Friday, December 28, 2012

back to work

Going back to work after almost eleven weeks of loving on little Minden everyday has been by far one of the hardest things I think I have ever done. 

Once, while Nate and I were still dating, he mentioned he would like me to be a stay-at-home-mom to our kids. I laughed him off and insisted that I would never want that. Then came a long the most precious little baby girl EVER, and immediately I wanted to take it all back. 

Those days at home with her during my maternity leave I dreamed about what it would be like if that were possible for us. If only I could just find a little side job; something I felt passionate about and that would still pay me the same. Enough to give us a little time apart (important for both of us socially) and to make me feel like I wasn't just sitting at home all day. Although it isn't possible for us at this point I still dream of a day when it could be.

The evening before I went back was a battle. I wanted so much to enjoy my last afternoon at home with her, but I couldn’t stop myself from feeling sad. This resulted in the worst headache I have ever had, running a slight fever and lots of tears.Oh man did I cry. I cried that night, the next morning, the entire ride to work, at work and then again on the second day back to work. I sat in the lactation room sobbing while I looked through pictures of her on my phone. I wished I could just stick her back in my belly. Where I knew she was safe and always with me.

I just feel like I missing out on so much time with her. I used to know about every smile, tear and dirty diaper. I am so thankful my sister could come watch her this week to make the transition a tiny bit easier for me. I am sure with time it will get easier. I will start to cry a little less each day until I am no longer a basket case over it. I will keep praying for the strength to get through each day.

Each evening I will continue to hold her a little tighter and kiss her twice as often. I will cherish each and every minute we have together.

My saving grace today is that it is Friday, which means two whole days with my baby are within reach. I just simply cannot wait!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

christmas wishes

We would like to wish our family and friends a very merry and blessed Christmas. We have so much to be thankful for this year. May your day be filled with lots of love.

Also a very merry first Christmas to our baby girl, Minden. Today is so much sweeter having you here with us.

Friday, December 14, 2012

BIG brother cooper

Sweet little almost a month old Minden with Cooper.

I know what you have all been dying to know. That is, how is Cooper handling his new role as a big brother? Truthfully. Really well.

The first two days at home he barked and whined every time she cried, but he has calmed down. If we were changing her diaper he was right their on my leg trying to get a look. 

Her first bath he was right there making sure we knew what we were doing.

He LOVES his little sister. I am sure this love will be reinforced once she figures out he will eat any food she drops. 

The first time I set her on the floor, he ran right over to get a better look, then started pouncing around. It was so sweet; he wanted her to play with him. Soon enough little pup. 

Coop adjusted really well to our little addition. I honestly think he will have a harder time adjusting to me going back to work. He has barely had to spend any time in his kennel since she was born. 

What a good BIG/little fur brother. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

2 months of Minden

Baby Minden,

Another entire month has flashed by right in front of me. Even though your arrival into our family is fairly recent it feels as if you have always been a part of our lives. I am loving every minute of being your mommy.

Nursing is going well. A huge high-five for that one little girl! You are tipping the scales at 12.2 lbs this morning, and you wear 0-3 month clothing also fitting into some 3 month clothing. It seems like something finally fits you and then a week later you have grown out of it already. You have been taking a daily bottle from your dad. You do pretty well with this, but most often prefer to finish nursing on the breast. Makes me feel special and needed.

We don't have much of a schedule yet. Just when I think we have one you with switch it up on me. Most nights however you lay down around 9 pm and will sleep pretty solid until 2 am. After that feeding you are more restless, but will keep drifting off until about 5:30 am or 6 am. You are still in bed with us, and I am not worried about it all. You sleep so much better there, and it makes nursing during the night 10 times easier. I was completely against co-sleeping before you arrived, now I say whatever works!

You have become more social these last few weeks. Giving me smiles and cooing at me. I love it! Especially since you have become more fussy in the evenings. There are times when I have tried every trick that I know to calm you and nothing seems to work. It always passes though. Hopefully you will grow out of that soon.

We are learning more about what you like. I know that when you are tired you like me to pat your back and rock at the same time. You love to nap on my chest like this. You are a light sleeper like your mother. Any little noise can wake you up. You used to sleep through Cooper's barking, but that doesn't happen any more.

