Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Evelyn's birth story.

It's been a hot minute since I blogged on here. I'm not even sure I knew I was pregnant again the last time I blogged. But I was. And we found out it was a girl. And her name, her lovely, beautiful name is Evelyn Rose Sillivan.

She is now 6 months old and my God, I love her. To say that she adds something to our little family is an understatement. She's literally perfection. Her daddy and I are smitten with her. And like Ty, we fall more and more in love with her every single day. My life has gotten busier. Loads busier. I barely have a moment to myself and I spend my days tending to two perfect little babies that I get the honor and blessing to call mine. I wish I had more time to blog about them. To tell everyone about every little milestone they hit, but I can't pull myself away from them long enough to sit at the computer and transfer my thoughts to text. When a baby wants to be cuddled before naptime and a toddler wants you to read to him, you do those things in lieu of blogging.

But this post isn't necessarily about my obsession with both my children. It's about the day that I met Evelyn for the first time. The day that, once again, my life was twisted and warped into a new reality with another sweet baby.

My pregnancy and labor with Evelyn was completely different than it was with Ty. From about 25 weeks on, I was consumed with immense exhaustion. With Ty, I suffered intense heartburn and nausea but had high energy levels up until the moment I delivered him. With Evelyn, this was not the case. My nausea disappeared after the first trimester and unless I completely engorged myself on spaghetti or something else highly acidic, I rarely had any reflux. But the exhaustion was prominent. I feel as though the pregnancy flew by and dragged at the same time. And perhaps it was the effect of chasing after a toddler that was just beginning to walk, but I could never feel as though I was rested. I'd literally melt into my bed every single night and pray that the next day Ty would let me take a 4 hour nap with him.

At about 37 weeks, I woke up in the middle of the night with an extreme tightening of my abdomen. I first chalked it up to Braxton Hicks contractions (which I experienced frequently with both of my babies) but a few minutes after it subsided and I had fallen back asleep, I experienced another one. And then another one. They were painful and uncomfortable and I quickly came to the realization that I could quite possibly be in labor. I took out my phone and began timing them. Sure enough, every 7-8 minutes, they were arriving, hard and strong.

I'd be lying if I said that I was really recognizing the pain. I was more excited and nervous to really focus on the uncomfortableness. But I woke Brandon up after making the decision that we at least needed to head to the hospital to see what was up. He was the ultimate cliche daddy-to-be... running all over he house, running into furniture, and stumbling as he tried to grab things to keep Ty entertained while we were at the hospital and stuffing them into our hospital bag. I gently woke up Ty, who was not thrilled to be awoken at 4 a.m. and we headed to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital, checked in, and I was 6 cm dilated! We called both Brandon's parents as well as mine and both headed our way. My mom arrived like a Fairy Godmother almost immediately to help keep Ty happy and busy (since pulling wires out of various, important hospital machines seemed to be a favorite game of his) and Brandon's family began the drive down from Arkansas. I was certain it was 'baby time!' but after being hooked up on the monitors, I received the news that my contractions weren't close enough just yet to be admitted. We stayed there until noon hooked up to the monitors. My contractions were indeed regular and intense but there was no forward progress. So they sent me home with some pain pills "to help take the edge off" and told me to get some rest. And thus began my 7 days of labor.

Painful contractions 7-9 minutes apart for that amount of time can do a number on ya. There was not much sleeping, a lot of breathing, a lot of trying to relax, and lots of walking. I pretty much forced Brandon's mom and dad to walk with me everywhere in Baton Rouge. Sometimes I would lay down but when you're body is working and twisting and contracting that hard, it was the worst sort of torture. I did my best not to complain about it. Or even show how horribly uncomfortable it was since there was not much that any one could do and everyone was doing their best to make me as comfortable as possible already. But there was more than a few times where I'd go to the bathroom privately just to let a few tears out in frustration and pain. It felt good to move my hips, though, so I'd spend hours a day walking. And walking. And walking.

At one point, Brandon and I were driving and a contraction hit and I just broke down. I cried that I couldn't do it anymore. That I didn't want to be strong anymore. That I wanted this baby the heck outta me. That I was sure I was going to die by contractions. He held my hand and told me that I could do it. That he wished he could take the pain away. And that he loved me. I told him we were adopting our next child.

