When Nursing just Doesn’t Work

When I first found out I was pregnant with Colin I was really excited to nurse another baby. Molly and I had such a wonderful and once we got over the initial bumps a very easy breastfeeding relationship. When Molly weaned she was almost 18 months old and it was again an easy process. I never questioned whether it was the right decision or not everything just fell into place. So when I thought about nursing the new baby, this was what I had in mind. I was so confident that we wouldn’t have any trouble that when my sister offered to give me pump parts and bottles they were no longer using I turned her down. I just didn’t see the need I was going to breastfeed this baby just like I did for Molly. The funny thing is I actually thought that I had control over this and that the reason Molly and I were successful was because of me not because of her personality and temperament, so I figured if I just did things the same I would have the same result. Well as you can imagine this was not the case.

Colin came into the world very different, due to placenta previa he was born at 36 weeks via a c-section. I was worried that because he was going to be early and c-section that he would have trouble latching and nursing, so I hired a private lactation consultant to come to the hospital to help us. I truly thought if I was prepared and willing to work through any issues that we would make it work. And we did, kind of, when he was first born he struggled to latch properly and because he was early and had to spend time in the intermediate care nursery he really couldn’t “practice” nursing for very long. It expelled so much energy for him and he was losing lots of weight so I hand expressed and pumped my milk for him. We fed it to him with a syringe so he wouldn’t get a lazy latch with a bottle. But all of my work worked, by the time we were getting discharged he was latching well, having productive feeding sessions and I was confident we were home free. I did not anticipate any troubles we had over come the challenges and were on our way. Well once again you can imagine this was not the case.

Colin’s first month was pretty easy he ate and he slept that was it. He rarely cried and when he did he would quickly calm down when nursing, but we started to see things that would turn into much bigger issues. Colin would often comfort nurse or what the Lactation consultant called “non nutritive sucking” She explained that this was fine and normal and there was no reason to stop him. So that’s what we did, but as he got older his comfort nursing got longer and longer and he got more demanding with it. Also starting around two months old he started crying and fussing and there was no relief. He wanted mom and he wanted me all the time, all day and night. Eliminating dairy, starting a probiotic, and starting multiple reflux medicines significantly helped but when he was upset, hungry, lonely, etc he wanted me and he wanted to nurse. From the time he was about 2 months until around 6 I just kind of dealt with it. I figured he was still little, he was born early and I still hoped that he would settle into a more manageable schedule, but once again this was not the case.

We traveled during the holidays when Colin was around 6 months old. These trips were so challenging. He was sleeping really terribly and nursing around the clock. During the night he would just want to comfort nurse to sleep and then any time he woke up he would want to comfort nurse to sleep again, all night long. I was waking up every hour and a head to two hours with a six month old. This was not okay! I was really starting to hate nursing. Even in the beginning I never loved nursing Colin like I did Molly. His comfort nursing always bugged me, it felt very different than when he was eating and it was not a feeling I enjoyed. But around 67 months things really fell apart for me. I mentally could not handle it. I was so touched out from the constant nursing that when Molly wanted snuggles I would loathe it and be super annoyed. The cat sitting on my lap irritated me, and I would be seriously angry when Colin would wake up to comfort nurse. I hated that feeling. I hated being mad at my kid for needing me, and for not really enjoying. And I wanted to enjoy snuggling Molly or holding my husbands hand I knew something had to change but coming to the answer was so hard.

I talked with Mike first and said that I was thinking about being done nursing. He knew how miserable I was and was completly supportive. We decided to talk with the pediatrician to figure out how exactly to do this. We decided that first I would start pumping and give him bottles of pumped milk. Because of his reflux and not being able to handle dairy I didn’t want to give him formula right away. I remember the first time he actually took swallows from the bottle and this relief just washed over me. I was so incredibly sad to quit nursing but I knew in my heart it was the right decision. And even though every time I talked to someone about what was going on I cried, I stuck with it. We eventually found a formula that he can tolerate because pumping was just too time consuming and after the stomach bug attacked our family I totally lost my supply. Colin is happy and healthy taking his bottles of formula and just as important I’m happy and healthy because of it too, but it doesn’t take away the guilt that I feel because I chose to end our nursing relationship. I think sometimes that I should have just put up with it and push my feelings aside because breastmilk is “best” Thankfully we have a wonderful pediatrician who is so supportive of what’s best for each family. Knowing that I could get advice about formula from her and formula samples (to figure out one that wouldn’t trigger Colin’s reflux) was a life saver.

