Taylor Made

Taylor Made

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Elijah turns 6 months! WHAT?! (See also: Mom has been busy NOT blogging)

I cannot believe that Elijah is already 6 months! Where does the time go?! Between feedings, and diaper changes for two kids, and the busyness of LIFE, blogging has fallen to the wayside. That's mostly OK, except for the fact that this is somewhat my "baby book/journal," so tired me needs to fight the urge to sit and watch something vs. demand more from my brain to sit down and construct cohesive thoughts. In addition to that, my 'opihi actually doesn't give me much time at all (see: 20 or 40 minute naps) to sit and write, and part of nap time is used to do some cleaning or eat lunch! Case in point: I just wrote three sentences, and I hear Elijah waking up from his nap. This could've been directly as a result from his brother yelling gibberish from his crib. I swear, Uriah never is as awake/amped or talkative than when he is in his crib for nap time. #THESTRUGGLE

ANYWAY. Enough of my complaining! Let's get to the meat and potatoes! (which, by the way, sounds absolutely delicious in comparison to the boring tuna sandwich I just had)

5 months
6 months

Some current highlights for Elijah:
-In the 70%s for height, and the 30s for weight (both my guys are more slender - from whom do they get this gene?!) His pediatrician said his growth and development look wonderful and are right on track!
-has started eating solid foods! We started rice cereal and poi at 4.5 months after our pediatrician OK'd it to see if it would help with sleep. It didn't - but he loved eating and did really well with it right from the beginning, so we continued to give him 1 meal at night. Nowadays, he gets 2-3 meals, and we have introduced more of a variety of foods. So far, he has had rice cereal, poi, sweet potato, banana (hated), avocado (disliked), prunes, pears, butternut squash, and peas! Everything except for the prunes and pears have been homemade. I don't mind making baby food, and love knowing exactly how it is made and what went into it (i.e., INGREDIENT + LOVE).

Absolutely revolting
-his "lovely hula hands" or tentacle arms. He has the most animated and active hands EVER. When he's happy, the hands are a-flappin. When he's upset, the hands are a-flappin. I'm surprised he hasn't levitated off the ground yet.

-He has two bottom teeth and two more on the way in! (He got the bottom teeth really early at 4.5 months!) 
-He has recently started sleeping bigger stretches at night, which generally is anywhere from 4-7 hour blocks. Since he is still nursing, this kind of a block is pretty good and not out of the ordinary. 
-He is doing lots of babbling and baby talk. Can make the M and D sounds, so it sounds like he is saying Mama and Dada!
-he can sit up for a few minutes unassisted! 
-is a perpetually happy baby. He doesn't sleep much, but really, that's the only challenge he's really given. He is such a happy and pleasant baby! Even if he was  just crying, once he's picked up, he's back to his happy self with lots of smiles to give away. He is my happy boy.

Sitting up like a big boy!
Looking dapper for church
Smiles for miles

Uriah has a lot to update, as well! 
-Uriah can recognize numbers 1-8 (out of order, and randomly!) He notices the numbers on the elevator, TV, on the bottoms of his stacking cups...really anywhere! I was shocked that he is already able to do this! He can also count from 1-20 and 20-1 (I realized this when his Super Simple Songs was playing a number song and he could do the whole thing!)
-He can identify letters A, O, N, M, Y, S (from what I can say for sure - there may even be more!) 
-Is very polite, and says "thank you" and "you're welcome" regularly....even in instances where it makes me roll my eyes. For example, I told him to get down from the table (he was climbing onto the table), and when he got down I told him THANK YOU, to which he responded "you're welcome!" Rob was also changing his dirty diaper, and as Rob was cleaning him, he said, "Thank you!" So polite! Almost TOO POLITE. haha.
-He also has been paying attention to Rob's football antics, because now he ALSO will say, "COME ON!!!" "LET'S GO!!!!!!!!" JUST like Rob does. It's pretty cute.
-He loves taking out his hairbrushes daily, and saying, "Brush Hair!" even though he ACTUALLY HATES brushing his hair. 
-Speaking of taking things out, he is in the current phase of life where dumping things out is more fun than playing with the things. Nothing tops a good dumping of books from the bookshelf, or an entire bag of blocks, or all the puzzle pieces, or stacking cups, or basically anything that was once contained. Suffice it to say, every day is D-Day (aka DUMPING DAY) in our house.
Some of his fine handiwork
-Uriah currently loves screaming. Apparently, this is just a kid thing? All kids love it? WHY?! IDK but it drives me and Rob to insanity and back at least 5 times a day. I've tried "Stop screaming",  the even nicer "quiet voices in the house", we've tried threatening, even a little swat. NOTHING WILL QUELL THE BURNING DESIRE TO SCREAM. NOTHING!!!
-He also LOVES a good chase! Pretty much any time there's some distance between you and him, and you take one step towards him, he turns it into a game of chase. ESPECIALLY when something needs to get done! (E.G., brushing teeth, taking a bath, napping, changing diaper, etc) I basically have to avoid eye contact, and move REALLY SLOWLY so I can make it as UNFUN as possible. Even THAT usually doesn't work. If all else, he is determined to have fun! 
-He got his first haircut last month! His hair was going into his eyes, and we found a gal on base who cuts  curly hair (she also has similar hair texture to uriah, which was a bonus). She was so awesome, and Uriah did great! He looked very NOT thrilled to be there, but he didn't cry or move around or anything! His hair is much easier for us to manage now.
THIS FACE!!! Priceless.

