Welcome to the Hickstionary, a landing spot for all things H family.
I'm Heidi. He's Rusty. And together we have our beautiful babe, Beckett and a furry menace, Dakota.
I mostly use this space to brag about how awesome the kid is, whine about how naughty the dog is & share an occasional deep thought.
Thanks for hanging out with us as we figure out this [blessed] life!

If you are looking for my photography blog (where words don't tend to fall out of my mouth nearly as freely), visit {captured by} heidi.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

my people

I'm so used to saying 'my boys' when talking about B and R I catch myself saying 'my…' then switch it up to people instead.

These are my people.

Monday, May 11, 2015

the ones who call me mama

Well one of them anyway (I'm sure A would too if she could talk). 

I'm so blessed. I mess up this mama gig all the time but my littles still love me the most. I pray they always know how much I love them too. 

For mother's day, R was going to take some pics of me and my littlest loves. We ended up conning some cousins into doing it for us and got some family pictures too. More of those pics (including a Dakota appearance) coming soon.

For today, me and the ones who call me mama. I'm so blessed.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

middle name buddies

Four Week #arleyupdate

Four weeks young. 8lbs 11oz. Too long of a torso for nearly anything newborn. Too skinny for nearly anything 0-3 months. Requires a little more attention these days. Naps a little less. Sleeps 6-7 and sometimes nearly 8 hour stretches at night. Loves big brother. Hates ice cream (for mama, of course). Nurses 10ish times a day and takes one 3ish oz bottle of pumped milk at night. (Has a freezer full of milk waiting on her.) Likes to be held (a lot). Best little sister ever. Growing way too fast.

So I was completely on the ball and had her dressed and ready for a 3 week crib picture last week only to realize the cards start skipping weeks so she was a week early for her picture. Of course once week four rolled around (and there was a picture card waiting), I forgot to do the picture until it was dark in her room and the light stinks. I may just start setting a Wednesday morning alarm as a reminder from here on out. (We all know I'm kidding. Right?)

She's been a busy girl the last two weeks. Most notably for big brother, they received a double stroller and B loves getting to ride with her now. It's been a lifesaver and already has several miles on it. Not sure how I thought we could survive without it.

Other fun things- we've had 100% attendance at story time the last two weeks (although not quite on time…) and baby sister has met more family and friends. We've spent longer stretches away from home (though it's still easier to be at the house). And brother is still really good with her (though on other fronts the last two weeks have been TOUGH).

I've been loving going back through old blog posts and reading B's weekly updates. So fun to see how similar they are as babies. And truly we've gotta start sticking more headbands on her so we can tell their baby pictures apart. Total twins.

I think we've figured out the milk (over)supply issue and things there are going well. I feel like I need to dedicate an entire post to this sometime because there were some nursing and pumping things I had forgotten about since B and wish I would have blogged more about that for my own reference.

Also, we've learned Honest diapers aren't honestly all the good. I wanted to love them, really (cause they're so cute!) but they just don't do the job as well as the Pampers Swaddlers we've been brand loyal to the last three+ years in this house. (Simple explanation- the back is too low and the leg holes aren't snug enough… you can imagine how fun those are to change…)

And I feel like I should remember this from B but what brands are the best for long, skinny babes? We just pulled out B's Gap jammies for her to wear. (She's even more of his twin in those blue car jammies! Agh! Total flashbacks!) We have lots of hand me downs to go through, just need to find some of them that fit her skinny little self!

Okay, I'm off to sleep. Did I mention I'm back to work this week?!?! I'm not sure what I was thinking (she's only four weeks old) but so far it hasn't been too bad. Thinking about the work schedule gets me overwhelmed though. It gets easier, right?!

Happy four weeks, sweet girl!

Friday, April 10, 2015

#arleyupdate week two

Two weeks! Holy Moly that flew by. But at the same time, just today we were saying how it feels like she's always been here. Funny how that works.

Big week for Arley girl.

