Nolie’s Birth Story 

Thursday May 11th:

Thursday I woke up relatively calm. I had an ultrasound at 1pm and an appointment at Baby and Company at 2:30 to go over the results. We needed the ultrasound because they thought Nolie was breeched. If she was breeched we could try an inversion over the next few weeks. However if that failed, we would be transferred from our birth center into the care of Vanderbilt for a C section. (Baby and Company as a rule does not handle complicated pregnancies, and this definitely qualified).

I had been extremely emotional, however that morning I woke up calm. I just knew in my heart that she had flipped! I spent the morning doing the usual and then Michael took me to lunch at one of my favorites, Chuy’s. We went to the ultrasound and she was perfectly positioned! I was so happy. We celebrated with ice cream and then headed to Baby & Company. The appointment started out great. We all celebrated her flip. However, suddenly everything changed. We mentioned some weird symptoms I was having and all of the sudden I was hearing words like“preeclampsia” and “emergency transfer”. 

They quickly started drawing blood and asking for samples. I was told that if I had it, we would almost definitely be sent to Vanderbilt the next day to be induced. We scheduled our appointment to check back in and they told us to bring our hospital bag.

That night we spent wandering around our house trying to stay calm. We both tried to come to grips with the fact that we could be having a baby in a few hours. We also tried to hold on to the fact that everything could be fine, so we shouldn’t get too worked up. (Guess how easy it is for a very hormonal, very pregnant woman to stay rational…)

Friday May 12:

I barely slept a wink, but Friday morning I still felt like I had ample energy. I couldn’t sit still! I did all the laundry and dishes in the house. I swept and mopped. I vacuumed and scrubbed. My house was spotless and it was only 9am. I went to the chiropractor and then to get my nails done. Finally, it was time to go to the doctors. When we got there our midwife came out to greet us. She informed us she wasn’t going to be the one meeting with us, but wanted to say hi. In my head I immediately thought, this is an indicator that I have it.

The woman who came to take us back had a Vanderbilt badge. In my mind I thought another indicator. At this point I finally gave in and let myself believe that it was happening. She had me lay down and said she would be back in ten minutes to check my blood pressure.

When she came back she checked and it was high. However, she also informed me that my preliminary labs came back clean! AKA no baby that day! To be honest, I was a little disappointed. After spending the whole night imagining what holding my baby would feel like it was hard to hear we still had almost four weeks to go. Michael was disappointed too, but he was adorably happy. He probably had a better mindset- he was just rejoicing that I was healthy! They asked for one more sample so they could run another test, but told me to just go about life normally and not to over do it.

Saturday May 13th:

Saturday was hard. I woke up sad because I thought I would have my baby. I also still had to waddle to the bathroom every hour, which was now becoming one of my biggest sources of frustration. We spent the day unpacking the car and running errands. It was so weird but the house felt incredibly empty.

Sunday May 14th: 

Sunday was Mother’s Day!! After spending Saturday dealing with all of my emotions I finally felt better. Michael gave me the sweetest day (you can read about it here). About ten minutes after I published that post we headed down to the pool. Michael took a nap and I played solitaire. Then I braved the chilly water and wadded around. The weightlessness of the water felt AMAZING on my back. And the cold water gave me so much relief in my feet. When it was finally time to head home we gathered our stuff. I checked my phone and I had a voicemail. It was our midwife.
She had asked me to call her back to discuss my final lab results. I called and she informed me that there was a problem with protein in my urine. Over the phone we were told that at this point I would not be allowed to deliver at the birth center. She asked if I was having any severe symptoms and if I felt we should go into Vanderbilt today. I wasn’t, so we scheduled for me to come in Monday to discuss the transfer process and to check my blood pressure again.  I hung up the phone in shock. I wasn’t sure what I was hearing. She made reference to inducing in the next week or so.

Emotionally I just felt numb. I think the on and off of the last two weeks had left me drained! We made a few calls, but decided not to deal with any of it until we had more information.

Monday May 15th:

Monday I woke up bright and early. My stomach was in knots. I just didn’t know how to feel! I didn’t want to get myself worked up, but the uncertainty of everything has really taken its toll. I waddled around the house cleaning up. (I figured if they put me in bed rest at least my house would be clean). Then I went and sat beside the pool to soak up some sunshine. Finally it was time to leave for my appointment.

