Sunday, May 13, 2018

isabella rose's birth story.

this post has been floating around my mind for five months now. i've known it's something i wanted to share because i think birth is the most incredible miracle (hello, l&d nurse here!), but i also think it can be so empowering for other parents or soon-to-be parents (mamas especially) to read. i know shortly before and after having baby girl, i was a little obsessed with reading birth stories and feeling connected in some small way with other mothers. i also want it to be something that i have recorded for our sweet isabella. and so on my first mother's day, i am reflecting on both the hardest and most joyful experience of my life. aaand it's a long one, so buckle up!

i can't adequately tell this story without starting at the beginning of labor, which came much earlier than expected. one late morning in october, i woke up and instinctively rubbed my little bump, like i did too many times to count every day. i said hello to my sweet girl, and i noticed something seemed off. my abdomen was completely hard, and i knew from my job experience that this was a contraction. though it was strong, it was painless, and this was definitely the time frame in which braxton hicks contractions could start occurring, so i logically should've just shrugged it off. but something told me to pay attention to it (oh thanks, divine intervention!), so i lay in bed and began palpating my abdomen to see if i had any more. i did in fact have more, and i quickly realized that there was a pattern to them. i downloaded an app on my phone and began timing them, and they were coming every 2.5 to 3 minutes, so within about 10 more minutes, the app alerted me to "pack my bags" and then "call an ambulance or head to the hospital immediately." at this point, i knew something was wrong, as the contractions began to become painful. i texted mateo at school and called my midwives, and we were told to come in. my first experience with labor had begun, and i was thirty weeks pregnant.

my co-workers were wonderful and had a room all ready for me, and the midwife checked my cervix, and i was one centimeter dilated. my contractions were coming every 1.5 to 2 minutes, and they were getting more intense. my midwife ran a FFN test (positive) and rechecked me an hour later, and i was dilated to a two. i was officially in labor, so i was given steroid shots for my baby's lungs, vancomycin, and magnesium sulfate to help protect isabella's brain and keep things relaxed. i was holding it together pretty well until the midwife asked if i would like to consult with the NICU, and i asked her if she thought i should, and she nodded yes. it was just all so surreal.

my high-risk doctor stopped in from the office to check on me, and i was given procardia to help stop the contractions. and my coworkers were absolutely incredible-- giving me cool cloths and ice packs to help with the side effects of the medications (mag sulfate you guys... woof), answering mateo's questions and supporting him, bringing alll the good energy and positive vibes, surprising me with flowers and a courage pin, and stopping in to keep me company. one of them blessed mateo, isabella, and i with one of the most earnest and most beautiful prayers-- one i'll always remember. i even had another drive from two hours away the second she heard i was in labor to spend the night and take care of me, bringing me lights, a sweet blanket for isa, and a fuzzy blanket for me. all of the medication and prayers worked because my contractions slowly subsided as the night progressed, and i was discharged a couple of days later.

the reason behind my preterm labor was unclear-- likely a combination of an auto-immune flare up, chance, and working long hours on my feet. i hoped that it was just a fluke, and that i'd make it to full term no problem while on bed rest, but i also knew the reality of the situation was a bit bleaker than that. my care team told me to take things in small increments and said it would be amazing if i made it to 32 weeks. thus began my day-at-a-time mentality, bed rest, and lots of fun with an irritable uterus (yes, that's really a thing!).

i initially thought that bed rest would be a nice little break, where i'd get to sit around and watch movies and read before baby came. but with my OB knowledge, i knew of everything that could go wrong, so i forced myself into a headspace where i took things a couple of hours at a time and tried to just be present. because of this, i spent a lot of time sleeping at weird hours, staring at the walls, praying, and waiting for mateo to come home so we could spend time together. i'd get nervous every time i didn't feel her move for like thirty minutes, but i found out that i could hear her heartbeat with just my stethoscope, so that eased my mind. i started contracting every time i would stand up, stay sitting in bed, use the stairs, shower... so i literally spent all of my time laying on my sides.

it was also around this time that baby girl was diagnosed with IUGR, an intra-uterine growth restriction. she had fallen off of the growth curve, so i had check ins with the high risk doctors, ultrasounds, and doppler scans a couple of times a week. i loved getting to see her in my belly a bit more often and was always reassured after our appointments.

