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Happy FRIIIIIIIIYAY! Who’s excited?? I’M EXCITED. I’m especially excited because it’s my dad’s birthday weekend! He’s taught me a lot over the years, and this birthday’s a biggie. So it should be a fun one! More fun? These #AskE posts. I lovelovelove A’ing your Q’s, and it’s been a hot sec since our last one! The last #AskE was *also* more mom-centered, so no worries – I’ll make sure the next one is any/all Q’s you might have that have nothing to do with motherhood. Ha! 😉 But especially since I see quite a few mom-related and/or Olivia-related Q’s come into my DM’s or emails daily, I figured I’d grab some of the most frequently asked ones + post ’em here for all, along with a really friggin’ cute photo of Olivia from the last time she managed to pull out her NG tube. Girlfriend knows what she wants in life. Go figure. 😉
Has becoming a new mom changed in any way what y’all had imagined?
Not sure what *exactly* you mean here, so I’m going to assume you’re asking if being a new mom in general is different than what I/we had imagined? Yeah?
Yes and no.
In same ways, yes. I always envisioned new moms just being totally exhausted hot messes, living in spit-up-covered pajamas for months with undereye bags that are far from designer. 😉 I also had a lot of fear about becoming a mom, because I just worried that I wouldn’t be “good enough.” Which is a crock of BS. Yes, I still feel like a hot mess most of the time, but I’ve learned to get my ish together in other ways to account for the big change + interruption in the day that is Olivia Grace. She’s the BEST kind of interruption, so I’m learning to cut out the other, unnecessary interruptions or distractions that I hadn’t even realized I had in my life before (like binging YouTube beauty gurus or getting lost in a newsfeed black hole). If anything, I’ve just realized how much intention matters, and how you CAN do so much more than you originally thought you could, just by making an unbreakable vow to yourself and an uninterruptable effort. Some days, it still just won’t happen. But if you know your daily goals ahead of time, you’re so much more likely to craft the rest of your day around that, to help yourself make it happen. And then, if you give yourself grace on those days where life just happens, that’s like the winning formula right there.
In same ways, no. I’m still constantly researching, or having a work day derailed because I have lipsticks older than my boss. And I still have days where I look at her and just feel so totally unworthy to be her mom, or in awe that God entrusted her to me/us. And there are still days where I don’t get to shower. And there are still days when I second-guess myself constantly. But that’s totally A-OK. I think it just comes with the territory, and is all meant to keep you leaning into God’s plan instead of forging ahead with your own.
What does Olivia’s room look like at home?
Are we going to get a nursery/baby reveal?! I know it’s gonna be poppin’!
Girlfriend is actually all set up in our room for the time being! We have a pretty big master bedroom, so her crib etc is all on one side of it. Once she’s transitioned to her own space, then YES!
Will you call her Liv?
Occasionally! I’ve never been big on nicknames turning into the name itself, justbecause you get named for a reason! So I always want to be intentional about calling her Olivia, but we’re already calling her Liv from time to time. 🙂
If she grows up to be good at one sport/activity, what would you want?
I really just want her to be able to find what SHE is passionate about and do that – not just do what I’m passionate about, or what I think I’m passionate about FOR her. My mom did such an awesome job with this with me growing up, I think. She let me try literally anything + everything under the sun, with the exception of just a few things that were known to be pricier sports/activities that we just couldn’t afford anyways. I grew up having done swimming, volleyball, softball, basketball, track, cross country…and I’ve been playing the piano since age 5, sing/did all of the choruses, and did the spring musical and fall play. And I did Model UN club and student council. I did #AllTheThings, really. Granted, not all at the same time – things came + went as my interests and talents evolved. But my parents just supported me throughout, so that’s what we want to do for Olivia, too!
How has she been? Any events since she’s been home? How do you handle that on your own?
She’s been good. Can’t be100% sure about events since she’s obviously no hooked up to hospital monitors 24/7 like in the NICU, but since I grew to pretty much know exactly when she was having one based on her physical appearance during them, I’d say nope with 99% certainty! Plus, the hospital made her go 5 straight days totally event-free before allowing discharge, so that the hope is she outgrew them completely. Bless up.
