23 February 2013

Henry's Birth Story

I can't believe it is my turn to share how my dear, sweet boy came into our family. I have read many of these "birth stories" on other blogs and have looked forward to the day that I got to see the birth of our first baby unfold. Here I am, with Little Henry curled up on my chest, and I get to kiss and smell his sweet head as I write down his miraculous entry to earth.
Let's start a couple of weeks back. About two weeks before Henry's birth, I was sitting in one of my twice weekly NST's (non stress tests) where they monitored his heartbeat for 20 minutes to make sure he wasn't under stress. He always did great and I always loved hearing his heartbeat. It was during one of those that the nurse said "You're having a contraction right now, can you feel that?" I had felt a slight cramping, but didn't think much of it until she told me what it was. Pregnancy is not without it's fair share of aches and pains, so what was another little twinge of discomfort? Well, now that I knew what a tiny contraction felt like, I noticed them. They weren't super regular, or even painful, but they were noticeable.
Not too long after realizing I was having "warming up contractions" we received the news that Ronnie's grandpa had passed away and the funeral was going to be here in Salt Lake. We felt lucky that we would be able to attend but I was also scared to death that I would have a baby with all of Ronnie's family was in town, during the funeral. To add to my fears, Ronnie and I ended up having to give talks in sacrament meeting with only 2 weeks until our due date and while we both came down with NASTY colds.
Heavenly Father heard my pleas and Henry stayed put until the funeral was over, mine and Ronnie's colds had gone away, and we were emotionally ready for Henry's arrival.
Now that we have a little back story, do you mind if I switch gears? I realize there are many that have been anxiously waiting to read our birth story, but I know myself, and even though I would like to think I would write a version down just for Henry, I probably won't get around to it, so I am going to use this opportunity to write him his very first letter from me.

Dear Henry,

My First Born Son. Do you know how incredibly special and loved you are? Mom and Dad thought they would wait much longer than they did to get you, but we both felt a strong urge to go ahead and start trying for a family. We weren't sure if Dad's injury would make our process a little longer than usual. As it turns out, Heavenly Father knew we needed you right away and I found out I was pregnant with you in what seems like a blink of an eye.

The Lord's timing was perfect. I ended up turning a really good job down in Wyoming so I wouldn't have to be away from you once you were born. Dad took a job in Wyoming that eventually led him to an amazing job in Utah that we wouldn't have even considered if I had been working too. You endured two moves before you even entered the world but you took it easy on me and I had a great pregnancy.

Mom and Dad had only been in Salt Lake 2 months when it was your time to arrive. Life was a little crazy those last two months, but you waited until exactly the perfect day to come. I woke up early on the morning of Saturday, February 9th and could feel that the contractions I had been experiencing for the past two weeks were stronger and much more regular. I just knew that you would be coming soon so I started picking up the house and getting things in order so we would be ready to bring you home if we ended up in the hospital soon. I made dad go to the grocery store with me and even take me to Target so I would feel prepared when it was time to go to the hospital. Our friends the Dahlin's came over and not too long after they left, my contractions got much stronger. We went and picked up some dinner but I couldn't even eat because the contractions were too distracting. (You know if french fries are in from of me and I am not touching them, something big is about to happen).

I called my mom to tell her my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart, lasting for a minute and she told me to go ahead and go to the hospital. I really hadn't been having them for long so I waited another couple of hours and then your Dad and I packed up the car and went to the hospital.

It was snowing pretty heavily and we seemed to be the only ones out on the road. It was so peaceful and quiet all around us, with the snow softly falling as we drove that very short, but very long drive to the hospital. It seemed to be the way you wanted to come to us, peacefully. It was about midnight when we got to the hospital. The nurses checked me and I was only dilated to a 1 1/2. They sent us home and said to come back when the pain got worse. Not words you like to hear when you already think you are in pain.

Lucky for me, I had the world's best labor coach. Your dad was right by my side through every minute. The nurses at the hospital gave me some pain killers to help me through the next few hours. All they really did was make me really sleepy. Your dad would let me sleep for 4 minutes and was right there waiting for me when the next contraction would come and I needed him to tell me it was almost over and how great I was doing. We did this for 5 1/2 more hours. Mom falling asleep, waking up to a contraction building up, and Dad watching over her with more love and concern in his eyes than I had ever seen before. He rubbed my back, held my hand, and showed me the kind of tenderness that is so hard to find in men anymore.

Finally at 5:30 am on Sunday, February 10th, we went back into the hospital and I was dilated to a 5! They checked me in and I said "Give me that epidural!" I had really wanted to go drug free, out of curiosity of what natural childbirth felt like. Nothing kills that curiosity like actual childbirth.

After the epidural kicked in very quickly, I was able to drift in and out of sleep for a couple hours before the Dr. gave the go ahead to break my water. That was at about noon. The Dr. got to the hospital at about 1:00pm and they told me I could start pushing at about 1:30. I had been told by many friends that I should really get a photographer to document your birth, and maybe I should have, but I loved exactly who was in the room, and the memories I have of that day. I hate being photographed and just knowing that it was me and my sweetheart let me really enjoy what was happening.

Although I was pushing and it is usually a climactic, crazy situation in the movies, it was absolutely peaceful in our room. I knew I was about to become a mom, but it didn't feel real yet. Between pushing, I would look up at your dad and enjoyed the feelings of love and excitement we were feeling. We quietly told each other words of encouragement between pushes, and slipped in "I love you" here and there, and after just 30 minutes of pushing, you were placed into my arms and I looked at your big eyes blinking up at me, knowing in that moment you knew me better than I knew myself. Just like that, I was a mom. You were my baby. We fell in love.

