Monday, October 6, 2014

Baby Hugh // Birth Story

I can NOT believe it has already been a month since our little baby Hugh was born! I have been so anxious to write his birth story on here and post some photos that were taken that day but I've been a little busier with cuddling, feeding & loving this babe these days (and nights), so this was put on the back-burner for a bit. Now here's to hoping this baby sleeps long enough for me to finish ;)

Let me start by saying that our prayers were definitely heard that weekend when Hugh was born. Cam had booked a wedding for Saturday, August 30th, and because we only have one car I was really not wanting to stay in Logan alone so I made a really risky choice and decided to head to the wedding in Salt Lake with him for the day. I said a little prayer that I wouldn't go into labor and really wasn't too worried seeing as how I had no real signs of labor quite yet and had just had a Dr. appointment and nothing had changed significantly...(still dilated to a 2+, 90% effaced). Cam wrapped up the wedding around 9pm and we made it back to Logan around 11:30pm that night. 

I had been feeling a little back pain that Saturday but I just assumed that it was because I had been on my feet almost all day long. I wasn't feeling too comfy sleeping in my last days of pregnancy and woke up pretty often with back pain so when I woke up Sunday morning at 5:30am, I thought I was just feeling some more of the pain from the day before and just from trying to sleep with a giant belly, haha! I hopped in the bath, which usually helped my muscles relax, but this time was different. I got out and felt like my pain was getting worse. That's when it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, I was having contractions. I pulled out my handy dandy pregnancy app which happened to have an awesome contraction timer on it and started to track my contractions. They were pretty manageable and far apart at this point. It wasn't until about 6:45 that they really started kicking in. At that point I was feeling pretty excited so I woke Cam up to tell him that I was pretty sure I was in labor. 

Cam and I had both heard from a lot of people that you should avoid going to the hospital until absolutely necessary and I was all for that plan (I really really hate hospitals) so we tried to fill our morning and keep busy. The morning sun was shining through our windows and it was a beautiful morning so we took some photos/video around the house, I got ready for the day because I wasn't so sure when the next time I would be able to actually do so would be—and let me just say, curling your hair can be pretty tricky when you're mid-contraction, haha—, and then, around 11, we ran out of stuff to do so we decided to turn on a movie. And what better movie to hold off time than good, old, 3 hour long Titanic?

I found that sitting was my worst enemy when it came to contractions for two reasons. 1: it made them 100x more painful and 2: it instantly slowed down labor. Like.. a lot! So I paced pretty much the entire movie (and day) and hollered at Cam for almost every contraction so that he could help me breathe through them and massage my back with tennis balls. By the end of the movie I was having trouble talking through contractions and had to really start focusing on breathing. 

Cam was the BEST coach. From the moment I woke up he was putting those Lamaze breathing and coaching techniques that we learned to great practice (little did he know, he would be a pro by the end of the day...poor Cam! haha) 

Around 2:15, my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart so we headed to the hospital. When we got there, they instantly had me lay down to put the fetal monitors on my belly and lo & behold, my contractions slowed to about 6-7 minutes apart. At this point I was dilated to a 5 and 100% effaced but really frustrated about how much my labor had already slowed since getting to the hospital (and hating those uncomfortable monitors and hospital bed...and the room was about 1 million degrees). Right before they were about to stick my arm with an IV to keep me hydrated, I asked if I could go home. I was just more comfortable there and free to roam and be in my element. The nurse kind of laughed and looked at me like I was crazy (I guess most women get an epidural when they're dilated to a 5) but she called the Dr. and he said that would be fine because my water hadn't broken. Then, the second I stood up to change back into my clothes I instantly had three extremely strong contractions right in a row.

The nurse wanted to check me once more before we left and when she did, I had progressed to 6+cm. in just an hour. We agreed that if I was able to pace and have the mobile monitor, that I would stay at the hospital. It was 3:15 now and things were starting to pick up and I was definitely feeling it. 

In our Lamaze class, we were told to discuss with our husband what our hospital preferences and plans were so that we were both on the same page once we got there and things got serious. I had told Cam that I thought it would be cool to go natural but I also was definitely not opposed to getting an epidural if my labor ended up being super long or getting too painful to handle. I wasn't sure what to expect pain-wise but when I had progressed to about 8cm (around 5pm), I could see why the epidural starts sounding reeeal good. 

