Nursery Pinspiration – Baby Girl #2

I have been busy working on the nursery. It’s coming together really nicely. I don’t have any pictures yet, but I hope to post pictures once it’s complete. We have the crib set up, curtains hung, crib bedding. I bought a sewing machine recently, so I’ve made a changing pad cover, teething rail guard, no-sew crib skirt and a blanket that all match. I’d like to make a few more things. We have no wall art yet. Here is my inspiration for baby girl #2’s nursery. I decided to go with a navy theme with hot pink accents.

Here are some pins that have been my inspiration…

Navy and hot pink nursery

pin8Love the navy crib skirt with hot pink sheet

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Elegant combo of navy and hot pink

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I love this pink stripe with the baby’s name over the crib

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Cute navy crib skirt with a hot pink border

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I want to make a pillow just like this

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Hot pink flower ball & navy/pink wall art

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Would love a hot pink and navy pennant banner

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Teething rail guard to match the crib skirt, this pink is too light

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Baby #2 BUMP REPORT – 21 Weeks

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PREGNANCY WEEK 21 – June 13, 2015

Swirls, twirls and curls….we are going to have a house full of GIRLS! We are so excited to have found out that the baby is a healthy girl. We would have been happy with either gender, but I was really hoping for a little sister for Winter. Since the two girls will be exactly two years apart, I am hopeful that they will grow up as best friends and playmates. I am close with my sisters and hope for the same experience for my daughters. Plus, let’s be honest, it will be SO NICE to reuse all of Winter’s baby things and clothing, especially because all of the sizes will fall in the same seasons since we are having another October baby.  Well–that is, unless this baby turns out to be a giant or exceptionally small. We couldn’t be more happy for another girl.

On the ultrasound she looked great and is measuring right on track. She appears to look very similar to Winter’s ultrasound, as much as you can really tell from looking at a 2D ultrasound. Same round head, button nose, chubby cheeks. I hope they look alike since Winter is so adorable!

There was only one slight “concern” noted at the ultrasound. “Concern” might not even be the right term. More like something to watch for as the pregnancy progresses. I already knew my placenta was anterior, on the front of my belly, but now I have what is called a “low lying placenta.” This means that the placenta is down low and in close proximity to my cervix, though not covering or touching it. My midwife said it’s 16 mm (1 cm) away from my cervix. She said that typically as the baby grows, the placenta will continue to grow upward and away from the cervix. She was not concerned, but she said it’s something to be noted and check again later in the pregnancy. Because of this, we will have a follow up ultrasound at 28 weeks just to make sure things move in the right direction. If for some reason my placenta would be any less than 15 mm away from my cervix, there is the possibly of needing a c-section for safety purposes. I’m praying that a c-section isn’t necessary as I’m really hopeful to have a 100% all natural drug-free birth experience.

My age: 29

How far along: 21 weeks

How big is baby: the size of a carrot (10.5 inches and 12.7 ounces)

Gender: Baby girl!

Events of this week: Had our anatomy ultrasound, got pedicures with a few mom friends, babysat, pet sat for two dogs, went swimming at a friend’s pool, went to Tiny Town, went to an outdoor concert at the park, hosted a play date, had small group, went to my women’s bible study, went out on a date to see Jurassic World on opening night, and went to a BBQ/movie at church.  Busy week!

Symptoms: Growing belly, feeling really great overall.

Exercise/Activity: Got 5 days of exercise this week; two days of running and three days of workout DVDs. In my workout DVDs I skip a lot of the ab exercises and instead do cardio in it’s place (like jumping jacks, etc). Feeling really strong and fit! Signed up for a local 5K at the end of July when I’ll be 27 weeks pregnant.

Sleep: Pretty good, minus trying to force myself to sleep on my side. I wake up on my back.

Maternity clothes:  Yes.

Stretch marks: No.

Belly Button: In.

Food cravings: Mixed berry smoothies from Einsteins.

Food aversions: Chicken.

Movement: Yes. Eric felt the baby from the outside last week too!

Best Moment of the Week: The ultrasound!

Worst Moment of the Week: None.

What I’m looking forward to: Enjoying the summer days with Winter now that the weather has been great. We have a baby pool in the backyard that she uses nearly every day. I love being outside and so does she. Over the weekend I sported a bikini so I could get some sun while she played. I normally wear tankinis while pregnant, but I figure in my own back yard no one is looking!

What I’m nervous about/praying for: Nothing.

What I miss: Nothing.

Next appointment: Monday, July 6th at 9:40 a.m.

Comparison with my first pregnancy:

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A look back at the entire week by week pictures so far:

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And finally, this week’s pic on it’s own:

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Winter’s 5 Month Update

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 5 months old

Baby’s Age: 5 months old

Height: 25 inches (approx.)

Weight: 15 pounds, 1 ounce

Head: not sure

Diaper Size: Size 2

Clothes Size: 6 months

Here is a look back at the past few months:

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Here is Winter in her Bumbo:

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What Winter is Like at 5 Months: Our baby girl is no longer a newborn!  She is rapidly growing up and constantly learning.  Sometimes we feel truly shocked at how quickly Winter is changing and developing!

A few weeks ago, Winter learned how to roll over from her back to her tummy.  Ever since she learned how to do this, we cannot keep this baby on her back no matter how hard we try!  She is just a little rolling machine.  In fact, because she refuses to stay on her back for longer than 15 seconds, this affects her sleeping style–she no longer will sleep on her back.  When we put her down for naps or night time in her crib, we always lie her in the middle of the crib on her back.  Instantly she rolls on to her side and typically sleeps on her side/partially on her tummy.  In the morning, I usually wake up to her either in the corner of her crib or with her legs stuck in the crib rails — always on her tummy.  She is too funny!  Honestly, her rolling all around scared me at first because I was afraid of SIDS, but now I realize there is nothing we can do to keep her from rolling, so I’ve accepted that is how it is.

Winter is the epitome of a happy baby.  She has a stellar personality and absolutely loves anyone and everyone.  As soon as she sees a person (whether in real life or on Skype/Facetime, she instantly lights up and grins from ear to ear.  She is so social and loves attention!  Whenever we take her to the nursery at church or the nursery at MOPS, we are always praised for what a joy she is to watch.  Everyone adores her.

She is no longer content to lie down and observe or quietly bat at the toys in her play gym…no, no, no — she wants to play and interact constantly!  As I mentioned, she won’t stay on her back for very long, so she rolls on to her tummy and then she plays with toys and wants to constantly be entertained.  Sometimes it’s exhausting because when she is awake, I’m constantly playing with her and giving her attention.  She does enjoy playing and jumping in her Little Einstein exercauser/jumper.  For a while she was too short as her feet didn’t touch the floor, but now she is taller and has discovered how much she enjoys jumping up and down!

She has become very interested in our two pets (dog and cat).  She really likes both of them.  She loves petting (eh–grabbing and pulling) their fur.  She enjoys when the dog licks her face.

Winter is really ticklish.  She giggles and laughs when you tickle under her arms, on her toes and squeeze her chubby thighs.  She loves being sung to.  We sing “What Does the Fox Say?” to her multiple times per day.  She also likes “Jesus Loves Me,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “Pat-A-Cake,” “Bushel and a Peck,” as well as other lullabies and praise/worship songs that we sing.

Sometimes if she starts fussing because she simply wants attention — I start to clap repeatedly and this gets her attention and she stops fussing.  You’ll find me clapping a lot while eating dinner so that we can get through our meal without having to hold her! 🙂  It’s really kind of weird, but clapping works!  It gets her attention.

