Ring-A-Round the Rosey

Saturday, December 13, 2014

:: I spend most of my days in a sort of disbelief.

I can't believe I have a 5 1/2 year old.

I can't believe we had only two boys 2 years ago. 

I can't believe we have 4 kids.

You'd think I'd be adjusted by now, but I'm not.

:: Everything has been moving at warp speed lately and I've felt completely out of control.

No one wants to read that. Or maybe, it's what everyone has wanted to hear?

Who's to know?

I feel like I'm failing continuously. Day in. And day out.

It just depends on the day who is suffering from my failures.

:: What I miss most about blogging is that it made me pause to be honest with myself. 

I miss that reflection and the opportunity to actually flesh out my feelings.

:: Knowing the origin of Ring-A-Round the Rosey, singing the song to my kids feels very dark.

I love that they instantly start giggling if I suggest we do it though.






Ezra John is Three

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Oh wait, it's not June. Not even close, but after viewing some old blog posts with Isaac, I was reminded why I was committed to updating this blog for such a long time. It's my time vault. It's a treasure trove. And it needs to continue.

So, here's Ezra's birthday from June.

We had a family birthday party again and were so grateful for the additional space of our new house, as it was raining! There was no way we'd have been able to fit everyone into our old house.

Look at my baby boy's little remaining baby face. He's grown up so much since this!

For some reason, that I'll doubt we'll ever know. Ezra was obsessed with this watermelon ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. He didn't even know there were plastic ants on it until we went to order it.

One night before a session, I got the crazy idea to get the kids dressed up and bring them to my session to grab a few shots beforehand. The light was gorgeous . . . but the mosquitoes were awful! I shot fast, contacted my client and we actually did their session at another location.
June 2014-3

Ezra is still my sweet, silly goofy boy.
June 2014-4

Those eyes!
June 2014-7

He has this ability to be constantly amazed at life.
June 2014-9

And is such a sweetheart.
June 2014-10

We don't know how he picked it up, but daily he'll say "Mama, you're beautiful." expecting me in turn to either tell him he's handsome or a sweetheart. I mean melt my heart into a full puddle.

He absolutely adores Isaac, unless he's beating on him. Thicker than thieves these two.
June 2014-15

He's still the spitting image of Tony, which I'm obsessed about.
June 2014-31

Love you sweet boy!
June 2014-57

Life of Late

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I've encountered the question, so often from friends, family and clients "How's it going?"

It's such an odd question to answer.

I can't remember how much sleep I get each night.

I have no idea if Naomi is on a schedule yet.

I am forever grateful for the business that I've been given since her birth.


We've been able to enjoy this fall, like no fall since I've started photography.

It's so crazy to have the female version of Isaac.

I'm trying to savor every day.

Isaac is a Kindergartner

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Naomi was born at 3:49am.

Tony left the hospital at 6:00am.

He went home and got Isaac ready for Kindergarten.

I had so many thoughts I envisioned I'd write about Isaac starting school and none of them involved a sister being born the same day.

I can't even describe the depth of emotions I felt, but just based on the simple facts, I'm pretty sure any mother can imagine. I welcomed my last baby the very day that I sent my first baby out into the world.

As much as I wasn't ready to birth Naomi, I also wasn't ready to let the world at Isaac.

They were both painful, but I'm so grateful for God's grace in strength in both.

Because Nomi was born quickly, and easily, just like I prayed.

And Isaac was able to walk into school, with Tony at his side, just like we prayed.

I wasn't there, but Tony facetimed the whole thing with me, with a nurse, an aide and a pediatrician getting more than they bargained for, walking in to find me bawling on the phone.


Nomi's Birth Story

Friday, September 19, 2014

With a surprise pregnancy, I ended up booking two weddings the weekend I passed 37w. I was extremely anxious the entire summer about fulfilling my commitment to these two brides and woke up Friday, August 30th so relieved. I'd made it. I worked my butt off in the gym to make sure my body was physically capable of shooting a double that late into my pregnancy and I felt ready, so ready to knock out those two weddings and no longer be worried about the unexpected.

My midwife and I both thought that I would probably go into labor as soon as I felt like my obligations were completed, so I tried to mentally psyche myself out that I wasn't as relieved as I felt. We all know where this story is going, so clearly I didn't accomplish this!

Friday, I drove up to Duluth, shot a gorgeous wedding and made my way back home by midnight with a few contractions and an extreme concern . . . I was starting to lose my MP. With all three of my other deliveries, losing my MP happened just 1-3 days before labor and delivery, so having it start to happen at 37w1d and with another wedding and 6 scheduled sessions to go, I was mildly freaking out.

