Mar 16, 2017

Heidi's Birth Story: Part 2

If you missed Part 1, click here to catch up!
**Another warning: even longer post ahead. I could have broken it into another post, but then I think a few of you might have killed me. No one appreciates a good "to be continued" these days. Gahh. ;)**

Mallorie Owens Photography, June 2016 - 31 weeks

"If you can talk through them, they're not strong enough! This could last days, so hang on!"...the last words the nurse said before she scheduled my 42 week induction and sent D and I sheepishly back to the car for our hour drive back home. I was beyond bummed. I was still contracting, but not hard enough to warrant them keeping me at the birthing center. 4 cm of dilation gets you a room automatically, but I also hadn't been checked whatsoever up to that point...so we still had no clue how close to go time we really were, even with contractions 5-7 minutes apart. That drive back home was the most annoying car ride of my life. I felt defeated, sad, impatient, and quite honestly, in some pretty uncomfortable pain. The nurse's words kept replaying in my mind...this could last DAYS?? I could feel my blood pressure rising, and with it, all the worries of this early labor dragging out beyond Tuesday and my dad and sister missing meeting Heidi at all. D and I talked out all the possible scenarios the next few days could bring and I couldn't hold back the tears. Every bit of this birthing a baby thing was out of my control. I couldn't will my body to contract harder or dilate faster. I couldn't predict the minute she'd be born or how it all would happen. All I could do is what I'd been doing for weeks, pray and wait.

I don't know if it was the flood of emotions or the rise in my blood pressure during that car ride home, but as soon as we walked through our front door, I had to pause. Things felt...stronger. My lower abdomen was cramping hard core. It felt like someone had a vice grip on my uterus, twisting it then slowly letting go. Of course my family was sad to see us walk back inside the house, but after my Mom took one look at me and how I was bracing myself against the door frames just to make it to the living room...she started making me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and verbally prepping my dad and sister to pack things to entertain them at the birthing center. She was instantly convinced Heidi was on her way that day. No, ifs, ands, or buts about it.

I, however, told her the nurse said this could last for days (which being a nurse herself, she knew) and that I was advised to take a warm shower/bath and relax to see if the contractions would continue or stop altogether. If they stopped, that would be my confirmation we were going to have a long wait for baby. Well, I never made it to that warm bath or shower. In fact, I barely made it through eating that PB&J sandwich before I was wholly convinced it was go time myself. 

Here's a quick timeline:
11am - NST
11:45am - left birthing center for home
12:45pm - arrived home and contractions amped up
1:30pm - Made the call (without calling the midwife) to head back to the birthing center
2pm - In the car, off to have this baby!

Our hospital bag, the car seat, and labor bag (full of stuff I thought I might want for a long labor) were already in the car. So, we hatched a plan with the fam, got them loaded up in D's car, then mom, D and I got into my car to head back to the birthing center...just 1.5 hours after being sent home from there. That car ride was BRU-TAL, y'all. D was panicked, Mom was holding my hand from the back seat, and I was in the zone, breathing, contracting, and praying for D to have a lead foot. During the drive, my contractions went from 6 to 4 minutes apart. Things were speeding up and I kept thinking it was probably not our greatest idea to try and have a kid at a facility an hour away from our home. Hindsight is definitely 20/20. As much as I wanted to meet my daughter, I did not want to be one of those women plastered across the evening news for having a baby on I-80.

I'm positive that it was a total God thing that there was zero traffic the entire drive to the birthing center. Hours before, we hit stop and go congestion the whole way...now, nothing. Not even through Sacramento, which is basically unheard of on a holiday weekend. While riding, Mom called my midwife team and let them know we were on our way. The midwife on call wanted to talk to me personally to make sure I was actually in labor, but once she got on the phone with me and all I was able to produce was broken English through guttural moans, she said she'd have a room ready and hung up. I don't remember much else from that car ride except that it hurt to sit and I wanted OUT of the car with every ounce of my being. Once we arrived in the birthing center parking lot, we all breathed a sigh of relief that Heidi wasn't with us yet. I got out, hugged the car through another contraction (now clocking in at 3 minutes apart), and waddled cautiously to the front door. 


