Ivy's First Vacation + 5 Things We Learned

So excited to share a recap video of our first vacation with Ivy and as a family of three. Massachusetts holds a big place in our heart and it was really exciting navigating this new part of our life together. I think the craziest part for me was getting over the potential “germs” that live in the airport and figuring out how to not have a complete anxiety attack if our 3 month old touched something. This new parenting thing can be tricky but we’ve heard from a lot of good friends that it gets easier. Ivy was a total angel and she adapted really well to the pack and play and being in a new place. It was nice to be able to go to a place we love and know so well so we could set our own pace with the baby. It was pretty funny looking back at it now but every time we left the house, Ivy fell asleep. I mean she was sleeping on almost every walk, drive, beach exploration and ferry ride. I remember wanting her to wake up to experience these things but it was also nice knowing she was cozy and along for the ride. I am no expert but figured I would share a few things along the way that I learned while traveling with an infant.

  1. Bring clothes that run a little big. Ivy went through a growth spurt during our trip and half her clothes did not fit.

  2. Rent a bigger car, with room to change diapers!! We got a tahoe on accident and it was honestly the BEST family car. **Note to future self, get one of these babies for every trip!!

  3. Don’t set expectations! This trip was truly go with the flow, we had NO idea what to expect and we made a point to see where the day took us. Some days we were able to sight see more and some days we lounged around the house all day.

  4. Keep a schedule- we tried to do the same routine at night so that she would be more likely to sleep and not throw off her sleeping cycle. It kept the stress low for all three of us and it allowed us to get in naps when we could!

  5. Choose a flight that lines up with their sleep- We booked a super early flight knowing we would have to get ready and out of the house around the same time Ivy typically would wake up to nurse. Once she fell back asleep we put her in the carrier and were off the airport. We were really lucky she slept the whole way until right before take off.

Gray & Air Block Party 5 | Thicket, ATX

A big thank you to everyone who joined us at our Block Party #5 in October. It was a lovely time hanging out with friends and family in the community. Check out this recap video from our 5th Block Party at Thicket Austin.

Shout out to our sponsors: Gray & Air + Thicket ATX

Live Music by Will McGee

Beautiful Face Painting by Emily Chapa

A Birth Story: Ivy Love Adkins

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Ivy Love Adkins was born March 23rd in Austin, Texas. Our birth story did not go according to plan, but we feel very thankful that we had a relatively smooth delivery and that we welcomed a healthy, beautiful baby girl into our family. 

On March 21st, Gray and I attempted to get the delivery party started by walking up and down SoCo! After we took a small break at the lounge in SoCo Hotel we started to make our way back to our car and when we *finally* made it back we drove to Little Darlin's for some hang out time with a few friends. At this point I had been having contractions all day but we decided to go see our friends anyway because this whole delivery thing is just a waiting game. After hanging out for a few hours we jumped in the car and headed to Taco Bell because, for the first time in 9 months, I was finally craving SPICY food. When we got home the contractions felt MUCH closer together but I tried falling asleep anyways. The pain from the contractions woke me up at 3 am and I called the on call midwife who walked me through some relaxation excercises and then told me to come in first thing in the morning. 

We woke up the next morning, grabbed all of our packed bags and headed to the birthing center. When we arrived they did their tests and informed us that rather than progressing, I had actually gone backwards and that we could wait it out (we were already over the due date at this point) or we could go to the hospital to get induced. Gray and I already had made up our mind that if I had not progressed, we would get into the hospital as soon as we could. Call it mother's intuition, but I felt that if I did not get this baby out soon it was going to result in a c section, because contrary to what all the Drs kept telling me I knew Ivy was going to be a big baby.

So we left the birthing center headed home for a few hours and then met our midwife at St. Davids to get checked in. When we arrived, I asked for the room with the birthing tub and it was available (which was super lucky and rare) so felt like it was a good sign that I was there. We got all settled in our room and started meeting our nurses, and Dr.'s who were going over the hospital procedures and best/ worst case scenarios. 