despite our best efforts, i would have runs of contractions every day, and 1 to 2 times a week i would end up back in the hospital with labor contractions every two to three minutes. mateo was so incredible in supporting me during this time period, bringing me to all of my appointments and to the hospital and making sure that i was fed and comfortable always, despite being neck-deep in a tough semester. i was slowly dilating more and becoming more effaced, but i was holding off full-blown labor. i made it to 32 weeks, then 33, then 34. my amazing parents and incredible aunt came to take care of us and help us prepare for the baby, and thanksgiving came and went.

the day before i delivered isabella at 36 weeks, i woke up to find that my belly had disappeared. i honestly looked maybe 20 weeks pregnant-- either that, or i like i had eaten a few too many burritos. i went to my ultrasound appointment and felt awful back pain. this back labor continued throughout the afternoon, so i slapped on a heating pad and took a long nap. mateo came home from school and helped massage my back, but nothing was helping the pain. the contractions started up again and were stronger than ever, and i thought that maaaaaybe i would finally meet my baby. we finally left for the hospital around 9:30 p.m.

though i had become accustomed to intense contractions, these were becoming stronger and stronger, and i really had to focus on my breathing to get through them. i had planned to try for a natural, un-medicated childbirth, but when i went into preterm labor, i decided that i would just get through labor in whatever way i needed to since i didn't have the energy to prepare for a natural birth. i was 4 or 5 cm dilated when i arrived and 70% effaced, and baby was already engaged in my pelvis. i lucked out with my favorite labor room, and my dear friend sarah was assigned as my nurse. she brought in all sorts of goodies-- twinkle lights, stuffed llamas, knit blankets and hats for the baby, and positive birth affirmations that my coworkers had colored to hang on the wall.

we still weren't sure that this time would be the time that labor would last more than six hours and baby girl would come, so it was extra surreal. we settled into the room a bit, chatted, and danced to shakira and ricardo arjona between contractions. around 1 a.m., i told mateo he should nap, and i bounced around on the medicine ball to get through the contractions. around 3:15, one of my favorite doctors (who i was so lucky to have on call!) came in to check me. i was definitely in labor and six centimeters. my water broke, and that's when things got exciting.

basically immediately after my water broke, the pain really came. i didn't know that it was possible to feel that level of pain and be conscious. i transitioned from six to ten centimeters in forty minutes, while contracting every two minutes. the pain was absolutely mind-numbing and nearly constant. i don't really know how to explain it, other than i truly felt like the world was ending and was scared because it felt so out of my control. elle was positioned posteriorly, or sunny-side-up, which can also elevate the pain, so another one of the most wonderful nurses i know, lisa, came in and helped put me into different positions during the contractions to help her rotate. this wasn't fun, but it worked! mateo was such an incredible support, by my side through all of it and trying to distract me with happy thoughts in between. i distinctly remember him telling me, "remember all of those bows you bought her and are so excited about? you will be putting bows on her so soon!"

the pressure became so intense that i begged for an epidural if i couldn't push. my sweet sister-in-law, tess, showed up right about this time, and i was so happy to see her! and also scared that i was going to scar her for life. i got into hands and knees to rock during contractions, and after a couple more in this position, i turned to sarah and said, "i don't know what's happening, but if i can't push right now, i don't know what i'm going to do!"

pushing was both a relief and an incredibly intense experience. the pressure was so immense, but pushing was so intuitive, which was nice. i remember feeling so hot and apologizing for all sorts of things.. "sorry i'm so sweaty, sorry my bum is in your face, sorry for being so needy." i couldn't tell if i was progressing at all at, and i heard my doctor and nurses say the things we always say to patients (even when they're not always pushing super well). i asked my doctor to be straight up with me, and she assured me that we were making progress. i got to touch isa's head, which was kind of the best and gave me added strength. at one point, the anesthesiologist wandered in sheepishly asking if i was interested in an epidural. she was juuust about crowning, so i shook my head no, "we're good!" although i only pushed for 15 or 20 minutes total, it simultaneously felt like it flew by and i was pushing forever.

