Monday, March 31, 2014

Harper's Second Birthday Planning

I cannot believe tomorrow is already April! Time truly does fly by when you have a little one. It is bittersweet because I love watching my babe grow from a teeny tiny newborn to a sassy toddler but sloooow dowwwn... :( 
Because time doesn't stop for anyone or anything I have already been planning Harper's 2nd birthday (June 24th). I know i have like 3 months till then but because of the procrastinator that I am, it needs to be done. Now. This is also going to sound even sillier but I don't think we are going to have any kind of over planned party because last years first birthday party was just too stressful for me. I would rather have a day of fun with my girl and shower her with gifts and goods times rather than spend unnecessary money on party crap that she really doesn't even care about. Another reason for no party is because pretty much all of our friends are kid less which means Harper doesn't really have any playmates so its just gonna be all about her ;)
So for Harps big day I am planning an extra over the top outfit of course which is where most of my "planning" is headed. I am thinking black and white (since its my favorite trend right now) and summery bold colors like a poppy red, fuchsia, radiant orchid, a touch of a sea foam or mint, a little coral, and just to break up all the pink tones and of course some g o l d! I am also thinking florals and hearts! This seems like a lot going on now that I am typing it but I just have a vision OK. hehe. 
(PS- Do I sound outrageous for over a color theme for an outfit?! I kinda feel like it but its pretty much the equivalent to a party so that's how I'm justifying my cray cray ideas.) I was also planning on  doing  a cake smash photo session since I never did one last year for her first birthday and I was thinking of doing the same color theme and finding a cute swimsuit to do that in! Two year olds can still have cake smash's right?!?

So our plans for her special day will be her going to school in the morning and I will take the class and teachers a little birthday treat and then momma can sneak away and go get ready for the day. Then I was thinking of taking her to get a pedicure and manicure since she loves getting her nails done and she is my little girly girl. Then maybe a quick stop at the zoo or a splash pad/pool. I haven't decided yet. Then maybe some toy shopping at toys r us and then off to dinner at her favorite sushi place with some close friends and the grandparents. I'm not sure if we will be able to pack that all into one day but I just want her to have the best second birthday!
Anyone else planning birthdays soon?? Let me know what your plans are!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kennedy's 3 Month Photos

Normally, I post on Tuesdays but this week has been pretty hectic... I usually only work 3 days a week but I was asked to work 5 days because we had some people on vacation.  Since I am a team player I agreed, especially because I am taking off for 2 weeks in June for our Disney vacation!!!

So here they are! Kennedy's 3 month photos!  I finally got them and am so in love! She goes for her 6 month and Easter photos THIS saturday!!!

I adore this one.  It is definitely one of my favorites from her session.  Bow and tutu are by Wren and Ribbon on Etsy!

Reflections by Talea

I love this one too! She actually rolled over for the first time right after this photo was taken and of course when I tried to get her to do it again so I could record, she wouldn't.

Reflections by Talea

If you haven't checked out Sweet Littles Handmade dolls on Instagram or Etsy (Shop is currently closed at the moment), you need to! Katy makes the most adorable dolls, we love ours.  She even did a custom Rapunzel inspired doll for us!  I love that it looks like Kennedy is sleeping like her doll!

Reflections by Talea

And these are the last two photos I picked from her session.

Reflections by Talea

Reflections by Talea

Talea from Reflections by Talea Photography is amazing! She has been featured as a best newborn photographer nationwide a few times.  She is based in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  You can check her out on Facebook as well and look at all the cuties she has photographed!  We first met her when we were looking for our wedding photographer and our relationship grew from there.  She has done our engagement, wedding, gender reveal, and now Kennedy is in her Baby's First Year package (along with doing Christmas and Easter family photos).

Does anyone else think their kiddos grow way to fast or is it just me?  I don't know how K is already almost 6 months old.  It blows my mind how fast the days go by now.

Until next time.

Pretty on the inside...

