Baby Talk: Nursery Tour

Yay! It’s finally here! 😊

M’s nursery was not finished before she arrived. Everyone told us it’d be fine because she wouldn’t use it right away. They were right…

…but we DID end up moving her in around week 3 or 4. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends moving baby to his/her own room between 6 months and one year. Turns out 3 weeks was the magic number for us. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sleep in this room? It’s the best decorated space in our house! (We have a video monitor so I can see her at all times & our pediatrician was a-ok with the decision. Ok, I’m done justifying this now.)

A few important notes…
My pictures are not professional by any means- lol.
I’m going to link the stuff pictured but nothing is affiliated.

We went with navy blue paint & one “wooden” wall. It’s actually laminate flooring. A family friend/contractor did it. We wanted a very subtle outdoorsy vibe in the nursery.

The dog pictures were taken during our maternity photo shoot by Jackie Beachy Photography. Obviously we’re in love with them. Our name art is from Hickory Hollow Designs!

The curtains aren’t blackout (I got these blinds to go behind them) but they matched the room so well and were so cheap, I didn’t care…

Curtains | Glider

I love her little crib set up. Simple and clean but very personalized.

Crib | Sound Machine | Clock | Artwork

I’m also so so so in love with her changing table gallery wall. She loves it, too. She looks up at the wall and smiles while I change her. I love that.

We have two trash cans because we cloth diaper. The large one is for diapers, the small one is for trash, and then a laundry basket on the right.

Art from different places | Changing Table *we replaced the knobs
Video monitor *we only have a single camera

The frog is a humidifier but it’s old and not great after 6+ years of hard water and minimal maintenance. We just purchased this humidifier for her room and I love it already!

This was a splurge gift from my in-laws. It was way too much money for a bookshelf but I’m so glad they got it for us. I love it.

Bookshelf | Bear Basket

Some day, before I start selling/packing up the too-small outfits and toys, I’m going to count how many fox items M has…

I love M’s room. I love that it’s slightly feminine but with dark colors- especially the orange & blue together.

I realized I forgot to photograph the closet after I took the pictures & started editing. It’s very neat and organized in there… so I think it might get a post of its own. I’m strangely proud of that space. Haha.

 

Three Months of Madelyn

Tomorrow M will be THREE MONTHS OLD. That’s a quarter of a year! 90 days! Excuse me while I both go cry in a dark closet & also pop open a bottle of champagne.

Yes, I did turn my kid into a Pokemon card.

Nicknames: Maddie, Maddie Lou, Mads, Maa-da-lou, Moo Loo, Moo Shoo, Moo, Poodle

Stats: Based on rough at home measurements… 13.5 lbs & 25 in. She’s quite long. Doesn’t get it from me.

Likes: When Mom sings with her (If You’re Happy & You Know It) and when Dad makes faces with her (she’s started copying what he does!). She loves her activity mat, she loves watching the dogs, and she loves laying flat on her back & talking.

Dislikes: Being cold after a bath. Being overly tired. Being in the car- esp. when it’s not moving.

Sleeping: M has one wake up per night, typically between 2 & 4am. She gets her final bottle around 7pm and goes down. She’s up for the day between 6 & 7am. Naps are good when you’re holding her. We’re working on napping in the crib.

Eating: She’s a big fan of formula- mainly because it’s her only option, lol. She recently started refusing the bottles she’s taken since she was a week old 😑 We changed bottles and solved that problem. She’s starting to watch K and I eat so I’ll be excited to introduce her to real food once we get the green light!!

Developments: She smiles, coos, and is starting to copy us. She has found her hands and likes to suck on them, but she hasn’t quite grasped grasping. She also hasn’t rolled over. The little turd is very content on her back and sucks her hand when she’s on her tummy… and therefore doesn’t give one lick about rolling.

Personality: Our little sundrop is a HUGE fan of mornings. When she summons me to the crib at the ungodly hour of 6am (I know, I know- that’s a normal time to wake up) she is alllll smiles. M loves people watching, but she’s a little homebody. She’s happiest in a familiar setting with familiar people. After a big day we can usually predict an evening breakdown because she’s OVER IT. She most certainly gets that from her mother…

Travel: So far M has been to San Antonio, TX. She did amazing on the planes!

Mom’s Summary: Month 1 was so hard. We didn’t enjoy the newborn stage at all. After that things got better. By the time M hit Month 2 we had it mostly figured out. Once I was out of my fog and M was a little less potato-y, we really started getting to know one another. I will completely admit that we didn’t bond at first. It wasn’t until I quit breastfeeding, I got my hormones under control, and M started showing a few patterns that we started to click.
In the beginning when I was really struggling Erin told me that babies are complete strangers! It will take days, maybe weeks, to get to know her and understand who she is. Society tells us we’re supposed to have an immediate bond but sometimes it takes a little time. Hearing that helped me so much and now that I know Maddie, I completely and totally agree. She is her own person with her own likes and dislikes and quirks. Every single day I love her more.

