daisy's birth story.

Our baby girl is finally here! My due date was July 9th but she came a few days late. A few weeks before the 'big day' I was having doctors appointments once a week to check on the baby's heartbeat and growth. On June 26th I went in and my doctor checked my cervix; I was 4cm dilated, 70% effaced, and her head was in position in the pelvic cavity. My doctor mentioned that this was the week I'd be having the baby! I went home and was SO excited we'd finally meet our baby girl. Every day came and went - no baby. Just over a week later I went in and I measured the same (4cm dilated and 70% effaced). Dr. Lewis went ahead and stripped my membranes and said 'we'll see you in the hospital in the next 48 hours!'. Again, we were nervous and excited that the birth of our baby was so close. In fact, we didn't schedule an appointment for the next week because we knew I'd have the baby by then. The next 48 hours came and went.... still no baby. Our original plan was to wait a full 7 days after my due date to get induced but I was feeling miserable. I had been having Braxton Hicks for the past 3-4 weeks and my pelvic area was aching from the baby being in the birth position.

I had been planning for 9 months to do a natural birth. I read HypoBirthing books, listened to CDs, and mentally prepared myself for a birth without assistance. I have nothing wrong with moms using an epidural or drugs to help with the pain, but I really wanted to be aware of the surges/contractions I was going to have and I figured women have been doing natural births since the beginning of time so I could too.

I was so miserable and let down from being told I was going to have the baby early and then passing my due date, that I called my doctor to push forward my induction date. On July 12th, we went into the hospital at 6:50 in the morning. My doctor didn't show up to the hospital until around 11AM and broke my water. I started feeling real labor contractions almost immediately. I could have never imagined the pain of contraction! These contractions made my Braxton Hicks feel like a complete joke. My birthing plan immediately flew out the window. But I wasn't ready to surrender to an epidural, so my nurses offered a drug called Stadol to 'take the edge off'. My body really didn't react well to the Stadol - I'd fall into a deep sleep for about 90 seconds, then wake up in agonizing pain with contractions, then fall back asleep, etc etc. The drug was supposed to last for 90 minutes but it ended up staying in my system for 3 1/2 hours. I felt like I was on a hard street drug - I couldn't tell the difference between my deep dreams and reality. The Stadol really didn't take the pain away. My body wanted to push the baby out and I needed something stronger. I felt like I had to use all of my effort to not push the baby out. Apparently I was screaming so loud for an epidural that the anesthesiologist pushed back other future moms to come into my room and give me the epidural.

When I got the epidural and felt so much better. I was still very loopy and tired from the Stadol but I no longer felt any pain. My mom flew in from Seattle and she came just before the baby arrived. I was dilated to an 8 and it was almost time to push. My mom and mother-in-law left the room to grab Chipotle for dinner for after I had the baby (and Tate and I wanted to be the only ones in the room when I had the baby). My doctor arrived and it was time to push! I held my breath and pushed 5 times and she came out! Dr. Lewis was cheering me on and I couldn't feel a thing. I knew she was close because I could feel a lot of pressure but I didn't realize she was coming out so quickly. Baby Daisy arrived at 4:47PM, just 15 minutes after my mom and mother-in-law had left the room. On a side note, we didn't tell anyone the name of Daisy. We both loved the name early on during pregnancy but wanted to wait until meeting her to give her an official name. She was a Daisy for sure!

Our baby was immediately placed on my chest after she was born and I was so shocked. I really couldn't believe that this baby girl was ours and that she'd be ours for eternity. In that moment I had never felt more loved by my Heavenly Father. I was so grateful that he trusted Tate and I to take care of Daisy on Earth. I was still loopy from the Stadol and I thought I would be a big teary mess, but I was just shocked she was actually here. It wasn't until I saw Tate with tears in his eyes that it became 'real' to me. He kept telling me how proud he was of me and I could tell how extremely excited and proud he was to finally be a dad. They took Daisy to measure and clean her then they placed her back on my chest. She had hair! She had ten toes and ten fingers! Her skin was pink! I've never seen anything so perfect and straight from Heaven. 

Daisy has been a huge blessing in our lives. It took us exactly a year to get pregnant (and while that really isn't that long it was a trying time for us) but she was worth the wait. We're adjusting to parenthood and we've had sleepless nights since the 12th of July but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. She's our little Milk Piranha who wants to nurse and snuggle all day and night. We love her so much! 

Sundance, Utah.

We LOVE going to my great grandparents cabin in Sundance, Utah (see our trip from last summer here) so when the opportunity arose to relax up there for the weekend we couldn't say no. We packed our bags and drove six hours to one of my favorite places on Earth:
The baby is due in five weeks (what?!) so my sister in law snapped a few photos of us behind the cabin. This is one of my favorite 'hikes' to Stewart Falls - the green fields are something else! We didn't actually hike to the falls while I was wearing this dress, just took pictures in the field then went back to the cabin:
^^On Saturday morning we hiked up to Stewart Falls - the falls and river are roaring right now, and I've never gotten so wet from the falls before! Normally there is much less water, but it did feel nice cooling off from the mist.^^

Tate and I love to travel - but there is something about Sundance that makes it one of my favorite places on Earth. I have so many memories coming up here as a child and there's nothing like 'unplugging' for the weekend, grilling every meal on the porch, and eating/reading along the river. I finished an entire book over the weekend and didn't check social media once! I can't wait to bring baby girl up here next time.

seattle, washington.