I love getting to know you more each day. Your cheeks are getting chubbier and our hearts are getting fuller with love for you. Something I thought was impossible.

Keep growing little girl.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

minden's birth story

****I wrote this about a month after Minden was born. I wanted to try and write it while everything was still pretty fresh. I know it's a little late, but enjoy!****

Here I am one month after Minden’s birth finally sitting down to write her birth story. After reading hundreds of other baby’s birth stories I am about to type hers. It all feels so surreal.  The excitement of finding out we were expecting is still so fresh in my memory. To have her sleeping next to me as I type this is almost more than my new mommy hormones can handle.

Nate and I knew we wanted a natural birth. Unfortunately, I feel like I had a pretty skewed perspective of what natural birth meant. When I thought too much about it; it made me feel nervous and weak. Was this something that I would be physically and mentally strong enough to handle? I just pictured myself lying in a hospital bed twisting and turning in state of pure torture. I had never talked to anyone who had a natural birth. This made it seem impossible to me.

Once we found out we were expecting; it was time to get educated. We chose to use chiropractic, prenatal yoga, a doula and the Bradley Method to achieve the natural birth we desired. Each one of these was so instrumental in our birth story. As this was my first birth, I was not completely comfortable with a home birth. I just felt there were too many unknowns at the time. We decided to go with the midwives at the University of Iowa Hospitals and clinics.

Up until the night before Minden’s birth I had felt such a rush to get things done. We nearly had my “to-do” list complete. That is with the exception of packing the bag for the hospital. We still had three weeks to go, and in my head I was confident I would probably go closer to 42 weeks. I was feeling tired and decided the bag could wait until next weekend. I remember I even fell asleep earlier than usual that Sunday evening. At this point I had been sleeping on the couch for a few weeks.

I woke up that Monday morning around 5:30 am and just felt off. This wasn’t surprising as I had been fighting a head cold for a few days. I got up and headed to the bathroom. It was in there that I started to notice that it felt like I was constantly peeing. I went and woke Nate to tell him. I knew that at this point in my pregnancy it was completely possible to pee yourself. The fluid was clear, and I wasn’t too concerned. I told Nate I still just wasn’t feeling that well and wanted to take the morning off from work.

However, the fluid continued to leak and I began to worry as my due date was still over three weeks away. I decided I would call the labor and delivery nurse. She told me to lie down on my side for one hour and see if the fluid pooled and then gushed out when I stood up.

After only laying for 20 minutes I could feel the fluid still leaking and I started to have low back pains. My stomach then began to cramp and I rushed to the bathroom. As we had learned in our classes it is normal for your body to flush itself before labor. At this point I decided I would call the nurse again. She told me that she would talk to the midwife and call me back.

Nate left for work at this point. I wasn’t sure if I was experiencing labor, had eaten something bad or possibly had the flu. I remember him kissing me goodbye as I was on the floor on all fours bearing through what I thought was a cramp. I kept saying over and over that I didn’t want to be the lady who thought she was in labor and wasn’t. I just kept picturing I would get to labor and delivery, they would take one look at me, tell me I wasn’t in labor and I would have to walk out of there hanging my head in shame.

For the next hour I moved around the house never really sitting. The pains would come and go. I never looked at the clock to see if they were regular or how long they were lasting. I was just focused on getting through it one contraction at a time, or cramp at a time as I thought. The pain would start in my low back then wrap around the front. I walked from room to room resting on counters and squatting by the couch.

It was now 9:30 am and an hour had passed with no call back from the hospital. The pain was getting more intense and I couldn’t wait any longer for an answer. I called the nurse and she apologized as she thought someone had called me back. She transferred me to the midwife. I explained what I had experienced, and she recommended that I come in and get checked out. I later found out that because of the shift change there was a miscommunication between the midwives regarding who would call me, and that is why I had not heard from them.

I called Nate around 9:45 am and explained to him that they wanted to see me. He said he was expecting a patient at 10:30 am. He asked if I would mind driving to the clinic, getting adjusted and then we could head to the hospital. Realizing that he had no idea how intense the pain had gotten, I let him know that he just needed to get home as soon as possible.

