Thursday, 20 August 2015

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

cousins at the farm

This has probably been the best week of Cooper's life. His cousins are in town and it has been a nonstop fun-fest with them and Nana and Grandpa. He absolutely loves these girls. 

Yesterday we went to the Valleyview Little Animal Farm (Cooper's second time) and rode the train with Farmer Joe, fed the goats, and played on a bunch of cool play structures. It was HOT (you can see their sweaty hair and rosy cheeks below), but we brought lots of water and a picnic lunch to stay cool.  

Evelyn was not a fan of the goats. Cooper wanted to kiss them like Weezydog. Ivy liked the idea of feeding them, but then didn't want to get her hand close enough that they could actually reach the food. 

Everybody on the train -- even Jilly!

More photos of these kiddos will be in the "iphone photos from august" post :)

Monday, 17 August 2015

two weeks old!

You're two weeks old, baby girl!

Even though we can't see you getting bigger, you're definitely fitting into things that were HUGE on you during week one... How is that possible?

You've met a bunch of new people and you've kindly kept your spit-up to a minimum to ensure that they like you. Your eyes are open way more these days! You make that little "ooooh" face that we remember from Coop's first few weeks. Love you, sweet girl. Please continue sleeping well and enjoying a good snuggle with your mom and dad, okay? 

the toddler life

AUGUST 17, 2015

You're unruly. Just like your hair...

And at the same time, you're methodical, inquisitive, and thoughtful. 

You have this innate ability to melt my heart with a giddy laugh one minute and drive me absolutely and completely crazy thirty seconds later. You're in a fun stage where you want to play with anything that's not a toy. This makes pulling things out of the kitchen drawers your favourite game.

And yes, I really do mean drawers and not just the cupboards. You're officially tall enough to stand on your tippee toes and blindly search through the tallest drawers in the kitchen and steal things from the island. 

The knees on your shorts are always dirty, although you're now walking more often than you crawl. Your shirt is usually wet from playing with Weezy's water dish, but you never seem to mind.

You've hit the sign language sweet spot. You even did your first sign for "please" without first being asked. "Please", by the way, consists of you placing your hands under your chin and cocking your head to the side. A little unconventional but way too adorable. 

Now that we have our hands a little more full with the arrival of your baby sister, we've been asking you to do more things to help. You are the best at picking up the baby blankets and bringing them to Jilly. It's pretty amazing how well you're listening to instructions lately. 

When you're around other babies, you're wonderful. You could watch your cousins and friends play for hours. When you're alone in the play room and mama's trying to get some work done, you're not impressed. 

Your tolerance for the grocery store is about 6 or 7 items. Your tolerance for the mall is one lap of one floor and precisely 1 purchase at a cash register. And this does not include, for example, 1 purchase of a coffee from Starbucks followed by 1 purchase of an item from a store. Mom needs to pick one.

This is the toddler life. 

We're right in the middle of it and some days it's tough. But deep down, I know this is the good stuff. So feel free to pull out all of the tupperware and tear the pages out of my old books. We love you anyway.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

cooper eating yogurt

AUGUST 6, 2015

You're a big brother now, Coop. 

Which means you're walking more and being carried less. It means mom and dad have a little bit less patience for a complete meltdown when the patio door is closed. It also means you've started to like eating food more than your bottles -- yay!

And speaking of food, here's a little snapshot of life these days at 16 months old...

dad's backyard helper

AUGUST 5, 2015

Hey Coop!

Jillian is here, which means mom and dad are a little bit busier these days. Thank goodness you love the outdoors, because while dad's been working hard to get the backyard ready for the new hot tub, you've been playing in the dirt by his side.

Almost every day this week you've played outside for hours, only to come inside and go straight into the bath. The knees on your pants are all torn up and sometimes we find rocks in your diaper. But you're the happiest little man ever as long as you get to be outside and be dad's backyard helper.

one week old!

You're one week old, Miss Jillian!