Several weeks ago, she caught her first bad sickness–the stomach virus.  In 24 hours she vomited 12 times and couldn’t keep anything in her belly!  It was a truly awful experience.  No mom wants to see their little baby go through that.  We felt scared because we were very concerned about her becoming dehydrated at this young age.  We closely followed the guidance of her pediatrician.  We did take her in to see the doctor, and aside from losing a little bit of weight, she was just fine.

Overall, Winter is growing, learning and a very happy little baby.  She is so much fun, and I enjoy every single day with her!!

Milestones: She can roll over in both directions, she is learning how to sit up unassisted, she puts everything in her mouth, she stands up while holding onto our hands, she sleeps through the night, she jumps up and down in her Little Einstein exercauser.

Sleep: Our champion sleeper sleeps 10 hours at night.  She takes 2 long naps (2+ hours) and one or two shorter naps.  She is such a great sleeper!

Best Moment: Finally getting well after her stomach virus.  It felt amazing to have the throwing up stop and get back to normal.

Worst Moment: Watching Winter vomit repeatedly during her sickness.  She puked so much and you could tell she didn’t feel good.

Health:  Aside from the stomach bug, she has been doing great.  She is growing and learning and reaching her milestones on time!

Eating:  Winter is still exclusively breastfed.  We are waiting to start any solids until she is 6 months.  Though she is showing a lot of interest in foods, I am fine holding out for one more month.  Once we start solids, I plan to begin with vegetables and eventually add fruits (start with bland and eventually add sweeter tastes).  We might skip rice cereal as her pediatrician said there is very little nutritional value in cereal.  As for now, she is nursing 5-6 times per day.  Her typical routine for eating is this: 7:30 or 8:00 am, 11:00 or 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 6:00 or 6:30 pm, 8:30 pm, 10:30 pm.  Sometimes the 8:30 pm and the 10:30 pm feedings blend into one feeding somewhere in the middle–but it really just depends on what we have going on.  I am very laid back and will nurse her on demand if she seems hungry at a non scheduled time.  I still follow Baby Wise, but have realized that I make it into what works for me — I don’t worry too much if I don’t follow it to a T.

Likes: Pulling hair, putting anything & everything in her mouth, smiling, laughing, singing songs, sucking on her wabbanub pacifiers, reading books, putting her hands in her mouth, playing with toys, putting ANYTHING into her mouth, taking a bath, feeling textures, getting tickled, standing up, looking at her reflection in the mirror, getting her hair brushed, getting thrown up in the air, watching the dog & cat.

Dislikes: She doesn’t like it when we aren’t paying attention to her.

How Mommy is doing: Life as a mom is great!  I love spending all of my days with Winter.  We have gotten very busy and involved with my moms groups.  At least 2-3 times per week we have activities going on during the day with my moms group.  Usually walks or playdates at someone’s house.  Sometimes we go swimming or do other fun activities.  I love all of the mom friends I have made and Winter likes playing with other babies her age.

If you missed her previous updates, you can check out:

1 Month Update

2 Month Update

3 Month Update

4 Month Update

Photos of Winter and Our Family:

Winter’s 2 Month Update

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BABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 2 months old

Baby’s Age: 2 months old

Height: 21.25 inches

Weight: 10 pounds 13 ounces

Head: 38.5 cm

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Look how big this girl is!  She isn’t quite ready for the Bumbo yet, but I took some comparison photos of her in it:

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Wow, it’s incredible how much she has grown!  She is over 2 pounds bigger this month than she was last month!

Milestones: Winter has a really strong neck.  She is excellent at holding her head up!  She also has really strong legs and kicks in a cycling motion constantly.  She is coo-ing and trying to “talk” and have conversations with us.  Precious.  She smiles so much!  When you smile at her or a make a face, she instantly responds with a smile.  She is really good at tracking things with her eyes.  She loves playing with her hands and putting them in her mouth.  She is really in a learning-mode—-trying to discover how things work!

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She’s great at head control.

Sleep: Once we got to the 8 week mark last week, she started giving me a 7 hour stretch of sleep at night!  That is so fantastic!  Before that, she was typically going a 5.5 hour stretch.  I think we will soon be “sleeping through the night” officially.  Or I hope so.  She typically has her last feed at around 10:00 pm and then wakes up between 4:00 and 5:00 am.  I’d like to eventually stretch her sleep until 7:00 am.  (***I don’t want to jinx myself by saying it, but she officially “slept through the night” last night for the first time!!  She ate at 10:15 pm and then didn’t wake up to eat again until 6:45 am.  That was amazing!  I hope this is the start of something!)

Besides her nighttime sleep routine, she has definitely fallen into the pattern of taking naps throughout the day.  She usually sleeps for 1.5-2 hours during her naps.  I love naptime, because it gives me a chance to catch up on things!  We are on a typical 3-hour Babywise routine: she wakes up to eat (“eat time”), then we play for a while (“waketime”), and then around 1 or 1.5 hours after she wakes, she starts dozing off again & I put her down for a nap (“sleeptime”).  We repeat this cycle all throughout the day.

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She still sleeps in our bedroom at night in the bassinet portion of the pack and play.

Best Moment: I know last month I said the best moment was seeing her smile…and that is my response again this month!  Smiling is the best!  And now that she is trying to “talk” by cooing and making sounds, it’s so much fun to play with her.  Smiling makes me feel like I’m doing my job as a mom and that I’m succeeding.

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Worst Moment: Worst moments are rare these days.  Life is getting to be less complicated and much more beautiful!  Our previous weight gaining issues are behind us, and Winter is a wonderful little girl.  I’d say the worst moment was watching her get her 2-month-old vaccinations this week at her pediatrician appointment.  Poor baby didn’t like that…and Mommy felt sad for her!  It was brutal for me to watch my little baby in pain.  I started tearing up during her shots.

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Mad baby!  This wasn’t the day she got her shots, but she looked even madder than this when she did.

Health:  She is so healthy and happy!  She has been gaining weight like a champion!  She is very alert, eats well, sleeps well, and is hitting her milestones on time.  In fact, her doctor said that she is a “very smart baby” and is reaching a lot of milestones that are typical of a 4-month-old baby.  Way to be an overachiever, Winter!  Just like Momma! 🙂

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Eating:  At 2 months, she is eating 7 times per day including her middle of the night feed.  Once she sleeps through the middle of the night feed (which is somewhere between 4:00 and 5:00 am), she will drop into a 6 times per day feeding routine.  Because I breastfeed as well as pump, I know that she typically eats an average of 4 ounces at each feeding (though sometimes only 3.5 ounces and sometimes as much as 5 to 5.5 ounces). When she is more hungry, she will eat 5+ ounces.  The most she has ever eaten at once is 6 ounces, and that was only one time.

