Friday, December 21, 2012

Our First Family Christmas

Last night was pretty magical. Zach came home early from work so we could enjoy the evening, our first Christmas celebration as a family of three. We're headed home to see family this weekend so we wanted to give Bear his own Christmas at our house with all the bells and whistles. You know, cookies and milk...notes to Santa...glistening lights...all the wonderful components that make up the recipe for childhood memories. Sure, he's too tiny to remember this Christmas. But we'll remember it. And we'll tell him all about it for years to come.
Plus, we have pictures....
Santa even decided to stop by!
Someone wasn't very happy with the contents of their stocking...
 Daddy's homemade (very homemade) card
Santa enjoyed his cookies...
 reindeer footed jammies=cutest thing ever
Happy Holidays, y'all!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Bear is still enjoying several long naps throughout the day.
(Remember our good friend Mrs. Allen that made Bear's bedding? She also made this adorable football onesie!)
 snuggling post-bath

Our strong Little Guy's getting good at tummy time!
Every Christmas Zach buys me a snow globe; this one is my new favorite.
 My Dad surprised us last weekend with this special bookcase for Bear's nursery. He made it himself; he even made the adorable 'BCF'. Thanks, Pops! Bear loves that his books now have a home.
Our presents are finally all wrapped!

sporting his super cute "Santa's Helper" onesie from my dear friend, Maria
It's ALMOST the weekend and even more importantly, it's ALMOST Christmas!!!!
Sending love your way during this festive season :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

1 Month

Height: 21 3/4 inches (at 17 day appointment)
Weight: 11 lb. 3 oz.

Things to Remember:
-You've started loving to pull Mommy's hair anytime the opportunity presents itself.
-You fight your sleep like nobody's business, especially at bedtime. You can tell when you're drifting and kick those little frog legs like crazy.
-You still prefer sleeping on Daddy's chest but your Nap Nanny is your second favorite.
-You rarely ever cry so when you do, we know you're really upset and frustrated.
-You are becoming more alert every day; your big blue eyes are really taking things in. You've been giving Daddy the stare-down lately.
-We took our first walk yesterday (two of them actually) and you loved it. You relaxed and slept the entire time! I think you're used to walking; we did a lot of it together for nine months.
-You pass gas all.the.time. And loudly so. (it's pretty funny sometimes)
-You usually get the hiccups once, sometimes twice, a day and they last for about twenty minutes.
-We are so thankful you seem to know the difference between night and day. So far, you have slept from 12am-6am straight twice and just last night you slept from 11:30pm-5am without waking. Mommy and Daddy are so grateful! Keep up the good sleeping, Little Man.

With every passing day, I realize more and more just how lucky I am to be this little boy's Mommy. Last night I cradled Bear in my arms and told Zach, "I never knew I could love anything or anyone this much". It's an unexplainable, unmeasurable kind of love and I thank God every day for blessing us with our boy.

Happy Hump Day, friends! Hope you are enjoying every minute of this holiday season.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Card/Birth Announcement

 Hi, friends! TGIF, eh? Bear and I are looking so forward to a weekend with Daddy all to ourselves. My parents are coming down for a few days too; it's gonna be a great one.
With our Little One being born in late November, we decided to double our Christmas card as a birth announcement as well.
Here's how it turned out!

Enjoy this beautiful December weekend!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blown Away...

This afternoon I went to check the mail expecting to find the usual bills and Kroger ads. To my complete surprise, the most thoughtful package awaited me and totally made my day. It made Bear's day too, actually, because a happy Momma=a happy Baby. The milk just tastes sweeter when Mom's all we-actually-got-a-present-in-the-mail-and-I-can't-stop-smiling-about-it. You see, not everyone is kind enough to send such a wonderful, heartfelt package. But my friend Maria is. She's expecting her own precious baby girl in March and still found the time to send Bear and me a gift during this busy holiday season. Thank you, Maria! You are the BEST.

for Baby:
(aren't they adorable?)
and for Momma:
(I am absolutely DYING to get this around my neck...the perfect Christmas necklace, no?)

Everytime I sit down to write a blog post or read one of yours, I am overcome with feelings of warmth and gratitude. This little world of Blogland truly is an amazing place, where tons of love is shared and beautiful friendships are created. I am incredibly thankful for each of you and the smiles your sweet comments and posts bring to me each day.