As soon as we reached the intake desk around 3pm, a nurse confirmed I'd called the midwife and lead us to our temporary room. I say temporary because if I wasn't at least 4 cm dilated, they wouldn't admit me. The midwife was held up taking care of another mom in the last stages of pushing, so the nurse decided to hook me up to the monitor (once again) and finally checked me. Lo and behold my contractions were bouncing all over that screen (duh) and by the grace of God, I was a solid 4 cm & completely effaced. I was immediately admitted, changed into the gown I brought (hospital gowns skeeve me out), and another set of nurses came in to place my IV to start my GBS meds. At least one dose (preferably 2) of that medicine needed to be in my system before Heidi was born, so time was of the essence. Much to my dismay, the first nurse blew my vein in the middle of a contraction, but thankfully the second placed it with ease. I had a nice black and blue bruise the entire length of my right forearm for 2 weeks as a consolation prize. Super fun! After the IV was placed, I tried sitting on the bed to work through the contractions, which were still coming strong in 1 minute long waves every 3 minutes. Sitting was a total no-go. Every ounce of my body want to stand or be on my knees. Laying down felt foreign and painful for the first time in my life. Not something I ever expected to feel in labor. Being attached to an IV made standing and walking a bit troublesome, but D took the lead and pushed the poll around while I paced the floor. Walking helped, but I needed another distraction. 

Prior to going into labor, D and I had taken a birthing class (best decision of my life, y'all). They taught us all sorts of ways to breathe, optimal labor positions, what to expect with epidurals, what to expect in unmedicated births...yadda yadda. When it came to coping mechanisms through unmedicated labor, I'd always been intrigued by labor tubs. I didn't necessarily want a water birth, but laboring in a tub of warm water sounded heavenly. My midwife kept reminding me that laboring in warm water was like a dose of morphine. At this point in my labor, I needed that "dose of morphine." BAD. Unfortunately, the birthing center only had 2 labor tubs and both were occupied by other moms. The nurse knew this was something I really wanted to use to stave off an epidural, so she suggested I strip down and hop in the shower. The warm water from the shower head would help until a tub was free. D helped me into the shower with the IV poll in tow, and while I held onto the shower rails, he sprayed warm water over my back and belly. At the time, it was just what my body needed to relax and focus on. Post-labor, we both sort laughed at it. D said he felt like he was water boarding me, what with all the moaning and groaning I was doing. Oh, to be a fly on that shower wall!

After about 20 minutes of "water boarding" in the shower, I needed another change of scenery. Thus began my toggling between standing up and bracing myself beside the bed and kneeling down across a bench along the wall of the room. At one point, stuff started falling out of me while standing up and I sheepishly groaned "SOMETHING'S FALLING OUT OF ME--OH MY GOD--WHAT IS THAT?!?" Just my mucus plug and bloody show, that's all (sorry for saying mucus). That couldn't have happened while I was IN the shower? It was late to the party. Meanwhile, my mom and D took turns hold my hand and massaging my back. Thank God for those two labor angels. I was amazed at how D became a quick expert at timing my contractions. The moment I began quick breathing, he started timing. He was on point with telling me when I could expect the peak of a contraction and its fall. We were totally in sync...it's like he was inside my head (or my uterus, rather). He was the ultimate labor coach and did whatever I needed the very moment I needed it. Mom, too. She was my calm. Always has been. Having a mom who has conveniently also been a mother/baby nurse for 30 years, well, I won the labor team jackpot. I couldn't have asked for two more perfect souls to go through the labor experience with!

