weight & height: 14 lbs 4 oz and 24.72 inches long. You're in the 90th percentile for weight and are off the charts for height, and have everyone that sees you verifying that you've got a tall Dad that you got your genes from. 😂 eating & sleeping: You are still eating really well and typically every 3-4 hours in the day and then once at night. A few times you've teased mom and dad with an 8 hour stretch of sleep and one time even did it from midnight to 8AM so that there was no middle of the night feeding, but so far it hasn't become a regular habit. We'll still appreciate and take the little bit of extra sleep whenever you feel like offering it though! exciting firsts/milestones: This past month you've really found your voice and we absolutely love when you use it! You're a bit more reserved than Emery was with your smiles and laughs, but will almost always light up and give plenty of giggles and babbles to mommy or daddy when we get some one on one time with you, and sometimes even just while by yourself, making mama wonder what funny thoughts are running through your brain and making you giggle that sweet little laugh. things I love: From what we can tell you're becoming quite the little mama's boy (and I LOVE IT). You LOVE being held and cuddled, especially by mommy, and will usually take at least one of your naps in the wrap or baby carrier on my chest. You also love going for walks outside in the stroller, and your curiosity and ability to lock focus on things (usually bright colors or Emery) have stayed strong. We've also discovered that you have a preference to Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, and the Beatles as far as music goes, and if you're ever having a hard time settling down to sleep playing one of those playlists + some cuddles with mama always seems to do the trick. things I don't enjoy so much: This past month we've struggled with a little bit of reflux while eating, and while we've tried to work through it it's made us sad to see your obvious discomfort and distaste when the reflux hits in the middle of a mealtime. You also don't love having to wait too long to be fed when you're hungry, and that's literally the only time that you'll ever really cry loudly. Besides that you are SUCH an easy going and happy baby and we love you for it! mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: This month's learning lesson for mom and dad has been all about BALANCE. It's been a pretty crazy month for our family between dad having to take his regional dental boards, preparing to move in less than a month, and dealing with a few other wild/unexpected events. With everything going on dad and I have been going on much less sleep and self-care than what's considered normal or healthy, and have noticed a difference in our ability to keep things running smoothly around the house. You and Em are always our #1 priority, but we've also learned this past month that doing little things to make sure that we're taking care of ourselves too (aka getting enough sleep, showering, etc) makes it so much easier to have the strength needed to be able to properly keep up with you and Em and give you both all of the love and attention that you both deserve and need. This usually means that other things like laundry and packing our house are taking a bit longer than they otherwise would, but we're totally ok with that if it makes for happier parents, kiddos, and an overall more peaceful family unit.
weight & height: 11 pounds 15.7 ounces and 22.87 inches long. eating & sleeping: You eat really well and quite a bit! During the day we'll feed you every 3-4 hours, and then at night you'll usually feed once late at night before dad goes to bed, and then again between 4 and 5 in the morning, making it so that mama really only has to wake up once in the middle of the night for feeding. Everyone involved is grateful that you're such a good baby when it comes to feeding and sleeping! exciting firsts/milestones: I suppose that everything is still pretty new for you at this point, but mama's personal favorite first of yours this month have been your first smiles! Emery was able to get the first intentional smiles out of you, then Nan, then you finally gave mama some smiles on your one-month mark. This past month we also gave you your first bath, and your first real non-doctor outings to Churchill Downs, the Big Four Walking Bridge, out to dinner, and of course to Target (a couple of times) 😉 things I love: You love cuddling and being held, especially in mama's solly wrap, and when you're awake you like to be in a position where you can see the things around you. You already do such a good job locking your eyes on things around you to explore and see them better, and have mama and dad wondering if this is a sign that you're going to be a curious kiddo as you grow older! Also, you surprisingly don't mind Emery constantly being around you in a borderline smothering type of big sister love and affection, and since she is the one that was able to get that first smile out of you, I think it's safe to say that you love her too! things I don't enjoy so much: Up to this point you have been literally the most easy going baby in the world, but one thing that we have noticed is that you don't love being cold, so we've purposely kept our house quite a bit warmer for the month of February than we normally would to keep you happy. Aside from that, you're one happy little babe, and we love you for it! mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: It turns out that there's thankfully a lot less worries and anxieties the second time around with parenting, but one thing that Kyle and I have learned this past month is how to really work together as a team in order to keep two young kiddos alive, safe, and happy. Whenever we're both home there's a good chance that we're tag-teaming anything from meals to bedtimes and everything in between to keep things running as smoothly as possible. The first few days it did feel a little bit like we were treading water in a pretty crazy ocean of toddler/newborn chaos, but since have gotten more into a groove of things and it feels good!
