Vivian Kate | 2 months

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

11lb 9 oz. She got her 2 month shots yesterday and it was absolutely heartbreaking. Poor girl was fussy and not interested in eating all day.

She is a pretty good sleeper at night, thank goodness. We typically feed her around 8pm then put her down and she will sleep until around 2am. We give her a bottle and put her back down and she is back up around 6:30am usually. She is mostly only waking up once a night but last week she had a cold and it threw her schedule all off. She started waking up 2-3 times a night again but I am hoping we are over that! During the day, that's a completely different story. She protests nap time unless she is being held. It is like pulling teeth to get her to sleep for 30 minutes during the day, it's awful! However, if I put her in her carseat and go somewhere in the car she will immediately fall asleep and stay asleep until she gets hungry. Any tips on getting babies to nap?! I can't get anything done at home because she insists on being held to nap!

She is eating 4oz every 3ish hours. If she's sleeping good sometimes it will stretch to 4 hours and sometimes it's closer to 2 hours.

She is wearing 3 month clothes now. A few weeks ago we were in a transition period where her 3 months clothes were swallowing her and her newborn clothes were too small. I had to go buy a few 0-3 month outfits just to get us through! She has SO many cute summer things that are 3-6 months that I can't wait for her to wear but I am not wishing the time away!

Being in her carseat, riding in the car, going on walks in her stroller, being held, bath time, being in the Solly wrap

Laying flat on her back, nap time, being hungry

In her second month of life Vivian experienced her first Easter at the beach. We had the best time! She even got her first visit from the Easter bunny and she didn't even care ;) She brought the UNC tarheels good luck and slept through watched her parents' alma mater win the 2017 National Championship! She met some of her cousins that live out of town. She started smiling and cooing and oh my gosh melt my heart into a puddle! Such a great month!


Vivian, you changed so much during your second month of life. You are starting to develop personality and you have a big one for that tiny body! You are stubborn and we call you a diva because you definitely know what you want and you get your way! Your smiles melt me and I love watching you grow and change every day. You have your dad wrapped around your finger and you are my little sidekick. We love you so!

Vivian Kate | newborn photos

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Before my sweet Vivi was born I knew I wanted newborn pictures taken. I am so bad about using my nice camera and I wanted good, high quality pictures to frame around our home. While going through the planning process and also the actual shoot, a few things stuck out to me and I knew I wanted to pass them along to other mommas/soon-to-be mommas planning newborn pics.

Here are 5 tips to consider when planning and taking newborn pictures:

1. Choose your photographer wisely. Know their style. Make sure they are flexible and able to work around your schedule.
I began exploring options for photographers when I was around 5 months pregnant and quickly decided on Amanda Nichols. She lives about 2 hours from us but I fell in love with her bright, crisp, classic style of newborn pictures. Make sure you have seen your photographer's newborn pictures and like their style. In terms of planning, I told my photographer my due date and she penciled us in for a date after that. However, since Vivi came 3 weeks early, we texted back and forth to find a Sunday that worked for both of us. She was so great about giving me plenty of dates and letting me choose. It is super important that you use a photographer that is flexible because you never know when your baby will come! You don't want your photographer to be so busy that your baby is a few months old by the time they can squeeze you in!

2. Have a noise maker available.
Vivian kept waking up to the sound of the camera clicks so I turned on white noise pretty loud and she snoozed away, no longer bothered by the camera or our chatter.

3. Take baby's pictures alone before family pictures.
This was such a good idea and I cannot recommend this enough. We laid Vivi down and got all the shots of her by herself sleeping before we passed her around and held her. Our family pictures woke her up and it would have been nearly impossible to get her back to sleep peacefully for shots of her alone after that.

4. Feed baby right before the photographer arrives.
Fully belly= happy and sleepy baby!

5. Have all outfits, swaddles, and accessories planned out ahead of time.
This is so important and saves so much stress and time. I would also recommend trying everything on the baby before the shoot begins. I made a rookie mistake and had brand new bloomers that I was just positive would fit her. Wrong! So I hadn't tried them on until the shoot and they were huge, messing up one of my outfit ideas.

I was so scared Vivian was going to be awake and crying the entire time but she did amazing! These pictures are SO special to me and I could not be happier with how they turned out. We will cherish them for the rest of our lives!

Linking up with Annie

Vivian Kate | birth story

Thursday, April 6, 2017

If birth stories aren't your thing, I totally get it! Don't even bother reading this post :) If they are your thing, bear with me, this is a long one!


Friday, February 17th, 2017
I left work and headed to my OB for my 37 week appointment. My mom met me there because Garrett couldn't leave work. They had been monitoring me and baby with weekly NST's and ultrasounds since 31 weeks because my blood pressure had been borderline elevated. At my 37 week appointment it was again slightly high. I don't remember the exact numbers but somewhere around 135/80. Due to the fact that IVF patients can go from healthy to preeclampsia much quicker than the average patient, they were worried.

