Ellis Thane Carter - Ugly Duckling House birth announcement

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Hi friends! Just wanted to give you guys a quick update of our big news. Our son arrived SIX WEEKS EARLY!

meet our son, Ellis Carter

Meet Our Sweet “Little Goat”

Introducing Ellis Thane Carter
Ellis spending 1 day old

Everyone, I’d like you to meet Ellis.

Ellis, (*gestures generally*) meet everyone.

Ellis’s Birth Stats

Ellis arrival via c section

Our peanut had a bit of a dramatic arrival (which I’ll get to later… I’m too tired to elaborate now and that deserves a LONG post!). I was sent to the hospital for observation for a few pregnancy-related complications on the last weekend of September. That turned into an overnight stay, which turned into his birthday on the morning of September 27, 2020!

Ellis one day old - NICU - reaching out for Kyles hand

He was delivered at 34 weeks via c-section and weighing 4 pounds, 12.9 ounces, and 16 inches long. Since Ellis was so early, he spent nearly two weeks in the NICU before he was allowed to come home with us.


Baby E already has quite a few little names we call him on a regular basis, but my favorite one by FAR is “Little Goat” because of the grunty noises he makes. I’m told that these sounds are most common with preemie babies, so I’m soaking it all up before it fades. Video of that coming soon!

We also call him things like Stinky, Peanut, Monkey, and more. Much like his tiny preemie outfits, it’s hard to pick just one!

More to Come

Nearly a month after his birth as I type this, and we still haven’t reached his intended due date. That’s crazy to me. It probably goes without saying, but I had a long list of what I was planning these 6 weeks to look like in addition to preparing for my maternity leave over the holidays (which included holiday content that I wanted to publish during that time). We don’t have his nursery finished and we didn’t get the guest bedroom done. I didn’t even finish my blog post about my pregnancy, didn’t even have our maternity photos back from the photographer, and boom — here he is! Sponsor deadlines were also missed, so I’ll be playing catch-up with some of that content that was scheduled to go out but didn’t (I suppose bright side is that means I do in fact have some maternity leave content for ya).

Ellis opening his eyes while bottle feeding in the NICU - Covid preemie life

(I sincerely hope this post is coherent, by the way).

Truth be told, the whole experience was pretty scary and surreal how quickly things escalated. But, all that for another time. I’ll have details on our NICU experience, adjusting to life as a mom, and more in a separate post about his birth story (which I don’t expect will be interesting for most, but I will publish it for my own sake to go back and read). For now, I’m doing my best to focus on these early weeks (and struggles) of caring for not only a newborn, but a preemie.

NICU life with our baby during Covid

The holidays will be impacted, too, so I’m actually going to enlist some help to get started on that early (here I was thinking I’d need to come up with a fun belly costume for Halloween, but nope — I need a costume idea for all 3 of us now! I think I came up with a good one for the dogs + Ellis, but I haven’t thought of one that involves K and I). We’re sort of skipping over Thanksgiving because of Covid and jumping right into Christmas decor, too. K is planning on covering the house in twinkle lights. I think in consideration of what 2020 has been like, it just makes sense to want a little bit of holiday magic a little early, right?

Thank you in advance for your comments, and since my posts will be a little sporadic as we make this new life adjustment, I’d really appreciate it if you would share your favorite projects of mine to your friends and social media (advertising revenue is my main source of income, which can dip if I’m not posting, but fingers crossed I’ve built my business to be strong enough to step away for a little while). Also, subscribe here so you can catch new posts as they go live.

More definitely on the way soon after a little healing! If you want to catch some of the birth story early, I shared some of it on Instagram as it was happening. Click on the “Baby E” highlight on my profile page and tap through!

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  1. So glad to hear everything came out okay! What a name, he is destined for greatness! Poet laureate, senator, generation-defining author, president … something majestic. Love it.

    1. Thanks Karen! We came up with the first name so fast and it took AGES for us to think of a middle name that sounded right (he was already a day old and they were asking us to fill out his paperwork when we made the final decision!).

  2. Congratulations on Baby E! I am so happy to see this post and know that he is home and that you both are doing well. He’s a handsome little guy, enjoy all the many times ahead of you. They are only little once.

    1. Trying SO HARD to soak it up in between all the difficult parts (spoiler alert: I loathe pumping but I’m stubborn so you can imagine that I’m having a frustrating time at the moment, but determined to try to give him what I can!).

  3. Congratulations! Enjoy the time with your little one, we’ll all be here when you are back from mat leave!

    1. Thanks Tanya! I won’t be getting much time away (I suppose I already took some given this past month of baby snuggles!) but things will be a little more sporadic. Hard to say, since I wasn’t really trying to keep a specific posting schedule before!

  4. Congratulations, your little boy is so sweet. Enjoy all of the little moments and remember to take care of yourself too.

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. This past month of preemie life has certainly been a LOT. I’m definitely trying to remember some self-care but it’s tough!

