Breastfeeding, Take 2

I realize the topic of breastfeeding doesn't apply to everyone, so I thought I'd put this post on its own page. If you're interested in our breastfeeding experience this go 'round, including our feeding schedule, favorite accessories, etc. check out today's post here.

See y'all tomorrow!


Recent Beauty Product Finds: Hits and Misses

I make no bones about my love for makeup, skincare and hair products. I could never, ever work at a place like Sephora or Ulta because I'd probably end up spending my entire paycheck within the store. Although I'm pretty brand loyal on a few staples, (cough, cough...my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation), I never shy away from trying something new. The way I see it, life is entirely too short to stick to clear nail polish and beige lip gloss.

Now. My experience with these could be completely different than yours, so don't let me deter you from buying (or liking) whatever your heart desires.

For what it's worth -- and I realize it's not worth much -- here are a few of the things I've tried this month and my honest thoughts.

The product: Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer - I like it!

What it does: This stuff is both a heat protectant and also a blow dry primer. This means that it is supposed to make your hair nice and smooth while also shaving minutes off your drying time.

Thoughts: The first time I used it, I couldn't tell a tremendous difference in the amount of time it took to dry my hair. The second and third times though, I made sure to start with a completely wet head and was super impressed. It cut about ten minutes off my drying time!

The product: Tarte Lights. Camera. Lashes. Mascara // Best in Faux - Not for me.

What it does: A two-step fiberlash mascara, Tarte's formula is supposed to give you the look of fake lashes.

Thoughts: I really liked the initial look that it gave my lashes, but the fibers were constantly falling into my eyes all day. For anyone that wears contact lenses, this is the nail in the coffin for a mascara. I wanted so darn badly to give this one a thumbs up, but I just couldn't. For everyday use, I'll take my Lancome Hypnose Mascara.

The product: Redken Pillow Proof Two Day Extender Dry Shampoo - Not a fan.

What it does: This stuff works as a dry shampoo to buy you a couple extra days between washes.

Thoughts: Really not a fan. Of all the products I tried, this was my least favorite. Maybe (probably) it was just my specific hair texture, but it gave my hair a weird texture and honestly made it feel more dirty. I ended up shampooing it out that night. What I DO like? My Bumble and Bumble Prêt–à–Powder Dry Shampoo/Volumizer. It's light, airy and smells terrific. And, best of all, it actually does make second or third-day-hair feel clean.

The product: Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Hollywoodland (a pale gold) - Get it today!

What it does: This pencil is actually a stick eyeshadow, but I used it as an eye brightener and fell in love! A little more pricey than what I'd typically spend on shadow, (because I'm cheap...err, frugal), but well worth it.

Thoughts: Do not pass go, do not collect $100...get this little miracle stick now. I applied just a tad right into the inside corner of my eyes and it really did give me a more rested look. I noticed that my eyes looked brighter throughout the day and the formula seemed to be long-lasting.


So, there you have it. My recent product purchases, both the good and the less than stellar.

I'm curious to know...what was your last beauty product purchase and what did you think? Give your two cents below!


Fade to Grey: {Outfit Pics}

I had the chance over the weekend to get out and snap a few pics of outfits that are in my current rotation - and it was glooooooorious (!!) Three cheers for non-maternity clothing!

Granted, I'm spending the majority of my days in yoga pants and long sleeved tees lately, but a few days a week, I love to get a little more dressed up. Just makes a girl feel good, ya know?

Casual Class Braided Sweater in beige c/o Riffraff // the BEST Faux Leather Leggings (ON SALE NOW!) // earrings c/o Rocksbox (use code LESLIEBFF11 to get a one month subscription free!) (similar here for purchase) // bracelet is old (nearly identical style here) // Seychelles Wedge Bootie c/o Maude Boutique (now on sale!)

This super cozy sweater/legging combo is the perfect marriage of polish and comfort. It's fun dressed up with some glam earrings and a big 'ol chunky bracelet, or just as stylish paired with a plush, warm infinity scarf.

