Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Produce

As I mentioned in the "Going Green" post, Brent and I signed up for a weekly produce delivery service over the weekend. This morning Brent opened up the front door to our very first delivery! I was so excited, that even though it was 6:30am, and Stella had just fallen back to sleep, and I should be doing the same, I jumped up to go inspect the box's contents. Everything they said would be there was there, and there is a ton of it! 

I had my very first goodie from the box this morning with breakfast, a delicious kiwi. I realize that isn't really a locally grown item, but during the early spring and winter months, Brown Box Organics has produce shipped in from California and they use many greenhouse grown products, which i'm totally fine with, as long as it's organic and delicious. Brent just had a kiwi with his lunch and fully agrees, it's the best kiwi we've ever tasted! I cannot wait to try the rest of the items in the box. I'm looking up recipes tonight to use the onions and carrots and cauliflower, which is something I have not ever cooked with... but I used to have all the time at my grandparents house growing up. I'm also thinking the yams will make some amazing fries with rosemary and seasalt, yum! I'll be sure to take pictures of whatever we make and post them, I'm so excited to start cooking with healthy, fresh foods! 

Also, do these raspberries not look amazing!? They taste even more amazing than they look. :)

I love fresh fruits and veggies!

Some Very Special Onesies

At my Seattle baby shower we asked the guests to decorate some very special little onesies that our baby girl would wear when she finally arrived. The time has come to show off these beautiful onesies! I'll be putting Stella in a different onesie every day, and taking pictures to share with our friends and family. I hope to send out the pictures along with the thank you notes I'm slowly getting finished up on, or i'll email them to everyone, that might actually be easier and might actually get done... having pictures printed isn't something I do regularly. But, I will also try to share most of the onesies on here also, not that everyone who was at the shower looks at my blog, but it's still fun to post her adorable pictures as much as possible. 


Shirt decorated by Tia Renee

Shirt decorated by Aunt Michelle

Another thing i'm going to really try to do from now on? Take more pictures of me and my baby girl. I'm realizing I am the only one taking pictures of Stella, everyone wants daily updates of just her... so it's all I think of, and now looking back through my pictures, I got teary because she's almost 3 weeks old, and I have maybe 5 pictures of her and I together. Tons with Daddy, Tons with Auntie and grandparents... but hardly any with me. So last night I asked Brent to really try to make an effort to grab the camera and take pictures of her and I together... he said he would more but I usually have a boob out, so i'll try to cover up more, lol. So this is my new daily effort, I'll try my best to take pictures with my baby girl, not just of her, I want to remember her with us as a family, not just sleeping and laying my our laps. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

On Going Green...

I've been struggling lately with keeping things in our lives "green" and earth friendly. I still recycle every last piece of paper, plastic, cardboard, and anything else I think may be recyclable, much to Brent's dismay. Our recycling bin is always full and ready for pickup a week before the truck will be here, I really wish they came weekly to our house instead of bi-weekly... we never fill our garbage, but recycling? It's always full. I also have been doing my best to use less of almost everything, less detergent in the laundry, less toilet paper, less paper towels, less driving to save gas, less energy by keeping the house dark as late as possible and turning the heat way down, less of almost everything if I can get by without it. We've put a low flow system in the toilet, with a two flush option for #1 and #2... we use only low or zero VOC paint when doing room makeovers, we use the energy friendly lightbulbs, we have smart strip power strips for the big things, so were making an effort... I just feel like we could be doing more, so, were going to do more!

My next big green thing that I was hoping to do was cloth diaper our baby girl. Unfortunately, her little bum has just been too small to fit in any of the cloth I had bought, so we've been using sposies... ick. We used up the bag that the hospital sent home with us, and a gift bag of huggies that was sent home also, finally when those were gone, we tried cloth... but it was still too bulky. Stella's little hips seemed to be pushed so far apart with the prefolds and wraps we have, the only thing that fit her were the G-diapers, which we have 2 of, and 6 cloth inserts for. After a couple of failed attempts (her legs turning purple freaked me out a bit!), Brent and I finally realized we were putting them on backwards... parenting fail. So we've been using the G-diapers all day today, and so far they are wonderful! We've also been using Earth's Best Organic diapers and wipes (love the wipes actually, I've even used them on my face to remove makeup... super gentle and fresh smelling and feeling!) off and on when needed, so at least those are cholorine and chemical free, biodegradable, and more earth friendly than regular pampers or huggies. I hate that I didn't think to buy newborn cloth... but, she's growing SO fast, I would only have used them for a month then she would be done with them. So, we'll sacrifice going completely cloth for now, Hopefully the 3 packs of disposable diapers we've had to use will be forgiven by the environment.

