Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Piece that Binds Us Together

I am simply in love with these photos.

Thanks to Shannon Worley Photography for capturing such a special time in our lives. Baby Jules was just 10 days old here.

We are overly tired, extemely happy, totally in love, super giddy and sometimes really overwhelmed all at once… but every bit of it is worth it and it seems like we're figuring this whole thing out :)

We love this little guy so much!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Baby Julian's Birth Story

Our little guy is here and is 15 days old today!

He was born on April 2nd, 2015 and weighed 6 lbs 15 oz and was 21 inches long.

Isn't he DREAMY!?

My due date was/is April 19th. Crazy to think I could still be pregnant! Holy moly, I am so glad he is here and am so excited to write in words his magnificent entrance into the world!

So here goes… this is Baby Julian's birth story:

Somewhere around my 32 week appointment, I mentioned to my midwife that preggi whoopi is what started my labor 2 weeks early with Little Dude. Because I had been cramping a little bit, she advised me to hold off on anything of the sort until we hit the 36 week mark.

Okey, dokey.

Well I made it to my 36 week appointment and during the internal exam, my midwife thought baby might be breech. Yikes! I was dilated to a 1 and was told my cervix was still really thick. So we scheduled an ultrasound for the following week to see if he was breech, and then my midwife told me to go home and have preggie whoopi to soften things up a bit.

I asked her, "Are you sure I'll make it to my next appointment? Remember it caused my labor 2 weeks early last time…"  She confidently said yes.

Okey, dokey.

Well my in laws were in town and staying at our house, we had a co-ed baby shower/party that weekend, and I wasn't quite ready for baby to come yet… so Seth and I decided to hold off on the whoopi for a few days because I just knew… I knew my body… I knew that the minute we did it, baby would come. My gut said so. So, we waited until our party was over, our company left, and the final purchases were made in preparation for his arrival.

By Wednesday, April 1st, I had everything ready for baby.

Our hospital bags were packed.

The nursery was all set up.

I had downloaded over 5,000 photos from my phone to my computer to free up some space (WOW!).

And I had a gut feeling to snap a photo of my pregnant belly that very night-- just in case (double WOW!).

Then we decided we should give 'er a go before our ultrasound the next morning. After all, I didn't want my midwife to ask how it went and have nothing to report :) So, whoopi it was and we said nighty night at about midnight.

At 1:30 am, I was dreaming about something or other when I felt a slight gush of water. Not a ton, but definitely enough to wake me up.

Um… that is NOT urine, I thought as my eyes popped open.

I ran into the bathroom, sat on the potty and the water just began to drain.

I was shaking… It was surreal… I couldn't believe it!


I hollered for Seth but he had earplugs in and the white noise on full blast.

"Seth! SETH!" I yelled in a elevated whisper.

No response.

I stood up to go get him and more water gushed out all over the bathroom floor. I grabbed a towel nearby and ran to the side of the bed. I shook his shoulder and said,

"Babe, babe, BABE! My water broke!"

And like the typical scene you see in the movies, he shot up in bed and said,

"What!? Are you serious!?"

He hopped out of bed and I bolted back to the potty.

I frantically asked,

"Do we go to the hospital?" 

"What did we learn in the birth class again?"

"I remember they said something about water breaking… and that it only happens in 10% of women before labor/contractions… what do we do now? Do we go now? Or am I suppose to labor here at home for a while? I can't remember what they said about water breaking!"

I asked Seth to run downstairs and get our birthing book to see if we could find the answers in there… Ha! Looking back this cracks me up because it's like, DUH!


He came back upstairs with our birthing guide and I read the chapter on when to go the hospital. As I was reading, the contractions started coming… and so, we decided we'd go right then.

I called my momma, who awesomely answered the phone with a "Yo!" at 1:45am in the morning (I think she was pretty excited!) and while we waited for her to get to our house to watch Little Dude, we gathered all of our stuff and my stomach was literally shrinking by the minute… it was so crazy to see how much fluid there really was in there! No wonder I was measuring SO BIG!

Once my momma made it to our house, it was go time!

The drive to the hospital was surreal… 9 months had passed and I had been dreaming of this moment... it was finally time!

We checked in through the Emergency Room at about 2:15 am and were immediately seen by triage. There, I changed into my gown, my water was still gushing like CRAZY, and we had an ultrasound to see baby's position (he was NOT breech- thank heavens!).