You are the sleepiest, cuddliest baby ever and we are savouring every minute of it. Highlights from the week include:

  • Your birth, obviously. That was a great day.
  • Meeting your big brother for the first time. He kissed your face a whole bunch of times and gently put his hand on yours. He loves you already.
  • Pooping on dad.

Other than that, you pretty much slept through everything else. But we've taken you all kinds of fun places: the Rideau Centre, Big Rig with the softball team, the grocery store. We walked through the neighbourhood to pick up some dinner one night and it poured rain on the way back. We used all the blankets we had to keep you warm and dry, and the other three of us got soaked. 

softball team bbq

Wednesday night softball is one of the highlights of every week :) These people are so amazing and every single one of them plays with Coop and shows him attention. He's so lucky to be the first baby of the team. 

A couple weeks ago, the game was scheduled for 9:30pm instead of the usual 6:30pm. AKA the perfect night for a team BBQ at our place! 

baby jilly's birth story

The story of baby Jillian's birth starts almost exactly the same as her older brother's. Since Ry predicted July 29th as her birthday, I figured I could give it my best effort to make that happen. So on the morning of Tuesday, July 28th, I texted my friend Sarah to see if she wanted to grab a coffee in the Glebe (the same thing we did on April 9th last year, before I went into labour with Coop.) As soon as she said she was thinking of me that morning, I knew it would be the day. 

I had a doctor's appointment later that afternoon and found out I was 4cm dilated, but still had a ways to go before being fully effaced. Coming home that evening, my mind was racing with the things we needed to get done in preparation for leaving for the hospital, even though there were no contractions in sight. 

Cooper went to bed around 8:00pm and I finished packing my last minute hospital bag items. I bounced on a yoga ball while Ryan and I watched MasterChef. Like any perfectly executed plan for labour, the contractions started just before 11:00pm. This is around the time when I looked back on Cooper's birth story just to see the similarities (coffee with Sarah, doctor's appointment, yoga ball, 11:00pm contractions.) Only having my previous birth story to go off of, I figured I'd have a few hours at home to labour before getting in the car.

The first few contractions were so light that I thought maybe it was just a bit of cramping. I timed them anyway, and they were 15 minutes apart, then 8, then 15, then 8 again. This continued until 12:00am and then boom, a contraction that came only 3 minutes after the one before. Maybe it was a combination of living 25 minutes from the hospital, still having to drop off Coop at the grandparents' house, or that video I saw floating around on Facebook where a woman delivers a 10 pound baby in her car, but I did NOT want to mess around and wait too long at the house. 

I called my mom and told her I was heading into the hospital shortly. Of course it would be the morning before our cleaning lady comes, so as we packed up the car and finished grabbing things for Cooper's sleepover, we were also tidying up and leaving the cash on the kitchen counter. Coop wasn't too excited about being woken up at 12:30am so he made the car ride fairly unenjoyable. My contractions were getting stronger, but still not terribly painful. 

To be honest I was a little worried this was false labour and that we would be turned away from the hospital, have to pick up Coop, and that this was all just a silly overreaction. Then I'd have a strong contraction and it would ease my mind; I was in labour. After dropping off the little guy, I told Ry that I was maybe feeling like a bagel from Tim's... We hit up the closest drive-thru and waited at the speaker for at least 2 minutes. Finally we pulled up at the window and Ryan knocked on the glass. That's when we discovered that we had arrived at the world's most open-looking closed Tim Horton's on the planet. With that, we continued our drive to the hospital.

At this point, my contractions were regular but I still wasn't in any kind of distress. We parked in the garage and slowly made our way up to the 4th floor. When I came up to the window at triage, the nurse said, "Having a baby today?!" which I really appreciated because I remembered that moment being awkward last time. It's not really like you can say, "Hey there, I'm in labour, so...."

My mom beat us to the hospital and sat with us in the triage room. The nurse and the resident did the first cervical check (little bit heavy handed, this man) and told me I was still only about 4cm. They suggested we walk the halls for an hour and come back for another check. Ryan and I walked the empty 1st floor, pausing whenever I'd have a contraction for about 30 seconds. The walking definitely made the contractions stronger and I was happy to be progressing. We stopped at Second Cup and I ate a hot ciabatta bun with cheese that changed my life.  

