Eleanor's Birth Story

Posted on: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Eleanor Mae | February 3rd, 2015 | 10:51 pm | 7lb 15 oz | 21 in

I've seen a lot of people writing up their birth stories for their kiddos, and I didn't really think I'd be one of them, but here I am. I wanted to share it because I don't really mind people reading it, and I'm sure some folks are curious how it went down. I also wanted to remember it for myself, and for Eleanor. I actually took little notes on my phone during the day, as I knew some details would probably be lost on me once she was here. I want to note that didn't have a specific birth plan going in. I figured I would more than likely get an epidural at some point, and otherwise, I planned to take things as they came and heed the advice of the doctors and nursing staff.

During my last few appointments leading up to E's due date of January 22nd, my doctor checked for dilation and effacement, and to see if her head had dropped down further into my pelvis. Come almost 41 weeks I was still only just barely 2 cm dilated, so we scheduled a two part induction for 41.5 weeks.On Monday, February 2nd, I was scheduled to go in to the doctors office at 4:20 pm for a balloon catheter to be placed, to mechanically open the cervix overnight, if I was still just at 2 cm or less. I was, so my doctor placed the balloon in, and I was walked over to Labor and Delivery in the building next door. The balloon wasn't painful, I just felt pressure. I was glad that we were trying non-medicinal induction to begin with, though I knew pitocin would be the next step in the morning.

Kyle and I never had an opportunity to tour L&D at the hospital in Waco (just the one in Temple, where we took the birth class), so checking in on Monday evening was our first time past the reception desk. Our room was huge and very nice. The nurse came in and I got into my stylish hospital robe and into my bed. Nurses then came in to get me hooked up to the IV, which I wasn't aware was going to happen right away as it seemed like nothing was going on (but it makes sense, as anything could happen at any time, and they had to start fluids in preparation for the next steps of induction). Folks always have a difficult time finding where to hook me up to IVs; my hands don't seem to cooperate. I was stuck three times with the last time finally working. The nurses assured me that the IV would hurt more than an epidural going in, and they were right (I felt nothing from getting the epidural, and when I wrote most of this two weeks later, my hand was still sore from that IV).

I was hooked up to monitors and IV, listening to E's heartbeat, feeling pretty calm and comfortable. With the balloon in, that evening I felt my first few contractions low in my belly (and the monitor confirmed that these were indeed contractions, hooray!). Nothing painful, and I didn't continue to feel much into the night. Once everything was settled, Kyle left to go get us a late dinner (Panera). While he was gone, the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me and go over everything, and have me sign a form. Kyle and I ate, and though I wasn't feeling very hungry at all, I knew I wasn't able to eat past midnight, so I made sure I ate as much of my sandwich as I could. After that, I sent Kyle home for the night so he could be with the animals and probably get a better sleep than on the hospital bed/couch. I settled in to try to sleep and get as much rest as I could (with the assistance of a sleeping pill).

Even so, I got maybe an hour or two of sleep. I don't remember being uncomfortable or anything, I'm just not great at sleeping in the first place. The balloon came out on its own just past midnight (as it was meant to when it had done its job). I was scheduled to start pitocin at 5:30 on the morning of Tuesday, February 3rd, so Kyle returned to the hospital around 5 am. The nurses hooked the pitocin up to my IV, and gradually increased it at both 7:30 and 8:30 am (at least those were the two times I noted). At 8:45 am my doctor came and broke my water, which was a bizarre feeling (and I just imagined if it had happened on its own while I was at work or in bed or something). Contractions definitely picked up at that point. They weren't too strong or painful to begin with, but after an hour and a half during which the pain, frequency, and strength of the contractions really increased, I was ready for an epidural. The anesthesiologist had advised I not wait too long before requesting one, as it can take 30 minutes or more for him to get there to administer the epidural. He was in fact busy with a c-section when I requested it, so Kyle and I did get to put some of our birth class breathing skills to use (I preferred to be standing up to manage the pain).

