Monday, June 30, 2014


11 days after I had Sam, we had our first "photo shoot". I love to say that, like we are models or celebrities.

I used Allison Lee Photography for his pictures. I used to work work Alli and she is a mom of twin girls, and I had no idea how handy that would come in when doing a newborn session. She had such a great touch! Sam was perfect, other than pooping on her blanket.

If you are in the market for any type of pictures, Allison is fantastic and provides a service well worth your money!

These photos are now one of my most prized possessions. I know I will look back at these many years from now and wonder how my baby grew up so quickly. But for now, he is still a teeny babe that likes to cuddle with his momma. And I am enjoying every single second of it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Maternity Pics

I took these maternity pics a few weeks before Sam made his debut. I received the pics back from the photographer the night before I went into the hospital so I haven't had the time to post them or order any.

Looking at these makes me miss being pregnant. It was such a wonderful time for me and I enjoyed it so much. And then I look over at Sam and I realize that I can miss being pregnant while giving my sweet baby a kiss.

Next up...newborn pics!

Monday, June 23, 2014

What I've Learned in a Month

Because time does not stand still, Sam turned 1 month old. I almost cried when I realized it was happening. Although a part of me is definitely excited for all the fun we have ahead of us! Smiles, laughs, and so much more!

After being a mother for 1 month, here are a few things I have learned: 

1. There is no easy way to get a baby out of your body
When I checked into the hospital, the nurse asked me my pain level. I said I was a zero. That was because I wasn't having any contractions and then I realized that I could have been in labor and that I could have been in a lot of pain. And the thought of that made me realize that either way that it happens for you, it is not easy, it is scary (especially your first time) and that getting an IV still sucks. 

2. A catheter ain't so bad
I have never had one of these and had no idea what to expect but when I realized that you don't even feel the sensation of going, it just drains your bladder for you. I had mine in for 16 hrs and was a little bummed when I realized that I was going to have to start getting out of bed to pee. 

3. Clothing Optional
Mainly for baby, not for you. Sam started spitting up around 3 weeks. After almost every feeding he would spit up 3-4 times. All over me, himself, the floor, our bed, his bed. I was changing his onesie constantly. So I decided to let him hang in his diaper for most of the morning or for a little while after each feeding.

4. Sleep
Don't you love when you are pregnant and people say "Sleep now while you can!" Oh hahaha..yeah because you can't bank sleep hours and use them when you have a baby that wakes up every 2 hours at night.

Here is what "they" say that I do agree with: sleep when the baby sleeps. I know that sometimes you can't sleep then because you need to shower, do the laundry, or many other things. But when you can sleep, turn off the tv, mute your phone and sleep with that sweet baby.

5. Water Cup
Before I had Sam, I bought a purple Tervis-type mug with a straw and it has been a lifesaver. When you have a baby attached to you, it is very hard to open a bottle of water. So run out and get yourself one or two and thank me later.

6. One sided
This relates to breastfeeding. Until Sam was 10 days old, he would latch very well on the left and would act like a crazed nutso when trying to latch on the right. That led to me to holding him in a very strange position to nurse him and when my milk came in, my left boob was almost twice the size of my right. It took about 3 days to even out and it took about a month for my milk to regulate all together.

Also, I would like to mention something I never read about/heard about until a lovely nurse gave some to me. Sugar water. It entices newborns to latch on. And it works! I used tons of it once we got home. My mom made me a batch and I kept it in a Tupperware with a dropper beside my bed. Don't be afraid to try it out if you are having some latch probs.

7: Sleeping In / Night Time 
If you are anything like me, you are a sleepy head. I always wake up tired and struggle to get out of bed. When Sam cries around 6-8 am, I am so groggy but I don't have the option of hitting snooze. There are many mornings that I will feed him and he will fall back asleep and I do the same. And I don't feel one ounce of guilt about catching some more zzz's and waking for the day around 10am.

And prepare yourself that your bed time routine is about to be non-existent. About 2 months before I had Sam, I purchased this really expensive night cream. And for the first 3 weeks of his life I maybe used it twice. And when he was about 2 weeks old, I was pacing the bedroom with him and looked at Kyle asleep in bed and started to cry. I missed going to bed with Kyle and talking about the day and watching tv. So prepare yourself that things you may not even think about will change.

8: Everything is True 
Have you heard all those stereotypical things about new motherhood?
- It's messy
- You care a lot about your baby's poop
- You and your husband will be closer than ever and yet argue over the smallest thing

Well, they are all true. I realized that very soon into this ballgame. I was covered in spit up, breast milk, and a little urine and wanted to smack Kyle around for leaving a piece of mail on the counter. You are tired, scared, happy, frazzled, etc. Just go with it.

9. Meals 
I didn't realize how life saving it would be to have meals brought to us by friends. Embrace these visitors and gladly accept their food.

10. Your Experience 
No matter how your tiny human entered the world, it was your experience. No one else's. Embrace that experience and share it with anyone that wants to hear it.

8 lbs 14 oz
21.75 in

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Welcome, Sam!