everyone in the room was absolutely amazing. i felt so loved and supported. but despite this, it was all overwhelming. i got to the point where i knew the only person that could really help me was God, so i prayed between contractions-- for strength and safety and confidence. i left it all in His hands, and i know that God was in that delivery room with us. one or two pushes later, my sweet girl was crying before she even was fully delivered. at 4:17 a.m., after about seven hours (plus six weeks) of labor, she was in my arms.

meeting isabella rose was indescribable. truly a piece of heaven on earth. she was so, so tiny and so beautiful. and very strong. i felt such a deep love for mateo and so bonded to him; i loved watching him meet his girl. and was so grateful for how well she transitioned. even though she weighed just over 5 pounds, she was lifting her head off of my chest, ready to nurse right away (to which tess lovingly called her "the hulk!"). the nicu gave her a quick once over, and then she was alllll ours. i had such an adrenaline rush that i didn't even care that i was getting stitches and spent the first 18 hours of her life staring at her when i reaaaally should've been napping. we were visited by my older brother and so many of my wonderful work friends, and then we snuck home to recover with the pups at home the following day.

i can't say enough about the team of people who took care of me-- during my delivery, preterm labor stints, and pregnancy. i always felt heard and supported and empowered. i was told that my doctor and nurses from the delivery left my room, hugged, and cried. and if that isn't remarkable, i don't know what is. the same nurse that offered up a beautiful prayer the day i went into preterm labor also prayed with us after the delivery, in gratitude, and it really felt like we had come full circle.

at my first prenatal visit, i remember my midwife saying that i would feel so strong and empowered after the birth despite my body having failed me so many times before. and this was absolutely the case. you guys, mothers are superhuman. to become a mom, no matter what route you take, takes such strength and courage.

for those who might wonder, i am actually quite glad that i chose to have a natural labor and unmedicated birth. although it was admittedly a bit traumatic at first, pushing was fast and instinctive, and i loved having the ability to move around. i also recovered quickly and enjoyed walking around an hour after her birth. i would go this route again-- just maybe with a bit more preparation next time!

i get so emotional looking at these photos and remembering this day. i'm overwhelmingly grateful. i would go through the six weeks of preterm labor, 18 IVs, anxiety, and pain time and time again for this perfect little girl. i love being her mother and still cannot believe that Heavenly Father has blessed us with her. a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us, congratulated us, and shown love for our isabella rose along the way.

**photos thanks to tess + lisa + steve jobs.

Friday, May 11, 2018

babymoon pt. one.

we knew that travel + life in general were going to get more complicated after our baby girl's arrival, and thus, we wanted to find the perfect getaway this past summer to celebrate our babymoon.

we were lucky enough to book some weddings in europe during the same week, so we hopped on a plane and escaped to some gorgeous parts of the world!

our first stop was germany, where we head to frankfurt to spend some time with our sweet friends + photograph a lovely elopement. after traveling for nearly 24 hours and getting off the plane extraordinarily swollen (thaaaanks, pregnancy!) despite doing all of the ankle raises known to man on the plane and wearing these lifesaver compression socks, we met up with our friends and celebrated mateo's first night in germany with a trip to nearby weisbaden for an outdoor festival. 

julia, elena, and lucas showed us the best german goodies (hello, pretzels + bratwurst), and we had a wonderful time wandering the square and taking in the pretty german architecture.

the following day, julia treated us to a trip to heidelberg, which was absolutely incredible! nestled in a little valley, the town is so scenic and offers perfect views of the rhine. we had the perfect day wandering the streets, exploring the castle, and trying heidelberg's famous "snowballs," which was essentially a giant ball of rolled dough covered in toppings.

this day also marked the first time a complete stranger asked if i was pregnant! despite how it looked, i was 20 weeks pregnant at the time, but i had very little bump to show for it. the heat and swelling were getting to me, so i sat down on this short tram right up the hill to the castle. i was feeling suuuper guilty when our car became packed with elderly tourists, since i was a young, able-looking gal taking up one of the few seats. i instinctively rubbed my teeny bump a few times, and this sweet old lady asked me if i was pregnant in french. i nodded, and she proceeded to fan me with her travel brochure and tell all the ladies around her the good news.  it was such a sweet little memory!

our time in germany was capped off with the most divine, homemade german meal by lovely barbara and some fun games of cards.

it was also on this leg of the trip that mateo felt baby girl move for the first time in my belly! we ended up stuck in paris on our way to spain after a train fiasco, and it was there that lil mama was dancing around in my belly so much that mateo could actually feel those tiny kicks and flutters. such sweet memories.

is this place beautiful or what?! so grateful for the chance we had to explore one of my favorite countries together and visit with our amazing friends. our time together was far too short! love you guys! 

