Sunday, September 29, 2013

Audrey Éowyn

I've gotten lots of complaints from family members that I need to upload more pictures of our baby girl, so here's one of my first attempts to do so.  I totally meant to do this earlier, but she's kept me pretty busy, I'll have to say!  If you haven't figured it out already, our baby's name is Audrey Éowyn Byard.

So before we had our daughter, we refused to share the name we'd chosen for her with anyone.  We wanted to keep one thing a surprise, and it was a lot of fun knowing our baby's name and getting used to using it ourselves before anyone else got to say it.  We knew that once we'd shared the name with everyone, we would potentially get a lot of grief for the middle name.  And we sure did!  But at least everybody was polite about it.  When we tell it to someone new, usually we have to repeat it three or four times before they finally understand what we said.  And then we need to spell it, because the name is hard to grasp without seeing or visualizing the spelling. 

Let me just briefly fill you in on how we decided on a name for her.  We actually have a couple of baby names picked out for our family (besides Audrey's name, we had a boy name and another girl name, both of which we plan to use in the future, so I will not be divulging!).  When we got pregnant with our first baby, we chose all of the names on the way down to my aunt and uncle's house for Thanksgiving.  We lost our first baby way too early to tell if it was a boy or a girl, so we never named it, even to ourselves.  

When we eventually found out we were pregnant again and having a girl, we knew exactly what her name would be (although we had two girl names we liked, we originally assigned one to an elder daughter and one to a younger daughter--provided we have one).  This would have been around the middle of April, so I'm pretty proud of us for being able to keep the name a secret for that long!  We decided to name our children the names we would have liked to have had for ourselves, if we could have chosen any other name in the world to be called.  Kyle had just one name, but I had several, so Kyle had to veto some of mine that he didn't like.  Also, there was some other criteria:  the first name had to be easy to spell and pronounce and it couldn't be a name that was too old and stuffy for a child or too young for an adult woman.  Also, since we spend a lot of time with hundreds of kids, the name couldn't have a negative connotation from a former student that we knew.  It might sound shallow to most, but my teacher friends surely understand!  I have had one single student in my career named Audrey; luckily, she was a real sweetheart.  

We did NOT name our daughter after Audrey Hepburn, so please do not assume that we did!  I like Audrey Hepburn's movies and we decorated our daughter's room in Audrey Hepburn BECAUSE we decided to name her Audrey.  I've always really liked the name Audrey, and I'll admit I probably became a fan of Audrey Hepburn at first because I really liked her name!  Audrey Hepburn was a really great person, but not why we gave our daughter the same name.

We decided to do something completely different for the middle names of our children--we have (and will) name them after famous fictional characters from literature.  This made total sense to us because (a) we both like to read, (b) we've read a LOT of the same stuff since we both majored in English in college, and (c) both of our professions (and therefore, a large chunk of our lives) revolve around literature.  We also had criteria for this as well:  the name had to be unique (we WANT our kids to be asked about it!), the character had to be righteous, noble, and moral (sorry Scarlett O'Hara!  I love you for your flaws, though!), and the text that it was from had to withstand the test of time (i.e. no stupid Bella or Anastasia or Katniss names for us!).  We also tried really hard to choose names from different genres (fantasy, historical, sci-fi, etc.).  So we settled on Éowyn from Lord of the Rings for our first girl.  It was Kyle's choice, and I think it sounds great together.  He promised to let me choose the middle name for our boy (if we have one), so I've got something good and ready for that :)

We've been trying to take plenty of pictures of Audrey, although I worry that we're not taking enough since she's getting so big and I'd like to not forget what she was like when she was small.  I've not posted any pictures on Facebook of Audrey, but Kyle has, so you've probably seen quite a few.  However, here are some more hospital pictures we have to share:

Audrey and Me (38 weeks).  I wish we'd taken a picture before we left for the hospital at 39 weeks, but we were running late so we didn't get one :(
We reported to the hospital on Saturday, September 14th at 7:30 AM to be induced.  I tested positive for Group B strep, so I had to have two doses of antibiotics in my system before they would break my water for me.  The doses had to come four hours apart, so the first several hours at the hospital was just sitting around and waiting.  I came to the hospital 4.5-5 centimeters dilated thanks to a balloon that my doctor put in my cervix the day before.