Exactly one week from the day we initially went to the hospital, I woke up again with contractions. The previous night, I had been woken from my sleep by intense pain, but to be fair, it wasn't anything new so I completely tried to ignore them. I got out of bed, and jumped in the shower, something that seemed to help when the pain was too much. But in the shower, I realized that it wasn't helping. The contractions were actually taking the breath out of my lungs and my whole body was being affected. After 3 or 4 of these I called to Brandon from the shower to ask him to time them for me. In his still half-asleep daze, he did and we quickly realized that they were coming 4-5 minutes apart. And hard. I was having to grab something to hold onto to keep myself upright. Again, we loaded up and called our parents. Brandon's parents had actually left early that morning to head back to Arkansas and were just getting through Shreveport when we called. They decided to drop off the motorhome before turning back around.

When we checked into the hospital this time I was exhausted. Mentally and physically. I could barely wrap my head around any thought of meeting Evelyn. It seemed as though I was never really going to deliver her. But, sure enough, once I was hooked up to the monitors and checked for dilation, we had progress and I was admitted for delivery!

Initially, I wanted to deliver Evelyn the same way I delivered Ty with no pain medication. But, after a few intense contractions, I quickly realized that I just wasn't as mentally strong this time around. Birthing without medication is just as much a mental battle as it is a physical one and I just couldn't get the mindset I needed to climb the mountain that each labor contraction presented. So after getting some reassurance from my mom, I told the nurses that I wanted to get an epidural.

No one ever tells you that actually getting the epidural might be worse than just enduring the rest of labor. After going over the risks of, ya know, being paralyzed or even dying, the anesthesiologist came in and essentially said to me, "Here, now bend your hugely pregnant body waaaay over, touch your nose to your knees and hold completely still through 5 horrible contractions while I shoot a 6 inch needle up your back". My nurse bravely let me squeeze her hands until I'm sure she thought her fingers were going to fall off. But, let me tell you, it was worth it. After the anesthesiologist left I could feel the contractions but I wasn't consumed by the pain. And for the first time in a week, I could actually rest! I became calm and my body felt rejuvenated. I finally wrapped my head around the fact that before this day was over, I was going to meet my daughter! And I spent the next few hours laughing and joking with the family members that trickled in and out of our room.

Around 7 p.m. my angel of a nurse came in to check me for dilation and progression. I was 10 cm dilated and fully effaced! She suggested we give a few practice pushes just to see and sure enough, Evelyn started moving downward through the birth canal with no problem! My midwife came in, and we started pushing. I could see her head full of hair in the mirror! Just as she started crowning, my midwife told me to reach down and grab her. I did and, in the strangest combination of burning fire and rushing warmth, I held my perfect Evelyn Rose in my arms.

From the moment I first laid eyes on her, I began to cry. Tears of pure joy. My heart seemed to climb up into my throat and I felt like I couldn't swallow. She was pink and chubby and my God, she was beautiful. This was her! The little baby I had felt grow and move in my belly for the past 9 months! Who I had labored so long for. She was finally here and she was worth every second of the pain. I'd do it all over again. A million more times if I had to. I knew instantly that I loved her so deeply and unconditionally and I didn't want to let her go. In fact, I don't think I did for the first 2 hours. The nurse had to pry her from my fingers to get her vitals and we discovered that her body temperature was a little low. So under the heat lamp she went as our family came in and met Miss Evelyn for the first time. GranNan and Grandma introduced Ty to his new little sister and Brandon never stepped more than an arms length away from her.

That first night she slept soundly only waking when I had to feed her. She cried minimally and was surprisingly alert for being less than 24 hours old. I don't remember much over the next two days aside from my complete amazement at her beauty, the way she smelled, and the way Brandon looked at her when he held her. Maybe it was the fact that he was more "seasoned" in fatherhood by the time Evelyn came around, or maybe it was because this was his little girl and he instantly was wrapped around her little fingers, but that man picked her up and burped her and changed her diapers like a pro. The second Evelyn whimpered he was there, at her beckon call, whispering little sweet words to her that I could barely hear.

I woke up on the day we were being discharged from the hospital with the sudden realization that I had two children. Two beautiful, sweet, perfect babies. I remember looking at Brandon, holding our daughter, while he gently explained to Ty that this was his new sister and that she would be coming home with us and they would one day be best friends. I remember crying a little, feeling immensely blessed and saying a silent prayer to our Father for allowing me to be so lucky. 

