As of 9:32 AM, December 31st, 2019 we have a new addition to our family!
Her full name is Elliana Sierra Gable – Ellie or El for short (Or Ana or Liana, no shortage of options there).
You should know that she’s pretty much the most perfect human to have ever been born. And before you ask: nope, we’re not biased at all. 100% not biased. See for yourself:
Some quick birth stats:
Elliana was born at a petite 5 lbs. 8 oz., although we expected her to be a bit small as neither of us are very big people and she was exactly 3 weeks earlier than originally planned.
She was 18″ long at birth, although you wouldn’t know it looking at her because she squirms and wiggles and likes to curl up into a little ball.
We got to the hospital at 6:30 AM on New Year’s Eve, and by 9:30 AM we had a healthy newborn!
Elliana was delivered via a scheduled C section for momma’s health (some borderline blood pressure and blood sugar numbers in early December). The anesthesiologist in the OR was even kind enough to capture the Lion King ‘pride rock moment’ as they lifted her out:
You know how it’s a big cliche in movies that everything changes when your first kid is born? Yeah, not an exaggeration at all. We were both overcome with ALL of the emotions when we heard her first cry right after being born.
It’s right up there with the total solar eclipse on the ‘list of experiences we had high expectations for and it still blew them completely away.’
Hearing her cry was especially relieving as we were worried about the development of her little lungs at 37 weeks, but she proved right away that she’s got a solid set of pipes and we’ll be hearing plenty more from her in the coming years.
Recovery at the Hospital
After the procedure we settled in to our 3 day stay in the mother/baby unit at the Rush University medical center. I think we got a combined ~10 hours of sleep the first 2 nights between general excitement, nonstop nurse visits, and frequent feedings for Ellie.
The nurses and pediatricians in our wing were all amazing – always making sure both baby and momma had everything they needed. Here she is getting her tiny hair combed after her first bath:
We also got tons of great little parenting tips that we would have had no idea of on our own. For instance: did you know you’re not supposed to shake the baby?
Okay, sarcasm aside, we really did get lots of advice on everything from holding & swaddling the baby, to feeding schedules, and even a thorough breakdown of what colors of poop she’ll be having over the next week to month.
We’re still learning a lot as we go, and will probably mess some stuff up along the way, but so far we feel like we’re doing great – and more importantly, so is she!
Some other notable happenings from our stay at the hospital:
Since she was technically a pre-term baby, they had to put her in her car seat and monitor her for 90 minutes to ensure she could handle longer car rides:
And here’s a couple pictures of her in the recovery room:
One thing that surprised us quite a bit was her name. We actually started prepping 4-5 months ago, and had come up with a short list of names we really liked.
Most of these names were classic names from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that we thought were elegant and timeless. We’re not the only ones – a lot of those names have made a huge comeback in recent years.
In fact, we had almost settled on Adaline (or Ada) several weeks before the birth, with the caveat that we’d need to see her in person to know for sure. And then, early in the morning before going into the C section, we started reading through some more names to limit anxiety and take our mind off the fairly major surgery that was about to happen.
In that list of names, we stumbled across Elliana and almost immediately it jumped up on our shortlist of favorites. It wasn’t a classic little girl’s name, and it wasn’t really like any of the others we were considering, but we loved how feminine and graceful it sounded, and how many possible nicknames it afforded (as mentioned above).
And the more we looked at her, the more it just seemed right. So now all we needed was a middle name.
As everyone knows, the main consideration when picking a child’s middle name is to make sure it flows well with the first name, so it can be sternly exclaimed to instill fear when the kid dun’ goofed later in life. But Elliana, at 4 syllables, was practically a full name already.
After a day or so of thinking (and the birth certificate still needing to be completed), Ellie’s grandmother suggested Sierra, which we both immediately liked.
For starters, we both met in northern California, which set the chain of events in motion that would eventually create this kiddo. And we both have a strong love for the hiking, showboarding, and camping in the breathtaking views of the Sierra mountains.
AND Elliana Sierra has the right flow to properly intimidate when she’s older.
Coming Home & Trying to Sleep
We left the hospital after almost 3 days, which means we’ve been home for… 2 days now? It’s hard to tell, because we still haven’t really fully recovered from the lack of sleep yet.
Ellie is most definitely a night owl – in the womb she would sleep all day and kick and tumble all night long. That trend has continued on the outside as well, although she’s gradually getting into a more regular ‘sleep-eat-poop-repeat’ schedule that we can work around.
We have a nursery we’re pretty proud of, although at her age it’s pretty much a glorified storage room cause she sleeps in a bassinet next to our bed for now.
We still have lots of stuff to learn and figure out, but so far we’re both loving every minute of it. And with a face as adorable as Elliana’s, how could we not?
Here’s what you all came for anyways – a gallery of baby pictures!