Monday, March 12, 2018

isabella rose at two months.

this is my every hour of every day.
these wiggles and squirms, yawns and toothless grins, cries and coos.
and it's what makes life so, so good.

i filmed this in early february, when our sweet isabella was just over two months old, on a quiet afternoon. i want to remember these little details forever and ever.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

meet diego.

how can a creature be equal parts lovable and frustrating? this combination of sweetness and mischief perfectly describes our diego boy. this little fella became part of our family last december, after we suddenly and tragically lost our beloved cuzco. 

we were all completely heartbroken-- an absolute mess. but our poor lola girl was in the worst shape. she was virtually raised by cuzco, so she didn't know what it was like to be on her own. she didn't quite understand where her best friend went, and she was the loneliest pup i had ever seen. she stopped eating, even chicken and treats, she wouldn't play with us or perk up ever, broke out in a stress rash,  and she hid her face under pillows all of the time. the final straw came when we left her alone for the first time and came home to find her hiding behind the washing machine.

we were so devastated, but not quite ready to open our home to another dog. but we knew lola needed it, so we head out to the countryside and found this little fella. 

photos by knw photography

he instantly ran up to us and gave us all of the lovings, and we could tell right away he was a rambunctious fella. we loved his little white chin and belly (we call it his tuxedo), and we just knew he was meant to be a fabian.

fast forward a year, and we now realize just how rambunctious he really is. we blame the jack russell in him, but he is definitely the most mischievous pup i have ever known! he is a professional thief, burrower, and face-licker, and he's ultra-curious and ultra sneaky. i am pretty sure if wiley coyote existed in dog form... he would be it! we have found him on top of the dinner table and dresser, hiding underneath the counter with all of the pens he has stolen, or hoarding all of the dog toys in his bed. pretty impressive for a ten-pound dog!  but he is so full of life and personality, and he's loyal and sweet. diego makes a wonderful companion for lolita and brings us such joy. he's a snuggle monster and has taken it upon himself to be isabella's sole protector; he's always checking on her and even whines when she cries! 

we love this cheeky little guy who i have a feeling will be forever keeping us on our toes.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

this motherhood thing.

in the past three months, i've accidentally stolen from target twice. tiny items, like scotch tape + peanut butter, slip so easily under the baby's car seat in a cart, and it's not until after you're in the parking lot that you realize what you've done. the cashier was very perplexed when i went back to purchase the peanut butter the first time around, and when the employee in the lot took the tape back from me, he laughed but was also shocked at my honesty. 

in the past three months, i have sent about a million "is this normal?!" texts to my mom and turned to friends, family, and mommy facebook groups for answers to questions like, "does this look like pink eye to you?," "how do i get blowout stains out of her clothes?!," and "how to do i get her to sleeeep?"

i just laughed at myself the other night after catching myself telling this little twelve pounds of joy, "okay baby, stay right here, and i'll be back in thirty seconds!" when going to pee at three a.m. like she actually understands that notion-- and actually has the capability of moving more than three inches of wiggle away.

but then there are moments-- so, so many moments-- when i see those little brown/green/hazel (clearly still aren't sure what color they'll be!) eyes look up at me, and i feel connected to my core. or when she smiles at us with that face-filling, gummy grin and my heart feels like it might burst. or when we go on a target run and there are zero tears and i'm wearing real clothes. or when she's sleeping peacefully in my arms, and i just can't stop staring.

all this is to say, 
the past three months have been an ever-constant vacillation of "oh yeah, i've got this!" to "oh my gosh, what on earth am i doing?" i think it's pretty standard for every new parent to cycle through these emotions. and as much as i want to be ultra-organized and have this little lady on a perfect schedule while not constantly smelling like old milk and with hair full of spit up, it's just not going to happen.