Classic Crochet Knit Infinity Scarf in black c/o Riffraff

Also, I think Starbucks cups have taken the place of cute purses in outfit pics for me lately. Caffeine is my very favorite accessory nowadays ; )

Cheers to a quiet return to outfit blogging-- xoxo


Confessional Friday: {Link Up}

Hey, girls! I don't have any confessions myself today, but wanted to put the link tool up for you to share yours : ) We had a pretty rough night with the baby and neither one of us ever went to bed. Everytime Ainsley would scream, she'd wake Caroline. We'd get Caroline settled back down and Ainsley would resume screaming again. Before we knew it, the sun was coming up and, well, here we are. (What day is it again?)

Our mantra as of late is, "If we can just survive the first year..."

Here's hoping.


    An InLinkz Link-up


Closet Staples: {The Perfect White Shirt}

I'm excited to introduce you all to a new series I'm doing for the next couple months called, you guessed it, Closet Staples! (Golf claps all around.)

I came to the stunning realization last night that I own five sequin blazers and only ONE pair of non-maternity jeans. Now I love sparkle as much as the next gal, but that ratio seems a bit skewed. So I decided that enough is enough. I'm going to rebuild my wardrobe starting with staple pieces.

I'm in the process of doing an inventory of my own closet and figuring out what I need now that I can get back to my non-maternity wear, (err, soon. As soon as I stop eating those darn enchiladas.) Over the next few weeks, I'll be compiling my own list of "must-haves" for building a grab 'n go wardrobe.

photo via Pinterest by way of Minna Somero
Today, we're talking about the perfect white oxford. Ideally, my perfect oxford shirt would be long enough to hide the top part of my bum, feature a cuffed sleeve and have a stiff collar that could easily be popped up slightly when the mood strikes.

Silk Cotton Shirt in New Off White

Pintucked Perfect Shirt in White (40% OFF with code SUITUP)

BR Non-Iron Sateen Button-Down Shirt in White (30% OFF until 1/25 with code BRLOVE)

Endless Shirt in White 

Express Original Long Sleeve Essential Shirt (One of my all-time favorite oxford-style shirts)

If you're a larger chested gal, you might check out the Fitted Boyfriend Oxford from Gap. It features a more relaxed fit around the chest and shoulder area, but is curved and tailored at the waist! (It also comes in Tall and Petite, too!)


I also wanted to share something very important with all of you that reside in Northwest Arkansas like me. My good friends at Crown Beauty Bar in Fayetteville are lending a hand to Peace at Home Family Shelter - a fantastic organization that offers a secure environment to women and children who have been victims of domestic abuse.

Starting now, Crown will be collecting needed items to the women at the shelter and making their delivery on February 13th. Every donation will get your name entered into a drawing for a Queen of Hearts package, a $125 value!

Items needed: underwear (never worn, of course!), bras, pajamas, socks, toiletries, makeup and fun jewelry that you no longer wear. Come on, girls - let's lend a hand and give from the heart!


Printables and a Recipe (!!)

Hey there, friends of the interwebs. It's Tuesday, which is always exponentially better than Monday, right? Right. And, in case you didn't gather it by the title, there's no rhyme or reason to today's post. I'm a loose cannon like that...

-Free Printables (!!) 
Am I the only dork who gets really, and I mean really excited when I see the words Free Printables? I saw these come across my inbox from Today's Creative Blog and have already printed out several. Rather than keeping a planner this year, I'm keeping a binder.

With two kids and a million different schedules/appointments/etc, it's a better option for us. Anyway, if you're trying to get organized in 2015 like me, print these off and enjoy!