When I was a little girl, my mom often told me that I was beautiful, but she always made it a point to never comment on my outward beauty without telling me that it was more important that I be pretty on the inside.

They were just words, but they resonated with me in a significant way, and I still carry them with me today.  On the days where I am preoccupied with my weight or the fact that my newly acquired bangs are incredibly awkward and not at all suited for my face shape (lesson learned), I focus on doing something nice for someone else or paying a compliment to someone in the elevator who looks like they could use some encouragement.  It keeps things in perspective and forces me to remember that my beauty should overflow from within.

And when I found out in that I was having a little girl, I definitely went on Etsy overload for a few solid weeks, buying bows in every color and stressing over every detail of Grace's nursery.  But I eventually remembered my mom's words and began also praying for the wisdom to raise up a little girl who is pretty on the inside.

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Now that she's here, the urge to dress her up like a little doll hasn't subsided even a tiny bit, and I do love seeing her in adorable outfits and accessories.

But I really do think...

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... that Audrey Hepburn got it right when she said...

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... that happy girls are the prettiest.  Even when they're in their pajamas. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We're Going to Disney.... AGAIN!!!!!!

I am beyond excited that in June we will be heading to Walt Disney World... again!!!!! I have already been 13 times and forced my hubby to go there for our honeymoon in 2012!

Cinderella's Castle

Some people have told me I am crazy for taking an infant (Kennedy will be 8 months old) when we go, but I am so excited to have pictures of her with Minnie, Mickey and the Princesses as a baby.  These are memories I will cherish forever.

Wearing our bride/groom ears at Epcot

I am such a huge Disney fan, I think I should have been born a Disney princess and I hope that one day, Kennedy will love all things Disney as much as I do!!!

Breakfast with the Winnie the Pooh Characters at the Crystal Palace

What I am most excited about is eating in Cinderella's Castle again and also meeting Anna and Elsa from Disney's Frozen!

Our Disney t-shirts that I had made

All of these photos that I am posting are from my honeymoon in September 2012.  Yes, I forced my hubby to wear those shirts and the bride/groom hats.  He may not admit it, but he had a blast too.  I will be forcing him to wear matching t-shirts again, except this time Kennedy will have a few also!

Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, I was an extra!! (I'm in the red)

My goal is to get on stage at the Indiana Jones show for the third time in a row.  It is one of my favorites, if you go to Disney this is a MUST at Hollywood Studios!

Super excited to meet Rapunzel

Love is in the air in Paris at Epcot

In Epcot, I highly recommend doing around the world at the World Showcase, for all those mamas out there that don't know what that is, you try an adult beverage at each country (there are 13).  It is tons of fun!!!

Cinderella's Castle during the fireworks

We always do the all inclusive (minus alcohol), Magic Your Way Deluxe Dining Plan, which is the best way to do Disney if you plan on staying on the property.  If you need help planning your Disney vacation, just look me up on IG and send me a DM, I will help you plan your special vacation! =)

Until next time!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sending your baby to "School!"

So as a stay at home Mom, the thought of my little girl not being in my care for even a second was a little daunting to Me. Ever since she was born, it has been hard for me to give up control (even to her Dad) to take care of her. I don't think I even left her with anyone including her Dad for at least three months. I was so nervous and anxious that something would go wrong unless I was with her 24/7. She has even slept in bed with my from day 1. (That is a whole other blog topic. LOL) Once she was around a year old I started to feel more comfortable with her being away from me and I actually enjoyed the alone time even if it was just a trip to the store. I have now left her even over night with her grandparents while her Dad and I go on date nights and I feel A OK about it. This might seem small to some, but for me this was a huge undertaking. I finally mustered up the courage to find a Mothers Day Out program at a local church and decided to enroll her in it for once a week for three hours. She has been going for a little over a month now and each time gets better and better. She is extremely attached to me so I was super nervous for her and I did not want her to be crying every time I left her since she has never been in the care of someone that she didn't know. I get asked a lot of questions about the transition so I thought I would tell about some things I do with her to try to make the "drop-off" a little less painful, for Mom and baby. 

