Friday, November 14, 2014

Favorite Toddler Books!

Abbigail is two years (and a few months) old! One of my favorite things about this age is how strong her little huge personality shines through! She loves watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Dancing to One Direction songs and of course "helping me clean"{and by "helping me clean" I mean take all the pots and pans out of the cabinet, empty out the salt shaker and spread every toy she owns across the living room floor just so she knows her options!} But one of her favorite things to do is read books! Frequently, she ends up bringing me the same books over and over and over again! We read these particular books so often, we can do it with our eyes closed! So without further adieu, here is a list of our favorite toddler board books!

2. Counting Kisses by Karen Katz
6. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
7. Square Dance by Karen Green
8. Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
9. Llama Llama Zippity-Zoom by Anna Dewdney
10. Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop by Anna Dewdney

So friends, What would you add to the list? 
We are always looking for new books to read! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lily - 2 Months!

Holy Cow! Can you believe it has been 2 whole months since our sweet Lily was born?! Time has flown by! I am loving every second of the stage she is in. I can't get enough of her smiles and coo's. They are definitely the best medicine!

At 2 Months, Lily:

+ Weighs 8lbs 13oz and is 22 inches long! I have been convincing myself that Lily just has to weigh more than Abbigail did at this age. She feels heavier and has more "rolls" than Abbi did. So when we went to the doctor and she didn't even weigh 9lbs, I just laughed.  At Abbigail's 2 month appointment, she weighed in at 9lbs 2oz. A whole 5oz difference ;) 

+ Is discovering her voice, and I absolutely love it! The coo's, the ahhh's, the oooo's, I love them all! The first couple months with a newborn is hard. Trying to get into some sort of routine can be really difficult, so I like to think the start of smiles and coo's is my reward for surviving. Right?

+ Loves taking baths, which is totally opposite of Abbigail at this age. But seriously, when we wash Lily's hair, she gets so relaxed! It's like a baby spa; she rolls her eyes and her body goes limp. If she could talk I know she would be saying, "I love this!", "That feels so nice!" or "Please, don't stop!" It's hilarious! 

+ Sleeps like a champ! I don't know how we got so lucky and I pray it sticks! We give her a bottle between 10 and 11, then she will wake up again sometime between 4:30 and 5:30. But the other night, she slept from 10:30 - 6:30! EIGHT HOURS! It was incredible! Now if Abbi would only stop coming into our room at 3:00am to "sleep with us", we would really be on cloud nine! 

+ Has now officially transitioned from breastfeeding to formula feeding and is doing great! I hesitate writing about this because it's personal. Lily was doing great for the first couple weeks, but then had some issues latching. After help from a couple different lactation specialists and many frustrating days, we decided to pump exclusively.  Abbigail wasn't breastfed, and I was determined to give Lily breast milk. If she couldn't get it on her own, I would do it for her. We exclusively pumped for a month and a half before we ultimately decided to switch to formula. I really struggled when we made the switch. I have no problems with formula. I know it gives them the nutrients they need and I really enjoy being able to make eye contact with my baby as I feed her. Also, Drew can help and that counts for a bazillion bonus points in my book. The reason I struggled with the switch was because of the unnecessary guilt that I felt. I hate admitting it, but one of my biggest weaknesses is caring too much about what people think. After 4 years of studying child development, countless interactions with friends and family who exclusively breastfeed and reading many different blog posts and articles, I knew without a doubt that "Breast is Best!" But breastfeeding isn't always best. Every situation is different and so personal. No one should feel guilty for the way they feed their child! What matters is that you actually feed them and change them and bathe them and LOVE THEM! It shouldn't and doesn't matter if it is with breast milk or formula! {okay, end of rant.}

Abbigail has adjusted so well to her new title as big sister! I need to do a separate blog post about this, but I posted a video to my instagram of Abbi talking to Lily that sums it up pretty well. She can't get enough of her; it makes my heart melt! 

I think that sums 2 months of Lily pretty well! I didn't do a 1 month post on Lily, but here is a comparison to show you how much fast she is changing! It's crazy and I love it!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lily Elizabeth - A Birth Story

Lily Elizabeth Wright
Born: September 9th, 2014
Time: 7:53AM
Weight: 6lbs 8oz
Length: 19.75 inches

Lily's Birth was perfect. My recovery, on the other hand, was not so perfect. Because I had a C-section (c/s) with Abbi, I was able to choose to have another c/s with Lily. When I first found out I was expecting, I had every intention to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), but as my pregnancy went on, that slowly changed. I reached full term and let's face it, I was more than ready to meet her but I had ZERO signs of labor. After a lot of thought, discussion and prayer, Drew and I felt really good about the idea of a repeat c/s. We scheduled my c/s for September 9th (39 weeks) and planned that if I went into labor on my own before then, I would try for a VBAC. 

September 9th came and I still wasn't feeling any signs of labor. We woke up SUPER early because we had to be at the hospital by 5:30AM. My Mom had come into town the night before, so we didn't need to worry about Abbigail. That was such a relief! We arrived at the hospital and checked in. They hooked me up to some machines so they could check on Lily's heart rate. We were at the hospital for two hours before the surgery actually started, but it didn't feel like that long. Everything happened so fast. The nurses that helped us were absolutely fantastic! I was trying to be calm, but I was a nervous wreck. The nurses were so kind and calm and throughly explained everything that was going to happen. It helped me feel a lot better. My Dr. (Packham) came in and gave me a run through of what was going to happen. Next, the anesthesiologist came in and explained his part in the surgery.