Thursday I was doing dishes and thought I heard B giggling from our bedroom…. only I knew he wasn't in our room…. I went in to check and sister was giggling out loud. I didn't believe it was possible but she kept doing it several more times. I googled it to make sure I wasn't crazy and finally R got to see it in real life too. We've yet to capture it on video because we are usually too busy laughing about it when it happens but it's about the cutest thing ever. She really is the smiliest baby and she literally LOLs. :)

Friday we had some awesome friends come hang out and she got her first scratch cupcake (via mommy of course). ;)

Saturday she 'participated' in her first egg hunt… actually she sat in the car while mommy and B hunted for eggs. It was good for B to get some mommy time in and A got some daddy time in. Win win! Some cousins came up to hunt eggs with us and she got some cousin time in before they left. Later her uncle Todd's fam came up and we celebrated his birthday. Big bro cried when they had to leave.

Sunday she went to church for the first time. There was a lovely grandparent set behind us that commented on how fresh from Heaven she was. :) It was Easter too! We ate lunch with some grandparents and had a mini egg hunt in the front yard which ended in B finding baskets for him and sister. He was excited to give hers to her. It was filled with gifts other people had given her… that Easter bunny sure is clever. ;)

Monday is a blur. I have no idea what we did and instagram pics aren't giving me many clues.

Tuesday the talented Destri Andorf came to capture some real life shots. This pretty much sums it up….. ;)

Of course after she left B decided he was in the mood to pose for pictures so I ended up taking several more that day. One of these days I'll get around to uploading and editing them.

Wednesday we headed out to the library and 3Cs so big bro could run off some energy. He loved playing with every single toy there but missed his friends that are there during story time. Thursday night we went out to eat at Chic-fil-A for the first time ever (we had only been through the drive thru before) and B got to play in the play place for the first time ever. He loved it. Sis slept, ate and slept through it. Afterwards B headed to Target to spend a big brother gift card someone had given him. He bought Optimus Prime (and Bumble Bee and two other Transformers I have no idea the names of). We've discovered becoming a big brother is a bit like Christmas and he is going to be sorely disappointed when the gifts stop coming in. Kid is getting spoiled.

Thursday B ran a fever and felt mopey all day so we bummed on the couch nearly all day long. (Is this a common side effect of the play place or just a coincidence?)

Friday sister had her official two week check (just a couple days late) and weighed in at 7 lbs 6 oz!! That's way past her goal of getting back to birth weight (6 lbs 8 oz). Way to pack on those pounds girl! :) That jumped her up from 10-22% in weight. And her height is now 21.5" putting her at 90%. Not bad for such a little peanut.

That said, we've definitely noticed she looks so much older these days and it's a little sad how fast these newborn days fly by. The plan for week three is more snuggling and less running.

Happy two weeks, little girl. You are loved!

Oh and then there's this. It doesn't have much to do with this post but it is the first mommy/daughter pic we have (on a real camera) and I don't even look like a zombie. I remember hating every picture of myself during B's newborn days so I know I'll love having this shot. That said… for more real life pics, feel free to visit my instagram. ;) 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

#arleyupdate week one

I have no idea how one week has already passed us by but Miss Arley is officially one week old (I'm typing this up 4/2… she turned one week last night at 11:45pm… I'll likely post it tomorrow since I've posted a billion blog posts today)…

Week one was amazing.

Well mostly.

Two things that sucked-

Saturday she had a little fussy period where we couldn't figure out what she needed and I was tired and stressed and mad at the nurse that kept us up all night Thursday night. She wasn't too interested in nursing and by the end of the day was a little yellow. We had a house full of people all day and as soon as everyone left all she wanted to do was nurse and by the next morning her color was pretty good again.

And Monday night (I think? I've kind of lost track of days), poor B got sick. He NEVER gets sick and he got so sick. Temp of 103 and vomiting all over. Including all over me. I was covered in his vomit and R was at the store as A started crying for milk. My mama heart ripped in two as I knew there was nothing I could do in that moment to help her. I totally felt like I was choosing between the two but R talked me off of that cliff. I'm sure that's the first of many times they'll both need their mama but boy it was a tough one.

