Wednesday, February 22, 2017

{Introducing Luce Colette: A Birth Story}

12:00 pm on Friday the 17th: Started pushing. 

Knocked out 3 sets of 3 pushes. 

12:08 pm: Luce is here. 


Just kidding, but basically that's the story. I can't help but laugh lol. This is so far removed from Henry's birth story. This time around I had an elective induction. I went this route for a few reasons. One being that Sean only had one week of vacation and it was already scheduled for the 20th through the 24th. And the other big reason was my platelet count that they had been monitoring for months. If it was too low (which it was for the longest time), then I couldn't have an epidural if I chose to. We wanted to make our move while we were in the clear. An induction meant we had to go in Thursday night so that I could receive a Cervadil. Thursday night involved a lot of poking and prodding and laying in bed. Sean and I spent our last few hours alone together. We talked, laughed watched some tv and ate Jimmy John's as my "last meal." They stop letting you eat Thursday night, which is tough haha. They woke us pretty early Friday morning, about 4:30 am. They started me on fluids and checked on my progress. Around 7 am they started my Pitocin. By 8 am they broke my water. I elected to get an epidural and to get it early because I tried to ride it out with Henry and ended up waiting too long. They called the anesthesiologist in at 8:15. This was the point where I became emotional. It was painful and I felt extra pressure on my right side and every horrid memory from my last birth came rushing back. The nurse immediately asked me if I was ok and I had to describe the pain to her and let her know that I was just emotional. I started feeling like I couldn't do it again and I was embarrassed that Sean was seeing me in such a vulnerable state. Sean has seen me at my worst and most vulnerable many times before, but never when I was about to give birth to his daughter. My nurse was amazing though and reassured me that everything was going to be incredible, quick and easy. It helped that the epidural kicked in immediately and I literally could not feel a thing. Which was the complete opposite with H. Every time she checked me, when she broke my water and even hooked up my catheter, I couldn't feel a thing. With Henry, I swear I felt every single detail, no exaggeration. They upped my Pitocin from a 2 to an 8 around 10:30 am and continued to monitor me and check my progression. Every 20 minutes or so she'd let me know that we were getting closer. Around 11:40 am she checked me and said I was at a 6. She had me do a practice push and she was like, "Yep, that's it, she's there! We're going to have a baby!!" I thought to myself "Well yeah we all knew I'd have a baby today." Next thing I know she's on her phone and the nurses start flooding in. They wheeled in carts of tools, a light and mirror descended from the ceiling and the doc popped in to get an update. I was like, "OH, we're going to have a baby NOW!" I kid you not, I looked at the clock at straight up noon. The nurse had me do one set of pushes and proceeded to tell me, "Excellent job, the doc will be right over to catch your baby." Catch my baby, WHAT?! Haha. The pushes were fairly easy, all I could feel was the pressure from the top of each contraction. Sean had to hold my legs and push them to my chest because they were literally lifeless. On the third set of pushes I could feel the release. I felt Luce leave my body. Luce was born at 12:08 pm, Friday the 17th of February. I leaned up to see her and tried to grab her. Sean stood by my side and cut her little cord. My doctor got me stitched up (I didn't have to feel every stitch this time) while they placed Luce on my chest for skin to skin, all goopy and all. It was perfect. It was amazing. It was the experience of a lifetime and what I always imagined childbirth to be like. I feel like that experience was stolen from me with Henry. Things didn't go as planned at all and I was not properly taken care of by the staff. This time, however, I felt overwhelmed with joy, I felt the chance to immediately bond with my baby, I felt taken care of, I felt HAPPY. I cried like a baby because I'd never felt anything like it. Sean cried too and the nurses and my doctor praised us. They told us we were rockstars and that we made a beautiful baby girl. Of course they thought she was so beautiful that they asked if my doctor could take her picture with her to blow up on a canvas for the hospital. Luce and I immediately started working on nursing and we spent the next few hours loving on her and soaking up our first moments together. The night was spent getting to know Luce and welcoming visitors. It was the best day. We are so fortunate and so blessed. Thank you to all of our visitors, our families and our friends. Thank you to the hospital staff. Thank you Sean for standing by my side, being supportive and encouraging me the entire way. We did it, babe. She's beautiful and they say she looks just like you. You've given me an amazing gift and I'll treasure her forever. I love you. <3
I am extremely sore and soooo crazy swollen, but somehow the pain feels like nothing this time around. It is nowhere near the recovery that last time was. We've already made trips to the mall, target, the park and little walks here and there. The worst part now is getting used to a tongue-tied baby nursing again.
Melissa Loren

