Monday, December 30, 2013

Tomorrow is the last day of this year and I am thinking to myself, how did time seem to fly by quicker this year than the year before? Maybe it just comes with age, but I really do look back at my year and wonder how it could go by so fast. All in one year I got pregnant and had a baby, and now she is just about two months old! Unbelievable...

Life certainly has changed a bit, but I would never trade it for anything. Our little girl is turning 2 months this Friday. Her next appointment with her doctor is on Thursday and I am very curious to see how much she has grown compared to her first week. She is still such a peanut, but definitely growing by the day! I have gotten a few smiles out of her, but she still is not smiling excessively like most babies do when they figure out how. She has started to really show when she is mad about something, and often will scream to get mama's attention! Yes, a little attitude I am seeing here. I know it is hard to believe, but she does know the word "NO". I have said it since the beginning when she starts to get all red and angry about something. She understands that mama is not approving of that and tones it down to a whimper. It is quite funny! Our babies can understand a whole lot more than we think they do! And tone of voice has a lot to do with it. The last few days, I have noticed a lot more squirming and kicking and flailing of arms. She also has been burying her head into me now before she settles down to sleep. It is amazing all these little things I start to notice that are different from the week before. Our newest favorite is the shower. She has joined mommy two different times for a shower and absolutely loves it! She keeps nice and warm up against me... the water must be a soothing sound to her. She doesn't make a fuss at all.

As for me, I haven't been feeling that great the past few weeks, and I think it has to do with hormones. I hear it takes quite a while for them to level out, and for some reason my body isn't responding well to it. I have gotten 3 migraines since having Layla, and they are the bad ones. The blotchy vision, numb hand, arm and face, headache... and it takes a whole day to recover. I am assuming it is hormones, but not sure. I skipped my follow-up visit with my midwife since things were just too busy right before Christmas. I see her in February though and may ask if I can get blood work done to check my levels. Part of all this may just be lack of sleep, as well. Who knows...

I can't wait to get my whole house pulled back together. Layla's nursery had become sort of a wrapping paper station/storage unit during our busiest time before Christmas. Now I just need to pack the Christmas stuff away and reorganize! The rest of the house could use a good cleaning too... sometimes I wonder if I will ever get caught up on everything. I think the answer may be no unless you are superwoman. There is always something to work on.

My next post will be about goals for the new year. I'm sure you can guess that a lot of them have to do with health and getting in shape again!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Men's Crochet Hat

I got my Christmas shopping done last week, just in time. There is no way that I ever will go shopping two days before Christmas. I have always been the type to have my gifts done early, though this year is a bit of an exception since I have been a bit occupied with things such as having a baby, maybe? Lol.

I needed a couple of small gifts, and I hate trying to figure out a bunch of cheap ones that are something someone might not use anyway... so I decided to crochet hats for the men in my life. I did so last year, but I have been told that they have been worn so much while working that they are getting kind of yucky. So why not make them some new ones? I already gave my dad his hat yesterday, as it was his birthday. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of that one. It was a foresty green color with two thin gray stripes. It came out way cool. That was made with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Forest Green Heather, with the stripes being Grey Heather. I love the texture of the wool-ease, and it is very soft. Not scratchy either!

Below are two different hats, but the same pattern. I took Bev's Basic Crocheted Hat and made my own spin with the ribbed look at the bottom. The grey one is the same yarn as the one I mentioned above - Wool-Ease, but the colors are just switched. The blue and red one was made with Caron Simply Soft Dark Country Blue and Caron Simply Soft Autumn Red. This hat came out quite different since the yarn is nothing alike. I like to think it looks a bit more edgy, while the grey hat tends to be more fitting for the "outdoorsy" man.

Of course I have to try them on... the grey looks good on a female too! You could just switch out the stripe for another color or keep it plain. 

I love the versatility of this pattern. You can do basically anything with it! It comes in lots of sizes too. The blue hat was the larger size, while the grey was the regular for a man or woman.

I'm on to the next project... I am beginning to wonder if I should start making money off this stuff on Etsy. Hmmm....??

Monday, December 16, 2013

Potato Soup

THE BEST POTATO SOUP EVER! RecipeEveryone wants a warm, comforting meal during the winter months. This potato soup is just that. The hubster and I ate this up and enjoyed every last spoonful! It did require a little work... and it has quite a bit of milk and cream in it. So if you are looking for something low-fat, this is not the recipe you want! But if you want a super delicious, creamy soup for a cold, winter night this is it! I halved this recipe, as there are only two of us. We did have leftovers, but not a lot! Kyle made cheddar garlic biscuits with Bisquick and that was a really nice pair with the soup.

I did not use the bacon. That was a real bummer, but I was not going to buy a pound of bacon and be the only one to eat it since my husband will not eat anything pork related!

