Her First 3 Weeks (with photos)

I recently shared how difficult the first three weeks postpartum have been for me, but the good news is Elle would never know it. Her life has been comfy and sheltered.

12195876_10153760323994700_2412055774264314316_nI feel like being born two weeks early really did make a difference for her. My sister in law said she has friends who had preemies and noticed that on their original 40 week due date it was like they suddenly had an alert fully developed baby. Elle wasn’t a born premature (she was 8 pounds!) but she did practically sleep through her first two weeks of life and I wonder if that’s why.

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I know my mom was slightly concerned, but the Doctors said as long as she’s eating, pooping, and gaining weight then she’s good. She definitely was doing all of those things so I’ll take it as a blessing that she was so easy going.

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Sure enough on her due date she started acting like she was “out of the womb”

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From then on she was so much more alert. Her eyes were really wide open and she would express herself a little more. She had several “firsts” at two weeks.

She went to church for the first time.

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She visited SJ’s school. On a side note, I could be a millionaire and it wouldn’t matter. There is nothing in the world that I could buy or do for SJ that would amount to the kind happiness that she gets from her little sister and the joy of having a baby to help take care of.

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She and all of her classmates have been anticipating the arrival of baby Elle for a LONG time and I told her she would be able to have her visit her school before Thanksgiving break, but then I got sick. I was so worried about canceling the plans I made with the teacher and with SJ because I knew it would devastate her.

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So I took a Motrin and rode over to the school, but my mom was the one that actually went in and introduced the baby (I wasn’t contagious or anything, but I was just feeling too fatigued and achey thanks to my bladder infection). I was sad that I missed it, but I got to see pictures and it sounds like the introduction went really well.

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The other two week milestone was that Elle had her first bath. She liked the water, but she didn’t like being cold afterwards!

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She also had her first Thanksgiving, although that was pretty uneventful since she didn’t eat anything and slept the whole time.

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She is three weeks old now. I don’t have the latest photos uploaded yet. She is getting control of that neck though and  trying to lift her head up. She seems to like to sit upright more (with support of course) rather than being completely in the cradle position.

I have been blessed that all 4 of my children breastfed really easily. Elle has had no problems latching on and she loves to eat.

The biggest obstacle we’ve faced with her so far is thrush, but my friend gave me some Colloidal Silver and I just put a drop on my finger and rubbed it around in her mouth once a day and it cleared right up. Her diaper rash is gone too, but it was really inflamed so we used nystatin cream for that.

I’ll admit I am hormonal and emotional these days. It’s been bitter sweet to watch how quickly they change from being a tiny precious infant. I used to not care for the newborn stage so much. I wanted to skip to the part where they were walking and interacting. Now I LOVE this stage of innocence and simplicity. I absolutely adore it.

And her dad and siblings are just obsessed as I am.

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Next up, baby’s first Christmas!

By | December 3rd, 2015|Babies|5 Comments

Birth Photography

 

 

I know birth photography isn’t for everyone, but for some of us it is such a wonderfully significant milestone it’s worth documenting. I am currently working on doing multiple guest post about my natural birth experiences. I had to dig the digital photos out of the archives to get to my pictures for these blogs, but after looking through all of them and reminiscing I knew I just had to share some of them on Messy Mom.

For how different each one was (birth center, Texas, home birth, water birth, hospital birth, Kentucky…) All of my pregnancies and deliveries have been quite predictable, which is a blessing. Without further ado here are some black and white photos of each stage of my last three pregnancies and deliveries.

 

The belly

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Ah, yes the retro iPod. This was at about 37 weeks with Z. 

 

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Full term with SJ

 

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Days before Ezie’s birth.

I tend to carry all of my babies the same I guess. I always gain 25 pounds and I usually don’t get stretch marks… until the end. Ha, you thought I was one of those lucky women, but no.

 

Labor

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My first baby. Laying on the bed at the birth center. J said I was mean. I don’t remember that! 

 

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I have almost NO photos of labor with SJ because the photographer and the midwife got there right when it was time to push, but here is one strategically cropped photo of me in the bathtub in our home. I was literally crowning and that’s my midwifes head in the foreground. Sorry if that’s TMI for anybody. 

 

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Here is a shot of me swaying with my husband during Ezie’s labor. I did eventually get in the water though after I progressed a little more. 

 

Delivery

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I’ll spare your the graphic photos of when Z was born, but J was the catcher and here he is with my midwife the very moment Z was delivered.

 

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Seconds after SJ was delivered. 

 

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I don’t even have my arms around Ezie yet in this photo. It’s the very moment he was born. 

 

Meeting the Family 

 

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The grandmas meeting our first born.

 

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Big brother and the grandmas meeting SJ at our home birth. 

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Z and SJ meeting their little brother for the first time. 

 

The First Look

Here are the first close up shots ever taken of my three little angels.