At the appointment they informed me that I did have preeclampsia. They told me I was now a higher risk and couldn’t deliver there, but would be transferred to Vanderbilt. They scheduled me for a more in depth ultrasound Thursday morning and then an appointment with the Vanderbilt midwives that afternoon to officially complete the transfer process. We were told to bring our go bag again with us Thursday because the ultrasound results would set the stage for what day they induced. They said they like to induce as soon as baby is full term, and I would be full term – 37 weeks- this Wednesday. (The day before that appointment). Once again I was faced with a lot of uncertainty!

After the appointment I made my way over to Vanderbilt’s OB/Maternity ward. My dad came with me since Michael needed to be at work! He had called ahead and asked if someone could give us an unofficial tour. We walked around and then he bought me ice cream. What a good dad!

Tuesday May 16th: 

Restless does not even begin to explain how I felt when I woke up and realized I would have no more information about baby girl for two days! However, it was Michael and I’s two year wedding anniversary. So I did have that to celebrate! Michael had to work so I spent the entire day by the pool with a friend.

That night Michael let me pick dinner – I chose the Cheesecake Factory. I had been craving cheesecake for WEEKS, but had been trying to stay on my healthy eating. However, this seemed like a great excuse to cheat. We had a whole evening planned, but I felt really weird and tired so we ended up eating dinner and taking the cheesecake to go.

Even though we just went home, I don’t think I would have traded those peaceful moments with my sweet husband for anything.

Wednesday May 17th: 

Wednesday was perfect. I woke up and did some work and then met Sophie at the pool around eleven. We ordered lunch poolside and spent the afternoon day dreaming about our perfect little babies! We headed home around four and I showered. Michael was going out to dinner with a friend so I settled in for a quiet night. I made my dinner (peas and cheesecake- hey I was pregnant!) and started my Netflix binge. Around seven I started feeling weird again. I had a slight headache, but nothing major. I don’t know why, but suddenly I found myself calling the midwife. I told her when she answered that I wasn’t super worried but I did feel a little off. I remember even saying that since I had an appointment the next day that I was just updating her. She didn’t seem concerned at all, but said to be safe to run to one of the clinics by my house and check my blood pressure.

So I ran across the street. As instructed, I sat for a good ten minutes just breathing before taking it. The result was 176/119. The machine popped up a warning saying to go to the emergency room immediately. Surely, I thought, this was a mistake. I took it again three separate times over 45 minutes. Deep breathing between each time. I think I was in denial, so there I was yoga breathing and stretching in the corner of the clinic. My best result was still a 168/116. (185/120 at worst). I text the midwife and she called me back to say she let Vanderbilt know I was coming in. She said bring your husband and your go bag! I called Michael and he headed home.

I waddled around the house getting things ready. I finished the laundry just in time! When he got home we packs the car and headed down! We had to check into the emergency room, which at first was really intimidating. However, I ran into a friendly face from my dad’s church! My youth leaders husband was the one who triaged us! Then we got the okay to head upstairs.  When we got up they said they were very busy. Four women had arrived to the labor unit within ten minutes before me!

However, everyone seemed super calm. Honestly, it felt a little like they thought I was an over reacting young pregnant woman. (Michael and I laughing and smiling probably didn’t help- but we were nervous!) However, when they took my blood pressure the nurse got a lot more serious. They hooked me up to monitor baby, my contractions, and then a machine that took my blood pressure every fifteen minutes. Someone else came in and said we were inducing. And within an hour and a half we had a room and they were coming in to make a plan.


Thursday May 18th:

At midnight we began the pitocin. We were incredibly lucky in that when we arrived I was already dilated to a 2.5 and 70% effaced! So I didn’t have to take any medications to soften my cervix and we could just jump right in to the pitocin. She said that I would probably not feel any contractions for a while, but after thirty minutes it felt like my worst cramps. I labored from midnight until 11am. Then they came in to talk about an epidural. Apparently, they help lower blood pressure (mine was still dangerously high). Michael and I talked about it and we decided that even though I was terrified of the idea, that we would try it. Also, the fact they said I could have another DAY or so of labor was not very appealing. (Especially since I was experiencing what the nurse called back labor). At Baby and Company you can walk around and cope. I was hooked up to so much machinery I could barely sit up! All my ideas about pain management were not attainable.

