Time to get Baby Ready for Some Football!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Pride of place runs deep in the South, and aside from God, country and family, we take few things more seriously than football season, which is finally upon us again. Babies need to represent their future college colors just like mama and daddy so I found some adorable baby collegiate items on Etsy. All links are posted below photos and most have all SEC schools available for purchase or by request. Our house is a divided one with me being a huge UGA fan, and my hubby taking the Tennessee side. We'd be Kentucky fans come basketball season, but before then we either see red and black or that gawdy orange and white around this house. Happy football season and GO DAWGS!
Boppy Cover by Moma Creates on Etsy

Burp Cloth by Crafty in Carolina

Georgia Gown and burp cloth by Lulu's Kids

Onesie baby month attachments by Emerson Lane Originals

Auburn pillowcase dress by The Pickle Tree

Love this diaper cover by Lucky Bug Designs

For the little Wildcat fans... by Lil Lovely Boutique

This little Uga hat just melts my heart...Caroline needs it. By J Whiz Crochet

If you know any other great places to find cute baby collegiate send them my way! It'd be greatly appreciated :)

And finally, for mama, go visit www.thebluedoorboutique.com for your Gameday Threads like these adorable, super comfy and versatile maxis!!

Three Weeks of our Sweet Caroline

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Quick, someone hit the Pause button! Baby girl was three weeks old yesterday and I can't believe how quickly the days are already passing us by (the nights, not so much). Aside from being pretty demanding, which I assume could describe most newborns, Caroline is such a great baby and we are just so in love! 

 Caroline on her one week birthday above laying in her favorite spot! Laying on my chest is practically the only way she will sleep.
 And when she does knock out, her favorite sleeping position is "Touchdown Jesus" sleeping position, arms flung up in the air.
 Her first public outing was to church, which seemed appropriate. We did however show up a little bit late and leave a little bit early to keep too many people from wanting to hold her. She was just over a week old when we took her and she was perfect, sleeping through most of he service. 
 Another "Touchdown Jesus" on her two week birthday!
And here's baby girl on her three week birthday doing her Dr. Evil impersonation. She's a VERY animated little baby, making some pretty hilarious faces. She's almost always frowned up, like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Juston calls it her "contemplative" look, but I think she just frowns up like her daddy does. She still doesn't resemble anyone, which I like. She's all Caroline, no one else :)
Annnnd an adorable sneak peek of her newborn photos. This is the only one I've seen so far and I'm already in love with them. She wasn't the most cooperative as far as sleeping. For these shoots, photographers generally prefer a sleeping newborn so they can pose them in all sorts of cute outfits and poses, but of course, my little one stayed bright-eyes and bushy-tailed the entire time the photographer was here...fell asleep ten minutes after she left naturally...rotten already :)

The First Week Home...Survival of the Fittest

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The first week home was definitely an exciting, scary and exhausting one to say the least. So many new things to learn, navigating the pitfalls of breastfeeding, trying to catch a wink of sleep around a non-existent baby schedule, acclimating our poor, surprised puppies to the newest member of our one-man pack. There were a few things that made the adjustment to having a newborn in the house easier, aside from my parents and sister and her kids stopping in every day to help with the baby or around the house. Thank God for my family! I'd be lost without them. These are my must-have items for the first few days we were home that I'm still utilizing pretty much every day.
I <3 my Boppy pillow! We got ours at the baby shower my sister hosted. It has the pink polka dot cover pictured above from Pottery Barn. I absolutely love this thing for nursing, it makes it so much more comfortable. I've also found my husband and dad with it on the couch more than once. Juston likes to think of it as his new napping pillow apparently. Maybe I should have registered for two?
Love, love, LOVE Burt's Bees products! Both for myself and my baby. I love the fact that the line is all natural and made in the South...doesn't get much better! I use the tear-free shampoo and the buttermilk baby lotion post-bath for Caroline. 

I've used the Burt's Bees Beeswax balm for years, but never more than in the days following Caroline's birth, not only in the hospital but once we got home even more so. 

Pretty much in love with my Baby K'Tan that Juston got for me. I didn't use it for the first few days because obviously, it wouldn't have been the most comfortable thing to do and I was still having some back pain in the first couple of days after giving birth. But since then, Caroline loves snuggling up in it and it frees me up to be able to do things around the house that can't get done when she's insisting on being held, which she tends to do some days. 

I don't want to put Caroline in her crib until I'm no longer breastfeeding, mostly for convenience reasons, but I wouldn't sleep a bit if she was that far away from me. We tried her cradle, but she wouldn't stay asleep in there for some reason...enter the Papasan chair my sister gave us. Juston swaddles her up nice and tight and she sleeps better here than anyplace else. We do have a Nap Nanny, but according to the label, babies under 8 pounds aren't to use it, and Caroline has still not climbed back up to her original birth weight, so we've got a couple of pounds to go until we can give it a shot.

