Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Allison got married!

Over the weekend Allison got married! Allison is my 'first' sister and means the world to me. We obviously love her dearly as we named our first born after her! We had the best long weekend spending time with family and enjoying her beautiful wedding! 

Here is Eden with her Poppa---- 

Allison's big day! She took so much time out of her day to spend it with Eden. Here she is making Eden laugh. I loved having E around all day. It was fun watching her take it all in. 

I LOVE this one of Eden watching her Auntie so close!

Getting ready for the wedding was hard work though...

And well--- when its time to eat--- its time to eat. Notice her staring at the make-up girl. She was very interested in what was going on!

me and my blue eyed babe....

My beautiful oldest sister---

The bridal party! These girls are the SWEETEST. I mean- I am not surprised that Allison has sweet friends, but man. They all went above and beyond helping me and Eden all day. They did everything they could to make it perfect for Allison- and remained calm when someone's dress completely ripped open. Completely. Like a 2 foot split in the back, and this was BEFORE the wedding. No worries. I was able to sew it up--- and all without Allison knowing ;)

One of the only pics I have with my love :) Our sweet little family of three

And the beautiful bride...

My hero for the day... My mom! She came to help me and help me she did. She undressed me for each feeding. Carried my sweet bundle of joy around all day. Dressed the little peanut. Held her during the wedding. Entertained her and drove her around downtown Savannah while we were getting pictures made. I am really so lucky to have such an awesome mom. She gave up all weekend plans and drove across the state to hang out with us. She's the best.

At this point in the night E was done---- but we had to squeeze in one last picture.

The next day.... This little girl slept ALLLLLL day. It was exhausting!

But we did try to sneak in some pictures with her cousins---

Bed time- story time with Mema---

Real life with three kiddos. No way were we getting a pic... but we tried!

And just like that---- Ice is married. We are all kinda hoping that is the last wedding for a good long time. It was fun! But an exhausting weekend!

Monday, December 7, 2015


Somehow another month has gone by and our little lady is three months old. 
A lot has changed in the month of November. We had the hardest three weeks of our life---- Its a blur now, but this girl did not stop crying. or screaming. It was awful. 
And then, for whatever reason, on Ryan's birthday she woke up and was a new baby.  

It was the greatest birthday present everrrrrrrr. 

This past month we traveled to Georgia for Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with family, and time outside! 

Eden met her cousin Abby! These two girls are only 4 weeks a part and are going to be the best of friends. I can't imagine the mischief these two will get in with their Grandpa Mac all while Momma Bee teaches them how to fish and play outside. 

She is certainly starting to get a little personality. She is chatty, has a very very high pitched squeal, laughs at her daddy constantly, is trying to roll over and can almost sit up without any help! 

Her blue eyes are so captivating and I find myself just staring at them. 

Eden is starting to turn into a little delight. Its been a good month--- hopefully the next one is even better! 

Merrrrry Christmas! From Lil Miss Eden Paige!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Two months

Well we have survived two months as parents. 
Eden is growing lots and lots. She solidly wears three month clothes--- although the footie night gowns are almost too short. She has big feet and wears 6mo booties. She :almost: sleeps through the night. Most nights are a dream in the newborn world. Only waking up once from 10-6. (Then going back to sleep until 9).
 Ryan is home part time which is amazing. We are so lucky to have this time together with our lil needy girl. Yes. She's a little needy. Perhaps all newborns are. She wants to be held 90% of the time... Including during naps and car rides. The car ride part is the most difficult. Oh and it's not just a hold. It's a hold with movement. Preferably bouncing on the yoga ball. I have gotten lucky in the rocking chair and by just swaying. But seriously. My abs and legs and butt should be solid from bouncing and squatting. 
Eden is also a fan of loud noises so we are constantly playing some sort of sound machine. The louder the better. This week it's been the vaccum. As soon as she starts to cry if ya hit her with that noise... Boom. Calm. The one plus here is my house has stayed impressively clean. 
The best part are the smiles and laughs and now Eden interacts with us.  Her little sounds are the cutest I've ever heard. Play time with daddy is when they really come out. It makes my heart melt. 

