Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Infertility: Our Journey

In honor of national infertility awareness week I thought I would finally do a post talking about my infertility journey. Because it felt so personal, its a post that I've had trouble publishing. While logically I knew going through this process that infertility wasn't something that I needed to feel ashamed about, not being able to do what most women biologically can do so easily was very  difficult for me and I really struggled with my self worth and confidence during the process. The emotional impact of struggling for 4+ years cannot really be put into words. That being said, writing something like this can also be difficult because I know how sensitive a topic this is for women struggling with infertility and how different things about the experience affects women in different ways. What was hard for me might seem small for someone else, and vice versa. As a preface, I know I am very lucky that I only had to go through one round of IVF and that I was able to save enough money to pay for it. If you are currently struggling, please know that my heart hurts for you, that my thoughts are constantly on you, and that in at least some way I know what you are going through and believe your pain cannot be overstated.

Skyler and I knew we wanted to wait a few years after we were married to have a baby while I started law school and he graduated from undergrad. We got married when I was 22 so I felt like we had plenty of time and didn't really think about having children. My mother had no problems having children, and I hadn't really followed any people on social media who struggled with infertility so the thought of it happening to me didn't occur to me at all. During my second year of law school I had an emergency appendectomy. During the appendectomy they found out that I had endometriosis. After talking to my gynecologist the options presented to me were either to go on a birth control that would totally stop my period and stop the growth of the endometriosis, or to start trying to have a baby. I am very sensitive to hormones so birth control is really hard for me to handle, and we were feeling ready to start a family, so we decided to start trying to have a baby. I remember excitedly texting my best friends that we were going to start trying. Because we didn't know yet how bad my endometriosis was we still were picky about things like not trying to conceive on months that would make the baby born in December, or when I would be starting classes and work, etc. You technically aren't considered to have infertility issues until you have been trying to conceive for a year so we still didn't worry about it that much as the months passed and I still wasn't pregnant. 

After about a year of trying my period stopped and I thought for sure I was pregnant (I had always had a very scheduled period so this was way abnormal for me). I kept taking pregnancy tests and they weren't positive so finally I went to my gynecologist after missing two cycles to see what was the matter. During my examination they found a huge ovarian cyst that was totally crushing my left ovary. Surgery was immediately scheduled as certain kinds of cysts can be very dangerous if they burst inside you, and the doctors weren't able to tell from the ultrasound what kind of cyst it was. During the surgery my gynecologist told me that he would burn off my endometriosis and flush my fallopian tubes with dyes to help with my fertility issues. After I got out of surgery the doctor told me that I had stage 4 endometriosis (which is the worst kind), but that after burning off as much as he could and flushing my fallopian tubes, my chances for conception would be significantly higher for the 9 months or so after the surgery. 

A year after the surgery I still hadn't gotten pregnant so we decided to visit a fertility specialist and start treatments. We used Dr. Conway at the Utah Fertility Center and had a really good experience with her. I was very lucky to know that I had endometriosis going into my fertility treatments because it allowed the doctor to really focus my treatment on the source of the problem instead of wasting my time and money trying to find out what was wrong. Endometriosis is almost impossible to diagnose without a surgery, and the surgery can increase your scar tissue and make your issues worse, so a lot of people don't find out they have endometriosis until they have done several rounds of IVF. Because of my endometriosis we moved immediately to doing IUIs because just taking Clomid or Fermara wasn't likely to have very  much success for me. I took Fermara at the same time as the IUI and was really excited and hopeful to start. After the first one failed, I was upset but still felt hopeful. When the second one failed I began to get pretty depressed. Our insurance didn't cover fertility procedures so it felt like we were basically throwing a thousand dollars away a month. How IUI's work is after the monitored procedure, you wait two weeks to have a blood test to confirm if you are pregnant. In the first two IUIs my period had started before I even had the blood test so my expectations had been low going into them. During the third IUI my period hadn't started yet so I was pretty positive I was pregnant. I went to get my hair done with Danica the Saturday before the blood test and was so excited that I thought I was pregnant. She started crying and told me she was 7 weeks pregnant and had been holding off on saying anything because of my fertility issues. We were so excited about the possibility of both being pregnant at the same time.  The Monday of my blood test I went to the doctor's so excited and nervous. On the way downstairs after the blood test (they call you with the results in the afternoon so I didn't know the results yet), I stopped in the restroom. In the restroom I found out that my period had started. I remember sinking down on the bathroom stall and sobbing harder than I think I had ever cried before in my life. After that experience we decided to take a break and start saving for IVF.

