Our baby girl is ONE!! I haven’t been on this blog in FOREVER, but Quincy’s first birthday needs documenting :) I had no theme but wanted it to be dainty and sweet and beautiful, just like our girl. We celebrated with a small family party at home with the best donuts in town (VG’s) and cake! My friend Esther of Wallflower Inspiration made the most beautiful flower arrangements for the table and she left me with some extras that I used to decorate the cakes! I made a tiny little cake just for Q that she barely ate, but oh my was it cute to watch :) And we got all the perfect paper goods and balloons from Witty Bash. It hit me after her party that this is the last first birthday party I’ll ever throw. It’s crazy how fast this season of life is going. The years keep passing by quicker and quicker and it honestly blows my mind that Quincy is already one! I feel like I blinked and here we are. Bitter sweet emotions for sure. But this girl….she has been such a joy in every way. She is honestly the happiest baby I have ever known. Always smiling and laughing and making everyone’s day. It’s been a tough year for me physically dealing with some health issues and I think God knew what he was doing when he gave me her. She brightens the day of everyone around her. She does this little thing when she is in a silly mood where she scrunches up her nose and purses her lips and I never ever want to forget it! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for her life. We love you Quincy Mae! You are everything I could have ever wished for!
So I wanted to share a bit of my breastfeeding journey with you guys here, as personal as it may be, in case others of you out there are experiencing the same thing and to reassure you that you’re not alone. My experience with breastfeeding prior to Quincy had been amazing. I breast fed Rylee until she was around 8 months old and I breast fed Cru over a year. I loved bonding with my children in this way and also loved the fact that I was supplying them with the most complete form of nutrition I could give them. It was convenient, free of cost, and a way I could connect with my babies like no one else could. I loved breastfeeding….and then came Quincy.
The first day in the hospital after delivering her she latched on right away. I expected everything to be smooth sailing from there, but little did I know things would quickly get really difficult. I found out that I separated my pubic bone during her fast and furious delivery so that was challenge #1. If any of you have had that (pubic symphysis separation), you know it’s crazy painful and basically any movement hurts. Challenge #2 came when breastfeeding became super painful (bleeding nipples, scabs + blanching…the whole 9). After seeing a lactation consultant, I found out that Q had both tongue and lip tie and I decided to go ahead with the procedure to release both of them. All the doctors reassured me I would see immediate improvement. Quincy was still well under birth weight after 3 weeks and we were all starting to get a little worried. I was completely naive to the process of a frenotomy (tongue tie release) and expected relief from the pain after it was complete, but that never came. Not to mention the exercises I had to do with her every day were so brutal, for the both of us. Basically, I had to stretch the wound every 3 hours by pushing it down toward the back of her throat with a popsicle stick (you have to do that so it doesn’t heal back together again). She’d scream so hard she would turn purple and I would cry every time I did it because I hated hurting her. All of it was so much more awful than I had imagined and I thought for sure she would never want me to hold her again after torturing her for weeks in this way. (I’m being dramatic, I know, but with all the hormones and emotional up’s and downs that come after having a baby anyway, this is honestly how I felt). It would have been one thing if she was feeding better post procedure and the pain had subsided, but after everything was said and done, nothing had improved – neither her weight, or my pain. I was so discouraged. I later found out that I was having what is called vasospasms after and during feedings (sudden constriction of the blood vessel…in the nipples in my case….that is extremely painful). Another fun side effect of having an auto immune condition. And then came the mastitis. It just felt like one thing after another after another. I just couldn’t win.
After all of this, I decided the best thing for the both of us would be to supplement. I felt a little sad about it, like I had somehow failed her….but I had to keep reminding myself that I tried my best and that this is what we both needed to do to get healthy. I started out by pumping as much as possible and introducing her to a bottle. After trying almost every bottle out there, I came to love Philips Avent anti-colic bottle the most. It had one of the slowest milk flow options that I found and it left her with less gas bubbles in her tummy than some of the others did. I very slowly started mixing small amounts of formula into her breastmilk bottles….and wouldn’t you know it, she finally started gaining weight. I made the transition to formula super slow to make it a little easier on her tummy and to get her as much of the nutrients from my breastmilk as possible in those first few months. It took me about 2 months in total to make the full transition to formula.
After this whole experience, I am now a firm believer in all Philips Avent products. Not only did I use their breast pump and bottles….but I also still love and use their bottle warmer that quickly and easily warms the milk, and also their Microwave Steam Sterilizer that kills harmful germs and sterilizes everything in 2 minutes! I also swear by their pacifiers and my minimalistic self loves the fact that they are clear and white and not giant blue rubber ;) But more importantly, they support natural oral development and are BPA-free. I’d honestly recommend Philips Avent to anyone.