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Stay tuned for the 4th installment, which will be about a month from now!

By | October 22nd, 2015|Babies, Pregnancy & Birth|8 Comments

Ezie’s Birth Story

 

October 1, 2012
“Honey. Wake up! I don’t feel good. I’ve been throwing up. I think we should just head toward the hospital” 
It was 3:00 am and we had only been asleep for a couple hours, but all I knew was that I was already at least 4 cm dilated (according to my last check up) and had been having a few mild contractions. We live an hour away from the hospital. I didn’t want to take any chances.
The bags had already been packed and loaded up the day before and my parents were watching the kids, so we just hopped in the car and headed to Lexington. When we got there at 5:00 am we had no where to go. I wasn’t in labor yet, but at least we were now a safe distance away from the hospital if things did progress. We parked outside of one of our favorite restaurants and slept in the car until they opened at 7:00. After breakfast we headed to the midwives office to have a little meeting about where things were at and she encouraged us to head to the hospital. We spent the next couple hours of early labor shopping and timing contractions, which were around 6 minutes apart at this point. I was pumped.
We finally checked into the hospital and after getting poked and stabbed a few times for my IV and blood tests I took a nap thinking it would be a good idea to rest up before show time. I did get some rest, but I also felt like afterwards my body had decided to call it a day and close up shop. I wasn’t feeling any contractions at all. I started to panic, but the midwife came and J and I talked to her about my fears of being rushed, and how I was worried that they were going to break my water. The medical team reassured me that I could take as much time as I needed. So against their recommendations I declined having them break my bag of water, but I thought it would be okay to strip my membranes since I was already at a 5 anyway and it was a such a minimal form of intervention. If I didn’t progress any further and decided to check out this would not prevent me from leaving the hospital.
At around 6:30 pm things started to get a little more serious and I called in the troops (my midwife, mom, and sister in law).
This labor was completely different than either of my other two, but I was grateful to have been prepared with knowledge and research as things progressed almost completely by the book.
First my contractions were coming 3 minutes apart. I could talk, but I had to focus. During this part of active labor J massaged my back.
I stood up and rocked frequently. I danced the baby down taking breaks to sit on the labor ball which relieved a lot of pressure.

I wanted to pace myself and allow gravity to work on our behalf before moving into the tub.
About an hour later once I finished getting my 2nd round of antibiotics for the GBS I decided I was ready to get in the tub. My midwife encouraged a kneeling and leaning position since Ezra seemed to be laying a little twisted and not quite straight up and down.

I was glad to be in the water, but within a few contractions I felt nauseated and they brought a bag for me to throw up in. Vomiting during and in between contractions was not pretty or fun, but as I trembled and felt so depleted I was also encouraged. This could only mean one thing. Transition.
At this point I was praying and visualizing as I went from one wave of intensity to the next trying to groan and moan instead of quit, which wasn’t an option anyway. I felt like this next stage of intense pain was taking too long, but between each contraction I would relax and soak up the moment of rest before opening up to the next one. Remember the closer they come the closer you are to the end I told myself. All the while J was there telling me how amazing I was, how beautiful I looked, and reminding me to breath and keep my lips loose. He was my hero! The best labor coach anyone could ask for, and we never even studied the Bradley method. At this point I was so uncomfortable I was at the point of swearing off anymore children and I told myself I would count down 10 more contractions. I don’t know what my plan would be after that, but I was just trying to break it down into sizable intervals and distract myself like when you are running long distance.

After about 45 minutes of that transition stage I felt it. The urge to push. I started to smile. I almost laughed. My body was working FOR me and I was grateful to it.

 It is such a feeling of empowerment, but before we get to our happy ending I had a few strong pushes where I was bearing down with everything in me and then came the next stage which I was familiar with, but had never quite experienced to this degree.
The ring of fire.
This is the intensely excruciating climax of childbirth. Still, I knew that this meant it was about to be over, except I pushed a few more times and it wasn’t over. Still no baby. This is when I lost control. I had followed all of the rules and thought I knew each stage, but why was a I still feeling like my innards were being ripped out of me!? I heard the midwife and nurse whisper something to each other. Finally I screamed “What is going on!?” I am not usually that typical pregnant woman you see in the movies, but I needed information! I needed to know if something was wrong and if not I needed the encouragement that I was about to meet my baby. Luckily I got the latter answer. A couple of pushes later I felt his head and body come out all in one swoop. At 10:35 pm Ezra was born.

The relief was instant, as was the love and adoration that I felt for my son. I can write paragraphs and tell stories about the birth, but no words can describe the emotion that comes with bringing a new life into this world!

The 24 hours leading up to Ezra’s birth were a lot more intense than with my other two. It wasn’t easy, but it was a privilege.

By | October 6th, 2012|My Life, Natural Living, Pregnancy & Birth|4 Comments