By 8cm, things were getting serious. I could hardly breathe without Cam doing so with me and I was having some major tunnel vision. I couldn't really talk, joke around, or do much but dread the coming of my next contraction. Our Dr. was out of town so we were waiting on the Dr. that was on-call to come in. My water would not break regardless of how many times that nurse tried to (about 3 times...and laying down during a contraction was now my very worst enemy) and the Dr. was the only one authorized to do so with that lovely crochet hook so it was just a waiting game for him. Poor Cam was putting about as much pressure as he possibly could on my hips during every contraction and I'm pretty sure he was ready for that Dr. to arrive about as much as I was. 

6:15pm rolls around and the Dr. FINALLY shows up! YAY! At this point, I was pretty desperate to start pushing. I was at 9+ cm. and definitely feeling that urge but my water still hadn't broken. The Dr. broke my water right when he arrived and then things started to get exciting: the nurses began setting up stuff for delivery which is probably the only thing keeping me motivated. Those last few contractions after my water had broken were the absolute worst. You guys, I honestly still have a little bit of PTSD just thinking about them. I had about 3 more contractions before the nurse wanted to check me again and, thank the heavens, I was at a 10 and SO ready to push. I don't think I could have survived another contraction, haha!

The next 20 minutes were like a dream compared to the pain of having contractions for the last 12 hours. Cam still laughs about how I looked like I might die in those last contractions and then the moment they said I could push, my whole mood changed. I was happy, joking around, laughing... honestly, I could have pushed all day! It was a relief to finally have a purpose to my contractions. Luckily, I didn't have push all day... haha but the 20 minutes that I did felt like 5 minutes and then all of the sudden, at 6:46pm, there he was!! All 7 pounds 1 ounce and 19 inches of him!
Everyone talks about how amazing and euphoric that feeling is when you see your baby for the first time but you just can't grasp it until it actually happens to you. The moment I saw his head full of black hair and his sweet tiny little body, I could have cared less about the events of the entire day. I think the exhaustion and relief of having him here also played into the happiness I felt. 
After a month of being able to think about that day and the miracle and extreme blessing that babies are in our lives, I would not take one moment of that day back. I am SO happy that I was able to go natural, and feel like the whole experience, in retrospect, went so well and so quickly. Don't get me wrong, I'm not doing it anytime again soon but I feel so lucky to have had such a great pregnancy and delivery and that our baby boy was able to get here healthy and happy. It's funny how quickly babies change life but I can't even imagine what life would be like without him now. Needless to say, we're a little obsessed with this little guy.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

summer recap

Because I am a horrible blogger in general, I always tend to skip over a bunch of fun stuff that made up my Summer. But I just can't pass up all the photos from the summertime that are just sitting in my iPhoto so I have no choice but to do a summer recap. Let me warn you though... it is always a photo overload so prepare yourself.

Also, in honor of tradition, I will be doing a Summer recap poem. I am no poet. But it makes it a little more fun. haha

Our Graphic Design BFA Exhibition called NEUE (pronounced NEW) ended senior year on great terms,
and so did a little brunch with some good friends at Herms.
I walked in my cap & gown to get my diploma
then jetted off to LA with my momma when it was all over.
We had a blast, just roaming the city.
We ate Sprinkles ice cream, and took pictures of shadows that were pretty.
In a matter of months my belly grew and grew leading to many belly shots.
We vacationed in the sun amongst the red rocks.
We went to St. George for a big Stephens Family Reunion.
and then headed back to LA for our 2nd anniversary and babymoon.
The Dodgers, beach, and my favorite surfboard sugar cookies left us satisfied.
And a trip to the cool driving range ended our trip just right.
Golfing became Cam's newest addiction.
Meanwhile, mine became going to the pool to lounge in the sun. 
Two cute Shewolves tied the knot! 
and resulted in a lot of great photobooth shots!
We took Lamaze class to prep for the baby
And Cam lit some fireworks and things got a little bit crazy.
We traveled for work to Salt Lake, Driggs, Boise, IF and many more places.
And in the midst of this work we snuck in a few photos of our faces.
And that's a wrap!
See, I told you I was horrible at poetry but that was my Summer in a nutshell! 

