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Here is a peek of my lovely wedding day! We were married July 20, 2008 in the gorgeous Black Hills of South Dakota. Find more images and details about my incredible wedding day on Style Me Pretty.

                    

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Friday
May022014

my birth story ::: gunnar james

 

April 16, 2014 is a day I will never forget. Gunnar James was born around 7:30 pm, on I-70 at mile marker 225, in the front seat of our Nissan. He weighed 7 lbs and was 20 inches long.

Let me back up a bit before I explain how that insanity happened. From the beginning of the pregnancy, we opted to plan for a non-hospital birth (oh the irony!). I was often defensive about this, as occasionally people thought it was potentially putting me or my baby at risk. Like all parenting choices, where/how you birth is so so personal and every parent does what they think is best for themselves and their baby. Every birth story is amazing, and every mother is amazing whether they birth naturally, have surgery, adopt, or anything in between. We found the perfect option for us at the birth center in our area. While there are too many reasons to list why, having the guarantee of who will be with you in labor and more importantly that they don’t leave your side during labor was at the top of the list. The prenatal care was outstanding, and I’m sure the birth experience would have been too. I LOVED my midwife. She told my baby belly how perfect he was and hugged me nearly every appointment. I trusted her professional ability AND liked her so much I wanted to be friends.

As preparation for labor we also took a Bradley Method birth class, which teaches you the ins & outs of pregnancy/birth and emphasizes the husband’s role as an active participant in labor. If you are remotely inclined toward natural birth, I highly recommend this class. We made new friends and felt very prepared about what to expect. Now how does a well prepared pregnant person end up giving birth in a moving vehicle? A combination of biology and denial. With a side of extra denial.

The morning of Gunnar’s birth, I had mild menstrual cramps. While there are a zillion weird feelings/cramps during pregnancy, I knew today was the day I’d meet my baby because the feelings continued intermittently for more than 2 hours. The day before this was my 41 week prenatal, and I had my first/only cervical check and learned I was dilated 2 cm. We chose to have the midwife agitate my cervix (membrane sweep) because she was sure labor would happen within the next 48 hours.

At 4pm, my husband came home from work and we went for a walk at a nearby park. After we returned home we crawled into bed and put on some Big Bang Theory, planning for a 5 hour tv marathon. Just before 5pm, we talked about food and decided to order pizza….and here's where things take off. Before the pizza arrived my contractions had escalated to what I call almost "near death". The pain was absolutely horrific, peoplethere was NO chance of yoga relaxation happening. Trevor starting timing right away, and called the midwife because this seemed like active labor—we basically started with contractions at 45-50 seconds and 4-5 min between (which is basically when you leave for the hospital during a typical 10-15 hr labor). Because things had just started happening, the midwife suggested we wait it out for a bit and establish a rhythm. (Pizza arrives!) Around 6-6:30pm I get in the bathtub because I find no relief and am STRUGGLING to keep it together. He calls the midwife again wanting to make the drive SOON, with contractions coming every 2-3 min and lasting 40-50 sec. (PAUSE: That means I have 1 minute in between these incredibly painful contractions that are dilating my cervix at warp speed. NOT a pleasant experience) Then I'm on the toilet and do not want to leave. While on this porcelain post I go through transition (hindsight) and start crying to make it stop. To my delight there is a small lull of relief in the contraction pattern. My husband says we are leaving NOW.

At 7pm I'm in the car and he is speed racing. At some point I realize I'm in the pushing stage but contractions are SO much more bearable I keep reassuring him that we'll make it to the birth center (pushing normally lasts at least an hour!). We got pulled over for speeding (haha), but the cop waved us off before he made it to our window. About 10 miles before the birth center, at 7:25ish, Trevor looks over and notices I am crowning in the passenger seat. He immediately slows and goes to take the nearest exit, which just so happens to be the exit for a hospital. Before we even make the exit, a baby appears on the seat (yay for leather upholstery!). Trevor reaches over to help lift him on my chest. I am definitely in shock and disbelief. But the baby makes a few peeps so we start to feel like it's all going to be okay. After a few minutes I remember to look underneath the baby—it’s a boy!

We pull up to the ER and are rushed in just like the movies. Two of our midwives show up within 5 minutes. The hospital staff was wonderful and even let my midwife stitch me up. We were discharged at 9:30pm and went to the birth center for our recovery. We stayed there 2 hours and were on our way home at 12:30am. Life as a family of three has been wonderful after our rather intense natural birth experience. Sadly we have struggled with breastfeeding. After two weeks of little/no success, we did make some progress. While not completely through the woods, I feel confident we’ll both be pros very soon. I sympathize with the mothers out there who endured extra newborn challenges, like trouble feeding, sleeping or colic. You all are heros!

I am still so overwhelmed with love for my amazing husband who was a rock during that crazy 3 hour labor. I'm also so grateful to an incredible birth team that took such great care of us. Lastly, I’m indebted to my talented friend, Dustin, for capturing these family portraits that will forever melt my heart.

Life is such a gift.

All photography by Dustin Davis

Wednesday
Apr302014

gender neutral woodland nursery

My sweet babe is 2 weeks old today! Which is exactly when I started writing this post...as you can guess life has been full of many changes/adjustments. I move at a much slower pace while time seems to move at a much faster pace.

