LilyAnn’s Birth Story

Birth Timeline for those interested in the story!

Thursday morning I lost what’s called a plug. This doesn’t mean a whole lot, necessarily, but usually means hours or days once term.
Thursday afternoon/evening I had some random uncomfortable contractions, but nothing that made me have to stop and focus.
11:30pm I woke up with some more consistent contractions, but was able to go back to sleep through them.

Friday 1:30am I woke up with consistent contractions 10-12 apart that were strong enough I couldn’t sleep through them, but I still rested in bed between them.

Friday 5:00am I got up when Chad did and contractions had become closer together, averaging 4.5 minutes apart and averaging 30-40 seconds in length.
I continued to labor at home with the same average and length for the morning.
Just before 11am my water broke. I was talking to a doula friend and also called Chad to have him come on home, but since contractions hadn’t changed I wasn’t in a huge rush yet….
Chad came home about 11:20 and by then contractions had picked up to 2-3 apart and were getting stronger. I rushed Chad and myself out the door and mom headed to take Ella to a friend’s and then come to the hospital to take pictures.

As we drove the 20-25 minute drive, contractions continued to become stronger and longer. By the time we were walking in, I had three more that about brought me to tears. I know I was sobbing in a way, just no tears.

We got to the L&D ward and they started to send me to triage until they saw me have a contraction. They quickly moved me straight to a room and had me change. They then started to prep to make sure my water had broken and check my progress, but by the time I was strapped to monitors, they could see that I was in fact losing amniotic fluid. She quickly checked my progress and put me at an 8-9. She asked if I was feeling the need to push and I said no.
During the next contraction, I rolled to my side. Chad says they were asking about epidural, but I don’t remember any of that. Good thing I didn’t plan on one because there wasn’t time… I did apparently have that moment where I said that I wasn’t sure I could do this.

The nurse and tech went to get the doctor and I got up on my knees facing the back of the bed which was reclined up. By then the contractions were almost unbearable and by the second one, I did in fact feel the need to push. I remember I kept saying I was pushing and couldn’t stop it. This is when Chad grabbed the camera. I wasn’t even sure who was in the room or if the doctor was there yet. I felt my body bear down. I literally couldn’t stop it! Three pushes later I saw and felt a gush, followed by another and feeling baby’s head and then another and the body. Apparently the head was about out before the doctor walked over to catch. She caught the baby and, according to Chad wasn’t sure how to hand her to me, so she hesitated and then passed her under me and laid her on the bed where I picked her up. I heard someone say “him” and asked if it was a boy. Chad saw first and corrected us all that she was a girl!

From the time I checked in to the time she was born was only about 20 minutes. They only got 9 minutes of tape on me and baby, also! I pushed maybe 5-10 minutes!

And that’s how our LilyAnn Hope came into this world! 


11 Months Big!

Holy cow! Can I cry?! My baby is a baby for one more month! I treasure the moments of rocking and cuddling! She is going to be a strong, independent, willful child. She is getting closer to not needing to be rocked to sleep at all. I’m soaking up every moment she still lets me! Daddy and I won’t hold her back from flying, but we aren’t pushing certain things to end either! She’ll always be our baby, but soon she’ll be a walking and talking toddler.

So what’s new?

  • Consistently taking a bottle when given with no fights! Even holds it! Yay for date nights!
  • Using sippy cup! With straw! Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! Seemed like it would never happen!
  • Standing unassisted
  • Cruising around on foot with assistance of furniture or adult. Not quite brave enough to let go to get from one thing to another, resorts to crawling
  • Along with waving Hi and Bye, she tries to say the words.
  • She notices her stuffed animals on her dresser. She thinks the Bear is a dog and addresses it as such. We are working on teaching her the word Bear now!
  • She gets smoothies now that she has the straw cup down and she loves them! Spinach and all!!
  • Baby Queen for Miss “Sweet” Heart of the USA pageant! She was adorable both in her appearance and her personality on stage!

