Fletcher's First Valentine's Day

Yesterday was Fletcher’s first Valentine’s Day and his very first holiday celebration!


We usually go out to dinner each Valentine’s Day evening, but since we had an appointment that night, we decided to have an at-home celebration with the three of us.


Our first stop was a trip to the dentist yesterday morning and then we swung by Starbucks so I could grab a latte before heading home. I added a pump of cherry and a pump of vanilla syrup to my latte for a little something different and it was so delicious!


Once we got home, I fed Fletcher and he ended up spitting up all over his new Valentine’s Day outfit but I was so proud of him for keeping it clean while we were out and about! I tossed it in the laundry so that it would be clean when we headed out later that afternoon and then we spent the rest of the morning playing and reading books before he took a nap.


He’s been super alert lately and has started to follow objects and people with his eyes, which has been so fun to experience!


After more feeds, naps, and diaper changes, we snapped a few pics and then headed out the door to meet Andy at Fletcher’s pediatrician’s office for his one month well visit.


He’s definitely not a fan of getting into his car seat, but once the car starts moving, he’s happy as a clam and then usually falls asleep within minutes.


We were happy to hear that Fletcher went from 6lb 2oz at his last appointment to 7lb 13oz! Way to go, buddy! :)


After his appointment, we all headed home where we ate dinner and then opened cards and gifts from each other.


Andy and I also split this little dessert and it was the perfect ending to our Valentine’s Day!

Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions?
Favorite dessert?

Fletcher James: One Month

Fletcher James is already one month old! Part of me is a little sad about this, but I’m mostly really excited because as he gets older, he can do more and go on adventures with us.


I’m really making it a priority to savor this season and to really live in the moment so although his teeny tiny newborn days are already behind us, I’m loving our sweet time together with our little one month old!

I’m not sure if I’ll do these updates every month since a lot of this is already in his baby book, but for now we’ll roll with it. This monthly template was inspired by the one that one of my favorite bloggers uses for her kids. If you aren’t following her, be sure to check out her blog — she is the cutest, most intentional mama and I find her relationship with her husband and kids so inspiring!


Height + Weight:
He is 21 inches long and 7lb 13oz as of 2/14! Little guy has been packing on the pounds since birth!


Clothes + Diapers:
Fletcher is just starting to fit into his newborn clothes which has been so fun now that things are fitting him well! In the first few weeks, we had to roll a lot of his sleeves up and fold down the waistband of his pants in order to get them to fit. We had a few preemie onesies and those seemed to fit the best since he was just over 6 pounds when we brought him home! As for diapers, we used the newborn size this month, but looking back, I think it would have been a lot easier to buy a preemie pack or two since we had to fold down the waistband of the diapers for a few weeks in order to get them to fit! He’s a little peanut but he is growing so fast!


He’s a great little sleeper and that has honestly made having a newborn so much easier than we were anticipating. The majority of the time, we can put him in his bassinet awake and he will fall asleep on his own — once in awhile he struggles to soothe himself to sleep and it’s usually because his swaddle isn’t tight enough. If he’s swaddled even slightly too loose, he will grunt, wiggle, and cry until his arms are free and won’t give up until he has his hands in his mouth and is happily sucking on his fingers.

I’ve just started doing the whole “babywearing” thing mainly so I can walk on the treadmill in the mornings and he loves being in the baby wrap so, so much! He’s usually out like a light within minutes of me putting him in there and he will sleep in there for a good two hours or so while I go for a walk and then eat lunch. I swear, his best naps are in that wrap! He takes several naps throughout the day — some are little catnaps while others are a couple of hours.


We’re still playing around in this area since he’s still so little, but our day usually is a constant stream of eat, burp, change diaper, play, nap, repeat.


Sleeping on our chests, bouncing, having us sing to him, the hairdryer (this is our magic trick for getting him to stop crying — it literally works within seconds every single time!), reading books, listening to his lambie that plays music, his Pooh bear rattle, car rides, snuggling, getting his hair combed, sitting in his monkey chair, being wrapped up with his blankets.


Being picked up with cold hands, diaper changes, baths, being hungry, being overly tired, having lotion applied.


He can scoot around almost 360 degrees in a circle when he’s laying on the floor and he almost rolled over from his back to his tummy the other day! I couldn’t believe it since he is so young, but he was determined to reach a toy that he had accidentally batted away from him. He’s also started to cry real tears (when they’re a brand new baby, no tears come out!) and his neck is getting stronger every day!