We went home, our family of four. And it's been tiring, loud, and pure bliss ever since.

Evelyn Rose Sillivan
Born May 21, 2014
at 9:21 p.m.
weighing 6 lbs & 13 oz. 
and being 20.5" long. 

Friday, September 6, 2013


How fun has this month been? This past month has by far been my most favorite month to date! (I also said this every month before this one...) But I have truly been beside myself with excitement with all of Ty's new developments and his budding personality!

Ty is turning out to be quite the little ham... constantly squealing and babbling and making his daddy and I roll with laughter. In fact, I don't think I've ever laughed as often and as hard as I have within this past month! 

Ty is becoming quite the busy-body and spending the days coming up with new ways to capture his attention has become quite a fun challenge. He is becoming a master climber and has begun pulling up on anything and everything he can get his hands on, whether that be the sofa, a toy, or another baby. He's become closer and closer to crawling and I'm finding myself constantly removing items I hadn't previously thought of as unsafe from our home. Ty is quickly showing us that we still have a lot of baby-proofing to do.  

It also seems that our little stud has discovered his voice and he spends many hours a day just screaming at the top of his lungs. This is not to be confused with crying... this is actual screaming (imagine you're on a rollercoaster with a 12 year old girl). His screams are shrill and loud and even after my ears are ringing, I still can't help but laugh at every one. 

If I thought taking his monthly pictures were hard before... I was wrong. I could not get the kid to sit still, as you will see below. These pictures were actually taken the day after he turned 8 months, on August 21st, but I just haven't had the opportunity to upload them and complete this post. 

Age: 8 months old! 
Weight: 18 pounds 7 ounces
Height: ***
Eating: Ty is still breastfeeding and we're now at 3 feedings of baby food a day! Our typical day, as far as food is concerned, is a breakfast of rice cereal or oatmeal mixed with fruit for breakfast. Pureed veggies for lunch. And a high protein baby food for dinner (think sweet potatoes and turkey or chicken, veggies, and rice.) He's also doing small finger foods of fruits, veggies, and even bread every now and then. It's amazing how far he's come in the past 3 months! We're still breastfeeding 4-5 times a day... mainly before naptimes and at night. Other than that, he drinks water out of a bottle. 

Tyson likes: Pulling up on anything and everything, swinging, taking baths, balls, trying new foods, chewing on drink straws, being outside, cuddling, watching Lola, his wubbanub, being in water... any water.  

Tyson dislikes: His carseat, long rides, not being able to stand up, having his dad or I walk out of his sight (even if just for a moment). 

Best moment of the month: I love watching Ty begin to crawl and blossom into the rambunctious little ham that he is. His laughs and huge grins make my heart so full.  

Milestones: Ty has begun to "crawl", eat solid finger foods, and pull up on his own! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Dearest,

My Dearest Tyson Lee, 

Before you were born I used to write you letters dreaming of the day we would meet and you would be ours. You'll have to forgive me for the lack of them since you've arrived because every time I sit down to start one, you'll call for my attention and frankly, spending time with you always wins over writing you a love-note. 

But today you are 8 months old and napping so peacefully next to me and I can't help but get a knot in my throat thinking about how quickly the time is flying by. I'd give anything just to make the days go by slower and to keep you little like this just a while longer. 

I hope you know that you are just so very, very precious to me. Your laughter and smile brings so much joy to my heart and brightens even the gloomiest of days. Lately you have been very busy, but recently you learned how to kiss and your 'sugars' are the best, complete with buckets of slobber. You offer them to your daddy and I freely and will occasionally wrap your little arms around our necks or squeeze our cheeks to get in a really good smooch. I hope and pray that you will always love to kiss your Momma. 

You are growing every day and I can't believe how big you've gotten in just 8 short months. My once preemie baby boy is now so strong and fearless and looking to get into everything. Even when you aren't feeling 100%, you'll still be flashing that million dollar smile that completely consumes your face and my heart feels as though it might burst with all of the love and adoration I have for you. 

Everyone that meets you can't help but tell us how good you are, or how happy you are, or how beautiful you are and, naturally, I agree with them. You make your Daddy and I very proud to call you ours. 