I received the epidural at 11 am, without any pain or problem, and I felt pretty great. The nurses also put in a catheter, since your legs go numb and you obviously can't get up to use the restroom. One of the weirdest things was my legs being numb for hours. I felt like they weighed about 600 lbs, and it was weird having the nurses have to move and position me (if you know me, you can imagine it being weird for me to not be able to do something myself). I wasn't able to eat still (in case they would have to do a c-section), but I was pleasantly surprised when they brought me a couple popsicles throughout the afternoon. I'm not entirely sure how we passed the afternoon hours. I read a little and napped a little. I remember I started to get quite hungry, and gradually got more uncomfortable with not being able to move and just waiting. I remember getting the chills and getting quite cold; turns out this was also accompanied by a fever up to 100.8, which was a little concerning for the hospital team.  There was a bit of an infection developing inside my uterus, which is a big reason why doctors set the time limit of 24 hours for getting the baby out once the water is broken, so I was given antibiotics.

During a check at about 2pm, I had dilated to about 5 cm, which was exciting progress. But, I wasn't getting much further than that at subsequent checks. The nurses repositioned me a couple of times in the evening to try to get E down further, and to get contractions, which had been inconsistent and not to the strength level they needed to be, stronger and more on track. They also put in an internal monitor, so they could tell the strength of the contractions, not just see when they were happening, as the external monitor shows. Later in the evening, my contractions were reaching the strength they needed to be at (it was cool to watch the monitor, because I certainly couldn't feel anything). However, come 10 pm when my doctor came to check again, I was still at 5 cm and hadn't made any progress there in the last 8 hours or so. While my temperature had gone down, that combined with the infection risk factors that had popped up, led my doctor to call for a c-section. For whatever reason, it wasn't looking like E was going to cooperate with my body and make her way out.

Once the c-section was called for, things happened really fast! It wasn't an emergency c-section, but I think Kyle and I were both surprised when surgery preparation started right away, as we hurried and texted family and friends the update.  Several nurses came in to prepare me, and give Kyle his outfit and instructions. The anesthesiologist came back and adjusted the epidural meds to make me numb up through my abdomen. I was wheeled over to the surgery room, thinking it was nice for me to see outside of that room for a little bit. I was transferred to the surgery table and staff were busy getting ready around me. I don't mind medical things or some pain, but naturally, once I was on the table with my arms out, I got really nervous and started shaking quite a bit. I tried to calm myself down and breathe but it didn't work too well. The anesthesiologist stayed up at my head, and he was very comforting. I heard the team count their instruments, and all in all the atmosphere was very calm and casual. Kyle came in to sit next to my head and give me a hand to squeeze, which I certainly did.

The procedure was not without pain. All of the intense pressure, pulling, tugging, and shifting, translates to a bearable pain, and is a most bizarre feeling. I couldn't tell where in the process they were, but I first knew she was out because there were exclamations about how her eyes were wide open when they pulled her out; she was staring right at the doctors, which they said never happens, and seemed to amuse everyone. Immediately after, I heard her cry, and my tears started flowing. I saw them bring her over to my left side, taking her to be checked out. Kyle had a chance to watch that process, and he was able to briefly bring her over for me to see. I can't remember exactly what was wrong, but the nurses heard something off in her breathing, and they had to make sure the infection during labor hadn't impacted her, so she was taken to the nursery to be thoroughly looked over and tested. I didn't know what to expect or when I would see her again. The doctors continued working on me, and I heard them exclaim that the placenta was very big (I would have liked to have seen it). This was the most painful part of the surgery, and I threw up down the side of my face and into my ear.

They finished the surgery, and Kyle went to watch what was going on with Eleanor, while I went to a recovery bay for the next two hours. Every 15 minutes or so, the nurses would press hard on my abdomen- that was also very painful. I was pretty groggy and very tired; it was hard to keep my eyes open. Kyle came back to sit with me after a while and let me know that all was well with Eleanor. After the two hours, I was wheeled into what would be our room for the remainder of our hospital stay. I still didn't know when they'd be bringing E to us; around 3 am they wheeled her in, and I got to hold her in my bed for the first time.