I have been craving this soup ever since I made it last week. Definitely will make again.

Family Time

Opening a gift with Daddy. 
Well our weekend did not go as planned, but we did make it to Maine and back! It was a very short trip, because of the snow that came in. We were too nervous to be driving in it with a baby, and Kyle, Kurt and Coralie all needed to be back to work for Monday (we all rode together). We arrived in Maine a little past midnight on Friday, stayed up until 2am, then woke up early for a "Saturday morning" to do Christmas gifts. During those five hours during the night, I woke up twice to feed Layla. I think the traveling and bed time threw her off quite a bit.
Kyle used to sleep in this... his dad made it. Now Layla can use it!

We decided to leave Saturday afternoon to try to beat the storm home. We stopped at my grandparent's house near Freeport to introduce them to Layla and have a gift time there. By the time we left their house it was 4pm. We did run into snow, and it was quite bad especially near the coastal areas. All of the weather sites were saying something different, so it was hard to know exactly what to do. I think the snow came in earlier than some were saying. Anyway, we made it home, praise the Lord. I was pretty nervous with all of the crazy drivers speeding past us with the snow building up on the highway. I don't understand why people have to be so "macho" and speed through the snow like they are invisible. We took it slow and easy and had no troubles.
Great Grammy and Grampy Shatney

Papa and Grammy Hansen
Layla did so well with the car rides. I was a little amazed. I figured she would sleep a good amount of time, but I never thought she would last through both the entire 3+ hours without a screaming fit. She did sleep most of the entire time we were on the road. Hence the reason for lack of sleep during the last couple nights. I do hope we get into a good routine soon!

I am spending today trying to recover. Haha. Really, though. I had another stiff neck on Sunday. I don't understand why I am getting them, but they are a real pain. This week should be pretty busy with the last preparations for Christmas. I still have people to buy for, and I hate shopping in crowds, so it should be interesting. I think I will plan to go in the morning sometime this week... maybe the crowds won't be so big.
Auntie Kiersten 

Well Layla is on the verge of a nap, so I think I will take this time to relax and do something fun.

Layla enjoying her new swing from Papa and Grammy Hansen. Checking out the fun toy... 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

This and That...

Last week was a rough week for me. All in one day, I got a clogged milk duct and horrible stiff neck from snapping it when I sneezed. I was almost certain I was getting an infection from the clogged duct. I had a fever, was incredibly sluggish, and felt achy all over. Nursing was very painful. That very morning, after I sneezed and felt something snap in my neck, I went back to sleep and woke up not being able to move my neck at all. That was all a challenge with having a baby screaming to be fed! Layla was also having an off week with lots of fussiness. I'm thankful for Alyssa coming over to help me that day for a few hours. That was a time when I definitely needed some help!

This week I have felt a bit overwhelmed with all I have to get done, but today I am feeling a little more excitement towards my weekend. Every year we have an early "Christmas" with Kyle's parents, and it usually works out the best the second week into December. Thankfully, I had gotten a lot of online shopping knocked off on Black Friday. I was a little nervous, though, because my shipment from Kohls hadn't shown up by Tuesday... I just received it yesterday, so that was a relief!

On top of all of that, Layla had decided to stay awake for hours in the middle of the night on Monday and Tuesday night, so I was feeling a bit more deprived of the precious sleep. Last night, she went from 10pm to 1am. I was not satisfied with that stretch, so I stuck the pacifier in and she slept until 3:30am! So a good 5 1/2 hours, really. I should have let her cry herself back to sleep at 1, but I don't like Kyle waking up when he has to get up early to work. She just keeps growing and growing... I have had to put away some of the newborn sizes because she is just too long for them. And her tummy is filling out too. She fits into quite a few 0-3 month and some 3 month clothing! Though, some of it is still big, but the length fits pretty well.

I also got behind on dishes and laundry especially and was wondering how I would have the energy to pull all of this off! Somehow, God gave me the strength to get some much needed dishes and laundry done... and wrapping the gifts for this weekend. And all my Christmas cards sent out! That is an accomplishment. ;) Today I am feeling a little better, so I will be baking some goodies to take to my in-laws. We will be traveling up on Friday night with Kurt and Coralie (arrive late), and our Christmas morning will be on Saturday. That is the first out of many Christmases we will have, as usual. I am hoping Layla does well with the trip up (it's only 3hr. 15min.) and that she sleeps okay on our mini vacation.

Here are the goodies I plan to make today. It's not a whole lot, but I will be doing lots more closer to Christmas.

Who can resist a Homemade Peppermint Patties? I know I can't. The real thing is the best.
And I keep drooling over these babies..

I know, right? Turtle Cookies!!!

