Our Little Girl’s [Perfect] Birth Story – Part 2

This is the final post in the 2 part “series” of our little girl’s [perfect] birth story…our one of a kind, no one else has it story. And what better day to post her entering this world than 5 months after it happened.

If you haven’t had a chance to read part 1, you can read it here. Just a fair warning, there will be some blood in some of the pictures below, not in a gross way, but in a “child was just born” kind of way.

NOTE: At the end of the last post, Jordan & I were walking towards the OR.

Jordan & my mom had to wait outside of the OR while they prepped me. This meant they gave me the spinal blocker, which numbed my lower half (though during the actual surgery, I could feel some pushing/pressure as they pushed/pulled her out). They also laid me on the table & put the sheet up between my lower half & head/shoulders. After all this was done, they went & retrieved Jordan & my mom.

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The next part was quite crazy. We were told it was going to go quickly, but never did we think it would be as quick as it was. First off, we kind of thought that they would say “here we go,” or “we’re going to start now,” but nope. All of a sudden we hear some suction, then “There’s a butt. There’s a foot.” And then that sweet cry that made us parents of a human (we are parents to 3 wonderful pup-kids already). It all happened in about 3-5 minutes from when Jordan came into the OR.

Here are some of the AMAZING pictures my mom captured for us!

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(The lady in the middle-front of the picture was one of our Amazing & favorite midwives, Tina. We were so happy she was there with us!! The lady on the right-side was our wonderful, talented surgeon, Dr. Krause!!)

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(They had officially started in this picture…unbeknownst to Jordan & I.)

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(And there she is!!)

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(Ah…that sweet, precious cry of hers.)

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(They lowered the screen just enough so both Jordan & I could see our sweet little girl. She was gorgeous & wonderful & the feelings we both felt were truly indescribable!!)

Jordan then left my side to be at our little girl’s while she was taken over to the warmer to be examined & cleaned off. He was talking to her the entire time & every now & again he would tell me just how perfect she was. It was such an amazing experience to not be able to see them at all, but just be able to hear my husband connecting with & loving our baby girl.

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(One of the MANY pictures I am so thankful my mom captured since I wasn’t able to see any of this & so we could cherish it forever!)

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On the funny side: at one point, while over at the warmer, Jordan asked “10 & 10,” thinking fingers & toes, but the nurse responded “no, it’s usually 8 & 8,” thinking APGAR scores instead. It’s a funny little memory he has from it all.

After our little girl was done being checked & cleaned off, they could’ve swaddled her & placed her on my cheek, but instead, we opted to have her placed on Jordan’s chest. We wanted her to have that all important skin-to-skin right away with one of us. This was another blessing I looked at with having a c-section. My husband was going to have an experience most men do not get to experience until hours after the birth. He was going to be the first skin-to-skin contact our baby girl had. He was going to help bring up her temperature. He was going to help give her a rush of hormones as she took in his scent. He was going to be able to bond with her in such an unreal way!! I was pumped about this part!! Oh & PS, my mom captured some unreal shots during this part.

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(Easily one of my favorite pictures of the entire experience…dad & daughter just with each other, eyes closed, skin-to-skin & bonding…be still my heart!!)

After they had sewn me up, Jordan carried her into the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) as the nurses pushed me in there. She was weighed & checked a little bit more while they checked me out & told me a little bit about what my next few hours was going to be like as the spinal blocker started to wear off.

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And then finally, about 45 mins to an hour after her birth, I was able to see our perfect, little girl up close & personal. And what an amazing, wonderful moment that was!!

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Before the c-section, we were still debating between 2 names for her first name. We knew Grace was going to be her middle name, but we were waiting to see her before deciding on the first name. At one point in the recovery room, Jordan says, “I know what her name is. Ellie Grace.”

Ellie Grace. It was perfect. She was perfect!