Currently Winter is doing more nursing than bottle-feeding (pumped breast milk).  I am thrilled about this!  It was my goal to move to the 50/50 mark, so the fact that we are MOSTLY nursing is amazing (she nurses 5 or 6 times out of the 7 total feeds).  Before we were very heavily on the pumping end, and only breastfeeding a small portion of time.  But now nursing is becoming more and more of a regular thing.  Lately I have been breastfeeding throughout the daytime and pumping/bottle-feeding in the evening & middle of  the night.  She is becoming much more efficient at breastfeeding as she gets older.  What used to take her 45 minutes now takes her 20-25 minutes to nurse.  Because I go to a breastfeeding group that does a pre-weight and post-weight to track her milk consumption, I know that in 20-25 minutes she eats approximately 4 (+/-)ounces.  This is seriously making me SO HAPPY!!  Overall, I’m very pleased with her progress she has made in regards to eating!  She is a breastfeeding champ now!Here is what our typical feeding routine looks like on any given day (keep in mind it’s not a STRICT schedule, but a flexible routine like the book BabyWise suggests):

Her typical feeding routine generally looks like this:

4:00 to 5:00 am – Her middle of the night feed I always pump and then bottle-feed (I store the extra milk that she doesn’t eat)

7:00 am – Breastfeed & then pump to drain the remaining milk to store it (I tend to produce most milk at the middle of the night feed and this first morning feed)

10:00 am – Breastfeed only

1:00 pm – Breastfeed only

4:00 pm – Breastfeed only (or pump/bottle depending on what we are doing)

7:00 pm – Breastfeed only

10:00 pm – Pump/bottle-feed.  I pump while Eric feeds her (I want to make sure my breasts are completely drained before our long-stretch at night).  Also, it gives Eric a chance to bottle-feed because he likes to feed her after being gone all day at work

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Big girl trying to hold her own bottle!  So independent!

Likes: She loves when you smile at her.  She likes singing songs — she even tries to “sing” with you!  She loves to kick her legs in a cycling motion.  She likes to be swaddled.  She loves her hands — especially sucking on them.  She likes bath time, surprisingly — because she used to hate baths.  She likes her pacifiers.  She likes eating (Eric said he thinks she is more soothed from nursing than bottle-feeding).  She likes her play gym — she is fascinated with the toys that hang over her.

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Dislikes: She hates shots!  (Duh!)  She doesn’t like to lie down during playtime…she wants to be propped up, standing or sitting (obviously assisted standing and sitting).  Although if she lying in her playgym, she doesn’t mind lying flat.  She HATES tummy time….she will do tummy time for a few minutes and then start crying because she is over it.

Things I want to remember: 

–If I make faces at Winter (like sticking out my tongue), she mimics me and tries to copy what I do.

–When it’s time to feed, as soon as she sees a breast or a bottle, she gets really excited and starts cooing in anticipation.  So cute!

–She kicks her legs constantly!  Eric always says, “Winter, where are you going on your bike today?”

–She loves Frederick, her wabbanub frog.  She is getting another wabbanub for Christmas…a white lamb.  We are going to call her Lana.  I’m sure she will love Lana and Frederick equally 🙂

–Whenever I turn on lights, she instantly closes her eyes…guess her eyes have to adjust just like anyone else, but it’s just so cute.

–She gets startled easily!  If someone closes a door loudly, or sneezes, or anything — it startles her.

–Winter used to be able to sleep through any noises…but now I put her in her room in her crib for naptime because noises (like the dog barking or the doorbell ringing) wake her out of sleep.

–She loves to stand up.  She has super strong legs (the doctor says she is ahead of “schedule”), and she loves to stand up and look around.

Things we are using a lot:

We couldn’t live without the following items:

–Baby Scale. I bought a baby scale at Babies R Us to track her weight gain.  Now I use it more to do pre-weights and post-weights for when she nurses to see how many ounces she consumed.  It’s nice that the scale is digital and converts to kg, so it’s more closely accurate when I do my feeding calculations.

–Snap & Go Stroller.  You will rarely see me carrying around her car seat because I always use the snap & go stroller when I’m out and about.  It’s so much more convenient.  It’s practically a frame with wheels (and a little storage basket on the bottom).

–Nipple Shield.  Yes, we are still using the nipple shield.  I’d like to eventually ditch it, but it is still helpful at this point.

–Medela Pump.  Though I’m mostly nursing, my pump is still getting used once or twice per day.

–Her crib.  Now that she is on a schedule, she actually takes naps in her nursery.  I make the room dark, turn on her space heater (she loves a warmmmm room!), grab the monitor and shut the door.

–Video Baby Monitor.  Because of naptime, this thing is getting used a lot.

How Mommy is recovering: I am doing great!  I posted earlier this week about my post-baby body thus far.  At 6 weeks, in addition to running, I added the gym back into my routine.  I feel great when I workout.  I’m getting more and more energy from it.  I also notice I’m getting stronger and my stamina is increasing.  My lower abs and my tendons/ligaments in my pelvic area used to feel really weak & loose, but those areas are improving and getting stronger.  I’m hoping to whip my body back in to shape!

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My infection in my nipples is pretty much healed!  My left side still has a little bit of healing left since it will still bleed, but overall things are looking MUCH IMPROVED!  My right side is completely good to go.  I use lanolin cream, and this has really helped tremendously. I have noticed better results using lanolin compared to APNO (all purpose nipple ointment — a prescription that is a steroid cream).

As a whole, I feel great!  Around the 6 week mark, I started to feel like a human being again.  My feelings of being frazzled, stressed out and overly emotional are all in the past.  My morale is high and I feel like “I’ve got this”…motherhood is getting to be more and more fun!

Photos of Winter and Our Family:

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Winter was almost 6 weeks here.

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Travelling with Mommy to Florida via air travel (6 weeks old)

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Our family down in Florida for Eric’s launch into space

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We got to see the REAL Atlantis shuttle!!  Amazing (6 weeks old)

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Daddy and Winter

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Mommy and Winter in Florida (6 weeks old)

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Atlantis exhibit

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Napping with Daddy (6 weeks)

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Moby on the beach

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Beach

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Family walk on the beach

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Daddy and Winter in Florida

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Watching TV (6 weeks)

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Happy girl (7 weeks old)

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Somebody loves Frederick, her Wabbanub froggy!  (7 weeks)

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Winter’s getting a little chunky!!  (7 weeks old)

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Pretty girl! (7 weeks)

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First Thanksgiving!  (7 weeks)

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Family run with the BOB

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Family run with the BOB (7 weeks)

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Happy little girl! (7 weeks)

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Winter smiles all the time for us!

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Mommy and baby girl (7.5 weeks)

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First time ever wearing a dress!  (7.5 weeks)

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She is the happiest baby ever!

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BRRRR….bundled up for a freezing cold day! (8 weeks)

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Wearing her Purdue jammies!!  Gotta represent our school!

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Trying to help hold her own bottle!

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Snuggling on the couch with her toy from Grandma (8 weeks)

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Winter loves Daddy

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She enjoys looking at us and smiling at us

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First Christmas tree!

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Bunny hat on…don’t worry, she did wear pants that day 🙂

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Taking photos for our Christmas card!

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Brrrr…winter is here now!

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Christmas

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Our little family

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Merry Christmas — soon!

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Mommy and Winter

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Sleepyhead…she actually takes naps in her crib now!

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Tummy time

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Not too happy, but she looked adorable in her bunny outfit!

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2 months old!

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Can’t believe she is already 2 months old!

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Happy girl!

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She loves playtime in her playgym.

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Winter and Koda.

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Waking up in the morning.

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2 month doctor appt.

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2 month doctor appt.

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2 month doctor appt.

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First time wearing jeans…well jeggings really!

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Somebody likes toys!

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She officially moved up into 3 month size clothes!

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Sorry for the photo overload this post!  I think based on the amount of pictures, I might need to do some in-between photo posts 🙂  Happy 2 months, Winter!  We love you!