I still wish that Colin would have been and easy nurser so we could have had that relationship too,but that’s just not him and I wouldn’t want to change who his is because at 10 months old he is turning into the sweetest, most cuddly, awesome and ridiculously cute little boy. I’m sure one day I can talk about this and that little bit of guilt won’t be there any more, each day it’s less and less when I see how rested and happy we all are.

Baby Colin – The Hospital Days

Having gone through a vaginal birth and a c-section it is hard to not compare the two and how each one shaped those early days with our new babies. With Molly she was immediately after birth placed on my chest and she nursed right away, and with Colin I didn’t get to hold him until much later. Once we were in recovery he was placed on my chest and he nursed there for about an hour but I wasnt really holding him. I was still laying semi – flat because all the medications I had been given made me pretty dizzy when I tried to sit up so he was able to nurse with the help of Mike and the nurses. I also was having the post surgery shakes (like I was freezing cold but I wasn’t) so I couldn’t really hold a baby securely. We had to stay in recovery for about 4 hours while we waited for my heart rate to come down. Finally after what felt like an eternity we were leaving the recovery room to go to our post partum room where we would stay for three or four nights. Finally once we got there I was able to really hold Colin and snuggle him. It was amazing.

Mike and I spent that first day just us with our new baby. Our good friend came by after work and brought Mike dinner (I was on liquids only still) and we looked forward to having my mom and Molly visit the next day. Colin initally latched really well and I was hopeful that breastfeeding would go smooth, but that was not the case the rest of the day and night he wouldn’t latch. This was a pretty big problem since he was a pre-term baby the nurses had to do blood sugar checks and if he didn’t pass then we would have to bottle feed him. Luckily I had some amazing nurses who helped hand express my milk onto a spoon that we then fed Colin with.

Tuesday morning Mike left to get my mom (who would spend the rest of the time in the hospital with me) and Molly and I had some one on one time with Colin. We also scheduled our first visit with the lactation consultant because Colin still wouldn’t latch to feed. I still had one IV in my hand and wasn’t able to get out of bed on my own but I was feeling pretty good (thank you pain medicine) and was anxiously waiting to see Molly. Once they arrived she was a little hesitant, I think it was a little weird to see me in the hospital bed with the gown and IV, but she snuggled with me and enjoyed looking at the baby but she did not want to hold him. I rememeber during that visit Colin had a little weird episode choking/gagging on some fluid but the nurse was in our room and she quickly turned him over and it was fine, but after that she took a little longer each time doing her assessment on him. I said goodbye to Mike and Molly and my mom and I settled in for our evening and night.

Just before I was planning on going to bed the night nurse took Colin out for a weight check, I was going to just rest my eyes while he was gone and she would wake me when they got back to feed. The next thing I know I’m being woken up (hours later) by the on call pediatrician she explained that while checking Colin’s weight his breath rate increased significantly and he was struggling to get a good breath. She explained that they had taken him for an x-ray, but it didn’t show a reason for his stuggle. Since they couldn’t explain it they had to treat him with IV antibiotics as if he had an infection until the blood cultures came back 48 hours later to know whether or not he had an infection.  She told me that he had been taken to the Pediatric Intermediate Care Nursery (PICN) and he would have to stay there during the 48 hours we waited for the blood cultures to receive antibiotics and keep a close eye on his breathing. I was devestated but at the time all I could think was I had to get to him to feed it had been too long. Thankfully my nurse took me upstairs to him. It was so sad to see him with all the leads tracking his oxygen, breath rate, pulse, etc and he had an IV in his itty bitty arm. Breastfeeding was even more challenging but we were able to have a pretty good feed that night. He was also given formula before I got to him because his blood sugar got too low. And I started my every three hours hike up to the PICN.

Wednesday and Thursday were both pretty much the same every three hours I would get my pain meds and hand express or pump milk to bring to Colin and then make the hike up to the PICN where I would attempt to nurse and then feed him with a syringe. We were able to work with an amazing lactation consultant in the PICN and by Thursday afternoon my milk was in and my boy was latching which was perfect timing because he had hit 10% of his birth weight lost which is when the doctors start to worry. Colin did great while in the nursery and he had some amazing nurses. He breathing stabilized on Wednesday so then he just had to stay to finish all the antibiotics and we waited for the blood culture results. Colin was released from the PICN Thursday night and was able to stay that last night in my room, and we prepared for discharge Friday.