I am off to feed the hungry munchkin!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Butternut Squash, Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Butternut Squash, Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed ShellsWhile browsing Pinterest recently, I came across this recipe and thought it looked like a nice twist to stuffed shells. I didn't really think my husband was going to give me the go-ahead to make these for one of our meals this week, but surprisingly he said they looked tasty! So, we put the ingredients on our grocery list and decided to try them. I have never cooked butternut squash before, so I had no clue how this would turn out. I didn't follow this recipe exactly, because I didn't want to have to buy a whole bunch of ingredients just for one recipe. 

The only tweaks that I made were not making a sage butter or using a fresh lemon, though for a more special occasion I would definitely do that! Instead, I added dried sage and lemon juice to the ricotta mixture. The recipe calls for 1 stick of butter to make the sage butter to drizzle over the top and that is way too much! So all I did was melt a half stick of butter and drizzle over the top before baking. That's not how the recipe calls to do it, but it's what I did and it still turned out great.

I really liked this recipe. It was very creamy... almost more rich with the squash. This is definitely a meal you want to eat right away, because as it cools the pasta gets hard to cut through. Leftovers were still good, but it wasn't one of those meals where it is better the day after. It also is a little time consuming, but making any stuffed shells tends to be that way anyway. This would be a special meal to make for guests.

I'm not sure what recipe will be next up for a post, but I do plan on doing some Christmas baking in the near future. So you can count on some recipe reviews for some good sweet treats. I have seen lots and lots of yummy things on Pinterest, and am going to have to narrow down my options for baking!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Family Christmas Photos

Here is a little peak of our Christmas photos. We have lots more to post, as well, but I still don't have those on my computer yet. We are so happy with how they turned out! Thank you, Alyssa Beth Photography! I have already ordered our Christmas photo cards and they are on their way in the mail. Enjoy. :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Being a Mom

I have to say that even though having a baby to take care of is hard work, I love being a mom! Ever since I was very, very young I wanted to grow up, get married and have babies. That was always my goal, and God has blessed me with both of those things! I know things will get harder and there will be days that I will wonder how I will make it through (there already have been some!), but I am certain this is where I want to be. :)

Our little miss Layla is growing so fast. I am excited to see her progress over the last three weeks... we are now into our 4th week and I am amazed how quickly that time flew by. I thought for sure it would drag with all that is involved with taking care of a newborn. But pretty soon here, Layla will be 1 month old!

3 weeks old
I'm not sure if all babies are interactive and full of personality in their first month, but ever since the beginning, we have noticed these two things about her! Not to mention how strong she is. After about 1 1/2-2 weeks she started lifting her head on her own. She is very vocal too... especially in her sleep. It is cute, but hard to sleep at night sometimes when she makes so much noise grunting and squeaking. She definitely knows when mama is holding her, and responds to my voice. I love being the one to comfort her when she has a tummy-ache or just wants to be held. I broke down and started using a pacifier during those moments where I just can't be there to hold her. You know, those times where you are standing over the stove cooking dinner or have your hands in dish soap... or better yet, are in the bathroom trying to have some time to shower and pull yourself together. She normally doesn't need it too often, but it is so helpful for those times where you just need to do something to stop her crying. I put her in her seat and set it in the doorway while I take a shower. I think she likes the sound of the water, because she normally seems content and either sleeps or looks around at things.
Morning cozy time looking around at everything.

Thankfully, I was able to get 3 1/2-4 hours of sleep at a time last night. That has been much needed and I sooo look forward to more sleep soon! The baby likes to be awake and alert during the morning hours and then sleeps a lot during the afternoon. After dinner, she tends to wake up a bit. And during the night feedings she tends to be more awake too. It has been tough getting her nights and days switched up, but we are getting there!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I feel like this whole year has passed more quickly than usual. I am so thankful for many different things, but especially that God is the One Who is in control. I have thought that to myself lots and lots of times this year through various situations. I'm also thankful for my beautiful little family. God has certainly blessed us! We are going to my parent's for the Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to a relaxing day of not having to do much. I've already made two pies today and will make the stuffing tomorrow morning. Those are my contribution to the meal! Here are the recipes for the pies, though I didn't follow the complete recipe for the chocolate cream pie. I decided just to make the chocolate custard (with Ghirardelli milk chocolate) and leave the topping off. Might I say, the chocolate custard to that pie is TO DIE FOR. Yes, there was a little bit left over for taste testing! ;) Gotta love homemade custard. Mmmm.

Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Cream Pie with Toasted Marshmallow Topping

Enjoy your day of giving thanks and time spent with family and friends!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Simply Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

This week I am back into the swing of cooking. Before I had the baby, I was not well at all, and definitely not feeling up to much time on my feet. So it has been a while since I have felt pulled together as far as food and meals are concerned. I love to have a great meal for my hardworking Hubby to come home to!