So much fun and so busy. The busy-ness definitely helped this pregnancy go by quickly and made for lots of good memories for our last summer with just the two of us! Here's to many more summer recaps ahead of us.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

36 week ultrasound & nesting

About two weeks ago we got to see our little babe's face once more before we meet him for reals and I just can't stop staring at him. His little chubby, squishy cheeks, nose, and face are going to be kissed more than a million times a day. And don't worry, he was still doing his signature hands in front the face (we're lucky we got a face shot). Needless to say, we are already obsessed with this little guy. 

I am now 38 weeks which means that we could meet our baby boy any day now. I thought that I would leave my job early so I could relax and enjoy the last moments Cam and I will have together before the baby...but the truth is that, ever since I left, I just can't seem to relax. Everything either needs to be cleaned, laundered, sanitized, organized, decorated, etc. And if it doesn't need any of those I find myself going a little insane trying to find something to do. I think that this is that "burst of energy" that they told us about in our lamaze class, haha! I have embodied the definition of nesting. 

Ironically, amidst this burst of energy, I have also been lacking in the sleep department. I have been forcing myself to not take naps during the day and to stay up a little later than my internal clock is telling me to just so that I can get a full nights sleep. If I don't completely wear myself out during the day, you can expect me to be wide awake around about 5:45am which is not ideal to me. Sleepless nights are definitely helping me adjust to the sleepless nights ahead. I, myself, don't believe me when I say that I used to sleep through ANYTHING. I was actually worried about having a baby because I thought I would never wake up for it but nope! Mother Nature has definitely had her way and changed that completely. I dream of the day that I will be able to sleep on my stomach again. Oh, and if I'm not awake going pee for the 5th time, or just uncomfortable, the thoughts of giving birth also tend to keep me awake. I'm slowly coming to terms with it though. This baby's gotta get here somehow, right?

Besides my little complaints here and there and all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the baby, it has all been so worth it. I feel so lucky with how well this pregnancy has gone and for our healthy baby. He is already the biggest blessing in our lives and I am so ready and so excited at this point.

Let the countdown begin.

this n that

This post has no specific point or reason so brace yourself for randomness.

First of all... work. I had my last day of work at the Campus Store last Friday and it was pretty sad, as you can see by the look on Carrisa's and my face. Of all people (besides Cam, of course) who have gone through this pregnancy with me, Carrisa has probably been my #1 support! She has seen it all and it has definitely brought us closer together. I mean, what else can you expect when you work everyday together only 4 feet away from each other. I guess she didn't really have a choice but to listen to me as I talked her ear off many times. There are actually 5 of us ladies (one is not pictured) due between September and December at the Campus Store so just think of a little pregnancy support group and that's pretty much what we have been. It really has been a blessing and I'm so so sad to go. 

Last weekend Cam had a wedding to film in Salt Lake, so on our way down we took a tour of the Ogden temple open house. It was truly one of the most beautiful temples I've ever been in. Lots of ArtDeco/Great Gatsby-ish details about it as well as some really unique art on the walls. There were a lot of religious paintings that I had never seen before that were so powerful and beautiful. We went with Cam's parents and snapped this photo after and whoa! That belly. Looks like I'm either extremely pregnant or smuggling basketballs professionally these days...

I was able to go to the Farmers Market and the DIY Craft Lake City Festival on Saturday with my sister ShaLyse and it was sooo much fun. We didn't snap any photos of the fun art they had at the festival but you better believe we got a photo in front of the popsicle stand Lick'd. You guys.... I've never had a better popsicle in my life. I got Strawberry-Mint Lemonade and ShaLyse got Banana Cream Pie and they were both incredible. My mouth is watering right now. Nothing better. Not pictured: my giant red stain that dripped on my white shirt right after this photo was taken. Pregnant Problems.

Welp, there ya go. The most random post of the year.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

one month left!

This upcoming Tuesday marks exactly one month until my due date!

