Archive | December, 2013

New Baby FAQ: Your all-access pass to life after a newborn.

20 Dec

Hey there! If you haven’t been lucky enough to meet Elliott since his grand entrance 6 weeks ago (you’re totally missing out, btw), here’s the 4-1-1, the low-down, the nitty gritty about living with a tiny person, specifically, our little person. Side note: Do people still say 4-1-1? Or am I already an outdated mom?


Thanks again to Restless Photography for a wonderful newborn session!!

Ok, here are the most frequently-asked questions I’ve fielded since joining the (super-cool) parents club:

1. How are you feeling?


This is a 2-parter, really:

A) Physically: I’m doing surprisingly well! I, of course, read every description of the recovery process and ended up pretty freaked out. Without saying too much (sorry for a brief stint into possible TMI land), childbirth causes some scary wounds to some scary places.

But it wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared (which is pretty much the theme for my reaction to childbearing), and after my 6-week postpartum appointment on Tuesday, I actually started working out again. Woo hoo!

For all my GG fans out there, this doesn’t mean I want 4 in 4, but I am willing to entertain the idea of more…eventually.

B) Emotionally: One of my mom friends warned me that “you will cry as hard as you ever have after you have a baby.”


And, yes, I will admit I’ve had my moments, esp in the first few weeks. But the bouts of “I’m totally overwhelmed” desperation are getting more and more rare. Thankfully the “baby blues,” (the inevitable hormone-fueled slump most moms face when they are already tired, kinda fat and dealing with a whole bunch of new responsibilities) was a short-lived, quite mild visitor. I think I have the plethora of fam and friend support to thank for that one!

Overall, I’m so thankful that expanding our family has been such a pleasant experience. My only “anxiety”? Incorporating him into my “social” sphere. Basically I get nervous if he’s with me (will he be fussy? will he have a “blowout” at the worst possible moment?) and worried about him if I’m away (will anyone else be able to comfort him?). Basically, I’m getting used to having a whole other person with his own little schedule to take into account, aka parenthood.

2. How is he sleeping?

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Without humblebragging, he’s doing great! Through no real actions by us (I’d love to take credit!), he’s suddenly jumped from 4 hour sleeping stints to about 7 every night. Of course the first night he did that I was up googling “Should I wake up my 4 week old baby if…” and so on. I didn’t, and here we are, much less sleep deprived than expected.

3. How is he eating?

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I think we’re going to be in trouble during his teenage years, because from day one to now he’s gained almost 4 pounds, weighing in at 10 pounds 9 ounces at his most recent appointment. I’m also thankful that the whole providing a human with sustenance thing has gone without a hitch. He’s just so great, I don’t deserve him.

4. Are you bored yet?


Of the 6 weeks I’ve been home, I’ve gotten a little stir crazy on 2 days. Not so bad, I’d say. How do I fill my new 9 to 5? Other than, you know, KEEPING A HUMAN ALIVE, fed and happy? I’ve enjoyed maintaining the house (weird, I know), hanging out with other moms, reading, blogging, running errands and catching up on What Not to Wear (guilty pleasure, deal with it).

Overall, I feel so happy and content spending time with this little guy. Like I’m on vacation, with a little laundry sprinkled in.

5. How’s Buster doing?

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Buster and Elliott are basically oblivious of each other, although I’ve noticed Buster will come sniff Elliott during rage, I mean, tummy time. (Thanks, Amber for so aptly naming that exercise). Maybe Buster likes E?

With their mutual ambivalence, Buster is really adjusting to me being home all the time (yay!) and getting less exercise (boo!). The result: he’s a little needy, hyper and grumpy. He’s growled at 3 people since the baby!

I promise I tried to walk Buster and the baby simultaneously! But after an unfortunate incident, I decided I can’t wrangle both boys at once (e.g., while trying to rein in Buster as he went crazy at the trash truck, I may have let go of the stroller and it may have rolled toward a huge drainage ditch…).  Not my proudest mom or dog-owner moment!

I don’t know what I’m going to do with that furry little mess.

Odds & Ends

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Milestones: Other than being awesome, the boy has mastered cooing, smiling and making intense eye contact.

A few of his favorite things: his mobile (thanks KK!), the passed-down Happy Apple & his rattle snake from IKEA. He’s also fond of the basket in his changing area. A man of refined tastes and pleasures.

Is it becoming obvious that I just wrote this post so I could (over)share pictures of this little doll? Oops, sorry for being so transparent! Hope you enjoyed it despite the cute pictures.

Have a very Merry Christmas! I will be back next year!

Elliott’s B-Day

13 Dec

I’m back! Will you excuse my month-long absence? I was busy birthing (gross verb, yes) a human. If you’re not into “birth stories” I welcome you to read some of your favorite posts from times past (hard to choose your fave, right??) or just come back next time when I do the actual 1 month report on Elliott Edward (spoiler alert: he’s pretty cute).


Exhibit A: Adorable from hour #1. See? Not lying about the cuteness.

For those of you marching onward, I promise to keep words like placenta, tearing and after birth to a minimum. Sorry, that was just cruel. Zero gruesome details, I promise. And, no, there is NOT a video.

