6 Months Old! Happy Half Birthday Baby Girl!

Wow! A half year old! I seriously blinked and it’s come and gone! She changes so much! So here is the last month in review!

On the 21st we flew on our first out-of-womb plane ride to see Daddy at his school in Indiana! We did pretty well and slept on both plane rides after giving mom a nice outfit ruining moment at the beginning of the second plane takeoff! Joys of motherhood- changing an entire outfit in a plane bathroom!

On a more enjoyable note, we gave our first full-blown belly laugh to Daddy! Mom and Dad both had tears of joy in that moment! To keep the firsts coming, miss Ella rolled over from back to belly for the first time the next day! What a fun moment for mom and dad to both witness it! We even caught the tail end on video and then the next roll all on video!

We took a nice walk in the woods in which Ella cooed the whole time giving up any chance of seeing deer, but we did see some from the car and hotel room a few times!

September 25th daddy turned 29! We had fun taking pictures, but you’d never know from the look on her face!

October 3rd she said, “MA!” And on October 4th she put it together to say, “MaMa!” She of course doesn’t know what that means but it’s a special day for momma! We have made a couple other advances in speech such as smacking lips and tongue!

We started really working on sitting up since she can roll both ways and she can sit up well for several minutes at a time before leaning too far to the back or one side. She hasn’t quite figured out how to catch herself every time yet! She loves her sit and play toy!

We have discovered a love for football! While mom is sure it’s mostly about the bright colors running back and forth, she definitely shows a preference for watching it when on TV and can get upset if the channel is changed. Daddy loves that! She also enjoys the occasional Super Why! and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and squeals with all sorts if joyful sounds!

To top it all off, after 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding, she got to try her first food on her half birthday! Avocado was on the menu. We don’t quite have the pincer grasp yet, but we like the curious thing mom and dad put in her mouth so far! We are attempting Baby Led Solids (aka Baby Led Weaning), but having to modify a bit until we get the grasp and lose the tongue thrust, which won’t be long!

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5 Months Old!

What a month!

We got our 4 month shots and Momma is proud to report that I did great! She was able to manage my pain and fever with only essential oils! Yay for medication avoidance!

I have only been waking up 1-2 times a night and I very nicely eat and go right back to sleep!

Oh, big deal here- on August 23rd, I got my Daddy home! He took a long time landing and getting to the base and I fell asleep, but once I adjusted to being woken up I was quite happy being back in his arms! In fact, it’s like he never even left! I’m a Daddy’s girl for sure! Daddy has had to get used to new things like my cloth diapers, my mood swings, and my schedule, but he is adjusting pretty well! I’m definitely more fun than when he left! He is great at helping with diapers and bath time, but he gets a little stressed when I’m not happy. I love him anyway and I always give him big smiles!

I get frustrated because I want to play with my dogs, but I can’t get to them on my own. Sometimes Momma and Daddy let me pet on them and I really love that. Sometimes I grab a fist of hair, but they don’t seem to mind. They still give me kisses!

I love to play with my toys and have started sticking them in my mouth a lot! I have 2 buds trying to push through on my bottom gums! Wonder when those teeth will pop out!? When I play on my mat, I scoot myself around in circles whether I’m on my belly or my back! I have also scooted backwards on my belly a couple times! Hey, motion is motion! I started kicking my feet like crazy when I’m on my belly and now mom and dad will press my feet so I can scoot when I kick! Fun times! Since doing that, I have started learning to pull my knees up under my legs and pull my lower belly off of the floor! Mom and Dad are pretty excited about that! I’m also starting to sit up better. I still need assistance either from mom or dad or my Bumbo, but I’m getting there! I rock really well from side to side and grab my feet a lot, but I haven’t QUITE rocked from my back to my belly yet! I love to bounce up and down! Mom holds me and I give her an arm workout while I bounce on my legs with her support!

I haven’t made the Bbbb sound or the lip-suck noises lately and I only give a double chuckle yet for laughs, but I love to squeal as I suck the air out of the room! I have also found my “I’m not happy!” Scream! Mom is praying I don’t do that on the airplane rides this Saturday!

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Young Living and My Labor and Delivery

I wish I could tell you that I have some amazing, magical, all-natural birth. My plan was to have a natural hospital birth as we are military. Kessler Medical Center in Biloxi, Mississippi had amazing doctors, nurses, and techs that were all willing to follow and work with my natural birth plan.

I did all the “right” things. We took a Bradley class to learn how to manage labor pain naturally. I read, studied, informed myself of the various medical interventions and their side effects for myself and baby. At the end of my pregnancy (like literally 38 weeks), I talked to my friend about how she used YL oils for labor and delivery and ordered my kit!

