Conor’s Birth Story: Emergency vs. Scheduled C-Section

Our son has arrived! This is our birth story and an article for expectant mothers to hopefully help ease any fears about having a scheduled c-section.

He has arrived! Our family is complete.

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Introducing Conor Bryan Whitfield, 7 lbs. 5 oz. of adorable, squishy, squirmy, baby boy!

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Our sweet little sleepy baby boy has been in our lives now for exactly three weeks.  Today, February 16, is technically his due date but due to complications from Lucy’s birth we knew that any future child would need to be born via c-section at 37 weeks. What did this mean for us? Three BONUS weeks with our son in our lives!

I now want to talk about Conor’s birth story and address expectant mothers who may be going through the same thing I did. Knowing that my baby had to be born at 37 weeks via c-section, I had many fears and uncertainties, especially after Lucy’s birth which was a very traumatic failed induction turned emergency c-section [Lucy’s Birth Story]. I remember looking online for answers, only to be utterly terrified at some of the horror stories I found. Bryan tried to ban me from googling everything, but Jennifer the worry wart was in full force. Many questions swirled in my head: would my incisions from my previous delivery rupture, how would a scheduled c-section differ from my emergency c-section, would he be fully developed, is he really ready to come out,  would I recover well, what else might go wrong?

But this is a happy article.

This is the article I wish I would have read before giving birth to my son to ease my mind. While every birth is different, I want to share my personal story and the answers to all of the questions I had about having a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks.

Would I rupture?:

The main reason why I was told that I would need to deliver any future kids via c-section at 37 weeks was the risk of a uterine rupture. With Lucy’s birth, the emergency c-section consisted of two cuts internally instead of the typical one (called a T cut). This meant that if I would go into labor on my own with a future pregnancy, that there was the potential that the contractions would cause my uterus to rupture which could have been deadly for both the baby and myself.

Thankfully, I did not end up going into labor on my own. The original plan was going to be to wait about 5 days longer than 37 weeks to let his lungs develop more, but due to an unforeseen liver condition that arose during my 36 week mark, we ended up scheduling the c-section at exactly 37 weeks.

What would a scheduled c-section be like?:

Comparing this scheduled c-section to my last failed induction turned emergency c-section is like comparing apples to oranges. It was so completely different in the most positive way imaginable.

Like last time, it was nice walking into the hospital not in labor. It created a calm, laid back experience. The biggest difference was not having to go through the induction process first. With Lucy, I spent 2 days getting pumped with Cervidil and Pitocin and had nothing to eat and very little sleep. This was the recipe for failure. It meant that even if the c-section would have gone smoothly (which it didn’t) I would be two days behind on sleep, weak from the little food, and completely swollen due to all of the water and medications being pumped into me for two days straight. Enough about that first experience though, like i said this time it was a HAPPY story.

The scheduled c-section could not have gone any better. It started with me getting checked in, and then getting hooked up to the fetal monitor and IV. My early morning 7:30 AM surgery ended up getting pushed until 9:00 AM due to an emergency birth coming in before me that required the surgical team. This was fine with me because Bryan and I were able to relax a bit – this meant Bryan getting a nice breakfast and coffee and me watching I Love Lucy. It was then time to go into surgery. The team of nurses, my doctor, and the anesthesiologist were all incredible and put me at ease. The only minor freak out moment I had was when they prepped me for surgery. Unlike with my induction, I had to be in the surgery room without Bryan when they administered my spinal tap (numbing medication). Between the numbing of my entire lower body, and not having Bryan by my side I soooorrt of had a panic attack. BUT, as I said the team was amazing and they helped me through it by forcing me to talk about something completely irrelevant and taking my mind off of the situation. I ended up talking about Bryan and I’s trip to Boston BEFORE we started dating, so that ended up being the topic of the entire c-section. Who knew talking about gelato in Little Italy could take your mind off of being cut open?!

Once Bryan was able to come in, we were able to hold hands and I was instantly reassured. A few non-painful tugs here and there, and all of a sudden I could hear the most wonderful sound in the world, the sound of my sweet son crying and a declaration that it was 9:46 AM. Unlike last time, I was alert the rest of the time we were in the surgery room. I got to cry my happy tears. I got to listen to the NICU team check baby. I got to listen to the surgical team talking about how smoothly everything went. I got to talk to Bryan as he held our baby next to my head. I was able to see the first moments of my son’s life. It was the experience I wish I would have had the first time.

