Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Lela's Birth Story

Our Lela girl turned one month old on July 7th, and this mama got all emotional - time is already flying by! I know that sounds so cliche, but what they say is true... don't blink! This month has been full of pure joy, so much love, and complete exhaustion (who knew you could feel all of those things at once?! ha ha). I truly feel blessed to be this little girl's mama, and I found myself thinking back to her birth date and so many emotions came over me. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were checking into the hospital to be induced. I wanted to document her birth story here, and share some pictures, to remember the experience!

My due date was June 3rd, so at 39 weeks on May 27th, we started talking about a "game plan" for if miss Lela decided to go past her due date. My doctor did not want me to carry past 41 weeks, so we planned on inducing on June 7th if she didn't come before then. Of course, we waited and waited, hoping my body would naturally go into labor, but the morning of June 6th came, and still no baby. My parents had already been in town for almost a week - also waiting the arrival of sweet Lela, so I was happy that we at least knew she would be here by June 7th. They were scheduled to fly back home on June 10th, and I certainly didn't want them to miss the birth after being here for a week waiting! So we were set to come in the evening of June 6th, with the induction not starting until the morning of the 7th when my doctor was on call. She just wanted us to come in a little early to get settled in our room and to start monitoring me.

So we got settled in, and the nurses hooked me up to the monitors to watch her heart rate and to see if I was contracting at all. Turns out, I was having mild contractions, but I wasn't feeling them. So the plan was to still induce the next day. We finally laid down to get some rest at about 11:45 p.m. - of course, I wasn't doing much resting at all, as I was having to use the restroom every 5 minutes, plus I was just so anxious about what was to come and so excited to meet our baby girl! I got about an hour of sleep, but was quickly awoken when my water broke at 2 a.m.! My body did go into labor naturally... in the hospital! God works in mysterious ways, huh?

From there.. contractions picked up... FAST. It was my goal to labor without an epidural for a while, as I didn't want to be confined to the bed the whole labor. I do much better when I can be up and moving! So from 2 a.m. until about 6 a.m, I labored without an epidural - using essential oils and the jetted tub in the hospital bathroom to manage my pain. Chris was also right beside me the whole time, coaching me through every contraction! Before I knew it, I made it to 6 cm, and I it was about all I could handle. I told Chris to tell them I needed the epidural.. NOW... Ha ha (but really). 

So I got the epidural and all was right in the world. Fast forward to 9 a.m. - I finally made it to 8 and 1/2 cm... yay! We were going to meet our baby girl soon!! 

Or so we thought. 

By mid morning I hadn't made any progress, so they decided to give me Pitocin to speed things up. I was still having contractions, but I sat at 8 and 1/2 cm ALL DAY. Nothing was helping, and by 6:30 p.m. we still had no baby. This is when the c-section was mentioned, and although I wasn't happy about it at first, after we talked to my doctor I knew that it was best. She told us that my uterus had been contracting for so long and there was a possibility it could hemorrhage. She didn't know why, but for some reason my body couldn't get past 9 centimeters dilated. 

We later found out why my body was stalling - Miss Lela came out at 10 pounds and 5 ounces!!! We had no idea she would be this size, and the doctor later explained to us that my body physically wouldn't have been able to push her out. She thinks it was shutting down naturally because it was impossible given my size and her size. Looking back, I'm so thankful we were able to get her out safely and save the hours of me pushing with no progress. Once we were in the surgery room, she made a speedy delivery into this world -

Miss Lela Rose White
Born June 7th, 2018 at 7:43 p.m.
10 pounds and 5 ounces
22 inches long

The hours following the c-section are kind of a blur, but the moment she looked up at me (see below) is something I will never forget. I was completely exhausted from the surgery, but when her little eyes opened and looked up at me, my heart absolutely melted. We prayed for so long to have a baby, and I couldn't believe I was finally holding her in my arms!!

We stayed in the recovery room for about an hour before family came back to see her, and it was such a special time. Chris and I could not stop staring at her - we were in complete awe. All of the sudden, running on little sleep didn't seem to matter anymore!

After I was released from recovery, we got checked into our hospital room where we ended up spending the next four days. I had lost a lot of blood during the c-section, so I had to have a blood transfusion a few days later, which kept us in the hospital longer than expected! Those days were tough - between taking care of the baby and all the nurses coming in and out, we hardly got any sleep! But we made it through, and we were so excited to bring our baby girl home. At home to greet us were my parents and Lela's big brother, Louie! 

