Aiden is 2

Thursday, October 5, 2017

We have a two year old! I know I've said this since her one month update, but truly - HOW?! She is everything. I don't know how we ever lived without her! Here are a couple of my favorite pictures and updates of her lately...




  • She does a fake sneeze that makes me want to die of adorableness.
  • She has the best laugh and run (I'm not biased.)
  • She's hilarious and makes us laugh constantly.
  • I caught her climbing out of her crib, so we moved her to her big girl bed/room on July 1. She had a couple rough nights, but now loves it! We have a gate at her door to keep her from going exploring in the middle of the night. 
  • When I was pregnant, she would lift up her shirt, point to her tummy and say 'bee bee!'
  • If you asked where the baby was, she pointed to my tummy.
  • If you asked if she's having a brother or sister, she always said sister. (From the mouths of babes, I tell ya!)
  • Watching her with her baby sister is more than my heart can handle. She loves Emmie so much! 
  • She also really loves stealing Emerson's pacis and hiding so she can use them. Little stinker.
  • Since she's two, she's really mastering the temper tantrum. It's kind of hilarious. She will just throw herself on the floor silently and look up to make sure you're noticing her.
  • Her favorite color is "PINK!" She's currently learning her colors - before everything was either BLUE! or PINK!
  • She loves to sing. Her current favorites are: ABCs, Skidamarink, Row Row Row Your Boat, Open Shut Them
  • High five to Adam who has been teaching her the alphabet during bathtime. She's getting so good at it!
  • She hasn't found a movie she doesn't love. Trolls (Poppy!), Sing, Moana, The Secret Life of Pets, Cinderella...
  • She loves to color and "write". She's constantly asking us to write her name, and she can spell it on her own.
  • I have to say I was getting kind of concerned about her speech. She talks all the time, but I'm pretty sure anyone other than family would have NO idea what she's saying. She's not the best annunciator. But her pediatrician (and Adam) wasn't concerned, so neither am I!
  • She says 'Huh' instead of 'Yes', a trick she learned from Jude but hasn't grown out of. I'm trying to just soak in her adorable voice and babbling while it lasts, because I know it won't!
  • As of her two year appointment, she's 35.75" tall (91%), weighs 26.9 lbs (68%) and her noggin comes in at the 89% at 19.25"
We celebrated her birthday with a Bubble Guppies party on Sunday, August 20! She is so very loved.










A couple videos from her big day!
Happy Birthday! (She loves watching this one and will say "Happy to Aidy!")

We love you, little lamb! What an honor it is to be your parents!

Emerson Charlotte: A Birth Story

Sunday, October 1, 2017

We welcomed our second bundle of love and I'm so grateful to Adam for many reasons, but right now specifically for taking notes on labor! I love that I wrote down Aiden's birth story - I go back and re-read it all the time. And I'm thrilled that God gave us the opportunity to now be writing down a SECOND birth story! Here we go...

Fun fact about second pregnancies that no one told me, apparently you start having contractions and other "labor signs" a lot sooner than with your first. I had contractions starting around 36 or 37 weeks, so I figured this baby would be early. Silly me. I lost part of my mucus plug 11 days before this little one was born, and I'm pretty sure I lost mine RIGHT before labor with Aiden, so that was another fun mind game. Basically, I spent most of weeks 37-39 just waiting for labor to start. It never did, and I finally resigned myself to the fact that I don't have early babies. I was pretty frustrated at how frustrated I got - I wanted to soak in every last second with Aiden and Adam before our life changed forever, but I spent so much of those last few weeks anticipating labor! Oh, well. LIFE!

Hurricane Irma came storming in (pun intended!), which brought Maggie and 8-month-old Maren to our house for a little over a week starting on Friday, September 8. They were amazing house guests and a great distraction!

I went in for (what turned out to be) my last prenatal appointment on Thursday, September 14 and saw my favorite midwife, Leah, after spending my last ten appointments doing Centering. She helped calm me down from a terrible nightmare I had two nights prior - that our baby was born dead. (Seriously, worst nightmare. I woke up crying and started panicking that I needed this baby OUT of me.) Heartbeat sounded great and she said baby was very, very low. I didn't let it get me excited, because - remember? - I thought I was going to have a baby a couple weeks earlier. 