These maxi dresses, which I have in 4 colors from The Blue Door Boutique, worked perfect for nursing. I wore one home from the hospital, and wore the others in the days following. They're perfect for nursing since the fabric has stretch and I can just slip the shoulders off to feed the baby. Plus, who doesn't feel better wearing a cute dress? Not to mention the fact that it's as comfortable as a nightgown, but looks presentable for all the company we had in the days following our homecoming (which is exhausting by the way! Try to keep visitors at bay for at least the first 4-5 days after you're home, or at least limit them as much as possible and limit to the people who will come and help, like your mama).
Talk about a lifesaver for your boobies! I was pretty sore the first few days of breastfeeding, so I was, and am using this stuff pretty religiously. You'll definitely want some of this if you intend to breastfeed. It's natural and safe for the baby. 

And finally, my Medela sleep bra for nursing. I love these and wear them all the time! The material is just a stretchy knit so it doesn't hurt to wear like some of the thicker ones do.

Caroline's Grand Entrance Part 2...

I was so terrified of the actual labor and delivery process, I can't even express it. I had been told SO MANY horror stories by other women about the immense pain, the ginormous babies, the failed epidurals and so many other things that I could have just cried thinking about it, so needless to say, I was so scared once we were in our birthing suite and getting checked out.

Once they took us to our suite, they had me put on my hospital gown, but they weren't going to admit me until they were sure I was in active labor and progressing. I didn't really have any doubts myself, but we had to get the official OK from my doctor.  The nurse came in to check my blood pressure and the baby's heart rate. Everything looked great and I was still having very strong contractions every 5-6 minutes. I didn't have a specific birth plan going in, but I wanted to try and make it to 6-7 centimeters dilated without an epidural, then make the decision as to whether I thought I could proceed without it, or wanted to get one at that point. After the contractions I was having on the drive to the hospital, plus the fact that they were only getting stronger and coming faster, I felt certain I was ready to go ahead with the epidural. It was about 4 am at this point. I asked the nurse which doctor was on call currently, because I knew there was a chance that my regular doctor wouldn't be and I would have another midwife or OB from the all women's practice I'd been seeing, but I was so excited when the nurse told me our doctor was indeed on call...that is until she let us know that she'd called in a laborist (which I'd never heard of), to cover the rest of her shift for the night/ morning until 9 am. Come to find out, the laborist was a male doctor...not okay with me since I'd specifically chosen an all female practice because I didn't want a man to deliver my baby. I'm sure they're all very qualified, but I didn't want them all up in my business so I was determined to cross my legs and keep baby girl in place until my doctor came back in at 9am. Being my first baby, the nurse felt confident that baby Caroline wouldn't come that quickly anyway. 
The nurse checked me and I was right at 5 cm with contractions coming every 5-6 minutes with regularity. 

It was a LONG morning to say the least. I went about another 5 hours with no pain meds or epidural, just contracting away, my hubby by my side, holding my hand through each one. These contractions are no joke! haha But Juston was great and talked me through them. It really helped me to remember to keep my face relaxed and just breath. Sounds trite, but it helped. I would compare contractions to the sensation I had when my appendix was ready to burst. It feels a little bit like I'd imagine being stabbed in the gut feels like. Just a sharp pain, but my biggest problem was back labor. The sensation of my stomach tightening up I was handling okay, but once the back labor kicked in, I was in some pretty serious pain, and even after the contractions, my back would keep hurting pretty badly for about another minute. 
The nurse checked me again around 8:45 when the Dr still hadn't arrived and since I had progressed both in dilation and contraction intensity, she made the call to go ahead and admit me, which meant and IV and an epidural! I was no longer wondering if I could go without it and I have crazy respect for the women who do. I, however, was not going to be one of them. My parents arrived in the meantime and who doesn't feel better having your mama and daddy there to hold your hand?? 

The anesthesiologist was wonderful and the epidural, which I was pretty petrified of, was honestly no big deal! The IV hurt worse. He talked me through each step, explaining what he was doing before he did it and how it would feel, and after about 10 minutes, I was having no more contraction pain. It's a very odd sensation because I could still feel my legs to move them, but the pain was gone! Hallelujah! 

