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Entries in maternity (35)

Monday
Feb012016

birth story ::: arden skillman

My first labor & delivery didn't exactly go as planned. Well my second one....sorta went as planned? Meaning it was still a little crazy. My husband was (again) the one to help deliver his child. Apparently I should have included that in our wedding vows.


Shortly after our first son was born, my husband and I had decided a homebirth was best for our situation (aka a precipitous birth). While I am a crunchy kinda gal, I never thought I'd be "that lady". But we knew it would take a lot to convince me to get back into a car while in labor. We also LOVED spending the first 24 hrs at home as a family. Those precious hours are pure magic.

A few days before my 40 week mark I had a some cramping that lasted a couple hours each time. By cramping, I mean they gave me ptsd flashbacks of the pain involved with childbirth. Can I un-pregnate myself please?!

Around 4pm on the day that marked 40 weeks, the sporadic mild contractions started again but this time didn't subside after a few hours. I informed my midwife that this might be happening tonight. She had a 3 hour drive and had been to my house earlier that day for our prenatal. Oh the joys of living in rural Wyoming.


At 7pm the contractions are still random but we are convinced this won't stop. We have a shared moment of panic where my husband joins me in a ptsd flashback. He then makes a dash to Walmart for last minute supplies. The garden hose, which we needed to fill up the birth tub, was delayed because of holiday shipping (this comes in real handy later). I take a bath and relax....still hoping the contractions might stop.


Some time before 10pm I realize things are picking up and I now inform my midwife that she should start the drive. By picking up, I mean I can no longer lay down or do anything. Sitting on the toilet is THE ONLY comfortable place to be in the whole house. And so now I sit there. And endure what is quickly becoming not fun (people call this active labor). Doubts creep in about preferring to go to the hospital.


The next two hours fly by. My first labor felt out of control and miserable. This time I felt pain but it was much more manageable. 1) I knew the labor wouldn't last 15 hours and 2) there was a few minutes of reprieve between each contraction. I had neither the first time around. At 11pm I tell my husband to fill the tub because I think I'll want to be in it soon and we share a moment of clarity. We know we want to have this baby at home and we know the chances are good that the midwife won't make it on time. And we are okay.

Now. I don't understand how women don't know they are pushing out a baby. But somehow I didn't realize I was pushing out a baby. I just know that my mom walked in to ask how I was doing (she had just arrived to make sure if the toddler woke up he'd have someone attending him). I looked at her and said things were "not fun" and then all of a sudden I yelled that she needed to find Trevor...NOW.


I was (still) sitting on the toilet. And there was a baby's head beginning to emerge. Dangerously close to a very small porcelain birth tub. My husband walks in like he knows exactly what to do, giving both me and my mother instructions (me to get off the toilet and her to get towels). With the next contraction he catches our son's head which was still contained in the amniotic sac. Another contraction—the sac breaks and we hear a little war cry as our baby gracefully falls into his hands.


It was just after midnight. That garden hose had managed to fill the tub a whole 8". Just like my first birth, I looked over at the tub with jealous eyes thinking "it sure would have been nice to use you". But alas, all was well and I was comfortably laying on my bed snuggling my sweet babe. The birth assistant arrived within 15 minutes of the birth and my midwife about an hour after. They both did a great job caring for us and cleaning everything (there was surprisingly little to clean actually). Postpartum care lasted about three hours and we laid down around 3:30am to sleep. Gunnar had slept through a rather noisy ordeal just across the hall—until 4:30am when Arden made a small cry. He walks into our room and says "BAY BAY". We introduce them and then my dear dear husband gets up to play with our toddler so I can rest.


While we didn't *quite* get the relaxing stress-free birth we intended, it was an amazing experience. I feel honored to have my husband at my side to experience such craziness. He is my champion always. We named our second son, Arden—which is a Celtic name meaning eager/ardent. Skillman is my paternal grandfather (whom I was never able to meet) and an ancient Norse name meaning trustworthy. Arden was born on January 3rd at midnight, weighing 7 lbs 2 oz and 20.5" long. He's also real cute.

I am hopelessly in love with all three of my boys and look forward to watching my babies grow up as brothers together.

Photography by Smiling Eyes Photo

Wednesday
Jan062016

winter maternity + family session

HAD to share these amazing photos that I will cherish my whole life! I had no idea how much I'd appreciate them—having captured these moments of our family. My sister-in-law did such an incredible job. If anyone lives in the Denver/Fort Collins area, you won't be disappointed!

Photography by Smiling Eyes Photo

Wednesday
Jun042014

7 weeks into motherhood

You guys, I have NOTHING to blog or instagram except my first born child. Essentially there is nothing else going on in my life. This little creature has been all-consuming since his arrival. I do love him most dearly and very much enjoy our days of snuggling. The biggest adjustment is definitely the amount of attention he requires during his waking hours, and the scrambling to get 40+ things done during his short irregular nap times. Goodbye selfishness, there is no time for you. 

Gone are the naive dreams of working from home, whilst enjoying my sweet angelic babe each day. Instead are long days of breastfeeding, cleaning up body fluids, 
breastfeeding, laundry, breastfeeding, and attempting to keep the house from becoming a disaster. Did I mention there is a lot of breastfeeding? Which did NOT come easily or naturally in the beginning. If I'm being honest, at times I've even resented spending 1/4 of my waking hours on this single task. At 7 weeks, I estimate over 150 hours nurturing my little guy. I can't think of anything else in my life that has been given that much dedication. This is a calling that is physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. I had no idea.

