When Luca was a month old, we had newborn and family photos taken. A big thanks to our lovely photographer Brittany of Brittany Esther Photography for doing such an amazing job!
Can you remember the last time you printed photos? I think the last time I printed any pictures was when Eric and I got married. That was 5 years ago last weekend! As you can see, May 30th 2009 was a glorious day in the Rocky Mountains!
It blows my mind how much life has changed since 2009. The pace has especially picked up over the past 8 weeks since Luca came into the world! On May 30th, 2014 Eric and I took Luca to the spot where we got married. The boy was drooling and somehow managed to still look cute! I want to remember these special little moments in another 5 years and thought it was time to look into printing some of our family photos.
I decided to order Instagram magnets from Sticky 9. Sticky9 was born in London in 2011 out of a love of Instagram and a desire to make cool, real-life stuff from digital content. Below is a little look at the photos I ordered and I can’t wait to see how they turn out!
If you are interested in ordering your own Sticky9 Instagram magnets, use the promotional code FRIENDX7I5 to receive 15% off!
If you follow my Instagram Feed, you will have seen that I gave birth to a sweet baby boy. Luca Ole Niven was born Saturday, April 12th at 10:35PM. He weighed 5 Pounds 8 ounces and surprised us by coming 5 weeks early. We chose the name Luca because I liked it. My brother tells everyone I named my son after that hot doctor from the TV show, ER. We picked the name Ole because it was my late grandfather’s name and he was the most wonderful man.
The last couple months of my pregnancy were really tough. I was diagnosed with a condition called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP). The main symptom of ICP is intense itching. It was complete torture. My whole body was itchy around the clock for nearly 2 months. I would lie in bed and cry at night because I was so restless, uncomfortable and sleep deprived. I would not wish this condition on my worst enemy.
While ICP is not dangerous for mothers it can cause problems for babies. If untreated, ICP is associated with an increased risk of premature labour, still birth, fetal distress and meconium staining. As a result, I spent the last six weeks of my pregnancy attending regular ultrasounds and appointments with specialists. After consultation with an obstetrician and perinatologist, the plan was to induce my labour on Easter Monday at 37 weeks.
Our impatient baby decided not to wait until Easter Monday. On April 12th, I woke up at 6:00AM because my water broke. I called our midwives and arranged to meet them at the hospital. My wonderful midwife Susan warned me that because the baby was early, they would likely spend time in the NICU. This conversation did not really register with me until much later.
We arrived at the hospital around 8:00AM. By 10:00AM, I had started the pitocin drip to kick-start my contractions. The contractions were painful and intense but surprisingly manageable. I had amazing coaching and support from Eric and my midwives. I laboured mostly sitting on an exercise ball but also spent time lying on my side trying to get some rest between contractions. To keep the rhythm of my breathing I remember singing the chorus to the Lonely Island song “I’m on a Boat“.
By early evening I was 10cm dilated and ready to push. I hated pushing. It didn’t come naturally to me and I felt like I was getting nowhere. After about an hour our baby went into distress and an OB was called into the room to consult. The OB determined that Luca was positioned posterior and recommended an epidural and a manual rotation of the baby if I wanted to avoid a c-section. I had the epidural and felt sad and dejected. After coming so far, I was not going to have the natural birth I envisioned and planned.
After a short nap, I started pushing again. Luca’s heart rate fell again and the OB used the vacuum to get him out quickly and safely. Once I delivered Luca, the doctor handed our baby to Eric to announce the baby’s gender. Eric called out “It’s a boy”! Hearing Eric say those words was incredible and it made me so glad we didn’t find out our baby’s sex before hand.
I was so happy that I was able to avoid having a c-section and I got over the disappointment of not having the natural birth I had planned for. A few days after giving birth, my midwife told me that she was sure I was going to be rushed in for an emergency c-section. I am so glad I was able to deliver vaginally and avoid the difficult recovery associated with a c-section.
After Eric cut the cord, our sweet baby boy was whisked away by the NICU team to make sure everything was ok. Luca had perfect APGAR scores has been a healthy baby boy right from birth! Unfortunately, being born at 35 weeks gestation meant he had not yet developed his sucking and swallowing reflexes and as a result had major difficulties feeding.