For the next two and a half days, I stayed in that room with E, while shift after shift of various nurses took care of us, ran tests, and checked to make sure immediate recovery was going well. We also had visits from lactation consultants, who helped me figure out the whole new world of nursing. I didn't sleep for most of our stay in the hospital, but I didn't feel overly exhausted. Kyle stayed in the room with us as well, leaving a few times a day to check on the animals and/or get food. I didn't feel too terrible; I think I was more enthusiastic and able-bodied than the nurses were expecting when I was first able to get up (and also using less pain medication than is normal), so they had to tell me to take it easy and go slow. For the most part, I felt pain when I was moving up and about, though it was a bit difficult to find a comfortable position in the hospital bed. Also, my legs and feet were swollen to an extreme level, and it actually became painful and difficult to move because of that. On Thursday afternoon, they finally took the IV out, and I was able to shower that evening, and change out of the hospital gown, which made me feel more like a person again. With a c-section, the hospital stay is at least 48 hours, but since Eleanor was born so late on Tuesday, we were told check-out probably wouldn't be until sometime during the day Friday. Friday dragged on, as we were just waiting for the last check from the doctor to let us know I was good to leave. Finally, later on that bright and sunny Friday afternoon, baby and I were able to emerge from the hospital and head home.

All in all, I feel we had a pleasant and easy experience. Kyle and I were calm and collected the whole time, and we were easy patients (so say our nurses). I don't mind at all that I had to have a c-section; the only thing I found myself a little sad about was that I wasn't able to hold her on me immediately after she was born. We aren't entirely sure why Eleanor wasn't making her way out, but everyone is just glad she made it and is happy and healthy!

Eleanor's Room

Posted on: Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I wanted to share a look at Eleanor's room, since I'm really pleased with how it came together, and baby rooms are just fun! Also, let's be honest, this is by far the most put together room in our new house. I basically just started with a few ideas (and a Pinterest board) and went from there: grey with a green accent wall, neutrals with a variety of colors, simple with room for change, kid-friendly.
 featuring Luna, our hospital bags, and the Rock n' Play where she'll sleep in our room
garland- Target this past holiday season, changing pad and cover- Land of Nod, "e"- Anthropologie, dresser and cart- IKEA
drawer 1- clothes and accessories newborn to 3/6 months, pacifiers, socks and mits
drawer 2- shoes, receiving blankets and swaddles, clothes and accessories 6-12 months
drawer 3- storing extra items (soap, wipes, diapers, pacifiers, etc)
prints from Hello Hue, Lucy Darling, and Penny Arcade (a comic strip/company Kyle follows- this is pretty much the one thing he picked specifically for her room!), cube shelf and baskets- IKEA, crazy cat clock my mom found up in Canada (the tongue swings)
using this unit to store books, her few toys/teethers (Sophie and Kiki!)/stuffed animals, and in the baskets are extra linens (changing pad covers, towel and crib sheet) and bibs; green basket (Target) to the right is for laundry
the little orb is a night light from IKEA over a year ago, teddy bear from Gap, knit kitty doll from blabla
print- Rifle Paper Co, whales- Cherry Garden Dolls, crib sheet- Land of Nod, lamp- Target
Boppy pillow, a collection of my stuffed moose (plus a bear and a moomin from Finland), wire basket storing a couple blankets
undecided about that "smile" print- it's from our wedding and was in our room (where it may return to)
two closets! The left one is just being used for extra storage, right one for baby things; rug from Rugs USA
I am undecided if I want a rocking chair/glider yet, so that will go by the window if we get one. 
This random shelf fit perfectly in this space, so I used it to display some cute and colorful items, and some of the clothes my Nana Rose knit for Eleanor! penguin and "E" Christmas ornaments from west elm, E and M blocks found at Spice Village in Waco. 
closet mostly storing boxes, packaging, and instruction booklets from all the baby items as well as some diapers, baby monitor, and stroller accessories; clothes on the left are up to 6 months, on the right up to 18 months. I need to get more hangers!