I did these little monthly updates with Emery and after her first year transferred them all into a photo book for memories sake. It's since become one of my favorite things to look back on, and I knew that when the time came that I would have to do one for Ashton too! I hope that you all enjoy reading along with us as we watch and document our sweet boy's growth each month!
I took these pictures when Ashton was only a few days old and figured I should probably get them documented since time seems to be slipping away from me and I'll already have a one-month old baby in a few short days. I feel like he has already grown and changed so much in these few short weeks, and even though I'll probably never fully forgive myself for not hiring a separate photographer to get quality pictures of our family at this special time, I'm glad that I at least thought to get some of Ashton so that I could capture those sweet, sleepy little features of his before he moved on past his fresh newborn stage. I never want to forget how his sandy-blonde hair fluffed up into the perfect fo-hawk when clean, or just how chubby and kissable his cheeks were in those first few days. Pretty much everyone that's met him in person thinks that Ashton looks exactly like a mini Kyle, and although their baby pictures don't really look much alike, I would have to agree that Ashton does look a lot like what you'd imagine a baby version of grown-up Kyle would look like (if you'd never seen his baby pictures), with a few of my features here and there if you know what you're looking for. Since I personally find Kyle to be an attractive guy, I don't mind our babe being a miniature version of him one tiny bit. 😉
I feel like our lives since Ashton has been born have been a special sort of beautiful chaos. Between having my parents visit and working to find a balance between Ashton's newborn schedule and Emery's toddler schedule, the days have honestly all kind of blended together and I'm finding myself struggling to keep track of any specific sort of timetable, but desperately wanting to capture and remember as many of these sweet new moments we're having together as a family as possible. I've found myself actually appreciating Ashton's middle of the night feeding (something I never thought I'd hear myself say haha) because it's one of the only times throughout the day that everything is quiet and I have a chance to simply just "be" with Ashton and reflect and feel grateful for him and everything that he's brought into our family.
Despite the craziness that comes with acclimating to this new stage of life, Kyle and I have both noticed that this time around feels a lot less stressful than when we were learning how to be new parents to a newborn Emery. It could be that this time we're only balancing a new baby instead of moving to a new apartment and dealing with Kyle's hardest year of dental school at the same time like we were with Em, or it could maybe be because Ashton is literally the most easy-going newborn baby I've ever seen making our lives slightly easier as new-again parents. Whatever the reason, we're grateful for the easier flow we've had because it's allowed us so much more time to dedicate to making sure that Em has as smooth of an adjustment as possible to being a big sister, and honestly has just helped us to be able to appreciate so many more of the little fun moments that might of otherwise passed our attention. Right now we're taking each day as it comes, and working to really embrace and be present in each moment, because it seems that the more we are able to do that, the more we find ourselves smiling to each other and saying, "You know what? Life is good", because in that moment, it really is. ❤️
blue swaddle: solly baby | white swaddle: little lane market | bonnets: kate grace thread co | em's outfit: little poppy co
On the morning of February 11th 2019, our hearts grew a little bit bigger when our sweet boy decided to officially join our family. Ashton Clarence Pett was born at 11:01 AM, measuring 22 inches in length and weighing in at a whooping 9 lbs 6.8 oz of sweet chunky love. He's been with our family for just under three weeks now, and even though his original arrival was a bit of an early surprise, now that he's here I can't help but reflect and feel grateful for what originally seemed like hectic timing because of how much joy it's brought us since. 💙
To say that I didn't expect Ashton to arrive when he did would be a gross understatement. My OB had mentioned to me a few times that she didn't see me making it all the way to my estimated due date (February 20th) because of Ashton's size, but I hadn't had much progression in my weekly appointments and thought for sure that I'd make it to at least my 39/40 week milestone before meeting our baby boy. I'd had inconsistent contractions that had been growing stronger day by day, but I genuinely believed that I could mind-over-matter my baby into staying inside of me at least until the 16th when my parents would fly in so that I could have my dad to help watch Emery and my Mom to help Kyle & I through labor as my birth coach. February 10th started (and seemingly ended) as any other casual Sunday; Kyle, Em & I went out to brunch in the morning and relaxed through the afternoon, and come bedtime I followed my nightly routine of chamomile tea, reading, sleep aide, and pregnancy meditation, and was sound asleep by 10PM. Around 11:50PM I woke up with a gasp and a "Kyle I think my water broke" as the mess spread over our bed proving that my water definitely had broken, and I realized that some things in life you just can't control with sheer willpower, and instead have to respond to with a slightly modified "mind-over-matter" mindset to get through the experience ahead. Ashton was ready to join our family, and it was time for me to get on board.