Instead of monthly blog updates I decided to do quarterly updates. So the next one will happen at six months 🙂 I can’t wrap my head around the changes she’ll make between now & then!

Baby Talk: Introduction

I want Life as Louise to reflect my day to day life, but right now that’s primarily work or M, and I don’t want LaL to become a full-fledged baby blog. So today I’m rolling out Talk Baby 2 Me.

Once a month or so I’m going to put on the mom blogger hat & write about something baby for this series. At 12 weeks a mom I’m not an expert, but we’ve found some things that really work for us & I want to share. I don’t plan to focus on M in this series, but on life as a mom.

A small sampling of topics I’ll cover include ppd, formula feeding, M’s nursery reveal (finally), items that have saved our life these first few weeks, & more.

Nothing groundbreaking, just my little contribution to the mom world. We’ll see where this goes in the future.

M’s Grand Arrival | part 2

I won’t write a long intro. We’ll just jump back into the story ☺️

(You can find Part 1 here.)

We decided to go with the vacuum delivery to force M out of her cozy home.

At this point I was exhausted. I wanted to sleep for days. In between contractions/pushes I was given oxygen and K was wiping my forehead with a cold washcloth. Most of the nurses in the room were holding my legs/feet for me.

This last part of delivery lasted 30 minutes & I had my eyes closed the entire time. All my efforts were being put into staying awake and pushing. K witnessed two pop-offs and he could see the doctors getting concerned. He knew we only had one more attempt left.

I could hear a change in his voice. I knew some of my pushes were revealing M’s head for a brief moment. As he was encouraging me, I could hear his excitement when progress was being made.

No one told me it was down to the wire, but the nurses, doctors, and K insisted that we were almost there- one more good one. They put the vacuum to her and told me to push on the next contraction, but K and I both think I lied about the next contraction and I just started to push because I was so. over. it.

Again, my eyes were closed but this is K’s rendition:
As I was pushing the doctor was pulling on the vacuum with all her strength- her feet were pushing against my bed because she was pulling so hard. He watched as M’s head came out and the vacuum popped off…. but instead of letting her contract back into the birth canal two nurses grabbed onto her shoulders and pulled her free.

There was no “ok we have her head, just one more push for the shoulders”… it was no baby and then THE WHOLE BABY. She arrived at 8:36pm.

They put her naked, squaking little body on my stomach for a brief moment and patted her dry, but due to the trauma, method, and length of delivery she was taken by the NICU nurses and examined next to my bed. Just seeing her for a few seconds was so surreal.

I’m learning that parenthood is a continuous cycle of frustration/stress/confusion followed by extreme relief. Over and over. This was the first bout of relief. As soon as she was out K and I took the breath that we’d been holding for 12+ hours.

The nurses invited K over to the corner and he hung out with M while they repaired me. I received stitches & a 24+ hour catheter. The doc and nurses warned me that it was going to be a rough recovery (& they weren’t lying).

It took the doctors an hour to fix me up. During that time I sent out a text to our group message letting them know all was good, baby was here, and K would be out in the lobby to bring them in soon. And then FINALLY M was cleared by the nurses and we were reunited.

The NICU nurses told K that M was ok and healthy, but she was slightly stressed from the long & hard delivery. She recommended that only he and I hold her that night- if she was passed around it might stress her out and she’d have to go to the NICU. We weren’t upset one bit about getting to hog our daughter all night but we felt bad that our parents hung around for 8+ hours and wouldn’t get to hold their granddaughter that night.
(No worries- they all took their turns the following day.)

Some things I’d like to remember about labor & delivery:

I had a great epidural. I felt pressure during delivery but I didn’t feel any pain, even when they attempted the forceps and the vacuum. The contractions got a little ouchie toward the end but they were the green light to push so I didn’t mind. I didn’t noticed the placenta delivery at all.

I was in a great mood immediately after delivery. I was joking around with the doctors while they were stitching me up and making them & the NICU nurses laugh. Either my hormones were going haywire and making me giddy or I was just delirious. Dr. Heartless was a totally different person after M arrived. She was friendly and joking with both K and I. (We wondered where that person was four hours ago… *eyeroll*)

Our poor friends and family were terrified. My labor progressed so quickly and they knew we were ready to push at 3pm. We stopped visiting the lobby and texting shortly after that. They didn’t get the “all good!” text from me until 9:03pm. We didn’t mean to freak them out or go radio silent… we were just busy. They were very very panicked, though. Oops! (Sorry everyone!)