First Day of School!

  • First I would recommend taking a tour of the facility and learn as much as possible about the place and staff. I felt extremely comfortable at our place and was put at ease when I found out they had a secure entrance and were very particular about who could come in and out of the building. The teachers and so nice and they have been working their for years. I was so at ease which is huge for the anxious momma.
  • Days before she started going I took her to Target to get some "school" supplies and would keep talking to her about school and how much fun it was going to be! I really tried to hype it up that she was going to play with other kids and color and have snacks because those are some of her favorite activities!
  • On her first day I made it a huge deal that she was a big girl and I was so proud of her for going to school. I packed her backpack that she loved with pacis, her loves, diapers, extra clothes, and a stuffed animal that she loves just in case. When we first got there she was already hesitant but I sat in the room with her for a few minutes and as soon as she saw something she wanted to play with I got up and snuck out. I know I didn't warn her but I think that would have made it worse. The teachers did tell me she cried for a little bit but was soon over it which I knew was going to happen. My Mom always tells me that she will soon realize that even though you left, you will always come back to get her so she will put two and two together and know that you are coming back shortly so that is what I always try to think about when I'm feeling bad about leaving. And of course when I came back she was so happy to see me and ran into my arms which melted my heart!
The next week was a much better drop off and each week gets better and better. She did miss last week because she was sick and this week was a hard one again so I feel like I am kind of starting over but I know she just needs to keep going to get over her fear of being away from me and being around others is great for her social skills so it has really been a great new adventure in our lives.
To make it a little easier for me; I keep myself busy by going to Stabucks and trying to get work done so I'm not constantly worrying about her and now I am actually thinking of putting her in the all day program soon because it really does make both of us happier to be away from each other for a few hours as weird as that might sound.

I would love to know if anyone else has any good tips for taking your babes to programs or schools when they aren't use to it yet. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! xoxo

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Current Obsession :: Tutu de Monde

Tute de Monde just came out with their latest look book and although I love all their new stuff, I am sooooo in love with their In the Wings and The Lost Girls 2013 Collection.  Where was I?  Wish I would've known about them long ago!

Seriously CRU-SHING?
Absolutely LOVE!  I need to have their Milky Way Cape and Limelight Shorts! What's your current obsession? 

Friday, March 14, 2014


[01 // 02 // 03 // 04]

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that this past week we started solid food for Kendalynn. She is NOT taking to it very well, but I've had some amazing tips from all of my momma followers! I did some research before buying her bowls and spoons and I loved the fact that these bowls are super colorful and they're made out of recycled milk jugs! They're BPA free and tested for safety. The spoons are AWESOME. They have pretty colors and the tip turns white if the food is too hot. All you have to do is stir the tip around for ten seconds and if it's white, you need to wait for it to cool. That is awesome because I am paranoid when it comes to things hurting my baby, and this makes me feel so much better when heating things up for her.

Some moms recommend the Baby Bullet, which I might pick up this weekend. It sounds amazing and when you compare using this method to make baby food compared to buy food jars (which have additives in it) it saves you sooo much money. Plus, I KNOW her food will be organic. We need to get it this weekend because I think I am going to try veggies with Kendalynn this coming up week. She's just not loving oatmeal cereal, which I am finding out that a lot of babies really don't like it until they're older.

Snap Bibs just added me on Instagram and I went to check out their stuff... why have I never heard of these before?! The concept is amazing and as soon as she opens her store, I am definitely going to be browsing through their merchandise.

What are your favorite feeding tools? Notice I didn't put a high chair... we're still debating on which one to get! Any suggestions?

And as always, I have a Friday Freebie. I plan on storing my baby food in 4oz mason jars. Here are some cute printable labels I made for them! CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

4th Trimester Bodies Project

This week I wanted to talk about a project that is near and dear to my heart, the 4th Trimester Bodies Project.