On the way to the hospital I tossed and turned in the back seat. I kept repeating to Nate that I didn’t want to be the lady who went in for false labor. He said that during the car ride was when he became convinced I might be in labor. I remember him asking me if it felt like what I thought a contraction would feel like. I replied that I didn’t know. Everything was new and different than the negative perceptions I had associated with labor in the past. While I was in pain, it was more manageable than I expected at that point. Nate called our doula and informed her that we were headed to the hospital to see if my water had broken.

I remember waiting a short time for the elevator after we parked the car. However, it was taking too long and we proceeded to the stairs. I just wanted to keep moving. When we first got to labor and deliver we stood there for a few minutes before someone helped us. She took us back to a triage room. She told me to get changed and asked me to provide a urine sample. I headed straight to the bathroom. While providing a sample, I looked down and there was blood in my urine. That was my “this is it moment”. I panicked and called for Nate.

From that point on things began to move really fast. The pain became much more intense. I wished that I had eaten something that morning. My hands and face began to go numb. I stayed in the bathroom. Nate rubbed my back as I began to throw up. I remember telling Nate I couldn’t do it anymore, that I wanted the epidural. Nate says he recognized the emotional stages from Bradley Class and he thought I must be getting close. That gave him the confidence to help talk me through my feelings of doubt. I just kept thinking I was probably barely into this process and I didn’t know how much more I could handle. He kept reassuring me that I could do it, and reminded me to slow my breathing.

Almost an hour had gone by and no one had checked on us. Nate went out to see what was going on. They were never informed that we were there. The nurse came in and told me I needed to lie down in the bed so they could get 20 minutes on the monitor. The thought of lying down sounded unbearable at this point, and I let them know I felt that way. Once they got me into the bed I wanted out. I felt the urge to go to the bathroom and I told them. My midwife decided she wanted to check me. I was 9 cm dilated with just a little bit of the cervix left.

They wanted to move me to a birthing suite as soon as possible. Just a few minutes later they wheeled me across the hall and asked me to transfer beds. I flipped onto all fours into the new bed, and refused to leave that position. The midwife checked me again and confirmed that I was fully dilated.

On the next contraction I began to push. I pushed like this for awhile before trying a side-laying position. At this time our doula rushed in to join us. She helped me get into the third position that I would eventually deliver in. I remember pushing being extremely exhausting. I also remember the amazing support around me. The nurses, midwife, doula and Nate telling me how great of a job I was doing. It was their encouragement that kept me going.

Nate says I was comical during pushing. He says I would ask silly things between contractions like whether or not I was giving myself a hemorrhoid. He says his face and hands also got tingly at this time. I had brought a water bottle to the hospital, and I remember he kept offering me water, but then I could also hear him chugging from it.

I pushed for an hour and one minute. I looked down and watched Minden come into this world. It was amazing. She was more beautiful than I could have expected. Then I began to panic as they cut her cord. This wasn’t in our plan. We wanted her to stay on the cord until it stopped pulsating. However, she was stunned from a sudden and quick labor and the pediatric team needed to get her breathing.

Once she was breathing they let me hold her for a few minutes before taking her to transition. Nate went with her and that gave me great relief. When I hold her now it still makes me sad that we didn’t get to have the skin to skin contact that we had planned for immediately following birth. I wanted that for me, but more importantly for her.

I remember how energized I felt after birth. I just wanted to get up and go see her. The nurses and midwife were great. They commented on how well I did. They even said they could tell I had done prenatal yoga. They made me feel strong and proud of what I had just accomplished. My doula stayed by my side during this period.

I didn’t get checked into the hospital until after Minden was born. I remember signing the paper afterwards that says they would be allowed to use the vacuum or forceps in an emergency situation. I was relieved that it wasn’t necessary. Not even two hours later I was up and headed to see my baby girl.