There were a couple things about labor that I specifically prayed for throughout this pregnancy... That it would be painless, quick, safe and healthy. That I would be able to deliver vaginally, and ideally naturally. That the baby would move into an optimal position (s/he had been sunny side up for a good bit of the last part of pregnancy, and I did so many ridiculous things to get him/her to move). The last month or so I started praying that my labor would start with my water breaking. I was so sick of having contractions that went nowhere and just wanted a clear sign!

I woke up early Sunday morning, September 17, around 1am to pee and my water broke! Not nearly as dramatic as the movies, I really just thought I peed myself a little bit, but there was a small gush. It continued to trickle throughout the morning. Since I wasn't having contractions, I forced myself to go back to sleep (after being giddy with excitement for a couple hours!). I got up around 6:30 and walked in circles in the living room trying to get contractions started. I called the midwife on call, Beth (she delivered Aiden!), who told me to try to get to the hospital by 10. At 7:30 I decided to wake Adam up with the exciting news! (Aren't I such a good wife?? I knew he would need his rest and if I told him when my water broke there is no way he would have been able to go back to sleep.) We called my mom and told her to make her way over to pick up Aiden and then called Debbie and shared the fun news with her, too! We went to wake Aiden up and told her she was about to be a big sister. And because she's two she could not have cared less. It was so nice to get those final moments with her as my only babe.



My mom picked Aiden up around 8:15, and Adam and I started walking around the neighborhood to try to kick start contractions. We walked for over an hour and then decided to finish packing our bags and get ready to head to the hospital. At this point, very mild contractions had started and were about 8 minutes apart - but hey, it's a start!

We arrived at the hospital around 10:45 and checked into triage. With Aiden, we were immediately put into a room because triage was full, so this was a different experience. (The entire experience was totally different!) That first time, I was already in full on labor, and the process of getting to the hospital and getting all checked in just about sent me into a panic attack because I was also trying to work through my contractions. This time around I was totally chill while they checked my vitals, confirmed it was my water that broke and checked my progress. I was 70% effaced, -2 station and 2cm dilated. To be honest, I was a little disappointed to hear I was only 2cm - I had been contracting for weeks! We had to wait about an hour or so to be put into a L&D room, and we were antsy to get walking, bouncing, anything to get this moving faster. 

The contractions started picking up in intensity and closeness (about 2-3 minutes apart) while we walked the halls and around 3pm I decided to get in the shower. Oh my gosh, it was heaven. It turns out it was heaven because it basically stalled out my labor. I had this vision in my head that I was just so relaxed and when I got out I was going to get checked and be ready to push. Unfortunately, that was not reality. As soon as I got out of the shower, contractions picked up again, but were definitely farther apart. The midwives (the amazing Dani and Rachel - my Centering peeps!) wanted to hold off on checking me as much as possible since my water was broken and had been so long. But they did check me at 4:45pm and I was only 3cm. This was very disheartening and I kind of started to panic. Rachel recommended we try using a breast pump/nipple stimulation for an hour OR get started on Pitocin to get the train moving.

At this point, my water had been broken for roughly 16 hours. Depending on where you deliver, each hospital kind of has their own rules about this. Luckily, Kennestone lets you keep going as long as momma and baby aren't in distress. If I had started running a fever, they would have given me antibiotics, but a forced c-section was never even discussed (although I'm sure it would have been down the road). 

We decided to skip the breast pump and get started with Pitocin. Like I said, I was very disheartened to hear I had only progressed 1cm in 5 hours and I kind of started panicking. I kept thinking the labor was going to end up like Aiden's and couldn't stop crying. Needless to say, this made my contractions a lot harder to manage and I felt like I was getting out of control. Adam was amazing, as usual, and was such an incredible partner. We talked to our nurse and midwives about the epidural around 6:30, but wanted to hold off on making a decision. Another reason I was so upset is because I really just wanted the epidural, but felt shameful for even wanting it. Which made me even more upset because WHY DOES IT MATTER?? Why can't I just get the epidural and not care?? Adam reminded me that he was 100% on my side and was so proud of me regardless of my decision. He also reminded me that God has such a perfect birth story for us, and that could very well include an epidural. (Isn't he the best?!) I also realized that someone talking to me during a contraction was really helping me manage my pain, so poor Adam had to sit there and tell me all these stories during my contractions. I got to hear a lot of good ones! haha. 

