...and this is how she got here.
All about Vivienne Kate

Note: There might be some spelling and grammar errors. I'm a little sleep deprived. Just let me know if you see them and I'll be happy to correct.

The day before I gave birth.

Everything about this pregnancy was a lesson in similar, yet different. It was déjà vu at times, yet a study in contrasts.

Pregnancy was a familiar face this time around. It was something my body had known just 10 months earlier. The anxiety that rightfully comes along with that first-ever positive pregnancy test evaded me throughout the entire 39 weeks and 2 days of gestation and a sense of "this-ain't-my-first-rodeo" took over.

Throughout my pregnancy with "Baby 2011" I felt amazingly similar to how I felt when I was pregnant with Lila Ross... yet I felt so differently.

I had traveled this road before, but it was different.
I found out I was having a girl, as I had once before, but it was different.
I had a second c-section, but it was different.

I held my daughter for the first time, but it was different.

And in my world?

Different is good.


Fast forward to how our baby got here.

Baby 2011 was due on Monday, January 30th, 2011. My "programmed c-section" was scheduled for January 27th so that our baby would have her own birthday -- January is a heavily-laden family birthday month and I wanted Baby Girl to be born on her own day. After our appointment on Tuesday, January 18th - we quietly made the decision to move the c-section up to January 24th for a variety of reasons.

I'm so glad we did.

This gave me Wednesday through Sunday to prepare for the birth of our baby. I wrapped up loose-ends at work. I bonded with Baby Girl's sister. I attempted to sleep. I organized, cleaned and nested.

Then, came January 23rd.

It felt like Christmas Eve.

And I can never sleep on Christmas Eve.


The anticipation of knowing that in less than 24 hours I was going to be meeting my sweet baby girl was almost too much to bear.  (I know C. felt the same way.)

After a sleepless night (I mean, how do you sleep knowing that tomorrow morning you're giving birth?), morning came and Craig and I got up with Lila and she ate her breakfast. We bid her adios and left her in the capable hands of her Mimi who had arrived just the afternoon before. (Craig's Mom.)

We walked out to the car and got in. And I smiled. Why? There was an infant seat properly stationed to the left of Lila's big-girl car seat.

Friends, there are two car seats in my car. (Whose life am I living?! Aren't Craig and I still just kids ourselves?!)

So, off we drove to the hospital. Three minutes later we were there - not hardly enough time to mentally prepare for what was about to be. We filled out paperwork and were taken to a room where a nasty little nurse took my vitals then ordered me to "take off your clothes" and put on a hospital gown. I didn't like her. Then she jammed an IV in my arm. And it burned. And I called my Mom and told her that it burned because she's my Mom and she would know how to fix it.  And then I realized I hated the nurse. And the hospital. And this whole process.

At this point I'm truly thinking to myself, "Nothing about this process is normal. Nothing about planning this birth is as it should be. This nurse sucks. This IV sucks. This 'programmed c-section' sucks. I want to go home and wait for my baby to come."

I fought back the tears. No one was forcing me to do this. This is what I had chosen; what we had chosen for a variety of medical reasons. The anxiety of the situation was hitting me.

I needed to put my big girl gown on and go have a baby.

I just closed my eyes and tried to convince the anxiety to subside.

My doctor arrived and came in to see me and we were taken upstairs to get the party started. Me in a wheelchair, Craig trailing behind me wheeling our suitcase.

[I cannot even fathom what Dads go through when their significant others are giving birth. The anxiety, the worry, the inability to truly do anything to help the situation... Oy. I'm not sure which role is more desirable. Craig, however, handled himself and his duties as he always does: nobly, calmly, protectively and quietly. I'm so glad I married that man. Heavy sigh...]

I was taken into a pre-op room by myself while Craig was asked to stay back. I waited for the anesthesologist to arrive so that I could get the spinal.

I was by myself.

Well, sort of.

I was by myself, rubbing my baby/belly and inwardly telling my sweet daughter that we're going to be ok.
That we can do this.
That all is going to be just fine.
That God has this all under control.
Trust me, I'm your Mommy.

