isla: weeks nine, ten, and eleven

at her two month checkup she had to get three shots. her pink camo bandaids and smile were adorable. the tears during and after the shots were heartbreaking.

on the way home from the pediatrician we stopped by the houchard house to meet baby rory and say hello to momma maura and big sis olivia. this will be the first of many photos of these two cuties taken together.

we were warned that the shots make some babies sleep more and some babies sleep less. we were grateful for the former.

another one of those adorable hand-me-downs.

the onesie says it all.

grandma jan came to meet isla

another hand-me-down that momma fell in love with

family photo shoot
isla spit her pacifier out as bobby snapped these and made me crack up uncontrollably. i love baby facial expressions in pictures. they.just.don't.care.

before taking down her wall decals he posed for a commemorative photo. this was her first room... tear.

***** we moved *****
and didn't have internet for over a week!
that's why this post is late and includes three weeks.

our first meal out for bbq in downtown anna, texas.
we are officially small town. and we kinda like it!

hanging out with my girl in our new living room.

one of those nights i didn't know where the tears were coming from and had tried everything. layed down with her in our bed and she fell asleep. the number of tears and the amount of time it took to get here i would have been insane to attempt to take that bib off. so she sleep for two hours with it on.

hopefully i will be back to normal posting next week.


isla: week eight

a little late posting this week. the days were full, and every time i had a free moment i meant to type it up but never got to it. last night it was all i could do to get in a quick shower, lay down on the couch, and fall asleep in the middle of the show i had been trying to watch all day. 

man, life changes.

one day last week i put water on to boil to make dinner for myself. then, isla woke unexpectedly from her nap and was a little fussy. i thought a car ride and a quick walk at the lake would calm her down. and i was right! she was delighted to get into the car and was a joy to stroll with... until i remembered that pot of water on the stove at home. quickly, we turned around and power walked (no running with this girl yet) back to car. burn baby, burn! i've always said it harder to power walk than run. luckily we made it home safely, and found the water boiling furiously, but with no real damage done. however, it certainly is frustrating to be forgetful.

we closed on our house here in dallas. now we are renters until we close on our new house in melissa on wednesday. it felt really good to get rid of this place. it was a great home for five years. it was cozy and beautiful. it was the place we brought our baby home to. it will always have a special place in my heart. but, we're "moving on up!!!" 

patiently waiting for daddy to get his hair cut

family portrait in the backyard... we are glad isla decided to cooperate

stuntin' like her daddy

true story

hanging with her great-grandpa, papa.

visits with gia

all is right with the world when she smiles


the story of isla's birth

heading to my 40 week appointment at the dallas birth and women's center i was excited to have my cervix checked in hopes i would be further dilated than i was the week before. when the midwife said "two centimeters" tears began to fill my eyes. three days prior i heard "one centimeter." how was this possible? at that rate isla wouldn't be born for another month.

i was devastated. i wanted my baby.
i was disappointed. i wanted my body to be on schedule.
i was scared. i wanted my placenta to continue to thrive and give her everything she needed.

nowhere near delivery at 40 weeks those things were not happening.

seeing how upset i was the midwife suggested a balloon catheter to help dilate my cervix. this option was preferable to the "wait, and see" option. an hour later i was uncomfortably strolling around central market in search of lunch. after a last meal of soup, salad, and a slice of red velvet cake we came home for a bit and then headed back to the birth center so that they could monitor her. she got the "all clear" and we saw that i had started to have some light contractions, even though i didn't feel them much. we were told to go home again and rest. i did as i was told, but about five minutes after laying down i felt a pop and quite a bit of liquid gush out. we were warned that the balloon catheter could burst so i wasn't sure if it was that or my water breaking. hearing me yell for him bobby came in and helped me to the bathtub to clean up, all the while liquid flowed down my legs. he called the birth center and we were told to come in. if you are counting this was our third trip there that day. after stuffing a towel in my underwear to absorb the liquid i had to wear his basketball shorts out of the house. this was paired with a maternity shirt and my tennis shoes because we figured we would be walking around the park near the birth center during labor. i am sure i was quite the sight.