Ashlee Wells Jackson and her daughter, Nova

The 4th Trimester Bodies Project is a photo documentary started by Ashlee Wells Jackson, which is dedicated to "embracing the beauty inherent in the changes brought to our bodies by motherhood, childbirth and breastfeeding."

It doesn't matter how old you are or how you came into motherhood, the only requirement is that you are a mother.

Paula Gillis. Mama to one sweet angel, Olivia Grace

I wanted to take a minute and share my story and photo with you all.  This project helped me get past some of my demons that I have been holding in for many years.  It felt so good to finally share my story with the world since I kept this a secret for many years.  Ashlee made me feel so comfortable in front of the camera and I am honored to call her my friend.  She is a mother to 3, one son, Xavier and twins, Nova and Aurora.  This project began when she no longer felt comfortable in her own skin after a traumatic childbirth experience with her twins, where Aurora became an angel due to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

Here is my story:

"The breathtaking Garra Schulze with her 6 week old daughter, Kennedy. Garra was raped when she was 16. Stealing her virginity and resulting in a pregnancy she was unaware of until she was 5 months along. After realizing she was pregnant and examining her options she decided the best thing for her baby was to give him up for adoption. Her son Evan (7) was lovingly adopted by a family unable to have children of their own. While her first pregnancy was an incredibly traumatic one Garra’s second pregnancy was incredibly healing. She had a pretty easy pregnancy with Kennedy and while she was induced a bit pre term due to growth issues, she had a fast, easy delivery and Kennedy is a breastfeeding pro. I am absolutely humbled by Garra’s strength and bravery." - Ashlee Wells Jackson

Over the past year, over 200 woman have participated in the project, baring it all (tastefully) in the name of true beauty.  Ashlee and her stylist, Laura Weetzie Wilson are currently traveling all over the United States and will be going across the pond in the coming months to continue promoting and shooting for the project.  There is also a video documentary that is in the works and a gallery show and printed publication coming in the future.

Hillary Scharmann and baby Holden (7 months)

While this project is all about inner and outer beauty, Ashlee has faced problems with the social media websites, Facebook and Instagram.  Her most recent encounter was her IG page (@4thtrimesterbodies) being deleted without any warning.  She has now started her FOURTH Instagram page (follow @4thtribodiesproject) and has begun posting the photos to Tumblr ( as well.  

Sarah Orth with her daughters Kiahley (4) and Cora (18mo)

If you don't follow this project, I highly recommend you do.  You can find out more information, see all the mamas stories, donate and sign a petition to help stop censorship at, it might just change your life like it has mine.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Toddler Road Trip Essentials

Hello ladies!! I hope everyone had a great weekend! Our family has been battling sickies for about a month now and we are so over it... I think we are finally on the upswing and we are looking forward to a little getaway this weekend. We are headed to the big T X for my niece's first birthday party and I can't wait. I love heading to my home state but I really dread the 10 hour drive. Especially with a toddler. My Harper has made this trip 4 times in less than 2 years but the last time it was a year ago (flying is so much easier) and she was less squirmy and busy. I have been trying to think of everything I need to start packing to keep her busy but also not take up the whole car with "stuff."

Besides the essentials of diapers, wipes, cups, blankets, pacifiers, yada yada I know I mostly need entertainment.
Bag: First she needs a cute big bag of her own to pack all of her goodies in.
iPad: This is defiantly a must have for us because I have a show watching babe and this will be our most used item.
Snack Container: Snacks are always a must right? And especially if we can keep the car as less of a mess as possible!
Book: This is our favorite book right now and this one is even better because it has more than one story so we only have to pack one instead of five! yay!
Coloring Book & Colors: I'm sure the colors will by flying but since this is her favorite activity at the moment, this will be a sanity saver. I will also be bringing a million stickers for extra fun!
Shirt Pants: I already know an extra pair of comfy clothes will probably be needed and its a lot easier to have them handy than be searching in the jam packed trunk for something. Or maybe she might just be in a diaper, who knows! ;) 
I know these are pretty much Duh! needs, but I am a list maker/over planner and I always need ideas for things to bring on our road trips. I took most of this stuff on her first plane ride and everything worked out great so I am hoping this trip they will too. 
Is there anything I am missing?
Wish us luck on our trip and hopefully no meltdowns! hehe.