Is he really ready to come out at 37 weeks and will he be fully developed?:

The answer, thank God, for us was yes. I know there are many babies born at 37 weeks that may require a few days in the NICU due to lung development or other complications, but Conor was completely healthy. We required no time in the NICU, and it was only shortly after the surgery that I was able to have skin to skin contact with him and nurse him. He is a great sleeper and eater, and is constantly meeting his developmental and weight goals at his follow-up check ups. We are extremely blessed.

How would recovery be?:

I am officially three weeks out from having my c-section today and I can say recovery has been incredible. There has been little pain and I have been able to carefully get back into the normal routines of life. I am trying to be as careful as possible to not over-do it because I find that on days that I pick up Lucy or try to clean too much I feel worse. Overall, I cannot complain though. My body is healing, my mental state is positive, and my little boy allows me to get the sleep I need at night.

What else may go wrong?:

Ah, the question I had after one week postpartum. It almost seemed like everything was too good to be true and we kept finding ourselves saying things like “for now” when we talked about how great a sleeper he was. Like I said, Conor is a healthy baby, a great sleeper, and a great eater. I am able to carry out a routine during the day with him that leaves both him and I relaxed at the end of the day. On top of that, Lucy has completely adapted to her new brother – which was something I really feared. Before having him, I felt like I was almost betraying her. I felt like I was cutting off the special one-on-one time with her as an only child. If anything, it only makes me put even more of an effort into carving out special mommy/daughter time and including her in the day-to-day activities with her new brother. She loves giving him his pacifier, kissing and tickling his feet, and attempting to feed him his bottle. On top of that, Bryan has been a phenomenal Daddy to Lucy these past three weeks (and of course for all time). He has completely taken over some of the things I usually had done in the past while I recover and Lucy couldn’t be more excited about all of the extra-special time with him.

So instead of worrying about what else could go wrong, I have decided to embrace the fact that everything is going well and live in the moment. There is no sense in worrying or dreading the possible issues that may or may not arise during these first few months. Yes, it is an adjustment for all of us – but with Bryan by my side I know we will get through it all and time will continue to go by too fast. Before we know it, Conor will be as big as Lucy and we will miss the time when they were so little.

And there you have it, Conor’s birth story! I am hoping this article was able to reassure anyone with an upcoming scheduled c-section that they can go very smoothly, and soon enough you too will have your sweet bundle of baby in your arms!

To close, here is a photo collage of our hospital experience and first few days of Conor’s life:

love & lots of whit – jen xo

Recap: Months 0-3

Reflecting back on the first three months of Lucy’s life and also on how my life has changed since becoming a mommy!

Everyone always told me when I was pregnant that it goes by so fast, and I was always skeptical (especially during that first month of non-stop crying). I now realize everyone is absolutely right, it really does fly by. My once itty bitty newborn has almost doubled in weight and her non-stop crying has turned into non-stop irresistible smiles and happy squeals. I wanted to use this post to showcase Lucy’s first 3 months of life and also try to provide some insight as to what products were most useful during this time for any expecting mom-to-be’s out there!

0-1 Month: Small Victories

For me, the labor, delivery, and recovery process was extremely overwhelming in every aspect of the word (good and bad). Bryan coined the phrase “small victories” to help get us through. The idea behind the phrase was to be acknowledge the progress we made along the way and I can proudly say now that all of those small victories combined helped lead me to my greatest victory of all, motherhood.

Now that the labor and delivery process is behind us, I feel like I can share the condensed version of Lucy’s birth story. Lucy was super comfortable in the womb and didn’t want to come out on her own so 3 days past her due date, we scheduled to have her induced because she was measuring large and that increased the chance of complications. I spent 38.5 hours being induced with no sleep and only ice chips to eat. During those two days of induction there was a full moon and the labor and delivery wing was packed with women who had gone into labor! This was an exciting thing to hear, but because of the amount of people having babies none of the nurses were able to answer my calls for the most painful 5 hours I had ever endured before they could finally come in and give me an epidural. In order to pass the time, there happened to be an “I Love Lucy” marathon on television, so I tried to just focus on that instead of the pain. Unfortunately, the induction failed overall and it lead me to get a C-section. Even though I was physically exhausted, I was so happy to hear that I would soon get to see my baby girl and I was overcome with a new wave of energy and positivity. Bryan and I put on our surgery outfits and I was wheeled into the surgery room.