I'm looking forward to seeing how things change and evolve with actual use!

- S

Baby Update

Posted on: Friday, September 19, 2014

It's been over two months since I shared that we're having a baby in January, so I thought it was time for a little update.

Her Name
We found out at the end of August that the baby is a girl, and we're naming her Eleanor. I've had the name on my list of names for future kids for probably 3 or 4 years now, and Kyle liked it as well (and didn't love my other top girl name choice. But I'm not giving up and going to save it for if we have another girl), so it was easy to arrive at. I didn't have anything or anyone particular in mind when the name Eleanor came to me years ago, but obviously you think of Eleanor Roosevelt, and that is a fine association by me! The middle name is proving to be much harder. We're leaning towards something with one syllable, and I don't want her name to sound too "old," since Eleanor is a classic name itself (I saw it's in the top 10 popular girl names for 2014 so far). I joke that if we can't come up with something, we will just go with BeyoncĂ© and call it a day. People have suggested using family names, but I'm not particularly fond of any names on either side, nor attached to any meanings (nor have any been conveyed to me by relatives), and I feel that once you start down that road you have to continue for every kid, and I have no interest in engaging in the drama that might ensue with that. Plus, you only get to name so many human beings in your life, so you should name them what you love!

I've been asked if I think she may be born and not seem like an Eleanor, if we will pick a different name, but I really think that after referring to a life by one name for so many months, it would be hard to picture her as or call her anything else, you know? I've seen her face (and spine and toes and femurs and heart beating, etc) and she's already our Eleanor.

I don't imagine we will have any family with us when Eleanor is born. I don't know that she will know her extended family well for her first 2-3 years of life, either, since everyone lives far away from us, and I doubt there will be more than one visit a year as it has been for the most part since we moved to Texas. Kyle and I certainly won't be able to travel much.

I don't think it is ideal to grow up without extended family around. I did for the most part, and when my grandparents died I didn't really feel much because I didn't know them. I learned more about my grandfather from his online obituary than I remembered hearing about my whole life. I don't want for it to be this way for Eleanor and potential future kiddos. I feel like Kyle and I get almost blamed for being far away in Texas, and staying in Texas maybe longer than originally thought, even though neither of us came here by choice, and it's unreasonable to not expect us to make a life here while it's where we are living, particularly given the nature of my work (that deeply ingrains me in the community). We would like to move back to the North eventually, but it's more difficult than packing up and leaving. It may happen in 2 or 3 years. Anyway, we have done most of our lives together without family around, so it's not going to be an adjustment and there's not any expectation of family involvement as I imagine there would be for other new parents who have family close by or even in the same part of the state or country.

Everyone seems very excited for her arrival, and I'm extremely excited for her to meet people, whenever that happens! Maybe  folks might be able to visit during Spring Break.

We had our 18 week anatomy scan at the end of August, where we found out she is a she. She was also hiding a bit, so they couldn't quite get all of the measurements they want, so I was scheduled for another one about four weeks later (yesterday, at 22 weeks!). Ultimately, all of the measurements and pictures they got were marked N for Normal. They also noted my placenta was possibly low-lying, so they wanted to check for that as well. Low lying placenta may cover the cervix, therefore requiring a cesarean section, but I wasn't worried because I read that it typically moves. At the second ultrasound they noted I didn't redemonstrate low lying placenta, so that's good! Eleanor was moving all about at this scan; the tech called her "wiggle worm." I saw her moving her hand to her mouth, opening her mouth, and striking a Thinker pose. It is really the coolest thing, maybe even more since I am such an anatomy dork. I also have been feeling her move more strongly now, and it was neat to both feel and see her move at the same time. I started feeling little blips around 18 weeks, but now it's full-on, strong flutters that are unmistakable. She seem particularly active when I'm driving; maybe something to do with the motion of the vehicle and/or the music. I think she's going to be kicking and punching me a lot in the coming months. I can't wait for Kyle to be able to feel her move from the outside! Also, her due date has moved up a day to 1/22/2015.