That weekend I was signed up for a continuing education conference 2 hours from home. My doctor didn't want me to go but being the stubborn, non-compliant patient that I am (providers are the worst patients!), I knew I had to go because I already paid and needed those continuing ed hours!! Priorities, people! They gave me strict instructions to rest and they wanted to see me back on Tuesday (in 4 days). I survived the conference without going into labor, whew!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
I woke up with a gut feeling that we would be headed to the hospital that day. So I did what any girl would do, went and got a manicure and pedicure. Priorities, right? Then I headed to my OB and my mom and Garrett both met me there, as we all had a feeling what was going to happen. We had an ultrasound which measured baby at 8lb 5oz, the 91st percentile for 37.5 weeks. Then they checked my blood pressure which was 140/80, and I knew today was the day. My doctor came in and said, "Well, your blood pressure keeps creeping up and due to the fact that you're an IVF patient, today is the day." We were told to be at the hospital at 7pm to start induction. Holy crap. Slight panic set in. I called work and let them know they needed to cancel my patients, Garrett headed back to work to tie up loose ends, and I went home to frantically get ready. I cleaned our entire house like a mad woman and finished packing our bags. For my "last supper" all I wanted was a bagel so Garrett and I sat at Panera and talked about how our lives were about to change.

We arrived at the hospital, got checked in, and I changed into my stylish hospital gown. The nurse started my IV and the OB on call inserted the Cervidil, which is supposed to soften the cervix and kickstart labor. We then attempted to get some sleep, knowing that we wouldn't be getting much for the next few days. Sleep was nearly impossible because they were coming in every hour to check vitals, move the monitor on my belly, etc. At that point I was not allowed to eat or drink anything except ice chips.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
I had very mild cramping from the Cervidil throughout the night but nothing too painful. At 7am the new doctor on call came in to check me... still 0 cm dilated. He started the Pitocin and it was game on. Contractions began and they turned the Pitocin dosage up about every 20 minutes throughout the day. Garrett, my mom and sister stayed in the room with me and I bounced on a ball, watched tv, napped, and tried to pass the time as the contractions got worse. After contracting all day the doctor checked me around 7pm and I was only 1 cm dilated... I was super disappointed. He decided that my body was exhausted and we should stop the Pitocin, put in another Cervidil, try to get some rest and re-start the Pitocin in the morning. I showered and they allowed me to have a small dinner which was amazing since I hadn't eaten in 24 hours. The doctor put the Cervidil in and I tried to get some sleep (which was impossible).

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
I barely slept any because the Cervidil made my contractions continue through the night. They were hoping that it was going to help me dilate more but around 6am the new doctor on call checked me and again, only 1cm. I was super upset and begged for a C-section. I told them I did not want to labor another whole day and end up with a C section late that night (which is exactly what ended up happening). My doctor felt confident that another day of Pitocin would do the trick and I would have her vaginally some time that day. So, they re-started the Pitocin and the contractions began again with a vengeance. Around 9am I was crying with every contraction and asked for an epidural. It was quick, painless and the best thing ever! It took away all the pain for the time being and I could let my body relax some, as I was plain exhausted at that point. I will say that it is super weird not being able to move your legs. It made me somewhat claustrophobic and gave me anxiety but I eventually got used to it. Around 12pm the doctor checked me and I was 3cm, hallelujah! I was finally making progress. The next 8 hours were spent laboring. The epidural was wearing off every few hours so they kept flipping me from side to side. The anesthesiologist (who happened to be a family friend) had to come in and adjust it a few times. The doctor checked me around 4pm and I was 7cm. The doctor reassured me that she would come back in a few hours and I would be ready to push.

Around 7:30pm I was in so much pain, I was throwing up and crying and just so over it. It was miserable. I hadn't eaten or had anything to drink in 48 hours and I was beyond hungry and tired. The doctor came in to check me and I was still only 7cm. Cue to water works. She agreed that I was not going to progress any further and we needed to go straight to the OR for a C section at that time. This is what I had been dreading for 2 days but at that point I was just ready to get her out.

The next few hours are a huge blur. I signed my surgery consents, they stopped the Pitocin (thank God), I hugged my family and husband, and they wheeled me into the OR. They decided that since my epidural wasn't really working anymore, I needed a spinal for the surgery. They sat me on the side of the bed and the anesthesiologist did the spinal, which was painless and took effect immediately. At that point I couldn't even open my eyes; I had zero energy and was throwing up constantly. Garrett was finally able to come in and I was so relieved he was there with me. I didn't have the energy to talk to him but just knowing he was there put me at ease. And he held the basin while I had my head turned to the side vomiting, nothing more glamorous than that right?! After some pretty extreme pressure and tugging, I heard Garrett say, "She's here!" At 8:45pm I opened my eyes for a split second and saw my miracle baby for the first time. Her cries were like music to my ears! I told him to go be with her and take pictures. I was so out of it that I don't even remember him bringing her to my face but right when they were done stitching me up I immediately stopped throwing up and I felt so much better. It's like God gave me a second wind so I could meet and hold my baby girl. They put her on my chest and oh my gosh it was Heaven. By far the best moment of my life.

They wheeled us into the PACU for recovery where we had to spend 2 hours. That time was a blessing in disguise because Garrett and I got alone time together and with our new baby. I will never forget that time, looking at her and snuggling her without having to share! :) Around 1am we were wheeled back to our room where our families were waiting. They all got to hold and love on her for a little while before leaving for the night.

The first night with her was like a dream. I hadn't really slept in 3 days but adrenaline had taken over and I didn't even want to sleep that night, I just wanted to stare at her! We spent the next 3 days recovering from surgery (which is NO JOKE people, ouch), getting my pain under control, and getting to know our baby girl. We were finally discharged on Sunday, February 26th and headed home to start our new lives as a family of 3.

Overall, Vivian's birth was far from ideal. It was completely exhausting and miserable but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Laboring for 48 hours and ending up with a C section is not what I imagined but she is worth all the pain I endured. We are just so thankful that she is healthy and there were no complications!


Linking up with Annie!

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