August 26, 2012

gender reveal!

We just had our ultrasound appointment. I have been SO excited to find out if we will be adding more blue or pink to this little home of ours. I wanted to do something fun to find out what we are having. Enter the balloon box.
Let me take this moment to say thank you to Pinterest. Without you, I would have not had the inspiration for this gender reveal balloon box.Thank you for allowing me to look somewhat creative.

Our ultrasound tech wrote the gender of our baby down and put it in a sealed envelope. We took the envelope and the box to Party City. The nice folks there then filled it with balloons while we passed time down the street. We then hauled the box and ourselves to the park for the big reveal!

My amazing, talented, and awesome friend, who happens to be a wonderful photographer (BONUS!), Diane McDaniel Photography, come out to capture our big moment.


Looks like we Elliotts will be gearing up for another boy in our household!!

August 10, 2012

carnies at heart

Tay has been asking to go to a carnival, a.k.a. the fair, for several weeks now. So when I found out the Cookeville fair was going on while we had plans to visit, I knew we would be making an appearance.

I figured the kids would be entertained for an hour or two, ride a few rides, grab an unhealthy treat, and then we would make our way back to my parent’s house.

Boy, was I wrong! My kids thought it was the! They could not get enough of it. Most of the rides gave them whiplash, spun so quickly it made me feel sick just watching, or gave me a heart attack because I thought they may plunge to their death at any moment. But they thought the rides were hilarious and rode every one at least once.

Pictures were not easy to take considering the pure speed of most rides. Here are some before the action and from the petting zoo. Who doesn't love a good "milking the cow" picture?

Sweet girl with her great-grandparents

No one can get Noah to laugh like his granddaddy

August 6, 2012

Noah's birth story

After looking into several different options for prenatal care, we knew we wanted to have Noah at home using a midwife.  
My first labor was LONG….like 37 hours long. There was NO way I could do that at home, so I was really praying for a short labor. 

During the last couple weeks of my pregnancy, I felt a decrease in Noah's movements and his heart rate was in the low 120s and we could not get it to increase.  My midwife was concerned enough that she thought it would be best for us to schedule an ultrasound.  So on January 18th, 2010, 5 days before my due date, I had an ultrasound.

We went and were grateful that everything looked good. Noah was “sunny side up” and had not dropped. Our midwife suggested a few things for me to do to help him turn and told us not to expect him anytime soon. 

So of course I went home and got busy. She said to clean the floors on my hands and knees, so I scrubbed all afternoon. She also told me to lay on my left side to help Noah turn.  And so lay I did. I was one determined pregnant lady. 

Around 5:30pm that same day, I started feeling light contractions that were about 4 ½ min apart. They were not too painful but definitely enough to notice.  After about an hour they were coming every 3 minutes. I called my midwife and talked to her through several contractions. We decided it was probably just the baby turning since I could easily talk through the contractions. She suggested that I get in the tub to try and space them out. 

The water felt great! I soaked for over an hour and my contractions slowed significantly. Then I got out…and I felt like labor was coming full on. 

But I was used to a 37 hour birth.  I thought I had hours before the baby came. However, these were intense contractions. I knew there was no way I could endure them all night. I called my parents and told them to have their bags ready and we would call when it got closer to time. 

Thankfully I have an awesome friend and neighbor who also happens to be a labor and delivery nurse (she was there for Taylor’s labor and delivery). At 9:30pm when the pain was becoming extremely intense, I called her to come and check me. She came over and I was 6 cm and 80 percent effaced.  Whew…I was SO glad that all that pain was not for nothing!

We called the midwife. She lives 30 minutes away and somehow managed to get here in exactly 30 minutes from the time I called.  Speedy little midwife!

Mark also called my parents and told them to come on. They live about an hour and a half away so we wanted to give them plenty of time. 

When my midwife got here I was in transition and everything from there was a bit blurry.  Our midwife and her assistant were running around like crazy getting things ready for the birth, monitoring me and the baby, and gathering all our supplies. 

I have a friend who also got here around 10pm. She was WONDERFUL. During every contraction, she would pray for me and recite encouraging Bile versus. In the midst of the pain, it was exactly what I needed to hear.  

Around 10:30pm my water broke and I felt an immediate need to push. It was some of the most intense pain I have ever felt. But in 10 short minutes, at 10:42pm, or sweet baby boy was born. After he was born, it took him 10 LONG seconds to make a noise, but after being suctioned and rubbing his back, he gave us a nice loud cry!