Everyone says time flys by, and yes. In the scheme of things it probably does, but the last two months have been the longest  (and hardest) of my life. Our last night just the two of us--- seems like years ago. Our trip to Oregon, a lifetime back. They say this is the longest shortest time, and I believe it whole heartedly. 

I am working on a list of things I wish I had known.... I'll try to post that soon. So that perhaps you knowing will be helpful. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Eden's birth story

Eden came into the world in a whirlwind. I still can't believe it happened like it did, but I am so thankful that it did! I couldn't have written a more perfect story.

The last week of my pregnancy I knew things were changing. I had strange pains, cramping, and contractions off and on. On Saturday I woke up to some serious changes. I won't go into details--- but trust me. I made a call to the doula and she reassured me that I was fine and that labor would probably start soon. That morning I just felt the need to walk, so Ryan and I did just that. We walked and walked. We decided that night to venture down to the corner of our neighborhood where a block party was going on. We enjoyed some music (okay, not really, the music was terrible, but we enjoyed watching people) and some local beer. I had a few contractions and thought hm, those are a bit stronger than normal. On the half a mile walk back home I had a couple that made me stop in my tracks. I still didn't think anything 'major' was happening, but it was. 

Like clockwork at midnight, 1am and 2am I woke up with a contraction and the need to pee. I thought it was pretty bizarre, but whatever. At 3am I realized okay, maybe something is happening. I woke up several times and looked at the clock again, 3:20. Oh man.... These contractions are pretty regular. By 4am I decided to get out of bed. I downloaded an ap (because writing down contractions seemed like too much work) and realized my contractions were 7 minutes a part. I didn't want to bother anyone so I just worked through them. I felt good. I was controlled. Calm. Breathing. Doing everything I had learned in my class. At 6am I decided I should wake up Ryan. 
In the sweetest voice I could muster up, "honey, we are going to have a baby today" I am pretty sure the response was... What?!? How do you know. 
And then I had a contraction and he realized... oh. We are having a baby. 

I kept thinking these contractions were going to stop, or slow, or just last forever. I mistakenly told my mom not to leave when I texted her at 7:30. I thought we had plenty of time. Ryan had cut up a watermelon and I was snacking on that. We had some Bon Iver playing in the background. It was really such a great environment. During these early contractions (until about 8) I was able to sleep in between contractions. Ryan and I were amazed that I would be OUT in a deep sleep for six minutes between contractions. It was amazing. 

By 8:00 my contractions  were all of a sudden 5 minutes a part. I contacted the doula and let her know what was going on. Forty minutes later I texted her again, "I think you should come, they are getting closer." It was at this point I realized oh man. This is happening fast. I couldn't walk from the living room to the bathroom (50 ft?) without having contractions. Emily, our amazing doula, called and heard me in the background have a contraction. She told Ryan she was on the way. At this point I had given up my phone. I had no idea if my mom was coming, I didn't know if anyone knew, I really don't know what was going on. We were working through contractions though. Ryan was amazing--- pushing in the right places, saying the right things- he was awesome. 

At 10:15 Emily arrived at our home, saw me and told Ryan we need to get her to the hospital. I was in very active labor. I was shaking ( I thought I was cold, she said it was the adrenaline/late labor) and couldn't walk more than a few feet without having a contraction. What in the world was I doing at home... I know. I did have a moment of panic thinking I wouldn't make it to the hospital. 

Slowly though--- we made it to the car. I think I had three contractions from my living room to the car. All the while a group of 20 somethings walked by our house. They saw me, got really quiet, and walked swiftly away. Ryan said they had a look of fear on their face. Probably never seen a woman in labor. 

Thankfully Ryan got me to the hospital safely and in a very timely manner. He got to drive super fast and run lots of red lights. He came through again with the most perfect music in the car. I will forever think of my 'labor day' when I hear the band The Head and The Heart. I am glad I have that memory :) Back to the car ride. It was awful-- other than the music. Painful. Bumps. I rode in the back gripping the car seat wishing it was over.
Once we arrived to the hospital, I realized the challenges were just beginning.  I had to get from our illegal parking spot to L&D.  I used an old technique though that came through. I looked ahead and told myself, just get to the bench. Just get to the desk. Just get to the elevator. That worked and I ended up at the L&D outpatient area.