So rewind to the rainy morning of Monday, November 4th. If you recall, I was pretty bummed/nervous about Elliott’s lack of dropping and the dr’s concern about his size. After celebrating Ike’s b-day the day before (by making Pioneer Woman chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes, no less), I honestly expected a business-as-usual pregnant day.

Meeting cousin Jack and Pete!

Meeting cousin Moriah and Pete!

That was not Elliott’s plan.

I was greeted with (TMI alert) “bloody show” first thing in the morning. If you don’t know what that is, look it up or maintain your ignorance and move on. Just take the word of this pregnancy (Google) expert, it means baby is coming…at least within the next few days.

Even with that sign, Ike and I still took Buster on our ritual pre-appointment walk around the neighborhood, and I proceeded to get ready for work. That’s about when I started to feel contractions, or at least what I thought were contractions.

Uncle Jay!

Uncle Jay!

When you’ve never had a baby, things are really confusing. You don’t want to be the person who goes to Labor & Delivery with indigestion issues or an active imagination. So even though my contractions were about 4-7 minutes apart on the way to work, I was still in a “this isn’t going down today” mode.

We made it all the way to the Dillard’s parking lot before deciding that maybe we should stick around home until our appointment later that morning. This is the best decision I’ve ever made, because about 10 minutes after we got home, my water broke.

Confession time: I wish I could have  been cool as my friend Amber who finished her Cracker Barrel French toast after her water broke,  but I, instead, started bawling (hysterically). Case in point: Ike thought I was laughing until he saw my face.

Boy cousins!

Boy cousins!

I think it was my last bit of “labor totally freaks me out” fear oozing out. Plus, everything seemed to be happening so fast, becoming so real. Worrier that I am, I had prepared myself to wait until November 16th and a possible C-section. So a week-early baby was throwing me for a loop.

After stuffing some extra gear in my and Elliott’s bags, we went straight to the hospital. Of course we forgot the little guy’s bag, but (Santa) Pete came to the rescue and brought it later that day.

Fresh baby.

Fresh baby.

Other than that, we really lucked out on our timing:

A) I saw my dr. in the hall, she was on call all day!

B) We nabbed the last available room.

Then we entered the part usually not in movies…the waiting.

Aunt Katie!

Aunt Katie!

After I got the DRUGS (yes, I immediately decided I was over contractions), Ike and I settled in for a day-long TLC marathon: What Not to Wear, Say Yes to the Dress and The Duggers kept us company as Elliott made his slow descent into the world.

With my spinal fusion, I was able to get an epidural, but it took longer to work and I had a “hot spot” on my right side where I could still feel the worst part of each contraction. I’m not complaining, though, it was nice to take the edge off.

Ike was very supportive, even when I made him skip bathroom breaks and lunch to hold my hand during the worst parts. He even tried to only text concerned friends and family when I wasn’t looking so he’d always seem engaged and supportive (or maybe he was scared I’d rip the phone out of his hands?). Either way, he was great.

Aunt Tyler:)

Aunt Tyler:)

We kept it just Ike, me, the lovely anesthesiologist and super sweet nurse in the room. But I really appreciate Ike’s family waiting patiently in the waiting room and my mom and sister for dutifully jumping in the car and heading to LR from Houston.

By a little after lunch-ish time, the nurse told me I was “complete,” and congratulated me on “fast labors.” Yay, my body! She told me to let her know when I felt the urge to push, and then we entered a period of more waiting.

I guess I never knew what I was looking for, as far as the pushing urge, so when the dr. came to check on me around 4:00 we decided to try a few practice pushes.

Meeting cousin Molly.

Meeting cousin Molly.

As weird as it sounds, this was my favorite part. It relieved all contraction pain, and everyone was really encouraging. I was even more surprised when I heard myself saying “yes” to a mirror: labor is a strange time. All modesty and inhibitions are off. And it was so interesting, exciting, MIND-BLOWING to see that little bald head. Somehow that (cute) black and white skeleton I kept seeing in ultrasound form was a real, pink little person. Ike even got in on the action by holding one of my super numb legs.

After we really got started, little Elliott was introduced to the world in about 15 minutes (4:32 is his birth moment). And all the sudden, a 6 pound 13 ounce, 20 inch-long baby (with a perfectly-shaped head and adorable face), was here. The nurse said he was a good baby, only crying a little bit right after he was born and when she washed his feet.

Day old baby.

Day old baby.

All I could say for the next few minutes was “Don’t you just love him?” because I did. Of course, by the time Ike’s family wanted to come in to meet him and take pictures, I found the strength to say “How does my hair look”?

First Fam picture. How does my hair look?

First Fam picture. How does my hair look?

After we got a chance to get to know Elliott a little bit, we were moved into the recovery room where we’d spend the next two nights (and where we were greeted by my ultimate pregnancy food, Chick fil a, from my mom and sis).

The next 2 days are a blur of recovery, sweet visitors and NEW BABY (so, overwhelming, but worth it).

And that is where my narrative stops for now. Satisfied? If not, come back (hopefully) next week for a Baby Elliott rundown. And sorry for the details, I wanted to record as many of them as I could!

Tired hospital times.

Tired hospital times.