Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy BIRTHday, Sweet Grace!

*Warning: Birth story ahead!*


Daddy and I were pretty sure you would be a September baby, but we had no idea you'd arrive so early! I knew something was up the morning of Tuesday the 4th. When I got to work, I talked with your "Aunts" Jaime, Kristin, Christina, Kimber, and Megan and told them I felt it could be any moment! By the evening, I felt very uncomfortable and by 10 o'clock, I told your dad to "be prepared." He asked me to tell you that he would like a full night's sleep first. :)

As you will soon learn, your mama loves her sleep. So when I could not fall into it easily, I knew you were on the way. By 11, my water broke and didn't stop. I woke Daddy up and told him that maybe we should pack our bags. :) We stumbled around in the dark, trying not to wake Liam as we got our things together and called over your grandparents for back up. We arrived at the hospital around 12:30AM and requested our favorite triage room, #5, which we frequented during the early part of your pregnancy. Daddy was bummed when it was already taken. It's the only one with a comfy reclining chair. :) This was the last thing on my mind as I was so incredibly worried that your labor would be super quick as your brother's was six hours said and done but while you were itching to get out early, you took your sweet time.

Last belly shot - 36 weeks 2 days - 1AM
Contractions weren't as bad as I had remembered but I suppose that's easy to say when they are 20 minutes apart. I opted for an epidural anyway. A special "Thank You" to Dr. Katz for his amazing work!! Your heart rate did dip a few times however not enough for the doctors to be concerned. The midwife and nurse were impressed with the contraction length. I'd push a few times, then we'd wait and chat before the next one came along. I learned about her free spirited volunteer daughter whose life dream is to work for TOMS and her son's August wedding in NYC. Definitely not your typical TV show labor. :) While the contractions weren't super painful/pressurized towards the end, they were LONG. (See the "mountain range" picture below.)

Like your brother (and unlike your parents), you had a full head of hair. So much so that I could see it before you were even out! Daddy was momentarily concerned that it was dark brown though.. I wonder where that came from!

At 9:22AM, you came into the world and joined our family. I remember being in awe of your brother, just staring at him. With you, I just cried. I was so happy that despite being close to a month early and all of our adventurous beginnings, you were okay. That was, by far, the greatest gift of all.

You are beautiful and we can't wait to watch you grow! <3

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Documenting Our Family of Three

Before Liam was born, we had our wedding photographer (of Heather Fowler photography) take photos of us (and belly) down in Cape Henlopen. We had previous had some post-wedding portraits taken on Wildwood's boardwalk and Cape May so we thought we'd get in Kevin's beaches too. :)

For our newest addition, we wanted to be sure we had something similar. I hear lots of stories about how the children after the first one get gipped in terms of pictures, albums, and other special stuff. As an only child, I cannot imagine doing this! Chickpea already has the beginnings of a baby book and free 4D ultrasounds - courtesy of that subchorionic hemorrhage. 

I love the photojournalistic style (in layman's terms: photos without manmade backdrops or tons of posing) but I also love getting different photographers' views. Enter Emily. :) I met Emily as a freshman in college and was already admiring her photography skills of pictures she took of our campus. She now has her own business, Emily Troutman Photography, so if you are in the Delaware area you should check her out!

Here are some of my favorites from her blog post of our session. Check out her page to see more! 
Our Family <3 <3 <3 <3

Liam's obession with phones led to this idea. :)
You don't know what you're in for, Liam!

This is one of our ultrasound photographs with a verse (John 1:16).
"From the fullness of His grace, we have received one blessing after another." 

I can't believe we are one step closer to welcoming our baby girl! <3