Monthly Archives: July 2011

This time last year

This time last year I was 9 months pregnant. It had been a long 9 months. Pregnancy, for me, ranked in the top 2 of “most difficult things I’ve ever endured”. I know that some people have wonderful, glorious pregnancies where a chorus of chirping birds follows them everywhere they go. I did not. I puked for 9 months. Well, I guess 8 months. I got pregnant in the middle of November, got sick for the first time on December 14th, and the last time on July 31st…the morning I went into labor. For the first 2 months of getting sick, I got sick an average of 4-5 times a day. My wonderful OB put me on 2 types of medicine and that reduced it to 4-6 times a week…if I was lucky. There was seldom a day that went by without some type of puking…and the times when I had a 3-4 day break, I dreaded the return, because it always came back with a vengeance. Brad and I worked during every waking hour to get food into my body because my stomach rejected things on contact…so I wasn’t getting any nutrients. It was awful. On top of getting sick, my hormones in general had a rough time adjusting to pregnancy. Not in the typical, “I’m pregnant and therefore crazy” way…although, there were definitely those moments too. No, I would just wake up crying and then cry for the whole day. I remember being at work, getting sick in between calls in the trash can at my desk, cleaning up, sitting back down and just crying. Staring at my computer screen with tears rolling down my cheeks trying to mask it in my voice for the customers on the other side of the line. I hated every second of being pregnant.

I asked my wonderful OB to write a note saying I had to go on maternity leave early. I planned it two weeks in front of my due date so that I would have some “me” time before becoming a mommy. I was going to get a pedicure, get my hair cut…maybe colored. I was going to read. Go to Panera and sit for hours reading, listening to Pandora, and writing in my journal…because I could. I knew that the next time I would have any serious amount of “me” time would be years away. Honestly, I started panicking just a little bit at the complete shift in identity that was around the corner. Heck, I hadn’t even really processes getting married yet…and now I was becoming a mom to somebody.

Friday, July 30th came, my last day at work. Brad’s team threw us a wonderful baby shower, everybody was so generous and we were overwhelmed with love. As we left work that day I just couldn’t get comfortable. There were a few errands that needed to be run for the nursery, and just some odds and ends stuff we decided to take care of. As we ran around town I became progressively more uncomfortable and extremely grumpy. In the back of my head I thought, “I think I’m going into labor”. But, I didn’t say anything because I’d just had 10 hours of “false” labor on Wednesday and I certainly didn’t want to go through that chaos again. Here’s what tipped me off: being around Brad didn’t help my mood. See, through my whole pregnancy, no matter how rough it got {even that day I puked 7 times and called my mom BAWLING}, being around Brad was my “happy place”. He was my rock. My encourager. My dragon slayer. But, that day, not even his presence helped. We finally got home, Brad was scared to breathe, and I decided that I needed to wash all of Zoe’s clothes. {Keep in mind that the nursery was previously spotless due to my nesting phase the weekend before…and I turned it upside down that night}. I’m pretty sure we watched a movie and I was in bed by 10.

At 4:27am my eyes flew open. I patted my legs, they were soaking wet. I went to the bathroom and I couldn’t stop peeing on myself. My pants were soaked. My underwear was soaked and I thought, “Oh s-h-i-t. I’m having a baby today.” Right then, Brad called out from the room, “Honey are you ok?” I replied that my water broke. He asked if I was sure. I told him, yes, that I was soaking wet from my butt to my ankles and that we were going to have a baby today. He replied, and I quote, “Well then, I’m going to go clean the bathrooms”. Which, oddly enough, sounded perfectly normal to me at the time. I called my mom who was in Texas with my dying grandfather. It was 3am her time, needless to say, I woke her up. I called the on call nurse who told me to go immediately to the hospital, and then I called my little sister Jamielynn. We piddled around the house for the next 2 hours…how’s that for immediate? {I’ve never been too good at following directions} But, honestly? I needed time to adjust to the fact that I was going to have a baby then and not 2 or 3 weeks down the road. I still haven’t gotten that pedicure. Oh, and by the way, if your water breaks like mine did…get your booty to the hospital. Apparently, it’s kinda dangerous for the baby especially if you’re standing up and walking around, like I was. Something about the cord falling out…I don’t know. But, go.