By the time we got admitted to Labor and Delivery and moved to our room, it was about 3:00 am.

The contractions were coming on strong and they were pretty painful. My midwife officially checked me and said I was already dilated to a 5-6. Holy moly! This was going quick! So I asked for the epidural right away. The sooner the better :)

Frustratingly, it took about an hour for them to get the results back from the blood test to even get the epidural. At about 4:00am the anesthesiologist FINALLY came in to administer the drug. Awesome! I was in lots of pain and my contractions were close together and intense!

So he puts the needle in my back and gets the catheter all set up when a nurse pokes her head in the door and says something about a "CRASH" in the room 301 and he is needed "NOW!" My heart sank for the laboring mother down the hall from me… SCARY! I hoped she was okay! But I was very happy to have my drug before he left :) So the anesthesiologist bolts out of my room and I think I'm on my way to pain free labor…


You see, he inserted the catheter in my back but did not press the button for the medicine to begin dripping. Instead, he only had time to use a "starter drug" (meant to work for the 15-30 minute while the epidural kicks in) before running down to the other room.

So there I was, contracting like crazy, with an epidural catheter all ready to go in my back, yet NO medicine dripping to it! The left side of my uterus was "sort of" numb from whatever drug they gave me but it only lasted 30 minutes max. So I sat there for nearly 2 HOURS waiting for him to come back to finish the job… apparently there was another emergency c-section right after the "crash" c-section, putting my wimpy self very last on the list of priorities (which I understand of course, but the situation was so frustrating!). Even our nurse said in 16 years of doing this, she'd never had this happen before and she felt so terrible because no one else but the anesthesiologist himself could press the button.

So we waited. And waited.

Finally, FINALLY, at about 6:00am he made it back into our room and pressed the damn button-- and at this point, I was dilated to an 8. I was pretty grumpy by this point. Before he left, he asked if he could offer a prayer with us… We gladly said yes… and it was a very beautiful prayer!

By 6:30am I felt relief from the contractions. Woohoo!

By 7:35am I was complete and the midwife said it was time.

The moment I heard her say that, I began to tremble. My legs began to shake. There's something so miraculous about childbirth… I was excited and nervous… and hoping that baby would be healthy given he was coming almost 3 weeks early.

As my midwife prepped, I asked Seth to open the blinds. I love the sunlight so much and I love mornings so much, too. I felt a surge of energy with the sunlight :)

I started getting in position to begin pushing when I realized that while I couldn't feel the contractions anymore, I could still feel and move my legs and entire lower body. They weren't numb. At all. I could lift my bum and shift and move however they needed me to. With Little Dude, my legs were like bricks. I felt nothing whatsoever. I was so so so dead. Heck, even my chin and shoulder went numb and my eye drooped. No pain. Anywhere.

But not this time… I could move my legs… I could lift my lower half… I could feel her examining me.

 I knew what this meant… 

I would feel baby come out!

I pushed for only about 35 minutes but it was intense. A LOT harder and more intense than when I pushed with Little Dude. He just popped right out. But this time baby's head was cock-eyed in there, making it hard for him to make his way through the birth canal. Once we got his head turned into the right position, shiz got real really fast! Then the crowning. Oh, the CROWNING!

Hello ring of fire!

Very, very, slowly he inched his way out, which meant I was yelping in pain! I tell you, I think I felt it all! I had to have! I said "shit" in the middle of it… ha! And if I didn't feel it all, then holy hells bells all you natural momma's are TROOPERS! Tears streamed down my cheeks in those final minutes because it hurt so terribly!

Gratefully I had Seth by my side, encouraging me the entire time. And I knew the prize was going to be more than I ever imagined!

The nurse took my gown off of my chest as I was pushing through those final contractions and just like that, in an instant, Baby Julian was pulled from my body and laid on my bare chest at 8:20am. I bawled and looked up at Seth-- the look on his face was so priceless. The feeling in the room was amazing. We had created the most beautiful little boy!

With the nurses help, we rubbed our little guy and finally got a little cry from him.

Moments after he was born- I had tears streaming down my cheeks here
Then we got to experience what may have been my favorite part-- what the hospital calls "The Golden Hour". They recommend that for at least 1-2 hours before doing any tests on baby, or taking his weight, or cleaning him up, or allowing any visitors, we use this special time to bond with baby. And we did just that.

