Monday, December 10, 2012

Nettie Jean: 4 Months

Since 3 Months:

-Lots of rolling over, both ways
-Showing signs of scooting/reaches for objects
-Loves being around people/people watching
-Loves singing, talking and laughing
-Has the cutest pouty lip I've ever seen
-Can recognize her name
-Started getting chubby (It's all that formula!)
-Loves playing with her feet
-Loves playing with my face, and getting kisses (especially both at the same time)
-Obsessed with the TV remote and our iPhones
-Two favorite things are: hanging out in her birthday suit and standing up. She gets so pleased with herself when we let her do both at the same time.
-Starting to need discipline. So far we have introduced 'stay' when she is on the changing table, and 'no touch' when we are at the dining table. (This one came as a surprise. We thought we had more time to prepare! We can already tell we will be spending lots of time praying and in the Word over this.)

We are having too much fun interacting with her. 
Her personality is really started to come alive; and, sure enough, it's just like Seth's!

4 month stats:
14 lbs. 1 oz.
25 inches long

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nettie Jean: 3 Months

Nettie Jean turned 3 months November 10th, but I've been pretty busy around here so I'm just now getting to this! She has been quite the joy, and such a blessing to have around.

Nonetheless, she has already taught me a great deal about motherhood in these quick 3 months.
A few of which include:
-multitasking (seriously, motherhood takes this to a whole new level)
-parenthood is secretly just God's way of straightening out my heart, and bringing me closer to Him.
-it's very important to be aware of how I react to situations. I always have a little person watching...and learning.
-to ignore those looming feelings of loneliness and self-doubt when I'm alone with her all day; instead focusing on the beauty of this wonderful gift.
-sometimes having long conversations with a naked, giggly baby is way better than cleaning, cooking, working out, or showering.
-those embarrassing mom 'baby' noises are inevitable; and, well, embarrassing...
-it is crucial more than ever that I have a solid relationship with God, as well as with Seth.
-I am pretty stoked for #2, #3, #4....#5?

3 month stats:
11 lbs. 8 oz.
23 inches long

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nettie Jean: 2 months

Nettie is already 2 months old and so full of life. Every day we are more in love.

Feeding is still our main struggle. Since she has been sleeping longer, she eats more during the day. But since she doesn't nurse, my supply has gone down. She doesn't like to nurse because she has to work so hard and barely gets any milk (there is a lot working against both of us, so we're just thankful she gets breast milk!). So we pump and bottle feed, with a little formula supplementation. (If any mommas out there have a recommendation for good formula we would greatly appreciate it! I hate using it, but if she needs it, then she needs it.) Sometimes I still get really frustrated at feedings, but I've come to terms with the fact that every momma and baby have some issue. This is just our issue that we have to work through together. I will say, it is such a privilege to be needed by my child, to watch her grow and develop, and to help her through her challenges and difficulties. 

Otherwise she is such a lovely baby. She is on a great eating and sleeping schedule. One long afternoon nap with three cat naps the rest of the day. She sleeps in her own room now. It was hard at first for me to be that far away from her-I got so used to hearing her sweet murmurs! But she is such a trooper-sleeping all the way from 10-5/5:30. Seth and I are very thankful for the extra hours of sleep ourselves!

She is becoming more and more aware each day. She LOVES to watch us! The minute Seth gets home from work all eyes are on him. She is enamored with his every move. It is THE cutest thing to see, as mother and wife. I've been wearing her a lot more, and she loves to watch my every move. Her eyes follow my hands as I work around the house. She is also getting so strong! During tummy time she lifts her chest off the ground-I'm anxiously waiting for her to start rolling over. She loves to sit up, and she tries every time she is propped up a little bit. Lately she has really been into her hands and her mouth. I always catch her trying to 'eat' her hands. It's quite hilarious-she gets so into it, and really gets the drool going.

She had been sitting there for a while before we took the video. Poor girl was getting tired of holding her head up by the end. 

Lastly, we have started using cloth diapers. We don't mind it so far. It's a little more work than disposables, but not too bad. They do seem a lot more comfy for her little bum. I do have a question for all you cloth diaper moms out there-what is the best way you have found to get all the poop stains out? Some of my inserts are bamboo, and after my first wash cycle, a couple of them still had a few stains. I know they're disinfected, but aesthetically they just don't look as nice. Help!

