Buffalo History Museum

Yesterday, Daisy and I took a trip with her Papa to the Buffalo History Museum. There are so many things to do in Buffalo, but because of my job and work schedule (or lack of schedule) I don’t get to enjoy a lot of them. I’ve been trying to take advantage of my maternity leave now that I’m feeling better, and her Papa suggested the museum, so off we went.

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The history of the building itself is amazing. It was built in 1901 as the New York State pavilion for the Pan American Exposition. After the exposition, the  Buffalo Historical Society moved into the building. It was designed by a Buffalo architect, George Cary.

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Even though Daisy slept through the entire experience, it was so much fun to be able to go and spend some time with my dad. It’s been years since I’ve been there and there were some things that just haven’t changed at all! My favorite part, which I didn’t get a picture of (I was living in the moment) was seeing the Apostolic Clock.

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We had so much fun and we can’t wait to explore more fun things to do in Buffalo!

Daisy’s birth story.

I’ve been wanting to write down Daisy’s birth story, more so for myself. It was the hardest day(s) of my life and I worry that one day I won’t be able to recall all of the details. Sometimes I think I don’t want to remember all of the details (birth is NO JOKE), but no matter how horrible labor was, at the end of it I got my baby girl. I would go through it a million times over again for her.

My due date was August 20, 2018. For the entire length of my pregnancy, August 20th was always the goal. Even though my doctor told me I could go into labor two weeks before or after that date, I never once thought that I’d go past it. I worked at the funeral home until the 20th, which also happened to fall on a Monday. I woke up that morning and decided to stay in bed and wait for contractions to start.

Except they didn’t.

This was an extremely hot summer, especially since I gained over fifty pounds in my pregnancy. Add a black suit that is the uniform of a funeral director and pluck me in the middle of a cemetery that has NO trees (because why would there be shade when I need it most!?) I basically died myself during the last trimester. Needless to say, I was ready to give birth. I don’t think I’ve ever been more uncomfortable in my own body than I was in the last few days before Daisy’s birth.

On August 23rd I still had no contractions and I was determined to walk this baby out of me. So my dad came over early and we first went to get breakfast. I had a cheese omelet that was so good; it’s funny how I remember that little detail! After, we grabbed Lindy and walked ALL over my neighborhood. By the time Josiah got home from work I began to have very light cramping. I was so excited because I thought, finally! Maybe this is the start of everything! But it was so light that I also started to second guess myself. So Josiah and I went on with our normal evening. About 7pm I decided to take a bath, and it felt so good that I didn’t get out of the tub until 10pm! I kept refilling the hot water it was just so relaxing. At 10:30pm, just as I was about to crawl into bed for the night I felt a little water run down my legs. Great, I thought, I just peed myself! So I went to the bathroom and attempted to crawl into bed again. Except I peed myself again. This caused me to stop and think, because pregnancy makes you do a lot of things, but peeing myself two times in a row? I had more confidence in my bladder than that! At this point, I realized that this was my water breaking (but there was never this huge gush! It was just a little trickle). My doctor told me if my water were to break before my contractions started to call them right away and let them know. So at this point I picked up the phone and called, thinking that they’d tell me to stay home until my contractions were a minute long, every five minutes, for an hour.

Nope! They told me to go straight to the hospital! I thought they’d just want to check me out and send me home. There was no way they’d keep me there if I didn’t have contractions and things weren’t progressing. Before walking out of the house I told Josiah to grab the hospital bag, just in case. I also snapped a quick picture of me and Lindy, just in case this was the last time he’d be the only child.

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Since we arrived at the hospital after 8pm (it was 11:30pm by the time we got there), we had to go in through the emergency room. Right as Josiah and I entered the doors we were immediately stopped by security. He very urgently asked “How many weeks!?” Before I replied 40 and he told me to stay right there. About a minute later a man came to get me with a wheelchair. I thought it was a little much, since I still didn’t have any contractions, but they made me sit down and I was wheeled to labor and delivery with Josiah behind me.

When we got there, I handed them my license and insurance card and they brought me to a room. They handed me a gown and told me to put it on. I was so confused! I asked them if I was staying (I still thought they were just going to check me out) and the nurse told me that yes, I was staying as I was now admitted. I was so overwhelmed at this point because I wasn’t expecting to stay. I changed and she told me she was going to send some other nurses and doctors in.