New Words:

  • Hi/Hey
  • Bye/Bye-bye
  • Yeah
  • Doggies (sounds almost like Dada, but with a little more “g” sometimes). Definitely addressing her dogs!

That’s about all we have for now! 

Birthday is still April 18th in the afternoon. Please let me know if you’re out of town family and plan to come. I will be sending out an email with more details and a “wish-list” of ideas for her, since most may not know what she has or doesn’t have.

The big TEN… Months!

Seeing as miss thang started crawling hands and knees January 15 just before her 9 month milestone, she has been unstoppable. We are learning boundaries and discipline. Seeing as mom and dad are both quite stubborn, we are in for a ride! When she is told no or disciplined, we get one of two reactions… A grunt coupled with bawled fists at her sides or a facetious smile. Oh yes, momma has to just smile back or give a self-depreciating laugh because I recognize that strong will. It was me 27 years ago, I’m sure of it!

I digress. This girl is all over the place! She loves to get into everything. And she wants what you have or she can’t get into over her toys most moments.

She smiles all the time, has an adorable squeal when she gets excited and loves to climb all over the dogs! She starts dancing almost every time she hears music!

Her new foods are chicken livers (which she absolutely loves), peaches (also loves), breastmilk Popsicles with strawberries and banana, and a tiny taste of ice cream which we kept wanting more of!

Her new skills are waving “Hi” and “Bye”, clapping and saying “yay”, knowing who mama and dada are separately, and starting to understand doggie and baby (the baby doll her Memaw gave her). She also splashes her bath bubbles which means momma may get a shower at the same time!

Her new experiences are Mardi Gras and swings! She loves the mardi gras parades! We went to 2 and other than getting upset the couple times some beads got her, she had a blast! By the second parade she knew what was going on and I could get her to wave! We had fun with our friends and even made tie-dye shirts in mardi gras colors together! Daddy cleaned the swing off one day when it was nice and we pushed her in it and she loved it!

She just hit 17lbs this week, so for now she is still in 6-9 clothes. Although her pants are getting tight in the bottom with her fluff booty! I think she’ll be our tiny tot! We have our birthday dress and Easter dress already picked out! We have a lot going on the next couple months! Birthday party is set for April 18th at our house!
























9 Months!

Holy cow! Today is Christmas Eve and so much has happened I have to start this update so I don’t forget!
The 18th she got up on hands and knees and rocked back and forth for the first time when we were FaceTiming with Nona! That night she started belly-crawling while on FaceTime with Daddy! She kept scooting towards Daddy on the iPad or the presents under the tree!
Over the weekend she started pulling up on the tub to her knees. I stood her at the couch and she took one step to the side before falling on her bottom! Monday the 21st she pulled up on the outside of the tub all the way to her feet! We have a feeling she won’t be scooting/crawling for too long before she walks. She has always preferred being held standing up, after all!
Today she belly crawled with a purpose to some kids at church during the Christmas Eve service and then belly crawled about a yard and a half chasing her new ball on the floor! She also started clapping today! It’s adorable! She clapped during the church service and I was so proud to see this new skill! We finished off the night reading The Christmas Story (a condensed version) and taking pictures in our Christmas Jammies!

Ella’s first Christmas! She did great opening her presents! She loves to tear the paper and then eat it! Haha! She loves her new Laugh and Learn puppy we got her! It was fun to see how excited she got over it! She liked her books, mostly for chewing though! She also got some food bowls, clothes, new diapers, some straws to play with (from Nonna), an ornament from Papa and Shirley, and more!

Grammy and Pop came to visit! She adores them for sure! She got to open presents from them and from Memaw Betty! She loved all of her toys!

We all went to the USS Alabama and USS Drum and met up with Uncle Steve, Aunt Joy, cousin Erik, and 3 foreign exchange students. It was really cool… And very cold! We then ate in downtown Mobile and enjoyed a drive-through light show! Ella loved it as did the rest of us!