I had heard that often women start to feel much better once they enter the second trimester. Well, I got a lot more energy back, and wasn't quite as sick, but still was struggling 2-3 days of the week, throwing up maybe 4 or 5 times in a week and usually getting bad headaches those days (like, hurts to lie down because my whole head is in pain). I have never missed work or even arrived late or left early, though, I just tough it out and allow myself to be miserable when I get home. I've definitely driven to work several days with a plastic bag in my lap, in case. At my last ob appointment I was given a prescription for Zofran to take as needed/desired to help with the sickness, so I will see how that helps things. I still weigh less than I did at my very first appointment (which was just confirming the pregnancy), though I gained back a couple pounds from the first trimester, one of which is all Eleanor as she should now weigh one lb. I am hoping to be able to work pretty much right up until I give birth, so we will see how things go.

It is looking like Kyle will be going to a training in Kentucky for a month, and I'm just a little paranoid that Eleanor will decide to be born super early when he's gone, or that something will happen. At least the only times I'll be alone is when I'm at home in Temple, where I live two minutes away from the hospital.

I'm not really sure what happens next, appointment-wise (as I never am because they never tell me...and yet every time I go in for an appointment they ask me "what brings you in today?!" and I say- "Um, you guys told me to come."). I have a next follow-up appointment from this ultrasound back at the doctors in two weeks, and I got a flyer about birthing classes that I sign up for around 28 weeks.

Baby Things
I've really gotten into researching and looking up baby gear and items we will need.   Before it was mostly overwhelming, but now it's fun for me. I've been adding things to our registry on, as it seemed like the easiest way to gather things from various stores and shops.

I was asked if I'm OK with pink and frilly things for our girl. Yes, but not to the extent that all of her clothes should be pink (/purple/girl), and no leopard print tutus or anything too ridiculous. Also, I pretty much hate baby clothes that say dumb things like "Daddy's Princess" or "Mommy's BFF" or "Worth the Wait," so please, none of that. :) Kyle jokes that we can dye any pink things we get green, but that's not going to happen (though good green baby items are kind of hard to find). I like variety, and in addition to fun "girly" clothing, I want to gather a bunch of neutrals, should we have a boy at some point.

There was talk of having a baby shower up in Pennsylvania in October, for my friends and family up North, but I didn't really see it happening, and I started to think it would be better to save the plane money on either a trip later when the baby is here, or just on baby things we're going to need to buy. I learned in May that being pregnant and taking quick turnaround trips does not mix well. I also don't think seeing a pregnant Sarah is generally an interesting enough reason for people to gather, but I know others would say otherwise.

As far as I know, friends down here are planning a shower for November, so that will be fun and a nice reunion, since people have been all over the place since graduation. I am generally very uncomfortable celebrating myself, but I figure after missing out on a bridal shower, honeymoon, and most typical life celebrations (I don't even have an engagement ring anymore since mine broke a while ago), I should let a baby shower happen, and hopefully Eleanor can take the spotlight, not the person carrying her (no games that involve measuring my belly). I'm excited! :)

What Else
It's looking like Kyle and I will be moving to Waco in December, hopefully a little bit gradually through the first few weeks, so we can be somewhat settled by Christmas. I won't be much help, which I'm sure will drive me crazy, but I will just try to focus on the fun of putting together Eleanor's room and try not to be too controlling about everything else.

We have seen hints of fall here in Texas, and I don't think I've ever been more excited for fall and winter to come. It'll probably be another month until it is more consistently cooler weather, but I'll take whatever I can get!

Having a growing human inside your belly is really the weirdest thing that is actually the most normal and natural thing. It doesn't make any sense for women to have been ever viewed as a "lesser" sex.