Before we made the decision, Rachel checked me around 7pm and I was STILL at 3cm. She actually recommended the epidural at that point (bless her!), so away we went. Dr. Wheaton came in with the magic potion at 8pm and saved the day. I was so happy to finally be able to rest! Even though labor with Aiden was 100x longer, I was so much more exhausted this time around. Adam asked Rachel how long we could expect to labor once I had the epidural (are we talking 30 minutes or 12 hours?). She guessed we'd be able to get some good rest and start pushing in 6 hours or so, but really couldn't say.

(Random side note: I LOVED my epidural with this babe! With Aiden, I was completely numb and it was frustrating that I couldn't feel anything while pushing. This time, I could feel pressure, but no pain. I knew when I was having a contraction, so I could push with it. Apparently it's all about how the doctor does it, so I'm signing up for Dr. Wheaton's epidural with any other kids.)

Our nurse (who we LOVED!!!), Debbie, put me into some funky positions to try to get baby to move. Based on my contractions, they could tell baby was in a weird position (of course s/he was). Rachel came in at 9:15pm and said baby's heart was decelerating with the contractions, which meant we had either made a ton of progress or something else was up that we'd have to figure out. She checked me again and I was 9cm!!!! I went from 3cm to 9cm in an hour. We were SO excited! She said to let them know when I started to feel pressure and they'd check me again and we'd start pushing (if that's where we were). 

Around 10:15pm I started to feeling pressure so they came in to start doing a couple practice pushes. At 10:45pm we were officially pushing! They had me push all sorts of ways... the traditional way, playing tug of war, using handlebars, on my sides. They were all confused because baby's head was moving the entire way down and they couldn't tell what position s/he was in. Usually babies do that at the top of the birth canal as they get into position or at the very end when they come out. Our babe was dancing all the way down! At first this was concerning me, because I didn't know if it meant there was a chance our baby wouldn't be able to be pushed out. They quickly told me that s/he was making its way down, it was just odd.

We didn't use a mirror this time (yay for that), so they had me reach down and feel the head a couple times. And then, with one final push - baby came out completely! It felt so bizarre and cool! Baby went from the tip of the head out to being completely out in one push! Babe also came out sunny side up with eyes wide open - if you watch the video below, this is why Adam's looks so shocked. 

Toward the end of pushing, we all kept looking at the clock because we weren't sure what the birthdate was going to be. Just after midnight, baby arrived! Turns out our baby shares a birthday with the midwife who delivered her (thank you, Rachel!).

Since we didn't know if baby was a girl or boy, Adam got to announce it! (You can watch the video here, but keep in mind - it's a baby being born.) It was one of the coolest moments, ever!! We'll never find out the gender with any (God willing) future kids, it was so fun to be surprised! And the nurses and midwives all got in on it, too. It was just too fun!

Overall, Adam and I had a great day laboring! Even with the minor anxiety attack I had, I already look back with nothing but the best memories. I'm so glad we were able to labor naturally for awhile and also so glad that I decided to get the epidural when I did. We had the labor dream team with Debbie (our nurse), Dani and Rachel. They were seriously the best and made the experience that much better. (Adam still takes away the gold medal for best coach of all time.) When Aiden was born, I was just shell-shocked. With Emerson, I was able to really be in the moment and take it all in. We also got to spend a solid 45 minutes or so just soaking her in before they had to take her to the warming table to do her vitals and take some blood (since my water was broken for so long). I tore in the exact same place as Aiden, but didn't even notice them stitching me up because Adam and I were just soaking in our sweet baby. It was a beautiful experience and I am so grateful for the perfect birth stories God has written for both of our babies. (Although I certainly enjoyed this one a lot more!).

