The Devil's In The Details: The truth about postpartum after a cesarean. [Part I]

Is there such a thing as a perfect birth story? 

I've been wrestling with this question for years. The majority of mothers I have had the opportunity to speak with about their personal experience has left me to believe it's about as obtainable as clean home with toddlers.

This is sort of a follow-up to my not so sun-shiny birth story for Ellis. This is me being brutally honest, and finally speaking out about all the ugly truths of just what happened after the initial unplanned cesarean. This is me shamelessly using my blog as a dumping ground, and cleansing my insides of what has clogged the best parts of me for too long. 

After the cesarean, and overly long hospital stay, Ellis & I were released back into the wild. There is nothing that could have prepared me for the recovery I was going through, but having a friend whom recently went through a similar birth may have saved my life. Her & I talked regularly, mostly about the longing for a better outcome, a different story, but also comparing how each other was feeling. She felt better by the day. I felt worse.
Red flag

I called my OB's office, and explained that the pain wasn't subsiding but rather growing more intense.  So I went in to their office and was checked by a lady with long fake nails, a tattoo on her hand, and no signs of being an actual nurse. Based on her description, someone said that she handled scheduling. I remember her removing some of the tape, without gloves, and sending me home with pain meds.
Red flag

A day or two later my incision area begins to feel like I was stuffed with fiberglass. Aside from ever increasing discomfort there wasn't any concrete signs of infection (i.e. fever, vomiting). There was some redness around the area, however, and I knew something was off so I got back into my OB's--this time demanding to see an actual doctor. As soon as the doctor saw me she said I had cellulitis, and prescribed antibiotics stating it should begin to clear up in a day or so. 

The next day I felt a million times worse. The burning, and uncomfortableness was overwhelming to the point I asked to go to the ER. From this point things get kind of blurry. I was admitting instantly, and they traced the red surrounding the incision to monitor how quickly it spread, and spread it did...


It's insanely cathartic and equally difficult writing this out, so bare with me & check back for the continuing story of my personal journey after my cesarean. In the meantime you can follow along with us on Instagram @huxandlulu & my new more fitness/health/personal growth focused Instagram   @cleanslategreenplate



The birth of miss Ellis June.

This is the story of a dream birth turned nightmare.
I hate to have written that.
But I did, because to me, it was, and sadly will always be in my mind, the furthest thing from what I had expected or hoped for my daughter's birthday.

Things started off pretty textbook.
My water broke 3 days before her due date around 2am.
In my head I was thinking, "Oh, no-not in the middle of the night! This is going to happen fast. Grandma has to drive out here at 2am? Hux is sleeping. My sweet baby boy. This will be the last I see him as my only child--I better sneak in some kisses and last looks."

After getting Honey Mom Mom (Hux's nickname for my Mom) all tucked in for the night, we headed off to the hospital--on our way making a quick detour to Meijer for some muffins (Matt reminded me that they wouldn't let me eat as soon as we were admitted so this was my last chance) and a cooler (for the placenta...I opted to try encapsulation this time around).

As soon as you enter the hospital they have you by the balls.
By your maternal-instinct, printed-out-natural-birth-plan-clutching balls.

Being admitted was terrible. I had to have tests ran to prove my water had in fact broken, and that included an internal exam by some fresh out of college, bloated frat boy who couldn't find my cervix and I wanted to punch in the throat a million times. He also failed to document the results of said horrible tests so when I actually met the birthing doctor, oh joy!, I had yet another internal!

So what felt like days later, we were finally given a room--atleast it was one of the larger birthing suites with glorious jacuzzi tub that I immediately got in (despite not having any contractions or actual signs of labor).

Since I wasn't in active labor so I was cleared to eat. We spent the majority of the early morning/afternoon dining on hospital room service. Intermittently, a nurse would stop in to check my progress and calmly remind us our doctor would be there soon (he was in a marathon that morning--while I was in the middle of my own personal marathon...) When he did finally arrive he checked over my charts, and noticed that my previous birth had complications due to shoulder dystocia.

That's when the topic of a cesarean section was brought up for the umpteenth time. 
I have should prefaced this by saying we were planning to deliver at a Birth Center in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania where they were fully aware of my previous delivery and thought nothing of it, and were confident I could birth naturally without complication. Well, we moved back to Michigan when I was 32 weeks along so I decided to get back in with my old OBGYN who was super crunchy and anti-pharmaceuticals...or at least that is what I had thought..