Yay. But nay---- the only nurse I had a bad experience with, was in the triage area. This dear old nurse (I am sure) was convinced I wasn't in real labor. Despite my CONSISTENT contractions she took her damn time getting to me to check me. I mean at this point I am pushing on my own. I was having the urge-- so I went with it. Forget her. Emily told Ryan to call our doctor again since this was taking so long. The doctor promised to try and speed things up and get me a room. It was about that time the nurse walked in to check me--- the 'first time mom in labor'. Oh but did I prove her wrong. I was fully dilated and the head was coming down. 

BOOM. I was very quickly whisked away to labor and delivery where lots of nurses ran in and out and then my doctor. My favorite doctor. The one that helped us get pregnant walked in. She didn't leave either (as a nurse, I knew this was a really good thing). It was around this time I said--- oh someone. Get a camera! I want at least one picture of this please!!

The view from the delivery room was spectacular. Mountains. Bright blue sky. It was a glorious day. This picture does not do it anywhere near justice--- but at least you can see the beautiful mountains I was climbing in my head! 

So yeah. Let me recap. at 1030 I walked into the hospital. 1115 or so I was in a room pushing with my doctor. 1220 I had a baby. Yeah it was that fast. It was insane. Pushing felt like much more than an hour though. It was hard. I couldn't figure out 'how to' push, but after using the mirror I got it and pushed our beautiful crazy little girl into the world. 

The greatest words I have heard in my life, besides 'I do', were "Danielle, reach down and grab your baby." These words are the most empowering words I have heard. At this moment I grabbed my little girl and couldn't believe this had happened. I just kept saying, "I never thought this would happen. I never thought I would have a baby." It was the best moment. One I would relive over and over again. (Just the grabbing the baby outside of me part and putting her on my belly part ;) ).

She came out superman style with her hand by her head. This is likely the reason she didn't come out any sooner! (So thank goodness for that!) We had the best bonding time as our little family became 3 for an hour or so. I love Mission Hospital so much for that. No interruptions. No weight or height. No medications. Just quiet skin to skin bonding. Just Ryan, Eden and me cuddled up.
During this time, Ryan texted our families, which were all shocked that we already had her. And about an hour after the birth my mom walked in. Totally crushed that she missed the birth, but I was so so happy to see her and show her our beautiful girl. Our little Eden.

 It was crazy. I am still shocked it happened like it did, but so so happy. I loved birthing at home for so long. It was peaceful and perfect. Ryan was my hero--- perfectly helping bring this little girl into the world. We spent the day eating (oh that was me) and spending time with our wonderful families. I am so thankful that she came labor day weekend! Lots and lots of family came up to love on our sweet family. I couldn't have imagined anything better!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Our Journey to Eden

Before I share our birth story, I want to share a little bit of our journey to get there. 2014 was a very long year for us. Not only were we undergoing a lot of change in life--- jobs, new house!, new city, etc. we were trying to have a baby.  Luckily... ok well there is nothing lucky about the situation--- but for use, we knew there were problems right away so we didn't have to wait the full year of trying before we got to start medications.
One year ago, September 2014, we started the first rounds of some fertility medications. It took four different providers and from January until September before we found one that would/could help us while being slightly sneaky on the insurance front. For the most part my insurance covered nothing once I had the "infertility" diagnosis. I am very grateful for my doctor who did everything she could to use other diagnosis to sneak around the stupid rules of the Catholic church, but let's not get me started there. Back to our story.

We did three rounds of medications and realized they were not working. They were actually creating more problems. I had one 'final' ultrasound the beginning of December. There was nothing inside that looked like a human could be created, and a few huge (golf ball size) cysts. Time to stop the medications and just enjoy the holidays.
This was probably the lowest point of my life. I have never felt so broken. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. I was a mess.  God has given me a few incredible women that allowed me to be broken. They didn't try to fix anything (there was nothing to 'fix) they just let me cry and be mad. I think another redeeming factor... Ryan and I made a pact that if we were pregnant by next Christmas we were going on an epic two week backpacking trip somewhere during Christmas next year. I couldn't handle another Christmas without a baby. I was pretty excited about our 'plan'.
Enter January.
New year. New possibility. Another ultrasound... It looked different to the doctor, but it could have been due to a lot of things. The pregnancy test was again negative (this was probably the 100th test taken) but I wasn't surprised. I started more medications, but on January 2 I had this sensation. A tingle? A spasm? An implantation? Who knows....
I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. WHAT?!?!??
This. Is. NOT. Possible.
physically not possible.
There is no way.
I took four. They were all positive. I called my doctor's office, went in for blood work, and within 2 hours found out, yes. I am pregnant.
I still didn't believe it. I am sure other women feel the same way. After going a full year of trying to get pregnant and taking so many negative tests, to hear that you finally are pregnant, just doesn't seem right.
That evening I told Ryan.
He was just as shocked. I mean we had just been told ONE month before (when we would've gotten pregnant) there is nothing in there this month. We will have to try again later. Really.... how in the world.

