your toddler. She gets 1 for pee & 3 for poop. I have no idea why we skipped 2. I get a handful every single time. Yay for being a mom.
  4. You’ll be done with public bathrooms in 2.5 seconds. This is the part I was dreading the most. It’s just as bad as I anticipated. The first couple of days that we went out we did the whole go to the potty when you 1st get there & when you leave & any time she says she has to go thing. It was terrible. I spent way too much time waiting for her to try to go on a public toilet & telling her not to put her hands/face/whatever else on all the surfaces in the bathroom. And thinking about that fun “how far poop particles fly when you flush” trivia. Gross. Then we realized she’s a camel. And she legit didn’t have to go that often. So now when we’re out we only go when necessary, thank God.
  5. It actually IS easier than diapers. Eventually. People kept saying “oh you have 3 in diapers, oh my gosh” blah blah blah. And I thought YES, but I get to choose when I change my kids {unless they poop}, I’m not running to a public bathroom with 2 babies hanging on for the ride, my toddler isn’t peeing her carseat, etc.  And while that was true, now that HQ has the hang of this whole potty deal, I am definitely not missing changing her diapers. She’s doing such a great job and it makes it way easier on me that she’s not having millions of accidents and she’s doing so much “by myself,” like she loves to do. Plus, she loves the dang princess panties & one less kid using the box of diapers we buy or the cloth that we wash is a win in my book. So carry on, potty training mama’s – fight the good fight…and don’t forget the travel potty.

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Baby Gear · Newborn · twins

Mama Must Haves: Newborn Twins

Confession: I’m obsessed with baby gear.

Starting with my first pregnancy, my husband & I researched and tested all.the.things. Mainly because we thought it was fun, but also because you never know what can really make your life with baby(ies) easier.

Everyone has their own preferences, needs, and favorites, obviously, but I found mama reviews & favorites lists SUPER helpful when registering. I’ve also found that mamas more than anyone know what they’re talking about when it comes to these things, and I’m forever grateful for the mamas that led me to some of these products.

This specific mama-must-have list is for newborn twins.  I’ll do a separate list for my general newborn must-haves, although some of the same things will obviously be on both.

I’ll just say that with newborn twins, making life easier is CRUCIAL, so here are my first 6-week must-haves.

  1. Double My Breast Friend nursing pillow and/or Twin Z pillow.  I nursed our twins from the beginning, and loved the MBF pillow at first because it is much more supportive for the babies & for the mama when the babes are so small and floppy.  I switched to the TwinZ pillow {pictured} a few months in, but even before that I loved using the TwinZ as a double boppy, and would often lay the babies there before/after our nursing session while using the MBF to actually nurse on.  I’ve heard from other mamas that the TwinZ is super helpful when bottle feeding twins, too, although in that case you don’t also need the MBF!img_4245
  2. TWO Rock N Plays.  Napping, sleeping, hanging out, rocking, I could go on and on. The Rock N Play is one of my favorite baby products ever. Every baby could probably use two, but with twins you MUST have two!img_4298
  3. City Select w/ two carseat adapters.  We now have the double Bob and the City Select, and my husband asks me all the time if we should’ve just gotten the Bob to start with. I tell him {every time} that the City Select saved my sanity those first 6 months. This stroller is lightweight, you can snap in the carseats {MUST HAVE – Britax BeSafe links are included because those are the seats we have}, or a seat & carseat {for toddler + baby – or it has a glider board for said toddler}, it maneuvers incredibly well, and is just an amazing stroller that makes it totally possible to get out on your own with twins + a toddler. FREEDOM.img_4227
  4. Sling and/or wrap. The Sollybaby wrap is my favorite, but I also loved and wore both twins at the same time with my Moby when they were tiny.  A ring sling is also nice to have as it is super fast to put on & easy to wear baby regardless of where you are.img_0086
  5. TWO swings of some type. We had one swing & one MamaRoo, which was great for us. Both were more cozy in the swing at first, but I like the smaller footprint & ease of traveling with the MamaRoo, so was glad we had one of each vs two larger swings.img_0232
  6. Zipper jammies – Gap or Hanna Andersson. ONLY zippers. All the time. No time for snaps, my friends, especially at night. Gap & HA seem to hold up best, are super soft & cozy, and are ridiculously cute.img_0083
  7. Swaddle blankets. Obviously. For swaddling, covering, tucking in, and wiping spit up/snot/milk/your coffee/whatever else you spill or need to wipe.  I love Aiden & Anais brand and the bamboo ones are amazingly soft {but don’t hold the swaddle as well, in my opinion}.
  8. Covered Goods nursing cover. Or carseat cover even if you’re not nursing. This is one of my favorite baby products EVER & my go to new mama gift. The cover is lightweight, easy to take with you, super easy to use as a nursing cover, lovely to wear as a scarf & use as a blanket/burp cloth/whatever you need when not nursing, and doubles as a carseat cover {great with newborns & in the winter!} and then as a shopping cart cover!  MUST. HAVE. We have two & I still use them a year later. img_6693
  9. Oxo wipes dispenser.  Frustrated that every time you end up grabbing way too many wipes?! This thing ACTUALLY solves that problem. Love. Seemed ridiculous to buy a $20 wipes dispenser but I guarantee I’ve saved more than that in wipes by always using only one wipe at a time, especially when you change as many diapers as you do those first few months!
  10. Boppy lounger.  We didn’t have this with our first, but I LOVED having it with the twins. We ended up with two, but both fit on one for awhile {sigh}. It was great to have  a safe place to lay them when they were sleeping {away from toddler fingers}, came in super handy when tandem nursing and I needed to lay one/both down during transitions, and was nice to have a portable soft spot for the babes to hang out.img_4101

