Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rhory Camille: Adventures with Jaundice

When we left the hospital on Saturday morning (September 6), I was in heaven. Everything seemed so surreal and I couldn't believe we were actually taking OUR baby home - HOME. Coming home with a baby was all we had ever wanted from the moment we found out we were pregnant with Sawyer. Obviously life took different twists and turns that we had anticipated but after much anticipation it was finally happening.

The first night at home was an adjustment for sure! Josh was super sweet though and set up everything on my night stand so we wouldn't have to be running all over the house in the middle of the night. Rhory had some issues transitioning to her bassinet and we tried several different things, but nothing seemed to work. After getting frustrated with the bassinet I told Josh we would just work on it in the morning and fix the batteries in the music player, etc. 



We got up the next morning and headed back to the hospital to get labs drawn for her jaundice levels. When we left the hospital the levels were at 11 (and had gone up from 10) so they wanted us to come in and see how much they had changed over night. They drew the labs at 9:15 and told us we would have the results within an hour. We headed to CVS to grab some things and then to my moms house. We knew there was a chance they would re-admit us so I didn't want to drive ALL the way home, even though I secretly hoped we wouldn't have to go back. My aunt works in the NICU at Gwinnett Medical and called around 10:15 to say her levels had jumped all the way up to 16 and we would for sure have to come back. I hung up the phone and just cried. I was so disappointed that we had finally been able to take a baby home and were now having to turn around and go right back to the hospital.


To a lot of people it may have seemed as if I was over-reacting because all that she needed was the intense light therapy and then we would be going home again once her numbers were down. Our previous experience, though, was playing a major part in my emotional state along with all of my crazy post partum hormones. I was so frustrated that we had to spend more time in the hospital with Rhory when I just wanted to be home. I asked several times if we could just do light therapy at home, but with it being the weekend and they usually have issues with insurance it was better to just stay at the hospital. We had a room that we were able to stay in so we were with her the whole time, but she spent MOST of the time under the lights, only coming out to nurse. 

On top of being stressed and overwhelmed about going back to the hospital, they told me that we may need to supplement with formula. The reason for this is because pooping is the best way for babies to get rid of the extra bilirubin that the lights are breaking down. I understood the reason, but I felt like I had been sucker-punched. I was terrified that "supplementing" with formula would turn in to her refusing to nurse, therefore squashing my dreams of breastfeeding. By no means do I think there is ANYTHING wrong with formula, I had just wanted breastfeeding to be successful. I fought supplementing, but as my aunt explained it - it would just be for a short time to get us out of the hospital faster. So, I gave in and as the days progressed and my milk was actually coming in she was taking less and less of the formula supplement so I started feeling better about things. It also helped her settle down in the bed because she was full and would sleep. I have been through the whole "not being able to hold your baby" experience before with Sawyer and I hated it was happening again. I soaked up everytime she woke up hungry because that meant I was able to hold her! 

She was on the lights from the time we checked in on Sunday, September 7 to Monday night at 12 AM. When she came off the lights and we were finally able to hold her for more than the 30-45 minutes she was nursing we were SO excited! I don't think she slept in her bassinet that whole night! LOL. Her numbers had been coming down so that was the reason for taking her off of the lights. They had planned to re-test Tuesday morning at 6 AM and when they did her numbers were still low which meant we were going home! The discharge process took WAY TOO LONG, like 6 hours too long. But alas, we were finally able to leave the hospital again! A huge thank you to our parents for taking care of us with food while we were holed up in the hospital!

moment of snuggling before back under the lights!

one of many good meals

NO MORE LIGHTS!!!
 
she had "sunglasses" on which led to the yellow around her eyes


snuggles all around



FREEDOM!

Before we left I made an appointment with our pediatrician for Wednesday the 10th because Rhory's levels would need to be checked again. They had gone down, and we went back one last time on Thursday the 11th to make sure they were still going down. Everything looked good so we don't have to go back until she is two weeks old! Which is in two days - AH! I feel like time seriously needs to slow down because she is already growing too fast! 