At this point in time, my contractions were almost unbearable. I had no clue what time it was or how long we'd been at the birthing center. It's as if time was standing still. The only thing I could do was be in the contraction. Work through the wave and brace myself for the next. They were coming 1-2 minutes apart, barely enough time for a reprieve, and I was starting to waver on my plan to avoid that epidural. In our easy breezy birth plan (I say "easy breezy" because our birth plan was to get Heidi out as safe and as naturally as possible, but I was open to most interventions if it was medically necessary--keeping an open mind was important to us both), we'd created a "safe word" that I could use if I was reaching my pain limit and felt I needed the epidural STAT. According to D, I said the safe word (FISHSTICKS--don't ask) around 5pm, which is where I like to think transition started for me. Nothing was comforting me and I was starting to panic. I could feel everything and my natural instinct was to stand, moan, and rock back and forth. Moments later, the midwife on call came in to ask how I was feeling. I basically told her I felt like I was dying, I couldn't do this anymore, and everything inside of me was trying to come out ferociously. She asked if I felt the need to bear down and the moment she said it, that's what I felt like I needed to do. 


I remember briefly looking at the clock and noticing it was 6:03pm. I looked to the window and saw it was still light outside. I thought, had we really only been at the birthing center for 3 hours? It felt quick, yet incredibly long at the same time. Again, time was moving oddly in my world in those moments. Then, like a switch went off in my head, I shouted at the midwife to check me. DEAR GOD, PLEASE CHECK ME. That urge to bear down was beginning to overpower me. She had me lie down on the bed and I was sure this was where I was going to die. Laying down intensified the pain times a thousand. But from somewhere deep in the hollows of my psyche, I mustered up the will to lay there (with my arms fused to the bed rails in pain) and wait for her to check me. Then she said the three most wonderful words I'd ever heard..."You're at 9!" I cried. Dave rejoiced. Mom said, "You're almost there!" And suddenly I was renewed. I'd gone from a 4 to a 9 in 2.5-ish hours. I could do this epidural free. I could push through the pain (pushing's the best part, right?). I was about to meet my little girl.

At this moment, I don't remember much but wishing I wasn't still laying down. However, I also couldn't stand anymore. My legs were jello and my body was telling me it was time to push and push NOW. The midwife asked me again if I felt the need to bear down, and when I told her yes, she told me to do whatever my body felt it needed to do and that last centimeter would work itself open (and it did). My mom was flanked to my right, D on my left. A nurse and the midwife at my feet. The room was dim and the only noise was the sound of my moans and encouragement from D. To be honest, as badly as my body wanted to push, I was a bit scared to. The pain I was in was already bad enough, would pushing really be the relief everyone says it is...or just add to my agony? The next contraction came and I gave it a try. My moans and rhythmic breathing quickly turned to screams with that first push. It hurt, but I also felt relief, if that makes any sort of sense. Three pushes with that first contraction and a small rest. At that pause, I had to remind myself to breathe while pushing. As I'd read over and over in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (READ IT, MAMAS!), I needed to breathe my baby out. Sounds beyond dorky and so much easier said than done, but it works. Too bad all I wanted to do was scream! Not like a high pitched I'm being chased by an ax murderer-type scream....more like a low, heavy chested roar. Labor is such an out of body experience. Animalistic, even. At a certain point, you don't give a bleep what happens or who hears/sees it. After all was said and done, I asked D how loud I really was (in my head, I was loud). He said not loud at all. I still don't know if he's lying to me. ;)

With the next contraction, I began pushing again. This time, breathing AND screaming (I couldn't choose, ha!). On my second push, my bag of water burst. I'd sort of forgotten it was still intact. Poor nurse. She wasn't ready for it. I apologized profusely later, as if I had any control over it! Once the room calmed down from the water works, everyone shouted, "HAIR! She's got hair!!" My midwife grabbed my hand and I felt her tiny scalp. We were almost there.

The next contraction took what seemed like 5 years to happen. It's as if my body was telling me to stop and take in these last moments, because in mere minutes our lives would be forever changed. I vaguely remember looking at D and seeing pure exhaustion in his face. In the next blink of my eyes, he was smiling. I thought, this is the face of our next year of life...exhaustion and bliss. 3 minutes had passed, then the contraction came.

