November 1, 2016

Crew's Birth Story


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Oh where do I begin?! I'm just so happy he's here! Life is so so sooo much better when you aren't pregnant. Even if healing after labor can be no fun. At least you have a cute little newborn to snuggle and make you feel better :)

Crew was born on Tuesday, October 25th, 2016, a whole five days early! I had my induction date set for Saturday, the 29th and I thought for sure he would be born that day. I told everyone this whole pregnancy that my babies don't come early and that I have to be induced for my babies to come out. Because I 100% believed that.  The weeks leading up to my induction date, I had sooo many things to do. I had so many pictures to edit from photoshoots, I wanted to deep clean my house, work on this blog etc. I got a lot of it done, but there was still quite a bit I never got around to.

On Monday, the 24th, I got so much done! I was on a roll! I somehow had so much energy. I went to my last OB appointment where she checked me and I was only dilated to a 1 which I was fine with because I still had so much to do. I even scheduled a dentist appointment for Wednesday the 26th because I had a filling fall out of my mouth (second one this pregnancy! Laaame!!) and that was how sure I was that I wouldn't be having my baby. Haha. I did loads and loads of laundry and I even made brownies and dropped them off at three of my friends' houses! I stayed up late that night editing pictures and keeping Steve company while he painted the baby's crib white in the garage. We were getting it done!! We didn't go to bed that night until about 1 am. Yikes.

Well, Tuesday morning, the 25th,  I was so tired. We all had a slow morning. I let the boys destroy the house because I was tired of getting after them. I talked to Steve's sister Alyse on the phone, and was planning on finishing some picture editing. After talking to Alyse on the phone, I decided I should probably fold all the laundry I'd done the day before. I went upstairs and started folding the laundry and putting them in piles by my bed.

That's when Lissie facetimed me. It was about 10 am. I hadn't talked to her in a while so I was excited to talk to her. There I was just folding laundry, talking to my sis when I felt something trickle out of me. I really didn't think anything of it because it was just a little bit, and honestly, stranger things have happened while pregnant, believe me. A few minutes later a little more trickled out. Again, I hardly made a mental note of it. I was just distracted by talking to Lissie. But then it happened the third time. And that was when I was like, wait a second, I don't think this is normal. I told Lissie to hold on and went to the bathroom where I tinkled a little bit and then was convinced it was just pee. I was so confused! All the while Lissie was talking to me on facetime and as I got up from the toilet, all of a sudden a LOT more came out of me! My water has never broken on its own so this was all new to me! Lissie was like "I was there with Emma when her water broke too!!" Haha.

I hung up with Lissie because I was still not sure what was going on. Was I leaking pee? Or did my water really just break?! I called Steve and told him what was going on and while I was on the phone with him a little blood came out too. That's when he was convinced my water had broken and he hung up so he could finish up with his patient and head home.

At this point my kids were still running around the house, making a mess, I had a bunch of unfolded laundry on my messy bed, breakfast was still on the table downstairs and my house was generally just a disaster. Not to mention, I looked like a train wreck. Luckily I had showered and shaved the day before (kind of a big deal when you're 9 months pregnant;) so I didn't worry about those things, I just tried to get dressed and ready and clean up and pack my hospital bag all while trying not to leak amniotic fluid all over the floor. I was trying not to worry but in the back of my head I kept thinking about how quickly Logan came once they had broken my water and I wondered if this little guy would come just as fast! I was also GBS positive this pregnancy which means that I needed to get antibiotics in me before the baby came out otherwise he could be infected as he came out. So I was generally in a hurry to get to the hospital but also look decent.

Yvonne had been in Utah for a few days and was on her way back as all of this was happening. Steve told her my water had broken and luckily she was only in Coeur d'Alene, about 30 minutes away. She came straight to our house and picked up Logan. Steve got home about the same time, packed his bag and then I fed Cole an early lunch since we would be taking him to a friend's house so that they could take him to the bus stop when the time came. We took him to my friend Staci's house and she ended up taking him all the way to school which was so nice of her.