Since my parents were still in Utah and I had no way to teleport them to Louisville, we instead called on my dear friend Megan a little after midnight to see if she could watch Emery for us while Kyle and I went to the hospital. I swear if there was ever such thing as a heaven-sent friend, Megan is that friend. She came over to our apartment without a moments hesitation, slept on our couch, and then proceeded to take care of not only Emery but also Kyle and I in every way possible until my parents made it out the few days later. Before Kyle and I left for the hospital, she reminded me that everything happens for a reason and that Ashton coming early was probably meant to be, and although I could feel the anxiety of going into a natural labor without my birth coach (aka my mom) creeping at the back of my mind, I took her words to heart and left for the hospital with Kyle nervously cracking jokes and working to find peace in the idea that our baby coming a week and a half early was exactly how it was always meant to be. After all was said and done, I feel even more grateful for Meg's sweet reminder and can genuinely say that I do believe that Ashton coming early was a blessing for our little family. During my labor with Em I depended mostly on my mom to get through the contractions, and as forever grateful I'll be to her for her help through that event, it was such a special experience to be able to go through labor with only Kyle by my side. I was in labor for about 11 hours from start to finish, and Kyle was my rock and solid support through it all. I had to get put on pitocin (again- apparently my body just doesn't love progressing on it's own), and through every single contraction Kyle was right beside me helping me to stay relaxed, and when I reached the roughest part of labor right before Ashton (very quickly) came out, Kyle was the one who helped keep me grounded and get me through it all. Having a new baby is always a special experience, and this time around I felt just so grateful to be able to share and go through that occasion with Kyle in a new way that brought us even closer together as a couple.
Kyle and I took the day of Ashton's birth to spend together with just the three of us, and the next night brought Emery to the hospital to meet her baby brother. Her giggling excitement over seeing him is something that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. Ashton was a little fussy when Kyle brought Emery into the room which I hadn't been anticipating (we'd tried to plan it so that he'd be asleep during the initial meeting part but once again life showed us that we can't control everything 😆) but instead of getting overwhelmed or annoyed by his cries Em patted his head while telling him over and over "oh it's ok!". We are still adjusting as Em learns to share our attention and time with her baby Ashton, but her love and obsession with him have stayed strong and have literally made all of my hopes and dreams for their relationship come true, and it has been the best thing watching her with him over these past few weeks as they continue to grow and get used to each other.
I remember when writing up Emery's birth story I had made a few main points that I wanted as personal takeaways from her labor & birth, and it's funny now going back and reading through those past notes to myself how many of them still rung true with my labor and birthing of Ashton. Contractions still hurt like hell (but were still managed decently well thanks to Kyle and a LOT of meditation/deep breathing), I still embarrassed myself during labor and had to choose to not care about it (Ashton came out so quickly that the on-call OB wasn't actually able to make it into the delivery room in time, and while the nurse was desperately trying to keep him from coming out I was 100% that crazy labored woman that you see in movies swearing and yelling for the doctor 😳), and more than anything was given the reminder that there are SO many things in having a baby that are completely out of my control, but that with a loving support team and keeping my main motivators and priorities at the front of my mind, that it would make all the difference and make for an "alls well that ends well" situation. I'm still so amazed at the body's ability to create, grow, and birth a perfect little baby, and feel so grateful for the timing of our sweet little babe because it has helped me to appreciate SO much more than I feel like I would have otherwise. I can't even put into words just how much love and appreciation I have for Kyle, my parents, Megan, and other girlfriends that have all come together in one form or another to help us welcome Ashton into the world. I don't know if I've ever fully believed that whole "it takes a village" saying until this boy decided to surprise us with his early arrival, and now I don't only understand it but also feel so much gratitude for the specific "village" that I've been blessed with. We're off to an amazing start to this lovely little adventure as an official family of four, and I can't wait to see how our story continues to unfold now that our sweet little Ashton Clarence has joined the party. This is my happy place. 💙
