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Haven’s birth story.

27 Jun

**If you don’t want to hear ALL about a baby being born please stop reading.**061417_1Wednesday the 7th I was two days past my due date and boy was I done being pregnant! I woke up determined to get this baby girl out! I walked 8 laps around the neighborhood, I did squats, and every other activity that has worked to bring on labor for others. I started having mild contractions but nothing too severe so I laid down for a nap, because I had exhausted myself. I was prepared to repeat everything again after my nap. When I woke up though the contractions were still there and the pattern was what it needed to be, but they were no where near painful. Our hospital was set to go on “divert” at midnight for two days, so we would have to go to another hospital if she came during that time. We decided to load up and just see if they would let us stay to deliver. IMG_0289When we got to the hospital, at 8 pm, I was only at a solid 3 dilated and 65% effaced. The doctor on duty was the one who was scheduled to do my induction that coming Monday, so I think she was eager to help us stay because of that. She said she could strip my membranes and send us walking for 2 hours to see where that got us. We were willing to try it if she was. The stripping alone progressed me to a 4 and 75% effaced. So we set off on our long walk! IMG_0344I was really glad that I hadn’t done a second set of laps around the neighborhood because my legs were killing me by the end of our two hour walk and I’m pretty sure I’m now an expert of the hospital hallway layout. I could probably walk the halls with a blindfold and never run into a single wall. About 30 minutes into our walk the contractions really started picking up and by the end I could barely walk through them because they were so painful. I knew at that point that Baby Girl was on the way!
Side note: As I was pushing myself to walk through strong contractions poor Scott had to stop for a leg cramp. I was really worried that he would need an epidural but luckily he was able to breathe through the pain. ;]IMG_0476Once we got back up to labor and delivery they had all of my paperwork filled out and a room was ready for us. I guess they had already decided to keep us. Thank goodness because there was no way I was going home with how painful the contractions were at that point. The doctor checked me again and I was at a 6. She said her plan was to break my water and then maybe start pitocin as well. She recommended an epidural, because the combination would become very painful, so of course I took her recommendation. IMG_0315The anesthesiologist gave me the epidural and while we were waiting for them to come back in to break my water we decided to take a “before baby” selfie. Right as we snapped the picture I told Scott “I think my water just broke…but let’s take one more picture.” I’ll never be able to look at those pictures and not laugh. The doctor came in and checked me again and of course I was right. She said that she would be back in 4 hours to check on us. We planned to sleep a bit to rest up. We guessed that we wouldn’t have a baby until around 6 or 7 that morning. (HA!) While they were rolling me to change my sheets my epidural shifted and I started feeling all of the pain on my right side. Feeling labor pain on only one side of your body is completely disconcerting. I would rather have felt it on both sides at that point. (Of course this happened during the transition phase. OWWY!) My nurse called the anesthesiologist back in and tried to get it to work the way it was positioned, but nothing helped so they needed to redo it. They laid me flat on my side and gave me a whole new one. That immediately delivered relief.IMG_0366My bed was then elevated back up and suddenly Haven’s heart rate dropped into the low 70’s. Panic set in as the whole team rushed into our room, my nurse put an oxygen mask on me, and they started flipping me one side to the other trying to get her heart rate back up. Nothing was helping and time seemed to be ticking steadily along. I had been able to hear her heart beating on the monitor the whole time we were there but as I tried listening now it was almost completely silent. I looked at Scott with terrified eyes as I worried we were losing our girl. He whispered “It’s going to be alright, Lyssa” but I didn’t believe him. I asked him afterwards about it and he said he was just as terrified but knew he couldn’t express that and risk me getting more upset which would have made the situation worse. They started asking each other to “grab the doctor” or “where is the doctor” and lastly “I can’t find her.” This mama has never been so scared. Finally she came running in and said she wanted to check me real quick before we would move to a c-section. I was complete (10) and it was time to begin pushing! Apparently what happened was while I was on my side laid flat I progressed from a 6-10 so when they elevated me back up Haven shot down into position and that shocked her because it wasn’t a slow progression down. Poor thing. Luckily her heart rate evened out before pushing began.IMG_0563Two minutes after she checked me I started pushing. I told the doctor, when we arrived, that she would need to give me an episiotomy but she assured me that wouldn’t be necessary. I knew better though. After 4 contractions and less than 10 minutes of pushing Haven was ready to make her entrance. The doctor kind of laughed, after many efforts to avoid an episiotomy, as she said “you were right” she then gave me a tiny episiotomy and Haven was born at 2:02 am on June 8th!IMG_0423When Haven came out she had the cord wrapped around her neck two times and was bright purple. The doctor quickly removed the cord and immediately placed her on my chest. I was a little worried about her coloring but knew they would have rushed her off if they were really that concerned about it. Her color returned to normal after a few minutes of them messing with her on my chest. Phew!IMG_0329Our sweet girl weighed in at 8 pounds 1.3 ounces and was 20 inches long! I’m still in shock that I carried an 8 pound baby! She is perfect in every way. The first thing I noticed was that she had my lips which I had prayed for! Everyone says she looks just like me and I LOVE hearing that. Scott’s first words about her were “ALYSSA she has hair!!” (no one in either family ever does) and as she was delivered: “She’s so beautiful, Lyssa!” He is one smitten Daddy. Really, we all are!IMG_0527Haven is such a mellow baby. We’ve only ever heard her cry a handful of times. The rest of the time she just grunts or lays there peacefully. She’s just so beautiful that we can’t stop staring at her. I was so worried that my heart couldn’t hold all this extra love but the second I saw her my heart was overflowing with love for this sweet child. I can’t even begin to imagine life without her and she’s only been with us for 2 weeks.