We flew to Seattle for a few days to see family and before I'm no longer 'allowed' to fly:
^^Tate hadn't been to the Kirkland waterfront before and the weather was super nice so I wanted to show him. We went to Google for lunch to visit my dad and take a 'tour' of the Google campus in Kirkland.^^
^^On Friday we took the bus from Redmond to Seattle and ate at our favorite cheese shop, bought flowers, and took an obligatory photo in front of the gum wall. GROSS, but fun.^^
^^Pikes Place Market was filled with tulips.^^
^^My mom and sister in law threw me a gorgeous baby shower on Saturday morning. We ate cinnamon rolls, Top Pot donuts, and fruit salad. The decorations were so pretty!^^
^^Like I mentioned above, the weather in Washington was super nice when we were there. We spent most of Saturday and Sunday afternoon in the backyard just enjoying the sun. The one thing I really miss about Seattle is the good weather - when it's sunny out it's so nice to sit outside and relax (whereas in Vegas when it's sunny out it's just too hot to relax outside).^^
I almost forgot how green Washington is! I'm not sure when we'll make it back to Seattle, but baby girl will definitely be joining us next time. We had such a fun time in Redmond and I'm already itching to go back.

prague, czech republic day five.

Prague Day Five: Our first stop of the day was St. Nicholas' church. Robyn and I climbed to the top of the bell tower of this church yesterday, but we didn't have time to see what was inside:
^^I'm so amazed at the details all of these churches have in Prague. No details/expenses were spared when these were made.^^
After we made a pit stop at an antique shop and lunch we made our way to the Petrin Lookout Tower. This was built in 1891 for a Jubilee Exhibition and was inspired by the Eiffel Tower (they almost look the exact same). Of course, we found ourselves climbing to the top again in hopes of an amazing view of Prague.^^
^^Yup, amazing views!^^
We had a few hours of daylight left so we rented a 4 person boat and rode along the Vltava river, the longest river within the Czech Republic. I loved seeing a new view of Charles Bridge (in the background of the above photo) and cruising along the river.

Prague was so so much fun and I hope it isn't the last time I see this place!

prague, czech republic day four.

Prague, Czech Republic Day Four: Still having fun in Europe! This morning was super rainy but it didn't stop us from having fun. We explored the Castle Quarters today:
^^St. Vitus Cathedral^^
^^Walking through the streets in the castle quarters^^
^^The Easter markets kill me! I've been loving the food + Easter decorations at all of these markets.^^
^^By the afternoon the weather cleared and we decided to climb to the top of St Nicholas' church. There were 200 steps to the top - but dang it felt so much higher than that! I must be pregnant or something... ;)^^
^^If you know me you know I live for city views like this.^^
There was no one at the top so we were able to snap a ton of pictures without the pressure of hurrying along at the top. If you're in Prague go here! Personally, I thought this view was just as rewarding as the view from the top of the astronomical clock tower (if not better) and the fact that there was no one there made it all worth it. 

Tomorrow is our last day here!

Kutna Hora, Czech Republic.

Kutna Hora, Czech Republic: On our way back form Poland we made a day trip to Kutna Hora (about an hour from Prague but it took us almost 2 since driving here is so confusing!). There were a few top tourist stops in this town that we didn't want to miss:
^^St. Barbara's Cathedral was a must-see. This cathedral is known for their original fresco paintings inside of the nave of the cathedral, but the outside was just as impressive.^^
^^View from St. Barbara's Cathedral.^^
 ^^Next stop: Sedlec Ossuary. This is a small Roman Catholic chapel that contains the skeletons of approximately 40,000 people. The bones are a bit disturbing but on a whole I found it really fascinating.^^
^^Chandelier of bones.^^
^^Schwarzenber coat-of-arms made with bones.^^
^^One of the many cute roads in Kutna Hora.^^
^^This was actually at our hotel last night in Poland but these tulip trees are all over the place. I'm dying!^^

We walked around the tiny brick roads and discovered a few shops and ate a traditional Czech lunch (beef goulash served in a bread bowl). Now that we're back in Prague we'll be taking the night easy - tomorrow we'll explore the castles and churches that Old Town Prague has to offer.

Boleslawiec, Poland.

Boleslawiec, Poland: We rented a car this morning and made a quick drive (well, like, 4 hours of confusing navigation) up to our favorite place in Poland - the pottery town! Tate's mom and grandma have always had a passion for Polish pottery and I didn't really know it was a 'thing' until we got married. Fast forward 4 years of marriage and now I'm obsessed with pottery too:
^^Evidence of the damage we've done.^^

We hit up all of the same shops from when I was here in Poland with my sister 2 years ago and the pottery was just as amazing as I remembered! I scored a few new platters and plates for our kitchen and the rest of the girls stocked up too.

We're heading back down to Prague tomorrow and hitting up Kutna Hora on the way. 
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