None of that matters as much as God’s plan and He was still glorified through the whole birth experience.

I had my appointment for 40 weeks on my due date. It wasn’t so much that I was done with the pregnancy. It was knowing my husband was joining his unit just about 2 weeks after my due date that had me gunning for her to come out. My mind said, “Get this baby out ASAP so she can meet and have as much time with daddy as possible!” So… After failing all weekend to induce labor with all of the natural methods I could manage, I had my membranes stripped at my 8am appointment on Monday. And then I waited….

I woke up at 3am and was leaking. Hospital had me wait until 4am to see if it was still leaking. It was, so hubby showered and we made the 30 minuted drive to the hospital. I asked for them to give me time to try to get labor started naturally now that I was leaking. By 8 am after madly pacing the halls, no labor. So with it being 5 hrs from my first call, the Pitocin started.

I used Valor on my twists for courage. I used joy on my heart… For joy! I diffused P&C and the whole room had a calming atmosphere despite my incredible Pitocin induced pain. Plus everyone said my room smelled amazing and that most rooms smell horrid! Bonus!

Fast forward to 4pm… After getting up to 36 units of Pitocin, throwing up several times, and feeling like I wanted to die. For reference, my friend that delivered the week before was in full blown labor at 14 units. At 36 units my belly was staying contracted and I was getting no break, just one after another. I was checked and was… 2cm… 2cm!!!!! GIVE ME THR EPIDURAL because this is getting nowhere and not fast! They placed an intrauterine catheter to better measure my contractions and did an ultrasound to make sure she was head down. She was, but she was also sunny side up (aka facing my belly instead of my spine… Explains the back labor and why she hadn’t progressed). They stopped the Pitocin to let my belly relax again then started it back up at 6:30pm. The staff had me prep in case of emergency c-section (I was actually an emergency c-section baby because of a short wrapped cord).

Remembering what my friend said, I applied peppermint twice with about 3 hours between applications. I also forced my swollen numbed lower-body self up onto my knees with the help of my hubby and my tech to try to help baby drop.

I still had my P&C diffusing which helped me remain calm and relaxed. And I love the smell!

They didn’t check me again until about 12am and wouldn’t you know it, she had turned and dropped and I was fully dilated and ready to push! The nurse actually said she was afraid I was still going to be 2cm and everyone was thinking I was headed to a c-section by morning. It was literally a miracle that moment. Her face said it all! We (nurse, me, and my mom) were over joyed and tears started up! I fully attribute this to God and him working through the oils. Hubby had gone to the house to let the dogs in and THANK THE LORD he didn’t stop to eat or nap at the house because he almost did! He got in just before midnight and we started pushing at 1:15 once the doctor was almost there! One hour of pushing and at 2:17am Ella Grace graced us with her presence!

After the birth:
I used Panaway for my epidural site for a few days. The wintergreen in it can possibly effect milk supply but it didn’t effect mine. I also used Peppermint drops in the toilette to help me go. TBH… You will feel like you’re giving birth all over again the first time. And you will feel like everything is going to tear, but it won’t. Maybe Valor for courage would be good! I used Lavender for a sits bath sometime toward the end of the first week.

What I learned:
1. Pitocin induced labor is the equivalent of the Transition phase as far as intensity and pain are concerned. It’s supposed to be the shortest phase for that reason. 8 hours of that and I got the epidural. So if you do too, don’t beat yourself up.
2. “Active labor” as defined by hospitals is 4cm with steady contractions 4 minutes apart. I NEVER went into “active labor” and it doesn’t mean you’re a wimp if you are in excruciating pain on Pitocin and not in “active labor”.
3. If you get to 40 weeks and no natural labor induction method has worked, ask for an ultrasound to check position of baby. If your water leaks and labor doesn’t start, ask for an ultra sound to make sure everything is good to go, preferably before starting Pitocin. If you make it through 8 hours of induced labor and have made no progress, they’ll probably check like my doctor did and they’ll probably be sunny side up. Ask for an ultrasound if they don’t do one….
4. In the end, even if I would have done things differently knowing what I know now, things happened how God allowed them to unfold and my baby was born right on time! And I’m glad it took almost 24 hours from the time I knew I was leaking because she was born April 16 and NOT on “tax day”!

4 month update

I really should get better at being on time. Partly because you tend to forget some of the milestones to write about!

We spent two weeks in Texas after turning 3 months old. It was fun! Lots of family time! The trip home was through Houston! We stayed with Aunt Sarah and Uncle John and the Kelly kids! Papa Burt (dad) rode with us and we enjoyed taking the more rural road south. In Houston we got to see Kendall Jones who has become famous for her supposedly controversial hunting safaris, but is also a Red Raider cheerleader. So she has two good things to like about her! We enjoyed our last moments with Papa and seeing the Kelly clan again!