at the birth center the midwife confirmed that it was my water that broke and i was dilated to four centimeters. we were thrilled! at this point it was about 5:30 in the evening and the birth center was done with appointments for the day. the midwife would be the only person there and she told us she planned to stay at the birth center instead of driving home because she had a bit of a drive and she thought isla would be born sometime that night. given the choice to go home and labor or remain there we chose to stay. the birthing room was large and comfortable and i felt at ease there. after getting settled in the midwife suggested a walk in the park just outside for thirty minutes then after returning to the birth center she wanted us to try nipple stimulation. both activities have been found to induce labor. we tried both and after being checked again the midwife thought i wasn't progressing enough and suggested cytotec to induce labor and i was given a half pill. pretty soon i felt my contractions getting stronger.

after i changed from my ridiculous outfit into my nightgown specifically bought for the occasion. 
still all smiles before the really hard part began.

i remember eating a few graham crackers around this time because i was told i needed to eat not because i felt hungry. at this point it must have been 8 or 9 o'clock in the evening. it had been awhile since i had lunch earlier but my adrenaline was pumping and i forgot all about food. i also remember drinking a bottle of water around this time.

this is the room where i birthed. the slightly open door is for the bathroom. 
and the armiour i talk about later is on the right. 

sitting in the birthing ball rocking back and forth. still before the hard part began. 
notice the slight smile and hair down.

as the contractions got stronger and closer together i moved from the bed, to squatting while hanging onto the bedpost, to the toilet, and the tub. by far, the most painful contractions were endured while laying on my back in the bed. they hurt much more than any of the others. it was almost unbearable. the toilet seemed like a good idea to me but i was so exhausted when i was there that i fell asleep in between contractions and i didn't feel like like i had much power in that position. the tub was relaxing and maybe i needed that at that point in the process but i feel like it slowed my progress way down. the squatting position was the position i was in the most amount of time. it was the position that was the most work for both of us, as bobby supported me as i squatted. it was the position that moved our girl down to the point i could push her out. because of her size the midwife wanted me to birth on the bed. so i labored until i was ten centimeters dilated and she was down far enough in the birth canal.

this was the most tiring work i have ever done and in the moment i felt it would never end. i've seen women birthing in the movies, i've watched birthing videos, i've taken the birthing class, i've heard the stories from mothers i know. but, you just can't really know until you do it yourself. you think you've thanked your own mother enough for all she's done for you... and then you give birth yourself and you want to thank her a million times more.

i was encouraged and told how great of a job i was doing. i had every ounce of support i needed. and i still honestly thought i would be giving birth forever. i didn't see the end coming. honestly, i got to the point of wanting to be carried to the hospital three blocks down. i got to the point of wanting to not have to do any more work and wanting someone to reach in a take my baby out. i got to this point. i didn't know that would happen. i felt weak. but, i kept this to myself and continued laboring.

this is the look of pure exhaustion, y'all. as i told a friend last night, i looked like i had been to war.

i could not have done it without him. well, maybe i could... but, i don't want to. i relied on his strength and presence more than he knows.

I am amazed at what i accomplished. i am amazed at the strength that is inside me. i am amazed at the strength that is inside all mothers.

i am amazed.

the end was in sight. this was right before i began to push. bobby's eyes say it all.

i don't remember the order i moved through these positions, how long i was in each one, or what time any of this happened. i just know i did it until she was born at 4:47 a.m. the pushing part came at the very end, obviously, and only seemed to last minutes. overall, that was the easy part. the hard part was getting to the pushing part. and again, you can't understand this until you go through it yourself. when the midwife told me to push bobby held one leg, i pulled both legs toward me, the midwife was doing something down there, and the birth assistant was too. it is all a bit fuzzy at this point. eager to get isla out i pushed at a time that the midwife wasn't supporting me and i tore. not sure how much because it all just hurt. luckily she didn't share this fact with me until after the birth. smart woman.

i do remember her head being the hardest part to push out. thinking it took 3 or 4 pushes at least. i would push and push and then have to stop, take some breaths, and relax as much as a woman in labor can relax. at the same time not wanting to lose any of the progress i had made, i tried to keep her where she was while i took a break. this was a delicate balance and i remember feeling her head move back inside and trying with all my might not to let that happen. once her head was out the rest of her body felt like nothing coming out. at that moment bobby jumped off the bed, ran around to the midwife and caught isla. he said she was very "slippery." he put her on my chest. and i was in love.

instantly all of the aches, pains, hurts, and exhaustion floated away. i looked at my baby and began talking to her. i don't remember what i said, but, i do remember that i didn't cry which surprises me. i am pretty sure i just smiled continuously at her. it was a moment i will never forget.

what an amazing thing we can do. we can make life. i am constantly in awe of this.