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Special Memories:
I’ve started a little tradition with him where we have an “adventure chat” before bed. I’ll lay with him on our bed and talk about all the things we are going to do together as he gets older — I started this one a whim one night and thought it was so funny how he looks me in the eyes and listens SO intently, so we’ve kept up the routine.


Pediatrician, chiropractor, Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A drive throughs (haha), pediatric dentist, and a visit with the OB that delivered him.

A Snowy Day at Home (Day in the Life)

Last week, we had a few more days of crazy weather except this time instead of negative temps, we were hit with tons of snow! We stayed cozied up inside since it was coming down so hard! I recapped our day at home together to share in this post — I’m planning to do more of these now that Fletcher is here since posts like these are so fun to look back on and see what our life was like during a particular season.

So, our day really began at 3:15am when we woke Fletcher up for a feeding, but since everyone was looking a little rough during those wee hours of the night, we’ll skip that part and start with when we woke up at 6:30am instead! Fletcher ate again, Andy left for work, and then we headed downstairs so I could make breakfast before going back upstairs to pump for a bit.


Fletcher hung out on his blanket while I made breakfast, which was my usual shake since that’s the easiest way to eat something while pumping and occupying a baby. However, I did just get this little gem and it has made my life a MILLION times easier since now I can work on my laptop, read, or eat while pumping.


My mornings always seem to fly by between feeding him, pumping, tidying up, showering, etc. and so I usually make my shakes pretty filling since it’s usually not until 1 or 2pm that I have time to make a lunch for myself.


Once we get back upstairs, Fletcher fusses for a bit at first, so I play this track from my Calm app and it almost always helps him fall asleep. Once he is asleep, I read and sip my coffee while pumping.


Afterwards, I head downstairs and throw a load of laundry in. My sister and her little family visited the other day and brought him these adorable pants so I wanted to wash them so we could add them to his outfit rotation! Also, how cute are those whale washcloths that she gave us, too?!

After awhile, Fletcher wakes up and I feed, burp, and change him — he absolutely hates getting his diaper changed so theres usually a lot of protesting involved but he is calm as soon as we are done! It’s so funny because as soon as I lay him on the changing mat, he immediately starts fussing because he knows what is coming next!


His new crib mattress arrived the day before, so I put his sheet on it and then we tested it out. This outfit lasted all of 7 minutes before his diaper leaked through and it was time for a wardrobe change.


A fresh diaper and outfit feels so good!

We hang out and play upstairs for awhile — he’s been really alert and interested in looking at his toys lately and it’s been so fun to see this side of him come to life! The first two weeks, he really just slept and ate so it’s been fun to see more of his personality come out as he gets a little bigger each week.


He ends up taking a little cat nap so I use this time to unload the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen a bit.


Since he is still sleeping once I get back upstairs, I take advantage of this time to pack up my maternity clothes along with a few other things from our master closet to take down to the basement.


He wakes up shortly after and we look outside at the snow coming down — he got a little startled by how bright it was out there!


After another feeding, we head downstairs and Fletcher hangs out in his swing while I make myself some lunch. I gave him a little mohawk to see what it would look like — it usually doesn’t last long since I don’t use gel or anything yet but I think it’s cute!


Snacky plates are my go-to these days since they’re easy to eat here and there while taking care of him. It’s usually just a mish mash of whatever we have in the fridge on that particular day but I always try to prioritize a variety of food groups so that my nutrition is balanced.


I got to sit down and eat this lunch in one sitting on this day since he was super content in his swing — I read for a bit while eating and then brought him upstairs to change his diaper after grabbing two of these energy bites from the fridge.


Fletcher almost always takes a long afternoon nap, which is so nice since it gives me a chance to work out and get a few things done! I swaddle him and decide to have him sleep in his crib to see how he does in there (he usually sleeps in a bassinet in our bedroom).


Before placing him in his crib, I walk around upstairs and bounce him a little to help him fall asleep. It’s always a delicate balance of knowing when they’re asleep enough to be transferred to a new location — one minute too early and he wakes up!


He did so well in there! I rigged up the baby monitor so that I could keep an eye on him while working out and it was so slick to be able to watch him while going for a run. This was my first day back to running (at 3 weeks postpartum), so I took it slow to start but was surprised at how good I felt and how easily running came back to me! I think not having a pregnant belly just made it SO much easier to run again.


He was still sleeping when I finished, so I grabbed a quick snack and then hopped in the shower and to get ready for the day.