And to Maria,
I honestly can't even remember how we "found" each other, but I'm so thankful that we did. You have inspired and moved me in ways I can't begin to explain; your words have taught me so much about life, love, and patience. I feel honored to share in your journey of life and motherhood and can't wait to see what a remarkable Mommy you will be. Thank you for bringing so much joy to this little blog and more importantly, to the writer of it. I can't wait for the day our babies, and us, can meet :).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

3 Weeks

Height: 21 1/2 inches (at 17 day appointment)
Weight: 9 lb. 4 oz. (at 17 day appointment)

Things to Remember:
-You grew 12 ounces in one week! Mommy was very proud when the nurse weighed you.
-You like when Mommy sings to you, especially Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Could it be because we've been listening to Christmas music together since July? :)
-You are starting to like bath time; you weren't too sure about it at first.
-Tummy time is not your favorite but you're doing well at it. You can lift your little head up really well and turn it from side to side. Just this morning you did tummy time for 15 whole minutes!
-Your favorite place to sleep is curled up on Daddy's chest.
-You started wearing some of your 3 month clothes at 2 weeks...which makes Mom happy yet a little sad. Don't grow too fast, Little One!
-You only wore newborn diapers for about a week and a half. You're in size 1 already!
-You don't like to be swaddled; you'd much rather wiggle your arms and legs around freely.
-You are starting to pay more attention to your surroundings and are becoming more alert every day.
-You've thrown up several times, which scares Mommy, but the doctor reassured us that it's only acid reflux and is totally normal in babies.
-You always smile in your sleep...and it's pretty much the cutest thing ever.
My friend Katy over at Twenty Three Oh One inspired these weekly updates....her baby boy Parker is seriously the cutest. Go check out her blog! You won't be sorry.
Hope you're all having a wonderful week!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bear's Birth Story

Well I'm finally doing it...I'm finally sitting down to write the story of our Little Man's birth. I'll preface this by saying that this post is only for the long-winded, truly baby-loving readers; there is just so much to tell. It was, after all, the best day of our lives.
It all started Saturday afternoon, November 17th, around 1pm. I hadn't had a single contraction (that I knew of) through the entire pregnancy, but I'd had a little bit of menstrual-like cramping that last week. Zach's Mom, sister Katy, and her boyfriend Caleb were staying with us already on "baby watch" when I told them I was having some light cramping Saturday afternoon. Lisa immediately knew it was early labor and suggested we started timing the contractions. "Ummm, I don't think these are really contractions", I told her, "It's more just like very mild cramping". She said, "It's starting! This is the real deal, Brittany. My prediction is you'll be waking us up at 2:30am tonight to head to the hospital". Zach and I just laughed it off thinking there is no way; this baby will come on his induction date next Tuesday. Little did we know just how spot on Lisa would be.
We spent the afternoon shopping for Katy's birthday; Lisa downloaded a contraction timing app to her phone and we kept track of how frequent/intense the contractions were coming (I would recommend this for all pregnant ladies! It really worked wonders for us...especially later on). Most of the afternoon the contractions were 25-30 minutes apart and very mild. People in the mall would stop and ask how far along I was; it was fun telling them "Today's my due date!" and seeing the look on their faces. Katy was really hoping he'd come on her birthday, adding even more to the excitment.
By about 9pm, the contractions were 15-17 minutes apart. I was definitely a first timer considering I STILL didn't really believe the baby was on his way. Everyone went to bed except me; I couldn't sleep out of anxiousness and contractions that were getting closer and closer together. Not wanting to disturb anyone (especially my snoring husband), I went to the living room around midnight with my iPad and timed the contractions using the same app we had used all day. I realized they were around 8 minutes apart at midnight and went ahead and took a bath and started getting our bags ready to go.

 By 2am, the contractions were 6 minutes apart. I curled my hair, put on make-up, and waited a tiny bit longer to wake everyone up. Honestly, the contractions weren't that painful. I passed 3 kidney stones a couple years ago and the pain of those was immensely worse; I told Zach I think that was God's way of preparing me for childbirth. By 3am, the contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and sill tolerable, but I woke everyone up anyway and decided we should head to the hospital. The whole way there I kept telling Zach, "I'll feel awful if this isn't the real thing after waking everyone up in the middle of the night!"
We arrived at the hospital around 3:30am and they immediately put us in triage. My contractions were now 2-3 minutes apart but I was only dilated to a 2. The nurse suggested we walk the halls for 45 minutes, so that's what Zach, Katy and I did. It helped a little with progression, getting me dilated to almost a 3, so they went ahead and got us a room ready. That was the first time it actually set in with me...this is really happening! Our baby is coming in the next 24 hours. It all felt so surreal, yet so wonderful. We were beyond ready to meet our Baby Boy.
By the time we got in our room, it was around 5:30am. The next few hours were spent talking and calling other family while we waited for the anesthesiologist to come give an epidural. The contractions were still bear-able (sorry, couldn't resist :)), and Lisa was a lifesaver by jumping up and coming over to apply pressure to my lower back every time one hit. I had feared back labor as everyone says it's the worst, and sure enough that's what I ended up having. I couldn't believe the pain wasn't worse and I was actually able to talk and function through contractions. Having family and support there definitely helped.
Z did his part to keep the mood light.
The anesthesiologist arrived around 7-8am and I was given the much anticipated epidural. At the last minute I actually considered not having one, since everything was still tolerable, but decided to go ahead knowing the pain would get much worse. Looking back, I'm glad I did.