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We stayed in the hospital for 4 days & 3 nights. I would be lying if I said that the first night was easy. It was hard. Forcing myself to stand. Forcing myself to get out of bed & walk a couple of steps. I was stubborn, of course, & didn’t want to take any of the pain meds, aside from the ibuprofen, but after I couldn’t get out of my own head to start walking, the nurse had convinced me that in order to be strong for our daughter, I needed to start progressing in my recovery, and the pain meds were necessary. By the next day, I was a little more mobile. Getting up & walking around the room a little bit. I wasn’t ready to walk a marathon or anything, but I knew that moving was only going to help.

Ellie spent almost the entire stay in the hospital on my chest. She did not go in the bassinet unless she was getting a diaper change (all of which my wonderful husband performed) or was getting checked by her doctor or nurse. If she wasn’t on my chest, she was on her dad’s chest. We wanted to be the only ones that held her for those first few days because we wanted to bond with her & to help with breastfeeding for me. Jordan’s parents & my mom held her at one point, but other than those brief moments, she was either on me or Jordan. And this is something I will HIGHLY encourage to everyone out there. It is OKAY to be selfish with your baby, especially those first few days. Not only did Ellie feed like a champ because of it, but it also helped my milk supply come in a little earlier (especially for a c-section). Also, it is your baby. No parents should EVER feel guilty for wanting to be the only ones to hold their new baby the entire time. Not everyone will feel this way, but well that’s how I feel so I wanted to share.

We were able to go home on Wednesday & boy, I was ready at this point. I was ready to introduce Ellie to her three fury sisters at home & I was missing them tremendously, too!! Jordan went home each day to see them, while my brother & mom helped to take care of them the rest of the time during our hospital stay. But hey, I’m their mom & I missed them!!

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So that’s our birth story. It wasn’t the original one we had planned in our heads, instead it was the PERFECT one God had planned for us!! He knew what He was doing to help our precious, amazing, beautiful, perfect little girl arrive Earth side safe & sound.

Ellie Grace | 9.6.15 | 10:53a
7 lbs 14oz | 21 inches

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(Her going home outfit in remembrance of her grandpa, my dad…her 1st Husker shirt!!)

Thanks for making it all the way through the slightly long story, by the way!! It was wonderful to share Ellie’s birth story with you!!

 

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Our Little Girl’s [Perfect] Birth Story – Part 1

Our little girl’s [perfect] birth story…our one of a kind, no one else has it story. Yep, that’s the one I’ll be sharing today & next week. Between the story & the pictures, it is quite long, so thanks in advance for making it through it!! :)

To begin our story, we must go back to our 34w appointment. Our little girl was head down & doing quite fine prior to this appointment…then, during this appointment, our midwife found her heartbeat in a different location. She starts to feel my belly & then says “well I think she’s breech.” What?! My mind begins to race. She sends us down for an ultrasound to confirm, which does confirm…she’s breech. We head back to our exam room where we are told some ways to try to flip her & that we shouldn’t worry, there was still time.

I left our appointment feeling pretty devastated. We had been attending our child-birthing classes for a couple weeks at that point & well let’s be honest, I (we) had a plan & this went completely against that plan. Plus, I was terrified of a c-section! In my mind, it was the worst thing that could happen. Major surgery…why wouldn’t I be scared of that?!

Later that day, I received some advice I will never forget…”Babies & God know what they are doing. They flip in the womb for a reason. Sometimes it is for their sake, sometimes for the mother’s sake and other times for both. Trust that God has her breech for a reason.”

At our 36w appointment, we learned she had not flipped.

Side note though: we did get to learn that she had hair during our confirmation ultrasound at 36w, so that was fun. You can see it in the picture below (it’s the “wavy” stuff in about the center of the picture):

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At this appointment, we had a decision to make…did we want to go ahead & schedule the c-section at this time or schedule an external version? For those of you all wondering what an external version is, this is the info we learned:

An external version is where a doctor manually tries to flip a breech baby by pushing/manipulating on the outside of the belly. They give the mother some drugs to help relax the belly, as well as some pain medication because it hurts quite a bit, apparently. The other bit…they admit you into labor/delivery at the hospital in order to perform the procedure. This is because if at ANY point the baby becomes distressed (which they monitor the entire time), then an emergency c-section is preformed.