We are having so much fun being parents to this sweet little gal. Raising a child with the man I love and cherish has got to be my favorite thing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nettie Jean: 6 Weeks

6 weeks is like the magic week for babies. I've always heard that this is the week they start acting like a little person, and sure enough, Nettie has really started to come alive.

Since 4 weeks:

She is much more aware of her surroundings. She gets pretty distracted when eating, especially if the TV is on. We have started to cover her face slightly with a light blanket to keep her focused. She also gets distracted when trying to sleep. There's just too much to look at, that sleep is no longer as important apparently. She loves her bamboo blanket touching her face, so we just cover her eyes to help her sleep. Also, she has started to track objects. It's becoming so much fun to interact with her.

Nettie is always the most alert and calm right after eating. One morning I caught her interacting with Seth right after a feeding.

She is much more aware of her body. She waves her arms and kicks her legs constantly. She has figured out that she has a tongue-I catch her playing with it in her mouth quite often. It's adorable. She has also figured out she has hands-she wiggles her fingers around and occasionally looks at them. She smiles all the time, and responds to our voices and facial expressions. She coos-probably the cutest thing ever.

She is a great sleeper. She normally sleeps a good 6-7 hours at night, so she only needs to eat after dinner, and sometime in the morning between 4:30 and 6:30, depending on when she falls asleep the night before. She starts out in her bassinet, and sometimes ends up in her swing. We have found that she is a restless sleeper just like her mama, and the swing works wonders to relax her.

Feeding is still lots of work for us. My milk doesn't flow very fast, so she has to work really hard when she nurses, which frustrates her easily. This has resulted in lots of me pumping while Seth or I bottle feed her what I pump. This is where I get worn out. I can handle the occasional evening case of the fussies, or all the poopy diapers, but when feeding isn't the simple nurse-for-20-minutes it starts to take its toll on me.

After hearing Randy and Julie talk about Seth as a baby, we started to notice some similarities with Nettie. She has started to drool. Seth soaked through many a shirt back in his day, so we are preparing for the same with Nettie (but hoping it stays to a minimum!). Also, we know exactly when Nettie is going #2 just by the look on her face. We were told Seth was the exact same way as a baby. It fascinates me how little ones can be so similar to their parents!

It is still so incredible to me that what was once a little crush in high school has now become this cozy little family. And I love my cozy little family. 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Nettie Jean: 1 Month

*Photos courtesy of Dani Attanasio with Attanasio Photography


Loves snuggling, especially with daddy and when she's all wrapped up in her bamboo Aden & Anais blanket.

Loves laying with her head arched back, looking up. This was actually how she was presented when I tried delivering, and the reason I had to have a c-section.

Loves to always be moving.

Loves being in her car seat.

Loves being outside, going on walks, and watching the trees blow in the wind.

At 2 1/2 weeks she started skipping her late night feeding all on her own. She eats once in the middle of the night, and once early in the morning. Looking forward to when we start skipping that middle of the night feeding!

She is a great eater, but very impatient. I've struggled with a low supply from day one, so I have had to nurse, pump and bottle feed what I pump at each feeding. Needless to say, she has had to deal with all of that right alongside me. 

Loves laying on her side.

Can fall asleep on her own. Sometimes she needs me to put the pacifier back in her mouth and pat her back to let her know I'm there.

I have started being able to recognize her different cries. She has a very specific cry for when she just wants some lovin', and a very specific cry for when she wants her food now!

Really strong. Since week one, has been able to hold her head up and stand up.

Like daddy:

Always has cold feet
Can be pretty demanding and dramatic
Loves to watch TV
Starting to look more like him every day

Like mama:

Loves Bon Iver, especially Calgary
Loves soaking in the tub
Loves massages, especially on her feet and back
Fidgety, especially when trying to fall asleep or get comfy.

Like daddy and mama:


I can't wait to watch her grow and see who she becomes, but I know I'm going to miss this tiny, cuddly stage. But that's why we have more kids, right? ;)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Nettie Jean Rhodes

Birth Story:

WARNING: This is mainly for me as a way to document all the details while they are still fresh. It will most likely be boring and WAY too lengthy for many of you.

