Emma Girl Turns One!

My last blog post was about Emma’s BIRTH day. This post is about her first birthday. That very accurately sums up how busy (& so much fun!!) our year has been. :) I couldn’t describe it in words if I tried, so I made a video instead. Click the link below to watch!

Emma Girl Turns ONE!

 

Emma’s Birth Story

{Warning: This will be a long one! I want to remember all of the details of Emma’s birthday! I tried to tone this down for people who aren’t into the biology of it all too, but it might still be TMI for some. Scroll down through the pictures if that’s what you’re here for!}

Emma’s birth story actually starts on Tuesday, March 31st. I woke up that morning in a slight panic because I hadn’t felt EC move a ton that night. I got out of bed, showered, drank some orange juice, and tried to be still to feel her move. Once I felt a kick or 2, I was on my way to work. From 6:30 to 10:00 I only felt her one more time. Being the nervous/anxious person that I am, I called my OB, let them know what was going on, and was sent straight to triage at the hospital for them to check things out. That didn’t help my nerves. The hospital?! Thankfully, I have the best husband ever who left work right away so I didn’t have to go by myself (even though we both thought it was probably nothing!).

When we got to the hospital, they hooked me up to heart rate and contraction monitors. I knew I was having some sort of contractions because I was told a week before at my regular check-up that I was already 3-4 cm. dilated. I hadn’t felt anything other than Braxton Hicks. After being hooked up for about an hour, they said the baby looked good but would do an ultrasound to make sure there was still enough fluid. Everything checked out great and Emma was just fine! They decided to go ahead and check me since I was already there and was having pretty consistent contractions (unbeknownst to me) according to the monitor. Please believe our shock when they said I was a solid 6 cm. and that they wanted me to walk the halls for an hour to see if I would make any progress!! IMG_0036After an hour, they checked me again and I was 6 1/2 cm dilated. The midwife wanted to admit me right then and there. I was not okay with being admitted! I only came to check on the baby, I wasn’t feeling any pain, and wanted to stay at home as long as I could. The midwife said she would go talk to my OB and see what she thought. The OB came in the room, took one look at me and how comfortable I was, and said I could go home “but only because I lived a mile away.” They BOTH said that they would “see me tonight,” as I was leaving.

{Side story about why I wanted to stay home as long as I could: I wanted to have this baby naturally. I did not want to be hooked up to anything and have people telling me what to do. I truly believe my body was made to do this, not to mention Kevin and I had been reading up and preparing for this day.}

{Also worth mentioning, I have the bleeding disorder Von Willebrand. Basically, I had to see a hematologist during my whole pregnancy to check my VW levels. If it was below 50, that means no epidural due anyways to the risk of bleeding on my spine that could lead to emergency surgery, the risk of being paralyzed, etc. That also means that SHOULD I need to have a c-section, I would have to be put to sleep.}

Even though I was feeling fine, I decided to let my mom know what was going on since I knew she wanted to be here for the birth. I didn’t tell her to come right away, but I gave her the facts, and she made the decision to go ahead and come up. Everyone but me (and Kevin!) thought it would be soon! Believe it or not, I got the best nights sleep that night. Better than any I had in the last 2 months. And what do you know? No baby.

April 1st. April Fools Day. I assumed she would come today. Kevin stayed home from work since we were thinking it could be any minute, and my dad came in town. We walked, walked, and walked some more. I bounced on the exercise ball, and did some more walking. Time for bed, still no pain…and no baby. At this point, I remember just feeling so frustrated. The doctors made me think it was happening soon, my mom and sister came in town, Kevin had taken off work, and I just felt like I was letting everyone down (which is so stupid looking back). image1 April 2nd. Spoiler alert! This is Emma’s birthday!! I had my regular, weekly OB visit that morning at 9:00. I was 7 cm. This is when I was ready to go back home and let my body do its thing…again…but the midwife (a different one…the one I love!) had some things for me to ponder.

