Everly Brook Bardon

I hope there will come a time when I share the details of Everly’s birth story. It was simultaneously the best and hardest experience of my life, filled with complications and difficulties. At the end of the 11 day hospital stint, we managed to come home in time for Christmas with our miracle daughter: Everly Brook Bardon.

Even though Everly was born just over 6 lbs, she lost more than 10% of her weight in the first three days (which on its own is enough to put a new mom on edge). When we brought her home, she was only 6 lbs and a teeny tiny human. She almost never cried and rarely cued for milk. As a result, we started a strict feeding schedule (every two hours), which continued through the night. The first month made us all feel like zombies, and looking back on it is a blur of sleeplessness, exhaustion, and trying to figure out how to care for a new baby.

One of our neighbours graciously offered to come over and photograph Everly. We are so glad we said yes and that we now have these adorable pictures of her so soon after her birth.

Apart from trying to survive life with a newborn, we quickly began to make adventure plans for our new family. The first outings in the car soon taught us that we needed to do a lot of planning and packing whenever we went out with a baby. What should have been a 5-minute drive to Grandad’s house ended up taking almost an hour since we had to turn back twice because of things we forgot: Baby’s milk, the breastpump, the Dock-a-tot… But we quickly adapted and learned from our mistakes, and by New Year’s, we successfully took our first family trip to Whistler for two nights away from home!

Since I gave birth by C-section, I had to take the first few weeks slowly. Luckily, my husband had a few weeks off of work and could help me with the heavy lifting. I still remember doubting if I would ever feel comfortable taking the stroller out by myself, or if I’d be able to lift the stroller / carseat into the car all alone. Those first few times on my own (especially with Everly AND Lola) were extremely stressful. I didn’t think it would be possible to take care of a baby, dog, and myself. Nevertheless, I quickly adapted, and was soon cruising in the stroller and driving all around town, even in the snow!

The beginnings of motherhood were nothing like I expected. It has been harder than I ever imagined, and more fulfilling than I ever anticipated. Our little girl surprises us and changes on an almost daily basis, and I’m so glad that I have an entire year to bond with her. As she grows, I know that I’m also growing in ways I didn’t know were possible.

Welcome to the world, Baby Girl!