This is hit or miss most days — sometimes I can shower and do my hair / makeup before he wakes up from a nap while other days getting ready is done in 15 minute increments throughout the day due to feeding, napping, changing, etc. Normally I like to shower in the mornings before he wakes up, but I knew I’d be working out during the afternoon so I decided to wait. Eventually I’ll switch my workouts to the mornings but we’re not there yet due to being up in the night with feedings.


Shortly after I finish getting ready, I hear him start to make little noises from his room so I take him out of his crib, feed him, and then change his diaper. Then we rock in his recliner and read books until Andy gets home — he doesn’t understand the concept of books yet but I think he likes having us read to him because he gets to listen to our familiar voices. :)

Once Andy arrives home, he usually spends time with Fletcher while I prep some dinner for us and then we eat while Fletcher takes another nap. Andy and I usually watch a show or hang out while he is sleeping and then Fletcher eats again and we start his bedtime routine before calling it a night! Sometimes Andy and I will take a nap in the evening before bed just because those middle of the night wake up calls come around so quickly!

Have you had a lot of snow days this season?
What time do you usually wake up each day?

Fletcher's Birth Story Q&A

Below are some of the questions that others have asked in regards to labor / delivery / newborn life! I love reading these types of posts from new mamas so I thought I’d share my answers! Click here to read Fletcher’s birth story if you’re interested!

How long did it take for him to arrive?
From first contraction to final push, it was just over 17 hours.  

Did you choose to have an epidural?
I really wanted to get the full experience of child birth before choosing whether or not I wanted pain meds. I opted for an epidural once I was dilated to an 8 (and 14.5 hours into my 17 hour labor) due to my body shaking uncontrollably from the pain. 

Where were you when you went into labor?
Laying in bed at 3am  which was a-okay with me because one of my biggest concerns was going into labor early and being at work downtown! I was so thankful that I was close to the hospital!


What does it feel like to be a momma?
I’ll cover this more in my postpartum post, but I’m so surprised at how natural this transition has been. It has been so rewarding — especially when your baby is crying and he stops as soon as you pick him up (cue the heart eyes emoji). I’m also SO excited to start taking him on little adventures — even just going to Starbucks and grabbing a sandwich from Chick-Fil-A the other day was so fun knowing that my little sidekick was in the backseat. We will start taking him out more once it warms up outside (the high for tomorrow is -16 degrees!) and once he is a little older since he is still building up his immunity right now.

What were your emotions throughout the day?
Mainly excitement that something was finally happening after waiting for so long and the thought of getting to meet our son! There was also some fear of the unknown around the whole birthing process but I feel like my mind and body adapted as I transitioned through the stages of labor.

How did the first few days at home with him go?
The day after we got home from the hospital was a little rough mainly due to lack of sleep. I also felt like I was overly concerned about everything — making sure he was breathing, eating, and pooping enough, etc. Fletcher also woke up that first morning at home looking awfully yellow from the jaundice and I was so worried about that! Luckily, our pediatrician was able to get us in that afternoon so that helped put my worries aside when she didn’t seem too concerned about the bilirubin levels. Now that he’s been with us for over two weeks, I’m feeling a lot more relaxed about a lot of things (but will admit I’m still a spazz about some things). 

How do you balance being productive and having a newborn?
I’m a huge believer in routines and systems so having those established before we came home from the hospital was definitely a beneficial factor in things running smoothly. For example, we still are staying on top of laundry, dishes, groceries, etc. even with a newborn — this helps things feel less overwhelming. Clutter stresses me out so much so putting in a little effort each day in terms of tidying up has made a huge different in keeping our house feeling calm.

I also have been using his nap times to power through and get things done — even if it’s just tidying up a bit or taking some time for self care. I also use the time in the evenings when Andy is home to do something for myself — for example, we will all hang out as a family, but then when Andy is spending some time holding Fletcher, I’ll take a quick bath and paint my nails or something. It’s little things like this that honestly help me so much because it not only helps me feel refreshed, but it also taps into who I was before I became a mom, if that makes sense. I think it’s so important to continue to have hobbies, plans, an identity, etc. even after having a baby.

What surprised you most through his birth and first few days? 
I was honestly surprised at how naturally labor / delivery came — I swear, your body and instincts just take over. I was not, however, expecting how challenging having your milk come in would be though. Dealing with engorgement for a few days definitely caught me off guard and honestly was one of the most uncomfortable things. It is SO much better now but I was texting my momma friends like crazy those first few days with a million questions about how to get some relief!