About five people came in shortly after. The doctor, who was a complete asshole (I’m sorry for the language, but I have no other word to describe him) checked me and informed me I was 3 centimeters dilated. That shocked me! I guess those little period-like pains were doing something! He then tried to hook me up to an IV. I told him no – I did not want an IV. He asked me what kind of pain management I was thinking about having and I informed him I wasn’t; I wanted to have a natural unmedicated birth. He looked at me with this face and did this little smirk-laugh and at that moment I wanted to punch him! I could tell he thought I was crazy. Did I mention that when he spoke he had no personality? I was nervous being in a hospital as it was, and he was so cold and made me even more uncomfortable and nervous. I finally agreed to have a port put into my arm in the event of a medical emergency where they’d need to pull me in for a C-section. Once he left I told the nurse I did not want to see him again. Thankfully, that was the last of him.

I asked the nurse for a medicine ball and started to bounce up and down on that. Shortly after  12am on August 24th, the contractions started. They were manageable at first and I thought, this is it! I’m so ready!

Well, no one is every really ready, are they?

Because I quickly learned that I wasn’t. About 2am I decided to get into the shower, as the hospital did not have a tub in the room. Thankfully, they had wireless monitors which allowed me to do this, and I really contribute the shower to me making it as far as I did. Because the contractions just got worse and worse. Josiah got into the shower with me at one point, and having him there with me helped so much. Just knowing he was with me, even if he couldn’t physically help me, eased my mind. But as time went on I began to doubt myself more and more. It just hurt so bad! I called my mom and cousin and started to ask them their opinions on epidural. I was adamant that I did not want one! But the pain was getting to be too much to handle. At 7am, my nurse informed me that her shift was ending and I’d have someone new. I wasn’t particularly happy about that because I didn’t want to get someone else with the temperament of that other doctor, but God had me covered. A real life angel by the name of Deb walked in and I honestly credit her with getting me through the rest of my labor. I asked her if she had children and she said yes, she had three. I asked her if she had an epidural and she said yes, for each one. With each contraction at this point, I began to not be able to breathe. I knew that if I couldn’t breathe through them, that I was going to stall my labor because my mind was working against my body. I knew at this point that I needed to get the pain medicine. I went back to the bed at this point and Deb called the doctor in to check me again. This time there was a new doctor. He looked so young, I was in so much pain, and since I hated my last doctor I saw, I asked this one how old he was. He said he was insulted! But told me he was thirty. I smiled at this and told him that I have a job where I’m constantly asked how old I am aswell, so it felt nice to be able to ask that to someone else for a change. He checked me and told me I was seven centimeters dilated! I couldn’t believe it and asked him if he was lying. He laughed and hit my leg and told me he wasn’t lying. I loved him! He made me feel so much better with his personality. It seemed like God was putting the professionals in my life at this point that I needed. This also explained why I couldn’t handle my contractions anymore. I was in transition, the most intense part of labor. So I was hooked up to the IV and began to get the fluids that I needed to get the epideral.

I finally got it at around 9am. I was always so afraid of getting an epidural, but I didn’t even feel it. As the medicine started to work I began to relax, thinking that I’d finally be able to get some rest.

And that’s how I stayed. Drifting in and out of sleep as time went on. My epidural didn’t stop the pain, because I still felt loads of pressure with each contraction, but it made it more manageable. Josiah diffused lavender in the room to help me relax some more. We had a TON of oils that I was prepared to use to help me labor, but I couldn’t think straight to ask for them. Lavender is our go to for everything though, and through really bad contractions he would hold the bottle directly under my nose. At around 2pm, Deb had the doctor come back to check me. I was 8 centimeters dilated. Even though it was an improvement, I was so discouraged. I know a side effect of the epidural is that it can stall labor, and that’s exactly what it was doing.  She said that my OBGYN had called to check my status, and since I wasn’t progressing as they’d like, she suggested I start a Pitocin drip. I did not want this either! I wanted a unmedicated birth and was already disappointed in myself for getting the epidural. So I asked Deb if the baby was in any danger. She said no, so I told her in that case I did not want the Pitocin. Since Pitocin causes your contractions to increase, it can put more pressure on the baby leading to more C-sections. If I could help it at all, I did not want to put myself down that road.