I can confidently say that what we did to prepare in the weeks before her birth that gave me the ability to give Minden the natural birth she deserved. The chiropractic adjustments not only gave me relief from the aches and pains of a growing belly, it also kept Minden in the correct position and prepared my body for labor. Prenatal yoga allowed me to find my inner and outer strength. It prepared me not only physically but mentally. Our doula gave us so much information before and during our birth. She stayed with me after and kept me informed on everything going on with my baby. She helped educate me on the hospital processes. She has a great working relationship with the hospital, and that was very beneficial for us. Finally, our Bradley classes helped us prepare for a partner coached child birth. It also forced us to think about my diet, and other aspects we would not have otherwise.

We are so excited and truly blessed to have Minden in our lives. I am happy we took the steps we needed to achieve the birth we desired. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

drama from my mama

This post is specifically for Aunt Lisa. She bought this shirt for Minden that says "I get my drama from my mama". She thought it was pretty funny.

And apparently, so does Minden.

Friday, November 9, 2012

our little hawkeye

Here is the lovely little lady in that very hat and blanket that told us we were expecting a girl. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

1 month of Minden

Happy 1 month birthday, Minden! I cannot believe how fast the first month of your life has gone. In fact, it's gone too fast. I just wish I could freeze time and capture the feeling of you snuggling in my arms against me forever.

The first two weeks of your life you were so sleepy, and barely made any fuss. We spent this time cuddling and adjusting to having you at home. Your dad was able to spend the first week of your life right by our side. We were so lucky. Both of your grandmas also came and spent time snuggling you, and spoiling us with home cooked meals.

You have now found your voice. I think you may be as impatient as me. You will go from lightly stirring to what we call your pterodactyl cry. It can make me jump if I'm not prepared for it. However, I can't blame a girl for wanting to be heard. When you want something you want it then and there.

Our nights have been a mix. You usually give me 2 -3 hours of sleep at a time. On a good night you might go 4 hours. You are breastfed, so you do wake up more often to eat.

Even though your smiles aren't directed towards me, at this point, they melt my heart. We feel so extremely blessed to have you in our lives, and are constantly pinching ourselves over how beautiful and perfect you are. Keep growing little lady, we can't wait to see what the next month brings.

Friday, November 2, 2012

newborn photos

We were lucky enough to be presented an opportunity to have Minden's newborn photos taken. A friend of a friend just moved to the Iowa City area and is starting up a photography business. She was looking for newborn models, and I just so happened to be 8 months pregnant.

We are so happy with how the photos turned out. I cannot wait to have them printed to hang on the walls (every wall)! You can see the more of the photos on the Photography Ever After page.

If you are in the area, I definitely recommend Sarah. She did a great job and was so easy to work with.

With the completion of our beautiful maternity photos and now these, I couldn't be happier. I love how photography captures the moment. Moments pass too quickly, and it so special how a photo can take you right back to those emotions and feelings.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

happy birthday, dad

We have been very busy around here enjoying each and every moment of cuddling while we can.

Minden wanted to make sure we took a moment to wish her dad a very happy birthday. This little lady hit the daddy jackpot with Nate. I love seeing them together.

Happy Birthday, Nate. I hope you enjoy your first birthday as a dad.

Love - Julie, Minden and Cooper

Friday, October 12, 2012

minden marita

October 8, 2012
12:43 pm
7 lbs 2.9 oz
18.5 inches (before her first adjustment, measured 19 inches today)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

maternity photos

A couple weeks ago we had our maternity photos taken. I could not be happier with how they turned out.

When we look back at these photos I hope it reminds me of everything we were thinking and feeling during these final weeks of pregnancy. Our last weeks together before we become parents to this little lady, and Cooper's final moments of undivided attention from us.

Here are a few for you to enjoy!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

36 weeks

Baby girl,

What a week. Time is flying by and we are keeping really busy. So far this week we had our birth class on Monday, met with our doula on Tuesday, met with a potential daycare provider last night, and attended a Hawkeye event tonight (more on that to come!). Needless to say I am ready for this weekend.

I had a baby shower here last weekend. Your Grandma Berger and Aunt Lisa came up to visit and attended the shower. Meagen even made it to this shower. She was unable to attend the shower back home, so it worked out great to have her at this one. Once again you were spoiled with all kinds of goodies.