Our appointment was on a Tuesday & at that point, we decided to schedule the external version for the following Monday. And I’m thinking…my (our) plan still has hope.

I had 2 extremely important conversations after our appointment. The first was with one of our nurses at my work. She had a c-section with her first because he was breech. She went through the same situation as us, but they elected to schedule the c-section & not the version. Once their little boy was delivered, they learned a startling fact: the cord was wrapped around his head 7 times!! The doctor told her that if they would’ve tried an external version, they would have surely lost their little boy & possibly her as well. Her advice to me was to go with my gut but know there is a risk as they cannot tell where the cord is through an ultrasound.

This is where reality started to settled in. And fear entered my mind.

My next conversation was with my dad’s wife. She asked the most important question of the day, the one that ultimately helped shape our decision. If faced with two options, a c-section by choice or an emergency c-section in which are daughter is in distress because I was holding on to the dream of “my perfect birth,” which would I rather chose?

WOW!! I was floored. What was I thinking?! I was willing to possibly put our daughter in distress just so MY birth plan could be possible. I was possibly risking our daughter’s life because I was holding so tightly on to MY dream. Recall the advice from earlier, “Trust that God has her breech for a reason.”

So the next day, Wednesday, I called our midwife back & cancelled the version & scheduled an appointment to talk to an OB about scheduling a c-section.

Now, I can’t say that I was 100% okay with the c-section at this point, but I was 100% on the fact that I was going to trust God’s birth plan & not MY (our) birth plan. Over the next few days, I did grieve over not having a “normal” birth. I think our society ruins this whole process for us. For 9 months (or so), you dream about how your birth story is going to look & I doubt many people dream their birth story is going to involve a scheduled c-section, especially for your first baby. An emergency one because something happens during labor is one thing, but setting a plan to have a c-section is usually not the plan most people have. So I had to grieve & get through those emotions, and there is no fault or guilt in the fact that I had those emotions.

I also think society gives so much guilt & shame to mothers who have c-sections. Telling moms of c-section births that they didn’t actually have a births. Like the mom isn’t fully a mom because they didn’t birth their child(ren) “naturally.” Then I read this post: 3 Truths About C-Sections Mamas. And I bawled, quite literally. Society…you are WRONG!! Cesarean section births are births too!!

Alrighty, let’s get back on course from the detour…at our 37w appointment, we met an OB for the first time, as we saw midwives throughout the entire pregnancy. We scheduled the c-section for 9/6/15, when I would be 39w & 1d. We chose 9/6 because the math nerd in me decided that if we were going to have a choice in her birthday, why not choose one that was a math equation…9 + 6 = 15 (9/6/15).

Over the next couple of weeks, I truly embraced the fact that I was going to have a c-section & began to come to terms with sacrificing my entire body in order to bring our little girl earth side. I had never had surgery before; I had never stayed overnight in a hospital; I had never had an IV; an occasional Vicodin was the strongest drug I’d ever had. There were about to be MANY firsts within one experience for me.

Jordan & I went on our “last” date night as just us two (and the belly of course) the night before we were going to welcome our little girl here.

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And then the day was upon us. The surgery was rescheduled from a 7a start time to a 10a start time, so we had to arrive at the hospital at 8a instead of 5a…not that we slept much :)

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Our hospital is considered a family friendly hospital & OR, meaning Jordan & my mom were both allowed to be in the OR with me during the cesarean section. My mom was the one who captured all of the remaining photos, including the amazing ones when our little girl joined the world!

After getting checked in, shown to our room for the 4 day/3 night stay we were going to have, they hooked up me up to the monitors. At one point, the nurse told us “well if you weren’t already scheduled for surgery this morning, you would’ve been coming in at one point, because you are definitely in labor.” Yay!! We chose the right day :)

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(Ooo…that’s a contraction!)

In order to be in the OR, Jordan & my mom had to wear “bunny suits” over their clothes, as well as hair nets & masks.