Somehow, Taylor managed to sleep during the entire delivery…VERY thankful for that! My parents got here around 11pm, 20 minutes after Noah was born. Their first thought when they walked into our bedroom was “who’s child is Lindsey holding?” Just like us, they were expecting a little bit of a longer labor! I loved the shock on their faces when they realized it was Noah. 

A funny little side story…we rented a birthing pool to have at Noah’s birth. I did not know if I wanted a water birth, but I did want the option. Mark began blowing up the tub about 8:30pm. He worked on that thing right up until Noah was born. Apparently he was not doing it correctly, but it did give him something to do. And now we know to set that thing up EARLY for the next baby!

I have had a hospital birth with an epidural and I have had a home birth without any pain medicine. I had a good experience in the hospital, but I will say this; there is a certain sweetness that I just cannot explain about having a child without any pain medicine and in the comfort of your own home.  

Noah’s labor story was not super eventful, but I want to remember it. I write this 2 ½ years after he was born and I know so many of the little details lost. For the next baby, I won’t wait so long :)


August 3, 2012

Taylor's birth story

I want to remember the details from the days my children were born. The next two posts I write will be about those special days.

Taylor was four years old on May 7th. Today is August 3rd, over 4 years since I gave birth to her. I know the details of her birth story will be lacking, but better late than never, right?

My due date for Taylor was May 2nd, 2008. That day came and passed with no baby. Now for a first time mama, that was a hard concept. I figured that if her due date was May 2nd, then she would be here by May 2nd. Hum, I was WRONG. Taylor was comfy in there and decided to stick around for a few extra days (much to her mama’s disliking).

On May 5th, around 8pm, I started having contractions. They were anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes apart and were not painful. To say I was excited would be an understatement. In fact, I was so excited that instead of sleeping that night, I lay awake in bed. When we rolled out of bed the next morning around 8am, my contractions were about every 6 minutes apart. We decided to run some errands to pass the time. By noon my contractions were every 5 minutes and becoming slightly more painful. We decided to go back home, grab our hospital bag, and head to the hospital.

We got to the hospital around 3:30pm. We went up to labor and delivery and I was hooked up to some machine to monitor my contractions.  Once the nurse determined that I was in fact having contractions, they checked my cervix…only 3 cm dilated! WHAT?! I had been in labor for 18 plus hours and that was all I had to show for it?

Even though I was only at 3cm, I was still admitted into labor and delivery. I put on my awesome looking hospital gown and began pacing up and down the hallways with Mark by my side…up and down, up and down for what seemed like hours. 

Once per hour I was hooked up to a machine to monitor the baby’s heart rate. At 9 pm I was only 5 cm. I was tired and feeling defeated. I REALLY wanted to have a natural birth, but it was not looking good. We decided I would go one more hour and then we would have the nurse check me again. My contractions were coming every 2 to 3 minutes. 10pm came around and I was at 5.5cm which was not very encouraging. However, we said let’s try for one more hour. At 11 pm I was falling asleep in between contractions and was only at 6 cm. At that point, I said give me the epidural. 

Within 30 minutes, I had the needle in my back and I no longer felt contractions. So I slept, well sort of. Apparently, the epidural caused my contractions to stop which meant I needed Pitocin. The Pitocin caused Taylor’s heart rate to drop, so I was taken off of it. But then my contraction stopped again.  Back on Pitocin I went and Tay’s heart rate once again dropped. At that point I was given oxygen. 

At 6am my doctor came in and broke my water. He also told me that Taylor had possibly swallowed meconium. If this turned out to be true, she would have to go straight to the NICU without me getting the chance to hold her. I was devastated.  I had been waiting over 9 months to meet this little girl and now there was a chance I would have to wait even longer. 

At 7am I was only at 8cm. We had to start talking about a c-section. This was NOT my plan. None of this was my plan. But it was becoming a reality. We did not have to make the decision immediately, but it was looming over us if I did not progress. 

My nurse came in at 8: 30am to check me one last time. I was a 10!!! I had to hold off pushing until my doctor came (go figure).  By 9:15 he arrived and I was ready to push. Taylor Paige was born at 9:33am. After 37 hours in labor, my baby girl had finally come!
And thankfully she had not swallowed meconium so she got to come straight to me!

Side note….my labor and delivery nurse is also a good friend and neighbor of mine. I was beyond thankful to have her there. She stayed way past her shift and slept overnight at the hospital just to be there for me. She was also the one who made me some sort of heavenly drink right after Taylor was born (after 18 hours of only ice chips)! Love her. 

Taylor’s birth went far from the way I planned. But she got here and she was perfectly healthy.  My nurses were awesome and I have had no complaints about the care we received.  I was just happy that our first born was here.