I will readily admit that Danica's pregnancy was very hard on me. Seeing someone so close to me get pregnant and have an experience that I had been trying for for several years was so difficult. I struggled with guilt for feeling upset about it, and worthlessness that I couldn't give Skyler what other girls easily could. I definitely wasn't there for her the first couple of months of her pregnancy because it was just too hard for me to be around. I avoided going to my inlaws for dinner and having to hear about the pregnancy, and I avoided all pregnant people in general. If you have a friend that is struggling with infertility and they act weird around you pregnant, please be patient with them. I promise they are super happy for you, but are really hurting at the same time. It will get better for them eventually (at least it did for me). 

Because of how severe my endometriosis was I had to take the maximum dose of fertility drugs that my doctor allowed at her clinic. I also had to take medicine in the months proceeding IVF that put my body into menopause in an effort to compress the endometrial cells. As my insurance didn't cover IVF either, this cost us around $30,000 out of pocket (quite the chunk of change). It was so nerve wracking because there are obviously no guarantees and saving up that much money takes time and a lot of sacrifices and I didn't know what we would do if it didn't work. When we finally saved up the money we met with our IVF coordinator at the clinic and started the medicine. As I mentioned earlier, I am very sensitive to hormones. On birth control I gained weight really quickly and became super irritable and emotional, so you can imagine that hormones of the magnitude that my IVF protocol required wreaked havoc on my body. I happened to be in the middle of trial during alot of my IVF cycle. To give you a little perspective on how hard the drugs were on my body, I had bought a suit for a trial a month before IVF started. The suit fit perfectly at that trial. During my trial the next month I had to squeeze myself into the suit. I gained over 20 pounds during my IVF month despite trying to eat low carb and healthy and being off all caffeine. I definitely looked pregnant before I even got pregnant. I had frequent hot flashes and in general felt awful. I had to give myself shots morning and night and my stomach became super bruised, bloated, and tender. Towards the end of my shot cycle I broke down in my office crying because I felt so sick, tired, and emotional. 

During my egg retrieval the doctor was able to harvest 16 eggs. We chose to do a process called  intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) as part of our treatment. In ICSI they inject the sperm directly into the egg rather than just mixing it together in the petri dish. This helps prevent issues that might exist with the sperm not wanting to mix with the egg. After this injection, its a nerve wracking time as the doctor calls you every day, or every other day to tell you how many of the eggs have survived and started growing. After 5-7 days we had 4 blastocysts that were ready for insertion. They graded our blastocysts and we had two that were grade A. Grade A is the highest quality kind (which we were excited about because endometriosis often destroys egg quality). Because of their quality my doctor convinced us to only put one in and we froze the other three. Even though you aren't supposed to, I did pregnancy tests before I actually had my blood test. As the tests turned out positive I got more and more excited. I was in the nail salon when the doctor called me confirming that my blood test showed I was pregnant. I burst into tears in the salon and told all the strangers there that I was pregnant lol. It was definitely a moment I will never forget. Harper Rae Johnston was born on February 17, 2017. You can read about her birth story here. We feel so overjoyed to have her in our life. Words won't ever be enough to explain what it felt like the first time I saw her and the joy I feel everyday at the chance to be her mom.

I have very few pictures of our IVF cycle, and the ones I have are definitely not edited, but I included a few of them below that I took with my phone along the way.

My needle container

During the procedure to put the embryo inside you, they have a screen showing it entering your uterus. Here, Skyler is pointing to Harper!
One of my early tests trying to do the "ring test" to reflect light on the strip to see the line better.
The test I took on the day of the blood test!
Our announcement

Please let me know if you have any questions about the IVF process and I will do my best to answer them.  Love you all!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Favorite Beach Reads

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Hey Everyone,

Reading is my very favorite hobby in life so I thought I would start a series of blog posts with book recommendations. I have read thousands upon thousands of books over the years and I love recommending my favorites to my friends and family! Today's book recommendations are my favorite beach reads or relaxation reads. They are great books that don't require deep intellectual thought but still keep you entertained and contain great writing and story lines.

Premonition Series: The writing in this series gets better as the books go on, but the storyline is so great right from the start! Amy Bartol is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. The characters in this story are just wow (wait until you meet Brennan). The Premonition Series is about a girl who finds out she isn't exactly normal and the guys who love her. Its a paranormal romance full of angels, demons, fairies, etc., and is so much fun to read!

