Henry’s 4 Month Photos

Henry’s 4 month pictures were taken at a park located on Lake Michigan. We had an absurdly windy day, but sunny and lovely. Poor Henry had a solid blowout poop/pee mid-photoshoot, that wasn’t noticed until we were just about done… so, if he looks pissed, he is! haha Literally.

I loved how these photos turned out. They definitely reminded me of our engagement photos, which are my favorites.

See… aren’t these amazing:

But I digress… (sorry for attempting to steal the show, Henry)!

Henry’s 4 Month Photos

Henry’s Newborn Photos

Within a week of little Henry’s arrival, we took Henry’s newborn photos. I don’t remember all the details, as I was in a blurry state of exhaustion, but I do remember that it did not go amazingly. My GIANT baby refused to sleep like a newborn. He cried and cried for the first 3/4 of the session and then slept super lightly for the last quarter.

We had planned to schedule another mini session to get a few more photos, but I got lazy and didn’t want to endure the torture. Regardless, his pictures are cute! Not my favorite photo session, but definitely some very sweet shots. As you’ll see, my little ham also tried to steal the show with some 2-year-old shots.

Newborn Photography

Henry’s Fresh 48 Photos

I noticed yesterday that I have yet to post any of Henry’s professional photos. For Henry, we did photos in the hospital when Charlie was there visiting. This is the “Fresh 48” and I am SO happy that we did them. They’re amazing and special and give me all the feels.

Fresh 48 Photos

The Birth of My Little Big Man

It feels like it has been EONS since I was pregnant and I feel like my memory of all the drama that goes into having a baby has faded a bit, but I’m going to do my best to recollect.

My last 4 weeks of my pregnancy were filled with chiropractor appointments, prenatal massage, induction massage, acupuncture, long walks, Non Stress Tests, OB Checks and membrane Sweeps. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I had vowed not to go crazy with the natural induction methods because of how things went with Charlie (she got stuck in my pelvis). Now, clearly, I wasn’t just sitting back on the couch waiting for things to happen, but I was a little less intense (ie: I did NOT drink castor oil this time… although I was close to doing it).

On Friday, May 27th, I had a Non Stress Test (NST) (maybe my 3rd or 4th?). After my NST, my doc came in and stripped my membranes. For those of you who have not had this lovely procedure done, it’s essentially an excruciating “procedure” where the doc reaches all the way up to the back of your eyeballs, via your lady bits, to attempt to detach your water bags from your uterus using her fingers. Lovely, as you can imagine. The point: induce labor.

Anyway, I definitely felt things moving on Friday… not crazy, I’m in labor moving… but contractions. I went back in on Tuesday afternoon (5/31) for another NST and another lovely sweep. This time, it was probably only about an hour or so until I felt things starting to pick up. It wasn’t crazy levels of contractions, but they were there and consistent. This was probably around 5pm. I went grocery shopping, made dinner… no biggy.

By around 7pm, they were getting more uncomfortable. I had Mark take the lead putting Charlie to bed. This is when things become blurry. Essentially, from this point until around 12:30pm the following day, I STRUGGLED through labor at home. Mark was amazing. I was literally awake and in severe pain all night. Mark brought one of our bar stools into the bedroom for me, lined it with pillows, so I could try to close my eyes and be comfortable between contractions. I was having such back labor that I literally couldn’t lay down. The pain was excruciating.

We called our doula sometime in the morning. Mark’s mom came to take care of Charlie so Mark and I could labor in our bathroom/bedroom. Somewhere around 10, my contractions became super regular… 3 minutes apart, over a minute in length, consistent for 2 hours. My doula came over sometime before noon.

By around 1, we finally left to go to the hospital. I felt like things were close… or at least I had hoped that they were. I remember being SO afraid of being in the car, getting in the car, everything. But, we made it.

The nurse checked me when we got there, although, I asked for her to keep my dilation to herself… I didn’t want to know. Unfortunately, I totally expected (or hoped) that she would say, “ok, it’s time to push”… but she didn’t. Between the total lack of sleep and exhaustion from the previous 15+ hours of laboring at home, I was already feeling defeated. From the minute we got to the hospital, I was talking about the epidural. I just could not get my head in the game. I remember with my labor with Charlotte, I got so deep inside myself. I just couldn’t get there this time.

But, I pushed forward. I went in the shower and labored in the bathroom for another 6 hours. Finally, I asked to be checked. I needed to know where I was because I was losing it. I was crying and just struggling. I was so tired. Feeling like I was falling over when I tried to stand, just totally fading and exhausted from the pain.

When I was checked… after 20 hours… I was at 5 cm.

I melted down and demanded the epidural. I was done.

Let me just tell you one thing about the epidural… GAME. CHANGER. I literally napped… for hours! I had my legs propped up on a ball in every which way and just slept. I was happy and great. Every so often, those pesky contractions would come back and the anesthesiologist would give me another dose. It was great.

Check upon check, no change. They pumped me with pitocin, clocked nice and strong (and consistent) contractions, but no change. I literally hung off the bed in some weird Welchers position, laid on a birthing ball for hours, squated, etc… no change. I stayed at 5 cm, -3 station until my water finally sprung a leak, for 10-15 hours. I labored a bit more after my water broke. Henry had moved down a little bit (not much), but I still had no further change in dilation and my cervix started to swell.