Weekly cleaning schedule printable
Menu planner printable
Password/login printable

-Chicken Cream Cheese Enchiladas
Ladies, this is not Paleo-friendly, Whole 30-friendly, Weight Watchers-friendly or cholesterol-friendly. If you were looking for one of those recipes, you've come to the wrong girl. BUT. Oh, are these tasty. I made these last night and folks - TO DIE FOR. I'd tell you how many I ate, but that'd be embarrassing. I've seen so many variations of this recipe, but my favorite is my momma's : )


2-3 chicken breasts, shredded up
1 {8 oz.} pkg. cream cheese, (Do NOT use low-fat! It makes the mixture too runny!)
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 28 oz. can red enchilada sauce, (We like Old El Paso brand.)
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
Flour tortillas
1-2 cups shredded monterrey & colby jack cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cook chicken and shred. Mix the shredded chicken, cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder and 2 cups of the red enchilada sauce together.  Pour 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Grab a tortilla and load that puppy full of the chicken mixture and black beans. Roll 'em up and lay them one-by-one into the baking dish in a row, making sure that the enchiladas are seam side down. Top with a thin layer of the remaining enchilada sauce, then pile on the cheese!

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Take them out, remove the foil, put them back in and turn on your broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown the cheese on top. 

Top with sour cream, avocado, green onions, salsa - whatever the heck you want!


Confessional Friday: {Link Up}

G'day, ladies. It's Friday, it's weekend-Eve and by gosh, it's time to confess. Let's be on with it!

1. I confess that this week nearly kicked my rear. Tuesday night was rough. Real rough. As was Monday and Monday night. Lemme paint you a little picture...

Caroline is getting more teeth, which is always awesomely fun. Poor chica was cranky, in pain and tired. Ainsley hit a growth spurt and wanted to do nothing else but eat, which means a lot of sitting with baby on boob for moi. She was also incredibly fussy and uninterested in sleep. Totally fine - that's just the nature of newbie babes. But...

It also happened that Caroline discovered the carbon monoxide detector this week. (Ours is located about a foot from the floor in our mudroom hallway - definitely at toddler level.)  And when it is tampered with in any way, it automatically calls our home security company.  Not one, not two, but FIVE times, the security company got called.

I may also mention that when said carbon monoxide detector sounds, it creates the most pants-peeingly-loud, shrill, startling sound you've ever heard in your life. Seriously folks, a friggin' cannon going off wouldn't jolt you as much as that blessed alarm. (Again, this is a good thing if actual toxic gas is detected in your house and you need to exit RIGHT NOW.) Not so great if there isn't carbon monoxide and your newborn is finally asleep after an all-night feeding bender.

I was exhausted and so was Stephen. I nearly hit the breaking point on Wednesday morning, so I did the only thing a girl can sometimes do...I called my momma. The woman is a saint. She came up right away, despite living 3.5 hours away from us. And all has been right with the world ever since her arrival. (Thank you, Mom/Nana!)

(Can I just say though, I'm kind of amazed we went three weeks without having to call for any reinforcements? I realize to some this is laughable, but we're new at this whole multiple children schtick.)

2. I confess that I do believe this is the most ingenious idea ever. In the history of ever, actually.

3. I confess that I ate approximately half a jar of Nutella for breakfast Tuesday morning. (Like, I ate it straight out of the jar with a spoon.) Don't worry, I chased it with a banana and a multi-vitamin. #HeartHealthyin2015 #PostBabyDiet

Those are mine. Now tell me yours --


    An InLinkz Link-up


Caped Crusader

Call it a poncho, call it a cape, call it whatever you want - it's the must-have outerwear piece of the season. Frankly, I'm all about it.

Here's why:

1. Capes and ponchos hide post-baby weight. (Golf claps all around.)
2. Superheroes wear capes; ergo, they are awesome.
3. They're comfy. Like, really comfy. A bit like wearing a blanket, only with arm holes.

Here are a few capes that I have my eye on lately. And may have purchased a couple. Oops.

Vintage-Inspired Plaid Cape  - Bought this one and L.O.V.E. it!

Necessary Clothing Plaid Poncho Sweater in Red/Black (30% off sitewide by entering code 2K15)

Nasty Gal Cool It Cape Sweater in Ivory

Super-Soft Cape in Grey Marl - One of my very favorite pieces I've bought all winter, hands down.