and it's okay. 
i'm trying. trying really hard. my baby is fed and loved and watched after. she gets hours of snuggles from us every day and is developing beautifully and is really, very adored. 

it may take me a little bit longer to recover from a tumultuous pregnancy and labor and delivery. i may not be a super high-energy mom right now on nights where i don't get sleep. i may not be taking day trips with my baby or out on hikes or skiing. and it's okay.

my aunt sent me this video, and it is the most reassuring, comforting, and uplifting little tidbit for a new mom. so i just want to put it out there to all of you mamas out there: if you're paying attention to your bebe and loving on your bebe, you're doing great. our little ones feel our love.

it is still so surreal to think about the fact that i am a mom, and i'm this little girl's mother forever. but at the same time, this role feels so natural and so right.

this onesie was the first baby item that mateo and i purchased after we found out we was expecting. we hung it on our dresser in our room and dreamt about the little one who would fill it, talking about our future baby every single night. it took a couple of months for isabella to grow into it, but now that she's here, it definitely feels right, and we are so grateful that she's our sweet girl forever.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

newborn essentials list.

so, i'm not proclaiming to be a baby guru by any means (heck, we are just barely finally getting some sleep over here!), but elle has grown out of her newborn clothes, and we've been able to keep her alive and thriving for a few months now, so i'd say we have a little bit of knowledge about things that have worked for us!

i know when i was pregnant, i was a little bit lost when it came to registries and baby shopping. i was so dang excited because everything is so darling, but i was also overwhelmed because there's just so much out there, and i didn't know what to splurge on and what was simply impractical or unnecessary. so i turned to the army of amazing moms + wealth of knowledge that is facebook (and admittedly felt a bit foolish in doing so), scoured baby lists, and read endless reviews... and finally used our amazon prime account for all it's worth!

so thanks to the advice of many wonderful moms and articles, this is what we purchased and what we have found works really well for us. we tried to save money where we could but splurged on a few critical items or quality items that we felt like we'd get use out of for multiple babies. i'm attaching links for ease. i think i'll also do a separate post for breastfeeding items i've really liked, since i know not everyone wants to or can breastfeed. so, without further ado...!

so i know i'm not alone in that i am super crazy about swaddles. they really are sorta my all-time favorite baby item. so cozy and gentle and multifunctional (hello, burp cloth in a pinch!) most of ours are from little unicorn, and we love the fun patterns and quality!

little unicorn deluxe swaddle set- so these are the pricier sets from little unicorn, but they are just the softest and so cozy, which makes them worth it in my opinion. we only have a couple of these, but it's nice to mix it up with our other swaddles when she needs a little extra lovin.
little unicorn swaddle set (boy // neutral // neutral // girl) i love these sets because of all of the options, price, + they're still soft and a great quality. our little elle loves both the fruity ones + the floral sets.
aden + anais silky soft swaddle set- we were gifted a swaddle from aden + anais and love it as well! they're have a different look about them, pattern-wise and are great quality.
halo sleepsack- these were recommended to us by several people and are so warm and make a really nice swaddle. isabella haaates being swaddled because she loves to sleep with her arms above her head, but these are nice because they allow for a few options, including arms out. i have some friends who say their babes sleep through the night from the get go with these!

bottles, pacifiers, feeding:
dr. brown's bottles- there are a million and ten different bottle types out there these days, but we opted for these as they're more of a classic in the new age of bottles, and they help reduce air intake. isabella has done really well with them always (though needed a preemie size nipple when she first started with a bottle), and you can't go wrong with the price point. isabella never had issues with nipple confusion (girl just loves her milk!), but if you're worried about that, i'd opt for the avent bottles.
dr. brown's bottle brush- may seem sorta silly, but this thing is the best for cleaning both baby bottles and pumping bottles... and water bottles, too!
boppy pillow- lots of brands of these too, but we went for the classic boppy since there are so many options for different covers and they're easy to clean. it has been great for feeding + snuggling, and we'll also use it for tummy time and sitting up when the time comes!
pacifier + lovey- elle has a love/hate relationships with pacifiers, but she consistently spits them out, even when she's loving them. adding the little lovey toy on there helps keep it in place, and we liked that this brand was cheaper + detachable for cleaning, unlike the wubba nubs.
bottle drying rack- this isn't a necessity, but it helps us stay organized and allows the pump pieces and bottles + their components to dry in a clean environment.
burp cloths (girl // boy)- self-explanatory, but also super necessary! this is one thing i feel like we can never have enough of since we're constantly washing them. stock up!!!
bottle sterilizer- the boiling method definitely works, but after melting a baby item or two, we wish we had just spent the money on this from the get go ;)