Before we left, Steve gave me a blessing. It's amazing how blessings can make you feel peaceful in the moment when just seconds before you were feeling a little crazy. It was a beautiful blessing and what I remember the most was that I would have help from above. I'm so so grateful for that blessing.

Then we were off to the hospital! It was a beautiful day and Steve made a comment about how it was a perfect day to have a baby and how we didn't see this coming at all. I was probably contracting but if I was I didn't notice because it didn't hurt.

As we walked into the hospital, lots of amniotic fluid was coming out and I was so embarrassed because I felt like I was peeing my pants! I walked verrrry slowly. haha. They took me straight to my room with no problems, and my nurse told me to change into a gown and then she would check to see if it was really amniotic fluid or not. Up until then we hadn't considered that maybe this was a false alarm! I asked her "If it's not amniotic fluid then what else could it be?!" She was like, that's a good question! Luckily that little strip immediately turned bright blue so this baby was really coming. She checked me and said that I was dilated to a 2 and a half which I was kind of surprised about since I was only a 1 less than 24 hours before. When she checked me it hurt like CRAZY! I don't know what she did but it really made me cramp up. I was anxious to get my antibiotics in me since I was still thinking that maybe this baby would come fast. Teri, the lead nurse came in and she put in my IV. I requested that they numb me up first because of the bad experience I had when they put my IV in when I was induced with Cole. I also requested my left arm since that arm hurts way less than my right arm for some weird reason. She tired on my left arm, but it didn't work. So she put it in on my right. Getting my IV is seriously my least favorite part of the hospital experience. Once that IV goes in, I feel like I can't move my arm at all, it hurts so bad!!

Cathy, my midwife showed up shortly after that. Gosh, I love her. She was so great. She ordered my penicillin and told everyone not to check me for the next 4 hours so that I wouldn't progress and so we would have enough time to get all my penicillin in me. When they hooked it up to my IV, I had no idea how much it would actually hurt. Susanna was my nurse at the time and she accidentally had the penicillin dripping in too quickly and not enough clear fluid going in at the same time. I'm sure it made me look like a wimp but I did not care, I cried like a baby because it hurt so bad. It felt like someone was cutting my arm off and it burned so so bad. Steve quickly called the nurse back in where she saw me sobbing and easily fixed her mistake. She apologized so I couldn't be mad at her. She really was a sweet nurse. She brought in warmed blankets for me which made such a huge difference.

Once I got my first dose of penicillin, it was time to wait! It took about an hour for all of it to drip into my IV and then I needed to keep that baby inside me for the next 4 hours. Steve and I watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days on Netflix. I got up to go to the bathroom a few times since they were pumping so much fluid in me and I kept having to change the towels between my legs since I would gush amniotic fluid out of me from time to time. It was pretty gross, not gonna lie.

The waiting part was so hard! I was just nervous in general because I wasn't sure if I was going to get an epidural or not. I was afraid of the inevitable pain if I didn't get one, but I was also afraid of getting an epidural too. It's just such an ordeal getting a big needle put in your back; the thought of it just makes me queasy. We watched more shows. We sat around and talked since I couldn't get up and walk. It was the longest part of my labor, the waiting game.

When the four hours were up and I was due for another dose of penicillin, Cathy came back in and checked me to see if I'd made any progress. I was dilated to a 5 almost 6 and they thought that was great progress and they thought I'd have the baby before the next four hours were up. So did we. I was just glad I'd gotten my first dose in, so now I felt like he could actually come out. I really didn't want another dose of penicillin because it hurt so dang much getting it in. And I felt like my body was so pumped full of medicine and I was so hungry and my heartburn was getting so bad. I was just ready for him to come out.