After the epidural kicked in, the pain pretty much went away. The doctor came in around 10am to check on us and broke my water, which I couldn't feel at all. The utensil she used scared me a little bit (looked like a wand with a hook on the end), but luckily I felt nothing. She also told the nurse to start me on Pitocin to speed things up a bit, as I was still only dilated to a 3/4. We were playing the waiting game at this point; I wanted a nap but was too excited to sleep.

 Ice chips became my best friend and I was constantly begging the nurse for water and a quarter pounder with cheese. We had eaten Whataburger the previous evening and that was the last food or drink I'd had; I was famished and SO thirsty. I have honestly never been more thirsty in my life. Our sweet nurse told me I could drink the water from the melted ice, and that was seriously the most exciting part of labor prior to meeting Baby Bear. When the ice melted enough to provide a teency bit of water, I gulped that stuff down like nobody's business. I even told Zach at one point that I wanted to drink the urine from my catheter if it was cold enough. Yes, I was THAT desperate.
The next few hours were spent relaxing and visiting with family; the pain was extremely mild (I mostly felt nothing) and I was tired but also anxious to meet our boy. Around 1pm, the epidural started to wear off. The contractions were pretty intense at that point but nothing like I'd feared.

 By 1:30pm, the nurse came in and told us I was dilated to a 7. We were shocked! Things were moving along quicker than we'd expected. Zach held my hand for an hour and a half until the anesthesiologist came and gave me more medicine. That was the longest hour and a half of the day.
My blood pressure was pretty high, much higher than normal, so they kept an eye on it and hooked me up with an oxygen mask. I was also running extremely low on potassium so they gave it to me through the IV.

My temperature peaked at 101 during labor, which they feared could affect Bear, but luckily we were both fine. (we ended up staying an extra day in the hospital so they could run tests on him)
My Mom and grandma arrived around 2:30pm and I was really relieved to see them. We'd worried my Mom wouldn't make it in time to see the birth, but luckily she did. I needed my Momma.
By 2:45pm, I was dilated to a 9. We were almost there! At 3pm, the nurse called the doctor and told me it was almost time to push. I began to get scared; the pushing really worried me because I could feel nothing down there. How would I know if I was even pushing at all?

The doctor came in about 3:15pm and I was so relieved to see her. The nurse told Zach to stand on one side while she stood on the other and poor Zach was slightly shocked but did what she said; he had no idea he'd actually be "thrown into the fire". We thought he would be standing close to my face, talking me through things and holding my hand. Boy were we wrong. He got to see all the action...probably more than he wanted to.

My Mom and mother-in-law stayed in the room to take pictures and I'm really glad they did; they captured so many great pictures of those first precious moments. I pushed for ten minutes before our sweet baby Bear made his grand entrance into the world. I'd like to describe this moment, but there are simply no words. It was.....absolutely perfect.
Twenty-six hours of labor (from the first contractions at home) and he was finally here. Our healthy, beautiful baby boy.

I had an episiotomy, so the doctor was still working on things while I was soaking up those first few moments with our son. I honestly can't even remember her being there. It was Bear and me; no-one else existed in the room. The first time we locked eyes, I knew he knew me. He knew I was his Momma.
Remember when I told you how thirsty I was? Right after they took Bear from me to weigh and measure him, I begged every person in the room for water. Three different people brought me a cup full, which I quickly chugged, and immediately threw up. A lot. I didn't care though; our baby was here.
I've never seen Zach more proud.
A perfectly sweet arrival indeed.
Trying to sum up the magnitude of November 18th, the day we met our baby boy, is simply impossible. We now know what it means to truly fall in love, instantly, with another human being. I've never experienced a better, more incredible feeling than the moment our son was placed in my arms for the very first time. He was everything we needed, our precious little gift. We are blessed beyond measure.

Bear Clayton Fullwood
November 18, 2012
8 lb. 4 oz.
21 3/4 in.