QUICY’S BIRTH STORY

I can’t believe I am just now writing this post!  I have been meaning to for months and I just haven’t found the time to sit down and do it.  I might be 3 months late here but it’s such a good story I had to write it all down so I wouldn’t ever forget all the little details of that day.  Here it goes….Quincy’s birth story.

A short back story before I get started….this pregnancy was definitely my hardest physically.  The medication I took throughout my first two pregnancies (Zofran) was apparently banned and I was left to try a handful of other ‘safe’ options….none of which kicked the nausea for me.  On top of that, I was still struggling (and still am) with symptoms from my POTS diagnosis a few years back.  POTS is a form of dysautonomia that affects my heart and circulation, among other things that I won’t get into right now.  That’s a whole story for another post which I hope to share one day.  But for now, let’s just say my day to day consisted of thousands of heart palpitations and dizzy spells.  I was considered a ‘high risk’ patient due to my condition, which meant lots of extra doctors visits and ultrasounds (that part I did love because I got to see little Quincy all the time!)  Other than feeling the baby kick and knowing that I was forming another human inside of me, there isn’t much I love about being pregnant.  This time around, I just found myself counting down the days until it was over and I could hold her in my arms.

On the morning of Wednesday August 2nd I had an appointment scheduled with my doctor.  I was induced a week early with both of my other kids and delivered them in under three hours….so I kind of hoped that I would be able to get induced again with Q since that is the only birth experience I knew and it was a good one.  So that morning I remember begging Erin, my doc, to induce me early again. I was 38 weeks pregnant and had been walking around at 5cm for 2 weeks (which I didn’t even know was possible) …feeling like I was carrying a bowling ball between my legs.  But because the baby and I were both healthy and there was no medical need to do that, she said she didn’t want to schedule an induction until I was at least 39 weeks pregnant…which fell on that coming Saturday.  Erin was heading out of town that same weekend…so basically, I needed to go into labor naturally by Friday or get induced the next week with a different doctor.  We set the induction date for the next Wednesday and I went home just praying that labor would start on it’s own. That same night Cru was sick with the flu and Sam and I were both up late with him…cold rag on his forehead and puke bowl by our side.  I finally got him to fall asleep on me and as I started carrying him up the stairs to bed my water broke (or so I thought!).  I excitedly shouted out to Sam and we quickly threw together a bag and called my mom to come over and watch the kids while we headed to the hospital.  ( I was told that morning that if my water broke, to head straight to the hospital since I was already so dilated and considering my history of quick labors).  I wasn’t feeling any contractions or pain yet when we arrived, so we were both pretty calm getting checked in. Mentally, I was expecting to have a baby that night.  But they ran all the tests and apparently it wasn’t my water that broke.  To this day, I have no idea what fluid came out of me….they said possibly extra amniotic fluid or maybe I just majorly peed my pants (and the floor? sorry TMI).  I would have sworn on my life that it was my water that broke that night but they sent me home confused, a little embarrassed and super discouraged.   They said that when they were monitoring me, I was having contractions every 10 minutes, but I honestly wasn’t feeling them at all.  They assured me I’d likely be back tomorrow to have the baby if the contractions continued, but to just go home and get some rest.  So after a few tears and some encouragement from my husband….we got back in the car and drove home.