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To be completely honest, for me, labor was the easiest part of the whole pregnancy. By far. I loved almost every bit of it. Especially because I knew that at the end of the day I wouldn’t be pregnant anymore. That’s how much I hated pregnancy. My room was filled with people. I did video interviews periodically throughout the day. Got an epidural around noon. The epidural kicked in around 2. Spent one last hour, just me and brad in the room, together as just a man and a wife before we became parents. Pulled Jess and Jamielynn into the room for the pushing {who, by the way, was my favorite part of the pushing experience. Jamielynn is the worlds best cheerleader. Her excitement and encouragement helped me every step of the way}. Began pushing at 3:30 and had Zoe by 5. Well, 5:02 to be exact. Simple as pie. Well, minus the fact that my epidural wore off 45 minutes into pushing and I felt every blessed part of that last half.

The day couldn’t have been more perfect. There was a massive thunderstorm for about an hour right before I started pushing that was really fun to watch. I was surrounded by family and friends {minus both sets of parents who happened to be in different states}. And, by the end of it all…I was a mom.


I’ve taken 4,000 pictures this year….

It’s been 362 days since the hospital nurse put my daughter in my arms and all I could think to say was “hello” like 50 times in a row. It’s been 362 days since I became a mom. It’s been the craziest, wildest, most heart warming, most fun, and some of the hardest 362 days of my life. And, in the past 362 days, I’ve taken like 4,000 pictures. Literally. So, in a tribute to our year…here’s a photo flashback post.

On July 31, 2010 I laid eyes on the most perfect object my eyes had ever seen. My beautiful, perfect, tiny little girl was placed in my arms and my identity changed forever.

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And Brad fell in love

zoe's first month 911

Nine days later my grandfather Opa died, we packed up the car and headed to Texas. That’s why her first bath was in a hotel sink.

zoe's first month 1010

We took some family pictures, and I fell in love with this one.

family picture 1

Overnight she lost the newborn look and started revealing the cutest personality I’d ever seen.


We soon learned the beauty of a photo shoot



Then, in November, Brad’s grandfather died. We packed up the car and headed to Georgia.


Before we knew what was happening, Zoe was rolling over, reaching for her toes, and eating solid foods…




Brad’s dream came true, and he had a mini-me to help him cheer on his beloved Florida Gators.


We blinked and our baby was sitting up all by herself, learning to read, and sitting up in the bath tub…




So many times this year I’ve woken up with that “ah, my life is just perfect” feeling overwhelming my soul. Christmas was one of those mornings.


In January Zoe got sick for the first time, and I learned more of what being a mom means. As soon as she got better we went for a day trip so that we could get some sun.


We blinked again, and our daughter grew up some more. She was funny now, and adventurous, and she learned how to wave, and stand up in her crib.


She was, hands down, the coolest kid on the block


Early in the spring, Zoe was dedicated at our church. I cried.


Zoe woke up early for the royal wedding, learned how to do somersaults and flips, and started really interacting with her best friend Hemmingway, and started hamming it up for the photo shoots.


May was our birthdays, my first Mother’s Day, and our first family vacation.


And again, we blinked and our baby girl was a toddler. Helping with chores, crawling all over the place, climbing on everything, and making messes everywhere she went.


Just so you know, I’m in tears right now. What a crazy, awesome, year this has been. I am the luckiest woman in the world. I have the most amazing husband, and the most amazing kid…who just woke up from her nap. Tomorrow you get the labor and delivery story, Saturday is the party, Sunday the birthday, Monday you get the sappy birthday post, Tuesday the party post, and Wednesday the How-To….dang, that’s the most planning I’ve done in a while! It’s probably because I’ve been planning her party all week. Anyways…here’s to the coolest kid I know…