Her birth definitely did not go according to plan though- but when do they ever? Ever since she dropped around 36 weeks, I was in constant pain. It only got worse as the days went on. So when her due date (Friday, August 3) came and gone it was getting pretty tough for me physically and mentally. Everyone kept telling me to walk, walk, walk, but walking only made things hurt worse without us getting our baby. 
At our appointment Monday, August 6 (which also happened to be our 2 year anniversary!) my midwife checked my progress-I was only 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced. I was very discouraged considering the discomfort I was in. So we talked about possible induction methods. I wanted to avoid pitocin if possible, so she told me about a natural method and a different medicinal method that we could pick between on Thursday, August 9, depending on my progress. The plan was to try the natural method Thursday morning, or the medicinal method Thursday night-either should get me into labor by Friday. At our appointment Thursday I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced-great progress! I was too far along for the natural method to help much, and my midwife decided breaking my water would be more productive than the medicinal method. So we scheduled an induction for Friday, August 10 at 6:30 in the morning, hoping that maybe I would go into labor on my own before then.
We left our appointment super excited. Either way we were going to meet our little girl within the next day! We spent all day Thursday together, relishing the last hours as a family of two. Throughout the day I was getting pretty bad backaches, nausea and pains that felt like cramps.
 (I had been getting them all day Wednesday as well. I had planned to go with my friends, Ashley and Lea, to Omaha Wednesday to drop off Lea's boyfriend at the airport and shop around a bit. I didn't want to cancel, but the minute we got on the interstate I regretted coming. I was incredibly nauseous and experiencing a terrible throbbing in my lower back. I was shaking all over, and it took all my self control to keep it together-Lea's boyfriend had to get to the airport so we couldn't turn around. Once we got to the airport I walked around a bit and things felt better, so we headed to the stores. Shopping took my mind off of it for a while and we made it home in one piece! That night I wanted to go out once last time with Seth. so we headed to Coldstone for some ice cream. The nausea and back aches came back full force when we were in line, but we had a gift card so I got a scoop of ice cream anyways. We sat down and I could only eat one bite before turning to Seth and exclaiming, "We need to go home NOW." I still didn't think labor was close by, I just wanted to get home so I could hop in the shower and try to get comfortable. Things cooled off a bit until Thursday morning.)
It steadily got worse, until 10pm Thursday night when, sure enough, I started getting regular contractions ranging from 3-5 minutes apart. I took a long shower, pacing and lunging while enjoying the hot water on my back and lower belly. The water worked wonders in relieving the discomfort. After a while I got really tired and decided to try to sleep. I found that if I laid super still and focused on relaxing every muscle in my body while breathing deeply and rhythmically, the contractions came and went with little pain. I was also able to sleep in between each one which helped.
Come 1am and my contractions were now a steady 3 minutes apart. So we called my midwife and my mom and got ready to go. We were so calm, yet super excited. We walked through each room of the house and made sure everything was in its place (well mainly Seth walked while I sat through contractions). We met my mom at the hospital at 1:40am and there wasn't a single person in sight. The calm and quiet was weird but nice. 
When I was checked this time I was 5cm dilated and 90% effaced. I'm pretty sure Seth and I high-fived each other, we were so excited. So I spend the next couple hours walking the halls, bouncing on the exercise ball, lunging, and relaxing in the jet tub. The contractions were still not very painful-they were more just uncomfortable. There were a couple times I could barely feel them when I was in the jet tub (I highly recommend this as a coping method-it worked wonders for me!) My mom even commented that she couldn't even tell when I was having one until I told her to start the contraction counting app.
The nurse checked me around 5am and I was only 6cm dilated. I was still only 6cm when she checked again at 6:30am. We decided to break my water (the plan all along if I didn't go into labor on my own) in hopes it would help labor progress. My midwife broke my water, and there was meconium. She said it was due to our little gal being overdue and not because she was under stress. The problem came when she checked me. She kept feeling something soft-definitely not the crown of her head. So she brought in the ultrasound nurse to see what body part was facing down first. The nurse confirmed it was her head, but still wasn't sure what part of it. Her chin was supposed to be tucked against her chest, presenting the crown of her head-the smallest diameter. My midwife thought her chin was pointed up, presenting her face-the biggest diameter. If this was the case, she wouldn't fit through and a c-section would be in order.
A c-section was the last thing I wanted to happen, so I kind of freaked out for a moment. My heart started racing and I started getting emotional. As we waited for the doctor to confirm her position, the nurses stuck me in bed and began an IV. These next couple hours were the worst part of our labor experience. I was breaking down mentally, the IV was painful, and the contractions were getting very painful because I had to lay still in bed through each one. Finally the doctor came in and checked me, confirming that she had a face presentation and I had to have a c-section. It was so painful and I became so nauseous as he wiggled his hand around making sure he was feeling correctly. The tears were definitely streaming down at this point.
He didn't tell me how dilated I was, but I am sure by that point I was pretty far because each contraction kept coming way stronger and way faster. It didn't help that I was stuck on my back, and crying from the realization that I had to deliver my baby through c-section. I know people say that it doesn't really matter the method, as long as I have a healthy baby, but my plan was to go as natural as possible, and having a major surgery was not natural! This was not the birth experience I had envisioned and longed for.
It was all a blur as the anesthesiologists, nurses and doctor prepped-but I clearly remember my midwife at my side the entire time, comforting me (she knew this was not my plan and how nervous I was). Seth became extra protective at this point (he also knew this was the main thing I wanted to avoid, and how scared I was). He kept making sure I was as comfortable as could be physically and emotionally. 
The surgery itself was crazy mentally-it was very hard at first for me to trust that the drugs were going to work and I would feel no pain as I lay there wide awake. But physically, it was a breeze. Seth sat at my head holding my hand, as I felt a tug here and there while they made their incisions-I swear that was the longest 5 minutes of my life! Finally, at 9:27am, I felt some pressure as they lifted her out. There is seriously nothing that could ever compare to the first sweet cry of our very own baby. Seth and I couldn't stop crying from pure joy and awe.  And the tears kept coming as they held up her swollen little body. She was completely perfect. A whole 8lbs 15ounces of perfect. We started laughing in disbelief when they told us how big she was! I laid and watched as they wiped her down, checked her over, and helped Seth cut her cord. 
Finally it was my turn to hold my little lady! When they put her on my chest for some skin to skin she immediately went searching for food, and she knew exactly where to search!  I lay in amazement of God's precious design as I watched her. But then to the recovery room I was sent. One of the bummers of a c-section is that while dad and baby are bonding, getting the first bath in the nursery, and lots of first snuggles, mom is stuck in a bed, numb from the stomach down and tired as can be. But that was soon forgotten as we headed to our postpartum room as a merry little family of three.