Okay. Back to the awesome:

Her birth. Obviously.

Meeting big brother (and coming home).

First Dr checkup.  She passed with flying colors. (Weight was 6lbs 4oz- she had gotten down to 6lbs 3oz before coming home so this was good.) B was adorable at the Dr. As we got her out of her carseat he said 'OH look at her beautiful dress.' and 'You're a beautiful princess.' All day long he kept telling her what a beautiful princess she was.

First outing- we went to the local coffee shop.

First stroller rides (it's been such awesome weather for March!).

First trip to the park (though it was windy and the two of us stayed in the car while the boys played).

Other news:

She latched on right away after birth and has had a perfect latch since. I never dreamed breastfeeding could start out so easy (it sure wasn't this way with B!). The flip side of that… I may have an oversupply issue. I'm not sure yet and I've heard you really shouldn't do anything about oversupply until weeks 4-6 anyway so I'm waiting it out… and using lots of ice packs.

I hate to talk about sleep because it seems as soon as I mention it things change… but… she's been giving us 3 and 4 hour stretches at night which has been awesome. I nurse her to sleep then the two times she's up I pump and do a bottle just to make sure she's getting enough milk for another long stretch. I had wanted to avoid this because it caused some nipple confusion with B but I think my milk is coming out fast enough that it doesn't seem to bother her.

She came out smiling and she's been smiling pretty much ever since. Don't talk to me about reflex smiles. I don't need that kind of attitude. ;) But seriously. Gosh she's cute. ;) (And yes- I'll save that card for in a couple months when she really is smiling but geesh who can resist!?)

Newborn diapers and newborn clothes are big on her. B really didn't wear newborn clothes (he was too long) so I hadn't anticipated her needing many. I actually thought we probably had too many but as it turns out I think she'll have plenty of time to wear it all. :) Related: we love hand me downs. Gosh she's lucky!

So far B has been adjusting well. Better than well actually. He's been doing awesome. His big questions are about why she drinks milk from my 'breath' and why his 'breaths' don't have any milk. He's super observant. Her umbilical cord fell off on day six and the next day she was laying in her diaper and he wondered where her special belly button went to. He played at the neighbor's house this afternoon and was running errands with daddy tonight so I didn't get to see much of him today and he went to bed pretty fussy which means tomorrow could be interesting… but otherwise he's been doing great. He really is the best big brother!

And my sweet client turned friend gave us these awesome milestone cards. I had just been thinking about what we should do for her weekly update pictures and like a mind reader, Melinda sent these to us. They are perfect!

One week old:

And her 'first' smile…. Totally kidding. Like I said, she came out smiling. But seriously. How cute is she?! ;) And yes, yes, I'll get a new one of these when she starts officially laughing at all our jokes. :) 

behind the name

A teacher (by trade) married to another teacher make a pretty good team… except when it comes to naming babies. Teachers see and hear it all when it comes to names. The classic, the trendy, the misspelled (on purpose?), and the downright made up. Most teachers I know have a pretty strong stance on how they feel about such names. Us included.

For various reasons, a lot of names just get thrown out… Not because they are bad names but maybe you've hollered that name one too many times on the playground or written it down for detention more times than you can count.  i.e. Jonathan. A great name. But not one I could ever, ever, ever use.

When it was time to name Beckett Dane we each made a list and had complete veto power off the other's list. Beckett was the only name that remained. I had found it on a list of 'sports names' after all the names I suggested got kicked to the curb by R (Hudson, Swayer, Finn, etc were all first on the chopping block for him). B didn't end up having a middle name until he was about a day old. We had three left in the running when he was born before finally settling on Dane. (My middle name is Danielle after my great grandpa Daniel. R's grandpa and uncle's middle names are both Dale. My sister's is Kate after grandma Kathryn. So we added a curvy line to the Dale and said Dane was also short for Daniel. A stretch for a family name? Yes, definitely. Did we care? Not so much. Do we regret it? Not at all.)

Baby girl's name took a little more work.