{Need I remind you — my bleeding disorder makes delivery and getting an epidural very dangerous. AKA, the hematologist AND the anesthesiologist were not comfortable clearing me for an epidural so it was essentially my decision…and I decided to take it off the table completely. Not worth the risk. No epidural or pain medicine for me. I didn’t have a high risk pregnancy, but I had a high risk birth.}

Basically, the midwife said I had two options:

1. Let the doctors break my water and get this party started.

2. Go home, go into labor on my own.

Option 1: If I let them break my water, Emma would be born in the daytime, and all hands could be on deck should something happen with the bleeding disorder. I didn’t love this option at all because my body has done great in getting me this far, why rush the process?

Option 2: If I go home, my water could break, and even though I live close, I might not make it to the hospital in time since I was already 7cm. Not to mention, the doctors would be on call and THEY not make it in time.

Kevin and I went to lunch (at F2O) to escape feeling pressured at the OB office and weigh the pros and cons on our own. In the end, we decided to let them break my water. While I wanted to let labor happen on its own, I felt a greater peace about the whole thing knowing that I could get immediate help during the day should I need it. We went back to the OB office to let them know our decision and then headed to the hospital. (My parents and sister would come up with our hospital bags later). This was all so surreal. It’s super weird and not natural knowing the day your child is going to be born. It definitely made me a whole lot more anxious anticipating what was to come.

When we got to the hospital at noon, they took us right back to the room where I would deliver and we got settled in. The room was extremely hot, so there wasn’t much settling going on. I expected the doctor to come right in and break my water, but a couple hours later…nothing. I was super frustrated and was probably not being very kind to the nurses, but I had no idea what was going on, what was about to happen, or where the heck the doctor was! After me complaining to everyone about just sitting there, the midwife came in to finally break my water at 3:00. This was the most terrifying thing in all of life. This is more scary to me than birth itself. It ended up being painless and not a big deal at all, but it was so unnatural and I felt really strange about rushing my poor baby out 8 days before her due date. IMG_0075 At this point, there was no turning back and it was time to walk the halls! Everyone was amazed that I was up walking around at 7cm dilated with no medication. I was just thanking my lucky stars that I wasn’t feeling any pain! — That didn’t last much longer. At about 5:30 I started feeling definite contractions and was having a hard time talking through them. It got to the point where it was taking all I had to just continue to breathe. I was so thankful for Kevin at this point because he kept telling me I was doing great and that Emma would be here soon. It helped keep me focused for sure.

Around this time, the nurse didn’t want me to stray too far from the room in case I felt the urge to push. We didn’t want EC to be born in the hallway! Since I couldn’t be in the hallways, that meant I had to labor in the boiling hot room. It was absolutely miserable despite everyone’s efforts to make it cooler. As far as actual labor goes, I tried to sit on the birthing ball, but when a contraction hit, I could not get comfortable. I tried to lay on the bed during contractions and that was the absolute worst! I tried getting on my hands and knees, nope. I tried kneeling on the floor laying my chest across the bed…nope! The only way I could get comfortable was to stand and lean against the nurses counter by the sink. I think it helped that it was in the corner of the room and I had better focus. IMG_0134 Two hours after I started feeling contractions, I said I felt like I wanted to push. I wasn’t sure though! I didn’t know what it was supposed to feel like and it wasn’t an undeniable urge at that point. Right away the doctors came in all dressed and ready, and the baby nurse came in and set up the warmer, etc. THEY knew for sure this would be a quick delivery. Once again, they were not correct! I pushed for almost 2 hours! For whatever reason, my contractions slowed down and there was a long wait period between each one. Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 8.35.42 PM Everyone kept saying I was doing a great job pushing, but I felt like they were just telling me that so I would stay motivated. I didn’t think my pushes were doing anything at all. I definitely had some moments where I felt defeated and exhausted. I remember saying I couldn’t do it anymore and just wanted her out. For me, pushing was a mental thing. It feels like you’re using the restroom more than I expected, and it was such a strange feeling to push when something inside kept telling me to hold it in. The struggle was real. And it was so hot. So. Hot. When I finally got past the fact that I had to just push with all I had, even if it felt like I was using the bathroom in front of everyone, Emma started to make some progress. I knew we were getting close when I felt the “burn/sting” that I had read so much about. With one more push, Emma was born at 9:11. Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 8.18.50 PMThe next few minutes/hour were a blur. Unfortunately, I tore in some not so ideal places, so while I should have been enjoying Emma being here and our first moments, I was still trying to breathe as they took care of my lady parts. That was worse than pushing. I remember them putting her on my chest right after she came out. She was perfectly pink and screaming her lungs out. They quickly wiped her off and let us have skin to skin time. After I delivered the placenta, Kevin cut the cord and I was able to pull her up closer to me and enjoy the sweet baby that we made! She latched right away and it was such a special moment. Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 8.22.13 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 8.23.18 PM Luckily my mom got a G-rated video of her birth. I played it back to get some direct quotes of the first things we said after she arrived:
Mom: She’s beautiful! Oh my gosh, she’s beautiful!
Me: Oh my gosh (x6) – She’s bald! – What’s happening? (Stitches were happening. With no pain medicine. Ouch.) – It’s okay! – Ow – (Emma sneezed) Bless you! – Ow – I can’t see you! (she was still attached) – It’s okay (x3 because she was still screaming) – She’s so little! – She is pissed! (haha embarrassing…)
Kevin: Hi! Hi baby girl!
Me: Are you cold? – It’s okay- Welcome to he world!
Mom: Little peanut hands!
Me: Happy birthday!
Kevin: Sweet little Emma. – You were amazing (to me)!
Me: You were really hard to push out!