On Sunday we ordered a few more things to help finish up your room and prepare for your arrival. In fact the car seat just arrived tonight. We have a fun weekend planned of getting things unpacked, put together and reorganized. I also want to get the hospital bag figured out this weekend. Can you believe at the end of this week I will be considered full term? I can't.

I am still sleeping on the couch. I tried to sleep in the bed the other night. I made it until 11 pm and had to move. Cooper joins me for snuggles in the morning.

You are growing so fast already. It's fun (and strange) to be able to feel your little foot kick and push out. I love sharing these moments with Nate. You had the hiccups this morning and he got to feel those. You were squirming in my belly at work today and my coworker could see.

Keep growing little lady. Just a few more weeks until we get to meet you.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

35 weeks


As I sit here you are squirming in my belly. Your movements have become much more distinct. I can feel your little foot push up against me trying to make more room.

Sleep still seems to be a thing of the past. I have been on the couch most nights, well every night the past week. I usually get up about every two hours. Your dad offered to give the bed up, but I honestly think I sleep better on the couch right now.

I had a dream about giving birth to you. I wasn't in any pain, and after I saw you I just kept saying that you have your father's nose. I wonder if that will be true.

We had our maternity photos taken last weekend. They turned out great. I can wait to look back at them many years from now and remember this special time in all of our lives.

Keep growing little one.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

34 weeks

 Little Lady,

Only six weeks left! Give or take two weeks that is. We are so excited to meet you and share you with our loved ones. Time to tie-up all of those loose ends!

We made our last trip home until after you are born. Our first trip will most likely be Christmas. It feels nice to know that we can spend our weekends here preparing for you. Not to mention car rides are starting to get pretty uncomfortable. The first hour is fine but after that I shift around quite a bit to get comfy.

Last weekend was a busy one. We headed home for your great Aunt Kathy's wedding, celebrated Zander's fourth birthday and went to Brody's football game in Atlantic. By the time we got home Sunday you were a little lopsided in my belly. Thank goodness for your dad. Two adjustments later and we had you back in the head down position, with your back against my belly. Just how we want you when I deliver. I don't know what I would do without him.

We had an appointment with the midwife this past Tuesday. Your heartbeat was in the 130-140 range. Just perfect. We scheduled our last four appointments. I just can't believe that.

Keep growing!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

33 weeks

This is not the picture I wanted to share, but it is all I have. It was taken after work with the camera timer. After very little sleep last night and a slow moving morning I admitted defeat to our weekly photo as I ran out  our the door to try and get to work on time. 
Sweet Baby Girl,

Unfortunately I'm going to keep this pretty short today. We have been super busy, you and I, these last couple of days. I am busy at work trying to get ready for my time at home with you.  At home we are trying to take care of the list that grows longer every day. We are headed home this weekend for our final trip home until after you are born. It is kind of relieving to know that. I am excited to have a month at home to prepare on the weekends. 

You continue to move around and remind me of how anxious I am to meet you. I keep imagining what it will feel like to hold you in my arms for the first time.

Please know that even though I am extremely tired tonight, and exhausted from the insomnia and heartburn, it is the greatest feeling to be your mommy. I want to keep you safe and protected as long as you need it.

Keep growing little one. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

a baby shower back home

Time is flying. We are busy preparing for our little one in a bunch of fun ways. We are taking a weekly natural birthing class, we took one three hour breast feeding class, I am staying active with prenatal yoga. and we are working away on her room. We just have a few last minute details left. 

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, my sister threw me a baby shower back home with family and friends.

The theme for the shower was shower. :) Clouds, umbrellas and raindrops.

There was a great turnout. Baby L and I felt the love and warmth of those closest to us. 

We received so many cute gifts. And let's just have a little about little girls goodness dressing her will be fun. I intend to enjoy dressing her while she will let me. I know there will come a day when she dislikes anything and everything I like, and I will know nothing about fashion or style. For now I will just take in all of ruffles, bows and everything girly. 

It was great to by surrounded by so much love and support.. 

I know this was post was short, but I hope to be back with more updates soon. I will be back with a letter to my little lady tomorrow. Betcha can't wait to see how much the belly has grown this week. ;)