We had a list of girl names that we've loved for nearly 10 years. (Yes, that's before we were even engaged… a teacher we worked with had a new granddaughter named Hadley and I wanted to steal the name for my list. That started the baby name conversation and we had all our future daughters named before we even talked about getting married. That's normal, right?) ;)

For various reasons over the years, each of those four girl names have gotten crossed off the list. (We still love all the names but just feel like some are off limits to us now… why is naming so hard?!) :)

So when we found out baby girl was in fact a girl… the name hunt began at square zero. As I started adding to the list, R started vetoing. Lindley, Avalyn, Murphy, Jentry & Arden were first on the chopping block. James (R's middle name) as a girl middle name was an absolute no for him (I'm still working on convincing him of it if we happen to have any other daughters down the line). So was Wren and Joy and any other cute name I could come up with. He agreed to Luciel (my grandma's middle name) but as soon as he did my niece got the middle name so we took it off the list too. He suggested some classic names which I loved but didn't feel fit well with Beckett.  We literally had zero names to work with.

Eventually we prayed about it and asked that God would just tell us baby girl's name.

Not long after (the next day maybe?), I was scrolling through the inter webs and came across the name, Arley. Nope. Not loving it at all. But I had this feeling like the Holy Spirit was saying, "Hey, scroll back up, that's her name!" Ummm no. Then all of a sudden, this name I had never heard of before started showing up everywhere. Eventually, one of my favorite bloggers got a dog and named it Arley. That was all it took to convince me it was most definitely not a little girl's name. But the feeling persisted. Eventually I felt like I should just 'look it up.'

Before I tell you the meaning….. Let me tell you the short version of our summer. The Holy Spirit was working overtime in shaping me and the months leading up to this pregnancy, I was getting some major lessons on God's promises. Of course I've always heard people talk about God's promises and grew up singing (round style), "Standing on the Promises of God." It's a cute thought but I never claimed them as my own (or even really knew what those promises were for that matter). Eventually, God taught me what those promises were and urged me to claim them as my own. Namely, that ALL He has for me is good. Even when it hurts and is downright ugly, He is working behind the scenes to make it into something beautiful. It's ALL good.

Not long after, B started waking up every morning and finding rainbows in his room. The way the summer sun aligned with the front door glass, left a beautiful rainbow on his bedroom floor every morning. We started talking about rainbows and how they are a reminder that God keeps His promises. B was well versed in promises and those rainbows showed up every morning for several weeks straight.

….So when I typed in 'Arley baby name' you've probably guessed by now that the first search result said, "Hebrew name meaning: God's promise." Did you just get chills? I totally did. I prayed about it and knew it was her name. I loved it. Adorable and cute but strong and faith filled. I prayed R would feel the same way. I tossed and turned in bed but eventually fell asleep (did I mention this happened at 3 am?). I woke up early the next morning to a text from R (who was donating plasma already for the day) that said, "Her name is Arley."


...He actually said her name is Arley Grace but I couldn't come around to that one. Arley Wren. Arley Joy. Arley James. But not Arley Grace. (I kept thinking of the Griswolds around the Christmas table… GRACE?! She died 30 years ago!)

I liked Wren because it was a bird name. If we couldn't use Luciel after my grandma, I wanted to use a bird name as a nod to her. (She loved birds and for some reason, several of the quotes that keep coming to me about this little girl have to do with birds.)

I also wanted to use a family name but we couldn't agree on one we loved and felt bad using from one side of the family but not the other.

So back to the (middle) name game. I kind of planned that she would just get a middle name in the hospital like B did and that would be okay but we kept the conversation on the front burner anyway.

Fast forward to the Friday after Thanksgiving. We spent the day with his grandma. She was telling us stories about the old days and dropping all sorts of life lessons on us. Eventually the conversation rounded the corner into labor and delivery stories. She told us the reason behind why she was born at home… her older sister had died during birth in a hospital and her mom didn't want to go back. I wondered if her older sister hadn't died if she would even have ever been born. And then of course I would have never met R. And we would have never had Beckett. Or Avery. Or Arley. And if Avery hadn't gone to heaven so soon, we wouldn't likely have this little miracle growing here with us now.* And how much her mother must have longed for her during that time. God's hand was all over this story spanning the generations and His perfect plan was coming together.