Introducing Emerson Charlotte Baker
Monday, September 18, 2017
12:08am
8lbs 5oz
21"




According to my last period, Emerson was born at 39 weeks 6 days, but according to my first ultrasound (which I think is more accurate), she was born at 40 weeks, 5 days. Friendly reminder to myself next time, I DON'T HAVE EARLY BABIES.

Thank you, God, for another beautiful little girl you've entrusted us to love, protect and raise. You are a good, good Father and we are grateful for answered prayers. We are in heaven!

Baby #2: Final Stretch

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hard to believe we're in the final stretch with our newest little miracle!

28 Weeks - Third Trimester (June 27)
The final trimester! It actually doesn't feel like this pregnancy has gone any faster than Aiden's, but I'm definitely more preoccupied. I'm no longer counting the minutes until my due date. Just taking it day by day and soaking in these last precious days with my little Aidy Grace.

We have decided on a boy name! This has been quite the adventure, since we both feel like we "settled" on Aiden's name. However, it's also a relief knowing that the name doesn't really matter because even though we didn't love her name, she is such an Aiden Grace now! We've been specifically praying for God to give us names, because - to be honest - the process was just getting annoying. So here it is... Ezekiel "Zeke"

We both loved the name Zeke, but Adam wouldn't agree to just Zeke - he wanted Ezekiel. I was like "uh, NO" so we kind of took that name off the table. But, because that's the way He works, God put the name back on my heart and I've spent some time reading a specific story from Ezekiel in the Bible. It's one of Adam's favorites - Valley of the Dry Bones - and I've really come to love it, as well (who doesn't after reading it??).

29 Weeks - Happy Birthday, America! (July 4)
I got a call from my OB on Wednesday saying I failed my one hour glucose test. I was pretty shocked! I never had to deal with that when I pregnant with Aiden. Went in for my three hour glucose test on Thursday and I have to say, I was nervous. Thank you Jesus, I got the call Friday that I passed! Hooray!

32 Weeks - Two Months Out! (July 25)
Still no girl name. Not as uncomfortable as the past few weeks, I think maybe s/he dropped a little bit (thanks, kid!). Very surreal to think we'll be welcoming a new babe in two months! Trying to soak up every.single.minute as a family of three. Adam finished painting the nursery and we moved the furniture in there. Now it's time to decorate!

35 Weeks - Coming Up Quick (August 15)
Our favorite little gymnast is running out of room, but somehow still managing to make my stomach look like an alien is about to burst out. I can almost fully grab his/her little hand or foot when it sticks out. It's pretty crazy! Aiden was pretty chill compared to this babe. Nursery is probably as close to done as it's going to be, unless I get a kick of inspiration or nesting in the next few weeks. Trying to continue walking, but it's just.so.hot. Still no girl name! Experiencing Braxton Hicks and pelvic pain (yay, end of pregnancy discomforts!). Excited to meet this little nugget, but also enjoying these last weeks before his/her debut.

37 Weeks - No More Events! (August 29)
I had my last big event before the babe on Sunday - Give Me Five. I can't believe I was able to be on my feet for 12 hours and not go into labor! All in all, I felt pretty great the whole day. Monday was a different story - I was so sore all over and beyond exhausted. Last night I was in bed by 7:15pm and I feel like a new woman today. Hard to believe this babe will be here in a matter of weeks!

38 Weeks - Zero Patience (September 5)
I am so ready for this baby to be here! I thought this annoying unknown part at the end wouldn't really both me with the second one. I WAS WRONG. Could you just give me like a three day window, babe? I think it's mostly frustrating because I've been having contractions for a couple weeks now. Hoping my water breaks with this one so I can at least know it's go time. Trying to rest in God's perfect plan and timing. Sigh.

We have a girl name! Emerson Charlotte. Emerson is a fun name we both liked, meaning "brave". Charlotte is after my Mamabear who went to be with Jesus at the end of July.

39 Weeks - See You Soon (September 12)
No baby, but I (think?) I've calmed down a little bit with the anxiousness. Every moment I spend with Aiden I look at her and think "everything is about to change". Makes me want to cry happy AND sad tears at the same time! This baby drops and jumps so much - one minute s/he is in my ribs, the next I'm confident s/he is going to fall right out. Gross Update (but so is having a baby): lost some of my mucus plug last Wednesday and Thursday, so we figured baby would be coming over the weekend. Then we thought baby would come yesterday with the barometric pressure drop (Thanks, Hurricane Irma). WE WERE WRONG. I've also been diffusing clary sage oil (and maybe covering my body with it) for the past week. Nada. The wait continues.