What did you use out of your hospital bag?
Like most first-time moms, I way overpacked! I really only used my nursing tank, makeup + shower gear, flip flops for the shower, toiletries (mouthwash, toothbrush, lip balm, dry shampoo, etc.), phone charger, Gatorade, and some fruit that I brought from home. This honestly surprised me so much because I’m definitely one of those people that enjoys the comforts of home whenever I travel but I think with all of the emotions and things going on, I really didn’t care about much other than spending time with Andy and Fletcher during our hospital stay. The only thing that Andy had to run home and grab was my breast pump which wasn’t necessary, but I wanted to do a run through with our lactation consultant before heading home and trying to figure it out on my own (while being super sleep deprived).

Can you share a day in the life as a newborn parent?
I’ll probably do a whole post about this once we get into a better routine (this is my goal for this week!) You can catch a glimpse of our first few days at home in this post along with Fletcher’s first day with just me in this recap!


How is it going with Andy back at work?
It’s going well! Fletcher is a really laid back little dude and really doesn’t cry unless we are wiping his butt (he shrieks at the top of his lungs and it sounds like he is screaming “no! no! no!” over and over again) or if he is really hungry. The key for me has been to keep enough of my hobbies and routines (self-care and household) — this has kept me feeling like myself and keeps our house running smoothly. Taking care of Fletcher is so rewarding so right now it doesn’t really feel like work at all — I just love him so much! Even things like changing his diaper or dressing him in an outfit for the day has been so fun since we have anticipated having him home with us for so long.


Do you have a routine, if so how did you develop it?
This is my goal for this week! I started using my treadmill the week after he was born (my doctor said I could continue doing whatever fitness activities I was doing at 9 month pregnant) so I really want to build in a set time for that throughout the week so that I can prioritize my healthy habits once I am totally cleared for normal workouts (strength training, etc.) next month. I also want to start utilizing some of his nap times for getting things done and also creating margins to take a nap if I need it. He almost always takes a long (3 hour) afternoon nap so I have a feeling this will be my window of opportunity each day. 


What has your mental and physical recovery looked like?
This will be covered more in the postpartum post but it has honestly gone better than I could have ever anticipated. I feel like I didn’t realize how unlike myself I felt towards the last part of pregnancy until after he was born and then with that new mix of hormones, I realized how much more like myself I felt, if that makes sense. Also, getting out of the house really helps a lot too — I haven’t done a ton, but doing a Costco run, going to an appointment by myself, grabbing a smoothie, and going to my Mom’s Life (MOPS) group has made a huge difference after being cooped up inside most days.

What helped you during labor? (Breathing techniques, massage, walking, oils, epidural or other drugs, etc.)
Breathing techniques, viewing each contraction as one step closer to meeting our baby (and taking each wave of pain one at a time), squeezing Andy’s hand, and having the nurse talk me through the really hard contractions. Also, God bless the anesthesiologists of the world and the invention of the epidural because everything was a piece of cake once that was in my system. ;) Now that I have experienced the raw pains of child birth and realized that 100% natural child birth is not for me (or really a priority of mine), I will be getting an epidural much earlier on with my next labor / delivery.

How long did you push for?
Less than one hour! My doctor said this had a lot to do with my fitness levels which is something I’ll definitely prioritize again for my next pregnancy / delivery.

How did you choose his name?
When we found out we were pregnant, we had a girl name chosen within the first few months but felt stuck when it came to boy names. We started talking about names more often once we found out that we were having a boy and we both really liked the name Fletcher since it was unique but still easy to spell and pronounce (this was important to us since our last name is a tricky one). We went back and forth on whether or not Fletcher should be his first name or his middle name (but then go by his middle name, if that makes sense), but ultimately decided on it being his first name since we loved it so much.

We also submitted the paperwork for his birth certificate at the last minute before leaving the hospital because we decided to change his middle name once he was born. James is a family name on both sides and we liked that it was a strong name that seemed to suit him well. This name was also Andy’s grandpa’s name and we felt that it was fitting since he raised Andy’s dad to be such a great man — this is our special way of honoring his dad that recently passed away.