owlet monitor- okay, so this is one of the most expensive items we purchased, but honestly it is, hands down, the best purchase we made. we decided to go this route instead of a video monitor, because this little sock reads her pulse and pulse ox (oxygenation) while she's wearing it and alarms us if there are any abnormalities so that we can make adjustments/help if need be. since she was a preemie, the sock didn't fit well enough for the first couple of weeks, and i really hardly slept because i was so worried about SIDS, so i was always checking her breathing. i've slept so much better since she's worn it; the peace of mind alone is worth it for us! you can use HSA funds for these, and right now they're on promotion at target with a $20 gift card for purchasing one!
doc a tot- we bought this on black friday and have liked it because it allows elle to sleep soundly and is so mobile, so we can bring it to her bassinet, our bed, her crib, the sofa, while traveling, etc.
rock'n play- this was 100% the most recommended item by other moms on facebook, when i asked what i needed to purchase. we don't let her sleep in it for extended periods of time, but we have it in our kitchen/main living space, and it helps keep her content and nap while we're cooking or eating dinner. she loves the movement and nature sounds!
co-sleeper bassinet- we're going by the pediatric recommendation of having baby in our room for the first six months for overnight sleeping, so this bassinet has been perfect because it attaches under the mattress for safety (baby can't fall between/it can't tip over), and i can just reach over and soothe her if she's fussy. easy access to baby for feedings too! plus, i can just stare at her while she sleeps (you all know you do it!) we researched a lot of options, and this is what worked for us because of the price point and reviews. i'd imagine it would be a life saver for c-section mamas who are too sore to get out of bed a million times a night those first few weeks.

inexpensive changing pad- when researching these bad boys, i saw so many different options. but when it came down to it, i wasn't sure how much we'd use it, and i realized that she probably was going to poop and pee all over it... so why spend a lot? we actually use it all of the time, and she definitely has had a few accidents on it during changes, so i'm glad we didn't spend a lot on it. works great!
changing pad cover (girl // girl // neutral // boy)- cause ya know, cute nursery stuff. these are nice quality and easily washable.
newborn diapers- there are definitely some great diaper debates, and we've tried a few brands (huggies, pampers, luvs), and we've liked the pampers swaddlers the best for sure. we had a really hard time finding preemie diapers for her first month, so maybe we just got used to the pampers, but they seem to be the most comfortable for her and are definitely the most absorbent, so we don't got through quite as many.
munchkin changing pad liners- these are life savers and help us avoid washing our changing pad cover every other day when things get messy.
babyganics wipes- we have tried many different brands of wipes and like these best because they're marketed as wipes for face, body, and bum, and they're more natural-- and not too much more expensive than generic brands! we also like the pampers sensitive skin wipes.
baby-safe hand sanitizer- we bought this amazon pack and placed them throughout the house, and they've been used a ton by us and by guests! and they don't seem to dry out our hands as much as other brands. plus, with dogs who love giving kisses, it's a must.
bum brush- okay, full disclosure: i laughed when this was recommended to me. like come on guys, isn't this what hands are for?! but i was quickly converted because i forgot how annoying it is to clean cream off of hands. this applies it smoothly + fast and is easy to clean. worth it.
ubbi diaper pail- i admittedly spent way too much time researching diaper pails. way too much. though this isn't the cheapest, we ultimately went this route because it's steel so the scent doesn't leach into it, and you don't have to buy expensive name-brand bags, like some of the other popular ones.
bum cream- this one was recommended to us and is the only one we've tried, but it works well for elle (who admittedly doesn't need to use it very often). i've also heard cornstarch works well as a natural barrier?