I feel like these last 8 months have come and gone so quickly. I remember checking my pregnancy app daily in the first trimester and it was like everyday was huge stepping stone and thinking that this pregnancy would last forever but then all of a sudden you have a full-grown baby in your belly that could come out right this minute and be healthy! Pregnancy is definitely a whirlwind in terms of sense of time, emotions, preparations, changes and I strongly feel like it's 9 months for a reason, haha! Cam and I are both so excited to meet this baby boy and have been having so much fun getting ready for him. We have our last ultrasound tomorrow so we'll get to see his little face once more before he comes out to meet us!

Now, time for a little bump date.

How Far Along? 36 weeks
Maternity Clothes? I'm down to about four outfits that I cycle through! haha, I'll be honest. I can't wait to not wear maternity clothes. Dresses have been my best friend this summer.
Sleep? It's a gamble. One night will be amazing and another I'll be pulling an all-nighter. I guess it's all part of getting ready for the baby, right?
Best moment this week? Making nursery/"baby corner" preparations! It's all getting so real.
Weird pregnancy moment? All the comments about my belly from strangers! So many people trying to guess what I'm having and commenting on how I look like I could have the baby any day. That's when you know you're getting close. haha!
Movement? All day, everyday....and night. I don't mind it unless he's stretching his legs out and then it can get real uncomfortable.
Food Cravings? My sweet tooth has been much more apparent these days! I can almost always count on needing a sweet treat after lunch/dinner.
Anything making you queasy? These crazy round ligament pains! They don't make me literally queasy, but I could definitely do without them.
What I'm looking forward to: Seeing his face tomorrow at our ultrasound!

Friday, August 8, 2014

d.i.y. pom-pom mobile

Last time I went to LA to visit my sister Jenna, we visited a store called Yolk. I want to go almost every time I visit her because it's just a fun store and they carry a lot of unique and sometimes quirky items that you wouldn't find in Utah. When we went, I fell in love with a baby mobile there but seeing as how $140 for some pom-poms on string wasn't really in my budget, I just snapped a photo and kind of forgot about it. That is, until we started brainstorming ideas for the baby's nursery (or more like, the baby's corner in our bedroom—oh the joys of a one bedroom apartment!). I found this photo and decided it couldn't be too hard to make... which I was kind of right and kind of wrong about. But I am really proud of how it turned out and, honestly, anyone with a little motivation and time could make this so why not post a little DIY?

Here we go.

Oh, and forgive my crappy iPhone pictures in advance. Thanks!

First off, here is my inspiration photo that I snapped way back at the beginning of this Summer at Yolk.

STEP ONE: Find a variety of colors that you want to use in yarn and cut out a bajillion pom-poms. These may seem daunting but once you get going, it goes by pretty quickly. I used a fork for the mini poms (watch a tutorial here), and then just used my hand for the larger poms (watch tutorial here). Also, I found that a good fullness for the larger poms was about 130 wraps around my hand.

Once you are done with the pom-poms, and you have arranged them just for fun (not a necessary step) move on to...

STEP TWO: For the hoop, I hot-glued two cross-stitch hoops together because the wider the cross-stitch hoop, the more expensive & noone was going to see the actual hoop anyways. 

Then comes the tricky part. Because I wanted a stripe, I pre-measured and cut pieces of yarn and then wrapped them around the hoop individually. If you are planning on saving time, I would not recommend doing this, haha! It probably took the longest time for me. Ribbon or a solid color would definitely be easier. The original was crocheted but, I don't have the skills for that... haha so I just stuck with this and although it's not perfect, I really like the outcome of the stripes.

STEP THREE: There are a lot of steps within this step so I'll try and be clear.

–Measure out 5 segments of rope that will be tied in a knot at the top. We used white cord (can be found in any ribbon section of a fabric store). The cord is thick enough and strong enough to act like robe but just not as stiff, therefore, making it way easier to tie and work with in general. Our segments were 3 ft. 9 inches each leaving 1 foot for above the hoop and approximately 2 feet below and then a little extra for the knot at the top.

Oh, and are you wondering why I keep saying "we"? Well, Cam, as usual, was sucked into helping me with this project and it was a good thing because I can get sloppy with measurements and the minute details but he is super good at being exact so, because of him, this mobile is actually level and looks clean and crisp. Plus, I could never have done some of this stuff with just my two hands.. thank goodness for nice husbands! 

Anyways...back to the point.