-Katy (Mommy)

Winter’s Beautiful Birth Story

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Here is the birth story that I will never forget and always cherish.  I hope that I wrote this in the best way possible.  It’s very long, but I did not want to leave anything out.  I absolutely loved Winter’s birth and would not change a thing about it.  Here is how she came into the world…

Winter’s Beautiful Birth Story 

When I hit 39 weeks on October 1st, I all of the sudden felt very “ready” to have my baby.  Something just suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks: I was ready to be done with my pregnancy and ready to meet our little girl.  I started to think that she was coming any day, and then nothing ever happened.  My Braxton Hicks contractions were becoming more frequent and much stronger, sometimes even painful!  “Surely today is the day,” I kept thinking to myself — everyday.  And then nothing would result.

My due date came and went.  As I was a runner all the way throughout my pregnancy, there was something special about the run I went on that Tuesday morning — my due date.  It felt like a momentous day.  It felt great that I could celebrate that day with a healthy run outside in the gorgeous fall weather.  I started trying all kinds of old wives tales for helping stimulate labor…with no avail.  At my O.B. appointment that afternoon on Tuesday, October 8th (baby’s due date), my doctor said her best friend always swears by eating eggplant parmesan to induce labor.  So I thought I’d give it a whirl if nothing had happened in a few days. I just wanted to meet our girl!

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Post run on my due date!

On Wednesday, October 9th I felt very emotional and depressed because I was still baby-less.  It felt as if every single day was a year long.  At that moment, it felt as if I were NEVER going to go into labor.  I was in a bad mood and I felt awful — both emotionally and physically exhausted.  My back was killing me from sciatic nerve pressure and I was just feeling defeated.  I went to the gym to workout and made myself do an “extra intense” workout just to see if that could get baby motivated to make her grand appearance.  I worked out on the stairmaster, the rowing machine and jacob’s ladder (that was probably hilarious to watch a pregnant lady use).  After over an hour of cardio, I did a full body weight lifting.  As I left the gym, the front desk person and I briefly chatted how if they saw me again I was going to be sad that I still hadn’t given birth.  Well, thankfully they wouldn’t see me again — since that night I went into labor!

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Jacob’s Ladder – I bet that was interesting to watch a pregnant lady use!

Because of my sciatic back pain, I went to see my chiropractor for an adjustment around 6pm on Wednesday evening, which was my second adjustment that week.  On the drive home, I called and talked with my dad for a half an hour.  During that drive home/phone call with Dad, I was noticing really strong Braxton Hicks contractions, but didn’t allow myself to get my hopes up.  After all, these were just more of the same.

When I got home, Eric and I decided to go out to dinner for our weekly date night early since we hoped that by Friday the baby would already be here.  The eggplant parmesan recommendation from my doctor was ringing in my head, so I suggested the Macaroni Grill.  Just before heading out to dinner, I went to the bathroom and noticed a bit of a bloody show….that got my heart racing…maybe this was the start of something?!

At dinner I found myself feeling extra excited and told Eric what had happened in the bathroom at home.  Neither of us wanted to get our hopes up yet.  As we ate dinner, I noticed my Braxton Hicks contractions started to feel painful — a different type of painful than I had previously experienced.  To be honest, I was not quite sure if I was having gas pains or contractions.  If they were gas pains, I needed to find out!  So I went to the bathroom to investigate, and no, they were not gas pains.  During the rest of dinner we both started to get more excited that we could potentially be at the beginning of something real!

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Macaroni Grill – where my contractions started.

We left the restaurant and arrived home about 9pm (we are late eaters).  Because we were now in the comfort of our home, we decided to start timing my contractions.  The way I would describe what I was feeling was a menstrual cramp/pain down low in the bottom of my belly.  It felt like a sting or a sharp pain, or almost like someone was sticking a knife in my uterus.  Ouch!  At that point in the evening, it hurt, but was still very manageable.  We decided to run a bath, so I hopped in the tub and tried to relax between contractions from 9-10pm.  We continued timing, and the pains were very regular, ranging from 5-7 minutes apart.

At around 10:30 p.m. I decided to call my mom since my parents are on Eastern time.  If this truly was labor, I wanted to inform her before things progressed too much and had to call her with a middle-of-the-night phone call.  I described my “knife stabbing into my uterus” pains to Mom, and she said I needed to stop calling them that, and call them contractions.  Haha!  I still was not really 100% convinced that I was in labor.  I didn’t want to get my hopes up just yet — but my excitement was growing.

Between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. my contractions were coming every 4-6 minutes and getting stronger and more painful.  Eric was my dutiful timer.  We used an app on his phone to time the contractions, which made things really easy!  During that period of time I bounced on my exercise ball, got on my hands and knees to allow baby to hang down, and rocked my hips constantly to encourage baby to move down.  I took a second bath, and this time the water felt SO AMAZING on my body.

At 1:00 a.m. I needed to get out of the house, so we decided to go for a walk outside.  Yes, at 1:00 a.m.!  We walked laps and laps around our neighborhood, trying to be quiet since we didn’t want to wake anyone.  We probably walked 2 miles on that crisp fall night.  I was still able to walk through the contractions, though they were getting stronger and sometimes coming every 2 1/2 minutes apart.

After our walk, I decided I wanted to take a hot shower.  I needed the pain relief as well as I wanted to look decent for birth.  Ha, of course!  After my shower, I was starving, so Eric and I sat down at the table and ate our Macaroni Grill leftovers from dinner at around 2:30 a.m.  I continued having contractions, but it felt SO GREAT to get a bit of food in my stomach.  I was starting to feel exhausted from getting no sleep combined with the pain I was feeling.  After eating, we deemed it felt necessary to go to the hospital.  I was feeling quite a lot of pain during each contraction and I knew that SURELY I was getting really fair along at this point.  So Eric loaded the car with our bags, he snapped a couple of photos of me, and we were off!

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Heading to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning, nearly 3am.

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One last look from both sides.

During that 15 minute drive to the hospital, I had at least 3 or 4 strong contractions.  Sitting down in the car, being unable to move through the contraction, was really excruciating for me.  At least when I was at home I could move around as needed or roll/bounce on my ball to help ease the pain.  Sitting in a seatbelt in a vehicle is NOT ideal for labor.

We arrived at the hospital at 3:00 a.m. and I called my mom to let her know an update of where things stood.  I still was unsure of how “far along” into labor I was, but I knew surely we were making some definite progress since I was in a lot of pain and the contractions were 2-5 minutes apart lasting for a minute or longer.  We entered the emergency entrance and notified the staff that I was in active labor.  A nurse was sent down to escort me up to the labor and delivery wing via wheelchair.  I was wheeled up to the maternity floor — my first time ever being a patient at a hospital.

From the moment I arrived in the hospital, I noticed an extreme change in my contractions.  They seemed to slow down and feel less intense.  Perhaps it was the adrenaline rush from being at the hospital, who knows???  We were brought into a room and the nurse had me change into a gown and give a urine sample.  They hooked up the two monitors to my belly to start monitoring contractions and baby’s heartrate.  For about an hour we dealt with logistics: 100 million questions that I had to answer.  My contractions continued coming, but not as close together or quite at the intensity they were before my admittance.

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Talking to my mom while at the hospital,

At the end of that hour, the nurse finally checked my cervix.  She estimated I was over 3 but less than 4 centimeters dilated.  This just about crushed my spirit!  Just on Tuesday, I had been just under 3 centimeters at my O.B. appointment.  How on earth had I not made ANY progress after all these hours of painful contractions?!  It just left me feeling so discouraged.