Baby McP First Update

Posted on: Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Yep- we're having a baby! It feels great to finally be able to share the news with everyone. It makes things a bit more real. Since we figured we'd be announcing near the start of July, we played off the holiday season (Canada Day on July 1, and Independence Day on July 4), and the fact that I'm Canadian and always root for Team Canada, and Kyle always goes for Team USA (it is particularly heated during the Olympics when Canada always wins at hockey). We each found and selected our respective onesies. Mine- tasteful with a touch of humor (see photo below), Kyle's- a bit obnoxious yet still somehow adorable.

I wasn't sure what to post or how to organize this, so I think I'll just do bullet points for now in one huge post so ENJOY.

- Baby is 11-12 weeks now, with a due date of January 23. Initially, when I first found out I was pregnant, I was given a due date of December 25, which would put me at almost 16 weeks now. Pretty big difference, but I hadn't had an ultrasound prior to last week, so I wasn't that surprised that their estimate was off by nearly a month. My mom's birthday is also 12/25, and my brother is 12/27, and there's also Christmas, so we don't mind pushing it back until later into the new year. (I know babies will come when they come, so you don't need to tell me that due dates don't mean much).

- I found out towards the end of May that I was pregnant. What prompted me to take the test was actually just that I was super tired one day. I could hardly get out of bed and felt so exhausted, and I'm not usually one to do that or nap, so I was like- what is going on!? Kyle had actually flown to PA earlier that day, so I spent the first week of knowing I was pregnant alone (though I told Kyle and a close friend).

- Since Kyle and I were both going to be in PA for a couple days, and probably wouldn't see any family in person until...maybe the baby was born, we decided to share the news in person with immediate family (Kyle's family was in town for his brother's wedding, and my sister and mom are up there). I didn't like the idea of just saying "hey, I'm pregnant!" or some other exclamation, so I came up with the idea to get birthday cards that said "Aunt" and "Grandma" and give them to my sister and mom. I handed them the cards and just said they were thank you cards from graduation stuff, and so they were definitely surprised when they opened them and realized what it meant. I loved it! We ended up doing the same thing for Kyle's parents (though Kyle thought we should announce it at his brother's wedding....full of people I don't know and didn't need knowing I was pregnant....also it's someone else's wedding...poor guy is not gifted in knowing how to share news with people). People were excited and it was fun to share the news.

- Morning/anytime sickness hit just a few days after I found out I was pregnant. The worst was having to take three flights and travel for 15 hours up to PA for the wedding. I broke the "fasten seat belts and remain seated during landing" rule and ran to the bathroom once. The guy at the end of my aisle didn't move at all to let me through, and flight attendant gave me a snarky look and shook her head, so I just had to tell her when I came out that I'm pregnant (so don't give me snark, lady!), at which point she became sympathetic and offered me a drink (ok, baby, we got this). I thought the sickness was done with when I had about a particularly calm week, but it seems to be back, and worst in the evenings. I spent most of June sick in the morning, tired all afternoon, and sick in the evening, so I was super fun. I'm feeling generally better now, but I still have a lot of food aversions (the weirdest is olive oil...even the thought of heating olive oil in a pan to cook something is repulsive), and some days I have to hold my breath if I even step in the kitchen. Ginger ale and crackers help, but please don't ever give me or let me see another ginger chew again. I sucked those continually for the first five days of sickness and can't stand even the thought of them, because they are gross, and I just associate them with feeling crappy now, and who would eat those for pleasure?!

- I am really glad to be having a winter baby! Mostly I'm glad to get summer over with during the first half of this pregnancy (well, more like 2/3 being down in Texas where it won't get consistently cool until October/November), as I already do not like summer and I can't imagine I would be functioning well as a very pregnant person in this heat.

- We have a name for a boy pretty set (we've had that name picked for about five years now). For a girl, I think we have a first name pretty well established (though I have another name I love and would want to use, but Kyle isn't sold), we're just playing with middle names. We will share the sex of the baby once we find out, probably around mid-August. I don't know yet if we will share the name, but probably, and a bunch of people already know the boy name at least. I'm keeping a list, an informal poll on who thinks girl and who thinks boy, so feel free to let me know where to add you name, just for fun! It's pretty even right now.