Taken after I got settled in bed in my labor/delivery room before they started the first antibiotics.  We're having a baby!
My room board :)
Kyle's parents came up to be there when Audrey was born.  We played some games, walked, and watched TV while waiting on my contractions to become more intense.  At this point, I'm weathering a contraction while everyone else is watching HGTV.
Dr. McKnight broke my water at 1 PM and they put me on pitocin at 3 PM after they determined I wasn't making ample progress on my own.  They weren't kidding when they told me pitocin would make the labor a lot harder!  My contractions got pretty fierce really quickly.  After I got to a 4 on the pitocin, I decided I wanted some morphine (I wanted to avoid an epidural as much as possible).  Since they can't give you morphine at 8 centimeters or beyond, they checked to see how dilated I was...7 centimeters!  Phew!

After about 20 minutes of having the morphine, my contractions felt the same as before.  I was certain that my nurse didn't administer it correctly.  I felt nauseous right after she gave it to me, which means it took affect, but I was suddenly adamant that I wanted an epidural.  The nurse wanted to check me again before giving me an epidural, and thank goodness she did!  In 30 minutes I went from 7 to 9.5 centimeters dilated!  No wonder the contractions felt the same; the morphine was working, but my contractions were really just that much more intense!  With the end in sight (and some coaxing from Kyle and the nurse), I skipped the epidural.  We were fully dilated and began pushing exactly at 7 PM.

Of course, Audrey has proven time and again throughout this pregnancy that she likes to take her own sweet time!   Finally, she popped herself out at 8:42 PM.  I got to hold her immediately and it was the best feeling in the world :)  Kyle cried, but was too grossed out to cut the cord.  We opted to have her weighed and cleaned up right away...the suspense of knowing how big she was was killing me!

All in all, I have to say delivering a child is an...interesting...experience.  Man, does it HURT.  I was pretty sure in the middle of my labor that I would NEVER have another child EVER again.  But, I forgot about it pretty quickly after I got to hold Audrey.  They even gave me stitches and I was too busy counting fingers and toes to even notice. 

Now we have a wonderful, healthy baby girl in our lives, and we couldn't feel more blessed.  Each of us comments at least three times a day how beautiful she is, but we're pretty biased!

Audrey's first bath

So cooooooollld!

Audrey here looks IDENTICAL to Kyle's newborn pictures.

That ultrasound tech was right...chubby cheeks and lots of hair!

I still can't believe I grew her!
Probably one of my favorite pictures of all time :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Muncie Baby Shower

This past Saturday, some wonderful women from church threw a baby shower for me.  How kind of them!  When my friend Lori Ann insisted and asked what type of shower I wanted or what items we still needed, I knew exactly how to answer that question:


Wow...we did some pricing on these two, and man...can they be expensive!  I'm sure every momma out there has a preference on types of diapers and knows how to score a good deal, but let's face it, we newbies need all the help we can get.  And sorry...Kyle and I already decided that as environmentally friendly it may be, we will NOT be doing cloth diapers.  No way.

So, my dear friends brought diapers and wipes (and a few other odds and ends here or there that they just couldn't resist) for our little family:

My friend Amy was in charge of games/activities.  The women also put together an alphabet church book and a book on all the prophets of the church for the baby.  What a cute idea!
A diaper cake that Lori Ann and her husband made.  Wonderful!

We had a brunch (most of the women who attended brought the food), played some games, talked, and opened gifts.  Let me tell you how well they treated me:

Just under 2,000 wipes.  And slightly over 1,200 diapers.


And of course, they all laughed at me when I exclaimed that we wouldn't have to buy diapers for awhile.  Because obviously, they know better than I do that this time will come sooner than I think!

I love my church family and am so grateful for everyone who helped pitch in to make the day so wonderful for us.  We are blessed to know you!

Monday, September 9, 2013

More Bump Photos!

Okay, I know I left everyone hanging in the middle of June with bump pictures.  Now that I think about it, that was three months ago!  I should have been more diligent about putting these up, I know.  But at least we were diligent about taking them:

The last one I posted:  June 16 (26 weeks)

July 14 (30 weeks)

July 28 (32 weeks)

August 11 (34 weeks)

August 25 (36 weeks)

September 8 (38 weeks)
Yikes!  We're getting close here, people!  If you haven't had the misfortune of seeing them, my ankles are ENORMOUS and my doctor has been concerned with pre-eclampsia.  However, the tests have come back clear.  The only point of worry is that my blood pressure has skyrocketed over the last two weeks.  If it continues to be high this week, we're looking at an induction sometime probably this weekend.  Luckily, I can deliver naturally!  The little squirt was breech the entire time UNTIL I went in for a consultation for an external version.  Then she woke her little self up and decided to get into a heads-down position.  Seems like I've got a kiddo who prefers procrastination!