Love,
Ashlyn

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rhory Camille: Birth Story

As I write this, I am watching my husband hold our one week old daughter and I am still in denial she is a week old! 

In my last post I shared that I would be attempting a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), rather than the schedule c-section. Early on I was unsure of what to do in terms of delivery and most of it was fear. I actually had a fairly easy recovery with the first c-section so I was trying to go with what I knew was familiar. Dr. Pohl had suggested a VBAC and told me that I would be a perfect candidate. As time went on the idea grew on me and I finally decided two days before the c-section that I would, in fact, like to try to have her vaginally. With Sawyer I was also induced and after 24 hours and getting stuck at 9 cm, we ended with a c-section. That was the biggest thing holding me back. I didn't want to go through labor and not be able to do it. The biggest factor that was drawing me to it was the fact that we want several more children and with each c-section the risks increase. 

When Dr. Pohl offered the idea at my 39 week appointment I was just too unsure, but knew I needed to make the decision soon. Once I decided, they scheduled the induction for 1 AM on September 4. The other option was 10:30 AM, but I knew that I just wouldn't be able to stand waiting. In fact, I had wanted to go in immediately after my appointment on September 2! On Wednesday, September 3, I stayed in bed as long as possible. I knew after getting out of bed and getting ready that I wouldn't be able to sleep before heading to the hospital. Josh came home early from work and we finished cleaning up the house, went to the grocery store, and had our last meal at Cracker Barrel! I was struggling emotionally because I knew that to most it was our "last night as just the two of us" but in reality it wasn't. I was missing Sawyer something crazy and getting nervous about Rhory's birth.
blurry, but snapped a pic before we left for the hospital!

one last family picture!

just checked in!

this was right before I started pushing, I love you can see my Sawyer tattoo :)


When 12 AM rolled around it was time to call the hospital and see if they had any beds, they did so we waited until 12:30 and left for the hospital! When we arrived we had to check in and get everything situation with the nurses. We got back to the room about 1:30 - 1:45 but they didn't start pitocin until about 2:30-2:45. I wasn't sure what Dr. Pohl's plans were and they weren't really sure either, ha! They checked me when I first got there and I was still 2cm. I was able to get some sleep until about 5:30 and then the contractions became increasingly uncomfortable. Dr. Pohl came in at about 7 AM to check me and break my water - for which I was totally unprepared! I had wanted some type of warning. LOL. With Sawyer, they gave me the epidural BEFORE breaking my water - I was not so lucky this time. I was 5 cm so I was definitely making progress.When Dr. Pohl left he also said "We should be having this baby sometime around 6PM!" The nurse asked me to let her know about 30 minutes before I wanted the epidural because it kind of took some time. That was at 7:10. I told her I was fine for now, but knew the contractions upped their game after getting your water broken. I wanted to wait until 7:45 to get the process started. Um yeah... I lasted 5 minutes. The contractions came on so strong and so fast that I was totally unprepared! I said, "NEVERMIND! I need that thing now!" I was trying so hard to breath through them, and hold Josh's hand to try and distract myself. He was so great about everything! They FINALLY arrived at 7:45.

They started the process and wanted me to sit up. Oh geez, moving during contraction has to be an absolute joke and then I knew I was going to have to sit so still and I was incredibly nervous about moving on accident while they put in the needle. With Sawyer I was hardly feeling my contraction so it wasn't quite as stressful. So, the epidural was in and after about 30 minutes I knew it wasn't working on one side. The nurse had to insert the catheter and that for sure let me know it wasn't working. I was so disappointed for two reasons... 1) I was in SO much pain and 2)the SAME thing happened with Sawyer's delivery. I tried telling them this time and all they could do was give me a booster thing because the epidural was already numbing me so high. I wanted them to replace it but they didn't. Oh well, with our next kid I will know to tell them that it doesn't always work on my right side so they need to try to correct that first! It got better after the booster but that is about when I started feeling some pressure. It was now 9:30 AM. The pressure continually got worse and she checked me at 10:30. I was 7 cm! That was the moment I knew she would be coming much before 6 PM! The pressure got worse and by 11 I was begging the nurse to check me and I remember saying "I seriously feel like I am about to poop all in this bed!" LOL. She said that was a good thing and she would check me - lo and behold I was 8 *almost* 9... then I promptly started freaking out. I wasn't sure if I was ready! 