Charlotte's Beach Attire

I'm getting so excited for my family's first vacation to the beach this week! I've had lots of fun shopping for new clothes for Charlotte and here are a couple of her outfits that I thought I'd share.

Dress: Old Navy | Hat: Old Navy | Shoes: Saltwater Sandals

Swimsuit: Gap | Shoes: Saltwater Sandals

Friday, March 7, 2014

But... I was just at the movies!

Looking at everyone's birth story, I'm a tad bit jealous. I don't have beautiful pictures of before and during. I have cell phone pictures for the after (which I still cherish even if they're not professional.) I had planned to have a photographer there. I had an appointment to meet her in a week. Everything happened so fast and I was totally caught off guard. I mean, I know labor can come at any time of the pregnancy and I should've been prepared for it, but I wasn't. I made plans to meet people, made plans for my birthday, and plans to go shopping for the nursery (finally). Still, a part of me should've expected it, especially because two weeks before the birth I had to be in the hospital for a week because of high blood pressure/a pre-eclamlasia scare.

I had a horrible first trimester. Sick and nauseous every day, but never threw up. (Which, in my opinion, is worse than throwing up. I'd rather get it over with, than have the feeling with me all day.) I had a breezy second trimester except for extreme fatigue. My third trimester was bad, because I was in the hospital a lot. My blood pressure was doing crazy things, which was weird, because I have never had any problems with it in the past.

It was our first date night in a long time. My husband had been working a lot, and if I wasn't in the hospital, I was on bed rest at home. Nesting all that I could nest. I got all ready, and even posted an Instagram photo. I had posted my birth plan (you can find it here) that morning. It was well thought out. I hadn't printed it yet, I thought I had time. We went to dinner and we went to go see Insidious 2 (which my husband still says that's what cause me to go into labor, ha ha) and then we went home and I took a shower and all that jazz. It was about 1AM. We were watching something on TV when I laughed and though I peed myself. I hadn't done it all of my pregnancy but I heard it was something that could happen, so I went to check. Well I didn't, but I had to pee anyways, lol. I stood up, flushed the toilet (tmi, sorry!) and as I was washing my hands, it happened.

Everyone says your water breaking will NOT be 'dramatic' like the movies. All clear amniotic fluid, fast, and gushing everywhere. I heard it usually is a "bloody show" and comes out slowly. No, it wasn't like that. It was a gush. Everywhere. I had back cramps earlier that day, but I started having back pain early in my pregnancy so I didn't think anything of it. I honestly still thought I could've peed myself. I was only 36 & 5 days, I didn't think I was going into labor! I had no contractions either. I went to tell my husband (who then got antsy) and I said I would wait to see what happens in a few minutes because I didn't want to be that woman who goes and she's not really in labor. Then it happened again, in front of him. At that point, he TOLD me to get dressed and started getting the stuff ready. I had half a go bag ready. We didn't have a crib. I'm glad we ordered the car seat already. I kept changing my clothes and underwear and they kept getting soaked. It got to the point where my husband said to just forget it and he put a towel on the seat where I sat. We were on our way at 2:30 and still no contractions.