How far along? 36 weeks, 3 days. Fun fact - I didn't realize it until I went to actually write up this post, but I was also exactly 36 weeks 3 days along in Emery's last bump update, and I love that we now have pictures documented at the same time from each pregnancy! Sleep? I've reached a point where not even makeup and photoshop can hide the dark circles under my eyes I've gained these past nine months. I remember struggling with sleep at this point in pregnancy with Em as well from waking up to roll over and pee in the middle of the night, but it seems like adding in an actual toddler Emery to the equation has made it so that I can't even remember the last time I actually got what could be considered a good night's rest. Needless to say, Em's afternoon naps and chai lattes have become some of my favorite things. 😜 Food Cravings? Cold water, fresh pineapple (specifically from Trader Joe's), and cold cereal with unsweetened almond milk. My stomach is compressed enough at this point to where I've had to shift to eating smaller snacks/meals throughout the day, and these seem to be the things that I've found myself subconsciously keeping our fridge/cupboard constantly stocked with to get me through day to day! Current Pregnancy Project? At my last OB appointment my doctor informed me that because of baby boy's size the likelihood of me making it all the way to my due date is fairly unlikely, and I've since then gone from what could be considered "nesting" to running around like a full-on crazy person trying to get all of the last minute to-do's done before our little babe makes his debut. Still on my list of tasks includes starting his baby book, meal planning for when my parents are in town, vacuuming out our car so that we can install his carseat, packing snacks for our hospital stay, filling up my birthing ball with air, and trying to continue to clean/declutter our apartment as much as possible before he gets here. I'm sure there's more that I'm probably forgetting, but for the sake of keeping some sort of inner calm/peace I'm working hard to remind myself that it is 100% OK if everything doesn't get done right away, and am feeling grateful that at least the majority of the basic big tasks (baby's laundry, hospital bag, Emery's care plan while we're away, etc) are already done. Funny Pregnancy Moment? I literally can not go ANYWHERE without getting asked when I'm due, having people assume that I'm having twins when they realize that I still have a little ways until said due date, and/or people making comments like "you're due any day now aren't you?" My belly has grown to the point where not even maternity tops/sweaters cover it fully (I have to layer with 2-3 shirts every day to cover everything) so the comments aren't fully unwarranted, and I've reached a point where I've found that it's much easier to laugh about the awkwardness of it all instead of getting embarrassed about the size of my midsection, or Kentuckiana's constant need to point it out. 😂 Best pregnancy moment so far? I had the chance to have an ultrasound just this last week (at 36 weeks) and it was SO much fun being able to see baby boy so fully developed! I never had an ultrasound with Em after her 20 week appointment and I was blown away at just how real and close seeing baby boy so far along made everything feel. Based on his pictures he's set to have the most perfect chubby cheeks and my nose, but I guess we'll know for sure once he's actually here on the outside! Last minute pregnancy thoughts? Honestly, this last little bit of pregnancy has been a Disneyland-worthy rollercoaster of emotions for me. I didn't even realize how much of a hot mess I'd become until my sweet two and a half year old started feeling the need to console me with fairly constant kisses, hugs, and "oh it's ok mommy I love you's!" when she'd catch me silent crying during something as simple as our lunch time together or while trying to get my shoes on before we'd head out to run errands for the day. There's a part of me that's so nervous for this baby to get here because I know that it means getting thrown back into the newborn stage which for us with Emery was freaking HARD. I'm SO excited for Emery and her baby brother to officially meet and can't wait to watch their relationship grow, but then also anticipate how she'll adjust once her now beloved "baby brother" is on the outside and requiring a lot of attention, and I so badly want her to know and feel just how much Kyle and I love and care about her even with a new baby in the house. I'm so excited for baby brother to be able to officially join in on our family adventures, and also wonder constantly what those adventures will look like not only as a family of four, but also out of dental school and in a completely different state away from our community that we've grown to love and depend on so much over these past four years. I literally haven't even been able to make it through typing up these thoughts without getting teary-eyed (just in case there was any misunderstanding as to just how much of an emotional mess lack of sleep/pregnancy hormones have made me) BUT above all of these crazy emotions I especially feel grateful, for this incredible opportunity and most of all for the people that I get to experience it with. I still can't help but feel completely amazed at the body's ability to grow and deliver a human child, and am so grateful that me and baby boy have been able to make it through this pregnancy without too many scary complications or challenges. I'm so grateful for my close friends and for my parents and long-distance family members that have been such an incredible support system to me throughout this entire journey, and am so dang excited for my parents to get here in a few weeks to join in on the fun of welcoming in our new addition. More than anything I'm so thankful for Kyle and Emery. Without a doubt they were both heaven sent especially for me, and there is literally no one else that I could imagine myself doing life's crazy journey with than the two of them. We are all up for what I'm sure will be a bit of an adjustment once baby brother joins our party, but in my heart I already know that he is the exact person that our little family needs, and that once he's here the adventures we have together can only get more wonderful. Cheers to our soon-to-be family of four, and everything that's ahead. 💙
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.