There wasn't anything I could do about it and after a short night of sleep, Saturday I paired up with my good friend Abbey and an extra assistant in tow to shoot my 2nd wedding. We had another equally gorgeous wedding, with even more contractions interspersed throughout, but I made it through the 9 hour day and made my way home! I still had sessions scheduled, so again, I tried to tell myself to calm down and not be too excited about finishing the weddings, but I continued to have contractions throughout that night.

Tony and I gameplanned what we all wanted to accomplish on Sunday, with my focus on laying as low as possible. Our neighbors thankfully helped a lot in this regard, as they took both boys over to their house for the majority of the day, while I tried to lay down, while Tony did as much around the house and the nursery as possible. I had an engagement session scheduled for that evening, which went off without a hitch, despite a really unfavorable forecast!

After my session my contractions kicked up a little bit, still, even from the initial ones on Friday, they never became regular, so I wasn't too alarmed. That night though, every single time I woke up, I had a contraction and it became very clear to me upon waking up Labor Day that they had changed. They were regular from 8:00am on and they were growing in intensity.

I again had a session scheduled that evening, so I tried to see what I could do to delay labor as much as possible. I applied lavender EO to my stomach, drank a ton of water to stay hydrated and finally got into the tub after a few hours of them being 9-10 minutes apart.

I prayed a lot while I was in the tub, mainly about Isaac . . . because he was starting Kindergarten the next day and it was becoming very clear my contractions were only going to result in one thing, a baby. I had a little hope around 12:00pm when my contractions spaced out to 45 minutes apart in the tub, but they never stopped. It was while in the tub, I text AJ and confirmed/wanted her to talk me into the importance of Isaac going to school on the first day. I wanted so badly to be there, but I knew that we were suddenly dealing with a lot of other circumstances. Tony being able to attend the birth and then make it back to bring Isaac to school seemed like the best case scenario, so it was all I started to pray about.

After another hour in the tub, with 40 min of contractions 7-10 minutes apart, I decided to get out. I felt like I'd wasted Sunday and unfortunately there were things that needed to be done, like last minute prepping for Kindergarten and grocery shopping, plus my session. Doing things around the house didn't intensify my contractions or bring them closer together, so I decided to still shoot my session, before then going to Target for a few groceries to get us by and a few school things for Isaac. I had to pause a few times in Target due to my contractions, but was able to get home fine.

I finished packing our hospital bags and overnight bag for the kids, while Tony packed Isaac's lunch and made sure all of his forms were in order. My contractions were still between 7-10 minutes apart and steadily more painful, so I started praying that my water would break. I was so worried we wouldn't make the hour drive to the hospital if I labored at home like in the past. I didn't think I'd know the right time to make the call to leave.

I took a shower, took my eye makeup off, grabbed one of Tony's t-shirts and went to bed at about 10:40pm, with Tony getting in the shower right after me. I fell asleep almost immediately, but woke up 20 minutes later to my first contraction since laying down. Tony had gotten in bed and tried to hold my hand as I started the contraction on my timing app, but I do not like to be touched or talked to while contracting and I flipped my wrist to get his hand off of mine. Not 10 seconds later, with what felt like a forceful kick . . . my water broke, in bed.

I jumped up immediately, turning the light on and simply said "Well, my water just broke." Tony looked at my shocked and said "What? Wait, what?" a few times, before hurrying off to scoop up the kids and buckle them into the van. From start to finish, we were out the door within 7 minutes. I'm still impressed by that! Tony grabbed blankets for each kid, while I got a towel for my crotch and somehow managed to leave without even putting shoes or a bra on. Tony obeyed most of the rules of the road, but Isaac did wake up as we were leaving our neighborhood and chastised us with a "Slow down you guys. It's not safe."

I text my Mom and Gina that my water had broke. My Mom was immediately en route to the hospital and Gina, well Gina wasn't going to make the birth, so I basically told her so she could get to praying. I had two backups, as Gina had let me know that Monday and Tuesday weren't options for her. I text Christina on the way to the hospital and told her I'd keep her updated.

I was so anxious that my contractions were going to hit warp speed, as my experience with my water breaking previously was with the boys crowning and ushering in transition with Miri. I anticipated the car ride from hell, but remarkably, the hour passed quickly without a birth on the side of the road or traumatizing our kids. I was quite the sight though walking up to the emergency room, waddling with a towel between my legs, no makeup, no shoes, no bra, wearing a shirt that Tony doesn't even wear stating "My drinking team has a hockey problem."