Friday we got ready for discharge Colin had to pass a car seat test (he had to sit in his car seat while his vitals were monitored to make sure he could safely sit in the car seat). He also had to show that he could hold his body temperature. Thankfully he passed both tests and we were able to pack up and finally leave the hospital and head home.

So we were at the hospital longer than we wanted and Colin needed some extra care, but considering all that we went through to get him in this world we were just happy to be going home, and then the real fun started.

Welcome Baby Colin

So in true second child fashion I have not kept really any record of what my pregnancy was like with Colin, I also have maybe one photo of me pregnant with him. So even though I have no written record of his pregnancy I really wanted to get his birth story down because it was so completely different from Molly’s.

His birth story really starts at our anatomy ultrasound where we first learned that I have a low lying placenta, which then ended up completely covering my cervix for a complete placenta previa. We went through the second half of the pregnancy knowing that a c-section was a very real possibility and likely going to happen since the baby’s exit route was blocked by the placenta and put me at a significant risk of bleeding. So after ultrasounds at 28 weeks, 32 weeks, and finally at 35 weeks my doctor made the decision to deliver our baby boy via a c-section at 36 weeks. Late enough that the baby had good chances of being fully developed even his lungs but early enough to prevent me from going into labor and risk bleeding.

Early Monday morning on June 8th Mike and I headed down to Palo Alto to Stanford’s Children’s Hospital. Surgery was scheduled for 8:30am and we were told to get there at 6:30am for prep and all that good stuff. I was a total ball of nerves, but Mike managed to make jokes at every step of the way. We started out in what would be our recovery room where I got my IV’s and we met our amazing nurse Ana who would be with us before, during and after surgery. I had to get two IV’s because of the risk of bleeding they needed a dedicated IV just in case I needed a blood transfusion. Getting the IV’s placed was less than fun because I was dehydrated from fasting for surgery and with each one the initial placement didn’t take and it had to be redone. Also I hate IV’s I always feel like I’m going to mess them up or knock them out somehow so having one on each hand also sucked, but I didn’t have much of a choice. Finally after what felt like an eternity we were wheeled into the OR. It was just a freaky feeling knowing what was going to be happening and that I was going to be awake but numb for it. Next big hurdle and one that I was particularly nervous about was getting the spinal. When I was in labor with Molly I did get an epidural but when my legs got too numb I had them lessen the medicine so I could feel my legs. Obviously I didn’t have that option this time, but I hated knowing that I wouldn’t be able to feel or move my legs. Just like with the IV’s the initial placement of the spimal was wrong (I guess the resident missed her target) and I suddenly felt this shock and like flash of electricity down my left side. I was completely freaked out and thought for a second that I was paralyzed. I wasn’t and the attending anesthesiologist took over, my doctor came to me and calmed me down and helped me understand that I was okay and they just had to try again. After that I was super nervous and really just needed surgrery to be done. The anesthesiologists did all their numbing tests to make I was completely numb. I remember I kept trying to move my legs and I would start freaking out a little that I couldn’t move them and I had to keep reminding myself that I shouldn’t be able to move my legs and to stop trying. It was a very weird sensation.

Before I knew it my doctor was starting surgery and it went pretty quickly once she made her initial incision. We knew going in that my placenta placement was going to cause some trouble since she had to go through the placenta to get the baby (causing me to bleed significantly) but after some tugging and pulling baby Colin was here. He was born around 9:30 in the morning (and nope I don’t remember the exact time) weighing 7 pounds 5 ounces and was 20 inches long. All the nurses were surprised he was only 36 weeks. Mike was able to go over to Colin right away and once the doctors and nurses assessed him he brought him over to me to see while my doctor finished surgery. I was bleeding pretty heavily and I could hear my doctor talking/telling the anesethologists which medications to use to get the bleeding under control. One medicine was these pills that needed to dissolve under my tongue and the doctors ended up pouring water in my mouth to help them dissolve and get the medicine to start working. Thankfully the bleeding was controlled and we were totally prepared for it and I didn’t need a transfusiom. And then just like that surgery was over our baby boy was here and it was off to recovery.