We rang in the new year! Ella woke up and I got kisses right before midnight! It’s no longer the year my baby was born!

Since the new year, she is scooting all around and even pulled up over the step from the living room to the rest of the house. She sure can get into quite a bit in a short amount of time! Even today, on the 10th, she surprised us at how quickly she went from one area to another! She is rocking on her hands and knees a lot and has crawled backwards a little ways a few times, but hasn’t made a habit of it yet to go forward except on belly! She is pushing herself into a sitting position consistently! She is pulling up on anything she can, including the crib now, so it’s a really good thing daddy dropped the crib mattress recently!

Jan 15th- holy cow, my baby is 9 months tomorrow! She started to really crawl on hands and knees today! She has taken a few here and there and even gone backwards on knees, but she is getting it down for good! She pulls up all the time. Seriously! Just pulls up on the coffee table and stands there! She can also bend down to pick up toys or other objects with holding onto the table. This is a fun age to watch her change every day!

Other developments over the month include smiling at pictures of babies (even Momma’s baby pictures!) and sticking her tongue out and “blowing bubbles”. Quite hilarious when we were in Home Depot and she looked straight at an older man and blew bubbles with her tongue at him. She finds it quite amusing and Momma and Daddy have a hard time discouraging it because it makes us laugh too!

She has another tooth about to come in. The top left of the middle two. Boy, is teething hard on everyone! We are in for it until the first molars are all in! Hopefully we knock the rest out soon and get a nice long break before 2 year molars!

Doctor’s visit:
She looks great! Weighs 16 lbs 5 oz and is 26 inches tall! She’s dynamite- a lot of personality in a small package! Considering mom was 18 lbs at a year and daddy was a small fry, too, we are on track! Everything looks good and we are reminded each time to be baby-proofing! She sure is showing us every day what we need to be proofing, haha!












8 month photos

I had to wait on a special onesie to arrive from a friend’s new embroidery business so I could take Ella’s 8 mo photos. Some are taken at the Beau Rivage Casino and Hotel with their Christmas set-up while some are taken at home in front of our tree. Ella is quite the getter-into of presents despite only belly scooting to date!












Ella is 8 months

My baby is growing up too fast! For some reason this is the first month mark that has brought some sadness with it. Realizing how fast it’s going by has been hard on this Momma. I digress…
So here’s her 8th month in review!

She has had many new foods including Broccoli, peas, squash, shredded pork, turkey, chicken, yogurt, eggs, and butternut squash soup. She likes it all! She LOVES broccoli, squash soup, and still loves those sweet potatoes! She eats yogurt most mornings, a veggie or fruit for lunch and a meat and veggie for dinner. She still eats small amounts, but food before one is just for fun so it’s all about learning and exploring tastes and textures!

We made some new friends! Three excited one year old triplets and a very adoring and affectionate 3 year old. We like our new friends, but they move around and she can’t yet on her own, so there will be much more fun to be had in the future!

She had fun in New Orleans with Nona and Momma watching the Thanksgiving parade! We had Thanksgiving dinner Friday after doing some Black Friday shopping!

She had a few nights where she was up a lot. She was up almost all night Black Friday after eating sweet potato casserole! Oops! Too much sugar; so much for no added sugar before one. Not so much at once next time!

Daddy said goodbye again that Sunday, but Saturday we met Santa and did quite well! Just very curious about the man!

Tuesday we went back to New Orleans and had fun with Nona and Momma in the French Quarter before saying bye to Nona.

Momma and Ella had a lot going on! We had a Christmas party we were planning as the FRG board with Daddy’s command. We went with friends to a Christmas festival and met Rudolf! We tried to go to a parade, but got rained out. The Command Christmas party happened. She didn’t nap but maybe 30 minutes all day and was not a happy camper the last hour or so, but wouldn’t you know as soon as we got home she was happy as a clam! This past weekend we had a gift wrapping fundraiser and we behaved quite well as well as on Monday also. Sunday we went to Disney on Ice with our friends Melissa and Paisley! We had a lot of fun with all the sights and sounds! It was hard being that it went into nap time, but she had a ball bouncing and flapping her arms when she wasn’t fussing from fighting a nap!