The first eight weeks were a whirlwind. We told our parents, but no one else. Okay and Sara. I just didn't think it was real. I thought something else was going on. A false pregnancy. A tumor. Anything but a baby.

January 29 though--- we heard the heart beat. We saw her teeny tiny body being formed. We knew this was real. Our life was changing. We had a miracle.

I tell you this story to let you see a glimpse inside the story. This child of ours is a miracle... yes yes all babies are miracles. But seriously--- Eden is a little more. She was formed inside of me from nothing. Medically and scientifically she shouldn't exist. But God works miracles. She was created and formed and given to Ryan and me.

I don't know if we will ever be pregnant again, which is one reason I tried to enjoy every moment of pregnancy. I had so much fun. I loved being pregnant. Feeling her kick and move. Feeling her hiccups. Dreaming about what she would look like. Our future together as a family. It was a beautiful pregnancy and I loved every minute of it.... really. I did.

All the way up to the birth... and that story is coming soon. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A massive phone dump...

So. I know, I know. I haven't blogged in two months. I apologize. I know I have a huge following of people just waiting to hear and see what I am doing. I have been up to a lot... Hopefully this will be a quick run down of fun pictures to remember and document the final bit of pregnant me.

Since I am in the final countdown.... (meaning one month or less of pregnancy left) I figured I should do a big phone dump. Get you caught up on life--- so I can start fresh and ready when this little bundle of energy joins us on the outside. 

I guess we need to go wayyyy back. All the way back to June. When I was just 27 weeks or so... 
Here is a quick run down of two months.... 

I got to see Katie! 

Lauren came to visit!!

Fourth of July fun with the Snider Fam! 

Thirty One Weeks----- 
In case you were wondering... Sierra Nevada Brewery is Disney World for adults. Awesome food. Super cool venue. Really fun place. 

Also.... I've been hiking as much as possible. 

Ryan started at his new churches... This one, Webster, was built in 1877!!

I traveled to Georgia and had two killer awesome baby showers! and a really fun weekend with my family! It was the last one before all the babies!!

(Just some of the amazing women that showed up to love on me and baby!)

One of my favorite parts of the weekend.... Having my baby's quilt QUILTED!!! It is incredible. I am in loveeeee with it. Seriously. 

Oh--- and I went to Cordele with the bestie.

and she took stunning photos of me.... 

Hiking at 34 weeks! 

Ashley came and spent a week with us.... 

35 and a half weeks... and I was thrown another beautiful shower. 

This lovely lady is so good to me! 

Thirty six weeks..... and growing. sorta. Okay, I actually don't think I have grown much the past few weeks. 

and then....... I GOT A NIECE!!!! 
Hello little miss Abigail! She's adorable. My brother is adorable.  

Mom is beautiful. 

And I am obsessed. I wish I could be there, but clearly with this child in tow its not exactly recommended. 

Thank goodness for FaceTime!

Saturday night we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary... although we decided it feels more like 8 or 9. We've been together 11 years.... so along the way the years just blur. We went to Hot Springs and had a perfect dinner at the most beautiful restaurant then had massages and a soak in the hot springs.

And well... that leaves us here. Today. 
Thirty seven weeks. 
A belly. 
Freshly painted toes (because I want to look good laboring)
and a cup of decaf (because this child woke me up at 4:44 and I didn't go back to sleep. And sadly, a cup of decaf is all the caffeine I can handle)

so. there you have it. 3 months in a snapshot... or two or three... :)