Uriah's current favorites are dinosaurs, donuts, trains (especially Thomas), the movies Secret Life of Pets and Lion King, and of course, Elijah. Uriah is such a good older brother, and displays such sweetness and love for Elijah EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. I love being able to witness that.

*melt* Ladies, hold onto your ovaries.
Lastly I wanted to write down a few funny things Uriah has said,  because I know I'll forget soon enough. When we went on our Ohio trip and were all staying in a hotel room (that's for another blog), Uriah was in a crib but sharing our room, which was new for him. He kept wanting to get up, so I kept saying "LAY DOWN"..."LAY DOWN"..."LAAAAY DOWN!" Not too long after that, Elijah started fussing so I got up to go tend to him, when I hear Uriah from the crib telling me, "LAY DOWN..." HA!! 

I also used my fur lined coat on this trip, which Uriah hadn't seen me use before! When I put the hood up, Uriah saw me and said, "Lion King!" 

I guess it does look pretty mane-ish

Well! That's the update for now! I'm sure by the time I write a blog again, another 6 months will have gone by! (But let's hope not.. :)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

the Elijah Welcoming Committee

We were so blessed to have quite a few family members come out to welcome Elijah to our little family! Our first visitor was Mom Taylor, who graciously agreed to come out when I was 39 weeks (in case I went into labor early - let's all give a collective HA-HA-HA-HA-HA to the woman who gave birth at 41+6). It was still nice having her there during that earlier time period as she was a great companion to talk with during the day, a new playmate and babysitter for Uriah, and someone who could help with whatever household things she could! We were so grateful to have her there to stay in our home with Uriah. Uriah is pretty shy about new people (since it's just me and him at home all day), so with me and Rob being out of the equation at the hospital, it was reassuring to know he'd be with a familiar face in his familiar surroundings. We actually ended up staying longer in the hospital as Elijah had jaundice, and the hospital wanted us to bring his levels down before releasing us home. The day before we got home, Mom Taylor went on a cooking spree and made for us a loaf of fresh bread, two pans of her delicious homemade cinnamon rolls, a big pot of chili and a pot roast. Not only were they so delicious, but there was enough food to feed us for our first four days! (My Relief Society at church also provided 2 meals, which took us through our first week of being home from the hospital) We were so happy that we were able to share this special time with Mom Taylor! She was the first of our outside family to welcome Elijah :) 

Mom and her famous cinnamon rolls
Uriah taking Grandma for a spin

We love this photo for obvious reasons
The next of our visitors was Mom Kimokeo. She was able to come up and be with us for 10 days (there was only a few days difference from when Mom Taylor was here and when Mom Kimokeo came up!) Since I had a c-section, it was so helpful having two sets of hands to help with Uriah as well as the household items I was limited from doing. She did the cooking and cleaning for us while she was here, as well as relieved us from having to wake up with Uriah in the mornings. She also would take the baby so we could nap, which we definitely appreciated! We were even able to sneak not ONE, but TWO  date nights! (One was sushi for our belated anniversary celebration, the other was Happy Hour at Ruth's Chris!)  It was nice to be roused out of our zombie states and get dressed and go somewhere for a little freedom and reminder of our other roles (husband and wife vs just Mom and Dad)! 