Baby Julian laid on my chest, exactly as he did when he came out, our skin touching, for an hour. And then it was Seth's turn. No one else was in the room but just the three of us, the beautiful sunshine of an early April morning, and the soft whimpers of the life we had created.

Seth took his shirt off for skin to skin right after I snapped this :)

It was heavenly.

The whole experience was just heavenly.

This picture melts my heart and says so much!

I did not tear or have an episiotomy.

I was able to walk to my recovery room after he was born and I felt wonderfully!

Recovery was actually a breeze this time.

I think it's partly because the birth was so quick and easy… but Little Dude's was, too. The difference this time was that we were very low key in the hospital. The only visitors we had were my parents and Little Dude-- and they only stayed for an hour. (Seth's parents are in CA and are coming in a few weeks :) The rest of the time, it was just me, Seth and the baby… and we were able to relax and relish the special time and focus on learning everything we needed to know. And it was so neat being just us that we were giddy almost… we didn't have to entertain anyone, we got to rest a little, and we got to actually hold our baby (when Little Dude was born it felt like we had so many visitors, I never got to hold him really-- everyone else did). This time it was about US-- just us-- and it made all the difference I think. 

It was truly spectacular!

I loved the experience of having a midwife… I loved the experience of The Golden Hour… I loved it being just Seth and I… I loved EVERYTHING about the whole experience… Infact, I loved it so much I am ready to do it again!

Okay, kidding, not for a while :)

Bottom line: we are so so so in love with our sweet baby boy!

Baby Julian is the miraculous piece that binds us all together.

Five years ago you couldn't have paid me to believe I'd be here, doing this all over again. I had lost faith in love and families and second chances. It's so amazing how much can change… how much can be healed… how much can bloom… it might be different than I initially imagined, but by trusting myself and letting goodness in again, it has manifested itself in the most beautiful ways.

Baby "Jules" has made our world so much brighter!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Baby Boyack's Nursery

This has been SUCH a fun project to slowly pluck away at these last 3 months or so.

Because I had absolutely nothing left over from when Little Dude was a bambino, I got to start completely over :)

I wanted bright and simple and fun... and I think it turned out SO cute!

I'm still torn about keeping the bumpers in the crib. They are darling…and they totally complete the room... but after reading that you shouldn't have bumpers anymore, and after hearing a BIG "No No No!" at our Baby Your Baby Class a few weeks ago, I may take them out. Although, I do worry about baby getting wedged in the crib slats at some point so… we'll see. For now, I'm just going to bask in their cuteness :)

p.s. I think it's important to note that I hung the pictures all by myself… it took me about an hour and a half to measure and get it right, but I DID IT! And I only made one boo boo hole in the wall. Not too shabby :)

I especially LOVE how the changing area turned out. It was cheap and easy, which is always a plus! We already had the Ikea shelf and it fits a changing pad perfectly. So I bought the little baskets for $6 a pop at Home Depot, I found the little wooden bins at TJ Maxx on clearance, and I made the felt ball mobile myself!

Isn't it DARLING?! All it took was some wood pieces, some felt balls from Etsy (I didn't want to make them), and some string. I am obsessed! In a perfect world, I would have it hanging lower, but because Seth is so tall, the felt balls would be dangling right in his face during poopy diaper changes… ha!

I'm really digging book shelves lately :) 

And I am SO lucky that a twin bed FITS in the room! YAY! No baby in our bedroom… no walking down the long hall during the middle of the night. Instead, I'm going to be hunkering with little guy, in his room, for the first little while. I think Seth is especially thrilled about this… lol :)

And then there's the most comfy chair on planet earth. This was totally worth it! I have found myself sitting in it just to sit in it :)

Overall, I think it's cute… but I can't wait to put it to use! I'm hoping it's functional and comfortable for the both of us.

And just because, here is a picture of our Little Guy at our 36 week appointment. I wept happy tears as I saw his little face. This 3-D stuff wasn't offered to me 7 years ago, so it was a really neat experience for Seth and I. We cannot wait to meet HIM! 

I mean, look at those cheeks and lips! 

2 weeks to go! Ahhhhh! :) Scared and excited! 


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