It all started out fine, I couldn’t feel a thing and Bryan and I were laughing and talking about golf as they started the process. All of a sudden I felt a painful pulling feeling and I could hear the doctor saying that she was stuck. Lucy was already so far down in my pelvis after being induced for so long that they couldn’t pull her out of the standard cut. It was then that I felt the most excruciating pain I had ever felt as they made a second cut upwards. I learned afterwards that the reason I felt so much pain was because the numbing stopped at my bellybutton so when they cut past that point there was no longer any sort of numbing medication. The last thing I remember hearing was that she was out and that it was 10:50 PM, and then it was a complete blur until a few hours later I woke up completely out of it and I remember thinking that I was dead. I then realized I was being handed my baby girl. What should have been an amazing moment of holding my baby for the first time, was full of anxiety as I couldn’t open my eyes and I felt terrified as I thought “why are they handing me her I don’t even know what is happening!” All I could do was ask Bryan if everything went okay and I heard his reassuring voice saying that she was perfect and in that moment that is all I focused on to get me through. Finally, after my blood pressure and temperature stabilized, we were taken to our hospital room where I was finally able to process what was going on and I saw my sweet baby Lucy finally and breathed a sigh of relief.

A few days later when we finally left the hospital it felt so great to be home and out of the hospital room without all of the nurses coming in every hour to check on mine and Lucy’s vitals. Unfortunately, the recovery process was no walk in the park. I was swollen from the waist down due to water retention from the surgery which made it difficult to walk. My cuts were healing and still caused me a lot of pain. I was limited to only taking stairs once per day and holding nothing heavier than Lucy. On top of that, I had a very hard time with breastfeeding. Those first few weeks I felt completely defeated. I felt like the worst mother ever because it was hard for me to care for Lucy since I could hardly even care for myself. Thankfully, Bryan handled most everything those first few weeks. All of Lucy’s diaper changes, all of the household chores, and he took care of Rooney. My mom also came the first week we were home during the day while Bryan was at work and she took care of Lucy and I and I couldn’t be more appreciative. We ended up camping out in the living room for 2.5 weeks while I recovered. Let me tell you, finally sleeping in our own bed again was one of our greatest small victories.

The remainder of that first month home continued to improve with each passing day. What once was a feeling of exhaustion, depression, and defeat was now turning into feelings of comfort, healing, and confidence.

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About Lucy this month:

Lucy LOVES eating, sticks her tongue out on cue, smiles at mommy and daddy, wears size 3-6 month clothing since 1 week, is very alert & attentive, lifts her head, has RED hair and blue eyes, loves bathtime, loves being held and rocked, sleeps 4-5 hours at a time at night!

2 Months: Hey this is E.A.S.Y.

Around the 2-month mark, Lucy and I began to figure it out. I never thought a baby was like a puzzle, but for me I had to literally try to figure out what to do piece by piece! Our days consisted of snuggling and lounging around the house with many feedings, diaper changes, and naps in between. After reading Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg, I realized the importance of schedule and routine and began following the E.A.S.Y. method. What this stands for is Eat – Activity – Sleep – You. I found a great description of the process here (credit Noob Mommy). Some common activities Lucy and I did were playing on play mats, practicing tummy time, playing peek-a-boo, taking Rooney to the basement to let him out to pee, and watching Calliou. You’d be surprised at just how entertaining these things could be for a 2 month old! Some common me time activities included watching movies on Netflix, doing the dishes, doing endless loads of laundry, and attempting to blog but then getting distracted by Amazon.com. It really is insane how little you can get done for yourself while you are caring for a newborn baby!

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About Lucy this month:

Lucy sleeps in her own bedroom, is SUPER chatty and happy when she wakes up in the morning, squeals when she is happy, can roll from her tummy to her back, likes kicking her feet when music is playing, is SUPER gassy, notices her brother Rooney and smiles at him, loves playing on her play mats and swatting at the toys, holds onto her hippo pacifier tight, likes to see herself in the mirror, sleeps 6-7 hour stretches at a time at night!