The nurse suggested that Eric and I get up and walk around the hospital halls for an hour to see if that caused any cervical change.  Being SO EXHAUSTED from pulling an all-nighter, that hour of walking felt like it lasted for 5 hours.  Plus, I was walking around in a hospital gown (with one over the back for extra modesty), so I felt less than comfortable.  A few times during the walk I stopped to use the rest room and noticed heavy bleeding.  Bleeding that somewhat scared me!  It was heavy like a period, and each time I used the restroom, there was lots more blood.  This is something I notified the nurses of, and they seemed to think it was normal for labor.

At 5:30 a.m. we returned to our room to see if our hour-plus walk had made any cervical change.  I was feeling extremely beat and worn down from a lack of sleep combined with the exhaustion from being in labor all night.  I did not feel hopeful because I was having hardly any contractions at that time.  The nurse, Amy (a different one because of a shift change during our time walking) came in to check me to see if there was any more progress.  After checking my cervix, she estimated that I was 3-4 cm dilated.  BIG bummer.  Again, I felt so frustrated and defeated.

This nurse, Amy, was a really pushy and opinionated gal.  She strongly suggested we could use pitocin to get labor jumpstarted and sped along.  RED FLAG!!  I did NOT want pitocin AT ALL.  No way, no how.  In my mind, my baby girl was going to come out when she was darn well ready, and I did NOT need pitocin to make her mad.  I expressed this to the nurse, and she looked at me like I was a whacko.  I told her that I wanted to leave the hospital and go home because apparently the baby wasn’t quite ready yet.  Being pushy and opinionated, she pleaded with me to stay.  It really took a lot of courage for me to stand up for myself and say no.  I wanted to go home, be in my comfort zone and labor at home as I pleased.  I did NOT want to stay strapped to a hospital bed, exhausted from an all-nighter and having some bitchy (sorry for the language) nurse push her opinions and drugs on me.  She left the room so Eric and I could talk.

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We said NO to Pitocin!

We decided to check ourselves out and go home.  The nurse returned and said, “well, I guess if your baby wants to be born today, you will probably be back by noon anyway, so go home.”  What relief.  They let us go.  At this time it was 6:00 a.m. and I was having basically no contractions.  My level of discouragement was prevalent.  But I felt we were making the right choice for us to go home rather than staying at the hospital.  I needed to do this the RIGHT way.

Upon arriving home around 6:45 a.m., we thought it would be best to try to get some sleep, since we were both extremely exhausted from getting none all night long.  We lied down in our bed and I think I was able to be restful (translation: not ACTUALLY fall asleep) for a period of time.  I did not actually sleep, but the rest gave me a nice jumpstart.  I  needed anything I could get in the way of relaxation,

Around 9:00 a.m. I was started to get extremely painful contractions again.  In fact, the pain was SO MUCH stronger now than anything from the entire night before!  Eric was still asleep in the bed and I didn’t want to disturb him yet, so I ran a hot bath.  While the bath was running, I found myself dropping on the floor to my knees in such extreme pain.  THIS WAS IT!  Things were rolling again!  I was excited but still not positive that we were having a baby that day yet.  From 9:30-10:30 a.m. I soaked in the tub, breathing through really intense painful contractions every 3-5 minutes apart.  Eric, who was awake now, was so supportive and helpful and tried to help me through each one.

Eric called my O.B. office to see if there was any way I could come in to the office to be checked for cervical change rather than going to the hospital before we truly felt ready to go again.  She apologized that the earliest they could see me was 2:00 p.m. if I could even make it that long.  So my goal was to get myself to 2:00.  At that point, it was really hard to focus on anything because I was in such extreme pain.  I remember calling my mom while lying on the floor in pain saying, “Mom, how on earth do people do this?!?” and she said, “Katy, after the baby is born, you will forget all of this pain.”

From 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. the contractions were SO INTENSE and coming 2-4 minutes apart.  I couldn’t focus on anything and I dreaded the next contraction ahead.  I bounced on my exercise ball, leaned over pieces of furniture and just tried to breathe through each one.  I found that they would come on really strong and peak and then fade out.  It helped me to close my eyes and breathe deeply throughout the peak of each contraction.  After one was finished, at least I never had to “deal with THAT contraction again!”

At 12:00 p.m. I needed to get outside and walk the neighborhood.  I was walking SO SLOWLY and had to stop to hold myself up against Eric or fences when the contractions would come.  I felt miserable that 2:00 p.m. was still so far away.  My pain was SO BAD and I was crying on an off.  We got back home from our walk and I called my sister Maggie.  I had to hand off the phone to Eric when a contraction came because I couldn’t talk.  In fact, I ran to the kitchen sink and vomited.  Eric hung up the phone and said that Maggie said to get to the hospital immediately if I was throwing up.  Throwing up means things are really progressed far.  She thought I might even be close to the transition phase of labor.

We drove to the hospital and were admitted at 1:30 p.m.  Thankfully I was assigned a new nurse, Shauna, who was the most friendly gal I’ve ever met.  I was so relieved I didn’t have my previous pushy nurse from that morning.  After getting changed and hooked up to the monitors, Shauna checked me and estimated I was 5 cm dilated and we decided to stay.  She said she was being modest with that number, so even though she said I was at a 5, it could have really been a 6 or more according to other nurses she said…but her theory is that she doesn’t like to tell someone a higher number, just in case.  She hooked up my IV to administer the standard fluids, and we found that I was extremely dehydrated as I had not eaten or drank anything at all since my 2:30 a.m. snack.

Only 20 minutes after arriving, the doctor came in to check me and I had already dilated to 7 cm!  They went ahead and broke my water and I notified them that I wanted an epidural.  I figured the worst of the pain was behind me, but I was just so READY to feel better.

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Seeing the baby station in our room was making things feel more real!

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At the hospital – ready for a bit of pain relief.

Before the epidural, my entire body started shaking violently.  The shakes were so violent and I could hear Shauna in the background telling someone that we need to get this epidural quickly since I was in transition phase.  It felt like they were in a different world — I was in a cloudy space, almost like an out of body experience.  I kept wondering “how am I going to hold still for 10 minutes for this epidural?!?” since I was shaking so uncontrollably.

Eric went to move the car (since he was parked in 2 hour parking because the garage was full), and barely made it back in time to hold my shoulders while they put the epidural needle in.   Anesthesiology moved fairly quickly.  Right before they prepped me for the epidural, they checked again and I was 8 cm!  Wow, things sure were moving along now!  At this time, it was approximately 3:30 p.m.  By this point I was having such terrible contraction pains and being trapped on a bed was MISERABLE.  Thankfully Eric walked in right in the nick of time to hold me while the needle was inserted.  My violent shakes were going on uncontrollably, but with all my might I held still.

The epidural was easy breezy and took effect quickly.  From that point on, my experience when from “chaotic and miserable-feeling” to “happy and relaxed.”  All of the sudden I began to ENJOY the experience!  My pain was now gone and I could finally relax and enjoy the ride.  I have no regrets about getting the epidural.  I could still feel my legs and was able to somewhat move them and wiggle my toes, so I was not completely numb.

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Happy to meet our daughter shortly!  I was feeling amazing now that I had the epidural.

It was about 4:00 p.m. and I was feeling absolutely wonderful.  For the next period of time, our nurse Shauna hung out in our room and we chatted lightheartedly about this and that.  She monitored the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions while we visited.  It was really fun to see that I was having regular/frequent contractions without having to feel them!  Shauna decided rather than checking my cervix, she wanted to just wait until I felt pressure to see when I’d made it to a 10.  Since I was so relaxed, Eric went to grab a quick bite to eat (as did Shauna), and this allowed me time to make a few phone calls.  Up until this point, I had notified no one (besides family) that we were in labor.  I sent out several texts to get friends up to speed.