Thursday and Friday came and went with nothing new to report.  I resorted to the fact that I would just have to wait until Wednesday to get induced and I wouldn’t get to have Erin deliver my last baby (she had delivered both of my other two so I was disappointed about that).  But I woke up on Saturday morning feeling some pain that I thought could possibly be the start of labor.  But after only like 4 contractions they fizzled out.  Sam’s sister was in town with her family that day so we decided to meet up with them at the beach.  We spent the morning there and then went home to put Cru down for his nap in the afternoon.  I felt unusually tired too so I decided to lay down to rest and ended up taking a 2 hour nap! (which if you know me, you know I don’t EVER nap!)  When I woke up I felt the same small contractions that I felt that morning and just hoped that they would stick this time.  After 4-5 more contractions I hesitantly told Sam that labor might really be starting now.  With no past experience of going into labor naturally, I didn’t really know what it felt like or what to expect, but I thought this might be it.  Sam was about to head out with the kids to meet up with his sister and I told him to just wait to see if these contractions continued or not.  After a couple more I decided he definitely shouldn’t leave and we called my mom to tell her what was going on.  Sam and I and the kids hoped in the car and headed back to the hospital and my mom was on her way there to pick up the kids after we checked in.  The whole drive to the hospital I was second guessing my decision to go so early because I really didn’t want to arrive there only to get sent home again.  The hospital is only 10 minutes from our house and just as we were arriving I had one really strong contraction that wiped away any fear I had that I wasn’t in (or going into) labor.  Sam dropped me off at the font and I walked in to get checked in (again) while Sam parked the car.  It was 4:28pm.

A sweet nurse led me to my room and told me to change into my gown in the bathroom.  Meanwhile, Sam and the kids met us in there.  When I went to the bathroom I noticed I had quite a bit of blood coming out of me.  I told the nurse and she told me not to worry and that she just needed to ask me a few questions and get me all checked in.  But before she could finish, I had another super strong contraction that left me gripping onto the bedrail for dear life.  I looked at Sam and told him to take the kids outside and meet my mom out there because I didn’t want them to see me in pain.  (I could tell my little Rylee was so scared for me).  As they walked out the door the nurse quickly checked me to see how far I was dilated.  By the look on her face, I knew I was already 10cm. She raced across the room and quickly called in any nurses around that could help her.  As she was calling for a doctor to rush in to deliver, my water broke (the real deal) and I felt Quincy’s head come down in one wildly painful contraction.  The nurse (who thankfully was also a midwife!) told me to take a deep breath and with my next contraction to push.  That I did and out she came.  No doctor, no meds, no IV, not even wristband with my name on it! haha.  Quincy was born at 4:39pm, a whole 11 minutes after we arrived!  And poor Sam missed the whole thing as he was outside waiting for my mom!  My little Quincy, screaming and purple, was put on my chest and that same feeling of pride and overwhelming love that I felt with my other babies, overcame me once again.  7.9 pounds of perfect.  I sat there just staring at her, soaking her in, just she and I and that sweet nurse, who also had tears in her eyes.  I held her there for about 10 minutes before the nurse asked if I wanted to call my husband! I smiled and said yes, and she handed me my phone.  I called Sam and told him I was holding our baby girl.  Of course he raced in, so confused, feeling awful that he missed it.  But she was healthy, and I was healthy, so all we could do was smile and thank God for this incredible blessing and my crazy fast delivery.  If I would have waited any longer, we would have definitely had one of those car birth stories you sometimes hear about.  (which honestly was my worst nightmare!)  But we made it, she made it.  Quincy has made our family complete and are eternally thankful for her.


Rylee turns 6

Well, I’m over a month late in posting this…but better late than never right!  A few weeks back we celebrated Rylee turning 6 with a mermaid pool party, per her request!  Quincy was born just two weeks before her birthday so I was worried I wouldn’t be able to pull off a party (or at least the kind of party I like to throw) for her with such a fresh babe in tow. I somehow managed to have all 3 kids just 2 weeks apart from each other, so birthdays will be really hard, or really easy if I just lump them all into one every year. Haha, I have a feeling that won’t fly.  BUT with the help of my family, we pulled a party together and I think it might have actually been her favorite one to date.  Swimming, cake and her best friends are really all a girl needs ;)  The last couple months have been a little crazy as we have been adjusting to life as a family of five and I’ve felt so bad for not giving Ry the time and attention that she is used to.  A new baby and a new school is a lot of change for a little person, and I’ve been so incredibly proud at how she has handled it all.  She is mature beyond her years and really is the best big sister.  I feel like she and I have a kindred spirit and I can read her very easily because I see so much of myself in her.  She is kind, sensitive, determined, and goofy. She has a lot of really amazing qualities about her, and I get emotional just thinking about how much she means to me.  I feel so lucky to be her momma and to have the privilege of raising her.  Rylee, you are one in a million.