In my next to final push, the Ring of Fire happened. If you don't know what I'm talking about (and I sure didn't until those last few months of pregnancy), it's basically the moment the baby begins to crown. Hence the FIRE. And sure enough, that's exactly what it felt like...hell raging fire of the loins. I knew if I stopped pushing in those seconds, I'd lose momentum and all the will to birth this kid, so I pushed through the fire. I've never felt pain like that in my life. Blinding, mind-numbing, drain the life right out of you pain. But her head was out (her tiny left hand along with it --uhh, ouch!). I could feel the relief of pressure wearing off for a brief moment, but I didn't even wait for the next contraction...it was taking too damn long and my body had just about enough, so I pushed a half push more. Shoulders, bum, legs, feet and boom...Heidi was born. 


7:05pm, September 4th, 2016. Just 4-ish hours after arriving at the birthing center (the second time). Just 8 hours after the non-stress test. Basically, if I ever had another baby, I best live at the hospital those last few weeks. Girlfriend might have stayed snug an extra week, but when she was ready, she came out like a ball of fury! Here's where things become a blissful blur for me. I remember her leaving my body and being placed on my bare chest for skin to skin. I remember the sound of her cries and looking into her wide open eyes. Yep, wiiiidde open. I remember D cutting her umbilical cord shortly after it stopped pulsating. I remember her dark hair was swirled with vernix on her small head, her soft body pink and warm. I remember looking up to see D, tears in his eyes, a smile on his face. He kissed my head and we both just looked at one another in total wonder. My mom, fumbling for her phone, teary-eyed and beaming by the window. I thought I would cry. I started to, but for some reason I held back the tears. I don't think I wanted to watch those moments through watery eyes. I wanted to see her, my family, as clear as possible. I was on some sort of adrenaline high, for sure. Everything felt euphoric (aside from my downstairs region, which was getting a small stitch from a tiny labial tear from Heidi's left hand exiting with her head).



I couldn't believe I was finally holding my daughter. I'd imagined that moment so many times, but nothing I imagined compared to how it truly felt. I was in awe of her. I was in awe of my body and what it just did. She was just inside and now she was outside. Surreal hardly begins to describe it. We were all blissed out...bliss on top of bliss on top of rainbows. For real! THEN...she only spent about 30 minutes on my chest before she pooped lovely black tar meconium all over us both and I thought it best not to bask in her business, so the nurse gently took her to be weighed and toweled off. She's been a poop queen ever since! ;) Her first sponge bath wasn't given until the next morning so as to let that sweet vernix continue nourishing her delicate skin. My mom got to bathe her. It was beyond special. While I was finishing being cleaned up, my midwife inspected my placenta (it was fascinating, healthy, and HUGE) and D supervised while they weighed and measured Heidi. She clocked in at healthy 7 lbs 7 oz and 21 inches long! We had ourselves a long skinny babe (not so much nowadays!). They wrapped her back up and D handed her back to me for more snuggles. About this time, my Dad and sister came into the room to meet Heidi. Such a sweet moment! It's safe to say we were all instantly smitten with her. Hearing my Dad call her "punkin" melted me to my core. 


I'm not sure how long we stayed in that dimly lit labor room, but that room holds so many incredible memories for me. I wish I'd had someone take more photos during our time there, but things happened so fast, I'm not sure a photographer could have gotten there quick enough with such short notice. Maybe next baby? TOO SOON, Y'ALL. Too soon. ;)

When it was time to move to our postpartum room for our 48 hour stay, the nurse asked if I wanted to be wheeled to it in a wheelchair or if I wanted to walk there myself. This is one soul hugging thing that stands out in my mind from my unmedicated labor. I felt well enough to walk, so I got to push Heidi in her rolling bassinet to our room. Sure, I was sore and tired and probably would have enjoyed the ride, but nothing felt more like a badge of honor than walking those halls pushing my tiny baby trophy. Might seem stupid. Might be a bit over the top. But in that moment, I finally teared up. I did something I NEVER thought I was capable of doing...and at the end of all the waiting, the worry, and the pain...my sweet baby girl was finally here and as perfect as can be. 