I'll spare the boring details of laying in bed for the next 8 hours, eating ice chips, trying to nap and watching the Olympics...one important highlight, however, came around 1 pm when the doctor came in and broke my water with some long q-tip looking thing, thus speeding up the process for me a bit. Finally around 4:00 pm, I could feel quite a bit of pressure in my hips with each contraction. The contractions still didn't hurt, but I could tell it was getting close to push time.  This was of course, when the nurse informed us that our doctor, while still in the building, was performing an emergency surgery and would be for at least the next 45 minutes.  I was indeed 10 cm by this point and feeling like I could start pushing. We were presented with two options, one was to take the midwife on call who I'd never met, and the other was to try to wait another hour for our doctor, who I REALLY wanted to be the one to deliver Caroline, and "labor down" as the nurse phrased it. In other words, let the baby work her way further down by laying still and letting my body and the contractions do their job. After a lot of thinking, I decided that I wanted my doctor and was willing to wait until 5:00...if she still wasn't out of surgery by then, I was pretty sure I'd no option other than to push because the pressure was pretty intense. It didn't hurt, but it was definitely noticeable. 
At 5, our nurse, Tiffany, who really was the sweetest woman, came back to deliver the news that our doctor was on her way!!! I can't tell you how happy this made me. When the nurse checked me again, she didn't have to check much since the baby's head was essentially on it's way out already. 
The doctor arrived and with the help of our nurse, they got me set up, stirrups and all, any hint of modesty thrown out the window. It was at this point that there was a knock on the door and my parents stuck their head in. Pretty hilarious in retrospect, but not so much in the moment. They retreated pretty quickly and in their defense, they had no idea the doctor had arrived haha. 
Twnety minutes and eight pushing contractions later...

Caroline was here!!! I wasn't really in any pain while I was pushing, but LOTS of pressure. I could feel what I assumed was her head, but I couldn't feel any pain. I can't imagine for the life of me how some women push for two or more hours in labor, it was pretty exhausting. There was the oddest sensation of feeling sort of hollow once she came out completely. I literally felt 20 pounds lighter as soon as that last push was finished and she was on the table.  She cried almost immediately and there was just such a rush of so many emotions, there wasn't one I could overwhelmingly target as being the most powerful. Obviously, there is an immediate love of this child that you've carried and nurtured the last 9 plus months, then an enormous sense of relief to hear her cry, which she did almost immediately.  A sense of amazement that my body had grown and protected this little life. A sense of being so incredibly thankful to God for giving us such a blessing....just so many things all at once flood through you. 
One of the many things I loved about out hospital was the fact that we never had to be separated from our baby girl. There was a small room inside of my room where she was cleaned up, weighed, measured and checked out for all the usual stuff. She was a perfect 6 pounds 13 ounces and 18 3/4 inches long with a head full of dark hair. She doesn't look like either of us yet, just like a sweet little baby. It's funny how everyone jockeys to claim or assign her features from the second she was out. To her mama, she just looks like Caroline and that's just perfect. 

Our first family photo...I found out later that that sweet little yellow bow the nurse put on her was held in place by the K-Y Jelly they put on her head...gross...I could have done without the bow and jelly haha

She's perfect...and already mama's girl :)

Caroline's Grand Entrance Part 1...Just Getting There is Half the Battle

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I guess I suspected all along through this pregnancy that the likelihood of spending my birthday in labor was a very real one, but I did a very thorough job of convincing myself that surely the baby would be here before August 7...wrong. Monday, August 6, we went in for our 39 week checkup...just a typical, quick appointment...still 3 centimeters dilated and 80% thinned, nothing new from the previous week, so the doctor wanted to go ahead and schedule us for an induction. We were all set for Wednesday, August 8 at 5 am. Part of me really liked the idea of having the birth scheduled so that we knew exactly how long we had to finish the things that still needed to be done and we could mentally prepare for the process in the meantime. Since I'd had no true signs of going into labor anytime soon, I thought surely 24 hours wouldn't find us with a baby...again, wrong.
We drove back home after the doctors appointment and I got in the pool the whole afternoon. I did notice that my lower stomach was achy and had some pressure, but I just assumed it was from being accosted by a different doctor at my appointment when she stripped my membranes and checked for dilation. I had some sporadic contractions throughout the day, too, but I'd had those after the last two doctor's appointments so I didn't think much of it. Before I left my parents house, BOTH of my parents made it a point to tell me that they'd be waiting on my late night phone call that we were heading to the hospital since they knew Caroline was going to come on my birthday. How do parents just know everything? 
Around 10:00 that night, I my contractions were coming closer together and with regularity, about every 10-12 minutes, so I went ahead and cleaned up the house and jumped in the shower just to be safe before I went to bed. Well, I laid there timing my contractions, which were now starting in my back until they were 8 minutes apart for about an hour and decided it would probably be a good idea to wake my husband up. I packed up my cosmetic bag and what needed to be thrown in my hospital bag before waking Juston. His eyes were the size of saucers when he figured out why I was waking him up...he thought he's just overslept for work until he looked at the clock. 
By 2 am we were in the car and on our way to Lexington, what would typically be about an hour and fifteen minute trip, we made in about 45 minutes. My contractions were REALLY coming on strong on the drive over there, so I felt EVERY SINGLE bump and dip in the road, which it's worth noting that out of  about 65 miles of road between home and Lexington, roughly 40 miles are currently under construction.

