Harrison's Birth Story and New Mother Advice
I’d like to introduce you to my littlest love, Harrison Nash Coons
Our boy that would not be kept from our family and the perfect end to a decade of the incredibly trying work of trying to get all my children earthside. His name honors both sides of our family, both sides of DNA that built his bones and chose his eye color. My Pappap was a gentle man with a twinkle in his eye, a love of ice cream, a laugh that will never be forgotten, a mind that trapped the smallest of details, and a father to 6 women. Pappap carried the last name of Hare from our Irish ancestors and passed it onto his 6 daughters who all carry different surnames now. We can already tell in our short time together that Harrison, like my Pappap Donald Boyd Hare, has a gentle and most agreeable demeanor.
Harrison’s middle name Nash comes from my husband’s Papa, the father to 12 children, a generous man with a great zeal for life and one who gathered his large family close and made each one of us feel like his favorite. Harrison will grow to be his own man but it is one of my motherly hopes that he will carry some of each of these great men with him in his own heart.
Here we are two months later almost to the day and the day of his birth still seems like such a surreal day
This was the last photo I took of my last pregnancy; I took this at 9 am and little did I know by 1:30 pm I would be checked into the hospital and at 8:30 pm I would hold my sweet boy. Something that would bring me some worry considering I was scheduled for a c-section the next day.
My last moments were so very sweet. I was sitting on my bed with my mom who had come from Ohio to be with me and help take care of me and my family after the baby joined us. Rosie had laid herself down in her bed for a rare afternoon nap which felt like such a gift to a tired mama. We had just ordered lunch and were watching Rosemary and Thyme while eating tuna sandwiches on hazelnut bread ( a regular pregnancy craving of mine and one I regret eating this day because I had to keep telling people what I ate that day while at the hospital while preparing for my surgery… why couldn’t I have ordered the turkey avocado today?!!!) We shared a fruit tart and I went upstairs to check on Rosie and as I climbed the stairs I began to cramp and feel sick and while I have never gone into labor naturally I knew my body was preparing for my baby boy to come. I had a little difficulty getting a hold of my husband and I thought this is as close as we are going to come to the exciting entrance into the hospital you see in films because all three of our other children have been born via c-section.
This was such a surprise for us, I had just been in to see my doctor for one last appointment the day before to check on my blood pressure that had been a little high for the past few weeks but between my high blood pressure, a little blood spotting, and contractions my doctor decided to perform the surgery a day early to be safe. We had to wait about 8 hours from the time I last ate for the c-section so I had some unexpected calm time to prepare to meet our sweet boy. This had been a difficult pregnancy, my hardest by far and challenging emotionally and physically and I had nearly done it!! I let myself feel all the emotions and thanked my body for doing her best. I said my affirmations and took a deep breath knowing that once it was time there would only be about 15 minutes where I would need to summon all my courage in order to meet my son. Everything went beautifully. My husband Steve cares for our newborns until my procedure is finished and then I meet husband and baby in the recovery room. It’s always so sweet to hear him talking and caring for our children until I’m ready.
Harrison Nash Coons and his Mama hold each other for the first time. Harrison was 9lbs 11 ounces and 21 inches of pure glory.
I thanked my body one last time for being the vessel for my four children. She and I have been through quite a few versions and each she has reminded me that she is home.
Our kids weren’t able to come visit in the hospital so this was a sweet reunion and one of the things my heart was hoping for all along.
I wrote this back in August when we were fixing the house we would bring him home to:
“There is an interwoven tapestry of our story, baby’s and mine. Each breaking day I write a new line and safely tuck it away between my heartstrings.
Some days I tell him that this is so hard for me to carry, I cry and he seems to understand.
Some days we call each other by name to see how it feels.
Some days I take him along with me to check on the home we are working on, the one his Dad is building and I am coloring.
Some days three sets of little puffy hands come feel for him. He is our littlest and is so very loved, these will be the hands that help care for him. He will soon learn the kind of comfort and joy that accompany each pair, one is safety, one is humor, one is freedom.
One the day this photo was taken my spirit spoke to his spirit and I told him that his worth and my worth were abundant and eternal, I promised to love and honor each of us.
Today I will sing him a song of joy and keep writing our history together as mother and son.”
Written August 12th, 2021 but meant so much more on October 30th when we brought Harrison to the home we made for him.
Tips For Preparing For A C-Section Delivery:
This was my fourth c-section and I was sharing some things I do to prepare for the birth of my babies on social media and I thought maybe it would be helpful for those things to have some permanency. We all prepare for large life changes differently but I think one recurring thing we must encourage is to do the things that make you feel the most comfortable, the most supported, the most prepared.
I make a visit to the Myopractor or chiropractor to make sure everything is in line and giving me the greatest chance of recovery even after my body has shifted and my core is weak from surgery.
These house dresses are very comfortable and nursing friendly, I also like the pockets. I got the Onyx and the black ribbed, this fabric, while soft, is clingy but they are beautiful for recovery and the newborn days.
A Robe is helpful for the hospital which tends to be chilly, the postpartum temperature changes can be intense especially those night sweats and for a bit of modesty because there is always one person that didn’t get the memo and just pops over without warning to see the baby.
A recliner with buttons to move it up and back is one of the things I am most grateful for in my recovery. My sister in laws who have had multiple c-sections themselves passed this tip onto me, and nowI pass it onto you! For the first few days it is difficult to find a place to get comfortable especially for feeding the bay and I basically live in the recliner for the first few weeks.