Lastly, I just want to point out that an unmedicated labor was NOT my original plan when my prenatal care began in Florida. I was almost certain I'd go for the epidural. But the more research I did and when the opportunity to choose a midwife and birthing center presented itself because of our move to California, my mind totally changed. I was still very open to an epidural (and still am --shoot, had my labor not been so quick or had Heidi been a bigger babe, I might have gotten one!), but mamas, make sure to know all your options before going into that labor room. Know the risks and complications that can arise with every intervention as well. BE EDUCATED. That's your best labor weapon. And a good doc or midwife who is happy to let you do you unless your health or your baby's health is compromised. No matter how you birth a tiny human, ladies...you're AWESOME. Your body is a total powerhouse of unimaginable strength. The gift of childbirth is exactly that...a gift. Don't take a moment of it for granted. Be as present as possible. And don't beat yourself up if things don't go exactly how you planned. Heidi's birth was about as perfect as I could have ever hoped, but her first 2 months of life were anything but. Maybe I'll share more about that someday (when I can talk about it without gobs of tears), but for now, I'll just end her sweet birth story here. More photos from our sweet Fresh 48 session to come!

Kirsten's Captured Moments Photography, Sept 2016

Feb 13, 2017

Heidi's Birth Story: Part 1

[WARNING: Long winded-ness ahead! I've been slowly writing bits and pieces of Heidi's birth story for months (she's 5.5 months old now, oops?). Probably more info here than needs to be shared, but I want to remember it all. Every minute detail. Plus, maybe this will encourage other overdue mamas to HANG TOUGH. You can have the birth of your dreams, maybe just a littttttle later than you planned. We plan and God laughs, amen?]


Mallorie Owens Photography - 31 weeks

Being overdue after carrying around a tiny human in your uterus for 10 months just plain sucks. There's really no other way to describe it. I LOVED being pregnant, don't get me wrong, but having moved 3,000 miles cross-country at 8 months pregnant, I was DONE. I wanted to meet our girl SO BADLY and I wanted to have my body back (famous last words, my postpartum body has challenged me more than my pregnant one, go figure). I was so stressed from our move that I was almost positive I'd go into labor early. In preparation for that, my mom bought her plane ticket as soon as we settled in California and planned to be here to help support us into parenthood for 3 whole glorious weeks...a few days pre-due date and the rest postpartum. My due date was August 28th and Mom arrived to California on Wednesday, August 24th. A sight for sore eyes, that woman! I kept thinking to myself the days before she arrived, "Heidi, just stay in until Grandma gets here...then feel free to come whenever!" Interestingly enough, Heidi (and the good Lord) had other plans for making her grand entrance into the world. She made us wait 7 whole agonizing days past my due date before introducing herself...and for what it's worth...the whole experience was more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

40 weeks 5 days

In the days leading up to Heidi's birth, I did everything...EVERYTHING...to try and coax her out. The day my mom arrived, I started drinking red raspberry leaf tea twice a day and taking evening primrose oil capsules. If my midwives suggested it, I did it. I so hoped to be one of the magnificent pregnant women who do one thing differently and BOOM...baby! Nope. Turns out, babies really do come whenever they're good and ready and I'm living proof. I walked miles around our neighborhood each day, we ate spicy foods (and loads of basil and oregano, too), I bounced my brains out on a birthing ball, had sex, got a pedicure, baked and ate my weight in these
labor cookies, and even got acupressure foot massages...but NOT A BLEEPING CONTRACTION. Pretty much did everything short of reaching up there and pulling her out myself. We clearly had a stubborn gal on our hands.


Miles and miles with this bump!

As the days crept on, I started to get really discouraged. My midwives never did any cervical checks until I was in full on labor and I couldn't have my membranes swept because I was GBS positive (we didn't want to risk prematurely breaking my water and start my 18 hour labor clock ticking without my body being ready for it to tick--I wanted as few labor interventions as possible, so induction terrified me. Pitocin contractions are like contractions on steroids, or so I've heard. #nothankyou). So, I had no clue where I stood in the whole labor process and I was left to let my body work when it was ready. That would have been all good and fine had the peanut gallery not started to psych me out. The incessant well-meaning questions from every person I ever knew-- "In labor yet?" "Did you have your baby?" "I keep waiting for pictures on Facebook, she here?"...KILLED ME. I knew everyone was just as excited as we were, but the added pressure seized my uterus up like a prune with every new message. I ending up having my mom run interference. Don't text me your questions, go through my secretary and check Facebook for updates! Annnd we waited some more.