Simply Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

I have never made enchiladas before... I'm not even sure I have even had them more than once or twice! These looked pretty easy, and I liked the fact that they didn't call for a ton of ingredients. And, there is no cream of anything in these babies. Kyle and I loved them. It was a great change-up to our typical meals we often find ourselves repeating weekly. I find myself craving them now that they are all gone! 

These would make a great meal to prepare ahead and refrigerate/freeze, then bake... or a great meal to take to a friend in need. No, that is not a hint that I want you to make me another pan of these and bring them over! Hehe.

I'd give them 5 stars for being simple and delicious!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Growing Girl

Today Layla and I headed for our 4th visit to the doctor since she has been born! We have been seeing a pediatrician that we really like, and today Dr. Maalouli was thrilled to see that Layla has gained 5 ounces and grown 3/4" since Saturday!

When we were still in the hospital, they almost didn't let us go home because she had dropped a bunch of weight in a very short period of time. She was born 6lb. 7oz. and had dipped down to 5lb. 8oz. We kept having to go to the doctor's to make sure she was still not losing, and thankfully she is really taking off in growth! She is now 6lb. 3oz. Our doctor was very pleased with the progress and said she would see us in 6 weeks for her two month appointment. Yay, for no more doctor's visits until then!

Little peanut is now a very hungry peanut, eating every 1 1/2- 2 hours each night. Last night she stretched it out further a couple times, so that was nice for me to get a little extra sleep in between. My husband mentions that it seems I never go to bed. He is such a sweetie to want me and Layla to stay in our room while she feeds at night. Unfortunately, Layla thinks that it is better to sleep all day long and be wide-eyed at night... I am hoping that switches around soon!

Here are more pictures of our sweet girl. I can't stop taking them, so I hope you all don't mind the millions that I post on facebook. I know not everyone has facebook, so here are a couple I took of her today after her appointment. She is already growing so fast...

Thank you, Terry Nordborg, for the pack of long-sleeved onsies! She was in great need of those and I love how feminine they are. :)

Sleepy after her Dr. visit and a full tummy. 

I can't get over her hair... you can see the cow lick on the left is sort of naturally parting her hair.

My sleeping beauty. <3 td="">

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Birth Story

Layla Jean - 1 week old
I figured it was about time I try to blog all that I can remember from the beginning to the end of labor. My birth story is nothing like I had imagined. Sure, I never expected everything to go as I had planned, but I also never expected everything to go differently! I'm not sure I was emotionally prepared to take on all that I did in my 3 days of labor and 5 days total in the hospital. But God gave me so much strength. The weeks leading up to the birth of our little girl were tough enough with all the extra appointments, monitoring, feeling sick, and so forth... I went to the hospital on Friday, November 1st, already feeling weak and tired. I was so excited, though, to know I was going to meet my sweet baby soon!

Friday, November 1st - We arrived at the hospital at 6:30am to begin the induction. Because so many babies ( 4 or 5 to be exact!) decided to make themselves known that morning, the Cervidil (used to thin the cervix) was not inserted until noon because the midwife was so busy. You can imagine how eager Kyle and I were to get going. The waiting seemed like forever. Once the Cervidil was in, they told me it could start up contractions or it may not. It certainly started working the contractions not 20 minutes after it was in. Though the contractions were manageable, I went for twenty hours and was feeling exhausted... physically and emotionally. I stayed strong though, and tried to keep my spirit positive. At the 12 hour marker, they had taken out the Cervidil and my body continued laboring on its own. Needless to say, the contractions petered out to little ones I could hardly feel and we were back to the drawing board.

Saturday, November 2nd -  I got maybe 2 hours of sleep in the small hours of the morning on Saturday before they decided to start Pitocin. My body just hadn't responded well enough to the Cervidil, so they went to the second option. At this point I was very tired and feeling pretty discouraged after 20 hours of labor and no progress. My cervix had dilated from a 1.5 to a 2 and the effacement was still at around 60%. We started the Pitocin and it kicked in almost immediately, sending me into more frequent and intense contractions. When they put you on Pitocin, you have to stay hooked up to the monitor as well to make sure the baby's heart rate doesn't drop. So that limited me a lot as far as being mobile. I still was able to get up to move to a rocking chair or sit on a birth ball. I would start in the bed, then move to the chair, then to the birth ball... then back to the bed. That was my routine for 10 hours, to keep me focused and as comfortable as possible. After the ten hours were up, the midwife checked me again and still hardly any progress. I was sooo discouraged! I felt like my efforts to breathe through all those contractions would have paid off, but after hearing that I felt like I was never going to get to have my baby! Of course, I would have the baby, but the disappointment was huge after 30 hours of work and very little sleep. The baby was doing her job, though, in moving down to position. The pressure was so intense during those hours and I knew that when the real, active labor came I would be experiencing back labor.