Differences this pregnancy
-I got a lot bigger a lot faster! Definitely more stretch marks this time around.
-Prenatal yoga has really made a difference in my comfort - I feel like I'm able to breathe again.
-Overall, I've been a LOT more uncomfortable this pregnancy. I'm sure it has nothing to do with raising a toddler while simultaneously growing a human.
-I was pretty religious about walking when I was pregnant with Aiden and went to the gym (to walk) almost daily. With a toddler, no gym membership and the heat of the summer - I really haven't been able to walk nearly as much as I would like. I think that's been a big factor in me being uncomfortable.
-This baby kicks a lot harder and more often than Aiden did. I feel like I'm growing an octopus alien.
-Lots of early labor signs the last month. Contractions, mucus plug lost earlier, etc.

Final Guess - Boy or Girl?
Before the big day, it's time to make note of what we think this little lamb is! First things first, it has been so fun not knowing! I think we'll totally go this route with any future kid(s), too. But ask me again then. :)

I think it's a boy, for sure! Which kind of makes me think it's a girl (if that makes sense?). Almost everyone has guessed that it's a boy, but I wonder if that's just because we already have a girl? I'm pretty sure Kalyn is the only one who thinks it's a girl! My mom has sworn up and down it's a boy since the day we told her we were pregnant. She's even bought boy clothes already.

On one hand, a boy would be so fun because we already have a girl and - let's be honest - of course Adam wants a boy! On the other hand, I always wanted a sister and would love to have two girls so close in age - built in besties! Overall, I truly don't care. I know God has had this child handpicked for us since the beginning of time, and what an honor to be trusted to raise another one of his precious children! The absolute privilege of my life.

I get goosebumps thinking of the moment when we finally meet this babe and find out! I'm so excited!!

#SlamDuncan

Monday, July 24, 2017

I'm certainly really timely on these blog posts, aren't I? Almost four months later, I guess it's time to share the details of my brother's wedding weekend!

Before Jeff proposed to Katie, I made it clear that if he did anything to screw it up I would choose Katie over him! She has turned out to be one of my favorite people, ever - and what a joy it was to be able to watch the two of them get married on April 8!

After a loooong delay, we were finally headed to Fort Worth! Shout out to Adam for being the baby whisperer and getting Aiden to sleep on the plane.


Lunch with the bride in the Stockyards!


Rehearsing how to be sisters at the Lonesome Dove!


The most stunning bride.


Because what is more exciting than a water fountain to a toddler? (Unlike some of the wedding guests, Aiden stayed OUTSIDE of the fountain. Yikes.)


My handsome date!


The wedding was on the rooftop of The Worthington in Fort Worth and it was absolutely stunning! The weather could not have been more perfect.


They're married!



Katie's dad surprised her with a longhorn at the reception! Adam and I happened to be coming back to the reception after leaving Aiden with the babysitter and got caught behind this bad boy in the hallway. We were so confused - and it was MASSIVE! Katie's reaction was amazing when she saw it!


Love these two so much!


Mixtape available now on Limewire,


My little musician babe.


And home we go! 



This time they both conked out... what a weekend!


I really didn't take too many pictures that weekend. I was too busy living it, I suppose! It was a beautiful wedding between two of my favorite people, and we're so glad we got to be a part of it! Cheers to Jeff and Katie!

Baby #2 Updates

Monday, June 19, 2017

In typical second child fashion, I haven't been keeping track of hardly anything! Sorry, baby!

15 Weeks and Feeling Great! (March 28)
I would say my nausea completely stopped last week, but I had continually been feeling better since about week 11 or 12. Much better than with Aiden! I still have random rough moments (and still get carsick), but overall I'm feeling awesome! So awesome that I often forget I'm pregnant. I almost poured myself a glass of wine at my mom's house the other day!

