Monday, April 27, 2015

"Gerber"

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I had the best of intentions on doing a pregnancy post before June was born heck, before she was 8 weeks old! and well... I got busy with other things {like nesting!} and neglected this little blog of mine. Now that June is here and apart of Our Story, I want to be more intentional about blogging since this is my little online scrapbook after all. How I will love looking back at pictures and stories of life with her sweet little self, just like I do about our stories I blogged about before we ever knew her. 

"Gerber" was the nickname Aaron gave our little one since we decided to let the gender be a surprise. So many people thought we were crazy for not finding out, but we absolutely loved the anticipation of it all! I was planning on decorating a gender neutral nursery and registering for gender neutral baby items anyways because we may have both genders in our family one day and I'm all about being practical! And even though we did not know the gender, we still felt so much love for our baby because he/she was our baby.

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I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed pregnancy. Now I know I may be eating my words on the next go round because all pregnancies can be different, but... carrying my sweet baby around for 10 months was such a special experience. There were days that the exhaustion was a tad overwhelming or I felt weak and queasy... and carrying around an extra 20 lbs was not easy on my joints or back by any means... but feeling "Gerber" kick and move and watching our little one grow was just so much fun. 

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I never realized just how tired I could feel until I was in the throes of my first trimester. I am SO not a napper and while I would still fight it, if I sat still in a comfy spot, I could fall asleep before I knew it.  Those 12 hour shifts at work would be brutal some days and I could easily go to bed each night around 8:00. I had occasional bouts of queasiness but those were mostly on the mornings I worked where I was up before the crack of dawn. I had heard people say they get nauseous if they let themselves get too hungry and that was never the case with me... because I was eating all of the time! haha Before pregnancy, I could blame my appetite on Ironman training and when that was over, it worked out great because I could blame it on pregnancy... now I guess I can blame it on breastfeeding!

I was absolutely ravenous in my first trimester... The foods I craved the most were Little Caesars pepperoni hot-n-ready's, Waffle House all star special and my Mom's fried chicken with rice and gravy and vegetables. I've never been much into sweet treats {except donuts and cinnamon rolls} and they did NOT appeal to me at all until the end of my second trimester. I wanted anything salty, cheesy or crispy. My food aversions were steamed vegetables, pork (except bacon), anything Asian and anything with a sweet, sticky sauce like BBQ.

As far as exercise goes- if I could muster up the energy- I would still ride my tri bike, run a few miles here and there and swim laps. I tried to stay out of the heat for the most part and kept my heart rate in check with my Garmin watch.

The first trimester was the least fun especially because I couldn't actually feel my baby inside of me. People would ask me what I thought the gender of the baby was and mine and Aaron's initial gut feeling was that we were having a girl.

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The second trimester was great because my energy came back full swing and at around 19 weeks I could feel our baby moving inside of me. We got to see Gerber on the ultrasound which was so much fun and everything checked in developmentally sound when we did the review of systems. Whew! Thank you Lord.

As far as exercising goes, running was getting to be so bothersome with how many potty breaks I would have to take... so I started power walking which I thoroughly enjoyed because my mom would walk with me most days. Throughout my entire second and third trimesters I had quite a lot of braxton hicks contractions each day, despite being hydrated... it was probably because I was so active all day at work and my days off too for that matter. I couldn't ride my tri bike anymore because my knees would bump my belly every time I would pedal!

In my second trimester the junk food cravings of my first trimester weren't quite as strong and I craved more fruit and healthier things... the aversions stayed the same except that I could now eat donuts and cinnamon rolls and actually enjoy them. 

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As I started showing more and more, I kept getting a million gazillion comments that I was "carrying low" and that I was having a boy. My friends, coworkers, patients, strangers...about 80% of people predicted that I was carrying a boy! So then Aaron and I both began to second guess our initial instinct that it was a girl because maybe they were right? Not to mention,  little "Gerber" was SO active... like a maniac. That got me wondering if it was a boy too. The good thing about it was... I did not care what the gender was because I loved that little person so much it made my heart hurt.

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My third trimester felt a lot like my second until about the last three weeks. The cravings, energy levels, exercise, etc were all the same. I stuck to power walking and we planned our routes around bathroom breaks! Aaron got me laughing so hard one day that I literally peed in my pants {in a semi-public place!}. 

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The last three weeks were a little more uncomfortable and fatigue was settling in at the end of the day... although, it's probably because I was in hardcore nesting mode and I think I had SO many projects to get done and errands to run that I just wore myself down... not to mention three {physically hard} 12 hr shifts a week. I think my Mom went into nesting mode as well because she was my partner in crime... Aaron was like, "What has gotten into you two?!" Ha! Not only did we get the nursery all decorated and organized, but I had my couches recovered and we painted several pieces of furniture around the apartment. I was on a mission!

