Monday, September 1, 2014

{Poppy Porr's Pond}

We were invited to spend another Labor Day weekend at Poppy Porr's Pond with friends and we had such a blast. We were originally were only going to go from Saturday to Sunday, but we decided to drive out on Friday evening so we could spend a little more time there. We arrived around 7:15pm and spent a few hours just hanging outside by the water with friends before bedtime. Lucy and Zach (and the dog) decided to tent camp that night while Elijah and I slept in a bedroom in the house. I was a little skeptical that Lucy would actually stay in the tent, but she ended up loving it. (warning: terrible iPhone photo)
More friends and kiddos ended up coming on Saturday and we spent the day fishing, paddle boating, playing and catching up. We just love our Rootdown family so much and treasure the rare occasions that we are all together. 
We knew there would be some big storms rolling in on Saturday night, so Zach slept in the bedroom with Elijah and I and Lucy had a slumber party with the girls down in the living room. She was super excited about that part :)

We hung out for awhile on Sunday before packing up and heading home that afternoon. It was such a beautiful weekend and we can't wait until we can go back out again....

Sunday, August 24, 2014

{Elijah | 2 Weeks}

Oh, how this sweet little boy has stolen our hearts!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

{feeling the love}

Everybody loves a new baby. I mean, seriously...what's not to love?! So, of course we have had tons of visitors since little man entered our lives. Family and friends have been coming over and doting on all of us and bringing us food and gifts. We have just felt so loved and taken care of over the last week and a half and I'm just overwhelmed by it all. It's been especially awesome that my sister and niece have been visiting from Colorado and also my brother from NYC. It's the first time we have had our entire immediate family together in the same place at the same time in at least 8 or 9 years!
 {Elijah and his buddy, Jack}

I know I've been pushing the limits since I've felt so good post-birth this time around (seriously, night and day compared to my recovery after Lucy's birth), but my wonderful husband and family keep gently (and sometimes not-so-gently) reminding me to take it easy and just sit down! I felt really good the first couple of days after the birth, and then had a major hormonal crash on the third day. The pain of breastfeeding was really taking its toll on me, and so was the exhaustion. I spent a good deal of that day in tears. But it was just what I needed at the time. Thank goodness for my wonderful, supportive husband and my happy pills (I had my placenta encapsulated again this time and it is seriously the best thing ever). I felt so much better by the next day even though breastfeeding has continued to be tough.
{happy pills!}

Speaking of breastfeeding, Elijah and I went to see a lactation consultant a couple of days ago to get some help and support. She was really great and helped me to come up with a plan. We discovered that he really isn't getting as much from me during a regular feeding as we would hope, so for a week or two (or however long it's needed) I will be pumping after most feedings and then supplementing him with the pumped milk through a finger feeder. She did some cranial sacral therapy on him while we were there and discovered that he has a really tight jaw and a lot of tension in his neck muscles on the left side. He's also very mildly tongue tied. These are things that would definitely affect his latch and cause me pain and trauma during breastfeeding. So, the next step will be to see a chiropractor (which we'll be doing tomorrow) and get him adjusted to loosen him up. It feels good to have a plan.
We took little man to his first visit with the pediatrician this afternoon and while he is about 2 1/2 oz under his birth weight, she was very pleased with how he is doing. She said he is doing great and that we shouldn't worry too much yet about the feeding issues. She was happy to hear that we were being proactive about it and was confident that he will be just fine. That made this mama feel good to hear!
Elijah has been sleeping for about a 6 hour stretch these past couple of nights, then waking up to eat for only about 10-15 minutes before going right back to sleep for a couple more hours. I am NOT complaining about the extra sleep (!!), but the pediatrician did confirm that she wants me to wake him up every 4 hours to eat in the night. It does take a long time to get him to wake up, but we'll do what we need to do :)
{little man loves to sleep...and he sure looks cute doing it}
{i love the way he stretches when he is waking up}
{ see...he does open his eyes sometimes :) }
In other news, can I please just talk about how weird and awesome and crazy it feels to have two kids?! My heart just feels so ridiculously full when I see these two together. Lucy is naturally going through a huge adjustment period, but she really is so sweet with her baby brother and it just makes my heart melt over and over and over again.
 I just feel so incredibly lucky that I get to be their mama.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