That said, we were quickly brought into our room by our awesome L&D nurse. I was checked out and admitted at a 4.With my water breaking, I knew we were staying, but I was really glad to hear I was at a 4 at least!

I was sad to hear that my beloved midwife wasn't on call, but since I was already giving birth at 37w4d and the eve of Kindergarten, nothing was exactly ideal. My nurse Sheila asked me a few questions and inquired several times if there was anything she could do or to help, but there wasn't much to do other than for me to get labor going.

I just wasn't ready though.

I sat in the hospital bed, with my contractions 4-6 minutes apart and thought about how much I didn't want to go through birth again. How I wasn't ready.

It was my pervasive thought.

And so even though I knew I needed to stand up, to labor how my body likes, with gravity as an ally, I laid in that bed.

Around 1:30am, Tony asked if it'd be okay if he laid down. He wasn't really doing anything, because I wasn't really doing anything and I saw no reason for him not to.

It was somewhere after Tony laying down that I finally bit the bullet and got up. There was no denying the fact that I was having a baby, no matter how unprepared I felt. Or how much I didn't want to endure the pain, again.

Right away, with standing, my contractions intensified. I walked a little loop in the room, raising my hands in praise as I listened to the Third Day station on pandora. I was in my own little world for the better part of an hour, until around 2:40am, when I realized that my contractions were now 2-3 minutes apart and I had neither a nurse or my husband readily available. That's when I woke Tony up, nap time was over!

I was starting to lose it here. I was so tired. Just so tired. And I really didn't want to face the pain that was coming. I know that seems so stupid, but with three med-free births behind me, the last one entirely too recent for my memory to have faded, I just didn't want the pain. Without a doubt, if there were a fictional baby #5 I would get an epidural. The mental anxiety and pain from dreading what was coming absolutely hurt worse than delivery. And that's just stupid. As a side note though, I find it so interesting how different Ezra's delivery was in comparison to my other three. I question why, a lot.

I told Tony I didn't want the pain and he in turn, like a fabulous husband said he'd do anything to take it away. I then asked him if we could make the vasectomy just a little painful, just to keep things fair. ;)

I changed positions a few times here, between kneeling on the bed, with my arms over the top and standing, holding tight to Tony's hands. Everything felt like it was progressing exactly like Miri's birth, with a somewhat irregular contraction pattern (one strong one, followed by a weaker one), so I figured I'd stick to the positions that finally helped move Miri down.

At 2:45am, I told Tony to call Christina, as she was about 20 minutes away, but he suggested waiting until the nurse had checked me, as she'd mentioned she'd be back in at 3:00am. It made sense, so I agreed, unfortunately, we should have called her right that second. When I was checked at 3:00am, I mentally was just done and I was so frustrated to hear that I was only at a 6. That said, I really felt like I was in control of my body and knew that I was still resisting the fact that I was going to have a baby. I hadn't even met the on call OB yet (which I know is normal, but so different than midwifery care), but my nurse said she was going to call her down. So she called for the OB, while Tony called Christina and I tried to relax as much as possible.

It worked.

Not 20 minutes later when the OB popped her head in to say "Hi." I had progressed to an 8 and was definitely feeling pushy. Unfortunately, the OB and nurse didn't have any of my history of quick deliveries and I was so defeated when the OB nonchalantly announced that she was just going to dip out and hang out outside of the room.

I looked at both my nurse and Tony and told them that I was holding back. No one was ready for this baby, not the nurse, not the OB, not me. I needed someone to be ready! Thankfully my nurse read between the lines and asked the OB to come back into the room. That was all I needed to hear and I finally was ready to embrace what was to come. I remember thinking to myself something like "Screw it, let's do this." And we did. I started moving her down with contractions, as I heard the room start to fill and was told that I was complete.

Then, I started screaming, with Tony leaning over my upper torso and my having a death grip on both of his hands. From the sounds of it, my nurse told everyone I pushed once, but I felt like I was pushing for 5 minutes or more and felt continual pain. There was no relief once her head was free, there actually wasn't any when she was born, it was only once the placenta was also out. Because of the difference in pain, I had to be told a few times that she was out and to look at my baby! I couldn't believe she was there! Tony was able to cut the cord, which he'd only been able to do with Isaac.

Within a few minutes Christina was in the room, but she'd unfortunately missed the birth, which is another thing Nomi shares with Isaac: the birth photographer missing the birth.


We took a little while to name her. I think both Tony and Christina wanted the confirmation right away, but I loved the fact that there was no one in the waiting room for the first time. We could just enjoy our new daughter and I wasn't in a huge rush to decide.