Mortal Instruments Series: If you don't want to buy the whole series right now, here's the link to the first book, City of Bones. This series is also a fantasy series with a really great love story intertwined with it. Clary Fray enters an unexpected world when she heads out to a nightclub and witnesses a murder by three teenagers covered in strange tattoos, and then witnesses the body just disappear. Clary then enters the world of the Shadowhunters, warriors who rid the earth of demons, and meets Jace (hottie mchottster). I'm terrible at matching descriptions with how good a series actually is but this series has now been turned into a movie and tv show and the writing is so so good. I highly recommend it.

Seraph Black Series: Here's the link to the first book, Charcoal Tears. Jane Washington is my favorite indie author right now! Her writing is amazing! Here's the synopsis straight from Amazon: "Seraph Black used to think that she was prepared for anything. She could last days without eating and she always walked away from the violent altercations with her father relatively unharmed. She survived working a the club and the drive to school every day in her mother's rust-bucket of a car...but it all changed when Noah and Came came bulldozing into her life, careless of the precious secrets they picked apart in their quest to take over her world. She was even less prepared for the mysterious Miro and Silas, and nothing could have prepared her for the bond..Someone wanted her to stay away from her new friends, but she wasn't willing to do that. Everyone had secrets. She wanted to know theirs and they wanted to know hers. And the stalker? He seemed to know everything already."

The Sky is Everywhere: This book is a tragic, beautiful love song in literature form (to take the words  from T-Swift). Lennie Walker has spent her life in the shadows of her beloved fiery older sister. But when her sister suddenly passes away, Lennie becomes center stage in her life and struggles to balance her new love life and the secrets her sister kept from her. This book will definitely make you cry, but will also make you so happy that it exists in the world. Love it!

The Edge of Never: The Edge of Never is a new adult romance that has quite the surprising twist. Twenty year old Camryn Bennett sets out on a road trip with just a purse and a cell phone after her life falls apart. She meets Andrew Parrish along the way who harbors his own dark secrets. On their road trip he shows her how to live out of the box, fall in love, and give into her deepest desires in life. But will his dark secret tear them apart.... (ok, so cheesy description but this book is consistently ranked as a top read on all new adult lists, its definitely worth the read!)

The Star-Crossed Series: Here's the link to the first book, Reckless Magic. Reckless Magic is another fantasy romance series that involves a girl who is much more than she seems, and whose struggle to harness her new found power and save the boy she loves pushes her into the middle of an ancient war that she knew nothing about. There's action, adventure, mystery, romance, etc. and tons of magic. I love it. Read a better synopsis on Goodreads here.

What are your favorite books to read right now?

Friday, April 14, 2017

April Purchases: What's In My Shopping Cart

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I thought it would be fun to do a monthly post on my purchases for each month. I have been really trying to stay in budget this year so I can save my money for bigger purchases I have my eye on during sales like the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and Black Friday. So far I've stayed on target, although this month was a stretch since I'm finally starting to get closer to my post pregnancy size and clothes are more appealing.

1. Old Navy Rockstar Jeans: I currently only fit into one of the jeans in my closet since I'm still losing my pregnancy weight. Because I'm trying to lose weight, I didn't want to buy an expensive pair of jeans and just wear them for (hopefully) another few months. These jeans are super flattering, comfortable, and affordable and make the perfect jeans to get on my way back into my regular jeans.

2.  New Era 9 Forty Cap: Trying to jump on the current ball cap trend, I found this hat on ASOS and instantly fell in love. Its not a bad price and the pink is super cute for spring.

3. Tory Burch Miller Sandals: I have been saving up for these babies for awhile. They are definitely on the more expensive side for sandals but are the perfect spring/summer accessory that can be worn both to work (on a casual day) or to the beach. I love them!

4. Steve Madden Slip On Flats: Slip on flats are super big this season and I loved this pair when I saw them in the store. They are the perfect grey neutral that can go with so many outfits and are super comfy.

5. Gibson Ruffled Handkerchief Top: When I saw this top on Nordstrom's site I knew I had to have it. It's super flattering in my stomach area and the ruffles and pastel pink are perfect for this spring's trends.

6.  Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder: I have been seeing this on makeup blogger sites for awhile and decided to try it. I absolutely love it! It is key to help brightening my eye after all these sleepless nights getting up with Harper.