Our amazing nurse, Vanessa, said she would get her favorite, Justin, to be our anastesiologist. He was a bright, happy man and put us at ease! There was a little concern because apparently the space where they put epidurals was incredibly small and tight in me compared to most people’s. But we got everything set up and we were good to go! Then I got my catheter. Michael laughed but that was the BEST part. The past nine or so months I’ve had to go to the bathroom at least once an hour. And while I was laboring that cut down to maybe thirty minutes. The problem was that I was hooked up to a lot of stationary machinery. I know the nurses were sick of coming in and helping me because one taught me how to unplug everything and said she couldn’t keep coming back in. (Embarrassing!!!) I was so thirsty, but I felt like I needed to limit my intake so I wasn’t constantly trying to to get to the bathroom.The second that catheter was in I drank an entire bottle of water and I was never so happy!!! Catheters rock. No shame!

Everything went smoothly until around 3pm. All of the sudden I could start feeling my contractions again and they were getting stronger and stronger! I let the nurse know and she called anesthesia team. We spent the next painful hour watching a lot of very confused faces and having them poke me asking if I could feel things. (The answer was yes. And mostly IN MY UTERUS). After a while they started something new in one of my IVs and said it was “the stronger stuff.” I don’t know what that means and I didn’t care to ask. After several hours of feeling nothing to suddenly feeling my labor I was so tired!! Thirty minutes later it was working a lot better. They gave me a button and said push it until it “won’t give you anymore!” I could still feel my contractions, but they were incredibly dulled- back to feeling like cramps. My own medical mystery, I guess!

Michael and I played some phase ten until around six. The midwife came in and said that when she checked me during the epidural event around 4pm, I was fully effaced but still not very dilated. She said she suspected that the baby wasn’t coming until Friday. Our nurse agreed and said if we got lucky maybe early morning. I was stuck at 5cm dilated. I asked if Michael should go get food now then. I could hear his stomach and I was in good shape. They said he had plenty of time! So I got my sodoku book out and Michael headed downstairs to the Caf. About twenty or thirty minutes later my nurse came in and I asked her to help me roll over. She started to when she suddenly gasped. She asked if I heard that pop? I said no, and she pulled back my blankets. Apparently my water had burst!! (Side note, she said she’s never heard one pop and the midwife later told us that in her several decade long career she’s only heard an audible pop twice before. How cool!!) It had “exploded” and sprayed everywhere.

She looked up and excitedly asked where Michael was. I told her he was at dinner, and asked why. She happily, and a little frantically said, “Because I see her head!”

At 6:46pm I called Michael and told him to run. By the time he got upstairs they had everything set up, a nurse was holding one leg up and instructing him to grab the other. According to our nurse, Vanessa, at 6:58pm we started pushing (she was laughing because the first thing she told me when we met was she didn’t deliver babies after 6:45pm because shift change was at 7pm and that is too difficult. Oh the irony). I pushed for 32 minutes and at 7:29pm our gorgeous baby girl was born.  (The average first time mom statistically pushes two to three hours so I was so lucky!! That was seriously not a fun part).

They later told me she would have come out faster, but she had her little fist balled up against her cheek! They immediately put her on my chest and for a few seconds I couldn’t see anything else. She was so perfect.

However, I was pulled back into reality when the NICU team came in. Suddenly, I could hear people saying she’s not screaming. Someone kept giving time, like they were watching a stop watch. They took her from me and suddenly she was lost in a sea of people. My nurse must have seen my panic. She told me Nolie was pinking up and had a great pulse, but they just needed her to make noise. All I remember is closing my eyes and in a whisper repeating the only prayer I could think of. “Dear God, please don’t take my baby away from me.” It feels like I laid there for hours- closing my eyes, praying with my entire soul, and straining my ears to hear that cry. After several minutes we got a whimper and then finally a scream. I’ve never felt so much relief in my life. I don’t know if anything could ever feel that scary to me as those moments.

When I was finally holding that sweet baby girl in my arms again I couldn’t comprehend how much I love her. She immediately latched on and I just stared at this perfect little person. I don’t even remember what happened until the next day. I just couldn’t stop staring and kissing her!

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// Enolia’s first picture! //
The next few days were incredibly stressful.  I was discharged Saturday morning, but baby girl had some more health concerns. They found us a “family room” to sleep in while she was a patient. Those were painful hours.  We were finally released Sunday afternoon, with appointments already scheduled for Monday morning.  However, I was just so happy we got to go home. She is doing okay now! Nolie is still jaundice and is losing too much weight (jaundice makes her sleepy, she won’t eat, it’s a bad cycle!) so any prayers would be appreciated.