The pressure kept getting worse and I could start to feel some of the contractions in my vaginal area towards the right side. I hit my bolus button for the epidural a few times (you can only hit it every 12 minutes so I probably only hit it twice before she had to check me AGAIN). When she checked me at 11:45 I was 10 cm and she knew it was go time. She called Dr. Pohl to let him know and he said to go ahead and have me start pushing. I was so nervous because I didn't want her to come and him not be there. I was scared to death of delivering her and him not being there. She told me I had to push to get her head down before he would come over (his office is at the hospital just across a bridge). So, I started pushing. Josh and I both made a comment about how it would be neat if she was born at 12:09 (that was the time Sawyer was born, just AM). She said she didn't think I would have to push long, but that it probably wouldn't be that soon. Finally she said she could see her head and she called Dr. Pohl. That was the moment when the pressure intensified times 100 and I could feel a lot of what was going on, especially on the right side. He FINALLY arrived, and got ready with his scrubs and everything else. He had me push just about 4 times and then her head was out! I couldn't believe I had actually done a successful VBAC and I was looking at my beautiful baby girl. Once her head was out he told me not to push - UH>>> WHAT?! There was still so much pressure, but he was suctioning her and making sure the cord wasn't around her neck. 

He finally told me to push just one last time and he pulled the rest of her out. He cleaned her off a bit and then placed her on my chest. It was the most emotional experience and both Josh and I were a mess of tears. What a blessing! Josh and I instantly said how much she looked like Sawyer - and she did. She was the spitting image of her precious big brother. The hospital has a policy where they like to let the moms have the babies skin to skin and start breastfeeding for the first hour after birth. I was nervous about breastfeeding being successful, but Rhory nursed like a champ and it definitely gave me some confidence for the days to come. We just soaked in all of her newborn goodness before the baby nurse was to come in to the room. The next hour was spent with the baby nurse giving her a bath, weighing her, etc. Our parents were able to come visit before we were moved from the delivery room.

this has to be my favorite picture
 Rhory Camille Murphy
12:43 PM
September 4, 2014
7 pounds, 7 ounces
20 1/4 inches




family in the waiting room :)
The next hours are kind of a blur. I was moved from the delivery room to the mother/baby room and both Rhory and I were checked over by our nurse. Rhory was nursing about every two hours and we had several visitors before things settled down around 8:00 PM that night. Rhory hates to be swaddled and she hated the bassinet so a lot of the first night was spent in my arms - which we both didn't mind :) The hospital is very pro "rooming-in" and I didn't really see the nurse until she had to come in and check me and/or give me medicine. They were really great about letting us just have time to start getting adjusted. 

The next day we had several more visitors and then some visitors from different people that needed to check Rhory over. They weighed her again, checked her hearing, and the pediatrician came in to check her over. I was ready to go home, but Dr. Pohl had said that I experienced more blood loss than normal with a vaginal delivery and had ordered a test to check my hemoglobin levels. He came in that afternoon and said they were low, but nothing that wouldn't be fixed with daily iron supplements. He indicated he would be more comfortable with me staying an additional night just to make sure things were staying on track. Josh and I agreed that if the doctor felt it was a good idea for me to stay Friday night, then we would be staying. Looking back, I am glad we did because of Rhory's jaundice levels. I mentioned to the nurse that she looked slightly yellow and she ordered a bilirubin test for in the morning. That night Rhory experienced what they call "second night delight" and I swear she was literally attached to my breast, nursing ALL night long. Fine by me though, she still hated the bassinet so I would have probably held her all night long regardless :P. 