what a crazy abrupt change she just endured

after awhile the birth assistant took her over to "warm her up" in a little armoir with lots of lights and things i didn't really get to see. bobby went back and forth between mom and baby, checking on both his girls. i wanted him to stand by isla and report back to me every movement she made. it was at this point the midwife informed me that my placenta seemed to be stuck.

say what?! i thought the placenta coming out was something i wasn't even supposed to notice or feel. and mine was stuck???

there was pulling, waiting, pulling, waiting, and finally a bit of pitocin in attempts to free my placenta. nothing worked. after what seemed like forever she had to "go in" and take it out.

ouch. ouch. ouch. ouch  ouch!

finally i was done. right?

nope. this is when i was told of the tearing and needed stitches. i was numbed and those were done. again isla was born at 4:47 and i think it was 7:00 or 8:00 before all of the afterward stuff was complete. i. was. spent.

bobby ordered cafe brazil breakfast, picked it up, and brought it back. i remember not really wanting to eat. but i needed to, so i did.

a postpartum care lady took over as the exhausted midwife left for home. soon after the birth assistant left after telling me what a wonderful job i did, how beautiful isla was, giving me a hug, and reminding us of the home visit she would do within the next two days. the postpartum lady (i am forgetting the technical name) helped me sit up, stand up roll off the bed, use the toilet, get back in bed, and drink juice and water. i lost count of how many times i did this. she also helped me take a shower. god bless her.

she tried to help with breastfeeding positions, gave us lots of tips, and left us alone to nap a bit.

everyone arriving for a day of work at the birth center stopped by to congratulate us and admire peacefully sleeping isla. and by 11:00 a.m. we were on our way back home to our new life.

it was a day for the books.

our first family portrait

isla: week seven

last week was a bit uneventful. isla and i stayed home a lot. bobby went to work a lot. 

we did get out almost everyday to visit my mom. our new home in melissa is about 40 miles away and it will take much more time to get down to dallas for visits. so, we are taking advantage while we can.

lord knows that once friends start having kids you see less and less of them. it's inevitable. so getting together with chelsey and addy at starbucks one afternoon last week was nice. sure isla slept the entire time. but, it was wonderful to get out of the house and visit with my girlfriend and her adorable toddler.

i am going to miss my dallas friends.

excuse the horrible picture quality. i took this in the dark. 
we always swaddle her before she goes down for a nap. bobby swaddled her for this particular nap. when she started to wake i checked the monitor and saw this. her arms were completely out of the swaddle. i even checked with bobby to see if he put her down like this. he confirmed he hadn't. we like to call her "houdini" for her escape artist techniques.

for those that don't know, here is a picture of what she looked like before she escaped.

as mama went out for a run one morning, daddy and isla stayed behind for some playtime. 

daddy texted that he missed his girls. so mama sent him this picture. 

murphy's law for mommyhood: if they fall asleep in your arms, 
when you put them down in their crib they will wake up.

fresh out of the shower shot with my favorite girl

the size on this onesie was 6-9 months.
yeah right.

yes, this occurs daily 'round these parts.
this is real life man.

bobby managed to get this quick shot of isla tugging the life out of that poor monkey.

his desk at work. i think he's in love.


isla: week six

the sixth week of her life was a busy one. showings, house offers, and inspections filled our days. we are looking forward to the closing of our current house on the 26th and our new house on july 9th. luckily the timing of everything worked out and our buyer agreed to a 30-day lease back so we have a place to live after we close here in dallas. 

our six week visit at the birth center went well. mama has healed wonderfully and was approved to resume working out! i began a couch-to-5k program on sunday and have really been enjoying it. it feels so nice to be active again.

bobby's first father's day was on sunday. he received his first gift and card signed by his girls. isla got dressed up for the day. our little family ventured out to central market to pick up lunch and an entire key lime pie (which we polished off today). after a relaxing afternoon we went to papa's house for burgers with the family.

the week was busy, but so much fun!

this onesie has since been retired

love when she sleeps on my shoulder... even though my arm falls asleep.

bestie captured my angel baby perfectly
photo credit: molly mandell

smiling because the babe was asleep and this mama was in the chick-fil-a drive-thru. all was right with the world.

katelin came to our house to cut my hair and snapped this shot of isla laying on bobby's lap
photo credit: katelin auden

checking out the master bathroom in our hopefully new house.

my little buddha baby

told you i loved this

after a long two days of baby showers, family dinners, and car rides this girl was ready for her pajamas and bed