3 Months: Work/Life Balance

This past month, Lucy has really developed her own personality! She is constantly smiling and she “talks” to us non-stop. Staying at home with Lucy turned from something that was overwhelming at first into something I could see myself doing forever (if only I was able to). I returned back to work 2 weeks ago and the day we left Lucy with her daycare provider was one of the hardest days of my life. The second we dropped her off and walked out of the door I cried my eyes out. The rest of my commute was spent crying as well. Each day that passes gets a little bit easier, but I still spend a majority of my day thinking about how she is doing. Bryan and I are so lucky to have found such an amazing daycare provider for Lucy, so that has made this transition easier on us. Still, the absolute best part of the day is picking her up and being able to spend the evening with her. The second best part of the day is when I receive photo updates through texts from her provider (I’m a wee bit obsessed with my little one if you can’t tell)!

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About Lucy this month:

Lucy started going to daycare with Mrs. Lucy and loves all of her new friends (especially Gus), tries to stick both of her hands in her mouth at the same time, drools, is chatty, talkative, and sqeals all of the time, likes to yell for no reason and then smile, splashes in the bathtub, likes to lay on her back and put her feet as high in the air as possible, stares at her toes and wonders how to get them into her mouth, grabs at Rooney’s fur and tries to grab his face, smiles at herself in the mirror when she sees the “pretty baby”, grabs toys that are hanging down, can grab her pacifier and take it out of her mouth, likes watching soccer and golf with daddy and Calliou with mommy, sleeps 6-7 hour stretches at a time at night!

12 Items We Couldn’t Have Lived Without: Months 0-3

  1. Little Remedies – Gas Drops: These drops as well as the next two items were lifesavers for our VERY GASSY baby. From day one Lucy has had really bad gas pains and she would cry and cry until she was able to get the gas out! The gas drops contain the same active ingredient as Gas-X and give Lucy that extra push when trying to get that pain out of her tummy!
  2. Mother’s Bliss – Night Time Gripe Water: Life…Saver. We used this product for month 2-3 at bedtime and it helped Lucy get some much needed gas-free sleep.
  3. Dr. Brown’s Bottles: I originally registered for completely different bottles but once Lucy’s gas issues popped up I knew I needed to try to find a bottle that kept the air out while she drank. These bottles have a vent system that helps create a paced flow which in turn helps reduce any problems while feeding. Since we have switched to these bottles Lucy rarely spits up.IMG_9363.JPG
  4. Fisher-Price Rock and Play (auto-rocking): This is what Lucy has been sleeping in since we brought her home. We will be transitioning her to the crib within the next month or two, but for those first few months this was the ideal sleeping solution. The Rock and Play craddles baby more and the auto-rocking feature helps soothe her to sleep. We also have two other non-rocking versions of this, one of which we keep in the car to bring with us when we go out to family/friends homes, and the other stays down on the main level of the home for a safe place to place Lucy.
  5. Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddles: Any Muslin cotton swaddling blankets will do! Muslin cotton is a breathable and comfortable fabric. These blankets made it easy to use to swaddle baby safetly, plus the designs are all super adorable!
  6. Activity Mats (for different spots in the house): Around the 1 1/2 month mark Lucy started to enjoy activity mats. On these mats she practices tummy time and likes to swat at the different toys that hang down. Her two favorite mats here and here, have toys that hang down, lights, and music. All of those features really keep her stimulated and entertained.