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I worked up until my due date and I'm so glad I did because that means I get to spend extra time with June, and I think it helped her come on her due date. Those last couple of days I worked I was volunteering to run upstairs to pick up blood for other nurses, turn and lift heavy patients and carry equipment down the halls just to help get "Gerber" here in a timely fashion!

And... it worked! My water broke the morning of "her" due date and you know the rest of the story...

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I do miss feeling June move in my tummy... That was my favorite part about carrying her... we joked and called her "a worm in hot ashes" because that's how active she was all the time and surprise, surprise she is the squirmiest little baby I've ever held... she never stops moving... {I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!}

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It was you in there miss Junie bug! It was you all along... :)

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

On the Night You Were Born: June's Birth Story

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June Denson Weatherford decided to make her timely debut on her due date of Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 11:14 pm. She weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long. She is the sweetest gift we have ever received. 

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The day of her birth is one that I will always look back on and cherish. As tiring and painful as it was, I would do everything over again in a heartbeat for her. I want to write it down so that I will always remember that special day... I will try to leave out the gory details to spare you all and just hit the highlights ;) {even though, as a nurse, there's not much that phases me so read with caution!} Just enjoy the pics if you're not into these kinds of stories!

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I will preface this story by saying that I was bound and determined to do my part in helping her come on her due date... Aaron's spring break just so happened to start March 1 {Thank you Lord!} and I was going to try to avoid a scheduled induction if I could help it. I had worked my usual three 12 hour shifts until Thursday and on Friday, Mom and I power-walked 5 miles of hills (we even attempted running a few!) and I don't think I sat down all day. Saturday, Mom, my Meemaw and I power-walked about 3 miles and then I ran stairs for about 15 minutes. One lady at the bottom of the stairs saw me and said, "Oh honey, you need to be careful!" and I quickly replied, "My due date is tomorrow!" and ran up another flight of stairs. I don't think I sat down that day either. I was trying to have everything ready to go if the baby came on time. I had a hard time sleeping the night before {which rarely happens} and ended up taking two benadryl just because I knew I was in need of a legit night sleep after how busy and active my week had been. The benadryl worked and I slept like a baby until about 8:30 am. As I was laying there waking up, I felt a "pop" inside my tummy and thought that had to be the weirdest feeling gas bubble... When I got up to pee I realized that my water might have broken... it was not a big gush like you see in the movies. Court and Clay had just called Aaron to tell him that they were bringing over donuts from this place I had been dying to try and so I decided to put off calling the doc until I got to eat my donuts... priorities people! Might I add that I could feel "Gerber" moving around in there like always and still wasn't positive that my water had actually broken. 

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I enjoyed my donuts and when I noticed the contractions started becoming more intense, I called the doc on call. It wasn't my doctor unfortunately, but I knew he would be a great one. It took him a while to call back because he was delivering one baby after another that morning so I hopped in the shower and got ready for the day. Courtney and Harlan kept me company and Aaron and I were calling and texting close friends and family to let them know. By then, I was pretty positive it was my water that had broken and I was beginning to have to stop what I was doing to rest during contractions. You know, like I'm doing here in the pic below... I'm sure Aaron thought it would be hilarious to record the moment. 

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When I finally heard back from the hospital they told me to come in as soon as possible. We took a few last pics and headed that way. When we got there I was 2 cm and "Gerber's" head was way down {0 station to be precise}. The nurses were in touch with the doc on call and came in to start the pitocin. I refused the pit and asked if I could have at least three hours to try and make significant progress on my own.  I would definitely take the medicine if my labor was slow because I knew I had a window of time to have this baby after my water had broken. The way my contractions were intensifying I was quite confident my body knew just what to do... and it did!

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Aaron kept me laughing and distracted me as best he could to take my focus off the pain. As the intensity increased, so did the nausea. I knew my nausea was mostly pain related but by then I was second guessing those donuts I had eaten... Oh and I had back labor which doesn't exactly let up in between contractions unfortunately. All the girls in the room kept taking turns massaging my lower back and applying a hot rice bag that Jane Gray had brought. That thing provided SO much relief!

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My Dad stayed in the room for the majority of my labor and coached me through the really tough contractions. He kept an eye on my vitals as well as Gerber's heart rate. My mom was in and out of the room because she couldn't stand seeing me in pain. Now that I have June, I can totally understand how she felt.

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One big contraction I had caused me to lose my donuts unfortunately, but I felt a whole lot better afterwards. When they checked me to measure my progress in that past three hours, I was at 5 cm! One thing that was really neat was that every time the nurses would check my progress I could accurately predict how dilated I was... How I knew I have no idea.

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I know it may seem weird to most people that I had so many people in the room while I labored but I actually preferred it that way... Having them there to support me and distract me was how I was able to cope with the pain. I know Aaron appreciated the backup help as well. It meant so much that they would spend their entire Sunday rubbing my back, encouraging me and offering me ice chips!