One of my favorite pics of Mom -
her laughing :)
Grandma took Uriah to the pool a few times!
He loves the pool, and it was a perfect way to
beat the summer heat!

Anniversary Dinner and Zombie Supression Celebration!

Look at this PRO - one in stroller,
the other being worn, all with a SMILE!
The face when you realize the snacks
being fed to the toddler were in turn being fed
to the car seat

We got out of the house to enjoy the Dutch/Amish market. As expected, Mom loved it,
and said we need to take Dad the next time they come up for a visit! (GLADLY -
especially if it involves getting that ice cream again!!) 
Beth was our next visitor! We were so lucky she was on sabbatical from work (she's working on getting her Masters), which allowed her to fly up during a time she'd normally be teaching. She was also so helpful with cleaning, bathing/watching the kids, playing with Uriah, and also keeping me company! We were also able to get away for another date night sans spawn. Hooray! It was so nice to have my sister there with me, and this time, when we weren't violently sick. (Last time Beth came she brought the plague with her and we basically all took turns dancing with death and the toilet while she was here) 

One of the first photo captured smiles!
Comfy cozy

Uriah loved spending time with Aunty Beth
Uncle Davis made a cameo appearance for a day!


The last of our visitors thus far was our niece, Destiny! We loved having her because she is fun, sweet, easy-going, and was also such a great help to us during this time! She helped with household things of cooking, cleaning, bathing, diapering, and playing with the kids, and also granted us time to run away to a movie (Rob and I saw the new adaptation of IT)
We love and and all family that comes for a visit! We wish everyone lived closer (or maybe that WE lived closer), but for the time being, will take all that we can get.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Welcome to the world, baby Elijah: A Birth Story

Rob and I had decided that around the time that Uriah turned 1, we would start trying again for another baby. Luckily for us, about one month and five positive pregnancy tests later, we found out we were expecting yet again! Baby Number 2 was due somewhere around June 26, 2017.

My talented friend Des Chaves took maternity photos for me at 39 weeks!
Fast forward to June 26, 2017, and, as I expected, I had no signs of imminent labor. 

This is the face of a woman who is over it.
This photo was taken July 4, when I was 41 weeks and 4 days!!

Uriah was born at 40+6 (and was induced at that point), so having a baby "past due" did not phase me...AT FIRST. Once I started to go past that date, though, I started getting anxious! My midwifery office (Special Beginnings - who I love, by the way!) said that they would be OK with me going to 41+6, but if at that point the baby hadn't come by then, we would schedule a c-section. While my initial c-section with Uriah was not at all traumatic, I was really hoping for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) this time around. Not only did I want to experience what it was like to actually "give birth," but the recovery time for a c-section is so much longer, and is a luxury a Mom with a toddler can't really afford. I threw myself into VBAC education, VBAC support groups, and made sure that the providers I sought prenatal care from were not just VBAC tolerant, but VBAC supportive/friendly. I actually switched providers at 31 weeks (third trimester!) to Special Beginnings because they gave me an additional week longer before even considering scheduling a c-section.

On the early morning of July 5, 2017, I started having some pretty intense contractions. I had been having contractions for a few days, but nothing consistent enough to make any of my providers particularly interested. Most people I talked to chalked it up to "Braxton Hicks," but these contractions were pretty painful - painful to the point where they woke me up from sleep, and kept me awake and from sleeping. There were several that were painful to the point of nausea, and some that I actually had to "breathe through," and stop what I was doing. At about 5:30 that morning, I got up to pee for the 400th time, and felt a small gush during a contraction. For a second I wondered if it was my water breaking, but it was so subtle that I quickly dismissed it. I called my midwife's office, and they said that since my contractions weren't consistent enough (I would have contractions between 2-5 minutes, then an odd 8 or 9 minute break, on repeat), I should stay home monitoring. Fortunately, I had an appointment with my midwife's office scheduled for that afternoon, so we agreed that my provider would check me at that appointment. One hour later, I got up to use the bathroom for the 401st time, and definitely felt a gush that splashed onto the carpet and through my pajama pants. EXCITING! With Uriah, my water had never broken on its own. I called Rob and told him he should come home from work since my water had officially broken. My contractions were still inconsistent, but painful to the point where I actually threw up a few times, was shaking, and had to really focus to get through them. Meanwhile, my water kept gushing and getting everywhere. I had gone through several beach towels and pajama pants, and knew I needed a better solution. Thankfully, Mom Taylor was here and went to the store to get me some Depends, which were LIFE SAVERS! #DontKnockItTilYouTryIt #NoShameinMyAdultIncontinencePantyGame 