My first appointment with her, I kid you not, first thing to come our of her mouth was, "When would you like to schedule your cesarean?" Talk about being blindsided. I mean, 32 weeks of mentally and physically preparing for a natural non-medicated birth, and now having to advocate for myself against the woman I am entrusting to bring my daughter earth-side. Fairly certain I turned several shades of red as my face does not conceal my inner feelings at all (one of the many reasons I do not play poker).

So here I am at the hospital, riding out the beginning stages of labor as we have an hour long conversation with the delivering doctor who said everything from "you're selfish to want a natural birth" to "your baby could be born with cerebral palsy" or "worst case scenario, death". 
He even said if we chose to birth naturally that he encourages us to video the event incase any complications arise and we threaten to sue. 
[Basically, he wanted to cover his ass while mine was hanging out of a gown for all to see.]

Around 17 hours into labor I opted to go forward with cesarean, and from the moment I said, "go", it was a whirlwind of needles, tubes, catheter (which the put in prior to having me put socks on, so. not. cool.) and I was then escorted across the hall to the operating room where I had to have spinal block placed while I began getting hit with real contractions. There's nothing quite like having to hold completely still while riding out waves of hell crashing inside your body.

The whole procedure didn't take very long, and felt like I was being rocked back & forth from my mid-section down. At that point I had the shakes, and shallow breathing. I remember looking at my daughter through giant tears hanging in my eyes, and thanking God she was perfect. 

Ellis June came into the world, not in the way I had hoped and dreamed, but she was healthy and her father got to hold her and love on her first, which he treasures to this day. During recovery I asked if I could nurse her--even though my arms did not move they placed her on my chest and she latched instantly. At that point I was content. 

Ellis and I stayed at the hospital for 5 days, basically because I didn't want to face reality. I was in pain, and scared of what life looked like at home with not one but two little people pining for our love and attention. Huxley was smitten with his sister from the moment he laid eyes on her, but we all knew life as we knew it was about to change. 

We didn't, however, know the intense journey we were about to embark on. 
Incase you haven't been following along with our blog you can find out what happens next by visiting here, here, here, here, here, here, and here

In honor of Cesarean Awareness Month I mustered up the courage to finally post our story. It's been a hard, 2+ years since Ellis was born, as I have hinted at here & there. 
This, this, & this article helped me work through some of my thoughts and emotions on having a cesarean.

Thank you for sharing in our journey. 
This blog has been a safe haven to me along the rocky path I've been walking, and I cherish this community of people more than words can say.



Our family has grown!

Where to begin?! So much has been going on in our home, hence the radio silence, but most exciting has been our newest addition of 6 baby chicks--sorry for those who thought maybe Hux & Ellis had a new brother or sister. Nope. Six fuzzy chicks are their latest obsessions. 

Incase you haven't been following our adventures via Twitter or Instagram, I thought I should pop on and [finallyupdate this dust-covered blog considering my last post was before Christmas! Yikes.

I should preface with how we came about our new peeping, pecking family members.
Last week, Huxley's class took a little field trip to the Tractor Supply store to see the baby ducks and chicks. They have been learning all about eggs, where the come from, and what they're composed of...super exciting stuff for a curious boy like Hux. Before pick-up I thought Ellis might like to check the baby chicks out too so we stopped by for what I thought would be a quick visit, and ended up going to get Huxley and returned to the store to pick out our new family. 

Although this wasn't planned, we've been considered raising chickens out back for quite awhile now--our yard is perfect for them, and I honestly cannot wait to have them do some pest control in our gardens! 

Thankfully, these little guys have been super low maintenance and not as messy (or stinky) as I had thought. They still have their soft fur-like down, which kind of makes a mess of their back ends (yuck.), but upon cleaning them today I noticed their feathers are starting to come in--this means they are getting ready to molt and as soon as the weather cooperates they will be integrated to the outdoors. 

Little kids + little chicks has been an explosion of cuteness. Hux & Ellis are seriously enamored, and it's not uncommon to hear peeping from various places in the house, and find one of both of them carrying around a fuzzy friend. I think this has been and will continue to be a great learning experience for all of us---so far they've learned how to handle them gently, feed, water, and make their pen nice and comfy. Huxley also understands the circle of life part that comes with having non-egg layers. His thought process on it was very matter of fact, and he understands that when he has chicken nuggets they originate from said chicken.

Hope to be on here more as time and energy allows, but much catching up to do!
We hope you have a happy, healthy & blessed Easter weekend. 


And to all a very merry merry Christmas!

Thank you to Mad Bomber for the snuggly warm & adorable Bombers!