Overall, how things are going with a new baby? Feeding, sleeping, etc.
We are really lucky because Fletcher is pretty laid back (so far). He goes to sleep fairly easily, takes a nice long nap each afternoon and usually a decent one in the morning as well. He generally sleeps through the night until we wake him up to eat, which is really nice! Breastfeeding was a bit of a learning curve in the beginning but thanks to his pediatrician who is also a lactation consultant, we are making some good progress in this area and he is eating like a champ! I’m both breastfeeding and pumping to build up a freezer supply for once I go back to work but we will wait to introduce bottles (and a pacifier) to avoid nipple confusion / preference.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Fletcher's Birth Story

In case you’re just catching up:

Fletcher James joined our family on January 13, 2019
This post covers the days leading up to going into labor
Here’s a recap of our first few days together
Fletcher and I had our first day flying solo when Andy went back to work

Fletcher’s due date was January 9, 2019 and that day came and went while he stayed cozy inside — this is a great post to start with if you’re interested in reading about what happened the days before I went into labor.


I woke up around 3am on Sunday, January 13th and was was lying in bed attempting to fall back asleep when I felt a couple of contractions. I didn’t think too much of it since I usually had Braxton Hicks contractions around this time of morning — especially during the last couple months of pregnancy. Usually these involved my abdomen tensing up and then relaxing — however, these contractions eventually started increasing in number (still far apart though) and started feeling more like mild period cramps. Around 4am, I decided to start plugging them into my pregnancy app’s contraction timer just for kicks to see if there was any sort of pattern to them.

There wasn’t a true pattern, but they did seem to be continuing to occur, so I did what any normal person would do at 4:30am and decided to repack my hospital bag so that I felt like I was doing something constructive. Once this was repacked all nice and neat, I woke Andy up to tell him about the contractions and to let him know that I thought I was in the early stages of labor. I told him I was going to go shower and get ready for the day just in case we needed to head to the hospital at some point. By 5:15am, I was showered, dressed, and had my hair dried and straightened.


Then I headed downstairs to make some breakfast and hang out on the couch for a bit since the contractions were still happening. The spacing between them was really inconsistent but the fact that the continued all throughout the morning had me feeing hopeful. I lounged around all morning, sipped some iced coffee, colored (I randomly felt like doing this and it was honestly really relaxing!) and watched a couple episodes of the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix.


Around 11am, I headed to the kitchen to make some lunch and that’s when the contractions started getting slightly more intense and were occurring more regularly. I continued to track all of them on my phone and it was both encouraging and unnerving to see them progress. I ate an English muffin and a few carrots but that’s really all that I could stomach at that point. I told Andy that I was going to head upstairs and do my makeup because things were starting to move more quickly at this point.

As I was getting ready upstairs, the pain kept increasing and I found myself sitting on the edge of the tub during the really intense contractions just to have a little breather. I quickly finished my makeup and then called the birthing center to see when I should think about heading in since my contractions were getting close to being 5 minutes apart. The OB nurse that I spoke with said to wait until they were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting close to one minute each but to call back if I had any other questions or concerns. Within an hour or so, I had reached that point but then the contractions switched up a bit and moved to 6-7 minutes apart but at a much higher intensity of pain.

At this point, I could hardly talk whenever a wave would hit so I wrote down some notes and had Andy call the hospital to say that they had increased significantly and I was getting concerned about waiting it out too long at home since I was a first time mom and didn’t know what to expect. Also, TMI but around the time that the contractions started being kicked up a notch, my body was immediately like “hey, let’s clean out our colon every 30 minutes,” ha ha. This is when I started to get concerned because so many of my friends had told me that whenever they felt an intense need to push the baby out, it felt like they had to use the bathroom. I definitely did not want to have a baby at home in the bathroom and figured it was better to get ready to head into the hospital instead of waiting it out any longer. Also, being in a sitting position made the contractions much worse — laying down on my side with my legs kind of curled up seemed to work best during the really challenging waves.

Andy spoke with the same OB nurse that had chatted with me earlier and upon hearing the update, she recommended waiting 30 minutes to see where I was at but ultimately was welcome to come in any time before then if I felt like I needed to. She said that things were definitely progressing in the correct way and that they would be prepping a room for me whenever I decided to arrive.

Upon hanging up the phone, we packed up the car — well, Andy did and I kind of just lay hunched on the bed and then leaned against the kitchen island waiting for them to pass.

The short drive to the hospital was AWFUL. Every bump and turn felt really exaggerated as my body was trying to sift through the waves of contractions. I tried to eat some crackers on the drive there and sip juice because I knew once I was admitted, I would be on clear liquids only until after delivery. Andy dropped me off at the front entrance while he parked the car. The sweet lady at the information desk waited with me and then the three of us headed up to the birthing center. 

Since the nurses knew I was coming, they took me to triage where they had me change into a gown and hooked me up to a machine to check Fletcher’s heartbeat + oxygen levels, my pulse, and my contractions. 