The last leg of the trip was rough on us both because of not having extra help with the 3 mutts. But we made it home August 4th! Successful and fun trip!

During those two weeks Ella had a growth spurt, started to mimic the “Bbbb” blowing noise with her mouth, and dropped a nighttime feeding after the growth spurt!
After returning home, we transitioned wonderfully to the crib! Yay for Ella and yay for mom getting better sleep in between feedings!

She also learned a new way to make noise by sucking in our lower lip and almost Hmmmm-ing and cooing! Very exiting when she suddenly became very talkative with daddy on FaceTime one day! She became more consistent with rolling over from tummy to back! She also started observing our dogs more. She enjoys watching them play very much! I think she wishes she could get down and play too! Her movements are becoming more and more controlled and she is getting better at playing for longer periods on her own. She loves her playmat with the sea creatures I have hanging down! They make for good chew toys that aren’t easily lost since they stay hanging above her face!

Here are some pictures of month 4!

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Ella’s 3 Month… A month late

Mom here… And sometimes that name still feels surreal!

So I’m a month late, just about. But better late than never!

Ella and I had a whirlwind adventure! Drove from Mississippi to West Texas! Met all sorts of family!

Started smiling with intent! We roll over, but only when we are in the mood! We sleep better through the night most nights!

I was nervous how she would be around others, especially men since her first couple months were very limited on being around men… But she goes really well with others! As long as she is fed and not tired she is a happy camper!

Seeing as I wrote this a month late, that’s about all there is to report for development! Check the pictures to see some of our adventures!

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2 Months… Almost too late!

So, here I am… Knowing I need sleep, but finally getting around to Ella’s 2 month update! So here is Ella’s story up to 2 months (June 16th)…

I wasn’t great at latching at first, but I’ve got the hang of it now and a lot of times, mom is where I want to be. But I pretty well love being passed around too! Most of the time I’m happy when someone is holding me, but I don’t like to lay back! Keep me upright please, so I can see the world! This world is very interesting and I like to look around and take it all in! I hold my head up really well, so it’s pretty easy to look around! But I’m still getting into this laying on my belly and lifting my head thing… I’m still not sure about it!

I have really found my fists and I’ve started pulling myself forward when I am upright! Sometimes I discover my feet and stare at them! Not sure what those things are about or what they are there for yet! But these fists are pretty cool! I like to stick them in my mouth! If I suck on them or my arms for awhile, mom feeds me milk!

Sometimes I fight sleep during the day… My arms like to move just when I get settled or I’ll hear a noise that disturbs me. My nights are pretty good though! I still have to fill my little belly a couple times a night, but go right back to sleep! I wake up at 7am almost every day to talk to daddy. Sometimes he gets tired and we all go back to sleep after. It’s like we are sleeping all together even though we are apart!

Speaking of daddy… I know his voice and I love to hear him. I smile and coo at mom and the screen and he loves it! He is always saying to “tell me” and most of the time I’ll indulge him… Sometimes with noises that aren’t so cute!

Mom is hanging in there. Sometimes we both get frustrated, but we grow and learn together each day! I know she loves me and I love her! She loves to give me kisses and blow bubbles on my belly! I don’t know what to think of those yet! Maybe someday I’ll surprise her with a laugh!

That’s all for now! Look for my 3 month update in about 2 weeks!

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1 Month!

Wow, she is over a month old now! Where did the time go? She has grown so much already, weighing in at 8 lbs and 3 oz and measuring about 21 inches long on her one month mark! I’m sure she is even bigger now!

She has reached her first developmental leap at the completion of her first month! She will start to be more perceptive of the world around her and will start to smile socially! It’s been a tough change to go through for us both, but we are almost through it and it’s so fun to see the changes in her!

I am starting to sleep longer at night anywhere from 3 3-hour stretches to one good 5 hour stretch! Of course, this means more awake time during the day! I like to give Momma silly faces and watch ceiling fans, even if they aren’t moving! The play mat with toys is pretty fun too, but I don’t like to lay there for very long! I prefer tummy time laying on Momma’s belly so I can look up at her face. Most of the time Daddy talks to me when I’m asleep or eating. It’s just how the time difference lands us! But he likes to see me and I gave him really sweet smiles the other night! He even. Caught a picture!

Nona has been visiting the past week and we really love time with her! She has helped Momma and me a lot during this leap when I am confused and cry for no reason. She also spoils us! Heehee!

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