7. LipSense Pink Champagne: I recently became a LipSense distributor and fell in love with this color. It's the perfect pink for spring and of course is smudge proof, kiss proof, and super long lasting!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Last Minute Easter Basket Ideas For Kids

Hi Babes, I hope everyone is having an amazing week so far.

If you are a procrastinator like me this post might come in handy! I always wait until the last minute to throw an Easter Basket together. Thank the heavens for the Target Dollar Spot people, it has saved me on more than one occasion.

I found everything in Crew's basket in one spot and it took me 10 minutes. It was all done for $10.00 and Crew will be so excited about everything!

Sticker book: $1.00 | Football: $3.00 | Kid's Tie: $3.00 | Basket and Eggs from last year

What do you put in your kid's Easter basket? Comment below with ideas, I would love to have more for coming years.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Baby Product Must-Haves

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I thought it would be fun to share some of the baby products that I can't live without! As a first time mom to an active 18 month old I have learned a few things that I really hope I don't have to go without anytime soon.

First, I will take it back to when Crew first came home, and those first few weeks and months as a new momma. I genuinely could not have survived without my Mammaroo. Whenever it seemed like Crew just would not calm down no matter what we did the Mammaroo worked its magic.

This next one might seem silly to some of you but it makes diaper changes so much more peaceful and calm. Crew HATES cold wipes on his behind, so this wipes warmer is a must at my house.

This next one is super simple and a must-have. Aden and Anais swaddles. Baby spends the first few weeks, if not months, swaddled up tight, so some nice quality swaddle blankets are a must-have. This brand is so soft and worked perfectly. They have some of the cutest prints!

I don't know if I am the only one, but Crew always eats the bubbles in his baths these days so I was on the hunt for a natural baby wash that I wouldn't have to stress so much about him ingesting a little of. I found this one and love that the ingredient list is so short and it has been great for his sensitive skin. Its super cost effective as well! I have been loving Vitacost for their all natural baby products and organic foods as well.

We started Crew out super early on with a white noise maker. I had a few friends suggest one so that little noises wouldn't startle him awake. I literally cannot live without this thing now. I take it everywhere that I know he will be taking naps or sleeping. It has been a major life savor.

This Bassinet was a game changer for those first few weeks at home. As a new mom I was super paranoid about leaving Crew in his crib right at the start, so having this Halo Bassinest was a must. Jess bought the version that has lights, music, a nursing timer, and a vibrate option, and she loves it!

What are your baby must-haves?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Harper's Newborn Photos

I'm so excited to share Harper's newborn shots today captured by the amazing Elizabeth Ashdown Photography. Harper was an absolute gem getting these shots done. She didn't wake up once even though she was over two weeks old by the time we got out of the NICU and most newborn shots are done within the first couple of days. I'm so grateful to have these pictures capturing my little sweetheart and that she was healthy enough to get them done. I love being a mom! For those asking about this sign, JaxnBlvd is my go-to for all of my signs, and when I saw it on her Instagram I knew it would be perfect after our IVF experience. 

Thanks to everyone who entered our $50 HomeGoods giftcard giveaway! The winner is Laura Mueller! Laura, email us within 24 hours to collect your prize!

Friday, March 31, 2017

5 Apps to Improve Your Blog

Sweatshirt: (sold out), similar, similar | Mug: similar, similar

Between work, kids, and life in general, running a blog can take up time that we just don't have. Luckily we have discovered some amazing apps that help us with both the look of our blog and social media accounts, and our blog productivity. Today we decided to share five of our favorites that we use everyday!

WordSwag: We use this app for all of the quotes that we post. It has so many different fonts, colors, and background options so that you can tailor all of your posts to fit in with the theme of your Instagram. 

Pictapgo: This app is great for giving you more photo options. We use a specific filter from this app on all of our Instagram pictures for continuity and to improve the look of our posts. 

Hootsuite: This app is great for scheduling posts. One of the best times to post Instagram pictures is right around when you are probably sitting down for dinner. This app allows you to schedule your picture or blog post at your convenience with minimal interruption to your life. 

Wunderlist: This app is a list and task manager app that makes organizing your life a lot easier. That way you can balance the kids, work, and your blog ;)

Scope: This  app creates a personal news feed for most of your social networking sites so you no longer have to jump from app to app.

What are you favorite apps?