I have so many other things floating around in my head to help us as a family go green. Today I am excited about one particular new adventure were venturing into... Organically grown local produce! I signed us up today to receive weekly delivery's of fresh fruits and veggies, and I am so excited for it! Every Tuesday morning we will wake up to find a new box of the freshest produce available, sitting on our front porch just waiting to be enjoyed! I signed us up with Brown Box Organics, a local organic food delivery company for the treasure valley, and for $22 a week, we will be getting all of this:

1.5 lb.Bananas, RipeSt
1 bn.Carrots, bunched with topSt
1 ea.Cauliflower, White (Sm)St
1 lb..Kiwifruit (CA)St
1 Ea.Lettuce, Green LeafSt
1 lb.Onions, YellowSt
1.5 lb.Pears, D'AnjouSt
1 1/2 lb.Peas, SnapSt
1.5 1 lb.Yams, Garnet

Thats a ton of fruits and veggies!!! pounds!! Brent and I are kinda wondering what we'll do with all of it, so tomorrow i'll be spending some time flipping through my many amazing cookbooks to find some great ideas of things to make this week, I'm so excited! and, If anyone has any ideas on things to make with a full pound of kiwi's? please, let me know!

Part of the reason I signed us up is because I'm tired of spending money on produce at the grocery store that has been treated with who knows what and has been sitting for who knows how long... then when I go to use it a day later, it's molding or brown or just icky looking... I have a thing with not using bad produce. The other reason was because the $22 a week is less than the $30 a week I normally spend on said icky produce... and I don't have to go to the store to pick it out! i'll still have to make a weekly trip for milk and eggs... unless we decide to have that delivered also, which we just might in the future... I've got to check costs on it.

Another thing were looking into starting this season? Composting! With all of the yummy fruits and veggies we'll start receiving soon, we will have a ton more peels, rinds, and cores to dispose of. So, why not start composting? We could use the amazingly rich soil it creates to help boost our garden soil... which is pretty much the worst dirt imaginable to plant things in... it yields short squat carrots, and wont grow peas, and lets wild mint take over every other plant we grow. It's good for herbs though... we had rosemary growing until December! So, I think next weekend we'll head out to build a compost bin, I've got a lot of research to do though, this is truly one thing I've never really looked into.

So, hopefully soon our house will be even more green, and I'll be sure to keep updating on our adventures.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

2 Weeks!

I cannot believe how quickly the past 14 days have gone. Our baby girl is now 2 weeks old! Stella had her 2 week check up yesterday and my goodness is she a growing girl!! At her newborn check last week, just 5 days after birth, she was 7 pounds 9 ounces, and 20.5 inches long. This week? 8 pounds 6.4 ounces!!! We have a little chunkster! but she's a pretty darn cute chunkster :) She's also now 21.25 inches long, which is in the 75th percentile, She's growing like a little weed. Which is why her newborn outfits and sleepers are starting to get a bit snug, already her arms were too long for the sleepers, and her hands tend to get scrunched up in the sleeves. She's been going through a growth spurt for the past few days, eating a ton, sleeping more, and she's been kinda fussy in the evenings. 

I'm actually starting to feel a little tired from lack of sleep and constant feedings, not bad for 2 weeks into this baby adventure huh. Want to know what else is not bad for 2 weeks postpartum? I'm back in my pre-pregnant jeans!!! woo hoo!! I actually bought a new pair last weekend in my pre-size, they were pretty tight in the dressing room at Gap, but I had a coupon for that weekend, and wanted to buy them just in case, I could always return them in a few weeks if they ended up really not fitting right? well, I decided to try them on again this morning, since i'm down to 176 lbs, and they slid right on and zipped right up!! I was so excited! my belly is still pretty soft, I cant start doing abdominal workouts for another week or two, or running, or any other workout besides walking, so no 6 pack for me right away. But, if the weather cooperates, I can keep up the walking. We've been getting out the past few nights, it's not been great outside, but it hasn't been raining. We just load Stella up in the moby wrap, which keeps us both warm and toasty, and head down to the canal for Abby to run and play. It's a good quarter mile walk down there, so half a mile a day is not bad for me right now. I just barely get sore by the time were home, so I think i'm finally healing enough to take on a longer walk. my goal for next week is to do the whole 2 mile loop! I did it the week before Stella was born trying to get labor to be consistent, and cant wait to take her on the whole loop with me. 