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    Mesmerized by the lights and sound!
  7. Graco Pack n’ Play with changing station: We keep this on our main level and it proved to be one of the most useful items during my recovery process. Since I was unable to take stairs during the day I pretty much lived on the main level. Having a changing table on this floor made it easy to change all of those newborn diapers! Also, this particular version has really convenient shelves at the base which we store clothes and extra diapers in. I highly recommend setting up one of these BEFORE you go into labor so that it is all ready to go when you come home from the hospital!
  8. Diaper Champ: This bad boy sits right next to our changing table! It keeps the odors out of the house and unlike the Diaper Genie, this diaper holder uses any type of trash bag instead of special cartriges. It is a much more cost effective diaper pail and does just as good a job if not better at masking the odor.
  9. Soothie Pacifiers and Booginhead Pacigrip: When you are pregnant, one thing you seem to acquire a ton of are pacifiers. I must have had 10 different brands of pacifiers when Lucy was born but it turned out that the Soothie pacifier the hospital provided to us is the one that Lucy likes best. After we found that the pacifier was sometimes the only thing to stop Lucy from crying, we bought a ton of them just to make sure that we were never without this magic little mute button! Also, for some reason out of all of Lucy’s things, our dog Rooney is drawn to the pacifier the most and this has resulted in many a chewed up pacifier being found around the house. After about 2 months I found the Booginhead pacifier holders that can hold this brand of pacifier Since we bought one of these clips Lucy pretty much lives with a pacifier clipped on her outfit at all times.IMG_9371
  10. Lil’ Critters Soothing Starlight Hippo by Vtech: My sister gifted us this hippo for Lucy because she knows that hippo’s are my favorite animal and couldn’t resist. It turns out, that this is not only adorable sitting in the nursey, it is also extremely useful in our bedtime routine! During Lucy’s last bottle of the night we turn off the lights, sit on the glider, and turn on the hippo and it plays music and shines stars around the ceiling. Then once she is finished we can set her into her Rock and Play to go to sleep and she just stares up at the ceiling and watches the stares until she falls asleep. It has different time settings and also has a great setting that turns the hippo on automatically when baby starts crying in the night which helps to calm her down.
  11. Nose Frida: Who thought sucking boogies could be so much fun?! Around the one month mark, Lucy got her first runny nose. Of course as first time parents we were nervous and didn’t know how to help her so we called the pediatrician. They let us know that it was safe to suction out her nose to help clear her up so we finally were able to put the Nose Frida we received from our baby shower to use (thanks Jennie)! This thing makes getting the mucus out so easy and honestly, kinda fun! You take one end and place it in babies nose and the other end you put your mouth on and literally suck out the boogies. I was so grossed out by this at first because I thought they would get in my mouth – but this little tool uses a tube and filter to ensure that doesn’t happen. Best of all, Lucy LOVES it and always smiles after we use it!
  12. Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat: This seat has been incredibly useful during her third month! As Lucy grows, she wants to see more of the world around her and not always be laying on an activity mat. This seat is perfect for small babies to be able to sit up and observe. We used this seat in place of the Bumbo Floor Seat as we found Lucy hated sitting in the Bumbo.

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    Rooney loves her seat too because he can give her all the kisses he wants!

Again, let me re-state just how fast time is flying! I cannot believe Lucy is already three months old. It is crazy to think about all that is to come and what I will be able to talk about in just three more months when recap again!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

 

Sweetest Dreams Little One

We have FINALLY completed Lucy’s nursery! Please take a scroll through Lucy’s hippity hoppity nursery!

We have FINALLY completed Lucy’s nursery! What started as a very blue bedroom has now been transformed into Lucy’s gray, white, and pink bunny themed bedroom. Bryan made his striped accent wall vision come to life and we had brand new carpet installed throughout the house to give the room a much needed update. Please take a scroll through Lucy’s hippity hoppity nursery <3.

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Lucy’s Library
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Bunny prints from Sweet Melody Designs

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We restored this diaper cabinet which has been passed down through my family.

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Now, all that is missing is our sweet baby!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

Crib & Dresser: DaVinci Jayden(buybuyBaby)

Glider: KACY Collection Madison Glider – Ash (BabysRUs)

Bookcase: Dollhouse Kids Bookcase (Target)

Prints: Sweet Melody Designs (Etsy)

Bedding: Hop to It Crib Bedding (Land of Nod)

Paint: Cathedral Gray and Ultra Pure White (Behr)

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Oh yea, Rooney wanted to let you know that HE helped too!

6 Things I Learned about Pregnancy

Pregnancy has opened my eyes to a whole new world. The ups and downs of pregnancy have taught me more about my body and its capabilities then I have ever known were possible.

Pregnancy has opened my eyes to a whole new world. The ups and downs of pregnancy have taught me more about my body and its capabilities then I have ever known were possible. I wanted to continue my 6 Things I Learned (see first time house hunting, and home owning posts) series with a post about some of the information that I have learned over the last 37 weeks of being pregnant for the first time.