Royal is OBSESSED with her! I thought he would resent her for coming but all he has for her is love. He is constantly snuggling her and giving her kisses. He always says “Haven, you bess friend!” (Haven, you’re my best friend.) and “I yuv you, Baby Haven!” I completely melt as I watch their bond as siblings forming. We’re just trying to teach him not to give her kisses while she’s trying to sleep. (Haha.)IMG_0306After two years of trials and heartache, Haven couldn’t have come at a better time to us. She came to remind us that good does come around again and that God is faithful even when we feel as though things will never get better. Her name means: a place of safety or refuge. Before we found out we were pregnant I stumbled upon Psalm 107:28-30. (Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven.) These verses gave me great encouragement as I hoped our safe haven would be around the corner. A week later we found out we were expecting and when we were told we were having a girl the name Haven soared to the top of our list. It just seemed to fit her so perfectly! She’s already living up to her name. She has healed our heartache and given us a place of  joy to rest in. I’m just so thankful that God chose her for us! IMG_0516
Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes, and please continue to pray for us to have guidance as we raise this darling girl!

-Name Meaning-
Haven: a place of safety or refuge
Marie: wished for child (also my middle name)

Welcome Haven Marie, you are so very loved!
“He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and He guided them to their desired haven.”

-Psalm 107:29-30 

•Photos by Olive Gray Photography


Waiting on Baby Girl.

31 May

Dear sweet daughter,

You can come now. Daddy is home. Our bags are packed. All baby prep is done. You’re healthy as can be. My arms are ready to hold you. We’re just waiting on you, darling.

Love, your impatient (horribly uncomfortable) mommy


Olive Gray Photography

Goodbye, 27.

30 Jan

Earlier this month I had my last day as a 27 year old. I spent that final day reflecting on the past year of my life. It wasn’t really a happy remembrance.

On the day I turned 27 I deactivated my Facebook account, because I didn’t want any birthday wishes. I just couldn’t handle the idea of everyone celebrating my birthday so close to my Dad’s passing. I knew it would be a hard year, and not one of those days would my Dad be a part of. It was just too much. I decided to pretend that it was just a regular day and continue on.

The rest of the year went pretty much as I had imagined. So many tears. So much time spent staring into space. A lot of denial went into this year. I spent more time, than I ever have, learning about myself. What exactly makes me tick? What sets me off in a positive or negative way? I didn’t necessarily always like the person I was learning about. I found my flaws more frequently than I found my beauty. I would then be surprised to find strength in an area I felt I was weak. It was shocking to realize I wasn’t who I thought I was anymore. I had changed.