Happy 2 week birthday Stella! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lazy Wednesday

I decided this morning that Stella and I were staying in our jammies (well, freshly cleaned and changed jammies... she's decided to go through 3 of them today) all day today. We've been out almost every single day since getting home... and I want a day off. I love taking my girl out in the world, but I also worry about exposing her to too much too soon. So when I do go out, she's in the moby wrap and I sanitize everything we come in contact with, and I avoid going out at busy times. If I absolutely have to (like yesterday) go to the grocery store, I go at the slowest time of day... even still, I would have been in and out quick yesterday, but ran into a former massage customer, who was so excited to meet Stella. She was sleeping in the moby thankfully and I could just let my client peek, so it wasn't too bad, it was quite nice to see someone and get some adult conversation. We've also had several friends visit over the past few days, so Stella has been held by several children, thankfully all healthy and all were very conscious to wash their hands before touching or holding, but I figured all of the stimulation was getting to be a bit much for the little miss, and were hunkering down today. 

It's been good so far, we slept until 9am, which was bliss after her being up from 1am til 4am... Daddy took her for snuggles after her 6:30 feeding, and let mommy sleep for almost 3 hours, yay! I love when Daddy does that :) 
Were enjoying catching up with emails, cleaning the house, laundry and dishes, just getting our every day things done that I can no longer do every day. It's kinda nice just lounging and picking things up and giving our life a little bit of organization, I think I can do this once a week vegging thing, maybe every Wednesday will be a lazy Wednesday. 

Miss Stella's jammies today, all 3 sets so far :)

Getting kisses from Abby, They seriously love each other already, Stella smirks when she gets kisses, and don't worry, I clean her off afterwards.

And just after waking up this morning... staying awake isn't a priority today.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy 4th Anniversary!!! (Belated)

I had meant to post this last Thursday on our actual anniversary, but it's been a busy week :) 

Happy Anniversary Brent!

 4 years has gone by SO quick! and now we've added this beautiful baby girl to our family, I could not be a more happy and blessed wife and mom. Thank you for being such an amazing husband and father, I love you! 

 March 17th, 2007

March 14th, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stella's Birth Story

I apologize in advance for how long this is.... I wrote it so I could remember all the details of Stella's amazing birth, and you all know me, I tend to be long winded :) 

Stella's natural, completely unmedicated childbirth.

After an intense week of pre-labor, and several false labor starts, Brent and I were feeling pretty exhausted and defeated. We had no idea when this little baby would decide to join us, if it would be soon, or another week of the same things. I was having repeated contractions, consistent throughout the day, they would intensify in the evening, and then pretty much stop once I got in bed, this went on for 5 days straight! I was making sure I slept a ton, going to bed early, sleeping in if I could, and trying not to let myself get too tired, because I knew it would take all of my energy to get through labor and birth, and if I didn’t have that energy stored up, I might not recover so well or be successful with our unmedicated wishes. 

During the week, I was feeling very tense, so I booked an Acupuncture treatment to help my body progress and prepare for labor and help me relax, a massage, and a trip to the chiropractor, all to help my body prepare for labor and birth. I also went to my midwife on Wednesday to be checked, I was 3cm, 80% effaced, -1 to -2 station, and medium consistency (soft is where we wanted to be), I had her strip my membranes to try to get things moving, I had been contracting since Saturday, and my abdomen was getting extremely sore. Friday afternoon I had my Chiropractic appointment, which I was very excited about because of a nagging sharp pain in my upper back. She adjusted my spine and hips, and did a couple of trigger point releases in some muscles in my hips and thigh. I was so tight I couldn’t relax my hips, which was stalling the labor more and making me more uncomfortable. I want to kiss my chiropractor and acupuncturist for what they did! I truly believe the combination of treatments did the trick, and allowed my body to fully and naturally go into labor. 