Giving birth to this precious angel is something I will never forget and something I will always be thankful for. As you know, getting pregnant wasn't easy for us, but God knew all along that we would have our sweet Lela girl one day, and goodness gracious, she couldn't be more perfect!! We are so thankful for all the prayers and well wishes we received after her birth - we are so proud to be her mommy and daddy. Welcome to the world, Lela Rose, we can't wait to live life with you by our side! 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pregnancy Reflections

I can't believe that I am nearing the end of pregnancy and will soon be welcoming our baby girl into this world! At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was good about journaling and taking pictures to document this special time, but unfortunately, with the move from Nashville to Denver and just trying to keep my head above water, I slacked off on doing that. So as I near the end, I thought it would be fun to share some reflections here, as well as some of our maternity pictures!

Overall, I've had a pretty amazing pregnancy. The toughest part for me was definitely the first trimester. There was about a four week stretch where I was pretty nauseated every day and had a few major headaches. I was also still taking daily progesterone shots from our IVF cycle - which added more hormones to my already hormonal changing pregnant body.... which was not fun, ha ha! Luckily, I had my essential oils to carry me through, and ever since that bad stretch ended, and I was able to stop taking the shots, I've been feeling great!! I've really focused on eating nutritional food, exercising, taking my LLV Supplements, and using my essential oils to help me to stay healthy and feeling good.

The second trimester was heavenly - just like all the mamas I know told me it would be! It's definitely the best time during pregnancy because you're feeling much better, have a little baby bump that you adore, but you're still comfortable and have energy to move and do things, ha ha! This is when we took our babymoon, and I felt amazing the whole time. Thankfully, this was when the bulk of our move was - from Nashville to Denver - and that couldn't have worked out more perfectly for the 18 hour drive to our new home state of Colorado.

I've continued to feel pretty good during the third trimester, other than tiring out more easily! I blame most of the tiredness on moving into a new house at 35 weeks pregnant. That was never our intention, but of course, we should have known that renovations would take longer than we expected. We were scheduled to have all projects done by end of March and move in at the beginning of April, giving us plenty of time to settle in before my due date. Well, the end of March turned into the end of April, and we moved in on April 30th - just about 5 weeks out from my due date - and whew, was it a whirlwind! Moving is not fun at any time, but especially not when you're so pregnant you can't bend down, you can't lift things, and you get out of breath after taking about 10 steps. Let's just say that I have the best husband in the world, who managed to do almost everything by himself, while still balancing work and taking care of me.

The past few weeks we've he's spent every free moment unpacking boxes, getting bedrooms and the nursery set up, finishing some last minute paint and house projects, and putting together all the baby things. Of course, I have helped out as much as my body would allow, but I have taken the time to rest and keep baby safe and sound! Everything isn't perfect yet, but I'm so happy with the home we've created so far and can't wait to bring our baby girl home here!!

Now, let's talk about these amazing pictures - isn't the scenery just beautiful?! They were taken at Mount Falcon, right outside of Denver. If there is one thing I've loved about living in Colorado so far, it's definitely been the beautiful scenery, and we haven't even touched the surface of all there is to see yet. We can't wait to get out and explore a little more once Lela is here and a little older to get out - I see a lot of family hikes in our future! I got lucky and found the most amazing photographer to capture our maternity pics, and she will also be taking Lela's newborn pics!

I will cherish these pictures forever - I think they truly reflect how much happiness Chris and I have to be celebrating pregnancy and what it means for us. We've dreamed of this for so long - almost 4 years to be exact, and honestly, there were times I thought it would never happen. I longed to carry our child so bad, but year after year, that dream seemed so far away. But God had other plans for us, and an even bigger plan for our one little embryo, Lela, and I am so thankful for that. I never want to forget the the smiles on our faces as we await the arrival of our baby, and the way it feels to be carrying her. Even on the hardest days of pregnancy, I never forget the blessing it is for all of moms to be able to grow and produce life - a life that God has so intently created. What a treasure!

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well."
- Psalm 139:13-14

Monday, April 30, 2018

Spring Things

Hey guys! It's finally feeling like spring here in Denver, and I could not be more excited! This year's weather has been crazy, huh? I know spring came late for most parts of the country, but I think it's finally here to stay. I am so excited about patio weather, planting flowers, and soaking up the warmth from the sunshine. I am still adjusting to Denver's weather - compared to the south, it's much more dry and a still a little chilly at night. But I'll take it if it means I don't have to deal with mosquitoes and the southern humidity come summer time, ha ha!

Today is an exciting day because we are finally able to move into our new house!! I could jump through this computer screen with the level of excitement I have right now. We bought and closed on the house back in February, but since then we've been undergoing some renovations - which took wayyyyy longer than I anticipated. Don't they always? Anyway, it's all complete for the most part, so move in day is today!! I can't wait to share more of the house with you once we get settled. The next few weeks will be all about nesting and getting ready for baby Lela to arrive - only 5 more weeks to go!

Since spring decided to finally grace us with her presence, I wanted to round up some spring things I love or have had my eye on! Have a great Monday and happy spring to you! XO -