{Dear Elijah | One Week}

Dear Elijah,

I cannot believe that as of yesterday you have already been with us for one whole week. I cannot believe that just a little over a week ago you were still shaking your little booty and kicking around in my belly. I cannot believe that you are ours. I cannot believe how amazing and beautiful you are. What on earth did we ever do without you?!
The week before you came felt like one of the longest in my life. My due date had come and gone and we were getting so anxious to meet you. I really could hardly keep it together. And now that you're here, this first week with you has been one the fastest in my life. I am already begging time to slow down because I know from experience just how quickly these precious newborn days go.
You are a tiny little peanut and I just love the way you still curl your body up like you did in my womb...although you are already starting to straighten out little by little. I love your tiny little fingers and your tiny little toes. I am just madly in love with every single inch of you. I swear I could just eat you up.
Of course, we are not on any sort of a schedule at this point, but you have already developed some patterns (that will no doubt change without a moments notice). You wake to eat about every 2-3 hours in the night and we've even enjoyed a few four hour stretches in there. You have some awake time in the morning and then you sleep pretty much the entire afternoon (from about 1pm-6pm...ish). I have to wake you at some point in there to feed you but you go right back to sleep when you're finished. Then you'll have a little bit more awake time in the evening before you drift off to sleep again after our bedtime feeding. So yes, you like to sleep...a lot. I've definitely worried that your daytime sleep would mean you're up all night, but it really hasn't been too bad yet.
You love to nurse and you eat like a champ (although it's hard to keep you awake through a lot of the feedings!). It makes me so happy to see that you are getting what you need from mama's milk, especially because breastfeeding has been incredibly difficult for me again, just like it was with Lucy. In fact, I'd say it's been even more difficult for me this time around. I was sore, cracked and bleeding within just the first couple of days and the pain was getting really intense and almost too much to bare. I would just cringe and cry through some of the feedings and I was dreading each nursing session as they came. So, I finally made your daddy go out and buy me a nipple shield (just like I used with Lucy), and nursing is still painful, but definitely more tolerable than before. Then, last night I noticed some red splotchiness on my right side and realized I had developed some sort of an infection. Ugh. I think it is a clogged duct which has made things even more painful (hooray). So, you and I are going to see a lactation consultant tomorrow (which will be the first time we've left the house since you were born!) and I am praying that she'll have some magical answers in how to help all of this be easier! I really am bound and determined to make this work. I promise to do what it takes, sweet boy. Like I said before, I really am just so glad that you are getting what you need despite how hard it has been on me. That truly is the most important thing.
Your big sister, Lucy, is so in love with you and so happy you are here. But she is definitely having a bit of a hard time adjusting. We have not been without many a meltdown and the tantrums are just as epic as ever, but she'll get there. I think the hardest part for her is seeing you with me pretty much all of the time. She is such a mama's girl and he's had a hard time getting used to daddy doing so many of the things that mama usually does. She's hanging in there, though, and there are definitely plenty of sweet moments throughout the day.

She's gone from calling you "that baby" or "mommy's baby" to calling you her baby. She loves showering you in gentle hugs and kisses and she loves singing to you and reading you books at bedtime. She also really enjoys being mommy and daddy's little helper with things like changing diapers and fetching binkies and blankies. I really just can't wait to see the kind of relationship that you will have as you grow up together.
We love you so much, sweet Elijah, and we are so incredibly happy that you are here. You make our lives and our family feel so complete. Oh, the adventures we are all sure to have together.

I love you with all my heart.

Love, Mama

Thursday, August 14, 2014

{It's a BOY!}

We welcomed Elijah Matthew into the world on August 9th at 2:27AM.
6 pounds, 3 ounces
20" long

Our hearts are full and we are just so madly in love with this little boy.

Elijah's home birth story coming soon!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

{home birth prep | ready to go}

People often ask me what kind of things we need in order to prepare for a home birth. There are a lot of things that the midwife will bring with her (certain medical equipment and things of that nature), but there is a lot that we need to have prepped and ready to go on our end. It's actually quite fun to have to pull together a lot of supplies together yourself because it's another thing that helps me feel super connected to the whole birth experience.

Last time, we ended up going with the Aquadoula birth tub, which is often recommended for first timers because it has a heating mechanism and will stay warmer for longer periods of time. We opted to rent the Birth Pool in a Box this time around, though, because I really wanted to have the cushy walls/floor/seat. We can always dump hot water into it to warm it up if things take awhile again this time.

So, my midwife brought the tub with her to my home visit a couple of weeks ago. We decided to do a dry trial setup that weekend to make sure we knew exactly how it worked and how long it would take to setup. Lucy sure did get a kick out of there being a swimming pool in the middle of the dining room :)
We were charge of ordering a pre-made birth kit online through a company that Kathy uses. She has specifically chosen the supplies that go in the kit and this company puts them together and sends them out once ordered. It contains everything from those sexy giant pads and mesh underwear to cord clamps, sterile gloves, an herbal after bath, peri bottles, a birth certificate, and much more. I'm still annoyed at the fact that the first one we ordered got stolen off of our front porch while we were on vacation (I'm sure they were disappointed once they opened it), but oh well. We ordered another kit and I grabbed that sucker off of the porch as soon as it came and checked that one off of the list. 
Other items that we needed to gather and purchase on our own included a new hose (to fill up the birth tub), shower curtain liners (to go under the tub), towels and wash cloths, swaddle blankets, a small fish net, paper towels, a crock pot (to warm swaddle blankets), a heating pad, trash bags, a bowl for the placenta, a flashlight, foods that I will eat during labor (protein + complex carbohydrates), and foods for birth attendants. (*everything not pictured*)
Also on the list of things we needed to have ready to go: 1 bottle each of liquid magnesium, olive oil, hydrogen peroxide, witch hazel, liquid chlorophyll, and black strap molasses.
That pretty much covers it. Ready to go!