In hindsight, I'm so glad that I had these 20 or so minutes by myself to decompress.

I closed my eyes.
And prayed.
And my heart was still and calm. I could feel my blood pressure decreasing.

Then, I was wheeled into the operating room and the sizable needle was placed into my back. The sensation slowly left my lower extremeties  - yet I was still awake and cognizant.

Next, my mid-section was prepped to be opened.

And when I say I was, "prepped" - I mean my gown was pulled up to my up-top and some very short Mexican man proceeded to iodine my stomach for what seemed like far too long.

It's amazing how the birthing process, while empowering, can also feel so ridiculously demeaning.

There I was in a freezing-cold, arctic operating room with Spanish-speaking people swirling about and acting as if the whole of my lady parts weren't out there in plain view.

As the little man painted my stomach, the sweet anesthesologist stayed by my head constantly asking me how I was doing. If I felt oddly, I told her and she fixed it. Immediately. She was incredible. The nurses prepped for the surgery, Lila's pediatrician arrived to tell me how everything was going to go and then finally my husband and my doctor arrived.

The blue curtain went up dividing me from my full-moon belly... and we waited.

Oh the waiting...

A planned c-section takes some time. Lila's emergency c-section happened in minutes. This one? I think it took 25 minutes before our sweet baby was born...

We waited.

And waited.

Oh, the anticipation...

And then the doctor told me, "Just a few more minutes, Kylee."


And then there was a tug.

And a larger tug.

And then she was here.


She came with a cry that truly sounded like an angel's sigh to this Mommy's ears.


I smiled.

Oh, how I smiled. And I closed my eyes and gave the earth permission to start turning again.

She was here.

My sweet Vivienne Kate was here...

...and I kissed her and properly introduced myself.

Hello sweet baby girl. I will be your Mommy.


Oh how I love her.
Oh how I love her.
Oh how I love her.

She passed her APGAR test with flying colors, showed no trace of vernix and had a head semi-full of dark hair.

And I was euphoric. And exhausted. And proud of myself.


I was sutured together and taken back to my room and was holding and nursing my baby within an hour. (Maybe even less time than that. Craig?)


My initial feelings were... and I'm being honest... numbness. I kept trying to look at this little being and find pieces of myself in her. Or pieces of Lila. Or pieces of Craig.

I couldn't believe that this baby in my arms AT THIS MOMENT is my baby. (I remember feeling the same way with Lila.) It was as if I was holding someone else's baby... but as the night wore on and by the next morning the gravity of our new reality pleasantly nestled in and I thought to myself, "Oh yeah. This is my baby."

But the more I gazed at her, the more I realized that she's her own lady. She's not like anyone else and my job is to love her. Easy as that.


Vivienne Kate is precious. And she's exactly what we prayed for.

She is similar to Lila, but is so different. 

Vivienne weighed 7 lbs. 11 oz. (Lila weighed 6 lbs 8 oz.)
Vivienne is 20.8 inches long. (Lila was 22 inches long)
Vivienne's hair is dark. (Lila's was light.)
Vivienne's eyes are dark. (Lila's were blue.)
Vivienne's complexion is darker. (Lila's was fair.)

They resemble one another - yet are different.

Exactly how sisters should be.


As I write this several days after having been the channel by which new life passed through, I'm quieted.

 (I just thought of Khalil Gibran's poem:)
Your Children are not Your Children
They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
I digress.

I'm humbled by what my body can do.

The first time, around new-mommy anxiety clouded my ability to just wait, watch, learn and appreciate. I was anxious. And scheduled. This time around, I'm quieted, humbled and calm and allowing the process to lead me.

I'm amazed by how a baby learns to nurse, how my body knows exactly when to produce milk, how those first few sleepy newborn days are a gift from the heavens that allow new parents to rest and just be.

I'm floored that when she hears my voice, Vivienne immediately calms.

I'm thankful that my body is healing so very quickly this time around.

I'm quieted by the reality that we've brought another perfect life into this world.

The connection between myself and my daughter has already blown me away; and because of Lila, I know that it will only get better.