After close to an hour, I was starting to feel tired and anxious to get into a labour room so I could lie down. I just wanted to feel like we were settled in and I figured I could probably get some rest now before the contractions picked up even more. The nurse at triage made it fairly clear that I didn't need to be in a labour room until I needed my epidural. At this point I still felt anywhere between 1-2 hours away from needing an epidural, but the nurse didn't really need to know that. 

As soon as I was in my room the nurse put my IV in. I had a really uncomfortable IV in my hand with Coop's labour, so I was really pushing for one in a better spot. The nurse was an angel and she spent about 10 minutes searching for a vein in my arm. I was not about to complain one bit because I appreciated every minute that she was trying. Finally, success! A painless IV in a great spot inside my left forearm. 

A minute later, the anesthesiologist came in and it was epidural time! It was all happening so much faster than my first labour, and combined with the cold fluids that were racing in through the IV, I started to shiver and get a little bit nervous. I had two epidurals last time and it was one of the most difficult parts of my experience. This time around, my contractions weren't as strong and I knew more about what I needed to do to stay still. 

The epidural was seamless. It started to work really quickly but we noticed it was primarily working on my left side. I laid on my right side and slept for the next hour. From that point on, I didn't feel a single contraction. 


At 5:30am, my OB came by to do another cervical check and I was only 4.5cm. Since I wasn't progressing fast enough, she decided to break my water. The understanding was that she would come back in 2 hours and if I hadn't made some serious progress, we would talk about oxytocin. I had oxytocin with Coop's labour and it worked great for me, so it was never a huge concern. Mentally, I was ready for her to tell me that I was only 5cm by 7:30am. 

At this point most people were up for the day and after I posted "having a baby today!" on Instagram, my phone was starting to go off with texts from everyone.

Also, my best friends are twins...

So happy my Mom joined us for the labour again. She knew all of the nurses and she was wonderfully helpful. All of the ladies who had my Mom for their labour and delivery nurse were very lucky :)

At 7:30am, Dr. Moores came back with her two residents and made my day by telling me I was 8cm. EIGHT CENTIMETRES! I was super excited because in my mind this meant I was for sure in the clear and wouldn't need a C-section. 

We texted Charlotte, the lovely photographer who agreed to come by and take some photos of the birth at the hospital, and she left with her gear right away. 

Dr. Moores told me that the baby was posterior (not the ideal position for delivery), and asked if I could lay on my left side in hopes that the baby would turn. She said she would come back in 2 hours to check the baby's position, and they started to pack up their things to leave my room. 

Not even 2 minutes after I turned on my side, I asked the nurse, " much pressure is too much pressure to feel right now?" The sweet nurse, Megan, who was also my nurse when I had Coop, pretty much said I should hold off pushing for as long as I could. Okay, I thought, no problem. 

30 seconds later, I asked the same question. I'm not kidding, I was pretty much holding my knees together at that point. Nurse Megan goes to grab Dr. Moores and leaves just Ryan and my Mom and I in the room. I'll never forget my Mom saying, "Yeah, I wouldn't have left the room if I was her."

Oh good, nothing like thinking you might have the baby without any hospital staff in the room. 

But everyone came back. Megan stayed up by my side, Dr. Moores put on her gloves and got her stuff prepped, and another nurse came in to turn on the baby's little bed heater. Holding the baby in was the hardest thing ever...thank goodness I only had to do it for a minute or two. Let me tell you, that minute felt long. Ryan sat in front of me and I made a little talking sign with my hands to let him know he needed to talk and distract me. For some reason, an intense fear came over me about being a parent again. Was I ready to have this baby girl? It seems so irrational now that I'm looking back. I had 9 months to prepare for the arrival of this baby girl and it literally wasn't until the last 10 minutes that the nerves set in.