Colour-Block Geometric Print Cape

So next time you find yourself shopping online for another boring old sweater, (okay, sweaters are pretty great), think "cape" or "poncho" instead. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go help a very excited toddler assemble her Minnie Mouse Playhouse Indoor Tent. (Lord, help me...)


Ainsley Catherine: {One Month!}

Our little Ainsley Cate turned one month old this past Saturday, (yes, really.) I'm still in complete shock at how fast this first month has flown. Seriously, didn't we just bring her home from the hospital yesterday?

Ainsley Catherine, you are ONE MONTH old! Let's see what you're up to...

Weight: On January 2nd, I took her to the pediatrician and she weighed 6 lbs. 9 oz. I'll come back and update this when we find out for sure at her one-month appointment this week.

Length/Height: 18.75 in.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Brown

Clothes: Mostly Newborn and a few Preemie pajamas

Diapers: Newborn size Pampers Swaddlers

Likes: Eating, eating and eating. She also likes to be swaddled tightly. And of course, just like her big sister Caroline, she loves her Wubbanub pacifier.

Dislikes: Getting put into her carseat, being burped, being bathed.

*I could write an entire post (and I likely will) about our feeding routine and the difference in nursing the second baby versus the first. 

Eating: I've been nursing Little Miss pretty much on demand. Ainsley averages 2-3 hours between feedings during the day and every 4 hours at night, (unless she wakes sooner.)

Nursing has been a whole different ballgame this time around - and in the best possible way. My milk came in on the Friday that I was discharged from the hospital, which was much sooner than last time. For the first thirty days, I only nursed her. My lactation consultant said this was the trick to really kicking off your supply to a great start, so I held off on pumping and bottle feeding.

I thought it would be hard, (and it was tiring), but I honestly found it a lot easier than pumping, then trying to transfer to bottles, then washing bottles...you get the drift. I pumped for the first time last week in order to build up a supply of breast milk in our freezer. (For inquiring minds, I'm using the Medela Pump in Style and it is AWESOME.)

Sleeping: Ainsley is sleeping a ton right now because, well, she's a newborn and that's pretty much what they do. I nurse her around 10:30 p.m, then the Mister and I head to bed. She'll generally wake for her first middle-of-the-night feeding around 1:30 or 2:30 a.m, then again around 6:00 a.m. Obviously there are nights when it seems she's up every hour, but thankfully, those have been the minority. She's a pretty good sleeper and we'll happily take four or five hour stretches at night.

Right now, she sleeps in her Rock and Play, then we'll transition her to her crib around three months, just like with Caroline.

Milestones: Well, she's four weeks old, so not really anything too noteworthy; ) Babies' eyesight begins to improve after the third week and she has started to make eye contact with us, which is also really fun.

If I had to describe our first month in one word, it would be: Survival.

I'm not going to sugar-coat things: being a mom to two babies is tough stuff. My days start before the sun comes up. It has been (and still very much is) a learning experience for the whole family. We just kept saying, "If we can survive this first month, we'll have accomplished something", ha! The first two weeks, I honestly felt like we were treading water.

The week of Christmas is a complete blur. I was literally shopping for gifts at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Week three was a tiny turning point. Things didn't seem quite as overwhelming.

Caroline is super active, running all over the place and trying to climb on everything : ) She is also really curious about the baby and wants to be involved, understandably. I try my best to include her in things like bathing Ainsley. Poor Caroline would cry and cry at first when I would nurse the baby, but that lasted about a week before she decided that was boring, ha!

Our life right now is diapers, bottles, boobs, burping, rocking, swaddling, soothing, aundry and cleaning. Macaroni in hair, tripping over toys at 3 a.m., take-out dinners, sleeping with our eyes open - all part of our everyday now. And we knew it would be.

But honestly y'all, my heart is so very full. I love those two little girls with all my being. And my husband - dear Lord, that man is my rock. As tiring as it has been, I've been on cloud nine. I said before that the happiest time of my life was after Caroline was born. I just felt this emotional high unlike anything. Same thing this time.