Of course as soon as I got to triage, the contractions stopped. I was like oh shoot — they are going to send me home. Then I thought of riding in the car for the drive home and immediately thought “that feels like too much right now.”

Contractions started up again (what a relief because I seriously thought they were going to think I was crazy saying I couldn’t even talk at home and here I am laying in triage pain-free). and the nurse checked my cervix. I ended up having to have this checked twice because the first nurse wasn’t able to reach far enough (TMI, I know), but as if one cervix check isn’t bad enough — two in a row was definitely no picnic in the park. I was surprised (and SO relieved) to find that I was already dilated to a 6 and 90-100% effaced.

The nurse said that this qualified me for being admitted right away and so we grabbed our bags and headed down the hall. She started asking me about pain relief and I said I wanted to try a natural birth but was open to other options if I felt I needed them. It was really important to me to be able to experience what labor really felt like before jumping to pain meds.

The contractions in the beginning (early morning) were like period cramps, then they kept getting worse — I could feel them in my back, pelvis, and it also felt like I was being stabbed in the gut at the same time. They were rough but not as bad as I thought they would be. Horribly painful but manageable is probably a good way to describe them. I did a lot of reading on childbirth and ended up using a lot of the breathing techniques that I learned. These helped a ton and even my nurse commented on how well I was doing at staying calm and breathing through each one especially for someone that was at that point in labor

Once we arrived in the birthing suite, baby was monitored because his heart rate kept dipping unless I would alternate from one side of my hips to the other every 20 min or so. I also received an IV port (I think that’s what they are called) just in case I needed an IV so that they wouldn’t have to prick it during more intense contractions. I have teeny tiny veins and whenever I need blood drawn or IVs inserted, it’s usually quite a process. This time was no different and I got stuck three times — twice in my forearm and once in my hand. Unfortunately, the attempt in my hand blew the vein and my hand immediately swelled and started turning black and blue as the night progressed. I’m actually still super bruised even two weeks later as I’m writing this post — so weird how the body reacts to stuff!

We also handed the nurses a copy of our birth plan during this time and went over our preferences; however, we stressed the fact that our ultimate goal was getting Fletcher out safely so that took priority over anything else if there were an emergency situation. I was a little nervous about handing out the birth plan because we tend to be a little more crunchy granola when it comes to modern medicine but it was really well received by the nurses and they said that most of the things we requested were reasonable and a few of them were already hospital procedures.

Awhile after we had been In the birthing suite for awhile, the contractions started intensifying even more. I couldn’t talk or even think through them and felt bad that I had to keep telling the nurse “just a second — let me get through this one” because they would often hit as I’d be mid-sentence or as she was explaining something to me. The only things that helped was hearing the nurse talk me through them and reminding myself that each contraction brought me one step closer to meeting our baby. I also squeezed Andy’s hand really tightly during each one and it really helped to have something to grip during those intense 60ish seconds. The nurse kept telling me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth but pregnancy made me so stuffed up for the entire nine months so there was just no way that this was happening. I tried to really focus on slowing my breath and taking each contraction one at a time but with how quickly things were progressing, it was hard to stay in the moment knowing that another one was coming a mere 35-45 seconds after one would pass.

After awhile, these intensified even more. I started shaking uncontrollably, which is something my body tends to do when I’m in shock, however, the nurses said that this is totally normal due to the hormones during labor. My whole body was trembling even during the rest periods and it made me feel really unsettled because my body wouldn’t calm down no matter how hard I tried to stop shaking. Speaking of which, the rest periods shortened dramatically — going to every other minute or so so I never really got time to recover before the next wave hit me. The nurse suggested changing positions so she raised the bed and had me try leaning over it so I could move my hips from side to side and that’s when I lost it — this made the pain even worse and I reached a point where I decided that there was just no way that I could continue on like this.

The nurse calmly said that it’s okay to change my mind and get an epidural. I burst into tears and couldn’t stop crying — I was so scared from my body shaking uncontrollably and the pain being so unbearable. It literally felt like something was trying to burst through my lower abdomen while my pelvic bones felt like they were being snapped in half at the same time. Totally another level of pain I had never experienced before. 

They checked my cervix again at 5:30pm and were surprised To find that I was already at an 8. My water also broke around this time and it was green due to the meconium (baby’s first poop since he was 4 days past his due date). It was during this time that I lost the rest of the mucous plug and this one was the bloody version of it (so gross).