I could go on and on {yes, I know it’s a problem}, but I’ll stop and save some products for another list. Any products you’d add for the first few weeks with twins?!

twin sleep · twins

Twin Sleep

Y’all. Twin sleep is no joke.

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I’m not going to lie.  With Harper, I was one of those can’t-talk-about-it-because-people-will-hate-me-and/or-I’ll-jinx-it mamas who had a baby who slept through the night insanely early & insanely well.  My smug little self slept later than I care to admit every day.  Those who did know about this wished a terrible sleeper on me for #2 {or other worse things, but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one}.

And then I found out I was pregnant with twins.

We joked that we knew we were screwed, but I’m not sure we really believed it.

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Don’t worry, we believe it now.  At least in the sleep category.

This is a 100% real story…

Morning nap. I usually make them take this on the go because who has the patience/time/strength to stay home all morning with a toddler while you make sure your infant twins get good naps?  Not this girl.

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Today we were staying home because my dad & his family were coming by, so just before 9am I went to put the twins down.

For afternoon naps, I sing a song to all 3 babes, put all 3 in their beds & walk out of the rooms.  Sometimes one twin will fall asleep & the other will end up crying once their chatty roommate has gone silent, but usually they both just chat their way to sleep.

Not for morning naps. Not today.

Today we spent thirty minutes {THIRTY. MINUTES.} of one or both of them crying.  I’d go in to soothe one and the other would cry when they saw me & then they’d both cry.  This went on and on. I kept waiting it out in my room & eventually going in when I knew they weren’t going to calm down.  Thank goodness my 2-year-old was playing with her Papa this whole time.

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I finally realize I’m going to have to hold & rock both of them at least for a bit to calm them down.  I pick them both up, sit down & start rocking.

They coyly play “who can grab the other’s binky” a few times as they nestled into me.  It’s cute and lovely but so not the time because hello babies, it’s nap time, thanks so much.  A few minutes later they’re both asleep.

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Immediately I have this overwhelming feeling of sweetness & love & amazingness at cuddling two sweet babies at once.  I can feel both of them breathing deeply and just love watching them cuddled up together and cuddled up with me. Heaven.  This is heaven. This is the sweetest little moment I’ve ever known….

Oh shit.

I’m 100% stuck.

Legit no-one-knows-I’m-in-here, no-one-is-coming-to-take-one, I-can’t-dismount-on-my-own stuck.

I debate trying to put Ellie in her crib while holding Max up.  I’m thinking through how far she’d have to drop down and she’s in my left arm, and would a two-foot-drop onto her mattress wake her up {of course}??

Can I put Max down first?  One hand the over 20-pounder?  Never going to happen.

Do I stay here and soak up these cuddles and this sweet sweet moment?

But shit, I have another kid to check on.  And family coming to visit.

Surely someone will come for me. They’ll realize I’m not down there and wonder what on earth is happening.

I’m guessing it’s now been at least 15 minutes, but who would know with no iPhone and no clock?!

It’s now too late to try to chuck a kid in a crib one-handed.  They’d definitely wake up and it’s now been too long for it to seem like a normal go back to sleep situation.

WHAT THE F DO I DO??? WHY DID I THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? Good gracious they are sweet….

You get the picture.

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Then I realize…. Why can’t they just sleep on their floor?!?  Even if they roll, it’s safe.  Plus, I’ll see them on the monitor. Maybe they’ll just curl up together and sleep sweetly on their {vacuumed yesterday – woo!} carpet.

YES. WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER. GO MAMA, GO MAMA.