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We were supposed to start at 10a, but like most things, we were delayed. Finally at about 10:15ish, we were told to start making our way to the OR.

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Our “last” picture together before we became parents. Jordan is helping God hold me up as we walked to the OR. I was nervous & excited all at the same time. And I am SO thankful I was blessed with a husband who was there beside me through it all.

Next week, when our little girl turns 5 months, I’ll debut her entrance into the world. Thanks for making it this far & I hope you’ll finish the story & “meet” our little girl through some of the amazing pictures my mom captured for us.

You can check out Part 2 of this story here.

Baby Nursery Reveal

Hello Friends!!

I am SO excited to FINALLY reveal our baby girl’s nursery!!!

I have been anxiously waiting to write this blog for the past 8 months, though I obviously needed to wait until the room was actually finished in order to write it. Alas, it is finished, minus some prints we have to wait to get until after she is born. I’ll try to say where we bought everything, but if I miss something, definitely ask.

Here we go…

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This first picture is from the doorway. I love this handmade, watercolor print of Psalm 121:8. We got it from She Reads Truth. I wanted it to be “spoken” over anyone and everyone who walks in and out of our little girl’s room, especially her. If you can’t read it, it says: “The Lord will watch over your COMING & GOING both now and forevermore.”

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After you step a little further into the door, this is what you’ll see. The blue, paper rectangles on the right side will be where some prints from our maternity pictures will go once we order them. Here is where the rest of it all came from:

Bookshelves: They are actually Picture Ledges from IKEA (see here) and they are fantastic for all her books.

Curtains: I made the curtains myself using Premier Prints fabric for the front and Blackout fabric on the backside, all from Fabric.com. Here are the specifics I used: Solid Pink, Mint Chevron & Blackout

Ottoman Pouf: We bought this on Amazon because it was the best price and I really liked all of the color options available. It is great to both put your feet on and to sit on. Check it out here.

“Bedside” Table: This is from IKEA (see here) and we painted the knobs gold.

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Heart Lamp: This lamp is one of my favorite pieces in the nursery!! It is GORGEOUS, btw (and can be found here). It came from Wayne Works on Etsy. He is a designer out of Texas and is AMAZING, might I add. Go check him out!

THE CHAIR:

I REALLY wanted a white chair, but my husband cautioned me because of how dirty it could possibly get. After some research, I settled on this chair from IKEA. My reasoning…the chair has a slipcover!! We bought 2 (slipcovers, not chairs) that way when I am washing 1, I can put the other on it.

What makes this chair unique is…we turned it from a regular, stationary chair into a gliding, rocking, rotating chair. And by we, I actually mean my amazingly talented husband!!

We bought a “replacement” glider online (from here) and then my husband attached it using some extra wood we had lying around. It was a trial and error type project, but we enjoyed doing it together. And the chair is SUPER comfy and functions GREAT!!

Here’s the underside:

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We wanted to add something different to the walls without having to paint, and this was the perfect solution. This is our “confetti wall,” another creation by my amazing husband might I add. We bought 2” gold, vinyl circles from Amazon (see here) and my husband made it look like confetti was falling from the ceiling. After our little girl is born, we are going to order this monogram from a LittleTouchOfHeaven1 on Etsy and hang it in the middle of the wall…after painting it pink.

The crib is a 4-in-1 Convertible Crib from Amazon (see here), though I originally found it at Babies R Us. We really like the 4-in-1 option because it means we are set for life with it :)

All of the bedding I made using more Premier Prints fabric from Fabric.com. It all came from the same collection, meaning it matches perfectly! Here are the specifics I used: Mint Squares, Solid Pink, Pink Polka Dots & Mint Chevron.

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We opted to put the changing pad on top of a dresser, instead of having a designated changing table. The dresser is this one from IKEA. It is the same “family” as the bedside table. We also painted the knobs gold.

Below is a picture of the little bins we got from IKEA for organization inside the drawers. I HIGHLY suggest these, considering all baby stuff happens to be teeny, tiny! Here is the listing: Skubb Boxes

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The wire baskets above the dresser are from Target, and we spray painted them gold. If you couldn’t tell, gold is our accent color in the room.