You look more and more like your daddy every day. Every time your daddy is holding you or letting you climb all over him, I can't help but voice the fact that you are becoming the spitting image of the amazing man playing with you or holding you so sweetly in his arms. He loves you so very, very much and I knew I loved your Father before I even married him, but seeing him in the role as your Daddy makes me fall in love with him all over every, single day. 

Each new day with you brings something to remember and I'm so thankful for your happy spirit. 

My heart is so full with your constant hilarities. You complete me in a way I never thought possible and every night before I fall asleep I make a point to thank God for you. I simply adore and love you to pieces, precious little boy of mine. 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Birthday party fun!

Yesterday, Ty got to attend his second birthday! Brandon's former business partner's daughter and nephew, Addison and Gage, turned 2! The party was Mickey Mouse themed and so much fun! I was a little worried that most of the stuff they had for the kids wouldn't be age appropriate for Ty but, aside from the bouncy jungle-gym thingy, he was able to participate in pretty much all of it. However, we spent most of the time in the ball pit. Ty was in ball heaven!

At first, Ty wasn't quite sure what to make of it and spent quite a bit watching the big kids (if you can even call 2 year olds "big kids").

But after a little encouragement from Daddy, he began to warm up to the ball pit!

We were also so very excited that we finally got to meet Cadence! Cadence lives in Arkansas but his mommy and I have bonded over the fact that Cadence and Ty were born exactly a month apart and both a teensy bit premature. They also both have the same easy-going, playful attitudes! Poor Cadence was recovering from a ear infection, though, and so he wasn't his normal self but he was still a trooper with all of the pictures his mommy and I took of the two boys playing together. 

And naturally, Ty was being a little ham. 

After the two birthday babes opened their presents and blew out their candles...

...Ty and Cadence went inside to play and have a little "downtime" from the rambunctiousness of the big kids. 
Ty absolutely loved playing with Cadence! Whatever toy Cadence picked up, Ty was instantly interested in and he kept leaning in and giving Cadence "kisses and hugs". 

That is, until Ty decided he was done with Cadence and tried to pull up on him and tackling poor Cadence to the ground...

And, lastly, how can you not end a Mickey Mouse themed party without putting on a pair of the ears??

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I've never met an August rainstorm I didn't like.

The title of this post is so true. 

I mean, can I get an amen

Usually, August here in Louisiana brings 100+ degree weather which means that unless Ty and I can sneak our outdoor time in before 8 a.m. (which most mornings, we do) then we get to spend 95% of the day indoors. Sweat, heat, and mosquitos are just not on the agenda, knowwhatImean?

But this past Sunday, it had rained most of the afternoon and was quite overcast for most of the day and around 5 p.m. we stepped outside to let little Miss Lola out to potty and it was a crisp low-80's degrees. 

To say that I sprinted to the closet to put on my tennis shoes is an understatement. From the moment of the heat index discovery to the moment of our arrival at the Goodwood City Park was probably a total of 5 minutes. I was ready to enjoy and bask in the cold-for-August-in-Louisiana summer air. 

Since the playground was littered with children when we first arrived, I decided to whip out the stroller and get in a little cardio. After, walking briskly for, like, 20 miles 3 miles, we finally headed over to the swingsets. 

I'm not going to lie here and this is going to sound pretty cheesy, but when I was pregnant, I used to drive by that Park and imagine pushing my little baby on those swings. It was surreal to actually walk up to them holding my little Tyson Lee and put him in them and his reaction to them was even better than I could have ever imagined. 

We had so much fun. 

With the weather being slightly cooler I got a small little case of butterflies because it made me so excited for Autumn and colder weather all that fun stuff like scarves and tall riding boots and big red wool coats and pecan pie and halloween and warm cider and the colorful leaves and etc etc etc. I'm getting a little ahead of myself for sure here, and I do this every year, but can you really blame me? How is Autumn not everyone's favorite season?

Back to our swinging... 

Toward the end, Ty got tired and began chewing on the swing. 

Lately he's been chewing on everything and being extra clingy... not particularly fussy, just won't let me out of his sight. So much so that I had to create a play-space in the kitchen so he could watch me cook and do the dishes. 

Little did I know it was because little Mr. Tyson Lee was cutting his first tooth! 

Yep, my favorite little guy has his first tooth! It's bittersweet because I sure am going to miss that little gummy grin.