I'd been preparing myself for a full term bigger baby and I think if she would have stayed until her due date, today, that she would have topped 8 lbs and been closer to Ezra. That said, I didn't tear again and I'm super thankful she was just the little 7lb 1oz nugget that she was.





I can't believe that this sweet girl has been with us for 2 1/2 weeks now! It hasn't been a cakewalk, especially since her timing was so unexpected. It seems like no one has had time to pause for a second since she's been born, but she's such an undeserved blessing. I shared my heart a little more on instagram the day she was born, while this girl may have been a surprise, she was never an accident.

She's our bonus baby and I'm loving the opportunity to enjoy my last baby, again, with even more intention.

after birth photos by Christina of Electric Lime Photography

Naomi Ann | Our Bonus Baby

Monday, September 8, 2014

Making her debut September 2nd, after a full day of laboring on Labor Day, our Naomi Ann joined the family at just 37w4d of age!

She ended up my smallest baby, at 7lbs 1oz and 20".

The boys have welcomed her whole heartedly and Miri miraculously has as well, even thinking she's her personal baby.

All this to say, we are so overwhelmed with thankfulness for this beautiful addition that God orchestrated for us. We couldn't love her more!


36 & 37 Weeks | Baby Bonus

So . . . these are pretty much irrelevant now, but I have to still post the pictures!
How far along: 36 weeks. [36w with Miri, 36w with Ezra, 36w with Isaac]  

How far along: 37 weeks. [37w with Miri, 37w with Ezra, 37w with Isaac

34 & 35 Weeks | Baby Bonus

Friday, August 15, 2014

How far along: 34 weeks. [34w with Miri, 34w with Ezra, 34w with Isaac]  

How far along: 35 weeks. [35w with Miri, 35w with Ezra]   

How big is baby: Little miss is measuring in over 18 inches and 5.25 pounds.

Weight gain/loss: I think I'm still at 27 lbs. Maybe I'll be honest and step on the scale tomorrow.

Stretch marks: After two pregnancies, I somehow still don't have any.

Sleep: We have a new KING sized bed now! Which is amazing, but we're going through the process of breaking it in, so it's been a 
little frustrating. My leg cramps seem to have been abated by the right combo of Advocare Rehydrate! So that's a win!

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Nothing. Seriously nothing sounds good. Nothing tastes amazing. Every bit of food is just a sea of blaaaaaah.

Movement: My goodness this girl can stretch out in a small space.
What I'm loving:  We're having a painting party this weekend and are going to paint the majority of our upstairs! About 80% of the house is still beige from when we moved in, so this is going to be huge! 

Symptoms: I've been having some pretty bad hip, shoulder and back pain, but I'm not sure what to attribute it to. Additionally, I had a migraine this week, which was unusual for me, as I have only gotten migraines early in my pregnancies, never late. Like I mentioned above, my leg cramps seem to have finally settled down by guzzling Advocare Rehydrate. 

What I'm looking forward to: We have our maternity session with Gina this weekend! Yeah, a maternity session for baby #4, otherwise known as consistency with all of our children and the opportunity to have a few pictures of each child, because good grief I've barely taken any of my own kids this summer.

32 & 33 weeks | Baby Bonus

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How far along: 32 weeks. [32w with Miri, 32w with Ezra, 32w with Isaac

How far along: 33 weeks. [33w with Miri, 33w with Ezra, 33w with Isaac
How big is baby: Little miss is measuring in at 17.2 inches and 4.2 pounds.

Weight gain/loss: Pretty sure I've hit 30 lbs. Not compelled enough to step on the scale. Absolutely seeing numbers I never have before due to that lovely 10 lbs I hadn't lost since Miri.

Sleep: My little Miri Joy has been having a rough time lately, so that combined with awful leg cramps and only attempting to sleep between 12:00am and 7:30am, and it's been pretty brutal. We bought a King sized bed though! I know they recommend a new mattress every 8 years, so let's pretend we're on schedule, even though we got it 12 years after my parents.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: None. Can none count as a craving?Apparently that's just what girls do to me. They devoid me of cravings or anything tasting amazing.

Movement: I have a video to post!

What I'm loving: Purchases, sadly. Purchases. Our new mattress will come with a bit of a room makeover and we're finally starting to make headway on the girls' room!

Symptoms: My energy level is still at a dismal low. Leg cramps, especially my inner thighs are atrocious.

What I'm looking forward to: I have three weddings left, taking me to 37w and I just can't wait to be done with them and not feel like I could go into labor at any moment and screw everything up.  


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