As your father and I breathed you in those first few moments, I loved seeing the doctors and nurses pause every few minutes to watch as we became a family. What a wonderful job they must have! I am sure they get to see many amazing births and lots of love shared, but I like to think that the love your dad and I have for each other, and beginning at that moment- for you, is a little more special than usual.

Your birth was very special and sacred to me, and I am so glad that it is your Daddy that I got to share it with. Our lives were suddenly changed forever in a bigger way than we ever could have imagined, but it is the best change that has ever happened. I love you more than any words could ever express! I thank Heavenly Father everyday that He chose me to be your Mama.


*Thank you to our dear friend Val Dahlin for coming to the hospital the day after Henry was born and getting these great photos of our newborn baby boy!

07 February 2013


Well, it is finally in a state that I don't mind showing it off! There are a few last little things that need to be done, but they will happen once we get the little guy here and named. If you can't tell, our theme was southwestern cowboy with lots of little man vintage. It pretty much has turned into a reflection of both mine and Ronnie's style and all the little knick knack things we have picked up along the way.

One of my favorite things about the nursery is how involved so many of our loved ones have been in it. We probably didn't spend more than $100 on the nursery because of how generous everyone has been to us, and a lot of it has been things we both have collected from thrift and antiques stores along the way. So are you ready to dive in? (disclaimer: I am by no means a great photographer, nor do I ever really aspire to be, so be forgiving on the quality of the photos.)

This is the view of the room from the hall. The pendant banner was made by my amazingly talented sister Chelsey for my baby shower in New Mexico. It originally said Lil' Buckaroo but I had to shorten it to fit in the room. I can't even imagine the time and love she spent on it.

This is an old map of Utah Ronnie got me for Christmas. It comes from a children's book from the 1960's and is so perfect!

My dear friend Aubrey made this for a baby present for us and it goes absolutely perfect with the theme! And how perfect is that quote? I already dread our little baby growing up and he isn't even here yet.

Can you tell we like clutter? The shelving was built in and makes for the perfect framing of a crib. The frames above the crib will eventually have mine and Ronnie's baby pictures as well as our little guy, and maybe some family ones if I get enough motivation. Above that shelf we will get big wooden letters and spell out his name (we just need to name him first).

Our original crib was one my sister Brittani gave us that many of her little ones used and was gorgeous, but just a few inches too wide for the built in shelving. She so graciously let us sell it and we were able to buy this Jenny Lind style crib which goes perfect with our vintage style (and we got a steal of a deal on KSL). My sisters got me this adorable crib bedding and the beautiful rug hanging behind the crib is one given to me by my grandfather. One of the many amazing touches he added to the nursery. And the quilt on the crib and little blanket were made for me and given two me from two of my sister-in-laws (shout out Steph and Shauna!)

And these full shelves! Notice the flag up top. One of my most prized possessions! My brother gave it to me. He flew it in his huge C-17 when he was deployed.

Our heroes and what our little guy will grow up on. Elvis and Johnny.

This is an old toolbox I got off KSL that belonged to a man's grandpa who used it in his horse shoeing business. It is filled with little knick knacks and cute little things given to us.

The wooden truck was given to Ronnie by a family friend who made it for him while he was in the hospital recovering.

I made the little letter artwork from some old letterpress letters I picked up at an antique store. I absolutely love it! And the Bow-tie bottle is one my mom picked up and that we used at our wedding reception because it so perfectly represents Ronnie. Ronnie has picked up the coke bottles that were made in cities we love-Salt Lake City and Durango.

The changing station: To make diaper changes easier for Ronnie, we made the changing station on top of the dresser. Don't worry, the lamp wont be there, I just forgot to move it before taking pictures.

My grandpa used to raise race horses and he gave me all these ribbons from his horse days. My sister-in-law Annie helped me figure out what to do with them and I love how the shadow box turned out!

The rocker was given to us by the lady I nannied for in Wyoming and the blanket is a present from my mother-in-law. I can hardly wait to snuggle and nurse there.

We sold Ronnie's dresser from his single days and were able to get this one off KSL. And the rug? Another great gift from my Papa.

Here is a little touch of New Mexico that I picked up in a thrift store back home. I am ridiculously attached to this $5 find.

And one last look at the room with the rocking horse I am painting that I picked up at Goodwill.

Thanks for taking a peek into our little guy's room and for all of those who contributed to it! I didn't even talk about half the things in it! Now, let's put a baby in there!

39 weeks 3 days

Well, Little Man seems to be perfectly happy right where he is at. I went to the Dr. today and while I swear I can feel a little head grinding away on my pelvic bones, Dr. Sharp said he still isn't very low and I am not dilated at all. I'm not too disappointed because Ronnie and I are still getting over the last little bits of a terrible cold that has been hanging around for a couple weeks.
I have been feeling mild contractions throughout the day for a week now but nothing that gets me too excited. It is actually kind of nice to know my body is warming up and that it won't just suddenly just hit me. My Dr. set up an induction date for the 17th if I haven't gone into labor naturally before then. If you would have asked me a couple months ago when I was going to have this baby, I would have told you closer to my original due date in January and never would have imagined possibly going over Feb. 11th. I am so glad that Heavenly Father knows better and has his own timing. Ronnie's grandpa passed away and the funeral was here in Utah last weekend. I was a nervous wreck for a little while worrying that I would have a baby while the funeral was going on and with all of Ronnie's family in town, and while I was sick with a cold. But as I have learned more than this year than any other, God knows best and he has our little family cradled in his palm, leading us exactly where we need to be, when we need to be there. Thank goodness for a Heavenly Father who cares about all the little details in our lives!