Friday morning they did the bili test and it came back a little high so they were still going to discharge us, but wanted us to come back the next morning (Sunday morning) for a repeat test. We finalized all of the discharge paperwork and made our way out of there! (Side note: She now weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces, which is normal for them to lose some weight.) We knew from the beginning we were going to want to stop by to let her meet her big brother, and that is exactly what we did. It was hot and I wasn't feeling the best so it was a short visit. We then headed home with our baby girl - what a glorious feeling that was!









Sawyer had an outfit just like this for his coming home outfit. Obviously in boy colors :)



Murphy Family <3

Huckleberry LOVES the baby!

I will post more about our second stay due to her jaundice levels rising later. I have been trying to write this one post for like 5 days! LOL


Josh and I are head over heels with this little lady. She truly is our rainbow after the storm, and we are so thankful. It hasn't been easy, as we have realized so much we missed out on with Sawyer, but we are relishing in every little noise and movement Rhory makes, soaking it all in trying not to miss a beat. She looks a lot like Sawyer, too. At first I struggled with that because it made the reality that much more... real. It is still such a weird experience - to be sad about all we missed out on with Sawyer but overly happy about all we are able to experience with Rhory. I know her big brother is watching out for her already and I have already told her how much he loves her. 

Thank you for continuing to pray for us through this new adjustment! Our family is blessed and I am so excited to see the blessings that continue to unfold. 

Love,
Ashlyn

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Rhory Camille: Change of Plans!

In just a few short hours I will be 39 weeks pregnant! It is crazy how fast this pregnancy has gone by, but also how slowly it has seemed at times. I have been having twice weekly appointments since 33 weeks and everything with Rhory looks great - they even think the brightness of her bowels has resolved itself! Praise the Lord! 

Now, for the change of plans! I went in on Tuesday for my 39 week appointment/NST and still had the c-section scheduled for tomorrow at 7:30 AM. All along I had sworn that if I was still pregnant at 39 weeks we would just go ahead with the c-section. With Sawyer I was induced and after 24 hours and getting stuck at 9 cm, it ended in a c-section. I was fine with that, though, I just didnt want to try it again to just have the same end result. Well, once Rhory turned head down and we were told her head was engaged we started giving a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) more thought. I also thought that at my 38 week appointment my Dr. would check me, but he didn't and I left confused. I had no idea what my body was doing, or if it was even preparing so I still didn't feel comfortable forging ahead with a VBAC. At my 39 week appointment he said he would check me and we could decide then if I wanted to do the VBAC. I was 2 cm dilated, 50% effaced and my cervix was soft - all signs that an induction would be much more successful this time. With the c-section only 2 days later I knew we had to make the decision. I called Josh and my mom and neither had an strong opinion either way, but since we had been leaning towards the possibility of a VBAC if she had come on her own we decided I might as well try! At any point during the labor process if I feel more comfortable with a c-section Dr. Pohl said to let him know and that would be fine. Another reason for wanting to try the VBAC is that after 2 c-sections, that is kind of it -- you have to have c-sections for all subsequent pregnancies. Josh and I (lord-willing) would like to have several more children, and I know that the risk with each c-section gets greater and greater. If I have a VBAC delivery this go around I can have vaginal births with all my future pregnancies, which is less risky than a c-section. With all that being said, either way Rhory makes her arrival, be it vaginal delivery or c-section, Josh and I will just be happy she is here!

Our induction time is 1 AM Wednesday night/Thursday morning, as in 4 HOURS FROM NOW! I didn't post anything when we made the decision because I was trying to let it sink in, but now as tomorrow quickly approaches there are more and more people asking about the c-section time so this is the easiest way to get the word out! We will check in at 1 AM and they should start pitocin around 2 AM. Dr. Pohl will break my water later on, and we will go from there. I will post updates periodically, and of course pictures when she is here! Facebook will have more current updates, and a blog post will come whenever I have time.