It was around 5 pm at this point and we just kept sitting around, Steve watched shows, I watched my contractions on the screen. They came every 2 to 4 minutes and they didn't really hurt. I mean, they didn't feel great, but they didn't hurt. They just felt like period cramps, nothing more. The nurses and Cathy thought it was crazy that I wasn't in pain. My nurse, Susanna, told me that if I didn't get an epidural soon, it would be too late. I knew that deep down. I wanted one, but not enough to go through the process of actually getting one in my back so I never asked for one. And then she told me "You know you can do it though, right?" referring to going natural. And right when she said that, I think I decided in my head that I really could. It felt nice to have her on my side, helping me.

When Cathy checked me again a couple hours later, I was dilated to an 8. My contractions were getting more and more uncomfortable but really not that painful. And they just kept coming every 2 to 3 minutes. They were getting stronger on the screen but the baby wasn't dropping. Cathy said it's normal for the baby to take longer to drop when it's your third baby. I'm not sure why. But not only was he not dropping, he also kept changing positions and going back and forth from being anterior to posterior. An hour went by but and I was still at an 8 and not making progress, she tried having me lay on my side for a while to help thin out my cervix on one side. I did that for a while without much change so they had me get on the medicine ball and "bounce" around a little bit to help him drop. I was so swollen everywhere from all the fluid they were pumping in me.

By this time, I had a new nurse, Stacey. I loved her. She was seriously so friendly and sweet. And so encouraging! She was also really nice and supportive about me not getting an epidural. When the baby still didn't drop much after being on the medicine ball, I got back into bed and tried a couple more positions. Cathy came into our room at this point because it was after 10 pm and she didn't have anywhere else to be. She talked to Steve and I just listened to their conversation. I wasn't in the mood to talk. My contractions were getting more and more uncomfortable and they were starting to make me feel nauseous. Not eating all day I'm sure did not help. Then Cathy decided to put me on a little bit of pitocin. I'd never been on pitocin without pain meds before so I was really nervous about it. But they said it would just be a little bit and it would really get the baby to drop so I agreed.

I wasn't on pitocin for very long when I started to feel more pressure down there. I started having to breathe through my contractions because THIS is when it really started hurting. Cathy checked me after almost every contraction to see if he was coming down. It hurt. All of it. It just hurt like crazy. I was starting to lose it. Thank goodness for having Steve by my side. He rubbed my back and held my hand. For some reason being able to hold his hand really helped me through my contractions! I squeezed his hand so so hard and I remember digging my nails into his skin like crazy! Ha! I asked him if it hurt and he said yes but that he didn't care. You wouldn't think that would make such a difference, but it seriously helped.

When my contractions were on top of each other, I think I started to panic. I told everyone I didn't want to do this anymore. The thought of another contraction coming scared me. Cathy told me to breathe and let the baby come down and I remember I was able to force my body to relax for a split second and let the baby come down and I would hear them say to themselves, wow, she has such control! But my control never lasted for very long. He was posterior while he was coming down which means it takes longer. I felt like I was at a 9 forEVER, I was dying. I couldn't lay on my back because it hurt so so so bad. I wasn't really screaming, I was just moaning and panting and crying. Cathy had my laying on my side and I ended up delivering on my side too because she said you're less likely to tear that way. I was having a really really hard time and Cathy could tell I needed at least a little bit of relief to help get him all the way down. She asked me if I wanted some pain medication in my IV and I was like YES! After the fact, Steve said that he could tell a difference once they put it in my IV but in the moment I didn't notice any difference at all. It just hurt. Hurt like crazy.

When he was finally crowning and it was time for me to push, I was in so much pain! I wanted him out!!! I remember that I didn't ever really open my eyes, I just kept them shut the whole time. I remember Stacey being right there and telling me I was doing a great job. I kept saying out loud, Help me, help me. I think I was saying it to her, to Steve, to Cathy. To anyone who would hear me. It was almost like it was a prayer to God. Help me get him out. Help it end.