...and while the birthing process usually leaves little space for the Daddy, I have to say that having these babies with Craig makes me love him more than I could ever describe. There's no one else I could imagine traveling this road with.

This experience has been incredible.

The room that I was hoping I'd have reserved in my heart for another little being has been immediately occupied by Vivienne Kate.

Life is good.



More pictures.

Holding up both of her legs about an inch or so off the bed while in the hospital. Already doing ab exercises.

Little baby sleeping.

Sweet baby. Great hat.

Preparing to leave the hospital. Hanging out with cousin Chlo.

Ready to go home. It was Tuesday night around 10:30 p.m.

Just moments after meeting her big sister for the first time she was hugged. Lila was DELIGHTED with her sister.

Lila's first time holding Vivienne.

I can't resist a baby in a beret.

Love. (Lila is gazing at Vivienne.)

A close-up of Love. (Lila was hugging her.)

Peepers open.

Hanging out on Daddy's arm.

So content.

Our little burrito.

Behind the name:

I was on a plane about 4 years ago and was reading an airline magazine and in it was a spotlight on the designer, Vivienne Westwood. Immediately I knew that was to be my daughter's name.

I loved that I could call her, "Vivi" for short. (Pronounced Viv-vee). I loved that when she's a rebelious teenager she could simply sign her name, "V" and feel cool. And I felt that a grown, professional woman could easily be respected with the complete, "Vivienne." (Me? I pronounce it "Vivi-ENNE" -- but it's so slight. If you pronounced it, "Vivi-INN" you wouldn't be terribly off. In fact, I probably would never know.)

Immediately, I got off the plane, called Craig and told him: "I have the name of our daughter. And she's Vivienne. End of story."

He was on board.

(Now, this was when we were still mired in the infertility world and I was experiencing negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test.)

Then, literally days later a certain celebrity couple had a certain pair of babies and named one of them Vivienne.

I lost my mind. I cried. I lamented. It pained me that someone, a CELEBRITY (gasp!), had stolen my future baby's name. Now, when I named my daughter Vivienne, everyone would say, "Oh, like so-and-so?"

Flash forward to when we found out we were having our first baby girl. We tossed around Vivienne, but for some reason Lila just took. We knew Lila Ross was meant to be Lila Ross. I think her name is perfect for her. She's far too busy to take the time to spell, "Vivienne." She's more of a, "Lila" girl.

Next, after we found out about Baby Girl 2011 we had a few names that we loved. Georgia and Scarlett were frontrunners for quite some time... but Vivienne was always in the back of our minds. Finally, it was decided and there was no going back. Vivienne for sure. And Kate? Well, we've always felt that it was classic and lovely and elegant.

So, my sweet Vivienne Kate was meant to be years before she was even conceived.


Welcome to the world sweet, Vivienne Kate.
Mommy loves you more than you could ever know.


Next chapter: The introduction of the sisters. Stay tuned to the [plethora] of pictures and the wobbly home video.



  1. Thank you for taking us through this beautiful journey...she is not only precious....beautiful and talented (those faces are something else!) You have been blessed and now are a family of four!

  2. Such a beautiful story, Kylee:) The pic of your daughters together just melts my heart. Such a sweet, happy, loving family. Congratulations again!

  3. This is so beautiful. So incredibly beautiful, Ky. The pictures, your words, your feelings. . . what a treasure Vivi will have in this post.

    I'm so happy for you all. It seems she fits in like a glove.

    Thank you for sharing, Ky. I loved the poem as well.

    Love you!

  4. Vivienne (vivi-ENNE) is beautiful, as is this post and your love for her. so thankful she is here and perfect and that you are feeling peaceful.

    all is right in the world (and all is right with her wonderful name)

  5. I'm so happy everything went so well for you. You are a lucky mama, blessed with two perfect little ladies. They are truly gorgeous. ...and I love the name story.

  6. My sweet little Finn thought that your Vivi was so cute and he had to kiss every picture of her. I think this could be love at first sight! I love your birth story and I am so glad that you could share it. Congratulations on your beautiful, amazing, wonderful girls.