But it is now getting a bit easier, and each time I have a little less anxiety about nursing around others. I envy those women who make it look so seamless, and hope to look half that put together some day. 

I haven't even touched on the many other surprises that came along with motherhood. Or the infinite list of questions like "do I leave my kid in the car while I return my shopping cart?" and "will my rug start growing some funk from all the milk it's absorbed?". But alas my sleeping babe will awake any second so I must publish this stat.

One day I do hope to blog about other fun things, but for now I plan to treasure (as best I can) this time when my baby needs his momma most.

Newborn photos by me—Gunnar was 4 days old. And yes, I was unexpectedly hit hard with a case of I-have-the-cutest-baby-ever-born-and-everyone-needs-to-look-at-his-picture syndrome (so annoying!).
Wednesday
Apr302014

gender neutral woodland nursery

My sweet babe is 2 weeks old today! Which is exactly when I started writing this post...as you can guess life has been full of many changes/adjustments. I move at a much slower pace while time seems to move at a much faster pace.

Below are the details of the woodland nursery that all came together just days before the whirlwind birth. I wanted a mix of modern + rustic in a very peaceful space. Here's how it turned out:

Overall we probably spent less than $650 on everything shown here (excluding the books). The tree mural was the big (decor) money saver, but a huge time investment. That wall plus the gilded feathers and woodland critters are my favorite details. I also loved the simplicity of the curtain, which you can find the diy for here (by Lay Baby Lay). If interested in the inspiration/vision behind the room, you can view my woodland Pinterest board. Being gender neutral the biggest challenge was not having everything grey (didn't do too well avoiding this!), and the room is tiny tiny so storage is a constant struggle. One last note, my husband put in a dimmer switch for the light, which I HIGHLY recommend. I do love this little nursery and it is definitely the most serene room in our home.

What do you think of the nursery? Any other ideas you've seen that fit this theme? Please share!

::: source list :::
Light fixture, crib, diaper cart, book shelves, small green canister, closet baskets — Ikea
Crib sheet, woven pouf, rocker pillow & leather bear — Land of Nod
Fabric animals — Gingermelon Etsy Shop
Dresser, rocking chair, art print, mirror — Thrifted/Antique
Side table — Target
Branch curtain tie-back Urban Outfitters
Tree painting, feather mobile, drop cloth curtain — Handmade/DIY
Rug, tree logs — Already owned

Friday
Apr042014

week 39&40 ::: watermelon

I'm still here! And still pregnant! Though I'm sure only 3 of you were wondering if my time had come. March offered so little in the large produce department, I chose to combine these last two weeks into the grand finale of watermelon! I wore the same outfit as back in November at 21 weeks, when the bump first began to show. It makes me a little sad! This pregnancy journey for the most part has been really great. I will miss being smug, people being extra extra friendly, and those fun moments with my husband & this new little personality (seeing alien movements, laughing & long discussions, birth class, etc).

Such a trip! I can't wait to see what the next step will be like. My eyes are getting just a bit moist thinking about motherhood and having a son or daughter of my own. I'll definitely be updating my instagram as things begin happening!

Tuesday
Mar252014

week 38 ::: leeks

You know what is challenging in March? Finding large produce. Like pumpkins. Notta one to be found. Waiting for spring weather is also a challenge (snow appeared again!).

But spring is on it's way. And so is me becoming a mother. How terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Though this little babe seems REAL comfortable, so I'm betting there is another month to wait.

Tuesday
Mar182014

week 37 ::: bok choy

It's the final countdown! (insert theme song from Job's magic show - Arrested Development) Everyone else is probably like, "it's about time—we've been seeing these vegetables forevvvver". It's true. But very soon I'll be able to photograph our home updates, and there are some fun ones!

This little 6.5 lb baby will arrive anytime in the next few weeks! Very excited to meet this little personality!

Monday
Mar102014

week 36 ::: rainbow chard

This week baby O is measuring just over 18" long, about the height of chard. But all curled up in that belly of mine. Still hard to believe. As for styling (background, apparrel, lighting) this is probably my worst week yet! If only we had a little greenery to work with...

Also fun—the game we played this last weekend at my local baby shower—arranging my blog photos in the correct order. There were a few discrepencies on produce sizes....and it did take even me a few trys to get it correctly. Overall though, so personal and fun! I have the bestest of friends.

I hope you all enjoy this new week of extended daylight. Take heart, spring is nigh.

Monday
Mar032014

week 35 ::: potatoes

The husband: "So we have a cluster this week?"
Me: "Yes, a 4.5 lb cluster to be precise."

Creative liberties are the best.

Ladies. I have ONLY 34 days to go. What is your advice for me this last month???! When other women gestate babies it takes a long time but for some reason mine has flown by so fast! And it seems like other women carry a basketball, whereas I'm definitely carrying a large beachball. And so ends my comparision I promise.

Happy March to you! Here's to all of us willing spring to arrive asap.

Monday
Feb242014

week 34 ::: romaine

The swelling is here to stay. Not sure these few images can convey it well. The baby daddy worked all weekend and only had a few minutes to help me get a quick profile of the 34 week bump. My little sprout is opening/closing eyes and can respond to light. It's a complete miracle I tell you.

I hope a wonderful week is in store for you as we say goodbye to February, and hello to spring, yes?!?