If you have gone through or are going through an experience similar to my own, I am with you. I would have never imagined not breastfeeding my third child after doing it successfully with my first two…but sometimes you just have to roll with the cards you are dealt. And sometimes choosing to formula feed your baby is the best choice in your situation, and don’t let other people make you feel otherwise. There is so much pressure on mother’s these days to do things a certain way….a myth that there is only one right way. But I think there are a lot of right ways, as long as you have the best interest of your child at heart. And moreover, we don’t know everyone’s story and what they are going through…..and in my opinion, it’s just best to support and encourage each other rather than criticize and critique (just some thoughts after having dealt with some criticism myself)…we are all in this together, after all.
My family is complete. It’s strange and a little sad to think we are done having children. That I wont ever be pregnant again, or feels those little kicks inside my belly again. It’s crazy that this stage of life is over for me….already. Some days it feels like the longest 6 years of my life and sometimes I wonder how we got here so quickly. Life is definitely funny that way. What I am excited about though is watching these beautiful kiddos grow up and looking into the future when there will be a day again when I can get a full night’s sleep! haha. It’s the little things :)
We had Whit Mcguire come over while she was in town and snap some photos of our new family of five in our home. If you would have asked me 11 years ago when I bought this house, I would have never ever imagine I would still be here married with 3 children! BUT, we love Encinitas and the community here so we are thankful….despite feeling a little crammed these days ;) We recently updated our living room with a fresh coat of white paint and some new furniture. I love the new tv stand and ladder we got from Rove Concepts. I know I have talked about them before (remember this rocking chair from Quincy’s room?) but if you are on the hunt for beautiful mid century or Scandinavian inspired furniture, check them out. I pretty much love every single piece. Anyway, on to baby cuteness :)
It’s about time I shared a little peek into Quincy’s nursery. A few things have been changed since these photos were taken (can you believe she is almost 4 months old!?), but the overall vibe still remains the same. I wanted to create a really calming space, full of light and natural elements. My favorite piece in the whole nursery is definitely that rocking chair! It was the very first thing I pinned to my inspiration board when I started planning Q’s nursery and basically the whole design revolved around it! It’s not only beautiful but it’s comfortable as well! I have a feeling I am going to be passing that thing down through the generations ;) It’s from a shop called Rove Concepts which has all kinds of amazing Scandinavian and mid-century style home decor and furniture. Seriously, such a great site to shop if you are looking to update or redesign a room! (I also have this TV console and this ladder, and I’m obsessed with them both). Another piece I absolutely love is her crib from Kalon Studios. It’s made of this beautiful light maple wood and it can convert to a platform-style toddler bed that can also be used as seating well beyond the nursery years. This is another piece I see myself using for years and years to come! I linked below some more of the elements from the room if you are curious!
Kalon Crib / Rocking Chair from Rove Concepts / Babyletto Changing Table / Wicker Baskets / Art Prints from Rylee + Cru / Electric Sun Creatives Mobile / Lane & Mae chunky knit blanket / Moroccan Leather Pouf / Wooden Stacking Rainbow / Norden Planter / Dolls / Boramiri Bunny Head / Wallpaper / Quincy’s Crocheted Bloomers
I can’t believe I am just now writing this post! I have been meaning to for months and I just haven’t found the time to sit down and do it. I might be 3 months late here but it’s such a good story I had to write it all down so I wouldn’t ever forget all the little details of that day. Here it goes….Quincy’s birth story.
A short back story before I get started….this pregnancy was definitely my hardest physically. The medication I took throughout my first two pregnancies (Zofran) was apparently banned and I was left to try a handful of other ‘safe’ options….none of which kicked the nausea for me. On top of that, I was still struggling (and still am) with symptoms from my POTS diagnosis a few years back. POTS is a form of dysautonomia that affects my heart and circulation, among other things that I won’t get into right now. That’s a whole story for another post which I hope to share one day. But for now, let’s just say my day to day consisted of thousands of heart palpitations and dizzy spells. I was considered a ‘high risk’ patient due to my condition, which meant lots of extra doctors visits and ultrasounds (that part I did love because I got to see little Quincy all the time!) Other than feeling the baby kick and knowing that I was forming another human inside of me, there isn’t much I love about being pregnant. This time around, I just found myself counting down the days until it was over and I could hold her in my arms.