Enjoying the Preggo Pizza -- supposedly "labor enduing" -- yeahhh, didn't work. 

On Friday, September 2nd, my dad and sister flew into town. They'd bought their tickets to coincide with Labor Day weekend thinking Heidi might be here by then. Needless to say, we were all a little panicked when the weekend began and she wasn't budging. They both were due to fly home on September 6th, so I had a teeny-tiny window to have this kid, otherwise their visit would have been a total waste (ok, not a total waste...but a big fat bummer, to put it mildly). As if I needed more pressure put on my uterus to do work. We spent Friday and Saturday of that weekend preparing last things for baby and showing my family around the local area. We ate at a couple fun restaurants and watched a lot of movies...it was nice! But in the back of my mind I was constantly thinking of Heidi. I wavered back and forth between being SO READY to meet her, panicking about how long this might drag out, and being paralyzingly terrified of the imminent pain of labor. I tried not to let myself go there too often, but the fear of the unknown added a whole other layer of crazy to an already crazy time of life. The mind is such a powerful thing when it comes to baby birthing, so I did LOTS of praying. And eating See's Bordeaux candies. My two saving graces. ;)

Can I just pause here and say, choosing to deliver at a birthing center and have my prenatal care given by midwives was the best decision we ever made through this whole pregnancy journey. One of many silver linings about moving to California that I've clung to. My prenatal care with my OB in Florida was good, but looking back, it could have been better. Especially given how awesome Heidi's birth ended up being with zero medical intervention and total control on my part. But, I'll get to that later!

Early morning on September 4th, I woke up to very mild contractions that felt like typical menstrual cramps. I'd had Braxton Hicks off and on for weeks, but never any cramping. Braxton Hicks always just felt like abdomen tightening to me, although they'd gotten stronger from 39 weeks on. I didn't really think much of these cramps, but being 7 days overdue, I figured I better start tracking them just in case. D was sound asleep (as were my mom, dad and sister in various rooms in our house), so I grabbed my phone and started timing them on an app while hidden under the covers. I didn't want to cause any undue panic if this wasn't go time. Heidi seemed nice and comfy, so I wasn't very hopeful.

From 2am-5:30am I timed those mild contractions...they never amounted to much, most were 10-12 minutes apart and lasted 45 seconds. By the time 6am rolled around, they disappeared altogether. I was pretty annoyed, but not surprised given my track record up to that point. Back to square one we went, or so I thought. I decided I couldn't lay in bed and wallow any longer, so I got up and went downstairs to find my parents already awake. I mentioned the mild contractions I'd been having, but we all shrugged them off, decided I'd probably be pregnant forever, and started our day.

The morning of my non-stress test...and my last bump photo!

Prior to this at my 40 week midwife check-in, I was told if I hadn't gone into labor by 41 weeks, we'd do a non-stress test to see how baby was doing. Being Labor Day weekend (the irony isn't lost on me), I had an appointment directly at our birthing center for the NST at 11am since the midwives office was closed. Our birthing center is roughly an hour from our house (yep, we're crazy!), so while my dad and D went out to grab us all breakfast, I scurried upstairs, showered, and dressed for our appointment. I thought about those mild contractions on and off while getting ready and so wished they would start back up again. As I pulled on my jean shorts, I halfheartedly thought..."what if this is the outfit I wear the day I meet my daughter for the first time?" Looking back, I wish I'd worn something cuter. Like I'd care what I was wearing when it was go time! HA! We ate our breakfast, Heidi got lots of good luck belly rubs from my family, then D and I made our way to the birthing center for my NST.