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So I literally slither down from the chair {I so wish I had a video of this for you because I’m sure it was quite the hilarious sight}, grabbing both of their heads in hopes of keeping them pinned to my body and asleep.  I throw myself down on the floor so that they {gently???} hit the floor but then I catch myself from crushing them.  Thank God for all those yoga classes I’ve never done.

Then I close my eyes and wait.  Scared to look.  I look.

Ellie is sleeping away as soundly as can be.  Eyes never opened, grabbing on to her lovey, just looking like the most angelic napper there ever was.

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….and Max is staring me right the face like WHAT THE F JUST HAPPENED???

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I pick him up & try to rock him back to sleep.  Put him in his crib. Sneak out {stepping over my one child still sleeping in the middle of her freaking floor}.

Cries.

F. M. L.

So we got a 15 minute nap, a hot yoga move that didn’t crush babies, lots of internal debate, a {hopefully still okay} 2 year old that I haven’t seen in an hour, and one kid who slept for about 8 more minutes in the middle of her floor.

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I’m going to go ahead and call that a successful morning.

Newborn · twins

Birth Story: Ellie Louise & Max Everette

I’ve had a personal blog with my best friend for years now, but I feel like this post from that blog is crucial to this blog as well. Plus, these 2 turn 10 months old tomorrow {I have no idea how that is possible}, so I figured now was as good a time as any to re-share their birth story. Also, these pictures have turned me into a hot mess over here.

***

We welcomed Ellie Louise & Max Everette to the world on Tuesday, November 3rd.  Their birthday was somewhat unexpected, faster than anticipated, and one of the best days of my entire life.  We are completely smitten with these two sweet faces, and are loving life as a family of five.

I wanted to document their birth story before I forget any of the important details, and I’m so glad that our friend Jenny was there to capture their birthday and our first moments as a family of five!  Enjoy some of my favorite pictures of the day…

The c-section was scheduled for Friday, November 6th – I’d be 38w1d pregnant.  The doctors said they wouldn’t let me go past 38weeks, but I wanted Dr. Placide to deliver them, so we scheduled for Friday when he was on call.

I kept hoping & praying & expecting to go into labor before then.  I kept hearing a mix of “it’ll definitely be Friday” {booooooo} and “I think you’ll go into labor before then!” {I love you!} from other folks.  I’m pretty sure Monday night was when I finally started to believe that I would go all the way to Friday…

Tuesday morning {November 3rd – 37w5d pregnant} I got up and started getting myself & Harper ready for the day.  Cameron was already on paternity leave so we had planned to have a date morning while Harper was at preschool.  We were going to Duck Donuts & then Starbucks to eat, drink & enjoy some time together before we were outnumbered by our children.

This may be too much information, but this is a birth story after all, so I guess birth details are somewhat expected.  While I was getting ready, I noticed that I was leaking at times and I thought maybe my water had broken – but I wasn’t 100% sure because it was so different than when it broke with Harper.  I finally told Cameron what was going on {it’s pretty embarrassing if it’s NOT your water and you’re just peeing yourself, plus I didn’t want to worry him if I didn’t need to…} and he said we should finish packing our bags and take them with us when we went to drop Harper off.

I was clearly in denial that I was actually in labor because I still believed that we’d pick Harper up from school & that I’d be back at the house at some point before actually being admitted to the hospital.  Maybe being sent home while in labor with Harper {but not far enough along} was stuck in my head?!

We packed our bags, took Harper to school, & I talked to her teacher {who has twins} and Ms. Betts and told them what was going on.  They both said we should call the doctor, but I told Cam I definitely wanted donuts first.  I clearly was also flashing back to my no-food-allowed 28 hour labor + recovery time from the c-section with Harper.  That was a brutal 40ish hours without actual food {cherry popsicles don’t count} and I was not looking to do that again.

After we got our donuts I called the doctor & told them what was going on and they said I should definitely come in to be checked.  We went straight there and as I checked in I felt my water DEFINITELY break.  Sure enough, we were told that Ellie’s water had broken, I was in labor {though not really feeling the contractions} and that we needed to go straight to labor & delivery.  There’s a dramatic doctor story there that some of you have heard, but I don’t feel the need to put it on the interwebs.

At this point, my hormones totally took control and I legit lost it.  We had told Harper we’d pick her up from school, but I finally realized that I was in real labor – which meant I was going to have twins TODAY & I was not, in fact, going to see Harper again before they were born.  My mom was on her way to Cary from Wake Forest, but didn’t have a carseat & didn’t have time to get one and get to preschool before school was over.  So I {not so calmly} insisted that Cameron drop me off at Rex and go pick Harper up.