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  1. Give me all the FOOD!…except orange juice, spicy food, tomatoes, garlic, or anything with any hint of flavor. I will say I am VERY fortunate to not have had morning sickness during my pregnancy. In the beginning of my pregnancy I used this to my advantage and literally ate everything imaginable and was able to justify it for some reason in my head as just being a “pregnancy craving” or  “for the baby”. Top cravings this pregnancy: avocados, hot fudge sundaes, Cheetos, baked potatoes, giant chocolate chip cookies, and strawberry Pop-Tarts. SUPER healthy right? Now as I am nearing the end, there are a lot of foods that I cannot eat without getting heartburn, gas, and acid reflux like whoa so my diet mainly consists of previously mentioned craving foods accompanied with a side of Tums and Gas-X. TMI?
  1. I’m sorry I must have dozed off for a second. Pregnancy and tiredness went hand in hand for me since day one. The first trimester was by far the most noticeable as far as my energy level went. I will call these my granny days. I would make it through my 10-hour day at work (barely), come home and eat something quick for dinner, and then be sound asleep by about 6:30 PM. Second trimester everyone tells you that you are likely to get more energy, which I will admit that I did…but I was still generally tired. My advice for any future moms-to-be: USE THE 2ND TRIMESTER WISELY! Get as much done while you have the energy because in the third trimester the tiredness takes over once again. As I am coming towards the end of my third trimester, the sleepiness has returned and most of that is in part to not being able to sleep straight for more than 2 hours before being awaken to go to the bathroom, getting a killer leg cramp, or from having a crazy pregnancy dream! Yes, pregnancy dreams are a real thing, I woke up freaking out one night after I had just given birth to a 5-year-old child.
  1. My body is now Lucy’s body. I never thought I would lose control of my body, but our sweet baby Lucy has absolutely taken over!  I won’t get TOO in depth with this, but just know that things I never thought could change are now completely unrecognizable. They say most everything will go back to how it was pre-pregnancy so I just hold to that hope. In the meantime, I watch in wonder at how the female body changes itself to become the perfect host for baby.

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  1. Maternity clothes are my favorite thing about pregnancy. Okay, okay, so growing my little miracle is my actual favorite part, but maternity clothing is right up there! I inherited my sister and sister-in-law’s entire maternity wardrobes from their previous pregnancies. They both have wonderful taste and had cold-weather, seasonally appropriate clothing, so I was very fortunate to not have to invest a lot of money into a whole new wardrobe. I can’t say enough about how amazingly comfortable cinched shirts and maternity pants with elastic bands that go all the way past your belly button are. I don’t know how I will ever want to go back to wearing clothing that I have to worry about bending over and showing skin. On special occasions when I wanted to treat myself to a new dress, PinkBlush was my go-to online boutique. I found my baby shower dress here as well as the dress I wore for my maternity photo shoot which I will be posting soon. Their maternity line is not only adorable, but it is also very affordable and the quality is superb! In the photos on this post you can see my latest find from PinkBlush. I am wearing their Draped Pocket Maternity Dress in teal which I found to be perfect for the “it’s almost spring” weather we had this weekend.
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Dress: PinkBlush | Draped Pocket Maternity Dress in teal
  1. Support systems are everything. From our family and friends helping in any way they can, to my coworkers who offer to help me each day at work as my belly grows and grows, the support we have had these past 37 weeks is out of this world. Another less conventional support system I have found throughout this experience has been online “mommy boards”. It is so comforting talking to other women who are due the same month as you because you know that you are going through all of the same symptoms and stages of pregnancy together. It’s nice to be able to talk to them about all my thoughts, questions, concerns, fabulous baby supply coupon finds, etc. and give my husband a break from hearing about pregnancy 24/7. Speaking of my husband…Bryan has been my savior throughout pregnancy. From running out to fulfill late night food cravings (extra hot fudge on that sundae please), to putting on my socks and shoes in the morning, and everything in between, he has helped more than I’m sure he even knows and I feel so unbelievably lucky. These past few weeks especially as I can no longer stand or walk around without getting out of breath or having crazy aches and pains, he has been cleaning like there’s no tomorrow, taking care of our dog who just sprained his leg, and setting up all of our baby gear and furniture like a pro (except maybe the installation of the baby gates which almost ended up getting thrown off the deck in frustration). They say that in a marriage your love for your spouse will grow every day and throughout this pregnancy I have learned that this is true. I love him in a whole new way and I see how seriously he takes his vows to be there for me through it all. I can’t even imagine what kind of love I will experience when I see him hold our daughter for the first time.
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Hubby took these photos of me but first I had to test the lighting and he was my model, hehe…(don’t kill me, babe!)
  1. As much as I may have complained along the way, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Pregnancy and welcoming a new life into the world is truly a miracle. In just three weeks or less we will be welcoming Lucy into our family and I couldn’t feel more overjoyed. As hard as some of the aspects of pregnancy are on me physically and mentally, it is something I continue to thank God for every day.