It was finally time to push. Pushing took away the contraction pain, but it caused a whole different kind of pain. A burning, skin tearing pain. They had me grab my legs and hold them up and put my chin on my chest and push with all my might. I screamed a few times but Cathy told me not to scream because I could use that energy to push. In the moment I was kind of annoyed but I know she was just trying to help me get him out faster. I think I pushed about 7 to 8 times. That might not seem like a lot but in the moment it feels like a lifetime when you have to push again. Cathy would point and say "push here" and when I did exactly that, I heard them whisper again, wow, such control! Having her point out where to push really really helped though.

And then I gave one more push with all of my being and I felt the relief as his head came out! Then his shoulders needed to come out. It hurt still, but not nearly as bad. Cathy didn't want me to push his shoulders out, she did something to help them come out in a way that I wouldn't tear. She really knew what she was doing and I was so grateful to have her there. Then his shoulders were out and he was completely out all together! Oh the relief!!

They put him on my chest immediately and he was so so so cute. Seriously, he had the cutest roundest face. The pediatric nurse was right there suctioning out whatever was in his throat. I asked her if he was ok and she kept saying yes. He tried to open his eyes but it was too bright for his little eyes. He had such a cute little whimper. He never full on cried, he just had the saddest little whimper. It was adorable. I immediately thought about how he looked just like he did in the dream I had about him a few weeks before he was born. His face was so familiar. I somehow knew he would look the way he did.

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^^He came out with soooo much of that white vernix all over his body!^^

Then I felt my placenta deliver. I wanted to see what it looked like, but I didn't have the energy. I was already asking for pain medicine because it still aches so bad after the baby comes out. It seemed like it took forever for them to hook up the motrin to my IV. Once the placenta was out, they had Steve cut the cord. One of the nurses took a picture of it but I think my privates are half way in that shot so it will never be seen haha.

They let him lay on my chest for a good while while Cathy checked to see if I needed stitches. I didn't! That's why she's awesome. I really think with anyone else I would have torn. I remember my legs were shaking for a good while before they put the motrin in my IV. You wouldn't think it would still hurt so much afterwards but it does!

The rest of the story is my recovery and that's not nearly as interesting. It's all gone very smoothly and I feel so so lucky. I'm in good health and it's only been a week since he was born! And baby boy is just a dream. I am so so so in love with him. He makes the cutest little squeaks and noises, eats and sleeps like a champ, hates having his diaper changed but is generally just the easiest baby. I thank God for him every day. I don't know how I got so incredibly lucky.

The next day we had to decide on a name. I don't know why, but naming this baby was so hard!  We had a huge long list of names and at the top of my list was Keith. I've always liked that name and since it's a family name, I really wanted to use it. Steve never budged on that one though so even though I kept bringing it up, it was never a realistic option. Other names on the list were:

Micah
Anderson
Heath
Keith
Asher
Ashton

It wasn't until just a couple weeks ago where Steve asked me out of no where one day if I liked the name Crew. At first I said no! Haha. I thought it might be too trendy. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. And I thought it sounded really good with the other boys' names. Cole, Logan and Crew. It just fit really well. And somehow, because baby boy has dark hair, Crew seems to fit him better. I'm not sure why! We decided on Anderson because it's my dad's middle name (and a bunch of his cousins middle name as well!) and since Crew is just a one syllable name, the middle name just needed to be longer. And I just love his name. Crew Anderson. So so perfect. We've been surprised at how many comments we've gotten on his name! Like, so so so many people have told us they love his name. We were not expecting that at all!

We're so glad he's here and a part of our family. Seeing my boys with him is just the sweetest thing. They love him to pieces. They are both such great big brothers and so far Logan is handling it very well. I feel so lucky to be the mother of three beautiful beautiful boys. I never imagined I'd have such beautiful children, I love them so much.

Welcome to our family, Crew. We've been waiting for you for nine long months and are so glad you're finally here ♥

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October 31, 2016

Crew Anderson// five days old!