In the midst of all the business, we love to FaceTime with Daddy and she always gives big smiles and squeals! She has started to push on her hands and knees some and “rocks” by bobbing her head up and down and she tries to pull her belly up. She has started pulling up on the edge of the bathtub when she is sitting on the bath mat while mom gets ready. This past weekend she also pulled up on mom and on the lower bar of the coffee table where her feet were the only part touching the floor! Silly girl wants to stand before crawling! Then again she has been standing assisted since before she was 2 months! This next month should prove pretty significant in the movement department! One thing is for sure, she keeps Momma and Daddy on their toes!



























7 months old!

Only a few days into being 6 months old and she was changing so much!

Second night we tried avocado again and did much better and ate much more! Third night we skipped the whole “wait three days between foods” rule and tried a chunk of carrot. We still have some holding issues. ESP since it can be a bit slippery of a food anyway, but we held it to her mouth and she would gum it and swallow! She actually got a pretty decent amount down judging by the diaper proof the next morning! Let’s just say that one was daddy’s and he was a bit shocked! (Momma’s giggling inside) 😝

We have started a “dada” “baba” “lala” “blahblah” series of sounds and sometimes just move the mouth and whisper or make no noise at all! Momma and Daddy are quite excitable and enthralled by these fun new sounds! Momma and Daddy are pretty certain these come with the new motion of learning to chew since they require the same jaw movement! It’s a lot of fun and a lot of excitement to see these changes and developments! Since daddy was knick named “Chadderbox” and Momma has always been known to hold a conversation, it comes as no surprise!

Week of Oct 19
We are getting a better hang of holding onto foods! It’s pretty fun to watch, but the dogs are never far away to catch dropped food. Sadie actually lays under her chair! This week we tried carrots!
We are shaking our head side to side like saying “no”. I’m sure we’ll blink and she’ll be actually telling us know. We also turn our head and lean way over side to side when something is interesting to us!
Thursday we had our 6 month appointment and shots and did great! We came in at 16 lbs 4 ounces and 25 inches long! Then, that night we made a really exciting night of it by getting up on all fours! Hands and knees! Momma and Daddy got pretty dang excited! Not too much longer and we’ll be chasing this little girl all over and teaching her what she can and cannot get into!
Friday (24th) we went to Fright Night on base as Super Girl! We entered the cutest costume contest, but didn’t last until judging. Daddy had to take her home and tried to put her sleep but she decided to reject the bottle and sleep until Momma got home.
On Saturday we had a grocery shopping excursion and she got to sit in the basket for the first time! She loved it!

Week of Oct 26
She got a special gift from Aunt Terri and Uncle Sam! Witch hat socks! So we played dress up! We also got an exersaucer that we love to play in! Finally, we had her first Halloween and she didn’t last long handing out candy! Momma got a ton of cute pictures though!

November 1- one tooth pushing through!

Week of November 2
She got to try bananas next and loved them! She had 2 teeth push through enough by the 6th that Momma caught them on camera!
We got a bouncer and she loves, I mean LOVES bouncing!

Week of November 9
Tried a lime! Hilarious video footage and pictures, but she actually ended up loving it! Our next food was sweet potato and we got a good amount down this time! We tried a little bit of pulled pork on Friday, but didn’t get too much in our mouth!
We fell in love with our zebra! Daddy makes it give kisses and she loves them! We also got a new hat and gloves for these cold winter days, but we are not too sure about them!

We went from 90 degree weather to freezing temps in one month! We went from no teeth to 2 teeth! And tried many new foods! Holidays are coming up so we will get to see some family!IMG_4187.JPGIMG_3753.JPG