To Read Part 1 of my delivery story, click here

I woke up very early on Tuesday morning feeling nervous and excited for the day ahead. Have you ever woken up and not been able to even take a drink of water? It's brutal. My parents stayed at my house to take care of Sophie, Kyle's parents were on a plane, and my brother and his family were going to arrive at the hospital around 11:00. I felt ok, but nervous most of the morning. A nurse came in around 11 to start getting things ready and said that I might be pushed back to 2pm. Our parents and Bryan and Erin and the girls were all in the room when Dr. Butler walked in and said we were ready to go, there was no delay and we would start on time. Everyone started packing up the room (since we would be moved to another room after the baby was here) and Kyle and I were left in the room alone waiting for go time. I started to cry. I was so nervous. And excited. But so nervous! And then it was time.

I walked into the operating room. It looked like an operating room. Everyone was so nice to me. They did my spinal and then inserted my catheter, which is awkward since you are awake and can feel them moving your legs around while you are naked from waist down. Then they Kyle come in. Thank goodness because that 10 min without him was way too long. I was trying to pay attention so I could remember details, but it's so hard to stay focused in that moment. Dr. Butler pinched me to test the spinal and the show was on!

Kyle watched the entire thing. You can feel tugging and pressure and movement. It's strange. I was watching him while he stood and looked over the drape and watched our baby make his arrival into the world. From the time they inserted my spinal to his arrival, it was 19 min. Because he was breech, they had to tug a little more to get him out and when Dr. Butler said "Dad, can you see what it is?", Kyle couldn't tell because his butt was facing away from him. They lifted him up and with tears in his eyes, Kyle announced, "It's a boy!"

I started to cry. My baby boy was here and I could hear him crying. I don't know that words will ever be able to describe what I felt. Kyle went over to where Sam was and started snapping some pics. He told me that everything was ok, and then he left to go with him to get cleaned up and weighed.

They started the process of closing me up (I hate that phrase) and the nausea set in very quickly. I was so sick that I couldn't even mutter the words to tell anyone. Dr. Butler noticed my stomach was heaving and asked if I was sick. I moaned, and the anesthesiologist gave me some medicine. It helped for a minute but I continued to dry heave for the next 4 hours. I never threw up but it was not fun to fight off vomiting when you are trying to meet your baby for the first time.

The first time I held Sam was unforgettable. Kyle brought him to me and my mom and Kyle's mom were also in there with us. The nurses helped me try to nurse him while I held a wet wash cloth to my mouth.

After the grandma's left, the grandpa's came in. My dad took one look at me holding Sam and started to cry. I think my boob may have still be hanging out but I honestly can't remember. Then Bryan and Erin and the girls came in to see Sam, followed by my besties, Elaina and Sammi.

I was moved to a room around 3pm and we got settled in for the next 2 days. Our family went from 2 to 3 in a moment and it was worth every tear, smile, needle stick. It was even worth that dreaded incision.

Sam Athey Gatewood 
May 20th, 2014
12:55 pm
6lbs 2oz
19.25 in 

An Unplanned Planned Delivery

38 weeks, 3 days. Headed to my last appt!

On Monday May 19th, I went to my 38 week appt. My mom met Kyle and I there and we all went into the ultrasound room for the 4th week in a row to get a another look at how Baby G was doing. At this point, every ultrasound had gone pretty well and we felt confident that the baby was healthy and just small. And still breech! This time was no different. The baby was moving around and everything looked good. I noticed that the measurements of his head and abdomen were in the 2nd percentile.

We finished up in the ultrasound room and took our places in the exam room. In comes Dr. Butler. I could tell immediately from her tone of voice that something was up. She quickly addressed his small measurements and said she wanted to move up his delivery. At this point, I was scheduled to go in on Friday for a c-section. She asked me if I had eaten lunch today. Uh oh. That meant she wanted to take him today if possible. That wasn't an option since I ate some Fritos before the appt. (I ate Fritos before every ultrasound b/c once he moved around a ton after I did that so I decided to keep it up). She said she wanted me to go over the hospital and get checked in. My mom responded with "Today?!". Yes, today. She would do the c-section tomorrow afternoon.

I will never forget the look on Kyle's face. Panic. Shock. He kept saying "Friday" to Doctor Butler. His boss was out of town and he was scheduled to cover for him while we had the baby. On Friday. I was the least panicked person in the room. I felt kind of excited. I had already started working myself up to be super nervous about Thurs night/Friday morning so this spur of the moment change in plans was almost like going into labor.

Doctor Butler stepped out of the room to call the hospital and arrange for my arrival and delivery the next day. Kyle had to rush out to go finish up all of his work obligations. My mom and Kyle were also on their phones alerting all family of what was happening. His parents were in Pittsburgh and had less than 24 hours to get here in time for the baby's arrival. Dr. Butler came back in and told me to go home and get my bag and then go get checked in to the hospital. They would hook me up to the monitor and keep an eye on the baby. As long as everything looked ok, I would deliver him around noon on Tues.

Mom and I left in somewhat of a daze and headed to the house to get my stuff. My bag was partially packed and I just started throwing stuff together. I grabbed another (huge) tote bag and just threw anything I might need in. I had a couple of appts to cancel and once I felt like everything was in order, we headed to the hospital. We got checked in and I was hooked up to the monitor. We could see his heart rate, my heart rate and my blood pressure. It was so neat to watch his heart rate rise and fall with my movements. Around 5pm, my adrenaline wore off and I was exhausted. Kyle arrived around 6:30 with dinner and his bags. Once they determined that Baby was ok, I was given the go to eat dinner and was told to have nothing else after midnight.

All checked in!

We spent our last night together in room 219 at Hillcrest South. We watched the Thunder play basketball and drifted off to sleep thinking about our baby that was finally going to join us tomorrow...