I then called our friend Laura, who had planned to come pray with us before the scheduled c-section, and told her that not only was it go-time, but that if it was convenient, I needed her there stat because Cameron was going to get Harper and I was a hot mess.  I’ll never forget hearing her heels click-clacking out of a {very important, Cameron later told me} meeting to answer my call & her saying “I’ll be right there” without hesitation.  Sure enough, as I’m laying in triage giving the nurses my info & being hooked up to measure 3 heartbeats, etc etc – in walks my sweet friend.  Needless to say, I have never been so happy to see her.  And I started crying.  again.

My goal had been to try for a VBAC if I actually went into labor on my own & at least baby A {Ellie} was head down.  Both things happened – and both babies were actually head down – but since Ellie’s water had broken and I wasn’t in active labor, the doctors were hesitant about how a VBAC would go.  They said it would definitely be a long labor and may end up in a c-section for one or both of the babies anyway.  Plus they were concerned about too long of a labor for her since she had no fluid at this point.  Having had a long labor & then a c-section with Harper, once I really thought about all of this, I knew going with the c-section was the right decision for me, my body & my babies.

Then came the talk of c-section timing because of the dang donut I had eaten at 9:30am {still totally worth it, FYI}.  At first they said I had to wait 8 hours, but then my amazing doctor came in, saw contractions on the monitor, asked if I was feeling them {“a little??”} and came back to tell me we were rolling to the OR at 3pm {it was 2:20pm at the time}.  We quickly texted our families, the nurses got me prepped, Laura prayed over us {such a huge, calming blessing to me in that moment}, and we rolled out of triage.

It was so bizarre to not only be awake {which I was for Harper’s birth} but so aware of what was going on because I hadn’t been through so many hours of labor / had so much mediation pumped into me.  They pushed me past the room I had labored in with Harper, Cameron kissed me goodbye & went to put on his scrubs, they got me in the OR, spinal in place, and ready to go!

Cameron came back in & I had rarely been happier to see him. He sat down by my head and it was go time.  Our anesthesiologist, Keith, was AWESOME and kept updating us as to what was happening behind the curtain.  At 3:33pm Keith said “here comes your baby girl” and Ellie Lou came screaming into the world.  Naturally, I started bawling.  They brought her around the curtain for us to see and I could not believe the amount of dark hair on her head!!

2 minutes later, Max Everette joined her – also screaming his way into the world.  We got to see him briefly before they whisked them off to the adjoining room to be cleaned off and checked.

Soon after, the nurses called Cameron back to see our babies!  One of my favorite memories with Harper’s birth / in my life is of Cameron walking out of that room bringing our baby girl to me for the first time.  Yet again this moment is forever in my memory, but this time he came out holding TWO babies – which is probably when it really hit me that we were actually going to be taking two newborns home with us.

{side note: This picture still completely stops me in my tracks even 10 months later..}

Seeing two babies being born {separately} is one thing, but seeing him holding two at the same time completely rocked my world.

He brought them over to me & a nurse helped him take turns laying each baby on me so that I could kiss them & talk to them & snuggle with them.  Such sweet, sweet moments.

Cameron then followed them to the nursery while I got put back together {thanks, Dr Anya!} and went to recovery.  As soon as I got to recovery they called the nursery to bring the babies in and I got to do skin-to-skin time while eating ice chips {wahoo!!} for the next wonderful hour.

We were then wheeled to our room, Jenny came in {to take these awesome pictures – thank you, thank you, thank you, friend!!!}, I got to breastfeed the babies for the first time, and then it was time for them to meet their big sister!

Our families {Harper, all the grandparents & Aunt Kayla – we missed Aunt Hallie who was traveling for work.} were all at the hospital at this point and we had such a sweet time with all of them getting to meet Ellie & Max.

I spent most of the time snuggling Harper in my bed.  And by snuggling I mean doing stickers, coloring, eating my slushies, and occasionally holding babies.  At first she only wanted to hold Ellie, but Max grew on her once his hat was off.

I am so thankful that we got so much time to hang out with Harper and let her meet the babies, time with just our families, and that Jenny was there to capture it all so that I got to just relax and enjoy the moment.  And still get to remember it with pictures later.

We asked the grandparents & Aunt Kayla to hold both babies at the same time for photo ops like this:

And we actually got group shots this time, too.  Wahoo!

Once our families left, we enjoyed a calm first evening with our newborn twins.  Aka I didn’t sleep because I couldn’t stop snuggling them.  But hey, your babies’ first day of life only happens once, right?  Totally worth the lack of sleep {says the mama of 2 newborns…}.

We love you so much, Ellie Lou & Max Everette!  We are so blessed to be your parents.