We got to the hospital and it was around 3:00 AM, although I felt like we only spent 5 minutes driving because my husband was going so fast (did yours freak out more than you, too?) The first step I took out of the car, I felt it. The first contraction. It hurt like a really bad cramp. And then another one. And another. And I felt like every second I got more, and they got worse. They wheeled me to labor and delivery. I was calm still, although I was kind of crouching over in the seat cause it hurt. I got checked in, wheeled to my room, and they gave me stuff to get dressed. The trip to the bathroom to change turned into me being in there for about 45 minutes. I thought my stomach was upset. I felt like I had to go, and I had BAD cramps at this time to where I wanted to pass out. I still kind of didn't think it was labor related. Finally they got me to go out into the room and they had me sit down and gave me something. I don't know what it was, but it KIND of eased the pain at the moment. The resident came in to check me out. She asked if I had gotten checked to see if I was effaced or dilated any at my appointment. I had never been checked at all. I hadn't even gotten to that appointment. I was at a 5 and 100% effaced.

The contractions got bad. Really bad. So bad that I was crying to the nurse to PLEASE call them to give me my epidural. There was a lot of sweat, tears, and a few choice words for awhile. Finally the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural and like THAT, it was kind of gone. It felt like baby cramps now. A while had passed and I scooted up and bed and the nurse said, "Wow, you can move?" Uhm, yes? Am I not supposed to? She gave me a worried look. Then I was like... Oh, I'm not supposed to be able to move. It was my worst fear. The epidural not working. It had to have though! I wasn't feeling bad pain. I ended up passing out until 11:30 AM and woke up to EXCRUCIATING pain, and my family. They live three hours away and they had just gotten there. 

The pain was from Kendalynn dropping down and I was crowning. I felt panicked, because she said I would have to start pushing soon. I felt so rushed, I just woke up from a nap! As if I didn't need anymore reason to panic, the nurse then informs me that my epidural worked 65-75% and that's why I was feeling that pain, and it was only going to get worse. And it did. And I wanted to push, I had to push. It was the only thing relieving the pain. I pushed for 3 minutes and then BAM. A beautiful baby girl.

She was really purple and bruised, and yellow and her head was cone shaped. We were worried. They didn't tell me anything until after the weighing and measuring. She had gotten stuck at around 7-8 cm and that's why her head took to that shape. They said it should be normal in a few days. The bruising was from the pushing. She had jaundice though. They handed her to me so I could try to breastfeed. I was going to be a breastfeeding warrior. The first time was a little awkward, I didn't know what I was doing. She barely latched on, and I thought, well that's normal for the first time, right?

Kendalynn was 19 1/4 inches, and 6 lbs even. That's her birth story. She had a few medical problems the first month which had us in and out of hospitals. You can read those stories soon here. I'm happy to report that she is healthy and on track with weight gain and height for an almost 5 month old :)

[click image & then click zoom -> view RAW image to save as wallpaper]

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Charlotte's Birth Story

My birth story with Charlotte is a little, shall we say, dramatic. Although everything basically went according to my birth plan, it all happened much quicker than I ever thought it would. My doula warned me that as a first time mother, my labor could last up to 3 days, so that's what I expected although all I wanted was a quick, natural birth. Boy, did I get what I asked for: 

I woke up at 11:45 pm on Monday night (January 17, 2012) with a cramp and the feeling of having to pee. I sat up out of bed after my "cramp" went away and thought I pee'd my pants. I got up and took a quick shower and went to put on new panties when more liquid came out of my vag. Yep, it was my water breaking. No huge gush or anything, just a slow, constant trickle. I woke my husband Lee up (mind you we'd only been sleeping for less than an hr) to tell him and he was less than excited. I think he was in denial about it thinking that I was nowhere near having my baby soon. I went to tell my mom, who was staying with us in the other room, while Lee called and told his mom to fly out in the morning (to make it in time for my labor, ha!). I also called my doula, Stacy, to tell her what was going on. She told me to relax and get some sleep. I got back in bed and then really started having contractions. I told Lee to time them because they were happening quite frequently and they hurt pretty bad. Again, he was reluctant to do anything (still in denial that this baby was coming), but I forced him to wake the heck up and time them. They were pretty random with no real consistency at that point.