Josh and I are thrilled that we are so close to meeting our precious baby girl, but we are also a bundle of nerves. We have done this before; anxiously awaited the birth of our son and prepared our house, only to never bring him home. I have faith that Rhory is going to come out kicking and screaming and healthy as can be, but all of that doesn't change our past experiences and how they continue to impact us today. In all reality I wish that tomorrow I was figuring out who would be watching Sawyer and what time he would come meet his little sister. It hurts a lot that I won't be doing that. It hurts that to the outside world this is our last night as just Josh and I, but the truth is tomorrow we will be a family of four - even if it doesn't appear that way to those on the outside. I wish we would be adjusting to life with a toddler and a newborn, but in all actuality we will be adjusting to life with the first newborn we have had in our home, that is actually our second child. 

Prayers are greatly appreciated for an easy labor and delivery, and a healthy baby.

Pray for a successful VBAC.

Prayers for peace as we make the transition to a family of four, that is a family of three living here on Earth.

We love you all and are so thankful you have continued to follow and share in this journey we call life. We know Sawyer is going to be with us every step of the way, and I know he will always watch over his baby sister.

Love,

Ashlyn

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rhory: 36 weeks

I cannot even believe I am 9 months pregnant and less than 3 weeks from meeting this precious baby! I will post my weekly pictures later on in this post. 

The plan right now is to stick to our scheduled c-section on September 4, BUT if she decides to come early I will attempt a VBAC. Dr. Pohl and I both feel confident that if I go in to labor on my own before the csection then it would be an okay idea to try to have a vaginal delivery. If it comes to be September 4, I will go ahead with the csection because of what happened with labor with Sawyer. Due to his heart issues I was induced at 38 weeks, in labor for 24 hours, and got stuck at 9 cm with him showing now signs of really being ready - which led to the csection. I do not want to be induced again, and even if I was it would have to be monitored closely and I'm just fearful of the same thing happening again and would rather skip all of that and have the csection on the 4th if my body wasn't ready. 

My fingers are crossed she comes early on her own. At my appointment Dr. Pohl checked me and said that her head is engaged, and I am 50% effaced. He said that was typical for 35, almost 36 weeks. I never showed even signs of getting ready with Sawyer so I was happy to hear that! All of my NSTs and BPPs (each week) have looked great! She is a little ninja and is always moving :)

As time gets closer I find myself getting more and more anxious. I am ready for her to get here but not ready all at the same time! Life is pretty busy so that is keeping me distracted. Rhory's birth and arrival is going to be an unexplainable amount of emotions. I have tried to run through them in my head but there is no way I can really be prepared. Someone asked me how I was doing the other day and I told them that I was on both ends of the emotional spectrum, which is so strange. I always wondered if anyone could be happy and sad at the same time - and I am living proof that it happens. It makes me think of the movie A Walk to Remember where she wants to be in two states at once so he drives her to the state line and has her straddle the line so she can be in two places at once. On one side I am so thrilled/excited/overjoyed that our sweet girl will be here soon! We are so ready for her and so thankful for another blessing from the Lord. On the other side I am so sad that her big brother isn't here to meet her. You see all of the pictures from the hospital when a family has their second child and they introduce them to the older sibling, and we just won't get that. It hurts my heart that she will never meet him this side of Heaven. So there you have it, if you were wondering how I am doing - I am both happy and sad at the same time and I am still working on figuring out how that could be. We are so thankful for those of you continuing to pray for our hearts, especially over these next few weeks! Here is my favorite verse I have been clinging to this week:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

God has already gone before us, and His plan for her arrival is PERFECT!

 
Alright, on to my weekly pictures and pregnancy fun facts :) (I also have a blog post in the works for my baby showers... that will come at some point, ha!)






Fun Pregnancy Information
How far along: 36 weeks! (and 3 days when this was posted!)