We are all dreaming of sugar cookies & dancing minions...
(well, I know Huxley is for sure!) 
Mama is up to her ears in wrapping paper, ribbon & bows, and Daddy is working his tail off trying to keep our roof on (we had 45mph winds all night and into the day here in Northern Michigan). Pretty bummed it won't be a white Christmas, but also thankful to not have to be blowing snow everyday!

All I want for Christmas is our family & friends to be healthy, and happy and know they are loved.
That truly is the best gift there is & I wish it for every one of you as well.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.


the era of the Milk Trucks has come to an end...

So, I know I've been distant.
I've been quiet, and avoiding you.
It is not you it is me.

Life has been just ass-kicking me and blogging about it would just be total Debbie-Downer drivel that no one wants to hear. 

You want cute photos of our edible children.
To know they're growing way too fast, & are outsmarting us on pretty much everything.

(Jesus, give us strength.)

We are all well, just got our first snow. 
Kids=super duper stoked
Parents=not so much stoked on the 20 minutes of bundling & unbundling for 4 minutes of outside play...

Huxley is almost 5, going on 25 and I have a series of blogs to come on him and his mind-blowing intellect. 

Ellis, is 2 1/2 and is keeping up with Hux in all things, and it is scaring the living daylights out of both mama and daddy. Slow. Down. Child. 
She is finally sleeping in her own bed, and is slowly but surely weaning from the "babas", which
as most extended breastfeeding mama's can relate is both joyous and incredibly bittersweet. Especially since she will most likely be the last to enter our tribe via my womb. 
(We've been praying on Foster Parenting/Adopting, but that is long down the road, my friends.)

Here we are, just doing our day by day routines. 
Growing little people, tending their souls, and crossing fingers & toes and praying to God that we are molding exceptional members of society.
We hope that you are well, and please drop us a line!

Have been meaning to get a fun giveaway together but like I said...struggling over here!! Soon! I promise! 



a little (late) love.

Oh, wow do I ever stink at blogging! 
It is honestly always something over here--this time we were knocked sideways with Influenza, thank you preschool!

Our Valentine's Day was spent huddled in bed with fevers, aches and general ick. Two weeks later we are just know starting to feel like our normal selves again. I swear, I tried everything the moment I felt the crud creeping up on us--I even went so far as to put onion peels in our socks overnight (um...YUCK...will never do that again.)

Along with the gross onion trick that didn't seem to work I was diffusing essential oils, rubbing the bottoms of feet with Thieves Oil & lavender. Eventually we kind of just surrendered to the sickness and let it take it's long horrible course.

I was just at my computer & saw these darling photos from a little shoot we did and simply had to share as well as say a quick "hello, I know I suck, but I still love you!".

be well. 




I'll be honest---I really stink at blogging.
It's been super hard to prioritize sitting down and writing out our day to day or thoughts from my Mombie brain. 

Definitely doesn't help when we keep getting knocked sideways with some form of flu, cold, sickness or injury. Which is where we are at this weekend. Buried under mountains of tissues, lost in the haze of our humidifier. 

I truly am sorry. This once was a haven to me and I cherished sharing our little tribe with you, and I promise to work on carving more time out to come here and post photos of our little brown eyed dream babies.

Until then we wish you health & a full night's sleep. 



New Baby, New Year Kate Quinn Sale!

Happy 2015, lovelies!
Cannot believe another year has turned over & Huxley will be FOUR this month. Insanity.

Anyways, as you already may know--we adore Kate Quinn---we couldn't resist sharing the news of this amazing sale going on throughout the month of January!
Hurry & shop...items go quick!




These photos sum them up nicely.

Wishing all a healthy, happy, joyous, peaceful & productive 2015.


Christmas unwrapping madness!

Just a tiny glimpse of the magic that was our Christmas morning this year.
We hope yours was full of love & cheer.


A Minted Merry Christmas!

 'Tis the season to be scrambling to snap that perfect shot of your babe surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights, or your annual family tree cutting, but this year instead of printing your photos haphazardly at your local One-Hour how about choosing one of the many delicious designs at Minted?!

I could literally spend days oogling through the beautiful designs of all different & unique styles, shapes and colors trying to find just the right vibe to go with our family shots this year. Which was definitely a unique experience in and of itself! Miss Ellis is cutting not one, not two but four molars & to top that off came down with her first stomach bug--the poor Pooks. She's been snuggling, sleeping and nursing on Mama all's like having a giant newborn!

Still hunting for a funky, fun & artsy gift? Minted has some amazing prints that would look so fab in an office, nursery, living room, etc etc.

Go & see for yourself---prepare to spend a few hours (days.) checking out all the goodness!
Here are my top three faves...

Here's to getting those cards out on time this year & I so desperately hope your family photo shoot goes far better than ours!