At around 4pm, the doctor came back in and checked me. I was still 8 centimeters. He and Deb talked to me and strongly suggested the Pitocin. They said if it put too much pressure on the baby they could always stop it, but if I didn’t progress any more I may have to end up having a C-section. I agreed and they started it.

I asked for more pain medicine with my epidural because the pressure was getting to be too much, so they increased it and honestly, at this point I didn’t feel a thing! I wondered why they didn’t give me this dose to begin with because if labor had felt like this from the start of the epidural I could have handled it much better!

I actually drifted off to sleep again at this point. At a little after 5pm, my OBGYN came into my room. She asked me how I was doing and asked if she could check me. I told her of course, even though I knew nothing had changed. I was just so tired and discouraged! She checked me and smiled, and exclaimed that I was 10 centimeters! I couldn’t believe it! She told me to get ready, because we were going to meet my baby! As she got ready, she told me that I had to wait for a contraction, and as soon as I felt it I would have to hold my breath and push three times in a row. Josiah was going to hold my  one leg and Deb would hold my other. As I started to push I was overwhelmed with how hard it was. It took so much energy for me to do it. Pushing was by far the worst part of the entire experience, which was so odd because all of the birth stories that I had read the women would say how pushing felt good! And it definitely did not feel good for me! I pushed for over an hour, getting more exhausted as time went on. My doctor told me that I was beginning to tear and that she wanted to do an episiotomy. If she would have asked me this an hour ago I would have said no way! But at this point I needed this baby out of me!When the baby’s head started to crown, Josiah told me that he saw a lot of hair! I didn’t think I’d be able to do one more push, but with the encouragement of my doctor, husband, and nurse, I did it and before I knew what was happening the baby was out! I didn’t even ask what gender the baby was, I was way too tired. Josiah told me that Daisy was here! The name we had previously decided on if the baby was a girl. He cut the umbilical cord and stayed by Daisy’s side as she was weighed and measured and as I got stitched up. She weighed 6 pounds 1 ounce, had so much hair, and was absolutely perfect. Twenty one hours of labor. The hardest twenty-one hours of my life, all worth it for her.

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The Great Pumpkin (farm), Charlie Brown!

If you live in the Buffalo area than you’ve heard of the Great Pumpkin Farm. Once Fall hits, social media begins to fill with photographs from the patch. They have thousands of pumpkins, a Halloween store, food, drinks, rides and games. I’ve always wanted to go, but I’ve never wanted to pay the admission to get in (it is free on weekdays, but half of the attractions are closed). This year I finally found the excuse I needed; the start of a new tradition with our little family!

It was a very cold and slightly rainy day, but that didn’t stop us from bundling up and heading out. Even though Daisy is so young and couldn’t appreciate a lot that the Great Pumpkin Farm had to offer, I know that I’m going to love looking back at the photos that we have. And each year will just get better and better I’m certain, as she grows and can really appreciate the Fall season and Halloween!

Josiah and I have a tradition of our own; we’ve been making fleece blankets for as long as I can remember. When the weather starts to turn we get into our car, head to Joann Fabrics, pick out some fleece and make our yearly blanket. This year, we decided to make two for our little lady. The first one has Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck on it (obviously for her name, but also because we love Disney!) The second blanket was Josiah’s idea. He loved the Peanuts, so when we saw this fabric we knew we needed it. It was perfect to keep Daisy warm on this day.

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Josiah decided to carry Daisy in a different carrier for this adventure, which I have to admit was easier to set up, but I personally didn’t like it as much. I still love my baby wraps! I can keep my little lady close and know that she’s snug as a bug in a rug. Josiah did say that this carrier was more manly, and I guess I agree with that, and it was much easier to get in her in and out. We ended up getting 4 pumpkins! One each for Josiah and I, a little one for Daisy, and a painted Sabres pumpkin for our pup, Lindy Ruff. When we carve the pumpkins I’ll make Josiah’s favorite; pumpkin seeds! He’s already been begging for them, but he has to wait just a little bit longer!

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Apple picking, baby-wearing, and pies.

