Monday, December 31, 2012

Baby Bell's Birth Story

I feel like I will never forget the day we met Annabelle Kayle Richmond, but I know the details might fade over time. I want to record them here just in case.

On Tuesday, December 4th, I went to my doctor's appointment, hoping I was progressed enough to head to the hospital. I was so uncomfortable and anxious to meet our little girl. The doctor said she would induce me at any time, and I thought I would have taken her up on this, but I knew deep down I wanted to go into labor on my own. And she guessed that I would, and soon. In fact, she told us that if it happened that night to tell the doctors to page her because she wanted to deliver our little one. She wasn't right that it was that night, but it was about 30 hours later!

On December 5th I started having more painful contractions. However, they were spaced far apart and were not consistent. I had a feeling it might be soon, but I didn't know just how soon it would be. December 6th is my nephew's Birthday, my boss's Birthday, and Sister #2 was in Texas...I should have known this would be the day.

I woke up throughout the night with contractions, but just went to the bathroom and went back to bed. At 4:45 a.m. I woke up with one, went to the bathroom, and my water broke on the toilet! For some reason I wasn't completely sure that was what happened, so I tried to go back to bed....that lasted about two minutes. I woke up my husband and decided to jump in the shower. We tried to take our time getting ready, but we were so excited! We got to the hospital by 6 a.m.

The first 2 1/2 hours were very painful. I had decided I wanted to try to not have an epidural. My doctor had told me to get to the hospital as soon as my water broke because she knew my labor would be quick. By the time I got there my contractions were already 2 and 3 minutes apart. I didn't have much time to rest between them. I was in so much pain. I quickly changed my mind about the epidural. :) After I received this help the day was much more enjoyable. Every hour I had progressed another centimeter.

The labor and delivery went smoothly without any help with pitocin. About 30 minutes before it was time to push, my doctor, who had the day off, showed up and scolded us for not having them call her in. We just felt too bad on her day off. She was so happy she made it in time and was there for the entire delivery. When it was time to push, my epidural had run out and instead of changing to a new one, they encouraged me to try pushing and delivery without it. My nurse said I had about a half hour until the effects wore off. If that isn't enough motivation to push, then I don't know what is.

Sweet Annabelle Kayle was born a loud, happy, chubby, and hairy baby at 3:46 p.m. I couldn't believe how I felt about her. Everyone says you are so in love the minute you see them, but it's an understatement. They gave her to me the second she was born and I couldn't stand for them to take her away. They had to suction out her lungs and do a couple of tests and I just couldn't stop staring at her over with the doctor and David. David was too overjoyed to go out and tell our families...he finally ran out of the room to anxious family member and shouted "7, 13!" This is what she weighed. It's all he could get out. He is such a proud dadda.

Annabelle was born with a fever. She had to have tests done. Later that night her bloodwork showed an elevated white blood count. The scariest three hours of our life happened once they came to tell us about this test and take our newborn away for more tests. You can imagine we were a wreck. Finally our doctor came in to tell us she was confident everything was fine (which it was as we would find out later that day) and to give us some peace. They brought our baby back to us with an IV and her arm braced so she could have fluids and antibiotics. It was a long day, trying to learn how to nurse and trying not to worry. Whatever her little body was fighting was beat by that afternoon. She is a healthy and strong baby!

We had a wonderful stay in the hospital, a perfect labor and delivery story, and have loved our little girl every minute of her life. We came home to a house full of food and balloons and signs on Saturday December 8th. I never knew how this would feel and no one can prepare you for it. Welcome to our family Annabelle Kayle Richmond.

On our way to the hospital!

Our first meeting

She has just wanted to be held and cuddled since the beginning

With our beautiful doctor

New Year's Eve

There has been a silly commercial on TV recapping this year in photos. Okay, I wish I could honestly say it's silly, but these post-pregnancy hormones are just crazy and I'm a mess every time it comes on. This year has been the most amazing year of our lives. I can't even explain the joy this year has brought to my life. I couldn't love my husband more. Our friends are the absolute best. And our families are amazing. And now, our tiny little one is here. I am completely overjoyed.