*(Yep, that was the spiral of emotions I was on that day. We'll blame the pregnancy hormones.)

So here in God's perfect plan, she tells us her middle name. Evelyn.

Evelyn had been on the name list. It was my great-grandmother's middle name and I loved the way it sounded. But it wasn't getting much support from R.

We looked up the name meaning. "Evelyn means wished for child. beautiful bird. life."

It was everything I had been looking for in a middle name and then some… a bird meaning. A family name (on both sides). And the wished for child and life part? Seal the deal.

Arley Evelyn.

We hope you love your name beautiful girl. We think it fits you so.

boy meets girl

As much as I was looking forward to meeting Arley, I could. not. wait. for B to meet his little sister. He has been in love with her since he learned about her and they were best friends before he ever saw her face. I was beyond myself with excitement as he was finally going to get to meet his 'sweet girl.'

B had spent the night with grandma so they brought him up to meet Arley in the morning. He walked in very quietly and was so sweet and gentle as he met her. The highlights: 'That's my baby? I really like her. Hers cute. Her came out of your tummy?!' And later as she started to cry when he was holding her… 'shhh shhh shhh (not working- panicked look on his face as he looked around him).. I think she needs a toy!' And when grandma was holding her and talking to her he said, 'she can't even talk!'

Also worth noting, he had a special gift for her and was so excited to show her. Once he met her and snuggled a minute, daddy brought in a special gift for him. He opened it and screamed, 'Eggos! (how he pronounces legos) It's just what I always wanted!!!!' Sister was old news (for a little while) as he ran off to play legos with daddy for a bit.

Equally as awesome was when we got home from the hospital. We pulled up to the house as he was getting out of grandma's car. He saw us and threw his hands up in the air and shouted cause he was SO excited!! He ran to the garage and talked about a mile a minute to daddy about how he wanted to help get sister out of the car, he wanted to show his sister her new house and her new room and her new living room and her new couch and her new toys and… (you get the idea). He kept saying how excited he was that she was home. Pure joy. My mama heart could not have been happier.

Oh B, you are such an awesome big brother already. Miss Arley is so lucky to have you as a forever best friend.

(The first video I shot as B came in the room. I wanted it to just be our little family but as R went to get B I realized last second I wanted a video of it. Had I thought of that 30 seconds earlier I would have just had my mom come in and video for us but instead I'm holding up the cell phone in all the pics. I'm okay with that cause that sweet big brother voice on the video is priceless. The slideshow pictures are unedited and I took very few of them. Maybe someday I'll get around to editing everything… but I doubt it so that's why I went ahead and put them together as is.) :) 


Arley's Nursery

Arley's nursery. (See more on project nursery!)

We didn't have a plan going into A's nursery except that it was Christmas break and we knew if we didn't get it painted/flooring in while R was home, it may never happen. So we went to the store and bought the same paint from our bedroom (if you've been here you've probably noticed the last 7 rooms we've painted over the last 4 years have all been white and the entire living space we just redid is basically white… ) so it was no surprise this time the nursery started with a white base. We chose the flooring by what was cheapest at NFM at the time. And I wanted to redo B's dresser so I went with the same color that we chose for our front door and accents last summer. I know…. really stepping out of my comfort zone there.

I did have one piece I wanted to use there- grandma's afghan (more on that here). So from there we chose colors that mixed in with the afghan (pretty easy since about every color imaginable can be found in the afghan). We also incorporated birds (her middle name means beautiful bird and the birds were also a nod to grandma who loved birds).

If you checked out B's nursery tour, this probably looks sort of familiar to you. Details about the chair, crib and dresser can all be found over on his post.

Other details:

Paint: Walls: Elegant White (dutch boy). Green dresser:  Valspar Celtic. Green stripe: I used the paint from the dresser and added some white from the walls to tone it down. It ended up being close to Valspar Bahama (though I was going for more of a Valspar Pistachio.. it of course dried darker than I planned).