After a little while I couldn't lay still and had to get out of bed and move around. As soon as I got out of bed I fell to the ground and puked my brains out. I thought at one point Lee was laughing at me, but turns out he was gagging, haha. My mom came rushing in and helped clean me up. I got into the shower thinking I would get some relief from my contractions from the warm water. I put the exercise ball in to sit on but it was a tight fit and I couldn't really bounce so I got pissed and wanted out of the shower. I literally crawled out of the shower onto the bathroom floor and my body started PUSHING. I couldn't help it. I just had the feeling to push. That scared the crap out of me. Speaking of, I wanted to get on the toilet because I felt like I had to poo. My mom said no way because she knew my body would just keep pushing the baby out. Lee had been getting everything ready to go to the hospital and called our doula when I started pushing. She told Lee to look and see if there was a head coming out but he was too scared so he made my mom do it. I refused to open my legs for fearing my baby would slide out. My poor mom had to pry my legs open and look. Luckily, no baby yet. I lay on the bathroom floor naked and screaming "I'm gonna die! Take me to the hospital! I'm having my baby!" I seriously thought I would have my baby right there in my bathroom. My doula finally got to our apartment and had to convince me that it wasn't time yet, that I wasn't ready to have my baby. WTF, my body was pushing by itself for crying out loud!
We raced to the hospital, which was a half hour drive in the middle of the night without any traffic. My contractions were still strong and it was so tough trying not to push. We got to the hospital after a thirty minute drive and they had to wheel my screaming ass straight back to the delivery room. I got on the bed and the doctor checked me (which totally pissed me off. I remember yelling at her asking what the f*** she was doing to me, lol). I was dilated to a 10 (duh!) and was ready to really push. First I tried squatting but I was too tired to hold myself up so they told me to lay on my back, which is the exact position I did NOT want to deliver in but I was in no mood to really fight with them. They couldn't get a reading on Charlotte's heart beat so the pressure was on (literally) to get her out ASAP. I pushed through 3 contractions and she was out! She came out kicking and screaming and with a full head of hair!
It was unbelievable. The pain of natural birth wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, it hurt and it burned really bad, but I totally did it! I was so happy and so proud of myself. The worse part of the whole thing was after she came out. They waited for me to deliver my placenta, which was NBD, and then had to start stitching me up since I tore so badly. That was so painful. They couldn't get my nether regions numb so I felt ev-er-y-thing. I felt every pull and poke and tug. I was in so much pain and was crying a lot. Lee said it looked like a murder scene from the blood I lost (although I'm sure he was being a little dramatic). I feel like that part kinda cut my happiness time short. I was holding Charlie skin to skin on my chest trying to enjoy her but it was tough because I was in so much pain. But, luckily I got through it and got to enjoy my baby girl!
I think from the time I arrived at the hospital to the time I had Charlotte it was like, not even a half an hour. We seriously barely made it. So from my water breaking to the time she was born it was exactly 4 hours... 11:45 pm-3:48 am. It was fast and furious! I couldn't be more happy with the way everything went. I had her naturally and quickly, which is exactly what I wanted.
This was just moments after I delivered Charlie and is one of my most cherished images. (There aren't many pictures of me laboring since we didn't have time for any.)

              Lee holding Charlotte for some skin on skin while I was getting stitched up. 

Family snuggles.

Two days old!

Another one of my most cherished pictures ever. I believe that Charlotte was truly smiling at her Daddy. There's so much joy and adoration in her face.

Getting ready to leave the hospital. Fortunately, we were only there for two days. 
I am extremely grateful for the natural and healthy delivery of my baby girl. Although there were issues and some bumps along the road during recovery, things went fairly smoothly and just as I'd hoped. I was very fortunate to have a supportive, loving team with me: my husband, mother, and doula. Without them, it would have been more chaotic and dramatic than it ended up being! I'm getting so excited for my next baby girl to arrive in May and to see how that birth story will all play out.
Until next time,