Xander’s First Birthday Invitation

April 10th, 2015

Xander-1st-Birthday-Invitation_Horizontal-Supplies

It’s been a little sparse in the post department the last couple of weeks. And let me tell you why. We moved! Within NYC. But we did move. And it feels like we moved across the world. We migrated from the Lower East Side (I’ve been downtown for 7 years!) to the Upper West Side which is basically like moving abroad. From the land of hipsters to stroller-ville. I’m really excited to start exploring once winter decides it is inappropriate to snow in APRIL. April snow showers do not bring May flowers.

The week after we moved my BABY turned ONE! How is it possible that it has been one whole year since Xander burst onto the scene? I can’t explain. But I do know that it takes a village. We are grateful for ours! And we are grateful that they made the effort to be here & celebrate with us! My brother + sister-in-law even trekked with their 2 little girls under 3 from Boston. Brave. And so appreciated! (My mom + sister-in-law also made a long journey to join us!)

I want to post a few party details! Reason 3 why it got a little sparse? Our nanny went into labor a bit early so Xander and I are doing our thing. I’m waking up at the butt crack of dawn to go workout and then I’m pulling out the working stops while he gets some zz’s. Otherwise, we’re partying. And spending a lot of time in the new playroom that features a space ship. Xander is obsessed. Part alien, probably.

So, what I’m trying to say is, I was able to shoot one party detail yesterday! A step in the proper direction, people.

I had so much fun doing his invitations. I’m not a huge fan of spending a lot of money on invitations. Mostly because they see the interior of a trash can on an average of 10 minutes after they are opened. The details & dates are penned in a planner and womp, womp. One way to avoid the $$ is to design & print them yourself (duh?). After doing some intense Pinterest shenanigans I found enough inspiration and decided on limited text & a balloon to do the talking. You can get printed balloons for under $1. And I just got the paper from Paper Source in bulk packaging.

Xander 1st Birthday Invitation_Supplies 1

In order to see the party details the guests had to blow up the balloon! Otherwise the font was too small. Even for the grandparents donning their spectacles.

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PS: Since we moved, the address is incorrect. So none of those messages saying weirdos are going to be at my door soon.

XX Leigh-Taylor

9 Ways to Decorate with Easter Eggs

April 3rd, 2015

It’s finally beginning to feel like spring in New York City just in time for Easter! We’ve collected several ideas of how to decorate with Easter eggs. Choose your favorite idea or two and get to crafting on Saturday in prep for your Easter celebrations!

 

1. Gold and Pastel Painted Eggs 2. Calligraphed Eggs  3. Egg Shell Potted Plants 4. Farm Fresh Eggs 5. Neon Eggs 6. Ombre Eggs 7. Marbleized Eggs 8. Sprinkled Eggs 9. Naturally Dyed Eggs

Happy Easter, y’all!

XX Leigh-Taylor

SoulCycle Saved my Life.

March 31st, 2015

Just an FYI this is a long one! There are some general medical things mentioned but I didn’t get gross. Don’t worry, boys. Here she blows:

I have been putting off the writing of this post for the past 18 weeks. *Note: That number has changed 18 times. And look! Now it has been 52. And it isn’t because I didn’t want to write it but because it is hard to figure out where to begin. The question then becomes how much and what to include. As I have typed and erased those numbers over, and over, and over again I also realize that the gravity of what happened is no longer just a story on repeat but a miracle.

I wasn’t even planning on writing my birth story. In all seriousness I thought it was a little silly. Like, aren’t most stories the same? Turns out, no.

About that whole beginning thing: let’s just go with the night we headed to the hospital. It is important to note that at this point I was 12 days overdue. AWESOME.

After a Friday night of scarfing down pizza & french fries and watching the ‘Hoos take a big L in the Sweet Sixteen we headed to NYU Langone at 130am via Uber. We wanted to take the bus but it was raining and cold. Whatever. But our driver did have only one arm. Details, details.

Upon arrival on the 8th floor the nurse greeted me in the hall by asking me what we were there for. Paul and I looked at each other and I timidly offered the “to have a baby?” explanation. While simultaneously screaming in my head “DON’T YOU SEE THIS BASKETBALL I JUST SWALLOWED?”