And that’s the basic story. (“Basic”…. lol. It took me two whole posts.) After delivery and at my 6 week postpartum appointment my doctor was a friendly, kind human. I know on delivery day she had 3 emergency c-sections so I will give her the benefit of the doubt as far as bedside manner goes… I guess.

First thoughts about M? She has my nose. I think it’s the first comment K made about her. Other than that, she’s resembled him since day one. Also, for having a vacuum delivery, her head wasn’t terribly misshapen or bruised. By the following morning her head was 100% normal. We also think she might be a strawberry blonde but time will tell. Her hair was blonde/reddish/auburn depending on the lighting and her eyes were super dark- we couldn’t tell what color they were. (They’re now a very dark blue.)

Delivery SUCKED. The first two weeks of her life were SO hard. Motherhood has been the biggest adjustment and hardest stage of my life so far. (Newborn stage wasn’t our favorite, lol.) BUT… I’d go through all of it again 100xs over just to have M. She is our favorite.

If you’ve stuck around through part 1 and 2… wow! I’m impressed. I promise I’m taking a little break from the baby content on the blog for a bit 😉 Thanks for putting up with me this long!

M’s Grand Arrival | part 1

I haven’t shared our birth story yet because I’ve been unsure about how to publicly do it. I don’t want to overshare my or M’s life (although my family will tell you I’m way past that point here in Blogland), but I want to tell my story here in my space.

So here’s a condensed, watered down version.

We were scheduled to be induced on December 4th but I started feeling contractions at 2:30am when I took the dogs out. After an hour and a half (and a warm shower) I woke K to tell him the baby wasn’t going to wait until 8am. He got up, showered & dressed, and we kissed the dogs goodbye. We stopped to get K some coffee and we were on our way.

At the hospital they admitted us right away since they already had a room ready for me. I was all hooked up, examined, and was told I was two whole centimeters- ONE more than I’d been at our OB appointment the week before. Talk about feeling bummed.

On the bright side, I didn’t have to be induced- I was laboring on my own. Another dr. stopped in and told me that going from 1 to 2 centimeters was big leap, even though it didn’t feel like it. He said I should be excited and positive- I was definitely making good progress. That made me feel a little better.

When they popped back in to check me a few hours later I was at 4 cm and was told I could get an epidural any time. I was still feeling pretty good… but then they had me change positions. HOLY OUCH, BATMAN. About 30 minutes later I told K to page my anesthesiologist for the drugs.

Sidenote: I had a wonderful anesthesiologist. She was skilled and funny and supportive and dry humored and informative. And my epidural worked like a freaking charm. It was the BEST decision ever for me. Contraction pain was a ZERO until it was time to push- then it was a mild pressure but still mostly pain-free.

I got an epidural, was reexamined at 5 cm, and was given instructions to sleep as much as I could. For 90 minutes I drifted in and out of sleep. Poor K stayed awake the whole time. When the doctor returned for a cervix check I was NINE CENTIMETERS. It was a little after noon and we decided to inform our close friends and family. K gave them permission to start arriving at the hospital around 2pm. We were sure I’d be pushing & our baby would almost be here by then.

Such naive little parents-to-be. This is where the fit hits the shan.

At 3pm I was ten centimeters and ready to push. At the exact same time my doctor was heading into the OR for an emergency c-section. So I was told to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

An hour and a half later I was finally given the green light.

My labor was pretty easy. My delivery was not. I pushed for four hours. M’s head was turned sideways and she was not wanting to come out, despite being so close the nurse and doctors could touch her. Fortunately her heart rate stayed even and happy. (Mine, on the other hand, started getting pretty high toward the end.)

My doctor was pretty checked out the whole time (which really pissed me off). At hour 3.5 she came in, checked on me, and started to leave again. I finally stopped her and asked what the we could do differently to get this kid out.

She gave me a very snarky answer, then started listing the risks of forceps and vacuum extraction… but then ended up advising we go that route given my exhaustion. *insert eye roll and murderous glare here*

When we made the decision to use the vacuum the entire room changed. The lights came on, the table with all the medical tools was uncovered, and we gained an additional doctor, three more nurses, and two NICU nurses. Everyone suited up in protective sterile covers (except poor K, lol).

They wanted to try to the forceps first but M’s head and my pelvic bone prevented them from working. With the vacuum you get three tries/pop-offs to make the baby come out… If that doesn’t work, you’re headed for a c-section.


I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I feel like I’m only halfway through the story and I don’t want to rush the best part (aka the part where M finally arrives… spoiler alert, lol). I will finish up with part two on Tuesday!