Our First Family Pictures!

Our family is now of five parts!  Maisy Joy Calhoun was born on June 19, 2014 at 10:52 in the morning at 8 lb, 10 oz, and 21 inches.  This little one brings us so much joy!  It truly is amazing how you can love something so much that is so small and really doesn’t do much.

Thanks Mandy for another job well done!  You’re the best!

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Upchuck at Church

So I’m significantly behind on some storytelling.  Try as I might I’m sure I will not remember all the golden, and not so golden, moments I have wanted to write about since Maisy was born.  This one is pretty unforgettable though.

I photographed my first wedding 9 days after Maisy was born.  My poor little newborn had a mommy running around a wedding scene… no boob on demand that day that’s for sure!  She came with for the experience under the excellent care of Grandma Calhoun.  She was a sport throughout the whole day.  It was the next day I paid for it.  Even by 11am I could tell things were a little off.  My munchkin seemed desperate during nursing and like she simply wasn’t handling her intake well.  But I stubbornly got us to church because Citizen Way was playing for service at New Life Christian Church in Janesville and I simply couldn’t miss it.

Maisy was a champ, not complaining at all, but then she gushed a fountain of spit up like I’ve never seen before.  It was like a creamy geyser took off in the middle of the service.  No noise accompanied the overflow so it was only my seat neighbor that knew of the mess being spewed all down my front side.  She jumped up and away from me.  As Maisy upchucked all over me all I could do was watch her and catch the flow so it only ended up on me and not all over the seat, floor, or neighbors around me.  I just watched her vomit. I mean, what can you do really?  Especially when bolting out of my seat as she hurled would only trail the mess.

The minute she was done I fled the scene.  In the bathroom I discovered puke in my hair and covering the whole left side of my body.  I wiped Maisy down, changed her diaper, and changed her clothes.  My friend Laura was all hands on deck during the process.  Bless her. When Maisy was tended to I whipped off my shirt, yes in the middle of a church’s public bathroom, and handed it to Laura.  She rinsed it out and dried it under the hand dryers.  That thing looked brand, spankin’ new.  Meanwhile I was bent over in the sink rinsing out my hair and wiping off my skirt.

I was a mess and slightly concerned about my daughter’s health but I was not at all frustrated or embarrassed by my experience.  It was so neat having my friend jump to my aid and hear all the moms sympathize with my plight as they walked into the bathroom and saw this new mom shirtless and sopping.  Truth is, I guess we’ve all been there.

I am enjoying motherhood, even the quirky moments like this one, and I especially love discovering how supportive the mothering community is.  I guess I expected a bunch of bossy know-it-alls telling me how to take care of my kid but I’ve found quite the opposite.  I’ve only come across comrades in arms and willing helpers. Fellow moms, you rock!

First Symptoms

Bemusings of a Baby Life

As some of you may have already read in my “Beginnings” post the tell tale signs of pregnancy kick in right away.  Or at least in my case they do, apparently not everyone experiences such early and obvious signs.  That’s just what I’ve heard.  Anyway, I will be very open because I am the kind of person that loves to know these types of things.  And when I read the book Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth Josh was very insistent that I not only should and could share my pregnant stories for educational and entertainment purposes but that I would enjoy telling them.  Well, he’s right.  Also, the side benefit to all of this is I plan to take these stories and insert them into my baby scrapbook!  What a good way for writer and photographer mama to capture the memories right?  I’m not afraid to share, but I will forewarn you that some of you may think TMI at some points.  To you squeamish males, if you stick it out you might learn something!

My Symptoms in my First 4 Weeks of Pregnancy

Sign #1 | I have to pee… again.

Yes, this happened right away for me.  After several trips to the bathroom in the span of a couple of hours I remember thinking, “I don’t think I drank this much water.”  Then my next thought was, “is this a sign of pregnancy?”  Like a good little college graduate I looked it up and, indeed, it was!

