Maternity Photos.

You guys, I cannot even begin to express how in love I am with our maternity shoot. It was something I had envisioned for months and when it finally happened it surpassed any hopes that I’d had for it. This was the second shoot that we’ve done with The Light and The Love Photography and we were once again blown away by the talent that is Britany.

For years now I have wanted to do a family shoot up in Mount Charleston, but due to it always being pouring rain every time we tried to shoot there, it’s never worked out. At last, I got my mountain photo session and ohmygoodness between the scenery, the lighting, and Britany’s serious photography skills, these photos perfectly captured the beauty of this pregnancy.

I’ve had a lot of questions about my dresses. Unfortunately the lacy bell sleeved one is no longer available, but it was from Forever21. The other dress is from Show Me Your Mumu and is linked here.

Liam’s outfit is all from Zara (which i cannot believe I haven’t discovered sooner) and Andre’s outfit is from Express.

I was a little nervous about this session because the last few family sessions that we’ve done with Liam he’s become distracted/bored super quickly and getting any images with him were always a tricky task that involved a ton of bribery. This time around he was SO unbelievably well behaved and cooperative and cuddly and had all the smooches to give. We brought my sister along to assist as needed, which I think helped a lot. We also brought some treats for him to look forward to between locations because let’s be real, some Star Wars fruit snacks and lollipops will always be the easiest way to keep a four year old in a good mood.

This session was by far my favorite family session we’ve done yet–which is obvious the moment you walk into my house because I’ve already framed half of it. It was the last session of just the three of us and I’m so glad that I will forever have it to look back on. The next time our family is photographed we will finally be joined by our littlest babe, who is apparently very comfortable inside my belly with no intention of coming out on time. Stay tuned, she’s gotta make her debut eventually.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur

The Nursery.

I started planning our growing little one’s nursery long before this babe was even in my belly. I would sit up at night pinning ideas on Pinterest, bookmarking websites that had cute decor inspo, and feeling slightly ridiculous for planning so in depth for a baby that did not yet exist.

Fast forward to finding out I was pregnant. After seeing those two lines on the test and spending my entire morning pacing around the house with an overwhelming feeling of joy, I remember wandering into the room that would soon belong to our baby. As I sat there rearranging the room in my head, I planned the perfect nursery for a little girl. Call it a mother’s intuition or call it wishful thinking… I just knew it would be a girl’s room long before we ever knew the gender.

Now here we are. Just 6 weeks from my due date and all that we need to complete this nursery is our sweet girl. Inspired by wild flowers, I created a girly little space with a boho touch. With the exception of her crib (which will be in our room for the first few months) and changing table/dresser, I utilized furniture that we already had. The leaning shelves were purchased for our first home years ago at The Container Store. The couch is part of a sectional that was in our first home as well. We’d thought about getting rid of it several times but since it was still in great condition we held onto it “just in case” we could find a later use for it…and sure enough we did. What was once the couch we bought for our first home together is now the couch that I will cuddle up and nurse our little girl on. The crib and changing table/dresser are both from IKEA. I’ve found changing table dressers to be so ridiculously over priced and not at all cute enough to justify the high price tags, so thanks to an idea I saw on Pinterest, we bought a basic plain white Ikea dresser and changed out the knobs with little crystals that I found at H&M.  It’s the perfect height to double as a changing table and will still look great once she transitions to a big girl room.

All of my framed prints came from Etsy shops Adoren Studio and Ivie Baby. The frames came from Ikea, Target, and H&M (which surprisingly has a super cute home section on their website). The furry stool is from Target and is probably my favorite piece in the room. The rug, almost all of the shelf décor, hanging flower crown antlers, wall hooks, and the pillows also came from Target because as we all know, Target is just winning in the game of reasonably priced home décor. The tapestry hanging on the wall-also one of my favorite pieces in the room-came from Modern Burlap. After spending so many months hoping and praying for this baby, the verse grabbed my attention the moment I first saw it and I instantly knew that it had to be a center piece of her nursery. Lastly, let’s talk about the giant flower S on the wall (which, for those who have been curious about her name, is totally a hint). I had seen giant floral letters on Pinterest a million times and was set on putting one in my girl’s room. Every internet search led me to Etsy, where the smallest letters were going for over $100. Since I have a million other things that I would rather spend a hundred bucks on, I decided to try to make one myself… and oh my goodness am I glad I did. With the help of a DIY website and some Michael’s coupons, I was able to put together a giant floral letter that matches the room perfectly, is double the size and cost a quarter of the price.

I could not be more proud of the little space that I put together for our girl. As the need to nest grows stronger and stronger I find myself sitting in her room on the couch several times a day, just picturing our sweetest new addition enjoying her space. The clothes and blankets are washed… the drawers are stocked and organized… Everything is in its place.