And Baby Makes Four

Mike, Molly and I are all very excited to be expecting a new baby in early July this year. It’s funny just how different pregnancy is the second time around, not only do I have my little side kick at all my doctor appointments, but not nearly as much time has been spent thinking about this little one. Life with a two year old is much busier than when I was pregnant with Molly and wasn’t working. We aren’t 100% sure but are thinking this little one is a boy (we have our big gender ultrasound in about three weeks) and as the weeks go on I’m more convinced that this is a little boy. This pregnancy feels very different than Molly’s, sometimes I think it’s because being pregnant with a toddler is so different than not and really yes that is different but I’m still feeling different.  I’m currently 16 weeks and here’s some of the biggest  differences I’ve noticed so far.

With Molly I had morning sickness/nausea but it was pretty tolerable and I could always find something to eat and would feel better. This time around I have felt much sicker and have truly struggled to find things to eat which always makes me feel worse.

With Molly I had a very few cravings and food aversions. This time I have had very strong cravings and when something tastes good is tastes so good, but when it doesn’t it really tastes awful. Mike has been keeping track of somethings that seem to always taste good so when I get stuck and can’t find anything to eat he has some suggestions.

With Molly I was able to sleep comfortably until my third trimester and then by then I was just too big to be comfortable sleeping. This time I have already for weeks but having a hard time sleeping. I toss and turn (I’m a belly sleeper and while I’m not showing a lot it is already uncomfortable on my stomach) get hot and then cold and wake up to every little disturbance.

With Molly I didn’t really notice much of a change with my emotions and patience. This time (and probably since I’m living with a two year old) I feel a lot less patient and just more on edge.

Mike has joked that this time I got very pregnant quickly and a lot of the things that didn’t bother me with Molly until well into the last trimester I’m already bothered with and barely in the second trimester. I’m sure we will all be very ready for this little one to make his (or her) debut.

Nike Woman’s Half Marathon Recap

To appropriately talk about my latest half marathon I really need to tell you about what led up to me signing up for the race and training for it to get a full picture of what race day was like.

So to start last year around this time I was seeing posts of Facebook (I’ve liked Nike’s page for awhile now) talking about the Nike Woman’s Run in San Francisco. I had just finished running my first half so I was intrigued by the Nike run. I decided that I would keep better tabs on what I would need to do to register for the race and run it the following year. So back in June the registration for the random draw opened up, I honestly wasn’t convinced I would get picked so I figured there’s no harm in registering. Well a couple of weeks later I got the email saying I had been selected. I knew this would probably be my last big race for awhile so I was really excited to start training and be really prepared (hopefully beat my previous record) and just overall go out with a bang. Apparently the universe had a different plan for me because my training time was plagued with problems. My first week of training was when we were visiting family in MO. I attempted my long run in the St. Louis heat and was apparently pretty dehydrated I made it about a mile before having to turn around and walk back home (well hobble really). After we got back to CA and I attempted running again I had so much pain in my legs I had to take a little time off to recover, but I wasn’t too worried I had plenty of time to get into shape for the race. Once again I started running again this time running around my neighborhood. While the weather here is perfect for running the hills pose a huge challenge. I figured if I just kept running these hills I would get comfortable with them. This also proved to not be the case, and I started really struggling with shin splints. I have struggled with shin splints a very long time ago but the only thing I can figure is that running the hills here put too much strain on my shins and calfs. So at this point I realized I would never be able to increase my milage enough running around my neighborhood I had to drive somewhere to get better run in. At this point I was about two months away from race day, and starting to freak out just a little that I wouldn’t be ready. After talking with Mike I realized the only way I would be able to get consistent runs in would be to get up early before Molly and run the beach trail here in town. For about two weeks I got up early and was able to get some serious miles under my belt. I was still struggling with pain, but it was getting better and the compression sleeves I bought were actually helping. I realized it would be a long two months but I was going to be prepared for my race, this would work. Then I was hit with the worst allergic reaction I have ever experience. I’m still not 100% sure what caused the reaction, but I think it was the Downy fragrance I added to the wash to de-stink my running clothes which were getting pretty funky after 5 runs a week for two weeks. The allergy caused me to break out in a blister rash which was one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to deal with. After multiple trips to the doctor and finally a dose of steroids the rash started to heal but it was a slow process. It took almost a month before I was healed enough to put on a sports bra and running clothes. At this point I was completely freaking out and so disappointed. My plan all along was to train hard and really push to make this  a good run and that was completely out of the question. Now all of a sudden the goal was just to finish and not get picked up by the slow truck. This was the time that I should have been to 11 – 12 miles and start tapering in preparation of race day and I was still at 6 and dealing with shin pain. Once again I started running first thing in the morning and basically crammed as many miles as I could before the race. Not exactly what I wanted to do, but I didn’t really have another choice.