They said I was progressing a lot faster than most — especially for a first time mom that was only dilated to 1 cm 48 hours prior. The nurse said we would most likely have a baby in our arms by midnight and hearing this felt so exciting! This was finally it! We had waited so many months for this special moment and it was literally on the horizon!

I finally said yes to the epidural and luckily the anesthesiologist was able to meet with me within 15 minutes. I signed the consent form (my signature was basically one big scribble because I signed it during a contraction) and he got to work. He had me sit up and lean forward as he administered the epidural into my back. I was a little worried about this because I don’t love needles and have heard some horror stories from friends. I was surprised to find that it was literally a piece of cake — maybe because the contractions were so bad, this felt like nothing, but either way, I was SO relieved when I felt the contractions start to die down. Also, having an epidural is THE strangest thing ever. My legs felt like sacks of flour and it took a nurse and Andy to reposition me because my lower half of my body was basically dead weight.

It was SO strange to not be able to feel my legs and butt. This took some getting used to but I was thankful to have the pain gone! I still felt some pressure during contractions and I could feel Fletcher moving down further into my pelvic bones as it felt like something was bearing down on them, but otherwise was totally numb.

Since I was feeling so good by this point, I had Andy run to the car to grab a few things (Gatorade, etc) and told him to grab some dinner for himself. The nurse heard me say this and I was surprised when she said “are you sure you want him to run out? If he does, he better make it quick because this baby is coming fast!” When she had mentioned earlier that we would have a baby by midnight, I was thinking he would be born around 11ish. Little did I know we were less than a few hours away from meeting our son! Andy ended up making it back with plenty of time to spare. However, I don’t think he even finished his dinner because that’s how quickly things progressed once he got back to the room. I was surprised that I wasn’t starving by this point but I think the adrenaline that was running through me was causing me to not feel hungry at all. I did sip some Gatorade during this time because I knew I would need some sort of energy for pushing him out — especially if it ended up being a long delivery

Around 7:30, the nurse checked me again and I was at a ten with baby in the bottom-most position of the pelvic area so they started setting up the room for delivery. My doctor wasn’t on call that day since it was a Sunday evening, so I had another doctor assigned to me. He was SO nice and Andy and I both loved him right away! I was a little nervous about having an OB that I had never met before but felt so at ease from the minute that I met him.

The nurse taught me to do some practice pushes around 7:45pm and then we started the real deal. Side note — it’s hard to push when you can’t feel anything down there ha ha. Also, the OB nurses are seriously angels — they put up with and see so much. 

I say this with caution because I know not everyone has the same experience and every body and delivery is so different, but labor was a million times easier than I had been anticipating. Like, I’m not sure if I just really worked this up in my mind, or what but I was honestly so relieved and am looking forward to having more babies.

It’s also funny because all of your cares about privacy literally go out the window during labor. Everything is on display and you’re having conversations with so many people and you honestly don’t even care that everyone can see everything at any given moment. What is also funny is that soon after Fletcher was born, I immediately asked Andy for a tank top from my hospital bag so I could put something on. So interesting how my view on modesty changed so quickly once baby was out!

The nurse guided me through the pushing — she would watch the screen and feel my abdomen for the contractions and then have me do a huge push as she counted down from ten. We did three of these big pushes in each “round” and then I would rest until the next contraction.

The last few rounds of pushes started wearing me out — I could feel my energy dropping and I started feeling really nauseous and lightheaded due to low blood sugar. They assured me that baby was almost here and that we were so close to the end — this was enough to help me power through. Andy gave me a few sips of Gatorade during the rest periods and that helped but also made me feel a little sick at the same time. Also, Andy ended up being a huge part of the delivery process which neither of us was expecting — he held one of my legs while the nurse held the other as the doctor delivered little Fletcher.

Also, one thing that was a little strange was that the NICU team came in during the last twenty minutes of delivery so they would be ready to check him out in case of an emergency. So...this little team of like three people just stood in the back of the room and watched the tail end of my delivery. I remember randomly making eye contact with a few of them during a push and it just felt so strange to have an audience, especially one that was never introduced to me.

The doctor kept commenting on how Fletcher was coming out so quickly and said that being athletic definitely had its advantages when you give birth — this was encouraging to hear because towards the end of my pregnancy, I felt like I was so hard on myself for not being as active as I had anticipated despite walking / running most days.

Less than an hour later, I felt his little body slide out and my abdomen immediately go soft. The doctor lifted him up and he was totally limp and not crying because the cord was wrapped around his neck THREE times! They realized this is why his heart rate kept dipping if I laid on my back. I quickly asked the doctor if he was okay and he reassured me that he would be fine but I still was on edge until I heard his first little cry. 