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Post epidural when I could finally smile!

At just before 6:00 p.m. Shauna came back and took my temperature.  She became slightly concerned when she saw that I was running a bit of a fever.  She went ahead and gave me Tylenol to help bring the fever down, and suggested that she check to see if I was at 10 cm dilated yet.  She checked, and sure enough, I was 100% effaced and 10 cm dilated!  Who knows how long I had been dilated to a 10!  It had probably been for a while!!  Shauna said because of my fever, it was wise to start pushing now rather than waiting for me to feel the urge to push, so we started a few “practice pushes.”  I was nervous that I wouldn’t know how to do it correctly or that I would be too numb to push, but with her guidance, she said my pushing was perfect right from the get-go.  With the next several contractions, she continued having me push to get the baby to move further down into the birth canal.

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Shauna took our photo right before I started pushing.  Last family photo as a family of only two!

My doctor, Dr. Lewkowski, arrived to the room shortly after (this was right after 6:00 p.m.).  She was supposed to be getting off work at 5:00 p.m. but decided rather than leaving, it would be more fun to stick around and deliver a baby tonight!  I was so grateful that she did that!  It really meant a lot to have her there to deliver my baby.  My doctor and nurse then began guiding me through pushes with each contraction that came.  We would do three 10-second pushes with each contraction.  Eric held my left leg and Shauna held the right.  The pushes were very effective, but I was shocked at how much energy it took out of me!

At one point during the pushing process (perhaps 6:20 p.m.), another nurse rushed in the room in a panic to check my blood pressure reading because she saw that it was really low suddenly.  Moments later, I began feeling really light headed and the room started to fade in and out.  I don’t remember exactly what they said my blood pressure was, but I thought I heard something in the neighborhood of 70/50…scary!  It turns out that I was lying flat on my back, which was causing some sort of blockage in one of my major arteries.  After moving me onto my side, they quickly put a bag of fluid into my IV.

After a few minutes my blood pressure came back up to a healthy level.  I started feeling more normal at that point, thank the Lord.  That was a scary few minutes because the room suddenly swarmed with all kinds of medical staff.  Eric later told me that he felt really scared too.  In those few seconds where I felt like I was “fading out” I remember thinking, “what if I die today?” or “Lord help my baby be ok!” or “I hope they don’t rush us into an emergency c-section.”  Thankfully all it took to get me back into running order was giving me fluid and moving me onto my side.  Once my blood was able to get moving through the arteries again and my blood pressure came back up, I was back in great shape.

With that brief fiasco behind us, it was time to continue pushing and meet our baby!  9 months of pregnancy got us to this point, and it was time to SHINE!  I continued pushing three times for 10 seconds each with every contraction.  The doctor asked if I wanted a mirror (which the nurses all thought she asked if I wanted a beer, how funny!), and my response was a quick, “No thanks!”  As the baby started crowning, I didn’t even need a mirror because I could see her head coming out anyway!  I could see a head with tons of dark hair — that was such a crazy sight to see!  Dr. Lewkowski asked if I wanted to feel her head, so I did, and boy was that nuts.  MY BABY WAS COMING OUT!!!

Once her head was out, the doctor asked me to just keep on pushing, so quickly our baby slid out and they placed her immediately on my chest.  All I remember thinking was “how the heck did this entire human being just come out of my body?!”  I started sobbing with joy as Winter Elizabeth’s wide eyes stared into mine.  Her eyes were so bright blue and she was SO ALERT!  She didn’t really cry much, but she was more looking all around taking everything in.  She was just so perfect.  I cannot even describe the utter joy of those first few moments bonding with her skin to skin.  It was amazing how much my heart could immediately love her.  It felt like my heart could burst from happiness and love.

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Here we are just seconds after they placed her on my chest.  I cannot even describe how happy I felt in this moment.

My doctor asked me to give one good push to deliver the placenta.  After it came out, I asked to see it.  Dr. Lewkowski brought it up to where I could see it and she showed me all the different parts of it and explained how it worked.  That was so neat!

Eric said to me, “Katy, good thing you got an epidural, because you are being stitched up right now.”  I hadn’t even realized what was going on around me because I was so engrossed in my baby.  Dr. Lewkowski said I had a 2nd degree tear, the “most common type” according to what she sees in her patients.  I honestly didn’t even care a bit.  I was too happy to care about something like that.

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A few minutes after Winter’s delivery!

While bonding with Winter skin to skin on my chest, the doctor stitched me up, and Shauna did several fundal massages on my belly to encourage my uterus to shrink down.  The nurses later took Winter so they could give her shots and get her birth weight and height.  When she was away from me, her cries came and she cried and so hard!  That girl has got some lungs!!  She didn’t like her shots or being weighed (what girl does?!).  She was a healthy 7 pounds, 2.5 ounces and measured 18.5 inches long.  Just perfect.  What a fun birthday: 10/10/13!

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Crying little girl!

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After being weighed and measured!

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Waiting on her while she was weighed and measured.

After an hour, Shauna had me get up, and I could walk, though somewhat wobbly on my legs.  We were moved into our recovery room.  Shauna gave Eric and I big hugs…we just LOVED her.  She made our experience so wonderful.  It was sad to say goodbye, but we were so excited to enjoy the next few days and hours getting to know Winter.

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 Just moments after we were moved into our recovery room, so happy.  Getting to know each other.

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We stayed in the hospital until Saturday.  It was so fun getting to know our precious daughter in those first hours/days at the hospital.  It felt like we were living in a dream.  I could have never imagined how beautiful and how much love I could feel for a person.  Winter is my little angel and I love her immensely.

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Arriving home with our daughter!

Winter’s birth was SO SPECIAL.  I will never forget how she made her entrance into the world.  Eric and I love our daughter more than words could ever describe.  I hope that I didn’t leave out any details…the whole experience was simply magical.  Our Winter came on the day and the hour that God picked for her.

Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

BUMP{LESS} REPORT – Baby Winter Elizabeth

41weeksbabychalkboardBABY LUTE WAS BORN!

Welcome to the world, Winter Elizabeth Lute!  Winter was born on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 6:37 p.m. in Denver, Colorado.  She weighs 7 pounds, 2.5 ounces and measures 18.5 inches long.  She has a full head of dark brown hair and daddy’s blue eyes.  She is healthy and completely perfect.  Eric and I couldn’t feel happier or more blessed.

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As I sit down to write, I have no idea where to begin.  I will plan to write a completely separate blog post about our birth story, but wanted to give an update on what’s been going on and how we are doing!  The past 5 days have been a blur, but we are enjoying every second of this precious addition to our family.

We arrived to the hospital on Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. and welcomed Winter into the world by 6:37 p.m. that day.  Her birth was beautiful and I would not change a single thing.  (But as I mentioned, I will write out the full story when I have more time.)  We stayed in the hospital for two nights and arrived home on Saturday afternoon, ready for our brand new adventure!  We haven’t gotten a whole lot of sleep since then, but it’s well worth every second.

The winner of the baby pool is my brother-in-law Jason.  He must have great intuition, because he guessed her name, birthday, weight and length (nearly perfectly).  Way to go, Jason!  We also had a lot of other great guessers who got the birthday correct, including me!  Other correct 10/10 guesses were: my sister Maggie, blog friends Priscilla Marie, Carin, and Katie, my Aunt Carol, Eric’s Grandma Helen, and my college friend Franki.  Way to go, everyone!  10/10 is a cool birthday!