Total weight gain: My net gain is 1 pound. I can't seem to gain any weight and it has been pretty concerning to me. I ask Dr. P about it at every appointment but Rhory is growing right on schedule and my fundal height is perfect so he told me to stop worrying.
Maternity clothes: Yep!

Stretch marks: A few more around my belly button.My belly button has definitely made its way OUT!

Sleep: Pretty much non-existent, but that is okay! The other night I slept on the couch because I could NOT get comfortable in the bed at all.

Best moment of this week/month: All of the baby showers, seeing the 3D images of our sweet girl, and getting the nursery organized, oh- and packing my hospital bag!

Miss anything:Sleeping on my stomach!

Movement: ALL THE TIME, I call her my ninja!

Food cravings: Dessert, I still want dessert. We went to Kroger tonight and I wanted strawberries and grapes. Guess which two fruits they were out of? Yep, those. LAME! Also, chicken fries. If you haven't heard - they are back at Burger King!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still hit or miss, last night I couldn't finish the chicken strip sandwich from Sonic because it was not sitting right.

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Girl!

I'll keep you all updated on Rhory's impending arrival! I have another two appointments this week, as usual. Countdown is at 18 days (or sooner!).


Until next time, 
Ashlyn

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rhory: 32 weeks!

8 MONTHS - SAY WHAT?! Sometimes I feel like this pregnancy has dragged on, yet at others I feel as if it is flying by faster than I can catch up! I haven't taken my 32 week picture yet (I got behind with being out of town) but here are my 29-31 week pictures. One is semi-blurry, but I am just lucky to have them at all because my memory card decided to wipe itself on vacation and my dad and brother worked really hard to restore them (thankfully they were able to get them all back!).



At 30 weeks I had an appointment with Dr. Pohl and everything looked great! I would have started twice weekly testing last week, but since we went out of town we just pushed it back a week. I made sure to check and double check with both Dr. Pohl and Maternal-Fetal Specialists (MFM) that this would be okay, and they were all fine with it! Typically I would see Dr. Pohl on Tuesdays for my NST (non-stress test) and weekly appt and then on Friday go to MFM for my BPP (bio-physical profile, but this week was a little different due to some insurance issues. I will see Dr. Pohl for two NST's (Tuesday and Friday) and next week I will start the regular schedule. My NST looked great today and he said "well, I see we have a very happy baby here" and I would agree!

We haven't shared this publicly for any other reason than it just never really came up an appropriate time to say anything. The reason for our insurance issues is that Josh got a new job about a month ago! We are so thankful for God's timing and that this will enable us to be more financially secure before Rhory gets here. As most of you know, insurance does not usually just pick up when you start a new job, but it does immediately end when you leave your old job! Our new insurance starts August 1 (next Friday, hooray!) and until then we have just been paying for Dr. Pohl's visits out of pocket because they weren't that expensive and Josh's employer has helped with some of them. We have the option to use COBRA in the meantime, but the premium would have been more expensive then just paying for these appointments. We do have COBRA as a back up in the event that I were to go to the hospital or need to visit the specialist. Both Dr. Pohl and the specialist were okay with waiting until August 1 to start the BPP's - those appointments are OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive, but we would have gone if they had wanted to start them at 32 weeks. 

Speaking of job news, I have some of my own to share. Again, there just hasn't been a time that seemed good to say anything. As you know I spent the last school year teaching at a small private school in Loganville. I am currently getting my Master's in Elementary Education and this job was definitely where I was supposed to be! I loved the students and I thoroughly enjoyed teaching, so I knew that I had found my true calling and was doing the right thing in getting my Master's. As much as I enjoyed teaching at the private school, I have always felt called to the public school system; especially to those schools in high-need areas. This spring I will be required to complete a semester of student teaching in order to complete my Master's Program. At the end of the school year I turned in my resignation to the private school and began exploring options for student teaching in the spring. I have a few options - the most exciting is that I could potentially student teach in the classroom with my third grade teacher - HOW NEAT! I am currently doing some part-time work, and will continue that until and after Rhory is born until I start student teaching. Josh and I feel very confident that these career moves are both the right thing for our family, and are trusting as God leads us through the next several months!