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Since Fall is my favorite time of the year I try to convince Josiah to do all of the stereotypical things. Apples, pumpkins, Halloween, cold air; I know I sound like every other girl out there but Fall is honestly the best! Before we had Daisy, we would always spend our Sundays getting breakfast at our favorite local restaurant. It seems like we’ve made this our family day. But the thing is, ever since Daisy I’ve been recovering from childbirth and trying to time going places in between  feedings and napping for a five week old have proven to be a challenge. Also, add in getting little to no sleep every night because little miss is constantly up makes for a very tired mama who just has no energy! So we’ve been dedicating Sundays to doing one thing (if anything at all). Today Josiah and I went to Blackman Farm to take Daisy on her first apple picking adventure! We’ve been going here for a few years now and taking Daisy has just added to the fun.

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Today was a little chilly so we bundled Daisy up and Josiah baby-wore Daisy for the first time. I think it made the entire experience so much easier and she was so snuggly warm and content the entire time we were there. We got enough apples to make two pies. Last year was my first time making a pie all by myself and I actually almost started a fire in my oven. I’m proud to say that this year went much better. No fire and the pie almost tastes like my mama’s. Almost.

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A Daisy in the sunflower field.

Recovering from childbirth has been a longer road than I thought. I’ve actually only left the house five times since Daisy was born (and two of those times has been for her doctors appointments!) But last weekend, I asked my husband to take us to the sunflower field. Sunflowers are my favorite flowers (although, they may now be taking a backseat to daisy’s) and we have a few amazing sunflower fields in the Western New York area. This year we may have visited a tad too late in the season, but we all still had a good time! Even with sad looking sunflowers, we still had a lot of fun taking Daisy on her first adventure.

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Ever since we had a baby, I am constantly thinking of things that I’d like to do as a family and traditions we can make together. I want to be able to share as many memories as I can with my daughter. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to visit the field a little sooner with some happier looking sunflowers. But let’s be honest, life gets busy so I’m just praying that we can get there at all!

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Side note, my backpack is actually a diaper bag. I got it from Freshly Picked, and even though it is a tad expensive, I’m not a fan of traditional looking diaper bags. This one is amazing because it’s my favorite color (black) and it allows me to carry everything we need and have both my hands free. And also, that last photo of Daisy with the sunflowers! Be still my heart! Being a mother to a little girl is the best blessing I’ve ever received. Thank you Jesus.

Documenting growing a baby.

Since Josiah and I decided not to make our pregnancy public, I didn’t participate in a lot of the pregnancy milestones that many people do. We did not have a gender reveal party (we didn’t even find out the gender of our baby until she was born!) We didn’t post weekly bump photos or make boards with the baby’s growth and progress.

But one thing that we did do, and I am so glad we did, was a pregnancy photo shoot. My friend Molly talked me into it after I saw how amazing her family photos came out. So at thirty-something weeks pregnant, I bought a dress on amazon, got my hair done and made my husband dress up in his best suit.

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These photos don’t just mark a time in my life when I was pregnant, they’re also just super cute family photos. I am so happy we were able to take Lindy Ruff along with us, too. Our family just isn’t complete without that four-legged pup. And now that Daisy’s here, our family is even more complete. I’m so happy that we have these photos to remember such a special time in our lives.

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These photos were taken by the amazing Erika Moeller from EMoeller Photography and if anyone is in the Buffalo, NY area I highly recommend her! She made this shoot so fun and made me feel amazing during it. Which honestly was a win in itself since I felt like a huge whale during this stage in my pregnancy. I had such a great experience as a matter of fact, that I will be doing a pregnancy photo shoot again if we ever have another baby!

Welcoming our little flower, Daisy Alice.

My husband and I decided to keep something very personal offline.

But now that she’s here, I want to share her with all of you.

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On August 24, 2018 Josiah and I welcomed our daughter Daisy Alice into the world. We wanted to keep our pregnancy journey more intimate which is why we decided to not make any announcements until she arrived. Josiah and I also decided not to find out the gender of our baby so this little lady was a complete surprise for us. I’m going to share some photos from our pregnancy photo shoot and I also want to write her birth story, but for the time being, I just want to remember my little flower as she is in these photos. One day old, and perfect at just over 6 lbs.

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