The boy spent his first 12 days in the NICU being tube fed and learning how to breast feed and gaining weight. Leaving the hospital and going home without Luca was emotionally draining. I can’t imagine how parents with very sick babies spend months going back and forth to the hospital.
Luca came home April 24th and we are adjusting to life as a family of three! He is such a sweet little guy and I look forward to sharing updates on this blog as he grows up and further develops his sweet personality.
Today is the first day back at work for Eric and I. After a full two weeks off, it is hard to go back. The Christmas break was good to us! Full of family, friends, and of course, food. Let’s just say that every family needs a professional chef and all Christmas dinners should start with fresh oysters.
Although the New Year started last week, the first day back at work and the end our holiday, it feels like the new year is just starting. It wouldn’t be the New Year without setting a few goals for 2014. While many people loathe New Year’s Resolutions, I LOVE them! I love the optimism and possibility that this time of year holds. So without further adieux, here are my goals for 2014.
As my belly gets bigger and my body changes, I want to spend a little extra time pampering myself. Over the next 18 weeks, I intend to enjoy long baths, paint my nails and put on make-up. I am going to take care of myself and enjoy lots of alone time before our baby arrives. Every once in a while, I find myself wishing for this time to pass quickly and for the baby to arrive ASAP. I want to move away from this mentality and enjoy as much “me time” as possible before May and the baby’s arrival.
Once the baby arrives, I hope to steal a few minutes here and there to focus on myself and feel human. Taking care of myself and feeling pretty post-baby may simply mean sneaking in a shower and getting dressed. While I am sure this goal will look different after the baby arrives, I hope to hold on to it past May.
Over the next year, I want to continue improving my photography skills. While I want to improve my skills, I also want to focus more on documenting my life, my family, and my friends. I have been pretty bad at this over the past year with the exception of our Hawaii trip back in August. The photos don’t have to be perfect, I just want to capture the moment.
With a baby on the way, I’m sure I will have lots of inspiration and motivation to take more photos! Over the next year, you can expect to see a lot more photos from my life on this blog. The lighting won’t be perfect and the images may not be all that flattering, but they will capture what’s going on in my life.
When life gets hectic, I often reach for the phone and order pizza. This year, I want to come up with strategies for eating real food even when life is crazy. This is going to be especially tough after May when Eric and I are adjusting to life with a new baby. Over the next few months I want to come up with some strategies for eating healthy, even when life gets crazy and overwhelming.
Over the next year, I will share both my success and failure with this resolution. It is a tough one and I am expecting improvement, not perfection in 2014. How do you feel about New Year’s Resolutions? Do you love them or do you hate them? If you love them, what are your intentions for 2014?
I am happy to announce that Eric and I are having a baby! The baby is due mid May and we are both really excited!
Before I realized, I was pregnant, I noticed the major fatigue. After returning from Hawaii, I couldn’t shake the jet lag and I was tired all the time. A few weeks after returning from Hawaii, I started a new job and the extreme exhaustion continued. At the time, I thought it was simply the stress of starting a new a job.
I found out I was pregnant on a Saturday morning. Most Saturday mornings, I wake up before Eric and walk down the street to pick up croissants from our local bakery along with a latte (for him) an earl grey tea (for me). We had plans to go out for drinks with friends that night, and while walking to the bakery, it crossed my mind that I was late. With this in mind, I made an extra stop at the local pharmacy to pick up a pregnancy test. After a leisurely breakfast, I slipped into the bathroom for a shower and I took the pregnancy test. I thought it was going to be negative. I was wrong. It was positive! Eric and I were surprised! Is it weird/gross that the positive test is sitting in my night stand? For some reason, I don’t want to throw it away!
The thing that surprised me most about the first three months of pregnancy was how awful and sick I felt. I’m not sure why this was a surprise. Several of my close friends have kids and over the past few years, I have watched them endure morning sickness, fatigue and everything that comes along with a new pregnancy. Despite all the warnings from these fabulous women, I was shocked at how hard the first 12 weeks felt.
I had the 12 week ultrasounds and everything looks great! I’ve included the ultrasound photo. Like all 12 week ultrasound photos, our baby just sort of looks like a blob! Both the baby and I are healthy so far. I am finally starting to feel like myself again, and I am looking forward to getting back into my normal routine. I think Eric is looking forward to getting out of the house. We’ve spent a lot of time cooped up at home. Bring on the second trimester!