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Baby Pool final results — way to go Jason!

Until I get a chance to write Winter’s birth story, here is just a series of snapshots of what we have been up to:

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First family photo!  This was taken just moments after Winter was born.  We had skin-on-skin time before she was weighed and measured.  She even started breastfeeding right away!

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Mommy is SO PROUD of her little girl!  This was taken right after we were moved into our recovery room post-delivery.

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Before her first bath.  Just an hour or so old here.

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We are so proud of our little angel!

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Winter is the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen!

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Getting ready to take her home.

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One proud Daddy!  He is so amazing with her.

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Snuggling baby Winter before leaving the hospital.

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First car ride!

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Family photo as we arrived home! 

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The sleepy Winter just melts my heart.  This is how she looks after she breastfeeds.

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Winter loves being a baby burrito.  Daddy is the best at swaddling her!

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This is what I get to live and breathe for now.  Winter is my precious angel.

Thank you so much for all of your kind words.  We are all doing great.  Recovery from birth is going well.  Just pray that we get some sleep every now and again:)

Until next time,

Katy

BUMP REPORT – 38 Weeks

ImagePREGNANCY WEEK 38

My age: 27

How far along: 38 weeks

How big is baby: the size of a jackfruit.  She is approximately 19-20 inches long and weighs 6.8 pounds.

What have you been up to: I have been trying to tackle more things on our to-do-before-baby list.  We installed the car seat bases in both vehicles (so the car seat only needs to be clicked in to be all set to go).  We have appointments set up with pediatrician offices to narrow down a baby doctor choice.  Other things I checked off the to-do list: bought a baby book, made a phone list for announcing baby’s arrival, finished the baby announcement mailing list, and I even packed a hospital bag.  I was seriously dragging my feet on packing a bag because in my opinion, as soon as I am “too ready” that means the baby is just going to sense the readiness and arrive early.  Well, I decided I would rather pack a bag in a calm-relaxed state rather than a hasty in-labor stressed state!  So my bag is packed.  I even selected Baby Lute’s going home outfit…it’s an adorable lady bug outfit.

As I mentioned, one of my goals is to get a pediatrician lined up before the baby arrives.  I have meet and greet appointments set up for two different offices within the next few days.  Each of the offices have multiple doctors, so it will be great to meet several and make a selection.  One of the offices is in the same building as my O.B. doctor.  I walked in their office and it seemed like the most fun doctors office I’d ever been to!  It was decorated to the nines to look like a tiki hut or a luau!  How fun!  More importantly than decorations, I will be interested to meet some pediatricians so that way Eric and I can choose the one we feel would be the best to care for our daughter.

I have been all across the board with my moods this week.  I officially had two meltdowns….  One meltdown was because I was panicking that I don’t feel 100% ready for the baby to be born yet.  The uncertainties about me being a good mom as well how drastically life is about to permanently change were overwhelming me.  My second meltdown was after I spent some time shopping at the grocery store and I came home beyond uncomfortable & exhausted — I had a meltdown because at that moment I felt like I just couldn’t handle being hugely pregnant for one day longer!  My poor husband is so amazing in dealing with these mood swings:)  I know that the baby will come at just the RIGHT time.  Plus, God only gives you as much as you can handle, so I know that His timing is perfect.

Now for the random thoughts & things we have been doing….  Forewarning: I am about to post a bunch of random assorted pictures from the past week or so…they may not necessarily piece together that well, but this is my blog.  So sorry if there is lack of cohesion!

BABY CLOTHES.

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Because we have received so many adorable clothes as gifts from our friends and family, we have bought almost NOTHING clothes-wise for the baby.  Well, I broke down and have purchased a few cute things lately.  The two bikinis were on sale at Target & I just couldn’t resist.  I also got some summery outfits (size 9-month) for next summer.

36 WEEK ULTRASOUND.

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I realized I never posted baby girl’s most recent ultrasound photo from 36 weeks.  Here she is!  Even with a regular 2D sonography, you could still see her face and her eyes opening and closing.  We were so pleased that she was measuring a healthy size!

BABY POOL.

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We have a baby pool set up for friends and family to guess our baby’s birth stats and name.  I did a post last week (https://babylute2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/baby-pool-make-your-predictions/) about our baby pool we have going on.  It has been so much fun to have friends, family and fellow bloggers guess our baby’s birth stats and name.  So far some guesses for baby Lute’s name include: Aralyn, Jessica, Avery, Lily, Stephanie, Aspen, Katelyn, Erica, Piper, Audry, Autumn, Lillian, Violet, Lucy, Becky, Adelyn, Genevieve, Hollie, Elizabeth, Kendall, Chloe, Hallie, Ava, Carol and Sequoia.  I LOVE HEARING EVERYONE’S GUESSES!!!  This is just so much fun.  It’s not too late to participate.  Just click on the link to the post and it will give you all the directions to play.

BABY BUMP.

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Another bump shot from this week.  I am always just amazed at how this belly keeps on growing!  I take a lot of pictures because I don’t want to forget this time.

SKIING: OUR FAVORITE THING.

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For anyone that knows us as a couple, our FAVORITE thing to do in the entire universe together is skiing.  We are ski addicts.  Ski-aholics.  Ski junkies.  Ski bums.  Call it whatever you like–but we are CRAZY OBSESSED with skiing.  It’s almost what defines us as a couple.  We typically purchase season passes and ski an average of 30-35 days per year.  No kidding.  Our obsessive ski lifestyle is about to drastically change with a newborn coming.  We decided that this year we would attempt to ski a mere FOUR DAYS.  So we bought 4-packs to Winter Park/Mary Jane ski resort this week.  I’m excited because I have never skied Winter Park or Mary Jane because it hasn’t been a part of the season pass we typically buy.  When we were buying our 4-packs, the guy at the counter told me he was amazed that I was full-term pregnant because of how well I was getting around.  I told him I’m a runner still—and then he was even more amazed.  Oh, the Colorado lifestyle!

THE NURSERY.

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If you missed last week’s BUMP REPORT (https://babylute2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/bump-report-37-weeks-full-term/), I did a full picture display of our finished nursery.  It feels SO GREAT to have the nursery complete and ready for baby.  Seriously–all that is left is a baby to sleep in there!  We are proud of how the nursery turned out.  Thank you SO MUCH for all of your sweet comments last week!  We felt so loved by all of the nice things people said.

MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHY.

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We had our maternity photoshoot two weeks ago.  The photographer sent us just a short preview to the shoot.  I cannot WAIT to get the full collection and post photos.  If you would like to access the short preview, here is the link: http://dueckphotography.blogspot.com/2013/09/katy-colorado-maternity-photographer.html?m=1

BARE BELLY SHOTS – IT SURE IS GROWING.

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Sorry for the bare-belly shots…but this belly is just HUGE!  I take so many pictures of this belly, it’s probably illegal to take so many.  When I get out of bed in the mornings, my belly is usually very lopsided and sticks out to one side.  In the third picture above I was trying to capture this, but you can’t really tell from the photo.

LUKE BRYAN/FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE CONCERT.