At my OB appointment, my midwife checked my dilation and confirmed that I was already 5-6 cm dilated! This was also amazing to me, as with Uriah, I had already gotten an epidural by the time I was 2-3, and here I was walking around dilated a 5-6. This was also very validating to me because it proved to aaaaaaall my naysayers (see: haters :P) that the painful contractions I had been feeling over the past few days were legitimate. My midwife recommended we head to the hospital and check-in after we got something small to eat. I definitely wanted to grab something, even though I didn't feel like eating, because I knew that once I had been admitted, I would be relegated to a liquid diet. (Think: Chicken broth, jello, popsicles, ice chips, juice) We stopped at chick-fil-A, and I halfheartedly ate half a chicken sandwich. 

We got to the hospital at around 5, and were checked into their biggest birthing suite, which just so happened to be available! (Hooray for random, midweek babies!) My contractions were really painful at that point, and I told Rob I wanted the epidural. While I wasn't committed to a medication-free birth, I did want to see how long I could hold off without getting an epidural. In my research for VBAC success, there was some indicated correlation that getting an epidural early on could thwart or hinder the body's dilation process. In addition to that, it would confine me to a hospital bed, which limits mobility and the positional options that might encourage further progress. Rob suggested I just try to wait until my doula, Delaney, could meet us at the hospital. I had loved the idea of a doula, but knew that we wouldn't be able to afford one. (Doulas can range anywhere from $600-1000 or more!) Special Beginnings had given me a handout during my care there that listed several different doula services, one being the John Hopkins school of nursing. I was shocked to see that it was a free service catering to anyone in the Baltimore city areas! Granted, these doulas were students, and couldn't 100% guarantee a birth attendance, but just having the potential of that option was amazing! Delaney had actually attended a few births as a doula before mine. Thankfully, she arrived to the hospital about half an hour later, and she made a night and day difference in how I was able to cope with and manage the pain. She brought in her arsenal of tricks LED flameless tea lights, a diffuser with calming oils, and we put on relaxing "SPA/meditation" music on our bluetooth speaker. She also had the nurses bring us a large exercise ball, and helped instruct me on positions to help alleviate pain. At the same time, she used counter-pressure and massage to help with my back pain (she also taught Rob so he took over eventually), and had a warm compress to place on my abdomen during or after contractions. It was amazing to me how these few natural solutions truly made a difference! What I thought had been 45 minutes of us working through contractions was actually 2 hours worth! Afraid that the contractions would get too painful before I could get an epidural, I requested an epidural. I feel that I could've actually tolerated the pain longer (Delaney told me I was a "rock star" and honestly, I was pretty impressed with myself! No screaming, controlled breathing) but was afraid that I would miss the window for an epidural. At that point, I was dilated to a 7. 

The anesthesiologist arrived around 7:30, and I forewarned him that with Uriah, they had to stick me literally 6 times to try to find the space between my vertebrae. Unfortunately, the same was true this time around. The anesthesiologist asked if I had any history of back surgery, or scoliosis, and the answer was no. He went through about 6 different epidural kits, none of which were successful. This lasted for about 45 minutes, during which I was having regularly timed, painful contractions, and had to remain completely still. The anesthesiologist ended up calling ANOTHER anesthesiologist to see if he would have more success. One hour later and many prods later, I finally had the epidural.  We were finally able to get a little rest. A few hours later, they checked me, and my dilation hadn't changed; I was still a 7. At that point, we decided we were going to be proactive and try to encourage the baby into the proper position. We alternated between the peanut ball, rotating from side to side, and sitting the bed up in the "throne position." Hours later, when we checked again, I still hadn't had any change in dilation. Fortunately for me, the OB on-call that night was agreeable to me being given a small dose of pitocin to help encourage further regularity of my contractions, and hopefully dilation. (Midwives do not have the authority to use pitocin, and had forewarned me that the OBs on-call likely would not be open to any augmentations of labor as it could  [fractionally] increase my risk for uterine rupture.) 