Andy immediately cut the cord and The NICU team checked him out since he had the meconium while still inside of me. He got the all-clear from the NICU which was such a relief after the meconium issue and the cord around his neck!

Once the cord was off his neck, he started crying and I immediately started crying as I kept saying “Aw! He’s okay! He’s okay!!” I was so relieved that he was breathing and healthy! Those first few minutes of waiting to see if he was okay felt like forever!


They cleared out his lungs and mouth and placed him on my chest. I was shaking uncontrollably again by this point due to the rush of hormones and I just kept touching his little arms and face saying “Hi honey! Happy birthday! We love you!!” He was the cutest little baby I had ever seen and he kept looking up at me with his big blue eyes while the doctor dealt with the placenta and stitched me up (I had a small tear). We stayed this way for a long time before feeding him and then getting his stats checked. Andy and I were kind of just in disbelief at this point — it’s just such a special time and so hard to explain! The anticipation, planning, waiting, and then finally meeting your child that you already love so much — it’s just amazing.

Fletcher clocked in at 6 lb 8 oz and 18.5 inches long. He was born at 8:41pm on January 13, 2019. My contractions started just before 4am that morning, they became more regular around lunchtime, we arrived at the hospital around 2:15pm, were sent back to the birthing suite around 3pm, I started pushing after 7:45pm, and he was born less than an hour later, which puts my total labor experience at just over 17 hours from first contraction to final push.


After completing his stats and a few other routine things, they put a diaper and a little hat on him then gave him back to me so I could hold him for a bit longer before we transferred to the recovery suite where we would stay for the next two days. The nurse said my epidural needed to wear off and I needed to use the bathroom before we could make the move so much of this time was spent waiting for the sensation to come back into my legs again.


The nurse in the photo above (Cassie) was the one that guided me through labor and she was amazing! I’ll probably say this a million times, but we were so thankful for all of the great nurses that we had during our hospital stay. Also, as I’m typing this out I can’t stop thinking about how my days involve working on food packaging or designing coffee tumblers while these nurses and doctors are literally helping litle people being BORN all day every day! Crazy!


A few hours later (which literally felt like only 30 min due to being enthralled with our new baby), I was able to walk around and we got set up in our room.


We didn’t get much sleep because we kept watching and holding our new little dude. We held him, snuggled, and just took it all in. Andy also brought me a bunch of snacks from the birthing center kitchen because I had hardly eaten all day.


I only got about an hour and a half of sleep due to feedings, Fletcher getting checked in the night, etc. but I didn’t even care — Andy and I were just over the moon with our new family member! Also, I would like to mention how AWESOME to felt to sleep on my stomach again for the first time in so many months!


In this photo above, Fletcher kept staring at the little name sign that his nurse made for his bassinet and we thought it was the cutest thing ever that he was so enthralled with it so we snapped a pic.

The next morning, my OB popped in to congratulate us and see how I was doing. Fletcher also had a consult with a pediatrician to make sure that he was doing well, too. Later that morning, we met with the lactation consultant to learn how to breastfeed. Let’s just say that breastfeeding is no joke; I’ll chat about this more in-depth in another post but we have learned SO much in this area in the past two weeks.


Our agenda for the next two days was to rest, feed him every 2-3 hours, and recover from delivery. Fletcher passed his hearing test with flying colors, got footprints taken, and had his first bath during these next two days as well. We spent most of the day snuggling him and just soaking everything in.


Once he was 24 hrs old, he got some tests done, which he passed all of them except for his bilirubin levels were elevated as he had a cause of jaundice. The nurse reassured us that this was totally normal and the levels would most likely go down to normal ranges once he started pooping regularly. Andy went with him when he got these tests done since it involved a heel prick and we felt so bad for our little guy!


On Tuesday, we fed, relaxed in the hospital room, met with the lactation consultant again to learn how to use my breast pump, and I took another shower and put on makeup (which literally made me feel like a million bucks after wearing a gown the last three days).


We also got to dress Fletcher in his first little outfit from home! It was crazy to see how BIG these little dino jammies were once we put them on him because they looked so small when we first bought them!


Shortly after packing everything up, we headed out to the nurses’ station to check out and head home as a family of three!

I received a bunch of really great questions regarding his birth so rather than adding them to this already lengthy post, I’m going to type up a birth story Q&A post that will go live sometime this week! Comment below if there are any other questions you’d like me to cover! :)