This morning, little Baby Bell got sick for the first time. I've had a lot of anxiety about her getting sick. I spend a lot of time praying that she stays healthy and strong. So this really tested me. And let me tell ya, I failed. I finished feeding Baby Bell and played with her for a little bit. About twenty minutes later I took her in to change her. I laid her down and she vomited all over. I was so scared. I called David. We called the doctor and they told us to watch her and call if she did it again. Well she relaxed and slept on me for a long time. So long actually, that we started to worry. I called the doctor back after four hours (4 hours! she has never slept that long and not eaten) and they wanted to see her. We bundled up on this snowy New Year's Eve and headed to the doctor. Little one woke right up during her exam and ate like a champ. It was perfect timing. They were able to listen to her stomach and evaluate her and she's perfectly fine. I don't know what made her get sick like that, but she's completely perfect. Plus, she's already gained a lot more weight! She weighs 10 pounds 5 ounces already! She is so perfect and wonderful.

Anyway, since she has had a rough day we are just snuggling in and celebrating the end of this perfect year and the excitement of 2013 together. Just me, David, Baby Bell, and Bobo.

Happy New Year Friends! May your 2013 be as blessed and wonderful as 2012 was!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things...

This post will grow and grow, but I wanted to get a few of these things out there before I forget.

This might be an overshare, but it has completely changed my life. New mommas, if you are having any issues, you might try this. It's been a life saver.

I love this sleep sheep from Pottery Barn. I love the sounds. We use it at night. It's very soothing.

I love the Boppy! Oh, and you need at least two covers. Just trust me. There have been incidents...

This blanket was a gift from a dear friend and we love it! It is so warm and snuggly. And don't report me or worry, this was just a nap and I was watching her the whole time. I know you can't cover a baby with a loose blanket to sleep.

There are a few things not pictured. I use saline drops and the nasal aspirator from the hospital every day. She still seems a little congested. I worry about RSV and flu/colds so I'm watching this like crazy.

And just two days ago we started using some gas drops. We use Little Tummies brand. I can't tell if they've completely helped, but she does seem a little less squirmy. During her photo shoot (Oh yeah, she's a super to come), the photographer pointed out that she was having gas problems. Dumb new mom that I am, I didn't know that her discomfort was not normal! I felt so horrible! If your little one is having gas problems, try to do something about it. I burp her more often and try these drops. We also set her up for longer after she eats.

I'm also now in love with this brand that David's cousin sent us to try of blankets/swaddles. Look at Aden + Anais. We have a classic swaddle (

I am sure there are tons of things I'm missing, but there's a start. My only last suggestion is to get a good notebook and keep it close by. I'm recording everything right now. What time she starts eating, how long she sleeps, and little notes to her. It's kept me sane.

Two Weeks in Pictures

I have so much to catch up on about blogging, but for now, I'm busy snuggling my princess and decided to let the pictures do the talking. Here's a summary of the past few weeks.

Hanging out with my big brother

Talking to dad about his day


Talking to mom about her day

Watching TV with big brother and dad

Running some errands

Listening to mom read some books

Merry Christmas...a few days late

I get a few buffer days to wish you all the merriest Christmas, don't I?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Annabelle Kayle Richmond

Annabelle Kayle Richmond was born at 3:46 in the afternoon on December 6th. She weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20 3/4 inches long. My water broke at 4:45 that morning and we went to the hospital by 6. We had a wonderful, perfect labor and delivery story.

It's so much easier to tell you the much she weighed, what time she was born, all of that. What's impossible is describing how much we loved this little girl from the minute we saw her. It's the most overwhelming and beautiful feeling ever. She is already 11 days old, and I can't believe it. I love her more every single minute. And I love David more every time I see him with her and every time he does something big or little to help me with her. He's the most amazing father already, and it's only made me love him more as my husband.

I will try to tell more and more as these days go on, but right now, my job is holding, feeding, and loving this little girl.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Almost 40 Weeks!

I'm still hanging in there. We had a doctor's appointment yesterday and everything is still wonderful. I'm dilated to a 3 and 70% effaced...progressing perfectly. My doctor didn't think I would make it to that appointment, she thought I would have gone into labor before that, but I didn't. And I have to admit, I was a little bummed. I'm not even to my due date so I need to have patience, but boy it's hard! I am so ready to hold her!

