The joys and sorrows of a stay-at-home mom, wife, home economist and woman.

Happy 1st Birthday, Aurora!

I can hardly believe that Aurora’s first year has already almost passed! A blink of an eye, and she’s one. And what a one she is!

As I did with Jonathan, I wanted to share her birth story with you in honor of her birth-day. (I’m actually getting this done a little early. Amazing!)

Jonathan was 16 months old when we found out we would be welcoming another little one to our family. He was still nursing, quite happily, and continued to do so through much of my pregnancy.

From the very beginning of this pregnancy we had concerns. And because of my crazy septated uterus and how close our kids would be in age (23 months), a VBAC was not even an option for us. So we knew early on that I would be having a repeat C-section, which I was obviously not thrilled with, since I had really just started to feel like my body was getting back in shape. But as long as the end result was a healthy baby we were thrilled!

All of the early ultrasounds showed a healthy baby growing inside of her mama. And we were ecstatic when we learned we would be having a baby girl.

The first trimester went fairly well, only a little bit of mild nausea and some fatigue. Thanks to Jonathan’s food allergies, I started this pregnancy off 50 pounds lighter!

At 16 weeks I had some bleeding and mild cramping, so we went to see my midwife, Cathy. An ultrasound showed that I had placenta previa, which thankfully resolved itself several weeks later, so no more bleeding and no worries about the baby. Then, about the middle of my second trimester I started having regular contractions. In fact, most evenings I would have regular contractions for several hours. After quite a few trips to the hospital to get things checked out (plus one bonus trip when I apparently passed a kidney stone), Cathy placed me on pelvic and bed rest for my whole third trimester. I also had to take Visterol (an analog of Benadryl) when I was having a lot of contractions, which made me really tired and loopy. We also went to see a high-risk OB, who didn’t think there was much risk of me actually delivering early, but agreed that bed rest was the best option.

This was obviously very difficult for the whole family, but God took amazing care of us. We did a Mega Cook and stocked the freezer full of enough meals to get us through several months, and had many friends, family, and neighbors pray for us and step in to help with Jonathan and chores around the house. Some friends even decorated our Christmas tree and wrapped gifts for us! Because nursing can cause contractions, I had to wean Jonathan at 20 months when I was placed on bed rest, which I think was harder on me than him.

While it was a blessing that so many people took Jonathan for play dates, I really missed having my little guy around all day. And it was really, really hard for me to stay down. (Really hard!) I’m a doer- always in motion, always working hard, and for me to just sit or lay around all day was really difficult for me. I did use the time to finally learn to crochet, which I had wanted to do since I was a teenager. I made some cute things for the baby, and a bunch of scarves for family Christmas gifts. (Thank you, YouTube!) I knew how important it was for this baby girl to be born healthy and at term, so I did my best to do what was best for my baby.

Just a few weeks to go!

Aurora hung out in the uterus in a U-shape. Her head was up under my left ribs, her bottom was right against my cervix, and her feet up under my right ribs. And because of my uterus, she was stuck there for most of my pregnancy. So even if a VBAC would have been an option, she was such a weird breech presentation it wouldn’t have been possible anyway.

Throughout my pregnancy, I stuck to our Paleo diet, in the hopes that by continuing to avoid the foods that Jonathan and I were allergic to that baby girl wouldn’t have the same problems. (We all know how that turned out!) Instead of the usual glucose tolerance test, my midwife allowed me track my blood sugar for a week. But because of the bed rest I gained more weight than I had hoped.

Because I was having a repeat C-section, they scheduled it for February 3rd, when I would be 39 weeks. That last week I was allowed to get up and around a bit more, which was awesome! I only had a week to prepare our nest for our baby girl to come home. Early in the pregnancy, we decided that we definitely wanted to have our friend, Eva, as a doula for the birth again. We had dinner with Eva and her husband, Patrick, the night before, and then Eva, Benjamin and I all headed to the hospital at 4:30 am that Friday morning. (The hospital was a little surprised that we had a doula for a scheduled c-section, but I think that you especially need a doula when you have a c-section, because you aren’t able to do very much after the birth, including positioning the baby to nurse by yourself.)

Ready to go in to the OR. We said a prayer together before they took us in.
They did all of the prep work, and then wheeled me into the OR to get the spinal before Benjamin came in for the birth. Dr. Sweet and Cathy (they delivered Jonathan) were both there waiting. It was a lot easier and less scary the second time around, but still no fun getting the spinal. It’s very surreal to not feel anything but vague tugging sensations from your chest down. After I was all prepped, they brought Benjamin in, and in just a few moments Aurora Joy Leppard was safely delivered. They held her up for me to see her, before taking her across the room to be checked out. She was born a little after 7:00 am at Altamonte Hospital. She weight 6 lb, 13 oz and was 20 inches long. (Here is the post on her Birth-day and her First Day)

One of my first sights of Aurora. To me she was breathtakingly beautiful!

I remember being so overcome with love for that precious, tiny little girl. I was crying tears of joy, gazing at her, longing to hold her as my eyes were riveted to her across the room. She was so strong and healthy. Within 30 minutes, we were both in the recovery room, and I finally got to hold and meet this amazing blessing, this beautiful girl that I had been waiting so long to meet. I put her to the breast, and she latched on perfectly. She nursed very well and very frequently those first few days (although there was a concern that she lost too much weight at first, so we stayed in the hospital an extra day.)

Aurora’s first time nursing at the breast.

Recovering from a C-section is much easier the second time around, which is a good thing, because now I had two precious bundles of joy to hold and snuggle! And thankfully, I didn’t have any of the problems that I had first time, when my blood pressure kept dropping and I had to have a blood transfusion. And although Aurora tested Coombs positive, and they were worried that she could have jaundice as a result, we were all cleared to go home on her fourth day.

Aurora and Daddy having some quality cuddling time.

Jonathan wasn’t too excited the first time he met her. He saw just her head while she was nursing, reached down and touched her head and said “ball” then proceeded to play with the hospital bed. But from the time she came home, he has been a wonderful and loving big brother to his “Rora.”

Snuggling with both of my beautiful babies.

We were so grateful to have a healthy baby girl, who despite the months of contractions was born at full term. And I was so happy to really be able to snuggle with both of my kids, and even to tandem nurse them for a while.

Aurora is now constantly on the move. It’s hard to get a picture of her staying still! She is starting to walk, sign, and talk a little. She is an amazing little girl!

Our Family.

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