Gosh, that sure is a lot of excitement right there! But are you ready for more?! We have kept a pretty tight lid on this news, but I am ready to share. At my 28 week appointment Dr. Pohl went ahead and scheduled my c-section! YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT!! He asked me early on if I had a preference, and I wasn't really sure. I have heard horror stories about vaginal deliveries, and my c-section recovery was actually really awesome so I felt stuck on what to do. Josh and I prayed and I have felt a peace about having another c-section. My labor last time was 24 hours, I never progressed past 9 cm, and Sawyer's head was so large the doctor was telling me how much of a good thing it was I had a c-section. I know there are differing opinions on what is better, but this is the best decision for our family, and I am looking forward to meeting sweet Rhory, regardless of how she makes her entrance!  Okay, okay... I know you want the date.... So here it is:

September 4! It is official, ya'll - we will meet our little girl on September 4 and I couldn't be more excited/nervous! When Sawyer was born we missed out on a lot because he was whisked away, but pending everything looks good with Rhory we will have quite a different experience this go around and we want to make the most of it. Josh and I have decided that for the first several (to be determined) hours after Rhory is born, we only want our parents, siblings, and their families to come in to visit. These people are very special to us, and none of them were able to hold Sawyer while he was living here on this Earth. We know that while Rhory's birth is going to be filled with so much excitement, it is also going to be quite the emotional experience for us and our immediate families. After we are moved to the mother/baby floor we would love to have visitors to meet our sweet girl, just not all at once LOL! 

I actually have even more to share with you - gosh, this blog post has turned in to quite the excitement! We have finished the nursery and I am ready to share pictures! I don't love the lighting, but oh well. I have held on to the theme and cuteness for TOO LONG! We used a lot of the things from Sawyer's nursery which makes it that much more special. The curtains, quilt, and pillow were all made by my Mawmaw and I am so thankful for her help! They turned out great. The quilt is actually the bedding we had for Sawyer. It originally had a brown border, but she covered it with the same fabric used in the curtains and the pillow. The 3-D tree bookshelf was made by my wonderful husband (with the help of my wonderful in-laws!) I showed Josh a picture of what I wanted, but this is so much better than I could have imagined. Brett and Josh painted the walls (they were yellow before) and Brett helped us put the tape down for the chevron mini-stripes on the wall behind the crib. The three pictures were a score at an antique store and also used in Sawyer's room at our old house! I painted the letters for her name and made sure they matched everything else. Her bow holder was another idea I had from Pinterest, and I love it! Now - all we need is Rhory! Many thanks to EVERYONE who helped us finish the nursery :)







We are so close to meeting Rhory it is almost unbelievable! We appreciate those of you who have prayed with us through this pregnancy and will continue to pray for us through these few remaining weeks! 

Fun Pregnancy Information
How far along: 32 weeks!

Total weight gain: My net gain is 3 pounds. I have gained all the weight back I originally lost, and have now started actually gaining.
Maternity clothes: Yes! Wore my two-piece out on vacation, though :)

Stretch marks: A few more around my belly button. I never got an 'outie' with Sawyer, but it looks like that might be the case this time!

Sleep: Pretty much non-existent, but that is okay!

Best moment of this week/month: Our yearly family vacation, finishing the nursery, first baby shower

Miss anything: Not particularly

Movement: ALL THE TIME, my mom says she is going to come out swinging

Food cravings:DESSERT - I want it all, literally after every meal! LOL (still wanting dessert, haha)

Anything making you queasy or sick: It is hit or miss, but not anything in particular

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Girl!