The midwife gave me a couple more options to try next. Either I try the Cervidil again, or we could try another way to thin the cervix called Miso(something). It is a tiny little pill inserted in the cervix and they usually do three rounds of it ... 1 every 5 hours. I decided on the Miso. It wouldn't hurt to try something we hadn't yet, and I felt like the Cervidil was just going to get labor going again then peter out as before. The midwife allowed me to go out to the atrium for a while to get some FOOD, which was an amazing thing after hardly eating for 30 hours! I was soo sick of juice and popsicles by then!! My sub and soup was really delicious that night! I visited with Kyle's family (who had been waiting all day) and some of my family. It was a much needed break and I was also able to take a nice, hot shower and feel rejuvenated. After the Miso was in, I wasn't really feeling too many contractions... or, they just weren't nearly as big and intense as on Pit. I tried to get some sleep that night, but I was very uncomfortable and feeling a lot of pressure again. The nice thing about this induction method is that you only have to be hooked up to the monitor for short periods of time and then you are free to walk around, shower, do whatever. I was really relieved by that.

Sunday, November 3rd - Early Sunday morning (around 1am) they did the second round of Miso. I slept for a few hours (my husband actually got 8+ hours of sleep that night!) and then woke early. I got up and around, did some things, then right as my midwife walked in at 6ish my water broke all on its own! It was not a leak either... it just completely broke and I was in amazement that something actually went right! The midwife and nurse were soo excited, because we were finally progressing. But when she checked me again, I hadn't hardly moved as far as dilation is concerned.

I went through 8 hours of very intense, severe back labor after that. I was told not all women experience back labor. This was a whole new ball game, and it came on fast. I was able to work through the first part in the shower, but after a while of that I was about to pass out from fatigue. My whole body was just ready to quit. I was exhausted and just ready to be done with it all! I didn't have any more strength or focus to get through this level of pain. I did it for 8 hours, as I said, then was checked again for progress. I was only at 3 cm dilated. Ahhh! I told my midwife that I physically couldn't muster any more strength to get through another several hours of back labor... and worse off, I emotionally couldn't even imagine how I would feel if I was somehow able to get through and find out I had to keep going even longer. I made a decision against what I said I never wanted to do. My situation had changed, my strength had run out and I was just done. I asked for the epidural. Now looking back, that was the best decision I could have made right then for that situation. After managing to hold still for the epidural to be done, it kicked in, my body relaxed, and I started dilating immediately.

My midwife was so kind to me and sincerely said that I was very strong to have gotten as far as I did and that I shouldn't in any way feel weak for the decision I made. I appreciated that so much. I felt so much better after being able to rest after all that work. To get the contractions closer together, they started me on Pit again. I was on the Penicillin for the group b strep, as well as an IV fluid hours before. My body started going into uncontrollable shaking and I knew that things were going to start happening soon. I could still feel the intense pressure from the baby's head and an hour-and-a-half later I began to push! It was amazing how fast it all happened. They allowed me to push whenever I felt that really strong urge, and I was very glad they let me be the one to dictate that rather than them reading the screen for contractions to tell me when. It only took me 1/2 hour to push our baby out. I mustered all the strength I had, and trust me, it was literally all that I had left!

I have to say that it was the most amazing experience ever!!! I keep going over and over it in my mind... the relief I felt and the emotions that swept over me as my baby was placed on my chest. I can't describe it. I was sobbing and so very happy. All that I had gone through was worth every hard minute and suddenly vanished as I clung to my absolutely beautiful, perfect baby girl. She nursed soon after and then the whole family came to meet the new family member.

The rest of our stay at the hospital is another long story, so I will just stick with this for now. I do want to say how incredible the staff at St. Vincent's Hospital was. There was not one nurse who was rude or hard to deal with. The midwives were amazing. I'm sure they deal with cases like mine all the time where labor just won't set in. But every woman's body is different, and they literally did everything they could to help me get to the end. They are so sweet and I can't say enough about my five days there. I even had Maribeth (who was not on call at all that weekend) come over from the OB office just to visit me. She gave me a huge hug and said, "You did it!"  All of the midwives over the weekend who worked with me came to visit as well. If you are going to have a baby, go to these people. They are great.

I also want to say how grateful I am for my two sisters and mother for their incredible support during the three days of laboring. They shifted in and out to be with me and then to help me finish at the end. My mom and Alyssa were able to be there for the actual birth and it was so great to have them and my husband there rooting me on! Thank you, Mom, Coralie and Aly, for all you did for me!

So that's my very long birth story. Layla Jean is so precious to Kyle and me, and we are forever thankful to the Lord for this blessing. We are so in love with her and look forward to all the days ahead. Yes, even the sleepless nights and countless diapers. ;)

Thank you so much for your prayers and for cheering me on. I couldn't have done it without God as my rock and strength during my time of need.