  5. OMG! I have been checking every day. (don’t know why I didn’t think to follow you in insta) He’s adorable. Congrats to you and K!!

  6. Awe!!! Congrats!!! Been following you for a while, and I’m genuinely so happy for you! He’s so precious. Love his name! Enjoy those baby snuggles :)

    1. Thanks so much, Amanda! I always love to hear when folks have been around a while. Much appreciated and I am trying to type as I also snuggle him (a new skill I have not yet mastered, ha!).

  7. Just new to your post thanks to Kit at Kick Ass Or Die…congratulations on your “Little Mr Goat”! As a preemie 66 years ago, 3lbs4 oz, incubator 6 weeks, I hope Mr Baby Ellis survives as well as I have. I didn’t walk until 2ish, but I’ve not stopped since! Excited to catch up on your blog, as a wanna be DIYer, I read’em and give my hubby the ideas to go.

    1. Thank you Marty, and welcome! Wow, 3lbs??? Glad to have you here and I hope you find lots of DIYs!

  8. Omg, I remembered you said he was due in Nov so I was just checking in (also there’s some talk of Murphy bed builds in our fb DIY group so I came to link your blog up?) and this post was a huge surprise! I see it been a bit so I hope you are healing up well, staying healthy, and he’s growing happy and strong. Just in case no one has told you, birth can bring about all kinds of good and bad feelings and they are all valid, the NICU experience can pile it on too. Babies are not always great, even if we want to cherish every single moment. You both are learning how to be brand new people (and K is too!) so give yourselves all the space and grace you need to be your best-for-this-moment selves. Being a mom is hard, being self employed is hard, just being just a person in general right now, isn’t the easiest. I can’t wait to read more blog posts, but for this new time don’t worry about being a bit selfish and keeping to your new family, and taking care of yourself❤️ Just in case you needed to hear it, it’s something I know I could have used after my firstborn when literally every experience was a first and had no roadmap.

    1. Aw, Jessica, thank you for this comment! It really means a lot. We’re going through some of the usual adjustments (holy crap, newborns are rough!) and a few unexpected things as well. Juggling him and my first “baby” (the blog) is a new learning experience altogether, so I appreciate the reminder to give myself some grace! Thank you for your well wishes and the wisdom in there too. I’ll have some new updates soon on how we’re adjusting. <3

  9. Baby Ellis is SO CUTE!!!!❤️❤️ I’m just now seeing this post about him. Do you have anymore pics of him now?
    My baby girl is 34 years old now with 3 children of her own.
    Thank you for sharing. Always love a beautiful story like this. Now onto the rest of the story?

    1. I will share a new post of him soon! I have been really behind on writing birth story and other updates related to my pregnancy. There’s so much going on and I have been in a new mom fog, so I’ll catch up soon!

  10. Late to the party, I know – Congratulations! And on my birthday! ETC – classic initials!
    Best of health, joy and happiness to the entire gang – get a hammer in his hands soon!

  11. Super late seeing this, but still wanted to say congratulations on your beautiful new son! He’s a doll and I’m so happy for you and his dad.
    Also my baby sister’s birthday is 9/27 as well, and she’s one of the best people on the planet, so I’m certain Ellis will be the same!! ;)
    Congratulations again! Holy crap, you’re a MOM!! Not sure you can ever build anything badass enough to top that! lol

    1. Aw thanks Kas! And yeah, holy crap is so RIGHT! It has taken me a few months to come around to the idea that I’m a mom (that word sounds/sounded so odd but I’m slowly taking ownership of the word). And thanks for letting me know that 9/27 is a good birthday!

  12. Congratulations!!!! I’m just now seeing this because I’m also a new mom haha. Not sure if you remember but on your post announcing your pregnancy, we talked briefly about how I was due with twins around the same time as you! We also had medical complications (severe growth restriction in our little girl) and they arrived just over 5wks early weighing 3lbs 8oz and 4lbs 13oz. The NICU time was no joke. Hope everyone is doing swimmingly now and so glad your emails are back up and running so I can keep up with you all!

    1. Congrats, Breanna! Sorry that you went through all of that, I’m sure you missed them like crazy! I hope they are thriving now like our Ellis!

  13. Sarah, K & Ellis:

    Congratulations to the new family!

    I’ve been where you are (13 weeks early, emergency c-section, 1 lb 15 oz girl) but, you’re killing it! My preemie is turning 33 this year and has 2 beautiful, full-term boys of her own. I am certain your Goat will be following in the footsteps of all the “little ones” that came before him and crush it outta the park. I won’t say it isn’t scary, but, remember you are healing from major surgery and cut yourself some slack. We’ll all still be here when you feel like filling us in.

    I so happy for you all,


    1. Thank you! Wow, 13 weeks early? That must have been such a challenge, but I’m glad to hear your preemie did so well after all of that. :)