Friday night I felt wonderful! Slept great, and woke up at 4am Saturday morning, March 12th, with strong contractions. I couldn’t handle them lying down, so I got up around 4:30am, and went and rocked on the birth ball for awhile. Brent was so excited things were finally possibly happening! He got up about half hour after me, and showered and started getting things ready for the hospital, just in case. We labored at home for about 5 hours before deciding it was probably a good idea to head in to the hospital soon. My contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart, but lasting 70 seconds to almost 2 minutes, so the intensity was there, but they were not getting closer, we debated, but decided that if anything, we could get there and use the awesomely huge Jacuzzi tub for a couple hours, it was better than our little bath tub. So we loaded up the truck, and headed in, I had 3 or 4 contractions on the way in, and they were uncomfortable but not too bad, I was able to rock in the seat and that helped, thankfully.

We arrived at the hospital at around 10:30am, and had to walk down the corridor to the labor and delivery entrance, I had 2 contractions on the way in, which were not bad, but definitely slowed me down a little, and we passed a private tour where we knew the lady, she gave us our tour a few weeks prior and remembered us, she was so excited for us! While waiting for the nurses to open the secure door to Labor and delivery, I was rocking through a contraction, so when we walked in the nurses all just smiled and told me how calm I was, that was extremely reassuring to hear. I wanted to stay calm, to be focused, to not be panicking or nervous, and seeing them and not having someone come rushing up really helped keep me calm and relaxed.  Well, that was until the charge nurse took us our room, and it turned out to be the room that I had had a slight panic attack in during our first tour… I refused to go in, and immediately asked for a room on the other side of the floor, one with a shower and not anywhere near this particular room. She gave me an annoyed look, but I didn’t care, I was the one in labor, and things were going to go my way, so the nurses had better be ready for it. I’m realizing now that was going to be my attitude during the entire process. Not once did I do anything the nurses told me… I was pretty bossy also, I refused to do things when they asked, sometimes it would take me 20 minutes to let them finally check me for dilation, because I would be so wrapped up in contractions that I refused to lay down.

We finally got settled into our room and after telling the charge nurse our wishes for no medication and a completely natural birth, she decided to place us with Sarah, an awesomely sweet nurse who was extremely support of natural childbirth. She was a blessing throughout the entire day, ignoring my requests for an epidural during transition, being completely patient with my defiance of the rules, and helping in ways that I’m sure she didn’t even realize she was helping me. She checked me on admission and I was dilated to 4 cm, not as far as we had hoped I would be. We actually debated leaving the hospital for a few hours to labor at home more, but I really wanted to use the tub, so we stayed and said we would wait and see how things went. It was a good choice. We had to do 20 minutes of continuous monitoring once we were settled into the room, I hated that belt! It’s uncomfortable, and I hated being hooked up to monitors, but, if that was the only thing I needed to be hooked up to, I was ok with it for 20 minutes. After the strip, which measures the baby’s heartbeat, and my contractions, we were allowed to get in the tub, which was heaven! I labored in there for over an hour before we had to return to our room to be checked and monitored again. Hot water can cause what is known as a ‘labor fever’, similar to an ‘epidural fever’, because the body is submerged you won’t sweat very much, so your upper body starts to overheat. It also can cause the baby’s heartbeat to spike, so we had to be monitored after every trip to the tub. We were also checked at this time, and I was at 5 cm, not bad for 1 hour I thought.

While in the room, my contractions started to really pick up, to the point where twice they made me vomit, they were so strong! I was getting incredibly uncomfortable and just wanted to get back in the tub, so off we went, for another hour of bliss in the huge Jacuzzi tub. I truly wish I could have stayed in there the whole time and given birth in there… unfortunately that is not something the hospital allows. After that time in the tub, Brent noticed immediately a change in my laboring. I had to stop twice on the way to the room, and it was only about 50 feet. When I finally made it to the room all I wanted to do was labor on the toilet… and that’s it, they could not get me away from it. My contractions were coming 3 at once, back to back, then I would get about a 2 minute break to recover… 5-6 minutes straight of contractions, and a 2 minute recovery was not fun, and I was not happy with them at all. The nurse finally was able to check me and I was almost at 7 cm! I was progressing perfectly! I knew we would be having this little girl tonight, and that made me incredibly happy and encouraged. I also realized that being at a 7 meant I was heading into transition, the hardest part of labor. I knew that if I could get through this, the pain would not get any worse, and we would be done very shortly, unfortunately, I forgot this with every contraction. Brent was trying his hardest to help me through the coming contractions. He held me up and I continuously pressed my head into his abdomen to take my mind off the pain, he kept stepping back when I did this though, and I finally had to tell him he needed to step into me and press back, it was helping. He admitted that once these contractions started he got a little scared, I turned into another person I guess… zoned out completely, wouldn’t respond to them when I was asked questions, and was very forceful with where I wanted him to stand and what I needed him to do. 