Birth stats:
8 lbs 15 oz
20 1/4 inches long

4 day stats:
8 lbs 3 oz
20 1/4 inches long

Friday, August 3, 2012

40 Weeks and the Nursery

I have made it to 40 weeks. It's all about patience and trying to get comfortable from here on out.

 I guess it's about time to document the nursery. We were working with such a small room, so there wasn't much to do really, but it was fun being creative (well trying, anyway) and using what we already had on hand. I wanted the room to be in wood tones and white tones. Here is some of my inspiration.

Basically my color palette for the room-I love how wood and white look together.

Curtains and curtain rod.

White, drapey mobile.

Wooden ladder.

A little girly touch with doilies and wooden embroidery hoops.

I wanted to make some arrows and incorporate somehow. 

After I gathered some inspiration, I searched our house high and low in hopes of finding past decorations (from Christmas, showers I had thrown, our wedding, etc.) that I could use instead of having to buy things.

And this is what I came up with.
My dear friend, Dani, helped my build the branch chandelier. Seth built the side table for me, and also hung the curtains using sticks as rods (apparently it is much more difficult than using a regular curtain rod-needless to say, I very much appreciate his hard work). He was also going to build the ottoman, but decided it'd be easiest to just buy one. I wanted all of our main furniture pieces to be in neutral and wood tones-that way they can be reused in a boys nursery (that is if we are blessed with a boy next time) or elsewhere in the house over time.

Just waiting on Baby N.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Belly Shoot

 One day about a month ago my lovely cousin, Kate, took me out to a field and snapped a few pics of my growing belly. She did such a great job, I couldn't resist sharing a few (well, a little more than a few). Plus, I thought it'd be nice to document my belly one last time before it's no longer.