Later that night we began the induction process and honestly, I think this was the worse part because there was no guarantee that my body would respond. The next morning we woke up and the doctor came into our room and informed me that if I was still not progressing by the next check up, that my chances of having a C-Section were extremely high and that I would need to consider getting an epidural well in advance so that if I ended up with a C-Section, I would be able to meet my baby right away. After she left the room and the nurse came in, I totally had a melt down. Not only had I planned to have my birth at the birthing center, but now I was a candidate for surgery and an epidural (I just freaking hate needles). When our nurse got in the room, she quickly calmed me down and really helped walk me through all the scenarios, she also switched me to potossiun and said we were gong to give it a try to kickstart everything. Pretty sure her positivity helped my body kickstart, because the next time they came in I was dilated 4 cm and I was starting to believe I could do this. 

So Gray and I took several walks around the floor to help my body along, and also pass the time. When we got back to the room, the contractions were getting much stronger and more frequent. They were coming in so strong, that I really was getting to a point where I did not think I could handle it. I opted in for the birthing tub and sat in the water while the monitors were all hooked up. We tried to find a pandora station that sounded good to me at the time, but literally nothing sounded good. We tried Rhianna, Latest Hits, Hip Hop even Selena Gomez, and finally I was like turn this offffff.  While I was in the tub, they kept having to check on Ivy's heartbeat, for whatever reason every time I laid or leaned on the right side her heart beat would slow down so they began to watch me like a hawk. 

After, I got out of the birthing tub they were ready to check my progress again and found out I had dilated to 8 cm. At this point I was basically begging for the epidural, because OMG. If you have had a baby, then you know and if you haven't- well I will spare you the details. But anyways, they finally got to my room and started the epidural... but they had to do it twice because I may have had a severe anxiety attack...because needles... but finally the epidural was successful.  

Once the medicine was working, I was able to take a nap before the next phase began. An hour later,  it was time for the Doctor to brake my water and then all of a sudden the pushing began. Without going into too much detail, I started at 5:00 p.m. and pushed until 10:03 when Ivy was born. It was really cool though because our midwife happened to be at the hospital and she was serving as our Doula and Gray was able to coach me through it. During labor I started craving a sandwich and became fixated on eating turkey the moment after Ivy arrived. So I convinced Gray to call a sandwich delivery shop (while I was pushing) and to order me a gosh dang turkey sandwich. In Gray fashion, he grabbed his phone, placed the order and then returned to my side. But at 9:00 pm they called and apologized but that they were unable to complete the order. Let's just say the entire room of nurses and midwives were annoyed at the company for falling short on delivery and all told Gray to just hang up on them, hahah. So the pushing continued.... 

At 10:03, Ivy Love Adkins was handed to me by the Doctor and I got to hold her sweet little body in my arms and it was the best feeling ever. After, a few minutes of holding her the nurses began cleaning her off, while I was still holding her and then took her across the room to begin the weighing, cleaning process. It honestly all feels like such a blur to me, but I remember Gray was looking at me and we both just could NOT believe our perfect little daughter was FINALLY here! Once things settled down in our room, I begged the nurse to take the IV's out of my arm so I could really hold and nurse my baby. 

That night we were left to be a family and try and relax after all the craziness of labor. It was such an amazing transition from being pregnant to having this tiny little baby bundle in a bed right next to us. 

The next few days in the hospital we had our family and friends take turns visiting and meeting our sweet little girl and eagerly awaited getting out of the hospital and to the comforts of our home. 

** SANDWICH DEBACLE UPDATE: The nurse who was with us during labor and experienced the canceled sandwich order left us a little while after Ivy was born, in pursuit of a turkey sandwich for me and Gray. She returned with two deli sandwiches and mustard, I could legit hear the heavens singing and I seriously wanted to give her the biggest hug for bringing me that!