On the car ride there, I starting having mild contractions again. Still far apart and hardly more than a handful of uncomfortable pings of pressure. In the back of my mind, however, I thought it was odd they'd picked up again. After days of total nothingness, here were some true signs of labor progress. At that moment, D and I started to become hopeful we'd meet our daughter within the next 48 hours. We spent that car ride daydreaming about the days to come...reminiscing over my pregnancy journey...praying for our daughter and for a smooth delivery. Little did we know this car ride would be among the last few quiet moments D and I would get together, just the two of us. I wish I would have relished that time more.


We arrived to the birthing center, got checked into a room (snapped above photo), and the nurse hooked me up to the monitor to watch Heidi's heartbeat and to see if I was having contractions. No surprise that my contractions were showing up on the monitor and interestingly enough, were registering about 6-7 minutes apart. In some cases, 5 minutes apart. However, they were still quite mild. After the 20 minute monitoring session was over, the nurse returned, confirmed I was in early labor, and told us that since I was still talking through my contractions we'd best go home and rest...it could still be a while. When she said that, my heart sank. I just KNEW we were close to go time, but now we had to make the hour drive back home with no baby. She did, however, go ahead and schedule my induction date for the following Sunday...my 42 week mark. I was already manic at the thought of having to be induced, but a whole week away! KILL. ME. NOW.



Funny thing about scheduling inductions...they also tend to be bonafied eviction notices. Heidi must have heard about her scheduled fate because as soon as we arrived back home from the NST, things got interesting! 

TO BE CONTINUED...

Sep 1, 2016

Heidi's Southwest-Inspired Nursery


I really should stop saying I'm going to do so and so on the blog on a certain date because that date always ends up passing by without my promise coming to fruition. I am the blog procrastination Q-U-E-E-N these days. Lucky (or unlucky) for me, little miss is now 4 days past her due date (KILL ME NOW) and I'm frantically trying to fill my free time with anything but thoughts of why this little babe is so darn stubborn! With all this waiting time, I finally have a moment to share Heidi's nursery with you all (silver lining?). Maybe she's been waiting for this post and NOW she'll make her grand entrance to the world? Wishful thinking, I know. This girl has a mind of her own and seems perfectly comfy with her current set up. She really should read this post and see what goodness is waiting for her on the outside...am I right?

Friends, this nursery was a true labor of love. One that I toiled over via Pinterest and Instagram while on our 3,000 mile road trip...making pin boards and trying to envision something stylish, yet girly, for a room I'd never stepped foot in. I knew what sort of nursery I wanted in our Florida house, but this rental in Cali, my mind jumped from theme to theme. I was all over the place (both literally and figuratively). Thankfully, a dear friend created a private pin board of fun things for Heidi's nursery and it was full of Southwest-inspired touches from Aztec-patterned blankets to cactus prints and boho rugs. I wasn't sold on the idea until the moment I saw THE room and found THE rug. It all fell into place from there. 

Crib: DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-Way Convertible Crib | Crib Sheet: LittleMoose by Liza  | Rug: Suzani Rug via Rugs USA | "Greatest Adventure" Wood Wall Sign: WilliamRae Designs | Cactus Pillow: Pottery Barn Teen | Red Fox & Fuzzy Ostrich Stuffed Animals: JellyCat | Faux Fiddle Fig Leaf Tree: Hayneedle | White Faux Fur Rug: Hobby Lobby

A sweet, feminine take on Southwest style for a new start out West. Seemed super appropriate for this new chapter of life and now this nursery has easily become our favorite room in the house! Not hard to see why, it's the only room with new everything...and everything all in its perfect place. I love to sit in the glider, morning light streaming in, and think about the sweet sounds that will someday fill the room. It's where I come to pray for Heidi and the kind of person she'll be, the kind of life she'll lead. It'll be the place where lots of beautiful memories will be made. Gives me chills just thinking about it all. But on to the details!

The crib and crib mattress were the only two pieces of the nursery we brought with us from Florida (thanks, Mama B!). The rest, well, I had 7 weeks to scramble and shop for once I'd landed on a theme. Needless to say, most of my third trimester meltdowns were nursery-related. Amidst unpacking boxes and trying to get the rest of the house functional, all my heart wanted to focus on was this tiny 12'x13' room. I ended up hating almost every decor option at stores like Babies R Us and BuyBuy Baby, so most everything I ordered from places like Etsy, Target, and Amazon. Because of that, we spent a good amount of time waiting for nursery mail to arrive week after week. Talk about frustrating! I got to be REAL good friends with the UPS, USPS, and FedEx men. They probably thought I was a hoarder with all the packages they were delivering. As we rounded the corner into week 39, all pieces were delivered and tiny details hung and polished. Nursery complete!