Before I knew it was race weekend, there is something absolutely wonderful about the days leading up to the race. Molly and I ventured into the city to take part in the race expo, and were able to get some fun free samples, make a cheering sign, and get some great pictures. Saturday Mike made me an awesome carb heavy dinner and I set out all of my race day essentials (and packed Molly’s bag for Daddy) and went to bed very early. 4:00 am I was up getting ready and headed into the city to find my corral and wait to start. Since I’m on the slow side of running I was in the last wave and unfortunately it took almost an hour from when the gun went off to when I finally started running, but eventually I saw the start line. Things were going good for a couple of minutes when I tripped on something maybe it was my own two feet I have no idea but I fell hard in the middle of the very crowded race. I’ll be completely honest it was horrible. The fell hurt and all I could think was get up you don’t want to get trampled. Some lovely runner picked up my sunglasses and made sure I was okay and I was. I got up and started running again luckily nothing was hurt too severely but I did want to shrink away and cry, but I had fought so hard to get to race day I couldn’t bow out. Also there was the Tiffany & Co finishers necklace that was waiting for me at the finish line. I had to cross that finish no matter how long it took or how hard it was.

The first four miles were on the city streets they came and went pretty quickly. I was keeping a good pace and dealing with the hills pretty well. My shins were hurting but it was manageable. Pretty quickly I got to Golden Gate Park and the next three miles were probably my favorite of the entire race. The course at this point was relatively flat, there was a good amount of cheering sections and support along this stretch as well. I was keeping track of my pace and realized that even though I was not at all prepared for the race I was currently on pace to beat my record, but I also knew that there was a pretty intense hill from around mile 9 to 11. Around mile 7 we left the park and I was just counting down to mile 11 at that point I knew the really hard part would be over. Miles 7 – 9 were pretty easy and then we were on the Presido (a section of road leading to the Golden Gate Bridge that I ran during the San Francisco Rock and Roll Half Marathon) and I knew the next two miles were going to be hard and they were. I had run the stretch of road before only it was the beginning of the race and this was towards the end. Those two miles killed my time and my energy. By the time I finally reached the top I didn’t feel like I had anything left to give, but I still have two miles before I would cross that finish line. I used the momentum of going down hill to get through the next half mile or so. Then I walked/jogged the next mile until I saw Mike and Molly cheering me on. Once again I started crying and was so excited to be so close to the end. I had blisters on my feet, my shins were on fire but the finish was so close and there were so many people there cheering all the runners on. All of a sudden it was over and I was crossing the finish line, and honestly I’ve never been more proud to finish a race. While my time was not my best I had such a hard time training, and then the fall at the beginning of the race so many things had been stacked against me but I overcame and got through it.

I met up with Mike and Molly in the marina park and enjoyed some food and water and then we started the long hike to the car. Unfortunately there was no parking near the finish line so Mike had to park about a mile away. Not a far distance but after running (and walking) 13.1 miles adding another mile to that was more than I wanted, but it was fun to see all the other runners and know that I was part of that group.

Nike put on an amazing race. Even though it was by far the hardest for me to finish it was the absolute best. From the amazing expo, the support along the course, the support at the finish and the beautiful Tiffany necklace it was a day and race I will never forget. I hope to do the Nike run again in the next couple of years, and maybe I’ll be able to beat my time.

Happy Birthday Molly!!!!

I’m just going to ignore that fact that I haven’t updated our blog since May….whoops I guess time just kind of got away from me. But Molly turning two is just too big of deal for me to not write some things down. Molly is so much fun to be around I’m not even sure I’ll be able to adequately write down all the awesome things she is doing these days.

  • I’m not sure how tall she is we will find out on Thursday at her doctor appointment, but she weighs right around 30 lbs and comfortably wears size 2T clothes and size 6 shoes. 
  • She talks so much!!!!! Probably around 18 months we stopped keeping track of how many words she had because we couldn’t keep up with her. She is putting together three and four word sentences and has become very inquisitive. She often asks me and Mike “What you doing, Mommy/Daddy”
  •  Molly has gone from walking, to running, to dancing and everything in between (except jumping…she can’t quite get that) and loves to be on the go.

    She has also started playing that she is a spider by crawling on her hands and toes and being a dragon or dinosaur stomping around.