Flooring: Nebraska Furniture Mart

Crib sheet: Pottery Barn Kids (Did you know you can get these on sale for $9? That's cheaper than Walmart!)

Crib skirt: Target

Curtains: Amazon

Moroccan pouf: Amazon

Night stand: Made by R

Chest: Hand me down from R

Bird Hooks: Made by R following Lay Baby Lay tutorial

Mobile: Amazon

Rug: Amazon

Knobs on dresser: Amazon (I can't recommend these. We paid $8 for the set so they were super cheap.. which should have been our first clue. They will likely all need to be glued back together as the glass ball comes off the actual knob part very easy. Bummer.) These are adorable but no way I am spending that much for knobs.

Afghan: grandma's

Name Frame: The one pictured below isn't the one in her room (pictured above) but the verse is the same. Her first name means God's promise and her middle name means beautiful bird so I kinda love this verse for her.

Other prints: Lucy Darling (most are from Swell Baby Shop. you can also find them at Adorn and on Amazon)

Bird Backpack: Adorn by Milkbarnkids

Purple frame: Lollywood (though I painted it… don't tell Jeff!)

(Can you tell we use Amazon prime? We also got some Amazon gift cards for Christmas/baby gifts. Kind of the perfect gift card for us.) :)  Since we're so Amazon savvy I feel like I need to share this tip with you… start an Amazon cart and ask them to notify you of price drops. It's a guaranteed way to get everything on sale (if you're not in a hurry to get it). And once you order, it arrives in two days so if you are in a hurry, it's quick shipping! We are kind of big fans of their diaper and pantry orders too (on sale of course). 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

arley evelyn | a birth story

I never understood the difference between 39ish weeks pregnant and 40 weeks pregnant until the 40 week pregnant mark rolled around and I knew.

March 25, 2015. Forty weeks pregnant.

I'm not sure I would ever ask an OB to induce me for any reason. But I really wanted to anyway. (I didn't, I didn't!)

Originally I had planned on just running to my quick 10 min  OB appt by myself (with B in tow) but last minute, R decided to get someone to cover his last class so he could go too. That ended up being a good thing.

I wasn't planning on having a baby that day but we were a little hopeful and put everything in the car just in case….

2:00 pm. During the appointment my blood pressure (which had been low all but once the entire pregnancy) was high and I had signs of preeclampsia. I was dilated 2 and my contractions were 5 minutes apart (though still nothing I could say for certain were the real deal). The OB sends me to the hospital for a medically indicated induction. She tells me they are expecting me and with my preeclampsia symptoms I need to get there right away. We agreed and headed to Jethros for an early dinner. ;)

3:15 pm. We finished up the 'last meal' and my friend Erin met us to pick up B (thanks again for being a life saver!).

3:45 pm. We get checked into Birthing Suite 3003 and gowned up. Then wait. And wait. We hang out with several nurses between births while we wait to see who we will get. I begged each one to let me walk the halls but each bp check worked against me and I was stuck (they aren't big fans of pregnant mamas having seizures while walking the halls I guess). Contractions were getting closer together but still not strong enough to text home about.

5:30 pm. Three nurses and four pokes later and I have an IV in my arm. (They blamed my ridiculous blood pressure.) I feel like a pin cushion.

6:00 pm. Dilated 3. Contractions 3 minutes apart.

6:30 pm. Start a little pitocin (that I'm not sure I got my monies worth out of because there was barely any out of the bag when it was all said and done- I'm totally not complaining though!).

8:30 pm. Water broke.

8:45 pm. FaceTime with B. He had made his way to grandma's via Erin and Hillary and we were excited to 'see' him and visit before he went to bed. Little sister must have been excited to hear his voice because as soon as he was on the line the pressure on my pelvic bone became unbearable. She was ready to get out of there!