Once I had a grasp of who I was, I finally felt ready to start the growth. I can say this year really grew me up. I had to face some difficult things and I had to push through until I had overcome them. I feel stronger now and better. I feel closer to whole.

Not all of this year was hard. Not all of 27 was sad. I made some wonderful memories with people who mean so much to me. I started a new business. We tried boating for the first time and it became our new obsession. I spent my time really soaking in the everyday moments with my son. We found out we will be expecting a new baby, and new life brings joy like nothing else can. I guess that right there sums up my year. Where there is death there is opportunity for new life to come forth. My life seems to always follow the theme of “beauty from ashes” and this year was no exception.

Goodbye to the year of ashes. Hello 28-a year of beauty and new life!

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:9-10



31 Dec

The biggest highlight of this month was going to find out the gender of our sweet new baby! This ultrasound appointment is always the one I’m most excited for, because you’ll walk away knowing a huge piece of who your little one is going to be. You can go off of old wives tales all day long, but nothing can prove the gender until you get that confirmation from the ultrasound tech.

Scott and I have always prayed for God’s will in placing the right children into our family, so we never had fear of what gender we would be getting. We knew that whatever God had in-store for us was the very best! Even still, you have a gut feeling as a Mommy of what you think the baby will be and you get a little pouty when other’s opinions contradict that. It’s not that you’re frustrated with people, because you know they’re simply just taking a guess, but when you feel something soooo deeply down in your heart it’s hard to have others disagree with it. I at first thought this baby was a boy because my sickness and other symptoms mirrored my pregnancy with Royal so closely, but once we had our first ultrasound and I saw this little baby’s personality on the screen I just knew she was a girl. Baby was so calm and mellow during the ultrasound. I don’t know why but her very actions screamed “little girl” to me. I was the same way with Royal. I had no idea what gender he was until our 10 week appointment when I saw him on the screen and from the way he jumped around like a little wild monster I just knew he was a boy. Those first ultrasounds, with both of my children, solidified their genders for me.

The week leading up to the gender ultrasound I could hardly sleep at all. I would wake up at, or before, 4 am and not be able to fall asleep again until around 8. I was just so anxious to know! I am such a planner and not knowing an important detail eats at me. I was ready to know if we would be buying a crib to fit into Royal’s room or if we’d be changing our guest room into a nursery. I also knew with a girl we would need to do some shopping. If we were pregnant with another boy we would literally not need to purchase one thing because I kept EVERYTHING from having Royal. With a girl we wouldn’t need to buy the essentials, because we purchased gender neutral big items, but we would want to buy small things specifically for her. Really, most importantly we would need some PINK and SPARKLES. I think all the planning without an actual direction was keeping me up at night.

The morning of the appointment I drank my 16 ounces of water and jumped into the car. I nervously non-stop chattered to my mom the whole way there. (When I get nervous I talk….way too much.) Finally we arrived but we then had to wait for the couple in front of us to finish up. I almost screamed “HURRY UP” I was so impatient. When it was eventually our turn I expected Baby to give us a little trouble with seeing gender, because with Royal he was shy and I had to turn from one side to another over and over until he finally uncrossed his legs. Much to Scott’s dismay this baby was all too happy to show us and within 5 minutes we heard “Ready everyone?! Here are sister parts!” A GIRL!!! Scott teared up and I smiled my biggest smile. Royal is having a baby sister!fullsizerender-5I couldn’t think of a better fit for our family. I imagine Royal being a protective and sweet older brother. I picture Scott being wrapped ever so tightly around her little fingers and never allowing her to date. He’s always dreamed of torturing her future boyfriends and with her lack of being “shy” he may need to start cleaning those guns early. (Haha.) I for one can not wait to share girly things with her, while still showing her the fun in being nerdy and enjoying the outdoors. I pray she always has a joy for adventure and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. I also can’t wait to have a close friendship with her, like I have with my mom. Although I’m nervous for the middle and high school years, there’s nothing quite like that friendship that comes at the end of your teens when you realize that your mom maybe isn’t so clueless after all. I get to have that, along with every other precious memory we’ll make together. I’m so incredibly excited to meet her and to have her share in our family!img_6211And just like my post when we discovered Royal’s gender…

“Now comes the hard part…finding a name…

Wish us luck!!”