This appointment was 39 1/2 weeks, my due date is Friday! My heart rate and blood pressure is great and her heart rate is just perfect. Our doctor offered to induce me. I thought I would jump at the option, but I was strong and somehow at the time I promised I could make it another week to another appointment before talking about that. She promised, once again, that she didn't think I would make it until that Tuesday appointment. We will see.

In the meantime, I'm trying to work hard all day and come home and relax. We are keeping up with chores to stay busy in the evening. We keep cleaning and re-cleaning and I keep thinking about more and more stuff we can do. She better get here soon before my husband has had enough :)

Cross your fingers for me that she's here soon. I can't wait to see her!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Some pictures!

My dear friend, actually Pal of this Ping and Pal, is a wonderful photographer and has been so generous in taking pictures of us throughout this pregnancy. It's so special to me that she does this. She also did our engagement pictures years ago.

Anyway - check this "before" and "after" out.. This is 13 weeks along and 39 weeks along...same shirt. I'm obviously, as Sister #1 says, "making it work hard" in the 39 week picture.

I am getting so anxious to meet this little girl. Tell me, other ladies out there who have had babies, that you were just dying the last few days to meet your little one. I have been really emotional. I don't know what happened, but this past week I got so antsy. It's hard to wait when I know it's so close. I'm not even to my due date yet and I can't stand it. I just want her to be here so badly. Bless my poor husband who so graciously has been dealing with my mood swings. I don't know what the next step after "swings" is, but I'm there.

At least we have been keeping busy. Today we cleaned our cars and installed both car seat bases and went for a really long walk. Now I just got done running errands while David and some friends insulated our garage (it's under her room making her room a little colder) and cleaned our gutters. I'm sure there's plenty to do until she gets here, but I'm so ready! Oh, and this morning I decided to drop my phone and it's completely broken. I'm talking won't even turn on broken. It's a really weird feeling, but a little bit freeing. I think that the earliest I will have a phone is Monday...maybe Tuesday. Crazy! Wish me luck! And my poor family who is used to checking in with me to see if it's baby time every few hours.

Here are a couple more pictures Ally took.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Decorating...Quite a Process

This sums up how decorating for Christmas went for us...

We started with great enthusiasm...

And finished, loving the completed look, but pretty darn tired...


Wednesday, November 28, 2012


How far along? I will be 39 weeks on Friday...just a couple days early.
Sleep: It's really not so good. I get up about five times to go to the bathroom and then I think about all the things I should be doing. For instance, who hasn't woken up at 5 am thinking about how only a bad mother wouldn't have already sterilized all pacifiers and bottles....or who doesn't lay awake at midnight thinking about how the floors should really all be mopped before she gets here....You see where I'm going with this.
Best moment this week: Probably checking things off the to do list and getting closer and closer to meeting our little girl. At the doctor this week we found out we are moving right along! I am dilated 2 cms and 70% effaced! Keep it up little girl!! And we are decorated for Christmas and have the house cleaned!
Miss Anything? No. And just in case she has any dairy allergies or something, I'm eating anything I want to eat :)
Movement: Yes. I think she's stretching in there as much as she can. Hopefully she's getting antsy enough to make her appearance very very soon.
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Labor Signs: Oh yes! There are signs but I will spare you the details. Just know that I am thinking it is going to be sooner rather than later.
Mood: So so excited and anxious. We are completely over the moon excited these days!

Looking forward to: A relaxing weekend with my husband. Each weekend we think, "Wow, this could be our last as just a couple..."

Other updates from the doctor:
I’ve gained 29 pounds overall. My blood pressure was better this week and her heartrate was in the 150s! Much better!!

Look at this huge bump!! And some of our Christmas decorations.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Snow

Yesterday was the first snow of the season! It was beautiful and cold and really felt like winter. I was thinking it might have been fun for the little girl to make her appearance on the first snow day of the season, but nope, she’s too warm and comfy and not ready yet.

We spent the past weekend celebrating Thanksgiving and the holiday season with both sides of our family. It was so much fun. 
Wednesday night we sat outside around a fire pit at Sister #1’s house and then played Pictionary. Thursday morning we went to my parent’s house and cooked and ate and relaxed, and then that afternoon into the night we went to David’s parent’s house where they had some relatives in town. It was such a great time, just relaxing and enjoying everyone’s company. I really tried to soak it in that this was my last holiday with just David and me. Of course I’m mostly excited about that fact, but you know I always think it’s a little bit bittersweet too. I love spending every possible minute with David and I know those minutes are so precious once our daughter is here. I am trying to balance my anxiousness and excitement for her to just get here already with my teeny bouts of sadness that it won’t ever be just the two of us again. It’s a fine balance my friends, especially when I’m tossing and turning in the night and just begging for my water to break.