  7. What a beautiful and lovely post. I got chills reading it because I could just hear you saying it all and can feel that true and honest emotion.

    You & C. have such a beautiful family and I am so happy for the both of you.

    Vivienne is just precious and when I saw Lila with her SISTER(!!) she looked SO grown up! Love it.


  8. Congrats to you! She's gorgeous. Love the name. She's perfect! My 4yo son was looking over my shoulder and when he saw the pic of your husband holding the baby he said "Cool." :)

  9. love, love, love. what a beautiful post, and a beautiful tribute to that sweet little girl that's made your family complete. thanks for sharing from your heart... :)

  10. You've got such a way with words, they can make anyone feel like they have been right there with you for this amazing experience. (all the lovely good parts anyway!)

    I love the picture of you the day before Vivienne's birth. It's perfect. And daring. I love it.

    Vivienne is beautiful. And just as lucky to have you and C and Lila as the three of you are to now have her.


  11. This was just absolutely lovely, Ky. Your daughter is beyond-words-beautiful, the poem was perfect, your thoughts were, as always, emotional and just spot-on.

    I could not be more thrilled for your little family. And I think Vivienne's birth story (and the story behind her name) is FABULOUS. What a fun time to look back on! SO MUCH to look forward to!!

    The pictures of the two sisters made me cry instantly. Just that look of "Oh. My. God. This is SO AWESOME" in Lila's eyes is so wonderful. :)

    Love you guys.

  12. Dear friend, I'm speechless. Thank you for sharing this sacred moment of your life. Vivienne is beautiful and perfect. You are right... your body is amazing. I wish you nothing but the best for the rest of your journey with your three loves. How blessed you are... and how smart you are by knowing it and appreciating it. I hope I can see you very soon, and huge you and have you introduce me to your new perfect daughter. All my love.

  13. She's gorgeous! The name is gorgeous. I love that name and wanted Vivian but my husband didn't. :-)

    Your husband is so handsome!

    Great pictures. C-sections can be very cold and scary. You will heal quicker the 2nd time. I did.

    So happy for you!

  14. Oh Kylee. You have such a happy and full heart and it really comes through in your writing.

    I just want to hug you. And tell sweet little Vivienne just how lucky she is to be born into one of the most loving families on earth.

    Lila looks ready for the charge of being a big sister! She's awesome!And she looked so proud. (Did she look huge to you the first time you saw her after Vivienne was born?)

    So happy for you, Friend! Love to all four of you!

  15. Seriously, she is so, so pretty! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Love you all and congratulations! I knew Craig would forever be surrounded by ladies (you 3 are gorgeous!). Sending hugs!

  16. I am speechless by the simple honest beauty of your tale Kylee. Your daughter are fortunate to have you and Craig and vice versa. Take good care of each other forever. I know you will.

  17. Congrats! Great story. My birth stories are my absolute favorite! They are such a gift. She is a doll.

  18. this is a lovely, beautiful post!

    LOVE her name.
    (and she shares a bday with my Emma)

    congrats to you, Craig and Lila...so very happy for you all!

  19. This made me cry...I am SO excited for you friend. She is precious.

  20. I knew I was in trouble when I was teary before the story started.

    I wish I could put the right words together to tell you how happy I am for you four... I just don't know what they are. You have been so blessed by God.

    (Peepers open picture killed me. I died. Cute death happened to me.)

  21. I didn't want this story to end, thanks for sharing it. I am so happy for you guys. You are a family of four. How cute!!! Congrats.



  22. I just can't thank all of you enough for your kind words...


  23. I can't believe how truly beautiful she is!!

  24. How wonderful - this story, the birth, your new baby girl, your FAMILY! I want to kiss and hug each one of you.

    I love that you broke down her name and pronunciation for us so when we read it, we can say it to ourselves they way you say it.

    Thank you for sharing this amazing story.

    The sister pictures make me tear up.

    Hugs and much love,

  25. Thank you so much for sharing this! It is a beautiful story - one that I am sure both girls will love to hear.


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