As for her NG tube, THAT we do on our own – but it’s definitely a two-person job, so J + I do it together! We had pretty comprehensive training on it before she came home, so that we could replace it solo. It’s probably the least fun activity ever, but we manage. Just praying it comes out SOON.
Favorite products for new moms and must haves for baby?
Coming soon… 😉
Do you know why Olivia came early?
…yes and no. You see, when I was about ~30 weeks pregnant (probably more like 28 since doctors think my due date was miscalculated and should’ve been two weeks later than it was), my OBGYN sent me in for testing because I was “measuring small.” Turned out, Liv was also measuring small – they diagnosed her with IUGR, or, Intrauterine growth restriction. And they told me that for reasons unknown, I had a “bad placenta.”
At first, they said I’d be lucky to get to 37 weeks.
Then, it became “you’re going to be admitted to the hospital and then delivered at 34 weeks.”
Then…”You’re at risk of a stroke and seizure. We need to take the baby out today.”
I had been diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia. Because I didn’t exactly fit the usual severe pre-eclampsia bill, my doctors aren’t 100% sure why I developed it, or what really caused it.
How are you really doing? Has the transition from the NICU to home been easy? / What has been the toughest adjustment since having Olivia home?
Hahaha I’m “really” OK! The hardest thing for me personally hasn’t been anything NICU-related at this point, per se – it’s moreso just been getting adjusted to working full time AND momming full time under the same roof. That ain’t no joke, yo! Especially since up to this month, I had been toooootally a one-woman show running CUR with no help. Since hiring an assistant (Hi, Katie!), it’s been better since I can delegate a few more behind-the-scenes tasks. But otherwise, that’s the trickiest thing for me.
The only other non-easy thing is still the dang NG tube. We’re just dying for girlfriend to get it out. (And she’s doing everything she can TO get it out. Ha!). That’s harder since it’s just so not a “normal” part of baby-hood, which my own mom keeps reminding me. She gets fed every three hours on the dot instead of by “queueing” like other babies without one, so that makes it reaaaaally hard to go anywhere or do anything.
P.S. Our 73-day NICU journey is here.
When will she be able to have the tube removed?
Unfortunately, don’t know. 🙁 Girlriend has to pass a swallow study before anything can change with the amount she currently takes by bottle versus by tube. She failed her last two swallow studies because once she got to a certain amount orally, it showed signs of mild aspiration or the risk of aspiration – meaning, that liquid would trickle over her esophagus and down her airway, which can cause pneumonia. No bueno.
At first, it was a combo of the liquid going down and trickling over, and the liquid coming UP from her reflux also trickling over. Now that her reflux is slowly but surely improving, that’s not AS big of an issue, so we’re hoping that by the next swallow study (which very well may still be about a month from now), she’ll have outgrown that and can transition out of the tube.
How do you still look so put together and work? Impressed!
OMG LOL. Girl, you’re too kind! Most of the time, I’m totally rockin’ the athleisure with 4-day hair, a baseball hat, and not a lick of makeup. Chances are good that if I’m chit chatting with my face showing on Instastories, it’s because I had a hot sec to do some makeup that day. 😉 And chances are also good that if I had a hot sec to do some makeup that day, either my mom came to my house to help a sistah out, or SOMEONE ELSE is present to give me 20 minutes to spare.
But I think being intentional is always a HUGE part of it. Personally, I know that I feel so much better if/when I take the time to do a little somethin’ somethin’, whether that means adding mascara or lathering up in a yummy body cream after a shower. Something for ME. So while I often don’t get to do #AllTheThings in my pre-baby routines anymore, I still like to identify a few to squeeze in to make the everyday a little better! That typically means that during Olivia’s second nap, when she’s in her crib, I can throw on some makeup at my vanity right next to her.
What’s a Q you want A’d in the next #AskE post?
Does NOT have to be related to mommin’ or Olivia at ALL – anything goes. 🙂 Drop a comment below, or feel free to leave it here if you don’t want to post it publicly!