Anyways. That’s how I met my baby.  ❤

 

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// Dress & Bow: CharlieandWill 

Mother’s Day 2017

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Mother’s Day… it’s so weird that I am, for all intents and purposes, a mother!! This is partly my day! We are less than four weeks away from meeting this sweet baby girl. Then I will “officially” be a momma! However, we definitely embraced 2017! Michael went above and beyond in his efforts to make me feel special. It was incredibly kind and honestly, needed. This pregnancy is kicking my butt. Seriously.

He started Saturday when we got a packaged delivered. It had three beautiful flower arrangements! (Michael said “I couldn’t choose between these… so I got them all!”). Besides being gorgeous and sweet, they also have an interesting story. The flowers are from a company called The BOUQS Company. This company aims to help small farms grow! You place your order and they are cut that day from their partner list. All of the farms on the list practice sustainable, eco friendly farming. Then they are shipped that same day. This eliminates the waste of other shops that have to throw away one out of every three stems they cut. So my flowers came from a farm in Venezuela. Isn’t that neat!? I was so impressed that Michael took the time to find something unique. I love supporting those sorts of efforts.

This morning was perfect. Michael brought out another Mother’s Day surprise. He had bought my first piece of “mom” jewelry!! I couldn’t help but tear up when he brought out that little blue bag! It is a Tiffany & Co beaded bracelet with a charm engraved with “mom.” It’s beyond adorable.

 

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We then spent the morning with my mom and siblings.  Then we headed off to lunch of my choosing! (To be honest, Michael had made reservations downtown, but I’m pregnant and all I could think of was a sonic ocean water hahaha.  So we cancelled the reservations and I got my soda). 

Now we are about to head down to the pool to enjoy the sunshine.  I am so thankful for my sweet sweet husband who made today so special.  I love you very very much.  

Pantry Organization 

There are few things more satisfying to me than finding the perfect way to organize a space. A couple of weeks ago while Michael was gone I had a total success story!

 I had decided to do some hard core grocery shopping. I wanted to stock up on non perishables. I actually made a list and divided it by what store carried it. I had my Walmart, Aldi’s, Kroger, and Publix list. (Super perk of living in Providence is that all of these stores are less than a mile away from my front door). When I got home I felt SO accomplished… until I realized that my pantry was not prepared to store all of my stockpiling! I immediately headed to Pinterest.

 
The end result, I bought a plastic door hanging shoe divider ($8.97 on Amazon). It now houses all of the snacks and non perishable desserts that I bought! I also rearranged a few things and made use of the plastic storage containers we bought when we were engaged. I am so happy with how it turned out! It saved me a remarkable amount of space and it’s all organized. I’m so thrilled!

Goodbye to Billy Goat Cafe 

I can’t believe today marked my very last day working behind the bar at Billy Goat Coffee Cafe. I started there as a high school student back in 2012 … and boy has my life changed since!! Next weekend I graduate from Trevecca Nazarene University, and then in a few weeks I’m having a sweet baby girl. It just doesn’t seem real.       

       

Even though I’m so excited for the crazy, new adventures to come, it’s also sad. I’m so thankful for the community I have found. I’m grateful for the families I’ve gotten to know and the relationships I have formed. I’m grateful for the emotional moments I’ve gotten to be a part of, for the laughter I’ve shared, and for every minute that made me who I am today. 

      

When I first starting working here in 2012 I would have never guessed that I would meet my husband inside. I wouldn’t have guessed that I would work there through three sets of owners. I wouldn’t have guessed I was going to find a family in the regulars I got to know. I never would have guessed how hard it would be to leave either, but here we are. Goodbye BG. You’ve changed my life forever. Thank you everyone who made it so special!! It truly feels like leaving a home.  

     


//Tank: Old Navy Maternity // Maternity Jeans: Target // Sandals: Old Navy 

Nolie’s Nursery 

I can’t believe this week puts us at only seven weeks away from meeting our baby girl!! (Well, according to her “guess date”). Everything is basically ready and now all I can do is wait!! Meanwhile, her sweet nursery is only missing one thing- her!!