After a little bit of time in the exam room & contact between my OBGYN and the resident on call we finally got to our room. I still wasn’t in full-on labor so my OBGYN asked them to begin induction. They wanted to avoid the use of Pitocin, at least to begin with, so they started me off with a foley bulb. I am also very, very happy I didn’t know what this was before they started this process. Don’t look it up if you don’t know. Seriously. They “gave” me a double foley filled to 80ml & 60ml, respectively, and my husband promptly fell asleep. Three hours in and my valiant effort of a natural delivery was floating away on the wings of a butterfly. An epidural, it was!

We then played the waiting game. We found a Chrisley Knows Best marathon and indulged in its overall absurdity. If you haven’t seen this show do yourself a favor and tune in. Later that evening the foley balloon had aided in my progression of contractions and it was removed. Unfortunately overnight {Saturday night // 24 hours after our arrival} my contractions began to get further apart again.

The next morning the OBGYN, Dr. Berg, who was going to be delivering our little rascal {not my OBGYN, Dr. Kaplan, he was sick … but that is a whole different story} popped in and didn’t know whether to laugh or not when he found out my contractions were AWOL. He told the nurses to start pumping me full of Pitocin so we could have that baby.

So they did. And then they did. The contractions, that is. Just after 1pm I laid off the epidural and just before 2 the pushing commenced. And at 3:17pm our little rascal made his debut! While we were giggling about his flat butt and generally insane likeness to his father the two doctors became aware that my placenta was not delivering naturally. So they had to “massage” it out. Side note: not an awesome massage. It was terrible. But I was watching my little guy in his daddy’s arms and that, that has the ability to make just about everything right in the world. It was finally delivered, the nurses cleaned up, our baby was weighed, his footprints stamped and he was all ours.

My mom joined Paul and I in the room and we just couldn’t get over it. You know that elated state of being where you’re just talking to talk? That’s where we were. Somewhere in here I re-applied my make-up. We face timed with Paul’s family. And then the {awesome} nurse, Val, who had delivered Xander came back in and we started telling all kinds of stories.

And then this is where it starts to get blurry for me.

Paul tells me that I was the first to notice that something just didn’t feel right. I hadn’t paid much attention to the excessive bleeding I was experiencing as I had been told over and over and over again by new moms that lots of blood was normal. Apparently mine was far from normal. I’ll spare you those details. Val felt my belly and knew things weren’t going well right away. My uterus wasn’t contracting at all, instead, we joked, it shook like a plate of Jell-O.

The doctor on call was immediately brought into our room and she began setting things into motion. My OB had gone home but he was, poor man, called back in. When he got back to the hospital he brought in the ultrasound machine and immediately identified the issue: portions of my placenta had not been delivered and I would hemorrhage until it was. Things got tense. People were in and out. Paul had the baby but asked my mom to step out. And then I cried for the first time throughout the labor & delivery process. I just wanted to sleep. I hadn’t slept in over 42 hours. But there was no rest for the weary.

So I got the next best thing: I was put to sleep.

I was hurriedly wheeled to the OR leaving my mom, Paul, and our new bundle Xander waiting just beyond those swinging doors. This is where we played thumb war to see if I could be put to sleep. I had eaten a bagel immediately after delivery {since I hadn’t had solid food in over 36 hours!} but, thank God, I had made the cut-off. Last thing I remember is the anesthesiologist fussing at a nurse because I still had all of my jewelry on.

*Here’s what happened in the middle, none of which I remember, obviously, as I was in la-la land: They began the surgery and were getting those placenta pieces out and I started bleeding even more. Like a lot, apparently. So much so that they had to, as the OB explained to Paul mid-surgery, had to hit the red button in the hospital alerting that it was an emergency. This is when they started to give me some O+ blood {2 bags to be exact}. It is also when the upwards of 40 people began to filter into the OR. Seriously. 40.