–Mark your hoop in equal intervals where you want the five strings to be attached. This part is super important in accuracy so that you can have a level mobile. Our hoop was 12 inches in diameter making the circumference 37.68", putting our strings about 7.7" apart on the hoop ( do you see why I needed Cam so badly?).

– String the poms that you want on the top foot of the mobile and then hot-glue the cord to the marks you make on the outside of the hoop. (also, pre-mark a foot on your string so that they are all equal).

I was skeptical about hot glue doing the trick for this but it definitely did the job and because we had to adjust a cord or two to make it perfectly level, it was also nice and forgiving.

And FINALLY, String the rest of your pom-poms on the cords below the hoop how you want them, then trim the dangling cords to exactly 2 ft. so they're all even and secure the bottom of the string with a knot/hot-glue to keep the bottom pom from falling off.

So, in the end, I now see why the store version was $140 because this thing is definitely a labor of love. But it turned out so cute and our grand total was only $25 so it was definitely worth it budget-wise too!

Baby's angle...

 Now we just have the rest of the "baby corner" to do and only a month left to do it!

Wish us luck!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

baby shower palooza!

Whoa! This summer has just flown by. I hear of women saying pregnancy goes soooo slow but I feel like I just found out yesterday! It has seriously gone by so fast. I can't believe that I am a little over a month away from my due date now! It's all just really surreal to think that this little babe has been growing inside of me for 8 months and that it will eventually pop out to be a baby! haha. I can't wait to meet this lil guy!

As we get everything ready I am getting more and more excited. Which brings me to the point of this post... baby showers!  I could NEVER have even fathomed getting everything ready without the help and support from family and friends. I have been so blessed to have some pretty amazing people in my life who are more than willing to shower this baby with everything he needs and I seriously could not be more grateful. 

I was extremely luck to get four showers this summer & I'll be honest... although the gifts are a pretty big perk, my favorite part of showers is reuniting with some of my favorite people! 

The Peterson gals started my summer off right by throwing me an adorable backyard shower where I got to hang out with all of my college friends! I'm not joking when I say that Meg, Coley and Angie Peterson are the most thoughtful, crafty, talented and sweet human beings to walk the earth.  They even went above and beyond and made baby boy the most adorable quilt.

You know that I had to take an individual shot with everyone so of course I threw together this little Brady Bunch collage of all of us! I just love them all so much, I couldn't just post one!
Madi made it home from her mission just 2 days before this so this was great timing for a shewolf reunion with all the missionaries back!

I couldn't pass up taking a photo with two of my best friends, Jennika and Joni seeing as how it would be the last one before they popped. Now I'm the last one who still has a baby in there and I love this photo and am so glad I have this of all three of us and our bellies!

The next shower was thrown by my sister-in-law Katie, my bff Tay, and their mom Kathy Hen in Idaho. 

Do I need to even describe how great this shower was after seeing those photos? Wedge salad bar, warm homemade bread, lemonade stand, and delicious dessert. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it! 

I didn't get a photo of everyone together but I did get some with Hailey, Tayler & Grey (look at that face!!!), and some with the girls in the family :)

Last, but most definitely not least, was a shower in Utah with my mom's side of the family thrown by my cousins, the Stewart gals. I don't see this side of the family as much as I'd like to so these showers are super fun because it's just a giant party, and if the Creer side knows how to do anything... it's party!

We had homemade Waffle Love (which I've never had before) and it was sooo good. How have I never had it before? mmmmm!

We actually got one with all the Creer cousins (Grandma Floss is blinking, not sleeping...haha!)

And of course, we got one with the mom and mother-in-law!

Not the best photo of me and Grandma, but I'll take what I can get.

Wait.... did I say last? Because I was lying. YOU GUYS! I work at the best place ever and I even got showered by them! There are five pregnant girls working at the Campus Store right now...yes, I said five! Can you believe that? Taylor and I are both due in September so my boss Carrisa threw us such a fun boy/girl themed shower (Taylor is having a girl). 

I cannot even begin to say how grateful I am for the amazing showers that I was able to have for baby boy! They have been such a blessing as we get ready to welcome this little guy and I have never felt so loved! Thank you to everyone who has been so helpful in giving me advice, necessities and love!