Product links below if you’re interested!
Plates & Napkins / Cupcake toppers / Mermaid Cushion / Mermaid Crown / Shell Pool Float / Invitation


BEFORE THERE WAS YOU

I’m so thankful we were able to sneak in some family photos before Quincy’s arrival!  We shot these with my dear friend Jackie right before our FW17 lifestyle shoot for Rylee and Cru and it worked out so perfect….because Lord knows getting everyone dressed up and out the door at 39 weeks is no small task!  Now we just need a family pic of all 5 of us to hang on the wall and I think I am done with photoshoots for the year! ;)  I am still working on a post sharing Quincy’s birth story (and pics of her sweet face!)….so that will come very soon!  Or whenever I get an hour to sit down and write it which has not happened yet! haha.  It’s a good one, promise.

xx


Desert Escape

We had the chance to sneak away last week for some much needed family time in one of our favorite places, Palm Springs.  A little bit of desert sun and relaxation was definitely calling our name!  I’ve realized as the years go by, I really do have to be so intentional about planning times like this with my family.  Whether it be an actual family vacation or just a one-on-one date with each of my kids or my husband, it’s so important to have that time with them.  It’s so easy to get wrapped up at work and the busyness of life that without realizing it, months have passed us by without planning for that one-on-one time.  Anyway, this vacation was just what the doctor ordered.  My parents even came along which made it extra special.  The kids are pretty obsessed with them so it was a good time for everyone.

I’ve gotten way better about packing for trips like this.  MINIMALISM – it’s my 2017 motto. I used to over pack and stress out about not having enough for the kids so I would bring way more than what was necessary (for both them and myself).  But I’ve realized less is honestly more, especially when you know you will be in a bathing suit 80% of the time and the place you’re staying at has a washer and dryer on site.  (We rented the PS Hangout  house by the way and it was amazing!)  The one thing I knew for sure to bring was our new Bugaboo Bee5 stroller.  It’s light and compact and so easy to travel with.  I’ve owned a number of strollers over the years and this one is definitely the lightest I’ve ever had.  Which definitely comes as a bonus when you are 6 months pregnant and not bending the way you used to.  This stroller was designed with the urban mom in mind, and although I’m not riding trains or taxi’s all that often, it is definitely nice to have a stroller that is easy to pick up, open and close and maneuver around tight spaces.  I chose an all-black version (so typical), but it can also be customized with a number of colors and accessories that reflect your own personal style.  I love all of the accessories available to Bugaboo Bee5 stroller like the cupholder, food tray, iPhone holder, and transport bag.   I also got the bassinet for baby girl that will be here before we know it!! Eek! I just did the math with Sam and we’ve got just 14 more weeks! We are struggling with a name so if you have some ideas, I am all ears! This pregnancy is flying by and that is definitely not a complaint.  I can’t say I love being pregnant, I actually kind of hate it, but I know the end result is worth every second of nausea, aches and pains…. so August, you can come as soon as you want this year ;)


FAREWELL 2016
e1 e2 e3 e4 e5 e6 e7 e8 e9 e10 e11 e12 e13 e14 e15 e16 e17 e18 e19 e20 e21 e22 e23 e24 e26 e27

Happy New Year friends!  I know it’s been a minute since I have given a life update here.  I thought it a fitting time given the start of a New Year :)  I can hardly believe 2016 has already come and gone.  I’m also finally getting around to sharing our family photos shot a few months ago by my amazingly talented friend Beth Wells.  She always has a way of capturing my family so beautifully, even despite the foul moods of the two pipsqueaks (though, you’d probably never know it).  Family photos are kind of the worst aren’t they!! Oy.  But once a year, I’m dragging them all out to take a photo with me weather they like it or not. haha. It’s my motherly duty and maybe they’ll thank me one day for it.  Or maybe not, but I know I’m always glad we do it, so there’s that.