On the morning of Wednesday August 2nd I had an appointment scheduled with my doctor. I was induced a week early with both of my other kids and delivered them in under three hours….so I kind of hoped that I would be able to get induced again with Q since that is the only birth experience I knew and it was a good one. So that morning I remember begging Erin, my doc, to induce me early again. I was 38 weeks pregnant and had been walking around at 5cm for 2 weeks (which I didn’t even know was possible) …feeling like I was carrying a bowling ball between my legs. But because the baby and I were both healthy and there was no medical need to do that, she said she didn’t want to schedule an induction until I was at least 39 weeks pregnant…which fell on that coming Saturday. Erin was heading out of town that same weekend…so basically, I needed to go into labor naturally by Friday or get induced the next week with a different doctor. We set the induction date for the next Wednesday and I went home just praying that labor would start on it’s own. That same night Cru was sick with the flu and Sam and I were both up late with him…cold rag on his forehead and puke bowl by our side. I finally got him to fall asleep on me and as I started carrying him up the stairs to bed my water broke (or so I thought!). I excitedly shouted out to Sam and we quickly threw together a bag and called my mom to come over and watch the kids while we headed to the hospital. ( I was told that morning that if my water broke, to head straight to the hospital since I was already so dilated and considering my history of quick labors). I wasn’t feeling any contractions or pain yet when we arrived, so we were both pretty calm getting checked in. Mentally, I was expecting to have a baby that night. But they ran all the tests and apparently it wasn’t my water that broke. To this day, I have no idea what fluid came out of me….they said possibly extra amniotic fluid or maybe I just majorly peed my pants (and the floor? sorry TMI). I would have sworn on my life that it was my water that broke that night but they sent me home confused, a little embarrassed and super discouraged. They said that when they were monitoring me, I was having contractions every 10 minutes, but I honestly wasn’t feeling them at all. They assured me I’d likely be back tomorrow to have the baby if the contractions continued, but to just go home and get some rest. So after a few tears and some encouragement from my husband….we got back in the car and drove home.
Thursday and Friday came and went with nothing new to report. I resorted to the fact that I would just have to wait until Wednesday to get induced and I wouldn’t get to have Erin deliver my last baby (she had delivered both of my other two so I was disappointed about that). But I woke up on Saturday morning feeling some pain that I thought could possibly be the start of labor. But after only like 4 contractions they fizzled out. Sam’s sister was in town with her family that day so we decided to meet up with them at the beach. We spent the morning there and then went home to put Cru down for his nap in the afternoon. I felt unusually tired too so I decided to lay down to rest and ended up taking a 2 hour nap! (which if you know me, you know I don’t EVER nap!) When I woke up I felt the same small contractions that I felt that morning and just hoped that they would stick this time. After 4-5 more contractions I hesitantly told Sam that labor might really be starting now. With no past experience of going into labor naturally, I didn’t really know what it felt like or what to expect, but I thought this might be it. Sam was about to head out with the kids to meet up with his sister and I told him to just wait to see if these contractions continued or not. After a couple more I decided he definitely shouldn’t leave and we called my mom to tell her what was going on. Sam and I and the kids hoped in the car and headed back to the hospital and my mom was on her way there to pick up the kids after we checked in. The whole drive to the hospital I was second guessing my decision to go so early because I really didn’t want to arrive there only to get sent home again. The hospital is only 10 minutes from our house and just as we were arriving I had one really strong contraction that wiped away any fear I had that I wasn’t in (or going into) labor. Sam dropped me off at the font and I walked in to get checked in (again) while Sam parked the car. It was 4:28pm.
A sweet nurse led me to my room and told me to change into my gown in the bathroom. Meanwhile, Sam and the kids met us in there. When I went to the bathroom I noticed I had quite a bit of blood coming out of me. I told the nurse and she told me not to worry and that she just needed to ask me a few questions and get me all checked in. But before she could finish, I had another super strong contraction that left me gripping onto the bedrail for dear life. I looked at Sam and told him to take the kids outside and meet my mom out there because I didn’t want them to see me in pain. (I could tell my little Rylee was so scared for me). As they walked out the door the nurse quickly checked me to see how far I was dilated. By the look on her face, I knew I was already 10cm. She raced across the room and quickly called in any nurses around that could help her. As she was calling for a doctor to rush in to deliver, my water broke (the real deal) and I felt Quincy’s head come down in one wildly painful contraction. The nurse (who thankfully was also a midwife!) told me to take a deep breath and with my next contraction to push. That I did and out she came. No doctor, no meds, no IV, not even wristband with my name on it! haha. Quincy was born at 4:39pm, a whole 11 minutes after we arrived! And poor Sam missed the whole thing as he was outside waiting for my mom! My little Quincy, screaming and purple, was put on my chest and that same feeling of pride and overwhelming love that I felt with my other babies, overcame me once again. 7.9 pounds of perfect. I sat there just staring at her, soaking her in, just she and I and that sweet nurse, who also had tears in her eyes. I held her there for about 10 minutes before the nurse asked if I wanted to call my husband! I smiled and said yes, and she handed me my phone. I called Sam and told him I was holding our baby girl. Of course he raced in, so confused, feeling awful that he missed it. But she was healthy, and I was healthy, so all we could do was smile and thank God for this incredible blessing and my crazy fast delivery. If I would have waited any longer, we would have definitely had one of those car birth stories you sometimes hear about. (which honestly was my worst nightmare!) But we made it, she made it. Quincy has made our family complete and are eternally thankful for her.