    • She has started to really have fun with imaginative play…she loves her baby doll, pretend cooking, and her stuffed animals. Often her toys are “sad” and she wants me to help them be happy
    • She loves to color and has gotten pretty good at it. She colors with crayons, markers, and color pencils. She is also a huge fan of stickers.
    • Molly is a HUGE reader. Most mornings when she wakes up she asks for books and will sit in bed for thirty minutes to an hour reading her books. And throughout the day we read books together and she can be found with her books often. In the last couple weeks she has started reciting back the words from memory. It’s so cool to see her “reading” and having favorite books.
    • She continues to be a good eater. She is pretty adventurous and will pretty much always try what we give her. She doesn’t always take another bite but she at least tries. She has some food allergies so that’s something we are always aware of but so far it hasn’t been too limiting.
    • She is a very cautious girl. She doesn’t really like new or different situations and stays close to mom or dad.
    • We started another school year at Little Wonders. It’s a lot of fun to see her play in a new space and with the other kids.
    • She continues to love fish and all things water. She has a set of reusable stickers and the water/fish ones are very worn.
    • Of course she has her moments when she melts down, but it’s usually when she’s over tired and we can typically recover pretty quickly. There are those days though when we are both looking forward to daddy coming home.
    • She takes one nap a day anywhere from an hour to two, and bedtime is around 7pm and we typically don’t hear from her until about 7 the next morning. We’ve been so blessed with a good sleeper.
    • Molly is still in her crib we will probably move to a big bed in the spring or summer.
    • She loves to pretend sleep and wants Mom and Dad to fake sleep too. The funny thing is she almost always wakes me up from my pretend slumber, but will stroke Daddy’s hair, say shhh, and make sure he stays sleeping.
    • Her favorite thing to say is “Mony do it” She wants to try and do everything and she wants to help with everything.

There are so many more little things that I absolutely adore about her. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I will say it again but I’m so blessed to be her mom. I feel so lucky that she is our girl and I am amazed every day at the wonderful little girl she is growing into. As sad as I am to say goodbye to baby stage I’m even more excited to welcome the toddler stage and see what the next year will bring. Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!

Las Vegas Trip 2014

Mike and I have always loved visiting Las Vegas. We went for our honeymoon and have returned almost every year since then and this year was no different. My mom came to CA to stay with Molly and Mike and I headed to Vegas for four days of good food, relaxing by the pool and just a little bit of gambling. We had a great time. We stayed at the Encore which is a beautiful hotel and casino and since it’s a little smaller it was not nearly as crowded or busy as some of the other casinos which was nice. The only real downside is since it’s more on the edge of the strip we had to walk a significant distance to some of our other favorite places, not a huge deal but my easily blistered feet were not pleased. When we planned the trip we basically just picked a weekend and didn’t realize it would be over Mother’s Day. It was a great day that I was able to completely relax, but it was a little bittersweet to not spend Mother’s Day with my favorite girl. But we went out for some amazing dinners at some places we had never been but then of course we went to some of our favorites…Andrea’s in the Encore, Olives at Bellagio, the secret pizza place at the Cosmopolitan, and Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace. We did not walk away winning any money but we had a blast getting dressed up every night and sleeping in every day, and Molly had a great time hanging out with Grandma win win for everyone. Not sure if we will be able to go back next year but I’m sure we will try its great to be able to completely shut off that parent part of your brain and just enjoy everything around you.

Happy 6th Anniversary!!

April 25th was Mike and mine 6th wedding anniversary. I love our anniversary we always seem to spend a little time looking back and seeing where we’ve been and what got us to where we are now. Six years ago things were so very different Mike was working at Bonneville Radio Group, I was working at United Services Early Childhood Center and working on my Masters in Counseling. We were living in an apartment in the Central West End in St. Louis. Cut to today we have moved into our home in St. Louis, spent an extended period of time in Israel, had a baby girl, and now are living in CA. It’s been a crazy six years and I never could have imagined that the road would have brought us here but I’m happy that it has. Since I didn’t have this blog six years ago I decided it would be a fun time to tell our wedding story and share some beautiful pictures of that day.

I think to properly start talking about our wedding you first have to hear our engagement story which is really less engagement story and more a little glimpse into Mike and mine’s relationship…..so way back in 2007 Mike and I were hanging out at his apartment eating dinner and watching LOST which was a pretty typical Thursday evening for us. During one of the commercial breaks Mike very casually said “You know I think next April would be a good time for a wedding” and I was like “Um okay” and then I sat and thought “is that it did he just propose?” well I guess he did because a couple of weeks later we went ring shopping and then we started planning our April wedding.