- I'm pretty sure all the animals will handle a baby well. The cats and Luna will be mostly curious and sniff it out. It'll be good they will have time to adjust to it before it can chase after and grab them. :) I'm excited to see the baby grow up with an awesome pup like Loony.

- Doctors appointments. So far, not like the movies, or even like you think it should be considering you're growing a life and that should be important and not a time for your health care providers to be super chill about things. It has been a lot of waiting, and poor communication, and frustration. I had to wait five weeks from knowing I was pregnant to get my initial appointment (which seemed like a long time, particularly since they were telling me I'd be almost 15 weeks by the time the appointment came around...that is super pregnant). Hopefully, though, the troubles are in the past (laughing at myself for writing this already). The ultrasound? You know in the movies it's a bright room, and you can see the screen and the squirt the goop on you and it's like "there's mah baby!"--that is not how it was. It's a dark room, which was nice and calming. But the tech doesn't say much of anything to you, you can't see the screen, you're left wondering- is there a baby in there? Surely they would have said- oh yes, there's the baby, if they saw it? Thirty minutes of silence and mystery, then the tech leaves the room, and you're sitting the dark room in your gown, fully expecting the tech to return with a doctor to break the bad news to you (what bad news? Oh, you have about 10 minutes to think off all the possible bad news scenarios). But then, the tech returns and says "looks like you're just not quite as far along as they had thought you were." Upon which you then have to ask how far am I then, because you have to ask everything very directly, and the tech tells you and hands you a picture, and says you'll probably come back at 18 weeks. Ok, so there is a baby in there. Good, just wanted to know THAT MUCH AT LEAST. Everyone has been nice to me, which has been the silver lining here.

- It is weird and kind of lonely being pregnant. It is better now that friends and people know, but I don't have any close friends who have had babies or been pregnant, so I'm kind of venturing into unknown waters without much reference. We are also very far from family and close friends, so that's kind of a bummer. Since learning we are having a baby, our plans have kind of narrowed a bit, and we're not looking to move somewhere completely new. I definitely don't want to be moving end of this year, to a new place, with a new baby on the way, and zero support systems. We already live in Temple, where we don't know anyone, so I don't want to do that again if at all possible. So, I'm hoping to get a job in/near Waco, so that I can commute there for now, and we can move towards the end of the year (and then Kyle would hopefully go to Baylor as he will be leaving the Army and planning to finish school). Hopefully all of this works out!

What else? I think that's it for now! No, we haven't bought anything aside from the onesies in the photo above, and a couple books. I think I am more comfortable easing into all of this instead of going crazy for nine months, so I don't feel eager or rushed to go buy all the baby things. Yet.

Thank you for all the excited messages and well wishes! I don't know how much I will be updating on here/various medias, but if there's something worth sharing I will. I have zero plans to take maternity photos (rather, I have all the plans to not take maternity photos), so unless this baby inside of me makes me for some unfathomable reason want to spend money on a professional photographer to take pictures of my pregnant self in a field (I do not understand that impulse at all, though most photos I have seen of other people have been lovely), that won't be happening. Ok, bye for now!

New Tattoo

Posted on: Monday, May 19, 2014

Amid graduation events and happenings, I wanted to share my new tattoo! 

"Sisu" is a Finnish word that doesn't directly translate to English (I lived in Finland for a year, if you didn't know). It means determination, bravery, resilience. Taking on and conquering against odds. Courage and resoluteness in the face of adversity. Guts. Something inside that drives you. Perseverance. Survival. Getting it done. It is all of these things but none of these things exactly. It is housed within your spirit and character. I believe this is the spirit of world changers, and of so many of the people that I chose to surround myself with. I can't think of a better word to capture what I hope to do and be with this one life of mine.
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