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love & lots of whit – jen xo

We Love Lucy

This past weekend I attended my one-of-a-kind, extraordinary, family- and friends-filled, I Love Lucy themed, baby shower!

This past weekend I attended my one-of-a-kind, extraordinary, family- and friends-filled, I Love Lucy themed, baby shower! Together, my sister, mother, and mother-in-law (with help from other family members) planned the best shower I could have ever imagined. As you may remember in our name-revealing post, Bryan and I are naming our daughter-to-be, Lucy. Using one of my favorite TV shows, I Love Lucy, as the inspiration behind the baby showers theme was a no brainer! The creativity my family had in executing the theme was represented perfectly in the décor, games, and food.

The favors at the shower were grape juice and chocolates which go hand-in-hand with two of the most popular I Love Lucy episodes, ‘Job Switching’ and ‘Lucy’s Italian Movie’. There was a game to take the most creative Instagram photo using one of many photo props such as a chocolate conveyor belt, a grape stomping tub, and an insert your face here baby that my sister painted! In addition, there was a banner that hung over the main entry way which said “We’re having a baby, my baby and me” and throughout the rest of the space the lyrics to the full song that was sang by Ricky to Lucy on the ‘Lucy is Enceinte’ episode were displayed.

Even the food played on the I Love Lucy theme with the adorable punch bowl with the “Vitameatavegamin” signage from the episode ‘Lucy Does a TV Commercial’. Various finger foods were set up for guests to enjoy as well as an adorably pink cake and heart shaped cookies.

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Just call us Lucy & Ethel!
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A preview of what Lucy is going to look like if she takes after her Daddy…

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Adorable diaper cake made by my sister-in-law!

My fabulous shower planners came up with a ton of great shower game ideas which you will see some of pictured below! They were original and I hadn’t ever seen any of them done before. My FAVORITE game was one that required each guest to make a baby out of Play-Doh. Near the end of the shower I was tasked with choosing my top two favorite Play-Doh babies! Another game was called “Tinkle in the Pot” which simulated being pregnant. Guests had to hold a balloon in front of their belly, place a ping-pong ball between their knees (to create a waddle), and then rush to a jar placed on the ground as fast as possible to drop the ball. Let’s just say I was a pro at this game because I waddle daily! There was also a calendar displayed on the wall where guests had to guess the date, time, weight, and length of baby-to-be (details on who wins that game will be decided once Lucy decides to show up)! At one point during the shower for another game, each guest was given a sign with a photo of young Bryan and young Jennifer on each side and asked questions to determine “What Kid Was It?” Our mom’s came up with a lot of great memories about each of us that stumped many of the guests!

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“Tinkle in the Pot” Game

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This kid poured a full baby powder bottle into their crib and covered themselves from head to toe.
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This kid’s first word ever was “clock”.

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Here is where I THANK EVERYONE again that made it to the shower and made me, Bryan, and Lucy feel so LOVED. Between the words of wisdom and advice, the adorable books that helped to build Lucy’s library, the mountain of gifts, and the genuine excitement and support from our family and friends – our little growing family could not feel more blessed. To anyone who was not able to attend or who we were unable to invite, we also thank all of you for your kind words as we have started this journey into parenthood.

Lastly, the loudest THANK YOU to my sister, mom, and mother-in-law, grandma, dad, step-dad(s), step-mom, brother and anyone else I am missing, who all came together to put this shower together. The memories from the day will live on forever and I cannot wait for Lucy to have you all in her life!