I think Stephen summed it up best one time when he said, "I really like our life."

Me too, husband. Me too.


Confessional Friday: {Link Up}

What's that?? Oh, it's Friday you say?


Let's confess!

1) I confess that I ended up buying both the Miracle Blanket and the Woombie swaddles for Ainsley. Both are supposed to arrive this afternoon, so I'll let y'all know the verdict. Cheers to sleeping babies!

2) I confess that it feels great to be back to blogging after taking some time off for the baby's arrival in December! I have missed you girls so much. {Awkward hugs all around!}

3) I confess that the reason this link up didn't get published until 9 a.m. was because I FORGOT that today was link up day. I guess you could say I'm out of practice - whoops.

4) I confess that I tried on a pair of my non-maternity jeans yesterday and it wasn't exactly comfortable, (or attractive). I could button them using the old "lay on the bed and suck in like there's no tomorrow" technique, but I thought I was going to have to call Stephen to extract me from them. And good Lord - they certainly did no favors for my, um, silhouette. Still three weeks away from being released for exercise, so I think I'll stick to leggings and maternity jeans for a bit longer ; ) Or maybe indefinitely. Who knows?

By the end of the whole fiasco, I was beet red and sweating. I've also decided that the oh-so-cumbersome button fly must be the work of the devil. Elastic is where it's at, folks.

5) I confess that, with this second baby, modesty has completely gone out the window when it comes to breastfeeding. Now, I'll probably always use some sort of cover when I feed out in public just because I'm personally more comfortable that way, but there's a strange sense of liberation that comes with the second baby.

6) I confess that we survived our first week without any help here, as Stephen went back to work. I'd say, given the fact that it has been 16 degrees outside and we haven't been able to get out much, things went pretty well. I laugh to myself though because I remember right after we had Caroline and I thought, "Wow, this mom stuff is hard!" (And it is. Even one baby is so challenging. Parenthood is stressful/tiring/amazing no matter how many kiddos there are.) But, I realize now that I didn't know the meaning of tired then. Oh no, folks. I'd like to have told my naive self to try it with a 14 month old and a newborn. Most days, I'm sure we'll be a hot mess trying to get out of the house, but I know we'll settle into a groove eventually.

7) I pulled through the Sonic drive-thru Wednesday to get a coke and when I rolled down my window to order, noticed something in my hair. Upon further inspection, it was a piece of Caroline's macaroni left over from lunch.

If any of you would like a hair tutorial on THAT hairstyle, just let me know. It's an easy and delicious way to tell the world, "I've got my shizz together."

And that's that. Your confessions! (Actually mine.) Now tell me yours. 


    An InLinkz Link-up


Buy This - Not That: January Edition

It's time to play...say it with me now...Buy This, Not That! (applause in background)

Here are a few items that caught my eye recently and their waaaaaay more affordable dopplegangers. So gather round, ye vixens of the interwebs, and enjoy some morning window shopping.

Gianvito Rossi "Osaka" Knee Boot ($927)  vs.  Ivanka Trump "Sarena" Over-the-Knee Dress Boot (ON SALE NOW for $111.30!)

Sonia Kashuk Eye Shadow Quad in "Fair and Square" ($13.69)  vs.  Tom Ford Eye Color Quad ($96.92)

Dannijo Tessie Ear Jacket ($245)  vs.  Mariposa Ear Jackets ($32)

Lookbook Black Sequined Leggings ($29)  vs.  Juicy Couture Sequined Leggings ($138)

Mason Martin Margiela Wool Pullover ($815)  vs.  Metallic Pleat-Back Pullover in Gold/Bronze ($59)

Gum Drop Strand ($48)  vs. J.Crew Crystal Venus Flytrap Necklace ($98)

Rise and Shine Turtleneck Sweater Dress in Light Gray ($78)  vs.  Joie Sweater Dress in Gray ($226)


Wednesday Randoms

Hello, hello! It seems we've reached the middle of the week, which can only mean one thing...only two days 'til Friday - hooray and hoorah for that.