I have a doctor’s appointment today so cross your fingers for me that I’m still progressing. I am getting pretty uncomfortable and pretty excited all at the same time!

Friday, November 23, 2012

38 Weeks Already!

How far along? 38 Weeks. This past Tuesday we had a doctor’s appointment and guess what…I’m 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. My doctor said this is wonderful at this stage to be progressing like that and would maybe help with not having to be induced and instead go on my own! She seemed excited so I’m going to be also. She said she really, really wanted me to get to 39 weeks. That made me think maybe she’s thinking I will go earlier than my due date since she kept saying that. Either way, it’s so encouraging to know I’m progressing and soon we will be meeting our little girl!
Maternity clothes? Oh yes. I’m starting to get very uncomfortable and I wish I could wear David’s tshirts and my leggings or yoga pants all day every day. Since that’s not a possibility (darn my work’s dress code J ), I try to change as soon as I’m home for the night. 
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” I plead the fifth.
Best moment this week: Thanksgiving!! We spent the whole day with family! It was so wonderful and relaxing. I tried to soak in every second since it will be our last as just a couple. It was a wonderful day!
Miss Anything? No. I’m just getting so anxious to hold her!
Movement: Yes. She is making it known that she’s getting cramped in there. I just keep telling her that she can come out at any time – she doesn’t have to stay crammed up in there in a little ball. The doctor let us feel where her back was and where her knee or heel was. Her head is down. My stomach is so lopsided. On my left is all smooth – that’s where her back and bottom can be felt, and then my right side is all bony and lumpy.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing really. I still gag a few times a day, and my heartburn is getting worse. But I haven’t gotten sick.
Labor Signs: I didn’t think so, but the doctor told me those contractions I’ve been having are wonderful and they are helping move things along. A few times they’ve been pretty strong, but nothing consistent.
Mood: Anxious and excited! I know I could have three more weeks still, but I really feel like it’s going to be any day now. I wonder each night when I go to bed if tomorrow will be the day
J We are just so overjoyed and giddy.
Looking forward to: Decorating for Christmas and finishing my Christmas shopping. Once I do go into labor, I want to know our house is ready for her to come home to and that my shopping is done so that we can relax for Christmas.

Other updates from the doctor:
I’ve gained 28 pounds overall.
My blood pressure is still low, but they aren’t worried at all.
Her heartrate is still high (180s this week), but it drops down to the 160s and doesn’t stick in the 80s or 90s so they are still saying that’s okay.
I’m measuring right at 27 weeks – I was 27 ½ at the appointment.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Beautiful Things"

This weekend we finished her room! I will post some pictures of the room, but first I wanted to show two projects I'm pretty proud of.

The first is the little lamp. My sister-in-law found this lamp base at a garage sale and gave it to me to see if I could use in the nursery. I knew I would use it, but I wanted to tie in purple somehow. Sister #2 got us our Pottery Barn lampshade. And then this weekend I decided to paint the base to really tie the whole look together.

Here is the before:

And here is the after. I am thrilled with it!

And then I also wanted something for above her bed. One day in church before we were pregnant, David fell in love with a song and shared with me after that it reminded him of the special people in our life and their kids. Once we found out we were pregnant we used to listen to the song over and over. (You should look up Gungor - Beautiful Things)

I wanted to surprise David with working in some of the lyrics into the nursery. I bought stickers and put them on a canvas and then spray painted the whole canvas. After it dries you just remove the stickers. I hand painted the word "beautiful."

It has been so fun and special putting her nursery together. I get so emotional thinking about each stage and each project we did. I remember the weekend after we found out we were pregnant we found a rug at Target and ended up buying it, thinking about how we would decorate a nursery around it, and the night we put her crib together and laughing and then crying thinking about her in there. I remember the morning I got out of the shower to find David just standing in the middle of her room, looking around. And I will cherish the time that we washed her clothes and hung them up, and wrote in her scrapbook while sitting in the little chair that I can't wait to rock her in, and making her mobile and hanging it wondering if she will like to look at it, and painting her dresser, and on and on. This has been so special to me, every single day. And now I just can't wait to bring her home!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Full Term!