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Crew Anderson at 5 days old! Which also happened to be his due date: October 30th! I just want to take pictures of him all day long, every day because they grow and change so much as newborns! Right now he has jaundice so I'm waiting until it's gone to take some proper newborn pictures. He also hates being naked because he hates being cold which makes it harder to take his newborn pictures. But I did manage to get these shots. I think they're so cute.

He is the sweetest baby. Seriously, I am so obsessed with him. He reminds me so much of Cole as a newborn, especially with his eyes open. His hair is so dark in the back but he is surprisingly very fair in the face. The hair around his hairline is so blonde compared to the back! And I'm almost completely sure that he has the widow's peak hairline!! It lives on haha! When Cole was a newborn it was so obvious because his hair was darker in front. You can't make it out as easily on Crew because his hair is lighter but I'm almost completely sure that it's there.

And don't get me started on his cute little legs!! I heart seriously can't handle it! He loves to curl them up when he sleeps, which is pretty much all the time and he looks like he still in my womb when he does it! Oh my heart. I just love it so so much. I want him to stay this way forever ♥

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October 30, 2016

Welcome Baby Crew!


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My baby is here! And I am so happy.

Crew Anderson Byers
Born October 25th, 2016
at 11:40 pm
7 lbs even & 19 inches long

He surprised us and arrived 5 days early! I'm so glad he is here. He is so so sweet. He looks a lot like Cole did as a newborn, his hair is just quite a bit lighter in front. His eyebrows and eyelashes are also blonde, but he has a whole lot of dark hair in the back! He also has a little stork bite on his forehead like Logan did. So he really is a good mix of the two. I had a dream about him a few weeks before he was born and he looks just like he did in my dream! He has the most perfectly cute round face. I am completely in love. I can't wait to share his birth story and more pictures of him. I will have to do that when I have a chance to write it all down.

Welcome Crew, you are already so loved. ♥

October 29, 2016

This is T H I R T Y


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I'm thirty years old! Wow!! In my head I feel like I'm still 22 so it's weird to actually be in my 30s now. I honestly thought that I would still be pregnant on my birthday so actually having Crew in my arms was the best birthday gift ever. Can you imagine being 40 weeks pregnant on your 30th birthday?! Haha. I'm glad I didn't have to experience that ;)

I quite honestly didn't want anything for my birthday; having a baby is enough and a little overwhelming anyway. When I got home from the hospital the day before my birthday, I walked into the house and found the dining room and kitchen all decorated!! My friends really outdid themselves and put up so many balloons, streamers and a huge tinsel "30" on my mantel. I thought it was so sweet of them. I really didn't expect it because they had already thrown me a baby shower a couple weeks before which they did not have to do since this is my third boy! I have enough clothes for baby boy, believe me ;) It was so nice of them.

And then the next day they showed up at my door in the afternoon, sang me happy birthday, embarrassed me with "30" glasses and a banner and then gave me sooo many treats, so many goodies and so many gifts! And last of all, a super cute box full of 30 notes where they wrote down 30 things they loved about me. I was so so touched! They said some of the sweetest things anyone has ever said about me. I feel so lucky to have such thoughtful friends in my life. They went above and beyond and they really didn't have to!

Steve asked me if I wanted him to take me to dinner for my birthday or to a movie and I was like nooooooo. Haha. I don't like to leave the house for at least two weeks after baby is born so I told him I didn't want anything. I can't even wear a bra yet without it hurting so going in public does not sound fun! Haha. He decided to finish painting the baby's crib since that never got finished before the baby was born and it was the best gift! He also painted the changing table for me and it all turned out so cute. I can't wait to decorate his nursery, I just haven't had the energy yet.

I wish I could say that I finished everything on my 30 before 30 list but nope, not even close. I'll have to go over everything another time when I have a chance.