And then my blood pressure began to plummet. At some point in time I had also been given an iv of fluid. Then, suddenly, the fluid began to fill my lungs. Something about so much fluid movement in my body it was the only place for it to go hang out. This is called a pulmonary edema. Since the fluid isn’t supposed to be there {duh} my heart began working overtime to pump it out. But it was coming in too fast and my heart just couldn’t handle it. This is when I went into what the doctor described to Paul was a mini cardiac arrest. They had, of course, recognized when the fluid was filling my lungs quickly and began pumping it out of me by way of my catheter. Paul & my mom, on other sides of those swinging doors, saw the nurses running into the hallway with these bags of fluid to document the amount. They first came out carrying one bag each. They then began running out the door carrying 2 bags at a time. That’s a lot of fluid.

They gave me a steroid shot to awaken me. And did I ever. The first thing they said // asked me was: what is wrong? To make sure I was alert and to also see how my lungs were doing. I opened my mouth to speak and merely gurgled and began coughing uncontrollably. That’s when I got my Star Wars oxygen mask. The anesthesiologist, Igor, held my hand the entire time. They were all arguing about what had happened. Someone asserted that it was TRALI. Another blurted out another assertion. And so began the avalanche of assertions from folks around the hospital. They asked me 2 minutes later what was wrong again. This time I could barely speak and I said, “I can’t breathe.” They started to argue over who was taking me back to their department. The head of ICU, head of SICU, head of Cardiology, head of Respiratory, and my OB all thought that I was their case.

Throughout the process of not being able to breathe and essentially drowning all I could think, over and over and over again, was Thank you, God for letting me hold my baby. I was so grateful. And in the midst of the chaos I felt an overwhelming sense of peace.

Luckily I had been physically active throughout my pregnancy. Thanks for saving my life and making me poor SoulCycle! The doctors & nurses all said that being fit saved my life. I ran the Chicago Marathon at 18 weeks and 6 days. We went to Jackson Hole when I was 29 weeks and I wasn’t allowed to ski. But I went snowshoeing! Lots and lots of snowshoeing. And I went to SoulCycle up until … and on my due date. I worked out in our building gym after that. Mostly because I didn’t want my water to break in a class. OY. I was embarrassed enough in middle school and high school.

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My sweet sister-in-law and brother-in-law cheering me on at the Chicago Marathon!

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Halfway un-shoed after one of my many SoulCycle NoHo classes with Nina and her killer selection of pop chick music … my fav.

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We ran the Gobble Gobble 4 Miler as a family in Naples at Thanksgiving. 25 weeks.

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Gobble Gobble with my guy!

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Snowshoeing in Jackson Hole after Christmas at 30 weeks. A great workout + gorgeous views!

BStory Post_SC 38 Weeks
One of my only selfies in life. But, at 38 weeks+ after a SoulCycle class it felt right.

Same shirt in all 3 pictures. Diverse maternity wardrobe, clearly.

I was up for the entire night being poked and prodded. And then my case was reviewed by the aforementioned departments starting the day shift so I got a whole new set of medical folks popping in to visit. Paul even found one of our dear friends just roaming around the halls of the hospital. She didn’t know where I was but she said she just felt better simply being there. Oh, Carbo.

We still aren’t quite sure what happened, TRALI was asserted and denied, as were a couple of other medical terms that I have no idea what they mean. But I do know: we have a group of friends & family that prayed & prayed. We felt so loved and supported. And while it wasn’t the most laid back way to start parenthood we were still floating amidst clouds of bliss.

And that is where we find ourselves still. One year in today and the joy Xander brings Paul and I is something else. But it took me a while to first understand the gravity of what happened, then I had to acknowledge it without coming at it with a joke. And now felt like the perfect time to share.

BDAY !_!

XX Leigh-Taylor

Darby Smart

March 5th, 2015

Y’all! You know how I mentioned how I’ve been even more busy than normal lately with some stuff? Here’s one of the stuffs! I’m now a designer over at Darby Smart and my first project launched earlier this week!

We’re all over this lame cold + snowy winter. These white-washed planters are the perfect antidote! Spring is on its way.

Darby Smart White Wash Planters

Stay tuned for our other projects in the pipeline. In the meantime, go visit Darby Smart to cruise around the site … and follow me to keep up with other things that may just be hitting the interwebs soon.

In the meantime bundle up and get ready for spring!

XX Leigh-Taylor