At this point my contractions still weren't bad. I never had really bad ones with B either so this wasn't a surprise but I did make a comment about how it was weird my IV pokes hurt stronger than my contractions. The nurses said that was pretty common with people that have had endometriosis because you're comparing the pain to that. It made complete sense and validated my fear of not wanting to depend on the strength of my contractions to know when to head to the hospital. I was even more thankful we were sent in from the OB office.

That said. Don't hate me too much. That pelvic pain I felt was unbearable. There was very little I could do for it and very little anyone could help me with. This part of the story gets hard and I've only attempted to tell it once so far. (I started crying that time and never finished.) I'm not sure if I'll ever share that part here but emotionally, this was my hard spot. R was rock solid for me. The nursing team was amazing. We decided the best thing for me to do at that point was the epidural. (I had no strong feelings about it either way so this wasn't a disappointment to me.)

10:00 pm. Epidural guy joins us and tells us all about his upcoming trip to Hawaii. (And possibly does the epidural but it's hard to know.) R gives the photographer the all clear to come.

10:30 pm. Fully effaced. 6 cm. I had been having some chills but otherwise nothing bad. There was still pelvic bone pressure but emotionally I was doing better. At some point between here and pushing, the super talented Tessa from Studio T Photography arrives in time to capture the birth.

11:15 pm. I tell them I need to push. I hadn't appeared to go through transition yet (minus the chills) so I'm not sure anyone believed me. They checked me anyway and sure enough- decided they better get the OB. I get a practice push in and apparently it was a good one because they had me stop right away to wait for the OB. I try but it's so hard not to push when your body is telling you it's time.

11:30 pm. The nurse announces baby A will be born today. I whole heartedly disagree- it did take three hours of pushing with B after all. OB arrives and they let me push. I was completely and fully aware (physically and emotionally) this time. With B I don't remember much of the actual birth part. I definitely don't remember feeling the fullness of it as he was born. I feel every bit of this (again- it's hard to know how much of an epidural I actually got… I make a note to self to tell the anesthesiologist he might not want to count on a paycheck from me to fund his Hawaii trip). I remember thinking pushing this time was so peaceful. Which I know makes absolutely no sense. I hope someday soon I'll be able to put it into words.

11:45 pm. After a short and easy 15 minutes of pushing only when I felt like it (again- don't hate me- remember I pushed 3+ hours for B?), Arley Evelyn is welcomed into the world. She reaches her long fingers up towards mine and grabs ahold as if to say 'nice to meet you.' My heart explodes. Tears flow from my eyes as we embrace and she snuggles into my chest. I can hardly believe my little girl is here.

She scores a 9 and a 9. She's weighed in at 6 lbs 8 oz (she was later measured downstairs at 20 1/2" long).

12:50 am. We snuggle in for skin time and I'm surprised when she quickly (and very strongly) latches on. She nursed for quite awhile on both sides and before we left the birthing unit I even had colostrum coming in for her (again- completely different from my experience with B!). Our sweet nurse comments that we're pros and don't even need her. It was sweet of them to say but I was surprised when everyone actually left and we were left to hang out with our new baby girl. It was a sweet moment. We cheers in celebration.

2:00 am. We pass all our post delivery checks and hop in the wheel chair and head out. We go over the same bump into the same elevator that made B cry and she also isn't a fan. I comfort her with my hands and voice as I hold her close and another sweet baby is mine. Another sweet baby has a place in my heart. Another sweet baby teaches me it is possible to love beyond anything I knew the heart was capable of.

My heart is so full.

(Some images by myself or R but most images by Tessa from Studio T Imagery. We were so blessed to have her there to capture these moments for us.)

Other things I don't want to forget- 
-Our nurse was a former Creston student (in fact R was her health teacher and she still wanted to be a nurse)- how crazy is that?! 
-With B, we had a room full but this time it was just R & myself. I loved it. 
-The chocolates were because once I hit the date I thought she would be born I started doing everything I could to make things like they were before B was born. He had chocolates so we made her some too. The sparkling pink lemonade and basket were gifts from friends and I loved feeling a little fancy celebration for our girl.
-I'll add more here but we are so ready fro bed right now…. ;) 


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