Grab some coffee, sit back and enjoy a few random thoughts this morning ; )

1. If you're in the market for a cute pair of over-the-knee boots that won't break the bank, might I suggest the Ivanka Trump Sarena boot? I found them for $111 online, (regular $170), the best deal I've seen on these all winter. I used some of my Christmas moolah on these and I'm pretty pumped to bust them out for a date night, soon.  Anywhoodle, I thought I'd share the deal I found, in case you want them, too.

2. Confessional Friday WILL RETURN this Friday, January 9th! Be here ready to link up and spill your innermost thoughts. 

3. I posted this photo on Insta yesterday and got several questions about the lip color I was wearing. It's my all-time favorite: Estee Lauder gloss in Pink Innocence. Get it - you won't regret it.

(Don't worry, Mom. We were parked in the Starbies lot, not actually driving down the road.)

4. Has anyone tried the Miracle Blanket for their baby? I'm considering getting one for Ainsley because baby girl loves to be swaddled tightly. I've heard that these are complete game-changers. Honest momma reviews would be much appreciated!

5. We got a sneak peek of Ainsley's newborn photos that our friend/photog Bethany McGhehey captured on New Year's Day. I know she's mine and I'm obviously biased, but I think she's a beauty. So excited to see the rest of the pics Bethany took!

5. What is it about taking Christmas decorations down that makes you want to re-decorate your entire house? (Or in our case, decorate, ha!) Deep thoughts...


Y'all have yourselves a fantastic Wednesday. I'll see you back here tomorrow for January's "Buy This -- Not That", so if you've got Christmas gift cards or money that you're itching to spend, be back here in the morning. It's my personal favorite post to write each month because, let's face it, it gives me the chance to shop for myself - oops! ; )


Ainsley's Birth Story

Well, hello! I decided to take some time away from the blog during the weeks of Christmas and New Year's since I haven't had a spare minute to write a post. And I hate nothing more than just posting to post, ya know?

Today, I thought I'd kick off regular blogging again by sharing the little story of Ainsley's birthday. It was such a sweet and memorable day, and I'm more than happy to share it with you all.


I'll start by saying, we didn't really know that we'd be having her on December 10th. We had a bag packed just in case, and my parents came up earlier that week because I just knew that my body wasn't going to hold Ainsley in much longer.  However, we had no guarantee that Wednesday would be the day. 

The morning of December 10th, I had my regular twice-weekly appointment, as well as my (regular, twice-weekly) non-stress test. Ainsley hadn't been moving as much the night before -- something I immediately reported to my O.B.'s nurse when she was getting my vitals. After the non-stress test, which showed heavy contractions, (I could have told them this without a non-stress test, ha!), Dr. D came in and "checked" me. 

After a few seconds, he announced I had progressed significantly and he said Ainsley would likely have arrived within the next 48 hours anyway. Since this was a repeat C-section and I was considered a high-risk pregnancy due to my heart history, we decided to get her out that night at 5:00 p.m. (Dr. D likes to deliver his own babies whenever possible, especially his high-risk patients.) So, he called Labor & Delivery and told them to admit us. 

Ten minutes later, a nurse came into the exam room with a wheelchair and up to Floor 5 we went...

Apparently, there was a mass exodus of babies from uteruses (uteri?) across Northwest Arkansas that day because EVERY SINGLE ROOM was occupied. So, they had us wait in the L&D family waiting room while a space opened up. An hour or so later, they called us back.

Because Labor & Delivery was hopping that day, they had to set us up in one of the doctors' on-call rooms, (where the docs sleep when they're on call.) It was the size of a shoebox and had no windows, which gave both of us a little anxiety, but I was so excited that we were meeting Ainsley, that I'd have stayed in that tiny room for a week!

Our sweet nurse Mary assured us that one of the birthing suites would be ready for us as soon as the surgery was over, which was great because....windows. #necessarythings

By that time, it was about noon and our five hour wait to meet Ainsley began.