**the Moses Basket is a family hand-me-down...my mom used it for me and my sister, my Aunt with her daughter...and now our little Heidi. :)

Moroccan Pouf: Maison Marrakech | Glider: Wayfair | Pillow & Throw: Target| End Table: Nate Berkus for Target | Heidi Book: Amazon 

I'm not sure why I felt the need to get this room 100% finished before Heidi's arrival. Part of me thinks it's because I had a beautiful home ripped out from underneath me (dramatic, much?) and I wanted this one room to be PERFECT. She deserves it...heck, I deserve it. The other half of me was nesting so hard I couldn't see straight. Either way, I'm so happy it's done and that it all fell into place so much more seamlessly than how I typically decorate a room. Totally a God thing. Probably ridiculous to say out loud, but He's been in the details of every aspect of our move and this pregnancy...nursery was no exception.

Changing Pad Cover: Grace and Cruz | Herringbone Gray Lamp: Target | Dresser: IKEA Hemnes | Hexagon Wall Shelves: West Pine Company | Pink Candle: Paddywax Heirloom Candles | Gold Filament Dresser Knobs: World Market | Tiny faux succulents: World Market | "No Whining" Print: Hammerpress | Ceiling Light Fixture: Target (now discontinued)

And now we wait. Wait for girlfriend to drop it low and make her grand debut into this crazy, crazy world. I'm BEYOND ready to see her face and snuggle the crap out of her. And ready to be done being pregnant. Am I allowed to say that? Who knows...but I am. We've tried ALL the old wives tales and "labor-inducing" foods ever suggested and big fat GOOSE EGG to it all (for my next trick, I'll stick my thumb up my rear and whistle Yankee Doodle from a mountaintop--that should do it!)...so save your comments. Sorry, that's sounds harsh, but the sheer quantity of unsolicited labor advice I've gotten these last couple weeks has me wanting to murder well-meaning humans. Baby rage is still alive and well in me...save yourself! I've decided all those who've gone into labor after eating eggplant parmesan or spicy food or getting pedicures have done so out of pure coincidence. Their bodies were already ready for baby and mine's just...not. Not yet, at least. She's gotta come out by 42 weeks, so come hell or high water I'll be birthing a babe before long. I just need to not psych myself out during the agonizing wait. Easier said than done, right, mamas?

Custom Book Ledge Shelves: Dunn Rustic Designs | Hanging Wall Planters: Amazon | Yarn Wall Hanging: NW Urban Cottage Shop | Ivory Striped Swaddle Basket: Pottery Barn Kids | Woven Rattan Book Basket: Target

Oh, and I should mention, that ADORABLE Aztec Alphabet Print was designed just for Heidi by my amazingly talented graphic designer of a cousin. I found something similar on some website wanting a bagillion dollars for a wrong color print, so I asked and she worked her designer magic. Couldn't be more in love with the result! Don't worry, we won't teach Heidi from that alphabet, but it's one of my favorite fun details of her nursery. Had to shout it to the world. Thanks, Linds! Another BIG shout out to the husband for putting all the furniture together and hanging everything on the walls. There's a special seat for you in heaven, I just know it. ;) D also hung the pendant light after a heck of a fight with it. He's come a lonnggg way, folks. Proud wife right here.


Longest (and most rambling) nursery reveal ever? Likely so. But I want to remember every tiny detail until the day I die, so blog it all, I said! And I finally did. You're welcome, you've made it to the end, and thanks for reading. ;)

Side note: if you've got some good baby vibes, prayers, positive juju, and/or love to send our way, we could use it! I need this baby girl in my arms, like, yesterday. COME ON, HEIDI! We are SO ready to meet you!
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