Our nurse, Sarah, finally gave in to my not wanting the strip monitor, and brought the Doppler to monitor the baby while I was on the toilet, I loved her for this! I should explain that the reason I was on the toilet was because It allowed me to fully relax everything down there, which then allowed me to focus solely on the contraction that was happening. I didn’t want to stand up or bend over; they were so concentrated in my lower abdomen that I wanted to just cut that whole piece of me off! I kept wishing they would spread out to my back or upper body… anything to make them better and more tolerable! At this point Sarah went to call the midwife, Jo, who was on call that weekend, Our midwife, Georgiana was not. I was pretty bummed about this at first, but in the end Jo did an amazing job, kept me focused and truly helped me through something amazing. Brent and I decided to get into the shower with the birth ball, I was able to sit with my back leaning against one wall, and my feet holding me up by the other wall, Brent stood next to me to make sure I didn’t fall to the side, and he held the shower handle with hot, hot water on my belly, moving it all over randomly to help break my focus off the contractions. I LOVED the shower, it made me so much more comfortable, and the sensation of the hot water hitting my belly and legs was just what I needed to get through the pain, although, I’m sure it didn’t seem like it at the time. We were only in the shower about half an hour or so when Jo showed up, she wanted to check me at some point, but I refused to get out of the shower, so she just hung out and waited in the room I think, she came in and out of the bathroom just a few times. At this point my water broke, and it was the most audible ‘POP!’ I’ve ever heard! I also heard the gush of waters drain out of me and hit the birth ball with a huge splash. We knew this was what the nurse and midwife had been waiting for, I hadn't wanted anyone to break my waters before they were ready to go on their own, even though at every check they were bulging more and more and it was getting more difficult to check without hitting them. We pulled the little "help" cord next to the shower to let our nurse know something was up, she came in immediately to see what was going on, and when we told her the waters had broken, she asked if we had seen any meconium or if they were clear, we were both pretty sure they were clear, thankfully! She asked if I would be able to move to the bed to be checked again to see how things were progressing, which didn't make me happy. I did not want to get out of the shower, ever, until after the baby was born. 

Finally, after several minutes of coaxing, I moved to the bed, then jumped up to have another contraction, and  a few minutes later, I let Jo Check me, I was 9.5 cm!!! Only just a slight lip of cervix left, which she said would move out of the way very quickly now that my water had broken. She allowed me to move back to the toilet, but assured me she did not catch babies being born into the toilet, I would have to move to the bed to deliver, which of course I had planned to do... I just needed to get past the horrible contractions and get to the point of pushing. That didn't take long at all. No more than 5 minutes after sitting down, and maybe 2 or 3 contractions, I was feeling a huge urge to push with all my might! They had put up the birth bar on the bed, which is just a bar that is put into the end of the bed for me to hang on or support myself while squatting to push, it was the most comfortable position for me, I refused to lay down. I loved the bar, I could hang, put my arms over it and rest my forehead on it between pushes, I loved it. Unfortunately, squatting wasn't working, my pelvis was tilting forward too much to allow the baby to drop out properly. So, Jo asked for the birthing stool, and I love her for it! It was pretty much just like sitting on the toilet, I could relax all of my vaginal muscles and hips and just let gravity take over. 