Below are the details of the woodland nursery that all came together just days before the whirlwind birth. I wanted a mix of modern + rustic in a very peaceful space. Here's how it turned out:

Overall we probably spent less than $650 on everything shown here (excluding the books). The tree mural was the big (decor) money saver, but a huge time investment. That wall plus the gilded feathers and woodland critters are my favorite details. I also loved the simplicity of the curtain, which you can find the diy for here (by Lay Baby Lay). If interested in the inspiration/vision behind the room, you can view my woodland Pinterest board. Being gender neutral the biggest challenge was not having everything grey (didn't do too well avoiding this!), and the room is tiny tiny so storage is a constant struggle. One last note, my husband put in a dimmer switch for the light, which I HIGHLY recommend. I do love this little nursery and it is definitely the most serene room in our home.

What do you think of the nursery? Any other ideas you've seen that fit this theme? Please share!

::: source list :::
Light fixture, crib, diaper cart, book shelves, small green canister, closet baskets — Ikea
Crib sheet, woven pouf, rocker pillow & leather bear — Land of Nod
Fabric animals — Gingermelon Etsy Shop
Dresser, rocking chair, art print, mirror — Thrifted/Antique
Side table — Target
Branch curtain tie-back Urban Outfitters
Tree painting, feather mobile, drop cloth curtain — Handmade/DIY
Rug, tree logs — Already owned

Saturday
Apr192014

welcome gunnar james

Wednesday was the most unbelievable day of my life. Gunnar James was born at 7:30pm on April 16, 2014. He was 7lb, 20in. Another small detail—he was born on I-70 at mile marker 225 - Yep, en route.

Everyone is happy & healthy, though still trying to recover from the dramatic entrance. We are home and adjusting to the big learning curve of parenting your first newborn. I can't wait to share his birth story and hope to soon!

Have a wonderfully Happy Easter weekend!

Wednesday
Apr162014

a surprise is on the way!

The time has come at last! You can still place your bets, but not for much longer. I think my little sprout is about to make an entrance...!

Wednesday
Apr162014

waiting and magnolias

There are many correlations between the last few weeks of pregnancy and the magnolias blooming. For two glorious weeks you experience many joys like rest, friends, indulgence, and feeling the most put together you'll ever be in your adult life. But yet, you know that every day inches closer to experiencing spring weather. And meeting your first baby for the first time. A new season.

Waiting makes the days feel SO long. Here's to embracing that place called anticipation, where excited & nervous are one in the same.

Friday
Apr042014

week 39&40 ::: watermelon

I'm still here! And still pregnant! Though I'm sure only 3 of you were wondering if my time had come. March offered so little in the large produce department, I chose to combine these last two weeks into the grand finale of watermelon! I wore the same outfit as back in November at 21 weeks, when the bump first began to show. It makes me a little sad! This pregnancy journey for the most part has been really great. I will miss being smug, people being extra extra friendly, and those fun moments with my husband & this new little personality (seeing alien movements, laughing & long discussions, birth class, etc).

Such a trip! I can't wait to see what the next step will be like. My eyes are getting just a bit moist thinking about motherhood and having a son or daughter of my own. I'll definitely be updating my instagram as things begin happening!

Tuesday
Mar252014

week 38 ::: leeks

You know what is challenging in March? Finding large produce. Like pumpkins. Notta one to be found. Waiting for spring weather is also a challenge (snow appeared again!).

But spring is on it's way. And so is me becoming a mother. How terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Though this little babe seems REAL comfortable, so I'm betting there is another month to wait.

Tuesday
Mar182014

week 37 ::: bok choy

It's the final countdown! (insert theme song from Job's magic show - Arrested Development) Everyone else is probably like, "it's about time—we've been seeing these vegetables forevvvver". It's true. But very soon I'll be able to photograph our home updates, and there are some fun ones!

This little 6.5 lb baby will arrive anytime in the next few weeks! Very excited to meet this little personality!

Monday
Mar102014

week 36 ::: rainbow chard

This week baby O is measuring just over 18" long, about the height of chard. But all curled up in that belly of mine. Still hard to believe. As for styling (background, apparrel, lighting) this is probably my worst week yet! If only we had a little greenery to work with...

Also fun—the game we played this last weekend at my local baby shower—arranging my blog photos in the correct order. There were a few discrepencies on produce sizes....and it did take even me a few trys to get it correctly. Overall though, so personal and fun! I have the bestest of friends.

I hope you all enjoy this new week of extended daylight. Take heart, spring is nigh.

Monday
Mar032014

week 35 ::: potatoes

The husband: "So we have a cluster this week?"
Me: "Yes, a 4.5 lb cluster to be precise."

Creative liberties are the best.

Ladies. I have ONLY 34 days to go. What is your advice for me this last month???! When other women gestate babies it takes a long time but for some reason mine has flown by so fast! And it seems like other women carry a basketball, whereas I'm definitely carrying a large beachball. And so ends my comparision I promise.

Happy March to you! Here's to all of us willing spring to arrive asap.