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On Saturday night we went to the Florida Georgia Line/Thompson Square/Luke Bryan concert.  It was the final concert of the 4-pack summer series we had bought.  We love FGL and Luke Bryan.  We had a fun night enjoying the music and hanging out with friends.  Unfortunately there was a chick right next to us to continued to light up and smoke weed joint after joint.  It tried to stay away from her–this baby does NOT need a contact high!  Finally the security guards came over and wrote her a violation because of multiple complaints.  The marijuana smoking ceased from that point on, thankfully.

NOW SURVEY TIME.

Exercise/Activity Level: I got my 6 workouts in like usual this week.  And yes, for anyone wondering, yes I am STILL running.  Not beautifully-so, but I am running.  It is getting so much harder day by day.  Some days I feel awesome, and other days I have to take it super easy and scale things back in order to listen to my body.  My pace is uber-slow, but I just feel so grateful that my body is still even letting me run that I don’t care HOW SLOW I am!  I just feel happy to be going still.  My breakdown for the week: 3 runs (2 outdoor, one indoor-treadmill run) and 3 cardio/weight sessions at the gym.

At my doctor’s appointment last week, the O.B. and I had a heart-to-heart about all of this exercise I’m doing.  I wanted to give her an update on my current level of activity and get her honest-to-goodness medical opinion on it.  She is thrilled to hear that I’m still able to run and workout at the level I am going.  She highly encouraged me to keep up the hard work, but simultaneously to listen to what my body is telling me to do.  She said if I need to slow down, then slow down.  Her opinion is that exercise (including running) has tremendous benefits for both me as well as my baby.  She said it will help with my labor & delivery (an overall quicker and easier birth), the baby will be healthier, it keeps pregnancy weight gain under control and it will help me to have a quicker/easier post-natal recovery.  It felt good to hear such positive feedback (and even encouragement) from my doctor.  I know that some people get a little nervous with the amount of exercise I do, but just so everyone is clear, I am medically cleared to do so!

Maternity clothes:  Here is an example of how my maternity clothes are fitting my bump just a tadddddd differently (the same shirt at 28 weeks when I thought I was huge already, and then now at 38 weeks):

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I actually thought my belly was enormous in the 28 week photo…now it looks tiny next to my current belly!

Stretch marks: None.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I actually make it through un-streaked!  I’m so CLOSE to delivery now!

Belly Button: Outie.

Sleep: Sleep is hit or miss.  I have to get up most nights at least twice.  Sometimes it’s for bladder relief, other times it’s because of extreme hunger pains.

Newest baby milestones this week: Baby is fully developed and is simply getting bigger in the womb.  She will make her grand appearance on the day and the hour that God has picked for her!

Best Moment of the Week: Getting people’s guesses for our baby pool all week.  It’s so much fun having people actively participating in our baby’s birth.  I love hearing all of the name guesses.  If you haven’t yet voted, I’d love to hear from you!

Worst Moment of the Week: My two meltdowns that I mentioned above.

Food cravings: My diet is still healthy and going great.  My 10 Pregnancy Health Goals (https://babylute2013.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/10-pregnancy-health-goals/) have still been going very well and I have stuck to my guns.  I have been staying very true to those goals!  I truly believe the reason I have had basically ZERO HEARTBURN in the past 7 weeks is due to the fact that I eat clean.  Eating healthy makes such a big difference!

Food aversions: None.

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions, growing belly, trouble bending over, trouble tying my shoes, calf tightness while running, feeling heavy, etc.

Movement: Lots of baby movement.  As always!  She continues to favor my right side.  I am wondering if I will notice when she starts to “drop”…I don’t think she has quite yet.

Gender: Girl

What I’m looking forward to: I’m looking forward to meeting some pediatricians this week and making a selection for our baby.

What I’m nervous about/praying for: Praying for a healthy baby that continues to grow all the way up until her birth.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling nervous jitters about labor/delivery/birth.  I am trying to focus on positives, but frankly, birth is a bit SCARY!  I just want everything to go smoothly….and I don’t want to end up in a C-section.  I know it’s all in God’s hands, and I am trying to let God give me peace that whatever happens is His will.

What I miss: My stable go-with-the-flow-positive mentality.  I don’t like being on an emotional roller coaster.  I am normally so easy going and sane….I hate breakdowns and irrational crying!  I know that even post-natal this won’t go away for a bit, but I am just looking forward to managing my emotions better.

Next appointment: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 @ 11am.  I had my first official pelvic exam at my 37 week appointment last week and discovered that a week ago I was already 50% effaced and 1 cm dilated.  I will be curious to see if there has been any cervical change at this week’s 38 week appointment.

To-do list before baby’s arrival:  THINGS I WANT TO GET DONE THIS WEEK:

-Get out all the parts to the breast pump (sterilize them as well as read all the instructions so I know what I’m doing)

-Make an appointment to get the dog’s hair cut (I need him freshly shaved before the baby arrives)

-Clean the whole house (even though it’s already clean—I just need it CLEAN!!)

-Make final choice about pediatrician

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My Purple & Teal Baby Shower

collage1This past week my best moment was the baby shower my friends threw for me.  It was such a beautiful shower and I had such a lovely time.  Everyone who came was so wonderfully generous in showering our baby girl with gifts. Three of my girlfriends have been planning this baby shower for quite some time.  Dana, Mandi and Ashley coordinated the shower together.

The shower was hosted at Dana’s house.  The July afternoon weather was HOT but it was sunny and beautiful.  You could not have asked for a more pretty day.  The party was held  in the backyard.

The guests who came were mostly friends, not family.  Since I’m not originally from Colorado, I do not have any family members who live in the state.  Eric, my husband, has an uncle and aunt and their son who live in the state, so I was glad Aunt Sue could make it to the shower as the one family representative.  My family threw me a surprise baby shower when I was back in the Midwest for a visit in June.

The theme of the baby shower was more of colors: purple and teal.  We had a sundae bar (which was amazing!!).  The sundae bar was perfect with the hot summer afternoon.  We had a fun ice cube game that we played. Inside of frozen ice cubes were little plastic babies.  Each guest put an ice cube in her drink and once someone’s ice had totally melted and the baby was fully exposed, she could announce, “My water broke!” and win the game.  That was fun!

The other game we played was baby gift bingo.  Each lady had a bingo card with different baby items on it.  As I opened gifts, they crossed off the items….5 in a row/diagonal won!  I thought that was a creative way for guests to be more interested in what the gifts were.  My shower planners were so smart!

Overall, it was a lovely day.  I felt so happy and special.  It’s a day I’ll remember for a long time!

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We had an ice cream sundae bar!  It was delicious and perfect on such a hot July afternoon.

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My friend Ashley made this adorable fruit salad.  How artistic!

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This is the sign in table.  The adorable turquoise chevron thing is a hair bow holder filled with lots of precious hair bows my friend Dana made. 

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The girls did such a beautiful job with the decorations for the baby shower.  The theme colors were purple and teal/turquoise.  It was a sundae bar baby shower.  Everyone enjoyed the delicious sundaes since it was so hot in late July. 

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3 of my amazing girlfriends coordinated the baby shower together.  They 3 of them put together such a beautiful day.  This picture is me with the hostesses (from left:) Ashley, Dana, me and Mandi.

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So many wonderful gifts.  The guests played “baby bingo” while I opened gifts.

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Some of the many ADORABLE little girl outfits we received!  Can’t wait to dress her up in her stylin’ clothes.

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Here are some of the gifts we received from our amazing friends.

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Eric and I are so extremely grateful for such wonderful friends.  It is hardly enough to say that we appreciate all of the gifts we received…but we are truly so blessed!!

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