Until next time,
Ashlyn

Monday, July 21, 2014

St. Augustine 2014

Anyone who knows me knows that I love the beach, and I especially love it at 32 weeks pregnant when I can spend a good amount of time in the water! My family has been going to Crescent Beach for as long as I can remember. It is easily my favorite vacation spot; it's a familiar place with familiar people. We have a lot of other families that end up going the same time we do and we have grown closer as the years have gone by. We eat at our favorite restaurant - O'steens - and enjoy our Friday pizza from Tony's. We also go out on Thursdays to downtown and the Go Fish store for our "buddy bands" - a tradition recently started. Not much has changed other than our ages and that is okay with me!

I wanted to take advantage of the scenery and get some maternity photos - I was checking out pinterest the first few days for some "beach maternity photos" to try and come up with some poses since it would just be my mom snapping the pictures. I also had to really play in to the idea of "family pictures" because it was the way one of our good friends had planned to propose to my cousin. Originally my cousin was going to have a photographer take their pictures but at the last minute decided to save some money and she cancelled them. I racked my brain and set out to convince her to let my mom just take some pictures so she would still have some. Lucky for me, and her then-boyfriend, she took me up on the offer!

 Here are some of my favorite maternity pictures from the beach 







This isn't our first family vacation to Crescent Beach, but that didn't make it any easier. Some elements were harder. Like the fact that it was easy for us and everyone else to say "next year we will be doing this or that with Rhory", and as much as I am praying for that to happen - I have unfortunately learned that no one is promised tomorrow. It has been a struggle for me to really make "future" plans because all of the plans I had in my head for Sawyer were never fulfilled, and unfortunately they never will be fulfilled. I want to make plans and be excited for the next vacation and that we will have Rhory, but my mind has almost created a mental block from doing so. For now, we continue to push forward and I continue to work past the struggle of being excited for the future. 

Last year we released balloons in memory of Sawyer. It was really special and everyone was able to sign a balloon. I knew I wanted to do something different this year because the idea of releasing that many balloons every year made me weary - with all the environmental risks and what not. So my next idea was sparklers. I will just say the beach, plus wind, plus sparklers - TERRIBLE... We did try, but we could hardly get them lit. Ha! My aunt had a really great idea of a message in a bottle - and that was the winner! I wrote a note with Sawyer's story- and a link to the blog - for whoever finds the bottle. We also released one balloon that everyone was able to sign. Josh picked out a pirate themed balloon since we were at the beach :)

Throwing out the message in a bottle has to be the craziest thing I have ever done. I thought we would be able to go out just up to our knees and chunk the bottle but it was too choppy so Josh insisted we wade out to further and we were CHEST DEEP, in ALL of our clothes. He threw it as far as he could and we quickly hurried to get out of what I was sure was shark-feeding territory. We then made our way up to the sparklers. We started to open the package as my brother made is way up with a bottle in his hand. Yep, you guessed it-  the message in a bottle had made it's way back to shore within just 5 minutes! I was discouraged, but we made a plan to throw it out the next morning off the pier between high and low tide to be sure it was pulled out to sea for a good amount of time before being discovered! We lit the sparklers and had some fun and then headed up to the room to dry off and rest. I think the message in a bottle is something we will do every year until Rhory and our other future children are old enough to make some decisions about what they want to do in memory of their big brother Sawyer!

Here are some pictures from the balloon release, message in a bottle toss, and sparklers!









One last tradition that we have had for years is filling sand bottles after every trip. This is something my mom started with my brother and I way back when. I knew it was something I would want to do with my children and we did one last year for Sawyer. This year we did two - one for Rhory and one for Sawyer! The bottles are actually Cracker Barrel syrup bottles that we get from our stop on our drive down. Josh and I did the ones for Sawyer and Rhory, and my mom still wanted my brother and I to fill one for her.







 From buddy bands, the farmers market, and O'steen's to messages in a bottle, maternity pictures and surprise proposals - this was a great trip with great people. We miss Sawyer, and I would have loved to see him playing on the beach with his cousins - but I know he had the best view of all! 

Until next time,
Ashlyn