Haha. I was a mess, basically. After an hour of skin to skin, they gave her a bath, weighed her, and measured her. My “she’s so little” comment? Not so much. Emma was 8lbs 6oz and 20 in long. I just love our little chunk so much!

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 8.25.04 PM What a day! It is still so surreal to think that it all actually happened. And with no epidural?! I will pat myself on the back for that one! Pregnancy, labor, and delivery are all pretty incredible and indescribable experiences. I can only imagine that’s how our life with our Emma girl will be. IMG_0070 IMG_0072

Maternity Pictures

Last weekend Callie Beale took some maternity pictures for us! The weather was terrible (typical Atlanta), so we decided to take them in EC’s room. I will be glad I have these one day & I hope Emma will be too! View More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevin
View More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevinView More: http://calliebeale.pass.us/erinandkevin

{her name}

This is one of those posts that means more to me than most. Yes, having a baby is exciting. The clothes! The nursery! The unknown! The future! The LOVE! It is truly all very exciting. I just don’t feel right going on and on about the “fun stuff” without talking about what matters most to us. Her name.

I am absolutely one of “those people” who have had a running list of baby names in my phone for years, you know, just in case. I still do! Before it was in my phone, I had 2 index cards; one with boy names, one with girl names…hiding in my diary/journal…from MIDDLE SCHOOL. Like I said, one of “those people.” I love baby names, I love asking people where their names came from, I love family names, unique names, old names, all of them.

When we found out we were having a girl, my oh-so-loved list went out the window. I KNEW right away I wanted to use the name Caroline after my Grandma (Carol) Growden who passed away not long after our wedding. She always called me her “‘pecial girl” and now I was going to have one of my own. I still cry literally every time I think about her not being able to meet the baby in person. I love her x10 and miss her even more. (insert tears, again).

I wanted to use Caroline as a first name, but no other names that we liked worked for us as a middle name. Again, so much for the list of baby names…

Enter: Kevin.

He could care less about baby names and probably thinks it’s ridiculous that I am even writing a post about this. BUT HE mentioned the name Emma. More than once. It was ignored. More than once. After me brushing by it with an “ehhh” several times, it started to grow on me. Emma Caroline didn’t sound half bad, and I realized that Kevin liked the name Emma a lot. Also, let’s keep it real. I really liked that HE liked a name so much. How sweet that her dad picked out her name! (To be fair, I didn’t really have a choice! He called the baby Emma every time he referred to her and there was no changing his mind).

Long story short, Emma Caroline Hixson it is! We could not be more excited!!

Momma B speaks my love language.

Momma B speaks my love language.