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The last picture is our collage wall. The 4 “pictures” up there came from Hobby Lobby. The “N” was originally black, but we painted it mint to go with the mint around the room. Here is a close-up of the pink framed picture…which I love by the way, it is Jeremiah 1:5 (Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart):

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The LOVELY ruler was made by some friends of ours and given to us as a gift. We love it and can’t wait to start making little measurements on it throughout the years. As well as the adorable arrow above the closet.

The “bench.” Well first off, it is actually a bookshelf from IKEA (see here) turned on its side. Then I bought a furniture pad from JoAnn’s and covered it in the Pink Premier fabric.

Lastly, the boxes…yep, those are all handmade as well. I used foam-core board from the dollar store, cut out each side, taped them all together, and then covered them in the leftover fabric patterns from around the room. They are supposed to have handles on the front, but I have not found the ambition to put those on quite yet. They work just fine without them, though.

And that’s it. Thanks for reading along through this LONG post, but also checking out our little girl’s nursery. We are anxiously awaiting her arrival and can’t wait to spend countless hours in this space with her soon.

Potato Soup

When it’s cold outside, I’ve always loved throwing a meal in the crockpot in the morning and coming home to an amazing smelling house and a fantastic, warm meal.

I’m going to round up the “Soup Month” with a nice, easy, delicious Potato Soup meal.

One afternoon, Jordan and I stopped by Panera to have lunch. Per usual, we ordered our favorite sandwich and a bowl of soup for each of us. I ordered the Chicken Tortilla Soup and Jordan the Potato Soup. Personally, I had never had potato soup, so it intrigued me to try out this new soup. It was great! Which meant it had to be something I tried to make at home.

After a lot of research on what potato soup really consisted of (besides potatoes), the one I came up with combined a few good qualities I found in a couple different recipes, but the main thing I wanted out of this soup recipe…SIMPLICITY.

I hope you and your family enjoy this simple, delicious dish on a cold evening, or just a normal evening. NOTE: This recipe was perfect for just the 2 of us, or maybe 2 adults and a couple of children. If you are making it for more people, you will want more potatoes, but everything else is fine.

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Chicken & Rice Soup

This happens to be ones of my favorite soup recipes. I don’t know if it is the rice, the chicken or the veggies I like more, but one thing I know for sure…it’s definitely a comfort food recipe.

Like many of my recipes, this is a great recipe to mix all of the ingredients and freeze for later. OR to freeze and take over to a friend in need. I made this recipe as a freezer meal for us to have at a later date, so that’s why the pictures are taken with a Ziploc bag and such.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do around our house!!

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Lasagna Soup

I’m continuing down this soup road with another beef recipe. This one is dubbed, Lasagna Soup.

WARNING: This recipe has a lot of tomatoes and veggie qualities to it. BUT I guess if you think about it, lasagna really is tomatoes, meat, noodles and cheese, so it kind of fits to have a lot of tomatoes.

So not everyone has the time (or patience) to make lasagna, but I would venture to say that almost everyone has the time to throw some ingredients in the crockpot. Thus, lasagna soup was born into my recipe book.

Don’t get me wrong, I love making homemade lasagna, but I also don’t always have the time for it. I create this recipe for those times when I’m craving the ingredients but not the time. Here we go!

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Taco Soup

I don’t know if you all have caught on to this whole “quick and easy” meals I enjoy cooking in our household, but you will.  :)

This meal is fantastic because it literally requires cooking some beef and then pouring everything into the crockpot. I think it is best served when it is cold outside, because who doesn’t love coming home to a hot meal after a cold day. BUT it is also just fine on other normal days, too. I made this for dinner the other night and we actually sat out on our deck, enjoying the last of the sun for the day and each other’s company. Wonderful!

Quick note. For the pictures below, I actually doubled the recipe because I made it for my work, so just know that UNLESS you are doubling, you do NOT need as much stuff as the pictures show. Thanks! And enjoy :)

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