Much love,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Free Stuff

Since I can't really do much... I actually am not allowed to do much... I have been forced to sit on the couch much of the day. I get bored of the computer after a while (weird?), but today I finally decided to follow a link to a site where you can get free samples of tons of different things. I have always thought it was a scam or something of the sort, but I guess people actually get free stuff sent to them! It basically has a list of a ton of items and links for you to follow to their specific websites. I didn't know websites had actual free samples to sign up for! I signed up to receive quite a few things. Whether it will work or not, time will tell. But there is no harm, I say, as long as they don't have any of my personal information!

Has anyone else tried this type of thing before? I was using this site today: I am really curious to see if I get anything or not. Some of these offers are basically a "drawing" and they only have so many to send. But I only did one of those. The rest were just free samples they offer.

At least it is keeping me busy and I am not so bored. Haha.

Monday, October 28, 2013


I have officially been scheduled to begin induction preparation on Thursday. Paperwork is signed and ready to go. I am keeping my prenatal appointment earlier that day that includes another ultrasound. Later that evening I will be admitted and they will start preparing my body for induction (ie: methods to ripen the cervix overnight). I will be spending the night there (Kyle too) and then they will start the Pitocin on Friday morning after a light breakfast. And then we just see how my body responds to the Pitocin! Maribeth said it could take the whole weekend or it could get everything going right away. It all depends on how my body responds and how well I can learn to relax and let my body do its thing. If I haven't progressed much later on Friday, they will take me off of it, let me relax, eat and sleep, then start it up again Saturday.

I was checked today to see what my cervix looked like and it has progressed since last week. That's a good sign, so hopefully everything will continue to work like that. There will be a lot involved with this birth. I may even need to be put on something if my blood pressure is really high during labor. I have decided that even though I would love be able to follow my birth plan, there are going to be things I am just going to have to give up. This is not how I envisioned my first birth, but the ultimate goal is a healthy baby and healthy mama... not a picture perfect birth.

Let's just pray everything works well. I am very bummed that Maribeth isn't on call this weekend... but I have met the other midwives that are, so I'm sure it will be okay. I am just very comfortable with her and enjoy talking with her. But I know that I am in good hands and the other midwives will be great as well.

Now if I can just relax and get some good sleep this week. I am so anxious and know that it will be hard to sleep with so much on my mind! We are finally to the end of this, and I am going to finally start feeling better after weeks of close monitoring, tests and visits.

That's the scoop! It feels so good to really have a plan all set and an end in sight. Again, your prayers are so appreciated and make me feel comforted every day. Thank you from all three of us!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More Monitoring...

I am tired of these visits. Don't get me wrong, I love St. Vincent's hospital! But I am getting very weary of these visits and tests and then being sent home. They say, "Just go home and rest and we will induce you at 37 weeks. Call immediately if you have any problems." So what is the point of all this monitoring if they just keep making me go home and wait? My protein level came back at 363 and even though that is high they still sent me home. I was quite surprised. So was the nurse, because she was ready to get my IV in. I went in tonight really ready to have this baby... and then I was sent home after being monitored in a room and waiting for test results.

So that's that. If my midwife sends me to L&D again on Monday I am going to insist on staying until I have this baby! Haha.

I'm so ready for some baby picture posts, aren't you? :)

Friday, October 25, 2013


First of all, I am sorry for all of these blog posts concerning my pregnancy problems! I wish they didn't have to happen so often. After all, we always want the perfect pregnancy without complications. I used to think I was doing so well... you know, low-risk, healthy, doing great... until all this came.

I went for a prenatal visit today thinking it would just be the same old stuff I was hearing. My ultrasound looked perfect ... I love hearing how awesome the baby is looking in there. Just as happy as can be. Also pretty far down there, so they are unable to get any good face shots at this time. That is an excellent sign that the baby is in position and ready to go.

I met with a new midwife today. I wish I could have met with Maribeth, but she is not always on when I need my visits, so I was stuck with someone else. Which is fine, but at this point I feel much more comfortable sticking with someone I already know. She told me basically what I heard earlier this week - I will be induced next week, probably around Thursday or Friday. 