digital thermometer- we invested in an on-sale (but not cheap) infant temporal/ear thermometer, and now i wish we had just bought an inexpensive digital thermometer from the get go. i ended up with the flu a couple of weeks ago, and elle had an almost-fever, and the doctor was insistent on using rectal temperatures only for accuracy.
gripe water- girlfriend had some serious gas problems her first two months of life. our poor little bug was constantly bearing down, clenching her fists, and turning her face red with might, and it was awful to watch her suffer. we ended up having to use a combination of gripe water and gas drops to help her, but i preferred the gripe water since it's more natural.
infants' tylenol- we fortunately haven't had to use this yet, but it's been really nice to have it on hand for when we do need it, in case that happens to be at 2 a.m.
infant vitamin d drops- our pediatrician had us start giving these to isabella from the get go. we've used a couple of different brands/formulations, and she likes the way these taste the best!
baby nail clippers- cause those little tiny nails are sharp and scratch their perfect faces! we like the magnifying glass feature on these.
nose frida- also haven't had to use this yet, but it was recommended to us a thousand times over by other moms for colds/congestion instead of using a bulb syringe.
windi- we try not to use these too often, but they've been a lifesaver when we have needed to use them. they're basically a little catheter that you stick in the baby's rectum to help release trapped gas/constipation. we had a few nights where elle suffered for 6-7 hours and we'd tried everything else, and this was the only remedy to her gas pains

towels (girl // neutral // boy)- these are soft and cuddly and absolutely adorable. elle loves the little hood to warm her head until we dry her off and put her in a hat.
bath tub- we bought the older version of this tub and have been happy with it. inexpensive, cute, functional, done.
washcloths- we didn't want to spend a ton on baby washcloths, so we bought these on sale and a pack from amazon on sale. by and large, these ones have held up much better and are way softer!
munchkin shampoo rinser- this is somewhat frivolous, but for $5, i'm okay being frivolous. this little guy makes for easy rinsing after baths, and although a plastic cup would work just as well, we like the handle while also trying to maneuver a wiggly baby.

miss fong diaper bag (black // brown // gray // olive // pink)- best bargain buy right here!!! i've always loved the fawn design bags, but i can't get myself to spend the money on them and have had some friends whose have broken quickly, so i gave this a shot, and i've been pleasantly surprised by the quality + how it looks. you can buy three colors for the price of one designer bag sooo it's sorta a no-brainer.
skip hop diaper backpack- i'm a fan of the backpack setup because managing a squirmy baby or awkward carseat on one arm and a diaper bag on the other can be difficult. aaand this one is just crazy cute and functional.
my wildbird sling- we are still getting the hang of the whole babywearing thing over here, but baby girl loves it, and i love the ring slings because they're a lot easier to get set up than the wraps, so they're great for getting going quickly. plus, these ones are made by local moms, so that is cool too.
solly baby wrap // moby wrap- these are great for babywearing for infants too. i've walked all over a mall with isabella in this, and we both loved it!
uppababy vista stroller- this was another one of our splurgiest items. after a looot of research, we went with this one because it's quality, and we intend to make it last for many years. we're hoping to have all of our kiddos in the next six or so years, so we wanted one that could transition to a double stroller, and this one also has a ride board attachment for a third little one! it drives really well, and elle loves the bassinet feature. i also know some mamas who use the bassinet around the house, so it is multifunctional in that sense. 
nuna pipa car seat- also not the cheapest option on the block, but we splurged because of the quality reviews, and we intend to make it last for more than one kiddo! it is light and has some really great safety features.
copper pearl car seat/nursing cover- we have used this a ton in the winter months. i admittedly currently only use it for a car seat cover, but you can also use it as a nursing cover and shopping cart cover when they're older too!
tummy time play mat- keeps the babe entertained while she develops and works on her motor skills.
promptly journal- i am trying to get back into journaling more to help remember all of the little moments, and i love how beautiful and functional this journal is. it has a lot of blanks for facts and memories during various ages and stages of baby's growth.

hopefully i didn't forget anything! this seems like a lot, and obviously you can go without some of it, but these have been our favorite items. i'd be remiss to not mention that we were blessed enough to receive many of these items from our generous friends and families. thank you, thank you, thank you!! we registered with babylist + amazon (though babylist pulls all of your registries together, which is nice), and we were so fortunate to be given so much.

please feel free to e-mail me with any questions, and happy nesting!

anna, mateo, + elle

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