A Heating pad to help with cramps, back pain, and I just find it to be comforting (when I’m not sweating from the hormones).
New linens- one last act of kindness before you leave for the hospital, change your linens because you will be spending time recovering in your bed and a new pair of patterned linen sheets is a glorious gift to yourself. I wish more sleeping would actually happen but so it goes with a newborn, but a fresh set of sheets will make a cozy haven for you to spend your days and nights.
Roller cart or night stand bins- keep everything handy until you are more mobile. I keep diapers, wipes, nursing supplies, burp cloths, changes of clothes for the baby and snacks close by in a storage cart. you can also wheel it room to room if you need.
Bassinet or Bedside Sleeper- My friend let me borrow this one, a bassinet that is close to the bed lets the baby have their own space for safety but makes it easier for you to do those night feedings.
A little something for mama- get yourself something nice, something to say well done you, and I know you’ll be enveloped taking care of your baby but don't forget you used to enjoy this! A little gift card to your favorite drink stop to take a 15 minute coffee run without the baby, a new scrub for the shower, soothing gels for your eyes, a new magazine to read… you’ll know what would make you feel like a new woman after 15 minutes to yourself.
This time I brought a little gift for my nurses, since you are at the hospital for 2-3 days for an uncomplicated c-section you spend alot of time with your nurses, I took these for my nurses and they were much appreciated. If nurses cant accept gifts at the hospital you’ll be delivering perhaps offer to buy them lunch or bring gift cards for the nurses station for coffee or a local restaurant.
Supplements Nutrafol and Ritual- its alarming when the hair starts to shed in bunches. Two weeks before I delivered I started taking Nutrafol a special vitamin to help with post partum hairloss. Its been three months now and my hair seems to be as glorious as ever. I also switched my pre natal to my post natal vitamins for nutrients while nursing.
A deep cleaned house- after I had my first baby my mother in law was so thoughtful and had a team of cleaners come to my house and deep clean everything, I’m talking vacuum lines on couches and ceiling fans dusted. It's been something I have started doing for myself once a month and I make sure to schedule a deep cleaning right before baby comes. Also if this isn't in the budget just yet, often times friends and family are eager to help you prepare for the arrival of your baby and would genuinely like to help! 9 months pregnant and scrubbing bathroom tile is no fun so if you feel comfortable, ask for a little help tidying.
Car cleaned we have a small business in town that comes to your house and details your car for you. As a mom of 4 I basically live in the car once I have healed a bit and have the clearance from my doctor to drive. I look forward to that coconut smell, there’s something that they use and I don't know what it is but I love it and the fact that there aren’t apple cores in the drink holders in the back of my suburban anymore. I also love to prepare a littel car organizer for emergencies, I put diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, extra outfits, medicine, a blanket, baby carrier, snacks and water in the organizer… because having a baby will teach you that something exciting is bound to happen, almost daily!
Grocery shopping before you head to the hospital and prepping freezer meals can come in quite handy. Many cities offer grocery delivery now through apps like instacart so you can buy them for yourself or even give that as a gift but its still a good idea to stock up on some favorite items for quick nourishment.
A Few Favorite Baby Items (many from small businesses)
This changing pad, especially for baby boys. It wipes clean easily helping to avoid more laundry.
This bouncer we affectionately call the poop chair, I don't know what it is about it but without fail Harrison has a blowout when he is sitting in this bouncer. That being said it comes in handy if you need to make dinner or keep the baby safe while you shower.
Journaling the small moments and special memories
I didn't know about this with my three other kids, the Haaka helps you save precious breastmilk especially in those first few weeks when your body is trying to regulate its supply.
Favorite bottles, Bottle warmer, bottle cleaners, bottle sanitizer
For the car, forget the baby mirror and get this little video set up, it also has night vision.
I have had this Solly wrap for 7 years, I keep my babies close enough to kiss but hands free for making. Solly has since come out with beautifully patterned sheets, layette sets, and swaddles in the softest fabrics often designed by artists. Solly gifted us a few sleepers which was perfect timing because sweet Sonny has already outgrown the ones I bought for him as a newborn.
A few other clothing basics I like, these kimono sets from H&M (I love the colors) and Quincy Mae has the most delightful patterns and baby basics.
Diaper Bag, I love a backpack style my hands always seem to be full!
This breast pump- Harrison had trouble latching and this pump was amazing, I’d pump in the car on the way to school pick up or while I was washing dishes. Hands down one of the best purchases this time but with my other kids I think I collectively pumped maybe 7 times.
Stores for toys and baby items - bitte, scaniborn, and surprisingly Zara home
Baby Settler- I brushed up on my newborn routine, that wake sleep feed cycle will set you up for some larger stretches of sleep once you make it past those tiring first weeks. I also hear amazing things about Taking Cara Babies courses.
All of my kids have these nightlights and noise machines, they also are useful for lighting the way for night feedings.I've never been so thirsty as when I’m nursing, these Stanley cups are always sold out and for good reason if you can get your hands on one it will help you stay hydrated but this is another fabulous style and I love the colors.
Tubby Todd makes magical soap, balm ( I swear that this scrub and this balm will keep the cradle cap away) and seasonal lotions.I get a diaper subscription from hello bello, I like their fun patterns and you can choose how often you'd like your diapers and wipes delivered.