Juston clocked about 75 mph the whole way, stopping before running red lights...which we of course did right as a police officer was passing us going the other direction with about 15 miles left before we were at the hospital. I saw the car turn around and started cussing immediately since I knew we were going to have to stop. The cop followed us for about 2 annoying miles the way they love to do before turning their lights on and pulling us over. She obviously ended up letting us go, but not before asking how I was and where we were having the baby...seriously, Lady?

Once we finally got over the million excruciating speed bumps that surround the hospital parking lot, we parked (luckily on the first floor), unloaded our three bags and pillow and marched to the door we've gone in for every single appointment we've had...locked. Are you kidding me. Pushing the buzzer by the door, we were notified that we couldn't enter that door at 3 in the morning...even in labor. So we had to trek back to our car, put all the bags back up and drive to the opposite end of the hospital over 13466 more speed bumps to the emergency room. Everything went really quickly. We checked in and waited for my wheelchair crew to whisk me away to the maternity floor. Normally, I would have protested riding in the chair, but mid-contraction, it was quite an appealing option so I just sat myself down, carried my pillow and tried not to be terrified about what the rest of the day was going to bring.

Happy One Week Little One!

We made it!!! It was touch and go a few nights, but we have officially survived our first week of parenthood. Caroline is now one week old and such a good baby!   It's been a tiresome week, but we are starting to get a little bit of a schedule, and believe it or not, you do learn to function, albeit minimally, working on 3-4 hours of sleep. 

This little sweet face makes it all worth it though! It's hard to believe that one little six pound person who supposedly sleeps 22+ hours a day (this is a lie by the way, at least for our baby), could take so much energy from her grown parents, but she does. We're exhausted to say the least, but so very blessed. A lot of the time we just sit and look at her and talk about what a great job we did ;) 

Our girls meeting the newest member of our pack on her first day home.
Welcome home sweet baby!

Welcome to the World Baby Girl!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Miss Caroline decided that she wanted to give me the best birthday present ever and make her grand entrance on Tuesday evening!

Our first family of three photo. She's about an hour old here.

Already got her Daddy wrapped around her finger...

So in love already :) We had an amazing labor and delivery experience. After being so terrified of the process, I have to admit that our experience was amazing and I wouldn't change a thing. When I have a bit more time, I'll post the whole story to hopefully soothe any other first timers who felt as scared as I did. In the mean time, we're very busy loving on our sweet girl :)

Posh Pusher Gowns

Sunday, August 5, 2012

In the interest of only buying practical things for pregnancy, I got one of these adorable Posh Pusher hospital gowns for whenever this baby decides she's ready to make her grand arrival. I've seen on Pinterest how to make your own, but these were too cute to pass up!
 Pictured above is how the gown will come to you when you get it in the mail. There are tons of different fabrics to choose from and they even do some matching layette sets for baby as well, which surprisingly enough, I did not order.
I do recognize that this purchase is superfluous and the gown will likely get ruined anyway, but it's cute and I wanted it...and those two reasons are good enough for me :) My pattern is called The Hampton and you can choose the color sash you want with your gown. There are snaps at the shoulders for if you choose to breastfeed or do Kangaroo Care after birth, which I plan to do both. The back has Velcro closures. I may add one more to it just for comfort measures while traipsing around the hospital so everything the good Lord gave me isn't out for all to see.
You can check out all the cute patterns via the Posh Pushers Facebook Page or through their new Posh Pushers website.
In baby update news, we go for our 39 year checkup tomorrow morning. Maybe she'll decide to arrive in the meantime...doubtful, but I guess I'll keep hope alive. On the bright side, I can only be pregnant for another week at the most since my doctor will induce the day after you're due. I mean seriously, who really stays pregnant for 40 weeks anymore? This chick, I reckon. Wish us luck at our check-up! Here's hoping she's still under 20 pounds.

Happy 5 Year Anniversary!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Whoa...Today, Juston and I have been married for five years and they have absolutely flown by! Happy Anniversary to us!
We were rocking the 'around the door' pic long before Pinterest made it cool! haha

Can't wait to be this small again...seems like a lifetime ago!

I get this same bouquet of flowers every year for our anniversary...wish I could credit Juston for remembering what they are, but it's actually the Kroger flower lady who still remembers, bless her heart. He calls and asks for the wedding flowers and she hooks him up!

My little flower chicks...how cute are my nieces! Their dresses were hand made by a relative with detachable trains to match mine.

Something new...pearl bracelet from my parents.

Some of the most amazing ladies I know!

Daddy/ Daughter dance to Tim McGraw

Mama/ Daughter moment getting ready

Such a great day! All of these photos were taken by friends...our wedding photographers ended up being pretty terrible but luckily we know some pretty sweet amateur photographers haha

It's been an awesome five years and it's about to get even more interesting with our new addition on the way. Here's to many, many more!