Not too long later, it was time. They told Drew he couldn’t be in the operating room while they prepped me then showed him to the waiting room. The OR felt really cold then after I received my spinal tap it felt even colder! They helped me lay down, put up the curtain, hooked me up to some monitors and then brought Drew in. Have I mentioned how much I love that man? He squeezed my hand and loving kissed my forehead. I was a nervous wreck, but with him by my side, I knew I could do it.

The surgery itself was quick. Ten minutes in I heard, “We see a head and she has hair! A lot of hair!” I smiled. A short ten minutes later, after some pulling and tugging I heard the most perfect, tiny cry. She was here! I couldn’t hold in the tears. I hadn’t even seen her sweet face yet, but her cry alone did me in. I loved her instantly. Drew whispered in my ear, “ She is here Ashley! She is here and she is beautiful!”

Before they brought her over to me, they took Lily away to clean her up, weigh and measure her. They told me she weighed 6lbs 8oz, the exact birth weight of her older sister, and she was 19.75 inches long. In other words, she was absolutely perfect! After what felt like an eternity, they brought my daughter over to me and I held her for the first time. I was in awe. I couldn’t believe this beautiful little baby was mine!

 After they closed me up, they wheeled me to a recovery room to let me rest. I remember as they took me down the hall, the tune to “Rock a bye Baby” played throughout the hospital. I guess they play that song every time a new baby is born. Sweet right?

After an hour of resting and being monitored, they took me to my room. I slept some more, and then we called my mom to let her know it was okay to bring Abbigail over. Seeing Abbigail meet her little sister was nothing short of perfect! She walked right over to her and kissed her. As I looked at my TWO daughters, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed and so grateful to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with these two beautiful girls!

To be honest, the rest of the day was a blur. I know later that afternoon, Drew’s parents arrived to meet their newest grandbaby. It was so beautiful watching them interact with her. We are so blessed to have such supportive parents on both sides of the family.

The next morning bright and early, my nurse came in to help me stand up and try to use the bathroom. Of course it hurt to stand up, but I didn’t last long or even take a step before I passed out. I woke up laying down on the bed with my nurse telling me, “It’s okay, you’re going to be okay!”, “hang in there!”, “you passed out, but you’re going to be just fine!” She was so great! Another nurse came in, they told me to get some rest and then left. Not too long later, they both came back to see how I was feeling. After eating some crackers and drinking some juice, I felt good enough to try and walk again. I sat up, but didn’t even stand all the way up before I passed out again. Obviously, the whole walking to the bathroom thing wasn’t going to happen.
After doing some tests, they discovered I must have had some internal bleeding from my c/s because I had a very low blood count, which was causing me to pass out. The Dr. on call ordered a blood transfusion and told me I would feel a lot better after they got some blood in me and he was right. I did feel better. Slowly but surely, I started feeling stronger and more normal. Other than staying an extra day for monitoring, the rest of my hospital stay was pretty normal.

I came home from the hospital on Friday, September 12th. They told me that my blood count was still low and it would be quite a while before it was back up to normal. My recovery would be slower than it was with Abbi and that was okay. We were all in Heaven as we cuddled our new baby girl.

A week and a half later, I still wasn’t feeling any better. I understood my recovery was going to be slow, but something wasn’t right. I made an appointment to go see the Dr. Unfortunately, my Dr. wasn’t available, so I saw one of the PA’s. She was shocked by my bruising and how much pain I was in and went to get one of the Dr.’s for a second opinion. They told me I probably had a uterine infection and prescribed three different antibiotics. They said I should feel like a new person in a day or two and sent me home. Two days came and went and I still wasn’t feeling any better! This time I made an appointment with my Dr. and he saw me right away. It didn’t take him more than a few minutes with me to know that it definitely was NOT a uterine infection. He called in another Dr. from the clinic that agreed with him. They sent me down to get a CT.

A couple hours later, my Dr. called me to inform me of the results of my CT scan. Apparently, a large puddle of blood had formed in my lower abdomen and that was the source of all my pain. He told me that occasionally this will happen, but usually the clots are small enough that they will fix themselves. Mine, however, was too big to fix itself. He told me he would need to open me back up and drain the clot himself. He scheduled the surgery for the very next day. This surgery was an outpatient surgery. I went in, they drained my clot, and I stayed in the hospital for just a few hours to recover and let them monitor me.

After a week of recovering at home, I was finally feeling better. I stopped taking my pain medications and I was able to take care of my girls and myself! This was such a great feeling!

My experience was nuts. But, one thing I observed was how willing and caring people are. For the first three weeks of Lily’s life, I was on so many medications that I really couldn’t take care of myself let alone my family. I am so grateful to live in a ward with people who are so compassionate. We will be forever grateful to them.

Well, that is that! If you read all of that, you deserve a medal! We are nine weeks into this parenting two kids game and I think we are finally getting into some sort of routine. Lily couldn’t be more perfect and Abbigail couldn’t be a better big sister. They love each other so much! I can’t wait to see how their relationship blossoms. I am so grateful for my little family!