We will be announcing the winner of the $50 HomeGoods giveaway on Monday so be sure to stop by! Have an amazing weekend!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Home Tour: Danica's Kitchen + Giveaway

Continuing with our home tour posts, we decided to each show our kitchens and the styles we went with when building our homes. I am so happy with everything I chose for my kitchen, it turned out just how I pictured it would and fits our family's needs perfectly! We spend the majority of our time in the kitchen so it was really important to me that it turned out how I wanted!

I really wanted to do white Carrera Marble for my countertops but we didn't want to deal with the upkeep of marble. We therefore went with a less expensive and more durable option that looks very similar with the white with grey veins, but is actually a quartz countertop. I chose the whitest of white paint that they had for my cabinets and just did a standard shaker style door. Our pulls are all from Home Depot. We ordered them in a package of 25 and I love them! My sink is from Home Depot as well.

Going along with our home tours, and as a thank you for all of your support, we decided to give away a $50 certificate to HomeGoods, our go-to place for home decor! You can enter below!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 20, 2017

Perfect Skin on a Budget

Today on the blog I'm sharing cheap and free things you can be using and doing to improve your skin. Commercials and magazines often make it seem like if you aren't using super expensive products it's impossible to have nice skin. While I sometimes do believe investing in more expensive items can be worth it (like foundation and shampoo), there are a lot of cheap products everyone can be using that not only will improve your skin so much, but also won't break your wallet. 

1) Biotin: I started using a Hair, Skin, and Nails vitamin before I had Harper to try and head off the nasty hormone effects that happen after you have a baby. Ever since I started using this vitamin I've noticed a huge difference in the strength of my nails and my hair. During pregnancy my nails grew fast but were pretty brittle. Now my nails are growing fast and they aren't breaking! In the last couple of years I've also noticed that my hair is growing a lot slower than it used to. I hoped that taking Biotin would improve the growth rate and it definitely has! My hair is finally getting to the length I want it after cutting it short 2 years ago. Luckily for you and I, Biotin products can be very inexpensive. I've been using this vitamin from Target and not only does it work great, but it also tastes great, and is a great price! Look for a vitamin that has 2500 mg or more of Biotin to get the best results.

2. Sheet masks: I'm sure you have seen sheet masks making the rounds on social media but what you might not know is that there are tons of cheap sheet masks that are just as good (or better) than the expensive ones you see advertised. My favorite sheet masks right now are from the Sephora line. They are only $6 and they have all types to choose from. You can find my favorites here and here. This winter I had a really bad cold that dried out my whole face. I used tons of moisturizers and nothing worked. I finally went and bought a mask and within 15 minutes my face was glowing and no more dry skin! I try to do a sheet mask once a week as part of my weekly beauty routine.

3: Washing Your Face: It still amazes me every time I talk to someone and I find out that they fall asleep with their makeup on, or they don't wash there face when they wake up! The simple step of washing your face can drastically prevent premature aging. If you don't have time, or you are too tired to use a dedicated face wash and washcloth, try these wipes to quickly get makeup off.

4. Water: This has to be the easiest, cheapest thing you can be using to dramatically increase your skin. Dry skin? Drink water. Under-eye bags? Drink water. Face feeling bloated? Drink water. I try to drink a gallon of water a day and I can definitely tell when I don't because my face just looks tired and dull. So drink water! You can find some cute water bottles here and here to help make it easier :)

5. Silk Pillowcases: This is something that can actually help you and your man. Having your man sleep on silk pillowcases can help prevent hair loss as it doesn't pull on their hair like a regular pillowcase. For a woman, not only is it easier on your hair, but it also helps prevent waking up with sleep lines on your face and can help prevent wrinkles from forming. Just remember to wash your pillowcase every week! Alot of bloggers are obsessed with this more expensive pillowcase from Nordstrom, but I have been using ones I bought off of Amazon and they seem to work great. 

What are your favorite cheap ways to take care of your skin? 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Harper's Birth Story Part 1

Hi Everyone,

If you have been following our Facebook and Instagram accounts you have been able to see that Harper's birth turned into quite the journey for us. Today I'm sharing the first part of her birth, before the nightmare started. 