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My mom, sister, and I
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My mother-in-law and I
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Bryan and Grandma

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love & lots of whit – jen xo

Fall Family Party Turned SURPRISE Gender Reveal Party

One unsuspecting day in October, we invited our parents, Bryan’s grandma, and my brother to come to a “Fall Party” at our home. It just so happened to coincide directly with when we would be finding out the gender of our little one! I couldn’t let the surprise factor go to waste so this post will highlight our “Fall Party” turned SURPRISE “Gender Reveal Party”.

One unsuspecting day in October, we invited our parents, Bryan’s grandma, and my brother to come to a “Fall Party” at our home. We had been wanting to have all of our parents over for quite some time to show them our gratitude and thanks for everything they do for us. It just so happened to coincide directly with when we would be finding out the gender of our little one! I couldn’t let the surprise factor go to waste so this post will highlight our “Fall Party” turned SURPRISE “Gender Reveal Party”.

To start, Bryan and I prepared a ton of home-cooked food for our family. I was able to bust out my fall decor and pretty dishes and light all my fall scented candles. Bryan was the master chef of the day, and prepared pretty much all of the food. We had an assortment of amazing appetizers which included antipasto kabobs, shrimp, buffalo chicken dip, veggies, and deviled pumpkin eggs. For the main course Bryan made an amazing apple cider pulled pork with apple coleslaw, homemade crab mac & cheese, and salad.

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Antipasto Kabobs
Bryan's famous deviled eggs, Halloween style!
Bryan’s famous deviled eggs, Halloween style!
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Homemade Crab Mac & Cheese
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Apple Cider Pulled Pork Station
Pumpkin Dip
Pumpkin Pie Dip

Between appetizers and the main course, we decided to use that time to surprise our parents. We had originally told them all that we were unable to get an appointment to find out the gender until the following week. This little white lie seemed to work. I then set up a “Guess the Gender” station where I instructed everyone to pour champagne into a pink or blue flute and whichever color they chose would represent their guess as to what baby’s gender would be. To aid in their decision, I also made an “Old Wives Tale: Gender Predictor” chart that showed some of the symptoms I was experiencing where the underlined word represented what the old wives tale said about the symptom.

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Once everyone casted their votes (about 20 minutes later…it was a tough choice!) we took group photos so that we would have “evidence” of who was right and wrong. Bryan and I casted our votes too. On the morning before the appointment we made sure to each cast our OFFICIAL guess so that we would be able to participate in the fun.

Team Boy vs. Team Girl
Team Boy vs. Team Girl
Wouldn't ya know it, Rooney even decided to place a guess!
Wouldn’t ya know it, Rooney even decided to place a guess!

After all of the guesses were made, we had another part of the plan in order to surprise the family. Bryan took Rooney downstairs to the basement to go outside to take care of his business…and when Rooney came upstairs he delivered the news with a balloon that was tied to his collar! Here is a video of exactly what happened!

The party was a great success and we enjoyed spending time with our family! After the party was over we made sure to call Bryan’s dad in Florida to let him in on our big news! To our family near and far: we love you all so much & are so grateful to have you in our lives! Here are a few more pictures from the party:

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its a girl

A few days later we announced the gender on social media to the rest of our family and friends. Since Rooney had already done so well announcing at the party, we let him do the honors on Facebook too!

rooney girl

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Beautiful flowers from Grandma!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

Birthday Pumpkin Pickin’

Having a birthday in October has meant that birthday’s past have been full of seasonal fun – from Halloween themed parties, Oktoberfests, Renaissance Festivals, and oh yea… those have all included celebratory seasonal pumpkin beer! This year, with the new little addition on the way, I had to find a way to celebrate that was a little more low key.

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday! Having a birthday in October has meant that birthday’s past have been full of seasonal fun – from Halloween themed parties, Oktoberfests, Renaissance Festivals, and oh yea… those have all included celebratory seasonal pumpkin beer! This year, with the new little addition on the way, I had to find a way to celebrate that was a little more low key.

The perfect solution was a trip to the pumpkin patch to enjoy hayrides, feeding the piglets, and enjoying the crisp fall day. Here are a few photos we took while trying to find our perfect pumpkins.

So many choices!

Belly Pumpkin

Pumpkin Batch Pump
I think my belly size might have this tiny pumpkin beat!
Pumpkin Bryan
We lugged this giant pumpkin around for a while, that thing weighed a ton!

love & lots of whit – jen xo