Brunch and Brews {Baby Shower}

Yesterday, January 10th, my five best girl friends threw the sweetest baby shower to honor both me AND Kevin as we wait for our sweet girl to get here. While it might be weird to have guys at a baby shower, I knew that was what I wanted and they made it happen! Not that I need to justify having guys at a baby shower, but we don’t have family in Atlanta and our friends (guys AND girls) are our family! I seriously have the best of friends!

IMG_9504From the second you walked in, everything was just perfect and so very “Erin.” See for yourselves!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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I mentioned before New Years, that I didn’t plan on getting crazy (obviously…), but wanted to stay in, wear pj’s, and have a waffle bar. Since that didn’t pan out, they kept that idea in mind and made it happen for the shower! So yum & so perfect!

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There were also Chicken Minis from Chick-fil-a. I mean, come on! The drink selection was pretty amazing as well! Sprite and water for me, and the goods for everyone else!

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Another super cute idea was to have everyone bring a book in place of a card to start building a library for Emma. The teacher in me could not even contain my excitement!

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Here are a few more pictures of the cute details!

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After everyone got a bite to eat, the girls passed out Bingo cards to everyone. They were supposed to fill in their board with gifts they thought we would receive and check them off as we opened. This was my dad’s card after spotting an unwrapped gift… :)

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gifts

family

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friends

(Y’all know it pains me that I didn’t get a picture with everyone! OCD…)

We are SO thankful for everyone who came and for all the precious gifts! I said over and over that I wish there was more than one way for me to say “Thank You.” It just doesn’t ever seem to cut it!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! XOXO

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6 months later…

We’ve been in our new house for 6 months and I am just now getting around to posting pictures! I took these when we were all decorated for Christmas, so things are a little different, but you’ll get the idea!

I wanted to make this place feel like home and stay for as long as we could…but since finding out that we’re HAVING A BABY (!!! more on this later) we will be moving when our lease is up in July.

Here she is!

Living room

Living room

Living room from couch

Living room from couch

Office off the living room

Office off the living room

Dining room

Dining room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Kitchen

Kitchen

Empty nursery

Start of the nursery

Utility room

Utility room

Our 1, tiny bathroom

Our 1, tiny bathroom

Super white master - with a  beautifully made bed :)

Super white master – with a beautifully made bed :)

It is far from fancy, but it is home for now!

Post coming soon about all.the.baby.things!!!!

apartment no more

I wanted to be sure to document the fact that after living in our Decatur apartment for 3 1/2 years, we have reached the end of that chapter in our lives!

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Here she is. All 800 square feet of her. (Missing the bedroom. Oops!)

The apartment holds so many memories! We got engaged while living here, got jobs, changed jobs, got married, changed grade levels…the list goes on:

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We celebrated birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries.

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We spent time outside.

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We loved on the fur baby.

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We got crafty, worked hard, and just lived life.

While there are several things I will miss about apartment living (I mean, hello. It breaks, they fix it! Swimming pool! Gym!), there are even more things I won’t miss.

In our NEW house, we have windows on more than 1 wall, we have hardwoods, we have a front AND back yard, we have a room for guests, a room to use as an office, a utility room, etc.

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We are still renting, but are so excited to have more space! Hooray for doing life with this guy!! More pictures to come!

Sunday Project

After browsing blogs/Pinterest, I became really inspired by these:

elise blaha

found here

Poem Canvas

found here

I figured it was time to try making one for myself!

I knew I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on this project before I ever started. Luckily, I had a really big floral canvas from Ikea that had been sitting in the storage closet for years.

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I knew I wasn’t going to use it again as it was, so the first thing I did was give it 3 coats of white paint.

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Since I am super OCD, I knew I needed to write and space everything out before I started painting. I decided on lyrics from the song This Is The New Year by Ian Axel.

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I am still deciding if I want to go over it with a second coat of paint (and where I will hang this when I’m finished) but I like how it turned out! It isn’t perfect, and I knew it wasn’t going to be…but it was tons of fun!

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Vacation 2013 {Pensacola Beach}

We just got home from a quick weekend vacation to Pensacola Beach. We hope to take a small trip at least once a year & this was a good start!
The weather forecast  looked like this:

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Luckily, the weatherman was wrong and it was a beautiful weekend! Here is a short video recap!