Dr. Moores told me I was 10cm and ready to push. Just her saying the word "push," I felt calm. Pushing I can do. Less than 5 minutes and about 6 pushes later, there she was. Ryan said the cord was wrapped all around her but Dr. Moores was amazing and got her sorted out so quick. Ryan cut the cord, we heard the first cry, our sweet baby girl was wrapped in a blanket and handed to us. 

5 minutes later, photographer Charlotte arrives. I was so happy to see her, and we were all shocked with how quickly the delivery went! She captured our first moments with our baby girl. I treasure these photos...      

Miss Jillian Louise Kelly, born Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 at 7:56am, weighing 9 pounds 1 ounce, and 21" long... 

Dr. Moores was so great to us. Since my other OB, Dr. Millar was away the last week of August, we knew that if Jilly made her arrival in July it would be Dr. Moores to deliver. I felt so calm knowing either one of these great doctors would be there with us. 

Ten fingers and ten toes...

Ryan is the best dad. That sentence seems way too mild to describe how amazing he is, though. He is my favourite person in the whole world, and I couldn't imagine going through anything like this without him. I love this photo of Nurse Megan handing baby Jilly to him.

Charlotte left us shortly after everything settled down, and I still don't know if we thanked her adequately. Baby Jilly stayed with us for almost an hour while Ryan and I just looked at her. Because Coop was whisked away almost instantly and taken to the NICU, this felt very relaxed in comparison. She was so healthy and perfectly pink.

Dr. Moores told us that if we wanted to, we could go home that afternoon. It was the absolute best thing she could have ever said. The thought that we'd be able to sleep in our own bed that night was so wonderful, and it was such a relief that both Jillian and I were healthy enough to skip a night at the hospital.

I changed out of my gown and into my regular clothes around 9:30am. Nothing like being back in your own clothes to make you feel refreshed :) I was wheeled to the mother/baby room with Jilly on my lap and my entourage behind me. I remember feeling so happy -- so overwhelmingly happy -- in that moment.  

After a visit from Mom and Dad (and a really delicious lunch), Ryan and I had a bit of a sleep. The nurses weren't nearly as annoying with tummy and blood pressure checks as I remember from last time. We started the discharge paperwork around 12:00pm, and then a group of nursing students doing their labour and delivery rotation volunteered to give Jillian a bath for us. They were so careful and thorough that it took almost an hour.

We put some cozy jammies on her and got her strapped into the carseat. We were on the road by 4:00pm and in the Harvey's drive-thru by 4:30pm. It felt so good to be FREE! Plus we decided to leave Coop overnight with Ryan's parents so that we could have one night to get settled in, just us three. 

Jillian was home. Life was good.

My girls, Kim and Brit, came over that night with this sweet little arrangement of flowers, a bottle of pink champagne, and the most darling outfits for miss Jilly in sizes that will span her whole first year. She slept in their arms, we took pictures, and I told them this birth story. It was so incredible that they were able to see her on the very day she was born.

Scott and Rebecca and the girls sent us this delicious edible arrangement :) It was pretty great to eat something that didn't come out of a drive-thru actually.

The next morning we went to an appointment at the Monarch Centre to get Jilly's newborn screening done, and have her weighed and checked out again. She passed every test with flying colours and everyone was marvelling at how healthy and how big she was. Big?! To us she's so teeny tiny!

We picked up Coop from Ryan's parents' house right after. It was so good to see him! Ryan's mom held Jilly, and Coop walked right up to her and gave her three gentle kisses on her face. He rested his hand on her arm and leaned down for a little hug. We couldn't believe how gentle he was with her, and how it seemed like he loved her instantly!  

When we got home on Thursday afternoon, we settled in to this new life with 2 babies. I took Jilly, Ry took Coop, we switched, we repeated. 

Sweet baby girl, we love you so, so much. We love your soft brown hair and how much of it there is. We love the little noises you make when you sleep, and that you've already taken a liking to your crib and the white noise machine. We love that aren't bothered by the shrieks from your big brother, or the barks from your new best friend, Weezydog. 

Oh Jilly, this is the start of a lifelong adventure with you...