Now we wait.

Cheers,

The Whine Connoisseur.

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And then there wasLiam.

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This weekend marked a very big event in our household: Our little man is walking. At 10 months old, my son is on the move, and I can’t help but reflect upon how quickly his life has passed so far. I was just going through photos of him as a newborn and couldn’t believe how fast time can fly. Reflecting back on these last 10 months, I feel so very blessed that our son is here with us today and that he is our healthy and happy little walking boy.  And to think we almost lost him.

At 22 weeks pregnant I went in for an ultrasound that I shouldn’t have even been at. The week before, I had been seen by the ultrasound tech in a routine exam. She had been unable to see my sons head because it was buried so far into my pelvis, and as a precaution she asked that I come in the following week in hopes that he would reposition himself.

My husband and I showed up to our follow up appointment dressed in our work clothes, thinking this would simply be a quick detour, we’d get some exciting new ultrasound pics, and head off to work for the day. Let’s just say I would have dressed much more comfortably if I’d known what was coming our way.

As soon as the ultrasound tech looked at the screen showing my cervix, I knew something was seriously wrong. She explained to us that my cervix measurements were far off of what they should be and let us know that she needed to go get a doctor right away.  The doctor came back and informed us that my cervix was at .9 and that I should have been at a 3.0 or higher.

I was then rushed to the hospital. A specialist came into my room and informed me that if he didn’t put a stitch in my cervix to hold it together, I would go into labor within hours. The problem was, my cervix had already shrunk down to a .7 and there was hardly any cervix left to work with. We were informed that there was about a 50/50 chance that simply carrying out the surgery could trigger labor, but we went ahead with it anyways, knowing it was our only chance at keeping our son safe inside of me.

Hours after surgery, I was being watched like a hawk. Doctors kept telling me to “rest up”, yet coming in and out of my room every 5 minutes. I was put on anti-contraction medication that needed to be taken strictly every 6 hours. I was also given hormone suppositories that were supposed to keep my uterus strong.

Let me tell you, stuck in a dark hospital room is the last place you want to be when you are 22 weeks pregnant and terrified that you will lose your baby. The entire situation brought me down to a very low place. I sat in my hospital bed sneaking cries in between nurse visits. I didn’t want to eat hospital food, I didn’t want to be hooked up to a million beeping machines, I didn’t want anymore doctors to come in and remind me that I had an incompetent cervix. All I wanted was to keep my baby safe.

For two weeks, I stayed in the hospital. I was there so long that it almost began to feel normal. I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed unless I had to pee. I was allowed one shower every three days but I had to be seated the entire time and it couldn’t be for longer than 5 minutes. I wasn’t allowed to sit up in bed unless it was to eat. I hadn’t stepped foot outside in 13 days and the doctors were toying with the idea of keeping me in the hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy. Finally one morning, I was informed that they would be checking my cervix and that if I had made progress, I could go home.

Four hours later, I was discharged. I was put on bed rest until 36 weeks pregnant. The only time I was allowed to leave the house was once a week for my doctors appointments. I swear, when the only time you’re allowed to leave the house is to go to the doctor, the doctor’s office feels like freakin disneyland.

Each time I went to the specialist, my cervix was looking better and better. The doctor told us that of all the years he has been practicing, our case was one of the biggest miracles he’s seen. I have never seen a doctor so shocked by his own successful work. Week after week went by, and we continued to surprise the doctor with the fact that I was still carrying my baby.

Bed rest was the biggest challenge that I have ever experienced. It is isolating and depressing and so very boring. I watched 3 entire series from start to finish on Netflix and I did more pinning on Pinterest than has ever been done before. I cried constantly in frustration of my situation, but each time I felt my son kick, I was reminded that it was all worth it.

Somehow, by complete miracle, I made it to 36 weeks. I had my stitches removed and was told that FINALLY, I could behave as a “normal” pregnant woman. I have never been so excited to walk around Target in my life!

Without the stitches holding my cervix together, I thought the time before my son’s arrival would be very brief. But he decided to hang out a little longer, and at 39 weeks, I finally went into labor naturally. But my labor story is for another day.

I thank god every day for my little miracle baby. I complained and I cried and I hated bed rest, but I know I am lucky. I will be on bed rest from 12 weeks until 36 weeks with any future children that I carry, but I will happily do it all over again if it means that I am blessed enough to bring another life into this world. Every woman goes into pregnancy with fear of the unknown and the unexpected. But I never could have for seen the severity of the challenge coming my way. My husband and family stood strong and supportive by my side, and together, with the help of some very special doctors, we were able to bring my son into this world.

Cheers,

T.W.C.

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