The Monday before she was born I went to the doctor for my 37 week checkup. To our surprise there was protein in my urine and my blood pressure had skyrocketed compared to the week before. I was diagnosed with preeclampsia and put on bedrest for the week. Our doctor told us that I needed to come in again on Thursday and that I would most likely be induced on Friday depending on what my tests showed during Thursday's appointment. I also had an ultrasound to check on Harper's weight and my amniotic fluid level. I know that there are a lot of stories about the ultrasound weights being way off target late in pregnancy but in this case the ultrasound was only off by 1 ounce! Skyler and I were both shell-shocked on the way home. Our doctor had wanted to induce me by week 39 due to Harper's size, so I had that date in my head. Two weeks earlier than that caught me a little off guard, especially work-wise. I spent the week on bedrest and on Thursday we went to our appointment. My blood pressure was down but my protein levels had increased so the doctor told us to check into the hospital that night to start being induced! 

We headed to the hospital that night with so much excitement and nervousness. That night they started me on a cervix softener that basically hurt worse than child birth to insert. My cervix was literally a rock, I hadn't started dilating on my own at all. They gave me an Ambien to help me sleep but I was so excited sleep was impossible. By early morning I was starting to have contractions and had dilated to a 2. The doctor came in early on to break my water and at that point I decided to get my epidural as the nurse said my contractions would get worse now that my water had been broke. During my epidural a few things were weird. The anesthesiologist said that the space where the epidural was supposed to be inserted was very narrow, and it took 3-4 shots of the numbing medicine before I didn't feel the epidural which was rare. Well we found out that the "weirdness" meant that the epidural didn't work. I had about an hour where it worked before I started to feel the contractions. Once they started to get stronger the doctor came in and inserted 2x an epidural dose in my line...but that didn't work. An hour later he came in and inserted half a c-section dose, which should have rendered me unable to move at all. I could still feel everything and move my whole body, it was awful. For three hours I felt every contraction full strength..I can now say that I have basically experienced a natural birth. (Surprisingly I still think my endometrial cramps are worse than labor which gives you a picture of how bad my periods can be). 

During those three hours the nurse wasn't checking my progression at all as we were trying to get my pain under control. Finally the anesthesiologist came in and redid my epidural in a different place in my spine. Once that started working the nurse checked me again and to everyone's surprise (and my relief) I had gone from a 3 to a 10 during that time and it was time to push. We hurried and texted our birth photographer, Cali Stoddard, and she arrived right as I started pushing! Since first time moms usually push for awhile before the baby comes we decided to do some practice pushes which means the bed wasn't broken down, and the doctor hadn't arrived yet. Little did we know I'm a boss at pushing babies out because it only took me 4 sets of pushes (about 10 minutes) to push our babe out. The surprised nurse ended up catching her and then called for doctors to come in. My doctor arrived 2 minutes later to start stitching me up as I had torn a lot pushing her out that fast. Harper Rae was born on 2/17/17 at 5:17 pm weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces and measuring 20.75 inches in length. 

 Words can't describe how amazing and overwhelming it was to hold her for the first time. After over 4 years of trying for a baby and so many fertility treatments it still didn't feel real that my dream of having a baby had come true. She is the greatest blessing I have ever had in my life besides finding Skyler. 

After placing her on my chest and doing about 20 minutes of skin to skin Harper unfortunately began to show signs of sickness while laying on my chest. She started to have trouble breathing and turned purple so she was taken by the nurses so they could listen to her lungs. After examining her they placed her on oxygen and decided to take her up to the special care unit (they didn't have a NICU at that hospital) for further tests. Everyone assured us that she would be fine and most likely just had some fluid in her lungs that hadn't come out because I pushed her out so fast. Skyler went with Harper upstairs and I stayed in the room while they finished stitching me up. Right after my doctor finished I asked to be wheeled upstairs to see her. Her breathing had become very rapid and uneven but we were still assured by everyone that she was fine. After an x-ray they didn't find signs of infection but decided to start antibiotics just in case. I then returned to my room alone to be checked out and get some sleep while Sky and my mother-in-law stayed with Harper in her room. Little did we know how bad the following week was going to be.

Part 2 to come soon...

This experience made me so grateful that we chose to use a birth photographer, and we couldn't have asked for a more amazing photographer than Cali Stoddard. (And no, this is not a sponsored post, I just  loved having one so much I wanted to share my experience). I didn't get to hold Harper or nurse her for over a week because of how sick she was so pumping was my only option to help my little girl. I was so grateful to have these pictures to look at my baby and help at night when I couldn't be with her. Cali actually sent me multiple shots right away which really helped me to make it through the first couple of days with such limited time with Harper.