At that point, we had been in the hospital long enough that new nurses took over, and the next midwife on duty took over. Additionally, a new OB was on the floor. The new OB also was agreeable to pitocin augmentation, and incrementally increased the dose to encourage further progress. At 10:00 am on 07/06/17 (over 24 hours since my water had broken), they checked my dilation again, and I was still at a 7-8. At that point, it was recommended that we schedule a repeat c-section. While it was not the ending that I was hoping for, I was at peace with this decision. My primary concern in this whole process was being truly supported in my VBAC attempt, and everyone from the on-call OBs, nurses, midwives, and my doula all wanted my VBAC for me just as badly as I did. I felt supported, encouraged, and in control of the decision making process; free from bullying or scare tactics. 

While I don't love me in this photo, I love how
sweet and caring Rob is. It was a perfect moment captured by my midwife.
The c-section itself was surprisingly gentle; more gentle than my previous c-section. With my last, I remember the tugging and pulling pressure actually made me cry despite being anesthetized. This time around, there was virtually no pain. While there was no pain, I still got the violent shakes that comes with the medications given. It was pretty bad, but since I had already experienced it before, it wasn't as alarming this time around. Rob said it was scary and hard for him to watch me in that state, and it gave me a deeper appreciation for what a toll birth takes on a couple as a whole, not just the mother. 

Anne Arundel Medical Center practices "family-centered" c-sections, where your spouse is allowed in the room, you have the option for a clear drape (NO THANKS), and your own music playing. We threw on some Hawaiian music, and Braddah Iz was playing in the O.R. when Elijah was born (Hawaii '78 to be specific). It was comforting to have my music playing, Rob there, and a midwife who was very calming and reassuring. At 12:01pm on July 06, 2017, our baby boy was born. Elijah was 8 pounds, 12.6 oz and 21.5 inches long! All that gestating naturally led to a sturdy little (big) guy!

While it was unknown to me at the time, Elijah was initially born in a somewhat poor condition. The APGAR scale rates babies on appearance, heart rate, breathing, etc with a high score of 10. When Elijah was first born, his APGAR was a 3 total. They whisked him away to work on him, and my midwife did a great job distracting me and keeping me calm. Rob said it was scary for him, though, because when he first saw Elijah, he looked gray, and the doctors and nurses made him leave the room while they focused on Elijah. Apparently, he had ingested some of the amniotic fluid, and they needed to clear it from his airway/lungs before getting him to breathe. After 5 minutes, they reassessed his condition and noted him as a 7, and then a few minutes later he was noted as a 9. I did not realize the severity of the situation until we got a bill in the mail with the medical billing code noted as "newborn birth with resuscitation." We are so grateful that our baby boy is fully recovered and healthy!

Rob and I had both agreed we loved the name Elijah while we were still pregnant with Uriah. While we didn't feel that Elijah fit the name of our first baby, we definitely knew that this baby boy's name was to be Elijah. We loved the name Elijah, because of its scriptural background, and its compliment to Uriah's name and meaning. Elijah means "My God is God," or "Yaweh is God." Uriah means, "Yaweh (or the Lord) is my light." We love that their names have a link to one another. 

Additionally, I had been grappling with what Hawaiian name we wanted to give Elijah. Rob and I wanted again something that represented brothers, or closeness. I also knew that I wanted to incorporate "Hiwa" or "Hiwahiwa" into the name, as it is a family name that all of our Hawaiian/Kimokeo side has included in their children's names. (My brother, cousin, and 2 nephews all have hiwahiwa in their names.) I also wanted to give a nod to my Dad, whose middle name is Hiwa.  In addition to this, the Hiwa name was also a part of my paternal Grandfather and Great-Grandfather's middle names. I had asked my friend Ka'ena (we were in Hawaiian class at Kamehameha together) if she had any suggestions giving her the idea of what we wanted. She suggested and we decided on the middle name "Hoapilihiwahiwa," which means a cherished or beloved close companion/friend. It is such a simple, beautiful name and meaning, and perfectly captured what we wanted represented in his name. This middle name has been proven time and again even in this short period that Elijah has been born; Uriah is SO gentle and sweet with his brother, and basically obsessed with him. Every morning, Uriah excitedly runs over to greet his brother. Aside from that, Elijah has been MY hoapili, too - in the sense that 1) he wanted to "stay close" to me for SO LONG in the womb, and 2) he still loves being "pili" to me even on the outside. 'Opihi would've also been an appropriate middle name. 

While it has been an adjustment for us with a new baby and an energetic toddler, we are so happy that Elijah is a part of our family! We are definitely getting the swing of the "2 kids" thing, and look forward to all of the adventures that lie ahead for our family.