Then I began explaining my chest heaviness and how that happens and she got really concerned. Concerned enough to send me to the ER. Worst choice ever, people. I spent 11-5 in the ER today. It was kind of scary for me, as this was my very first ER visit. They did an EKG, then sent me to a room where they wanted to hook me up to an IV and get more labs done (I had JUST gotten three viles taken before I went to the ER). This intern EMT came in quite a few times to set up the IV while a doctor was explaining all these tests they wanted to do. I kept holding him off until I was certain about what they were going to do. I didn't need an IV! It was another one of those overwhelming situations where I just didn't know what to do. Thankfully, my mom was with me. But still, it didn't make the situation too much easier to take. I finally agreed to the IV needle so they could draw blood. The EMT tried the needle on the same vein they took blood from previously and it was painful. The blood wouldn't flow from it and he kept trying different things to get it to work... that was the most traumatizing situation of the day, though I know it sounds silly. He had to ask a nurse to come in to do it instead and took the needle out. The nurse was excellent... that guy was just weird. Lol.

To make this story a bit shorter, I agreed to an Echocardiogram, Chest X-ray and an additional 3-4 viles of blood. I did not want the chest xray, but at this point they were so worried about me that if I said no they might not have let me go. They insisted on waiting for my labs and these tests results to come back before I could leave. They even wanted to do another test on my lungs to check for blood clots where they insert this dye into the IV and see where it goes inside my body. It has radiation involved and even though they assured me that it would be okay, I said absolutely not. My baby is so healthy and I am so close to having her. Why risk this even if it is supposedly "safe"?

That is the very short version of today. My results all came back beautiful and my heart looked even better on the Echo this time than it did when I had one back in March! Weird... I guess my body is just doing strange things and the chest pressure is one of them. My heart rate is also pretty high, even with laying down for a while. It ranged anywhere from 110-125 all day. I know that for certain because I was hooked up with all these different cords all day and could see what was going on.

Oh, and guess what? The midwife sent me home with another jug for a 24 urine collection again . If this comes back high, I am going to bet that I will be having little miss Hansen sooner than next weekend! We need to just get this baby into this world and be done with all of these tests and problems and visits. One more week... I can do this. :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nursery Reveal - Almost Complete!

I have been holding off for so long with getting pictures up of our brand new nursery. Partly because I wanted everything to be perfect before I gave the reveal, and partly because I haven't been well enough to tidy the room up and get some good photos. So I am giving in and posting pictures of what it looks like now. There are still a few things left to do. Like, sew curtains for the window, get a crib skirt, put things on the wall, etc. But for now here you go! This will give you a good idea of what I have been working on for the last little while. I wish it were more perfect at this point, but I know I will get to work on it more after the baby arrives and the holidays are over.

The work done on the room included:
Cleaning it out (that was a chore, as this used to be our storage room!)
Prepping the ceiling and walls
Painting the ceiling, walls and trim
Painting the stripes
Sanding the floor
3 coats of poly on the floor
New light fixture

Thank you to those who showered us with gifts! Some of the items you may see in the pictures, while others are neatly tucked away in the dresser drawers. :) Thank you, also, to my family for all the time and effort they put into helping us get this room done before baby arrives. I am so ever grateful for you guys!

From the doorway. Please excuse the pile of stuff at the end of the bed. It is a container of 3-6 month clothing, our baby tub and some decorations from the baby shower here in MA. 

The crib. Mostly set to go... just going to add a crib skirt at some point... maybe. ;)

The dresser Kyle and I refurbished. It has socks, hats, sleepers, fleecy sleepers and sweaters in it. All the warm, cozy stuff! 

I am in love with the bunting/banner my sisters made for my baby shower. It ties in perfectly with my decor! 

Love this storage unit. The top basket has all our tubby-time stuff in it for now. Middle shelf is shoes and booties. Bottom basket is all toys. :) The basket on top of the unit is all burp cloths.

Our changing station. My mom picked this dresser up at a yard sale, and it is actually supposed to be a baby dresser. It works perfectly as a changing station as well. I love how this turned out. The top drawer is stocked with diapers, wipes, nursing pads, cloth diapers, etc. The right door on the dresser has some nice storage for extra wipes, diapers and a hanging area for her little dresses. The rest of the drawers have her onsies, pants, and blankets.

My husband wanted to keep the bed up for any time his friends may come through and need a place to stay. I will also be using it for nursing at times.
I recovered the Boppy pillow, and the other pillow is from Ikea. The blanket at the end was handmade to tie in with the other items in the room. Our diaper bag is right there, ready to go!

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's coming so soon...

I made it through my weekend - yay! Just barely, though. I started feeling better after a good night's sleep on Friday. I called in to Labor and Delivery on Saturday morning and got my urine test results. They were down to 300! That was a good thing, but also did not clear me for being out of the danger zone. I still have the same problem, but the levels and blood pressure were looking better. I had a little more energy, yet still felt really icky whenever I was standing for longer than 5 minutes. The worst part of how I am feeling is mostly the weight on my chest, where if I don't sit down or lean over on something I feel like I'm going to collapse. I have also been experiencing some dizziness and nausea. Saturday night I was feeling really crummy after our Harvest Dinner at church.