We decided to get married at the Botanical Gardens in St. Louis. They are absolutely beautiful and in April the tulips were just at their peak the only real downside is it would be an outdoor wedding and St. Louis weather can be pretty unpredictable. Of course as soon as I could start checking the weather for our wedding day (a Friday night April 25th) I did and of course they predicted rain…but it was a slim chance. As the week went on the chances for rain kept increasing, and people kept telling me how it was lucky to have rain on your wedding day but I’m still convinced that was just something to tell sad brides on their rainy wedding day. But regardless of the weather we were getting married on that day. We had an amazing rehearsal dinner at Rigazzi’s in St. Louis’s hill neighborhood and introduced the out of town guests to a magnificent St. Louis delicacy toasted ravioli. And honestly before I knew it it was my wedding day. I bought a super cute umbrella to again try to make the rain not a bad thing but I was seriously nervous that our pictures wouldn’t happen in the gardens like we had been planning or that our ceremony by the Japanese gardens would also get moved inside. There were some sprinkles when my sisters and I were getting our hair fixed but the rain stayed away. Soon it was time to get to the gardens I was still worried about the weather but so excited to finally see Mike and really start our wedding celebration. Will Jackson was our amazing photographer and he took us around the gardens for our photos. He even got a shot of my sisters and now brother in law following us with like 10 umbrellas in case of a sudden storm (which was a serious possibility) but somehow we managed to get all the pictures in and we didn’t get wet. It was about thirty minutes before the wedding was supposed to start and the threat of rain and storms was becoming very real. The very nice wedding girls from the botanical gardens were looking at me asking what we should do….I had no answer I wanted the outdoor wedding that we planned, but really didn’t want to get rained on. We realized that since the majority of our guests were family members and they were already there for pictures we decided to start the ceremony a little early and the pastor officiating our ceremony took our some of his flair to shorten the wedding to pretty much the bare bones. This meant unfortunately some friends who were stuck in rush hour or were running late missed the ceremony completely but really we didn’t know what else to do. l

So with thunder rumbling in the background, rush hour traffic helicopters over head, and some pretty strong winds….Mike and I were married outside by the Japanese gardens like we had always planned. We all quickly walked back to the main building of the gardens for our reception and it was suddenly very clear that we made the right decision to not wait because not but 10 or so minutes after we all made it safely inside it started pouring outside. Not just a little sprinkle or a little rain but that kind of downpour that comes from all sides and soaks you in a matter of seconds. But it didn’t matter we were inside enjoying our guests and party. After our photographer admitted that he was extremely happy the rain held off because he had a plan in case of bad weather but admitted the pictures would not have been nearly as good. Thankfully he saved that little tidbit of information until after, he knows what not to tell a bride.

It was an amazing day we were so fortunate to have the wedding we planned, but also because we were able to celebrate with so many of our friends and family. It is a day I will never forget.

Happy Easter

Here’s some of our Easter fun when we did a little egg hunting in the back yard.


Molly – Loves and Hates

Molly is getting older and much more opinionated which is awesome but just a tad frustrating. I thought it would be nice to write some of these things down to remember later. So first up some things that Molly just LOVES

  1. Elmo – we got her a little stuffed Elmo that she sleeps with it and goes most places with her

  2. Sesame Street – if I would let her Molly would watch this all day every day.

  3. Reading books – she likes reading with Mike and me and also by herself. Her favorite books right now are Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and her Batman and Superman board books.

  4. Crackers – if she asks for a snack she also asks for crackers

  5. Taking a bath – best part of her bedtime routine.

  6. Coloring – this is pretty new but she really loves coloring with her markers

  7. Playing outside – now that we have a backyard we spend a lot of time out there

And now somethings Molly absolutely HATES

  1. Drinking milk – Molly stopped nursing about a month ago and I’ve been giving her cows milk for months and she turns her head and pushes away the cup every single time

  2. Getting her diaper changed/getting dressed – makes getting ready in the morning super fun

  3. Getting in the car seat – once she’s in there it’s okay but the process is painful

  4. Getting carried or riding in a stroller – the girl can walk and she want to

  5. Not being able to tell me what she wants – she has so much language but not enough sometimes and boy can she get frustrated