At this point the contractions were starting to feel better, because I was pushing with them, I was actually getting some relief from the pain. I believe this is when I decided that this baby was coming out very quickly, and I needed to relax as much as possible to let her do her thing. Jo told me she was starting to crown, she could see hair, a ton of hair, and I was to ease off and push slowly, but take breaks between contractions to let her ease out slowly. It felt like forever, I thought I was pushing for hours, but, in the end it was less than half an hour from the first urge to push, to Stella's amazing arrival. The birth bar and stool were perfect for me, and she came out with such ease, I couldn't believe it! I totally felt the ring of fire that everyone had warned me about, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Stella Jean Norris arrived at 5pm on Saturday, March 12th, after 1 full week of pre-labor, and 12 1/2 hours of active labor. She had the cord around her neck once, and Jo slipped that off before her shoulders were even delivered, she also had her hand up on her cheek, which meant I would be getting several internal stitches to repair the damage her little fist caused upon exit, but I didn't feel a thing, and it was completely worth it. They placed her right onto my abdomen, Brent helped me lean back and sit on the bed, and we reminded them to not clamp the cord right away, which didn't really do anything at all because no more than 2 minutes after she came out my placenta followed, we were all shocked! Stella was quiet when she came out, didn't cry, she actually seemed to be asleep, and slowly woke up to be very alert and aware of what was going on, and who we were. The baby nurse had to rough her up a little with a towel to get her to cry, no biggie, she was just very relaxed. Not once during birth did her heart rate dip, she was so calm and such a trooper! Once she was on my chest she stayed there for the first hour or two, She nursed not even half an hour after birth, it was amazing to just be able to snuggle her and love her and be a family finally. They weight her really quick after an hour and a half, 7 lbs 7.6 ounces, and made sure she looked good and handed her right back to me. We opted out of all of the newborn stuff, no erythromycin (eye goop), no Vitamin k shot, no Hep B shot, we wanted her to be left alone with how God created her, and since labor had gone so smoothly we didn't feel she needed any of those interventions. I also labored and birthed completely medicine free! Not even an I.V. or Hep-lock were placed, I didn't even have hospital bands put on until after she was born, and it was wonderful!  We had planned and prepared for a natural unmedicated birth, and I am so happy with how it all went. 

Brent was incredible throughout the whole process, I would not have been successful without him. I am so thankful for him as my support, and he's pretty darn proud of how the whole day went. Not once did he consider giving into my begging for an epidural, which only happened for that one hour during transition, not once did he not know what to do, although i'm sure he felt a little lost at points, I did have to remind him or ask him to do something else if what we were trying for a coping technique wasn't working, but again, that was really only during transition. I could not have asked for a more perfect birth, a better labor partner, and a more amazing child than Stella. She has been such a trooper this week! My milk came in just 1 day after birth! So she's been a feeding champ all week! At her newborn check-up on Wednesday, she was back up over her birth weight, at 7lbs 9 oz (she was 7lbs 1oz at discharge on Monday morning), her pediatrician was shocked and told us he hardly ever saw that before the 2 week check-up. Were wondering if she'll be at or over 8 lbs by next weeks appointment. She's sleeping great also, we've been getting about 7 hours of sleep every night since we've been home. Yes, they are interrupted, but 3 hours of sleep and an hour of nursing repeated all night long is just fine with me. 

Brent, Stella and I had a full 24 hours alone before any visitors showed up, which we appreciate more than anyone knows. It was wonderful to bond with her and just have time alone as a family, and it helped a ton for my recovery. Brent's parents drove over from Seattle on Sunday, and stayed until Tuesday morning. My mom flew in Monday morning and stayed until Wednesday morning, and my sister flew in Tuesday night, and will be leaving tomorrow morning. We are so thankful for all the help we've had this week, it's been amazing having family around to meet Stella and help out with her while I've been recovering from soreness. Brent went back to work on Wednesday and has been pretty busy, so I appreciate having help around the house and with the baby, it's allowed me to get used to having her and get in some sort of a routine without overwhelming me. We hope to have both parents here again soon to visit, I'm sure they are all anxious to get back and snuggle their granddaughter. Thank goodness she loves to be snuggled. 

(below) My "superwoman" pose. Or the virgin Mary pose... I was freezing and the nurses kept covering me with warm blankets, which also helped with the shivering that I was experiencing as all the adrenaline wore off... but one word of advice to any moms giving birth soon, bring your own blankets! The hospital ones are so thin and cold, I probably had 10 blankets on me at all times. Also bring your own pillow, I loved having my own pillow to sleep with and it made me feel a little more comforted while being away from home. 

Daddy holding his baby girl for the first time, just an hour after birth and he was already in love.

Our first family picture, just minutes after birth.