We could be parents by the end of the week!  Eeks!

Nursery Reveal

The nursery is DONE!  Actually, it's been mostly done for a little while...a few finishing touches here and there, and completing the chair, of course (did you see my last post?  Go check it out if you have no idea what I'm talking about!).  So, here I am to give you a short, guided tour of where our baby will live once she's not living inside of me:
This is what the room looked like originally when it was my sister's room!  She moved out to get married over two and a half years ago.  Kyle really liked the color on the walls, so he REFUSED to paint the room, even though we found out we were having a girl.  And well, after all the painting we did this summer, I couldn't argue!
Would you believe that for all the time the room was an office, I never ONCE took a picture of it?!  This is a picture of the office over the summer, when it was also a makeshift bedroom, perfect for me when I couldn't get to sleep in our bed.
And now...Baby _________'s room!  Since I let Kyle have the decorating ideas upstairs, he graciously handed over the reins to baby's room to me.  And I chose classy Audrey Hepburn to adorn baby's walls!  I love it!  I would have killed to have a nursery like this when I was a kid :)

Not sure if this is the final home for the activity mat.  It might get moved somewhere else!

Bought these little gems on Etsy.  LOVE that site!
Teddies' names are Simon and Sean...we've had them for a long, long time :)
This chair, I have to say...I LOVE how it turned out :)
Thank goodness for Betsy...and chevron!
The only other finishing touches in the room are to put pictures in the frames, which we'll do when she's born!

Guess how many dinosaurs our daughter has?  More than the average little girl, let me tell you!  Thanks, Daddy :)

My first Mother's Day gift

Bottom shelf is empty because the Boppy goes there (we're taking it to the hospital), and the top shelf is empty for now EXCEPT for the bag of name blocks we've bought for the bookcase...of course, we've not put those out yet just in case anyone stops in!
Packed and ready to go!  I get a bag, Kyle gets a bag, Baby gets a bag!
Kyle's favorite part of the room.
Not only do we have one t-rex on the shelf, but we also have two t-rexes, a velociraptor and two triceratops in the toy box.  Also note the Superhero Little People shoved in there!
 So, I'm pretty happy with the way it all turned out!  Now all we need is....a baby!

Chair DIY (for Baby's Room)

This hopefully will be a quick post before I move on to bigger and better things...the nursery!  I had this vision for what I wanted the nursery to look like, and I'm very happy with the turn out.  One thing I really wanted in our nursery was a rocking chair.  I wanted something that matched, though, but for cheap.  No glider (because we spent so much time making sure our bookcase and crib matched, so we weren't about to go out and spend the big bucks on a glider)...I don't even like them!  Nothing too big, something comfortable...

We had the perfect chair already.  It was a garage sale find that my mom picked up (no joke) at least seven years ago!  She spent $5 on it.  It sat in my parents' house for a time, then I took it to college with me, and my parents never wanted it back.  I loved the chair even though it was ugly, so I kept it.  

Here's a picture of Kyle playing video games in the chair at the end of our sophomore year of college (I think this was during finals week):

We'd had the chair upstairs in the attic, then when my sister moved out of her room (now the nursery), we moved it downstairs after we converted the room to an office.  We really wanted to keep the chair for the baby's room, but I wanted to spruce it up some.  But how?  Re-upholstery is super expensive, and I do NOT sew.  I thought about just dealing with it, but after some research online, I discovered....

...they make upholstery SPRAY PAINT.  And it's sold at HOBBY LOBBY.

Well, don't mind if I do!

The cost per can is $9.99, but you can get a nifty 40% off coupon per customer per week.  So, if I took Kyle with me to the store (he begrudgingly went even though it's literally just a couple of blocks from our house), we could get it for even cheaper.  So we did!  It wasn't hard...Kyle actually did this project all on his own!  It took 3 coats to get it just right (about 8 cans total).  You can't even buy a decent chair for that on Craigslist that is this comfortable!  

Then I put the blanket and little pillow my sister made on the chair and voila!  Gorgeous!

You would probably never even know it used to be retro pink, huh?