Sunday I managed to pull myself together to get to church, but even sitting down I was feeling horrible. I don't know how to explain it, but anyone else who has gone through this knows what I mean when I say I just don't feel well... and... I just have to sit down.

Today I had an appointment later this afternoon where I was on the monitor for a while and then met with Maribeth. The baby is doing fine, as usual, which is always wonderful to hear! Then I talked with Maribeth. Last week I was tested for the Group B Strep, which is a typical test done to pregnant women at 35 weeks. I won't go into explaining what it is (you can Google it if you are curious!), but I tested positive for that. So at the time of labor, I will be hooked up to antibiotics to help protect the baby from getting infected. Another curve I wasn't expecting.

She was very pleased with how I have been resting and obeying her last orders. She thinks it has helped to lower my blood pressure, even though it is not perfect. Their goal in all of this has been to get me to 37 weeks. We are sticking with that goal unless things get worse. I was told that with my highest protein level at 420 last week they would have induced me right then if I hadn't been only 34-35 weeks. Plus, the baby was doing fine and my amniotic fluid was great, so they really wanted me to keep going. I will be doing another 24 urine test over the weekend. If that comes back really high like before they will probably induce me. But if it stays toward the lower side, I will most likely make it to the 37 week mark and we will be having this baby late next week.

My next appointment is Friday, where I will have a visit and ultrasound as well. That is all I know for now! I guess we know what I will be doing for the next week... it will be so worth it though if I can stretch this out to next week just because I am resting and literally doing nothing. I am beginning to get a little nervous as things aren't going as I had imagined them to, but I know that life happens and I can't control everything. God knows what is best, though, and I will just have to accept that this is how He wants it all to happen! In the end, I know all will turn out fine and by next week we will have our precious baby in our arms. :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Long Day at the Hospital

I went to my prenatal visit today fully aware that I would be there for a good couple hours. I was expecting to be put on the monitor, visit with the midwife and get an ultrasound. That right there made me tired just thinking about it! I spent 6 1/2 hours at the hospital today. Here's the news...

My urine test results came back higher yesterday. They went from 323 to 420 within one week. That was the reason for the extra monitoring today. I got to the hospital at 8am and wasn't hooked up until 8:30. For the first twenty minutes, the baby didn't move (even after a bottle of OJ), so they decided to keep me on there for a while longer. She finally decided to wake up from her sleepy time, and after 45 minutes of monitoring I was sent back out to wait. At 10am I had a quick ultrasound to check on my amniotic fluid. All looked well and we were in and out in about 10 minutes.

THEN I met with my midwife... she is very concerned about me and not too happy with my levels. She basically told me that we will be delivering this baby as soon as it is safe enough to do so. I told her how crummy I have been feeling and she totally understood. It is nice to be understood! :) My blood pressure is affecting so many things... I wish it would just go away! She then told me that she was sending me to Labor and Delivery after my visit with her where they would monitor me more and take some blood. When you are in Labor and Delivery, I guess they can get test results back in 1-2 hours, rather than a few days.

So I headed to Registration where we went over paperwork and I was put into the system. She wrapped my wrist with a band and said she hoped I had a quick, easy delivery. Haha - at this point I was feeling like I actually was going to have the baby. Registration, arm band, Labor and Delivery... it all seemed a little too much like the actual "Labor Day" to me. Thankfully it was not, but I got a good feeling for what is going to happen when I do.

Are you tired yet? At this point I was so tired and just ready to go home. Needless to say, I was appointed a room number and given a gown to change into. I hopped into the bed and was hooked up to the monitors again. They took my blood pressure, temp, urine and then three viles of blood. Then we waited... and waited... and waited. Two-and-a-half-hours. By this time I was starving. I had literally hardly had a bite to eat all day. I waited and waited to hear from the doctor if I could eat and finally an on-call midwife came in to assure me I was all set to eat.

Sigh. After all that, they decided to let me go home... but with that urine jug again. I have to return it to Labor and Delivery tomorrow, and while I wait for results they will monitor me and decide what to do from there. This game is no fun. But the baby is healthy and that's what matters. It's all a day-by-day process, so I never know what is going to happen. Makes me glad I believe in a God who is in control of all things, and I can rest assured that He will take care of me!

It really is looking like we could have this baby next week, but I can't say for certain. I will just keep everyone updated as I get instructions. For now, I am resting and am trying to feel better. Thank you so much for your prayers! I am so blessed to have family and friends from near and far praying on my behalf!

Until the next result,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Baby Shower #2

My baby shower last weekend was put on by my mom and sisters. We chose to do a morning shower, and it was actually a big hit. I loved it! They did an awesome job decorating according to my nursery theme which is nautical/beach, with navy blue, gray and coral accents.  I was so amazed when I walked in to see all this. Here are a few pictures of the day.