So, this is THIRTY!! Here's to a new decade!! I can hardly believe I'm here but I have no complaints. I love my life. I love my friends. I love my family. I love my husband. What would I do without him by my side? 30, you're not so bad when I have such great people in my life. How can I possibly complain about getting older. I have a lot to be thankful for ♥

October 8, 2016

Hidden Acres Farms


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I love these pictures because you can see how happy Cole is. It makes me so happy to see him happy with his kindergarten class. School has been so so good for him. I love seeing him thrive.

When I was 37 weeks pregnant (yikes) I was able to be a chaperone at Cole's first field trip as a kindergartner, to the farm! The whole class was so excited. It was adorable. We went on a tractor ride, checked out stinky farm animals, picked and ate an apple, went through a hay maze, picked our own pumpkins and even got apple cider and a mini donut at the end. What kindergarten dreams are made of ♥

October 7, 2016

Cole + Logan// a little update!


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I've been wanting to update my blog on these two boys for so long now. I've been feeling guilty that I haven't taken very many pictures of them with my nice camera this year. It's been such a busy year for our family. In the spring we went on a handful of trips to see family and to see two of Steve's brothers get married. I also got pregnant, and then in the summer we bought a house! Our first house! It's been exciting and exhausting. We now live in our favorite neighborhood in Liberty Lake, WA and although half of our house is still empty, we love it. (That's what happens when you move from a 1000 square foot home to a 3000 square foot home and get rid of all your furniture in the process!) We've done lots of updates on it this summer (well, mainly Steve has haha) but we love where we live, we love having a nice big back yard for the boys, we love having a big basement and we love the layout of it!

I also shot two weddings this summer which added to the craziness! My first time! I'm happy with the results and so were my brides and I'm excited to share the images on my photography blog when I have a chance!

In September, when I took these pictures, Cole started Kindergarten! And he absolutely loves it!! It's been such a good thing for him. It's only in the afternoon which has been perfect for both me and him. We can take our time in the mornings and I have a better daily routine because of it now too. It gives Cole something to look forward to everyday. He loves being with other kids and he loves his teacher, Miss Gillilan. She is the cutest little thing and you can tell that she loves teaching. This is her first year teaching her own class and we think she is doing a great job. I was so worried about sending Cole to school because I didn't know if he would listen to his teacher and stay in his seat and follow the rules etc, but so far he is doing great and we are really so so proud of him. He loves learning and wants to impress his teacher.

He made a little friend in his class, who rides the same bus to school as him as well. Her name is Evelyn and she is the cutest little thing. She's such a happy little thing! Cole and Evelyn look like they could be siblings! Both of them love to play and have fun which is why they get along so well. I love seeing Cole make new friends and be so happy! Obviously I can't say enough good things about Cole going to Kindergarten. I'm so glad that it's been such a positive thing for him so far.

Logan is my sweet boy who loooooves his older brother Cole. He often times will tell me "Be nice to my brother Cole!" when Cole is getting in trouble here at home. I'm so glad they have each other to play with, even if they fight every now and then. Even though they have fun together, I think Logan likes having the one on one time with me while Cole's at school. He such a smart little boy and can talk so incredibly well for his age. Something I've noticed about him is that he is really thoughtful when it comes to saying his prayers! You can tell that he's really thinking about what he's saying! He's also really good at remembering lyrics to songs he learns in nursery. I'm always so impressed with him that way.

It's funny because Logan is completely obsessed with kissing me! Like, he always wants to be kissing my hand or my neck or my cheek, or pretty much anywhere. It's pretty cute unless it's the crack of dawn and I'm trying to sleep! Haha. I've thought about why he does this and I think it's because we kiss him all the time! He's been our baby for the past three years, we dote on him and kiss him and tell him he's cute all the time. He must just think that's what you do. Haha. It's kind of funny to think about. Both of the boys are obsessed with kissing my pregnant belly too!

I know that they are both going to be great big brothers and I can't wait to see it in action. I hope they know how much I love them. I'm the luckiest mom in the world. I don't know how I got so lucky to have them. I love you, boys. ♥♥


And here's some shots from my phone because they turned out pretty darn cute too:
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