Sign #2 | extra discharge

So for those females who have learned their body we know that there is a cycle of discharge and each different type of discharge has a different a meaning.  The beginning of this cycle is the first day of your period.  Then you move to a stage of dry fluid and this is also an infertile time.  As you progress onward the fluid becomes more fertile.  Next is a sticky fluid.  Then a fluid best described as “egg white.” And finally, the most fertile fluid is dubbed as “watery” and appears as a little, circular wet spot at the bottom of your panties.  From then on you rapidly drop down the scale again, spending the rest of the cycle mostly “dry.”  For me, the minute I didn’t go dry I started wondering.  In fact, I was always very watery.  So, again, a faithful little college graduate I looked it up and found it certainly was one of the first signs of pregnancy.

Sign #3 | sore breasts

If any of you have ever experienced the discomfort of a breast cyst you know how my breasts felt.  However, unlike a breast cyst, it felt like the whole base of my breast was a cyst… except minus the lumpy cyst.  For those of you who don’t know what this feels like, the best way I can describe this feeling is that it feels like the blend between growing pains and sore muscles the morning after a heavy work out.  My boobs hurt so bad I had a hard time with even gentle hugs!  Poor Josh had to hold me like I was a porcelain doll.  Do I have you wondering if you hugged me in this faze?  I’m a tough kid, so I offered solid hugs like always so maybe you’ll never know.  Mwahahaha… 😉

Anyway, I was puzzled and was ready to be concerned if a pregnancy test didn’t come up positive.  But it did, so turns out these sore knockers are just a normal sign that I’m pregnant.

Sign #4 | no period

For me this confirmed everything even when I was only a few days late because I am always on the button with my cycle.  But I waited to take the test until I was a good 5 days past when Josh came home again so we could enjoy the seconds of anxious excitement during the test processing together.

Congratulations, you made it!  Now you know a little something about what the very beginning of pregnancy can feel like!

Our Annual Photo Spree + Our 3 MO Belly!

Every year, around our anniversary, Josh and I take pictures together. They end up added to a collage we have in our living room that one day will cover a whole wall I’m sure.  I LOVE our tradition!  This year I loved that we got to do our photo fun with Mandy again!  First of all, she is a wonderful, sweet, dear friend!  Second of all, she is an incredible photographer!  She also did our engagement photos and wedding.

Anyway,  I love our tradition because I truly love the time with Joshua and then being able to put up pictures of our ever growing love up around the house!

This year, our shoot was a little more special because we’re having a baby and couldn’t be more happy about it!  In this year’s blend of images you will see some “pregnancy” geared images.  (Our little peanut is 13 weeks cookin’ in these pictures – so, roughly, 3 months.  As I post this we are 17 weeks into this adventure!0001 0002 0003 0004 0005 0006 0007 0008 0009 0010 0011 0012 0013 0014 0015 0016 0017 0018 0019 0020 0021 0022 0023 0024 0025 0026 0027 0028 0029 0030 0031 0032 0033 0034 0035 0036 0037 0038 0039

Big thanks to Mandy Henry for the beautiful images!

Recommendations From Moms To Moms-To-Be

I run a Question of the Day (QOTD) on my Facebook page.  It occurred to me one week that not only would I probably like to know various motherhood tips and tricks but that perhaps other not yet moms or soon-to-be moms or new moms would like to know them too.  As a result my questions for two weeks revolved around having kids.  One such question was the one below and I loved the advice!

What is your number one recommendation to soon-to-be moms?

“Take lots of naps! And stick with it through breastfeeding, it’s tough at first but well worth the pain and effort!” – Laura

“Pack your hospital bag at least one month before your due date. Oh and if your partner is going to be there. They should have a bag too at least with snacks. Cause labor takes a while.” – Kelsey

“Allow yourself to heal. It is insane what our body does and continues to do when you have a baby, the whole process so do not feel bad about naps, take MANY baths and take advantage of all the help offered until you are recovered. It is worth it and you will appreciate it forever. No one told me or prepared me for how much I will hurt after having the baby. It felt like I came out of surgery and I had to take care of a baby at the same time, next time will be all the rest I can take, and I am incredibly thankful for my mother in law Sherri Gerecke for all of her help and love!” – Holly