2016 was definitely a full year for my family.  In the beginning of the year, Sam and I both had big dreams of growing each of our businesses.  Needless to say, it was a year of WORK, of giving up certain things to devote more energy to the ones we felt most passionate about.  Work-wise, 99% of my time and energy went into designing and growing my brand Rylee & Cru.  I gave up a majority of the freelance work that used to dominate my schedule, and while I sometimes missed working on creative projects for other people, it was really freeing to finally just say ‘no’ to (nearly) everything in order to do ONE THING really well.  In years past, that has always been a struggle of mine.  Saying yes to everything and feeling like I was doing a million things just “OK”, but not doing anything excellent.  It’s felt really good to have that intentional focus. We also signed a lease in September for our very own office/warehouse to have the business (Rylee & Cru) run out of!  This was a huge scary decision but also one I felt really confident about.  After working out of my home for the last 5 years, making that work / home separation has honestly been pretty life changing.  It’s made it a lot easier to leave work at work and it’s just so much healthier for everyone!  Sam has grown his business at Loneflag and continues to work hard at his marketing & design agency, Other Sons.  He wears a lot of hats and manages a lot of people and I’m just really proud of him for the business leader he has become.  He works with the most genuine kind-hearted group of guys who have become like family to us, and we just feel so blessed by all of them and for their part in making these businesses a success.  He also had the chance to help put together the new space down at Liberty Station called Moniker General.  If you live in the area and haven’t made it down there, it’s a must!  They are really cultivating an amazing atmosphere and community that we are really happy to be a part of.  We always have people asking us how on earth we do it all with kids and honestly, we just do the best we can and sometimes it’s freaking hard and we feel like sucky parents and friends.  But we know families with more kids and more “entrepreneurial pursuits” than us and they are somehow “making it work” too.  And they inspire me.  I’ve always thought it is better to chase your dreams and to “try” than to regret not having pursued the things you feel called to for fear it will be “too much”.  So far, we’ve felt really blessed by the experience and we keep plugging along!

On a more personal note, it’s been a rough year in terms of my health.  After a lot of doctors visits and testing, I found out I have an auto immune condition called POTS which mostly effects my circulation and heart, but also creates a number of other bizarre symptoms.  I have a condition called Raynauds that makes me ultra sensitive to hot/cold temps and really poor circulation in my feet and hands.  I also found out I have a heart that beats just a little too fast and arrhythmia, which leaves me with constant heart palpitations and dizzy spells.  It’s all auto-immune related and most of the problems I’ve been experiencing are linked to one another.  It’s nothing that can kill me (so they say!) but just effects my quality of life.  Some weeks I feel totally normal, and other weeks symptoms flare up and it’s really hard to get through the day.  So I’ve been managing that, both emotionally and physically, and my prayer for this next year is breakthrough and healing in these areas.  God has healed me from other health issues in the past, and I believe this too will just be a season.  I at least have hope of that.

The kids….they are our saving grace and our pride and joy.  They make life so much sweeter and inspire me in so many ways.  Rylee just turned 5 in August and is growing into such a little lady.  She is in her second year of pre-k and will start Kindergarten in the Fall.  She has a sweet sensitive spirit about her and sure knows how to love.  She is independent and creative and quite the performer.  She is the protective (& bossy) older sister to her unruly little bro and she takes that job very seriously!  Cru just turned 2 in September and he is my wild man.  He definitely gives us a run for our money but he makes up for it with that smile.  He is talking up a storm now (thank goodness for finally being able to communicate!) and his world revolves around trucks and dinosaurs and wrestling!  He is 100% boy but he still needs his mama’s snuggles and I hope that never changes!  God has blessed our family beyond measure and I am thankful everyday for all that we have been given.  I am thankful for the “down’s”, because it helps me to appreciate the “up’s”.  My hope is that this next year Sam and I can devote more time into family memory-making. More intentional time with our kids, more family getaways, more time together….just the four of us.