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

{Our First Night Home}

We brought Miss Luce Colette home from the hospital this past Sunday. We were so overjoyed and ready to bust out of the hospital. We were more than ready to show off our little nugget and spend some quality time snuggling her! I felt like for our first night home we were maybe overachievers, but the weather was so beautiful, we could't resist. Which is crazy to me, because after giving birth to Henry, I couldn't do half of the things I did this time. I wouldn't have, I couldn't have, there's just no way! BUT my labor and delivery was extremely different this time. I'll be sure to write a birth story for you guys soon. We went straight from the hospital to Sean's brother's house for a last minute family bbq. Afterwards, our first night was spent introducing Henry and Luce to one another and nursing, nursing, nursing. Luckily Henry bathed and went down without a hitch, so that just left us to figure out how things would go with Luce. Three years doesn't seem like much time, but man, for me, it's hard to remember any of the things I did with Henry in the beginning. Plus their temperaments are so different that it probably wouldn't matter anyway. So far she is similar to Henry in that she nurses 24/7 and she likes to be held. In the first couple of nights it has been a struggle to get her to sleep anywhere but on me. It's early though and we're bonding and sleeping safely, so I'll take the cuddles. We spent our first full day at home visiting Target, the mall so Henry could play, and Buy Buy Baby so I could get some pump parts (just incase). We also rented some movies and ordered pizza. Once again Henry went to bed without a peep and Luce and I stayed up trying to get a better latch and bonding even more. And one a.m. is about the time that reality hit me like a bus. It became evident that we had been pretty lucky up to this point. I mean, it was only night two so we hadn't really had *that* much luck lol. The exhaustion had caught up with me, I was stiff in the recliner with cracked, bleeding nipples that little miss still wanted nonstop, when I heard it...the bark. The barking cough that comes along with croup. Henry has had croup so many times in the past year and here it was again. His cough was nonstop and sis watch attached to me. I had to lug her with me to get Henry up and into the bathroom so that I could run a steaming hot shower to clear him out. I had to use the restroom with sis in my arms and suck Henry's boogers with sis in my arms. I kept going back and forth between feeling like supermom and feeling like the hot mess express. The good news is, the steam shower cleared Henry immediately and he was able to fall back asleep right away. Sis and I were then able to nurse and snuggle for a couple more hours before we all had to wake up and be at the hospital for a Bilirubin checkup! Life is definitely different going from one to two kids! It's an adjustment, and it's early so we still have to find our way, but we've had a taste of the good and the crazy already. As Henry would say, "there's four of us now and I love all of us!" He's always keeping that glass half full! <3
Melissa Loren

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

{Sunset Silhouette}

What can I possibly say about this little boy that you guys don't already know? You guys know my heart. You've watched me grow with this little guy by my side. My life and my love have been an open book for you all to see. It has been transparent, as my friend Rachel would say. The one thing that has never faltered is my love for my son. He is my everything and will always be the one who made me a mama. Growing and raising another human being will test you and teach you more than anything else ever could. And just imagine raising human, who at just three years old, knows and understands that he must love, care for, and protect the baby growing inside his mother's belly. He has such a good heart, the kind that is genuine and passionate. I know that he will always protect the ladies in his life and for that I am forever grateful. Henry Harper, you're going to be a big brother soon-let's do this! <3 Love you, bubba! 

Photo cred to the lovely Amy Leigh Photography again! Remember those awesome Christmas tree farm pictures? Yeah, those are still some of my faves. This time the photo setup was all her idea. She came to me with the idea of sunset maternity silhouette photos and of course I obliged! I think they turned out pretty gorgeous and once again they will be something I treasure forever. Thank you, Amy. I'm so glad we could be your models. ;)
 She won't be in there much longer. <3
Melissa Loren

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

{Henry's Favorite Pastime}

I cannot tell you how good it has been to soak up some quality time with my first little love here recently. We both definitely needed this time together. 
You guys have seen way too many "feed the elk" posts from us, but it has always been one of Henry's favorite things to do.  Plus when you add me actually snapping photos + gorgeous weather, it's nonnegotiable, you're getting another one. ;)
You guys can see the pure joy on Henry's face. He loves to be outdoors and he loves to ask you, "Wanna see how fast I can go?!" <3
The only time he lost his smile was for a split second when the bull elk started pushing his horns through the fence because we were out of carrots. Grump. The look on Henry's face is priceless lol. Straight concern, aaaaannnd then right back to running around! 
This boy. What am I going to do with him, y'all? Lock him up and throw away the key, I suppose. ;)
Melissa Loren

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