By the way, they're right - that second one pops a lot faster! My pants haven't fit for a few weeks now.

Maggie got me this amazing pregnancy journal/devotional, Waiting in Wonder. It's a great way to get my morning's started - I really love it!

I'm starting to feel the little one flutter every now and then, which is exciting!

18 Weeks - The News is Out! (April 18)
Chris "Ludacris" Bridges was the Honorary Chair at this year's Taste of the Nation, so I took it upon myself to thoroughly creep him out so he could be part of our official announcement. Seriously, how cool is this?!



19 Weeks - Cruisin' (April 25)
Headed out on our long-awaited week long family cruise on April 22. I hung out on the boat the whole time (thanks a lot, Zika), but it was a great trip!!

Baby is really moving and grooving in there - I've felt the little pipsqueak a few times from outside my belly, and Adam thinks he has, too! Makes it seem so much more real.

20 Weeks - Don't Assume My Gender! (May 2)
Holy cow, halfway already! We went in for our anatomy scan on Thursday, May 4 and successfully didn't find out if our little babe is a boy or girl! It was a fun experience! The ultrasound tech told us to look away when she "went between the legs" and after I asked if she knew what we were having and she said, "I do!" Kind of weird that someone knows and not us. And most importantly, baby looks great and is measuring right on time! (Actually, his/her head is measuring like 2 days behind the rest of its body, so maybe that means this ones noggin won't be in the 98th percentile and easier to push out - cough AIDEN cough. The midwife thought that was a funny way to look at it.)


Sucking his/her little hand!



21 Weeks - Moving and Grooving (May 9)
Adam for real felt the little one move the night before Mother's Day (May 13)! Even though my placenta is in front again, I definitely started feeling this little one sooner and much more frequently. Celebrated my last (and second) Mother's Day with only one babe earth side!



24 Weeks - Feeling Huge (May 30)
How in the world am I supposed to fit 16 more weeks in this belly? Already feeling huge, but making it a priority to walk 20-30 minutes a day (read: making it a priority does not equal success). I also started doing these 10 minute prenatal yoga videos very night and I LOVE it. I feel very relaxed afterwards.


Fedora the Explorer

Monday, May 8, 2017

To celebrate my parents' 30th wedding anniversary and my mom's 60th birthday, my mom and dad took the whole family on a cruise! We headed out on the Norwegian Escape on Saturday, April 22 for a week! It was such a blast to have the whole family together for an entire week, even if it did sometimes feel like we were on two separate trips (read: vacation with a toddler is not a vacation).

Arrived in Miami and dad was ready to party! (Check out his fedora!)


Headed to the ship Saturday morning - the gang's all here!






Off we go!




Aiden is hilarious. She loved the kids water park, and when she saw a little boy stand underneath the big bucket that drops water she immediately ran over and sat down patiently waiting for her turn. (However, I snapped this cute pic and ran over to snatch her up. I don't think she would have actually enjoyed being swept away in that water.)


Best part of mom drinking mocktails? AG got them, too!



Name a better feeling than a baby sleeping on your chest. I'll wait.


We loved having a balcony!


Mini golf! (Cruises certainly aren't like the Titanic anymore.)


How many people does it take to reserve show tickets?


Buffet! (Our second home. Sigh.)



Pulling into St. Thomas!


Someone got used to naps in mommy and daddy's bed!


I stayed on the ship at all three ports (thanks, Zika), and Aiden and Adam hung back with me in St. Thomas. I'm telling you, that's the secret! The boat was EMPTY. It was amazing. Aiden was brave enough to go down the water slide with daddy (and mommy!).



Best attempt at a photo with our towel animal (what animal is that?).


Good morning, Tortola! Adam and Aiden headed to a beach with Jeff, Katie and Mitch while I hung back nursing a cold (boo).



Breakfast in our jammies!


The joys of a private balcony. :)



Family dance party! I got some cute videos, too.



"Hi, Bahamas!"


Cookies by the pool! Is there anything better? (Actually, yes. Endless soft serve by the pool.)



And the last fedora picture of the trip. What a great time we had! Thanks, mom and dad!!


And because what is a cruise without professional cruise photography? I give you gold...












 
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