How far along? 37 Weeks. This week I’m considered full term! I guess the 40 week mark is the average, but full term is 37-42. How exciting that if I had her now she wouldn’t be premature!
Maternity clothes? Yes. I’m getting a little uncomfortable these days so I have been loving any comfortable maternity dresses and tights to get me through work, and then as soon as I get home I switch to my maternity yoga pants and David’s tshirts.  
Stretch marks? Not yet, but my stomach has been so itchy. I feel like I put lotion on a million times a day.
Sleep: Getting worse and worse, but I just finished a book about scheduling in this first month and it sounds like it’s not going to be better soon so I might as well buck up J
Best moment this week: We have been getting so much done! I guess if I have to pick one best moment it’s that the girl who was due first in my department had her precious, healthy son on Sunday. This made it feel so much more real that this is getting so close! I also loved getting all of her laundry washed and hung up. And her sheets and blankets are all clean and they smell so good.
Miss Anything? Just being able to jump out of bed instead of having to roll myself. And walk up and down the stairs without being winded.
Movement: Tons and tons! It actually hurts a little. I think she’s boney.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I have been gagging again in the mornings, but not actually gotten sick.
Labor Signs: No, but my contractions are definitely stronger and more frequent, but they are only maybe ten times a day.
Belly Button in or out? We don’t even need to talk about this one anymore – it’s so far out.
Mood: So wonderful. I am so exhausted by the end of the day because all I do is daydream about her. It’s getting hard to focus on much else.
Looking forward to: This weekend we are decorating for Christmas! And next week is Thanksgiving so we will be surrounded by family!

How Obsessed Am I With Sweet Potatoes?

I found the yummiest looking sweet potato soup and I can't wait to try it! This year, my side of the family is celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve. We are going to have different soups for dinner. I am going to suggest we give this one a try!

How yummy does this look! If you are interested in something slightly different for one of the soups, I would eat this whole pot!


    1. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion and cook until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add stock plus 2 cups water, then add sweet potato, carrot, and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

    2. Strain out vegetables and put them in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth, adding a bit of broth if needed. (If you're using a standard blender, allow the mixture to cool first; hot liquid may cause the blender to squirt out contents. Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to do this in batches.)

    3. Pour vegetable puree back into the saucepan and stir until well blended and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of yogurt on top, if desired.

    Thank you Women's Health!

    Sunday, November 11, 2012

    Some of My Best Friends Threw a Fall Shower!

    The Sunday after my sisters threw a shower, my dear friends threw a beautiful Fall shower. Again, we were completely overwhelmed by everyone's generosity and love. I really try to hold it together at these showers, but once I start thinking about our little girl and all of the love and support she already has, I get so emotional. I wish that everyone had the family and friends that I have. We are way too blessed. This little girl is going to be smothered with love. I love daydreaming about raising her with our family and friends.

    We had soups and salad, pumpkin bars and muffins, and were surrounded with Fall decorations (pumpkins with pacifiers!). It was a perfect day!

    The Aunts Threw a Brunch!

    Last weekend my showers started off with a beautiful shower at my office from my coworkers. It was so sweet of them and we were overwhelmed with all the support my coworkers have given us. They are so excited!

    That night my best friend and her husband and daughter got in town and stayed with us so that they could be at my shower the next morning. Saturday my sisters threw the most beautiful shower. I loved celebrating at this brunch with some of the people I love most in the world. One thing they did that I completely cherish now, is they had the guests write little prayers to our sweet little girl at different ages of her life. I am going to take good care of these prayers and give them to her on that Birthday. It is so special.

    Here are pictures from this beautiful day.

    Our friends even got Bo a shirt! "I'm going to be a big brother!"

    A hand knitted blanket from one of my best friends. I can't wait to wrap her up in this! It's perfect!

    These three best friends were pregnant with these little girls at our wedding! I can't believe we are all having little girls together.

    My sisters who made the whole day so special. I've never seen a more excited group of aunts.

    Aren't these grandmas so cute. They have been so wonderful. We are so blessed to live within miles of each of them. 
    My best friend who made the trek from St. Louis to be at the shower.