The nurse started my IV, had me sign approximately 150 papers and change into the oh-so-chic hospital gown. 

Those five hours of waiting were amazing, though. Stephen and I had time to laugh and talk, watch some TV, make calls to some friends and family, and just enjoy each other's company. We also had ample time to really talk to our nurses, the anesthesiology team and our doctor for any last-minute questions. I mean it when I say, I've never been that calm about such a huge event. 

Around 3:30, the anesthesiologist came in to start my epidural. Just like last time, because of some issues surrounding my heart and blood pressure, a spinal wasn't a possibility. I was nervous about that and told him the story of what happened during Caroline's birth. I'll never forget what he said next:

Well, I'm running this show today and that won't happen again. I promise. Believe me?

I did. Fully. 

He told me that the reason (at least he thought) that the epi didn't work the last time was because they didn't give it enough time to kick in completely. So, he brought his little cart of needles in and the fun began...

I'll be honest, it hurt. Well, the numbing shot, anyway. The sensation of the epidural going in was just weird. Stephen was able to sit beside me and hold my hand, and my nurse held my shoulders and reminded me to breathe, ha! The entire thing took less than four minutes. The last epidural took 20 minutes to place. So yeah, it was already making out to be a better experience. 

After that, a nurse from the nursery came in to let me know who the on-call pediatrician would be, as well as find out what our birth plan was. Our hospital is amazingly respectful of mommas' wishes for those crucial moments right after the baby is born, whether it's a C-section or regular delivery. I LOVE that they ask even the C-section mommas how they'd like things to go. I told her that I wanted to hold Ainsley skin-to-skin ASAP in recovery, as well as let her nurse immediately. 

Around 4:40, Dr. D came in and handed Stephen a pair of scrubs to wear in the O.R. - it was go time!

Stephen and I gave each other a quick kiss and they wheeled me across the hall to the operating room. Until then, I hadn't been that nervous, but it hit me like a ton of bricks then. Thankfully, everyone was so sweet and reassuring, plus I could tell the epidural was really kicking in. 

After testing me to make sure I was completely numb, they let Stephen come in and the surgery was underway!

I felt a whoooooole lot of pulling and tugging - it was so weird. But strangely, nothing hurt. (Stephen told me later that night that he was shocked at how rough they have to be to get the baby out!) 

Just moments after they began, I heard Dr. D say, "Ready to meet her?"

Before I could answer yes, I heard a beautiful, mighty cry fill the room. 

It was Ainsley. 

My baby girl was born. 

I'm serious when I say, it was one of the most surreal moments of my life. 

They weighed her and announced that she weighed 5 lbs., 13 oz. - a tiny little thing with a big, healthy set of lungs! While they checked her out, they finished my surgery, which felt like it took forever. I was so ready to hold my girl!

Stephen joined me in recovery almost immediately and, just a few minutes later, they brought Ains in for some skin-to-skin bonding and breastfeeding. I couldn't get over how teeny and delicate she was! I just kept saying, "She's beautiful!"

We enjoyed a few quiet minutes with just the three of us before they took us to our room.

It was a perfect birth experience. 


Soon thereafter, Stephen's mom brought Caroline into the room to meet Ainsley. She immediately smiled when she saw Ains, then started to whimper when she saw me. I think she was a little scared of all the tubes and machines in the room. After a few minutes though, she was totally fine. It was so neat to have our family of four all together!

The hospital stay was smooth and FAST. We really only spent a couple days there. (Wednesday evening, Thursday and a few hours on Friday morning.) Ainsley was nursing well, she passed all her newborn screenings with flying colors and I was recovering quickly. That Friday morning, they discharged us and we took our second baby girl home!

If you read all of that, props to you ; ) If you didn't, I can't say I blame you, ha! 

Thanks so much for indulging my momma-ness and letting me tell Ainsley's birth story. I treat this blog like a journal for our life, so I wanted to jot this down while it was still fresh.