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Coming into my very first labor and delivery experience of my own I didn't really have a plan because I know there are so many variables and so many unpredictable scenarios that could happen during childbirth. I was not dead set on any certain way to deliver {epidural vs. natural} because I've seen both ways be successful and not so successful. My game plan was to just play it by ear, knowing my options were wide open. During one of my breaks in between contractions, my mind ventured back to the pain I felt while running that marathon at the end of my Ironman last year. During those grueling miles I could have stopped running and laid down in the grass and my pain level would have been the exact same as if I was still running... there was no break from the pain whatsoever, not even after I crossed the finish line. As intensely painful as each contraction was, the break I got in between {with a little back pain thrown in from the back labor} is what made the whole process bearable. Another thing that helped was the two small doses of Nubain they gave me. I was hesitant to take them because I was afraid they would make me nauseated and I had heard it doesn't always help the pain, but what it did do was help me relax better in between contractions so I could rest and gear up for the pushing part.

My sister Julie was unable to be there because she couldn't get off work and I know it was killing her!  We made sure to FaceTime her and send a million pics and updates. Jessica came to the hospital straight after her 12 hr shift and started tearing up when she saw me have a contraction. I quickly reminded her not to pity me because I had chosen this pain and that I was fine. If I couldn't take it anymore, the anesthesiologist was just a phone call away.

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But I'm telling you... the emotional and physical support from my family and best friends made all the difference in the world.

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When the contractions were getting so intense that my "pit crew" could tell I was starting to bear down during them and hold my breath... Dad was reminding me to breathe and Aaron quickly got the nurses and told them I would be needing the doctor very soon. {I couldn't really communicate during this time because remember those little breaks I was talking about? Yeah, they were starting to get shorter and shorter.} One really cool thing about the day is that my doctor was actually coming back on call that night! He was flying in from out of town that evening and literally made it in the nick of time. In the moments before he got there, my pit crew left the room and Aaron stayed. The nurses slapped an oxygen mask on me, turned me on my side {because I don't think I could follow commands very well then} and told me to "breathe for my baby"... I started breathing as hard as I could! Before I knew it, my doctor had arrived and when he checked me he gave me the go ahead to start pushing. You talk about the hardest, most painful 20-30 minutes of my life! I was totally regretting not getting the epidural then... Ha! Aaron was such a good coach though... he had one leg and literally got in my face and told me what I needed to do because I was so distraught. He's always been able to handle pressure-filled intense situations like a champ and I could not have pushed the baby out without his help.

My favorite part of the whole day was when I gave it one last huge push and the dr. caught the baby and flipped its little booty up in the air and Aaron yelled, "It's a GIRL!!!!" I was like, "It's a GIRL?! Oh my gosh, Aaron we had a girl!!!" Aaron had tears rolling down his cheeks and said, "My baby girl... I am done for..." It was literally the sweetest moment I have ever witnessed. It makes me goo goo just writing about it.

My sweet Doc with our baby girl!!

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Meanwhile in the waiting room... our closest friends and family are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our "Gerber" baby. 

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And June's proud Daddy got to show her off for the the very first time to everyone there! {How cute is that little bow the nurse made for her hat?!} Everyone was giddy with excitement when Aaron walked out with her!

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After Aaron had shown her off to everyone, he brought her back to me so I could nurse her. We were so awestruck by her.

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And so was everyone else...

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June girl... The night you were born was one of the most special times of our lives... You are our greatest blessing and the most precious gift God has ever given us. We love you more than life our sweet baby girl.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Baby Brunch

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The six lovely ladies in the photo below were hostesses with the mostest a few weekends ago. They sure do know how to make a mama-to-be feel loved... Each of these women has had an impact on my life and are very special to me in all different ways. I still feel overwhelmed with gratitude that they would take the time and effort to celebrate the birth of our little one in such a beautiful {and delicious} way.

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I love a good brunch. Maybe because breakfast food has always been my favorite...

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Also on my plate {but not photographed} was egg and sausage breakfast casserole, french toast casserole, cheese grits, berry fruit salad and scrumptious petit fours. I guess I gobbled it down before Mom could get a picture! But enough about the food...

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The guests who came to celebrate were my favorite. There were many that made the drive over from Mississippi and Florida which meant so much. Mrs. Vickie and "Pop" {Aaron's mom and grandmother} weren't able to come when Mrs. Vickie came down with the flu just two days before. We sure did miss them! My mom took some snapshots around the party and I know I'll be so glad to have these one day.

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I know it's hard to tell but believe it or not, there are SIX people in the photo above! ;) ;) How fun is that?!

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It was fun to have so many little ones present at the shower... the ones in our arms and the ones still in the womb! This has been such an exciting time and phase of life that we are entering into/in the middle of now.

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Our little one got fixed up!!

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I went to bed that night thanking God for the blessing of such loving family and friends. I didn't even sleep well because my mind kept replaying conversations from the shower and thoughtful gifts I received. Our little bambino is more blessed and loved than he/she even knows. 

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