Friday, March 18, 2011

1 Day Old- Pictures

One day after birth, a photographer for the hospital came and took some beautiful pictures of Stella and us. I cannot believe how much she has changed already in just one week, it's going by too fast!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Baby Stella is here!!

I've been meaning to post this for the past few days, but it's tough to get more than 5 minutes on the laptop, hopefully today i'll get to get some things done and respond to the million and one emails we've received.

Stella Jean Norris was born on Saturday, March 12th, at 5 pm! She weighed 7lbs 8 ounces, is 21.5 inches long, and is perfect! She's now 5 days old, and is already up over her birth weight, which is why I said 'weighed', she's now 7lbs 9 ounces, as of her newborn checkup yesterday. I am so blessed with this beautiful little girl, Brent and I could not be more thankful for her, she's truly amazing. She sleeps very well, almost all night long with feedings every 2.5-3 hours, but then she's right back out :) she eats like a champ, my milk came in after just 1 day! which is why she's already back up over her birth weight, she's awesome, and way to go boobs!!!

We've had family here all week and it has been so wonderful! Brent's mom and dad drove over Sunday, and arrived when Stella was just 24 hours old, and stayed for a couple of days. The next morning my mom flew in and stayed for a couple of days, and Tuesday night my sister flew in and is here until Friday night. It's been so helpful having family here, I really didnt think I would want people around all week, but honestly, i'm sore, and I was super tired the first few days, and our house is already a disaster with baby things, but, the laundry is done, the dishes are clean, and we have food for every meal, so THANK YOU to all our family who has come out to help! My sister has been awesome, she's currently snuggling Stella so I can catch up on this post, and then shower, and then eat some breakfast. She's changing diapers, burping after feedings, wiping up spit up, and playing with Stella when we need to wake her up to feed so we can sleep longer after. Thank you Pammy, for all you've done this week! Stella will miss her auntie when you leave, and I will definitely miss my little sister and all your help!

I will try my best to get Stella's birth story, newborn pictures, and other amazing first week happenings very soon, things are settling down here, and were getting into a pretty good newborn routine... or as much of a routine as a newborn can have I guess. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Mine are kinda on edge. I am so close to having my first baby, and I will fully admit, i'm slightly scared of the whole process of her getting out of me. Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who is fully prepared to support me and whatever I may need during labor and delivery. We've done the class (Thanks Confident Birthing and Kyndal!!) and learned as much as we can to help with our natural childbirth decision. We are both fully committed to going unmedicated, My reasons are for more than just not wanting my child to be exposed to such strong meds as she enters this world, but also that I have drug allergies, which I don't know the extent of. I've had bad reactions to Vicodin and Codeine, and nitrous oxide... something traumatic which I don't want to experience again if I can avoid it. So we've prepared, we've read up on all possible drugs and reactions, and epidurals, and I would rather just avoid them all. We are planning to meet with the anestesiologist... just in case. My midwife thinks it would be a great idea to meet them, let them know we dont want meds, but find out our options if I end up needing an c-section. We'll have the plan all worked out ahead of time, which actually makes me feel a ton better about labor and birth. 

We've already turned in our birth plan, which I realize most mom's laugh at... but I'm a first timer, so i'm allowed to make one and feel like it's there for guidance. I also realize that it's just a guide... and things are going to happen the way they will happen, and we are more than fine with things not going perfect, I wont stress out if I cant or don't like laboring in the tub, or if there is a certain laboring position I thought I would love that I end up hating, We'll just go with the flow. 

I think the biggest thing helping ease my nerves is knowing that after all of it, we will get to meet our baby girl finally! Brent and I are both so excited to meet her, and we really cannot wait to bring her home, introduce her to Abby and Lilly, and start our journey into sleepless nights (hopefully not for too long!) and dirty cloth diapers! So until that moment, we wait, with our hospital bag packed (finally!), carseat still not installed... and all the hopes of a happy, healthy, quick and perfect labor and delivery! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sneak Peek!!

I am so excited to share a sneak peek of the maternity pictures that our amazingly talented friend, Nikki Hoover, took of us last weekend! She just posted these, and I had to snag them and post them here immediately for friends and family to see, I just love them! I have to say, they turned out pretty great for it being so cold, about 40 degrees, and the wind was picking up, so the chill factor was even worse... but, we braved it, frozen fingers and all, and got some pretty amazing shots. THANK YOU NIKKI!!! 


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