With my last labor experience with Charlotte weighing on all of us, my doc urged us to consider a c-section. Mark and I talked (and cried) and gushed over the details, but ultimately, the decision was easy. It wasn’t worth the risk to Henry. It was time to call it and time to meet our baby.

At 10:30 am on Thursday, June 2nd, we met our little man. 10 lbs, 5 oz and 22.25” long. Born after nearly 42 weeks of pregnancy (original due date: May 20). It should be noted, that Henry came out howling! He was screaming on and off for the duration of the c-section (post birth). Little man was hungry and cold and wanted his mommy.

It’s interesting because the c-section experience was so different and just the whole thing felt so incredibly different. With Charlotte it was intense all the way through. There were no breaks. Just from one high intensity moment to the next, until we finally got her in our room, after she spent 5 hours in the NICU. With Henry, it was calm. I was rested. We had an easy c-section. They put him on me right after they weighed (and wiped) him. I was irked that they cleaned him off, but whatever. The frustrating part is that the anesthetics made me SO incredibly shakey. My whole body. I felt like I was freezing and just couldn’t calm my body down. Ultimately, I had to ask Mark to take Henry from me because I felt so unstable. But regardless, it was wonderful to have our sweet boy in our arms.

And then, just like that, we were four.


Valentine’s Day

We had a really nice Valentine’s Day! My amazingly sweet husband snuck out of the house early to surprise me with flowers at my office. 

But before I saw my flowers, Marky took charge with both kiddos so I could get into work early…

At lunch, hubby came by to spend time with Henry and I.

And then we put the kiddies to bed early (after an adorable evening with them), ordered Thai food (Marky was even home from work early), and had an at-home date night ❤

My sweet hubs surprised me with a massage gift certificate and the kids and I made him this beautiful little piece of art…

Our World

As I’m sure you’ve gathered, things have been a bit busy and keeping up with my blog hasn’t been as easy as I’d like. Between being swamped at work and juggling children and housework and life and everything at home, there just hasn’t been much time. I hope to play catch up soon.

Anyway, things in our world are really good. We have these amazing children. I mean, I literally can’t even. Charlotte has become such a little girl. Oh gosh is she sweet. I mean, she’s spicy as hell, too… but she’s so sweet. She loves hard. She’s SO amazing with Henry. The other day, she was watching “Lost in Oz” (super cute show) while I was making dinner. Henry was just outside of the kitchen in his bouncy seat. All of a sudden, without saying a word or even looking at me, she gets up, runs over to Henry and gives him a huge hug and kiss and then runs back to the couch and continues watching (all without any acknowledgement from me). It was just the most beautiful, genuine moment. It gives me flutters just thinking about it. What an incredible love this small child has for her brother and such love and admiration he has for his sister. Makes a momma proud.

Henry continues to be the sweetest little man there ever was. Like, legit, sweetest dude ever. His personality continues to evolve and he’s just an incredible, relaxed, loving, happy man. He LOVES to laugh. He watches Charlie with a laugh just waiting to come out as soon as she does anything. He gives these hugs and snuggles that just make my world brighter. He loves to dance and sing with mommy and loves to play. He’s also a total destructor. He’ll break the shit outta anything. Seriously though. Papers on the desk? Not anymore. Glasses on your face? Gotta go! You get the picture. Senor Destructor.

Last night H & C were eating dinner… Charlie in the high chair, Henry in the booster seat. Henry reached his hand out to Charlie and they just held hands, smiling at each other. MELT, MELT, MELT.

Through all the good, I will say, it’s been hard. It’s strange to say that because it’s literally so good. I’m SO happy, but it’s hard. With Charlotte, I felt like there was no real change in Mark and I. I mean, obviously we were different, but it didn’t feel hard on our relationship. And honestly, maybe I just don’t remember. But these first 8 months, while amazing and wonderful and great, they have also been hard. On each of us and on both of us. I feel like we are both working hard to get acclimated in this new chaotic world of extreme multi-tasking. Some days we totally win. We’re so good, pros. And some days, our exhaustion and overwhelmed feelings take over and one or both of us snaps a bit.

As with any huge life change, it takes adjustment.

I remember my sister telling me that the first year after her youngest was born was the hardest on her marriage and life and I totally get that. The change from 1 to 2 kids is significant. It’s a change that has catapulted my life to such incredible levels of happiness and love, but oh man is it significant.

I’m not sure if it’s some level of postpartum or the fact that this world gets scarier every day, but some days I literally have anxiety coming out of my eyeballs. That’s probably been the most difficult thing for me. I’ve always been a bit anxious, but oofta… it’s reached new levels. With so much love and such gifts in my life, there is just so much to lose, so much vulnerability. Those fears sometimes get the best of me. I’ve been opening up about these things lately and I feel like that’s helping me to let go a bit.

I feel like that’s way more Debbie Downer than I’m currently feeling (I’m actually in an overwhelmingly happy and grateful mood today), but I wanted to get it down in writing. I can feel that we’re totally on our way up, that I’m starting to gain back control of my crazy mind. Our winning days far outweigh our losing days. So, before I totally forget to document the groundbreaking fact that having kids is hard, here it is.