I have put a lot of thought and meaning into decorating it and I just can’t wait. I hope she can feel the love.  In case you missed it, we had a total blast restoring my childhood dresser, creating a matching mirror, and putting together a little craft to hang! We also have a piece hanging from our wedding above her bed!

//Changing Pad Cover: Little Unicorn (it can also be found at Spearmint LOVE, where you get free shipping & 10% off your first order)!

// Sheets: Little Unicorn  (it can also be found at Spearmint LOVE, where you get free shipping & 10% off your first order)!

// Ballerina: Target // Pillow: Target // Elephant: Target



I am so so excited to meet this little angel. She is all I can think about! I am going crazy with anticipation! 

The Southern of Nashville

Last weekend Michael, Steph, Virginia, and I went and had brunch downtown. Michael has been begging try out the brunch at The Southern. I am really not a breakfast girl so i’ve been putting it off. However, with two other breakfast lovers in the house that weekend I decided it was finally time to try it! Michael was of course, beyond happy.

The Southern is located on Third Ave South. I was worried about parking (I really hate parking downtown), but there is complimentary valet for customers! That was so smart of them. It made it so convenient! Another convenience factor is you can make reservations ahead of time, so no wait line. (I seriously would make a reservation if you can! We saw a ton of people waiting for tables).

The atmosphere itself was cute. I loved the decor and the waitstaff was incredibly friendly for 10am. We all ordered a variety of things from the brunch menu so that everyone could try each other’s food. Michael tried the Steak and Biscuit Benedict, I ordered the Hot Cakes, and then we also got an appetizer called S.O.S.- Two buttermilk biscuits with country ham gravy. Steph and Gia ordered Chocolate Chip Hot Cakes to split, then Gia got the Southern Fried Egg Sandwich, and Steph got Crab Cake Hash. Everyone seemed to love everything. I know my Hot Cakes were fabulous… I literally scrapped the plate clean!


The wait wasn’t too bad either. The only less than great thing was the bathrooms. They have the weirdest sinks ever! There is no basin, it’s just like a slightly tilted piece of marble. I understand the concept. The water is just supposed to run to the back of the marble where there is a drain. However, really just water and soap is flying everywhere. Also, I’m so short and my belly is so huge that I was having to press up against the counter to reach the faucet, getting my shirt seriously wet. Stylish in theory, but not the most functional sink i’ve ever seen.

Overall, I would definitely recommend trying it! I’ve had lunch there before and it was fabulous, but I have a feeling Michael will want to go back for brunch soon!

My Inspired Help Baby Shower

If you’re a follower of my blog, you’ve heard me mention a local event planning company, Inspired Help. Inspired Help was the genius behind our GORGEOUS wedding style shoot. (Also, our wedding invitations). The main amazing woman behind the company is Brittany. She just so happens to be married to Michael’s best friend- making her Aunt Brittany to our soon to come baby girl!!

Brittany is one of the most creative, talented people I know. So when she offered to throw our shower I was THRILLED. I sent her some Pinterest pins of things I like and told her I 100% trusted her.
Brittany handled the invitations and all the decorations, so my mom only had to prepare the food and one of my “sisters,” Virginia, prepared a game. (She brought Polaroid film and had people write Nolie a letter to open on her 18th birthday.  Then they included a photo of what they looked like that day). It was so nice for us not to have to worry about any of it! I had zero concerns because I know Brittany never doesn’t anything less than excellent.
Saturday morning I was so excited I couldn’t sleep at all. I literally laid in bed for three hours waiting for an acceptable time to wake Michael up. The morning was spent at my moms house getting ready and prepping some small things like fruit salad. When it finally came time to go over to the clubhouse I was so excited! Everything was beautiful. Brittany had created a gorgeous space with vases and cases of my favorite flowers!! Everyone commented on how beautiful it was.
So many of our friends and family were able to come to and they showered us in so much love. It was actually really overwhelming. I am so blessed and I am so thankful that our little girl will grow up with so much support!!


If you have any event planning needs, you seriously should look into Inspired Help. Brittany and her team are the most hard working, creative, detail oriented people I know. You will love it!!

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Balloons: LovelyPartyStudio // Dress: Ross // Shoes: Aldo’s // Michael’s Shirt: J. Crew // Michael’s Jeans: Lucky // Michael’s Boots: Levi // Flower Crown: Hand made by Brittany

(All photos by Sophie Davison Photography)