Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In a Texas State of Mind

Five and a half years ago, Matt and I moved to Kansas City to embark on our first adventure as a married couple. He was accepted into pharmacy school here, and through the years I have grown to love this city and what it has to offer. After pharmacy school graduation, we decided to stay here to grow our family and experience life as a new pharmacist and a new stay at home mom. I am grateful daily for the life we live here; but from time to time, I reminisce about a place I hold very dear to my heart. Just a tiny little place called Texas...have you heard of it?

Born and raised in the Texas Panhandle, then relocated to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, I like my hair high, my belts sparkly and my music country. My roots have cowboy boots and my occasional curse words have a slight Texas twang. I don't miss the Dallas traffic, or the Panhandle cell phone reception....but the food and the fine people are constantly on my mind. Most importantly, a piece of my heart is in Mansfield, Texas, where my immediate family still lives today.

About a month ago, Tallan and I sneaked onto an airplane and headed to Texas to surprise Mimi (my mother) with a special visit. We had such a great time, and she was so shocked to see us! With family time in the works and good Tex-Mex in my belly, I had one more thing to check off my list during our stay.

From the moment I learned I was pregnant with Tallan, I hoped we would one day have the opportunity to take pictures in a field of bluebonnets: Texas springtime personified. Lucky for me, I have a friend that could make that happen, and I couldn't be happier with the results. Tamera Lewis, with Snap'd Photography, helped us capture sweet Tallan in one of the most beautiful settings: a Texas bluebonnet field at sunset.

We had such a great time visiting family and are so thankful for the relationships Tallan is building with her grandparents. My visits to Texas always have a funny way of  allowing memories of my past to meld with my present...and give me a glimpse of the future.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tallan Hope: A Birth Story

Over a year has passed since our lives were changed forever. Tallan Hope has brought us so much joy and laughter, and cliché as it may sound, I cannot imagine life without her! I’ve wanted to share her birth story, and thought a year after her birth would be a great time to reflect. One day, when I’m the over sharing, embarrassing, too many picture taking mom she loves to love…she can read back through this “over share,” and know how her entrance into this world was the greatest moment of our lives.

After a relaxing Easter weekend, I awoke early morning on Monday, April 9th, 2012 to do what any normal 36 week pregnant woman does…..RUN (ahem – more like waddle) to the bathroom! Getting back into bed, I told my husband I had a funny nervous feeling. “What do you mean, funny feeling?,” he asked. I had a butterflies in the tummy feeling that I just couldn't shake. To top things off, our dog Marley had climbed into bed with us (which she’s not allowed to do,) and had laid right next to me. Dogs have a 6th sense right? A sign? I THINK SO! My husband laughed off the aforementioned canine omen, and left me for Pharmacy School around 7am. With a precious 3 more hours left to sleep before heading in to work myself, I could not drift off due to the butterflies.
Giving in to my gut, I got up and proceeded to pack my hospital bag…ya know, just in case! God forbid I go into labor at work and the responsibility fall on my husband to bring me the hospital essentials! He totally would've forgotten my eyeliner! That task completed, I left my readied bag on our bed and proceeded to head to work managing a fitness facility.
First things first when I got to work – the noon boot camp fitness class. My big bellied, swollen ankled self got those dumbbells out and music bumpin'! While getting our workout on, I felt a couple “trickles.” Frustrated that I was now at the point of my pregnancy where I’d pee on myself whilst teaching group exercise, I headed to my office to answer emails. Upon sitting and chatting with a co-worker, I GASPED as one extra “trickle” seemed a bit more noticeable than the rest. I promptly called my doctor and requested to be squeezed in for a quick check for my water breaking….or to confirm that my bladder was deceiving me.
At 4pm, I met my husband at the doctor’s office. As we waited, we both felt silly being there for such a false alarm as peeing on myself, but figured we’d lasted 36 weeks before pestering our doctor with our first timer worries. Silliness was converted to down right SHOCK when the doctor returned to tell us my water had broken, I was 4cm dilated and to waddle my butt right over to Labor & Delivery! Whaaaa!?  Good thing I packed my bag right!?
With Matt’s parents headed to the hospital, my parent’s rushing for a plane from Texas, and Matt running home to grab my bag, I was being signed in to the hospital and getting my IVs. Not knowing how long my water had actually been broken, I was given Pitocin to ensure active labor. Speaking through easy breezy contractions, as my nurse readjusted my monitors, Tallan kicked and broke the rest of my bag of water. Within 5 minutes of the kick, my contraction intensity increased exponentially! As my parents arrived at midnight on Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, I was a little bit ready to tell them “hello, thanks for coming,” and a LOTTA BIT ready to have an epidural.
Epidural in, 7-8cm dilated, and I was one fat happy camper! The next three hours were a blur of chit chat, steady progression, and building excitement. By 3:00am I was ready to push! Channeling the yoga I had taught my entire pregnancy, I was determined not to be the mom who couldn't push well! With G-Dad and Grumpy (our fathers) sent to the waiting room, and Matt, the grandmas, and sister-in- law ready to help me during the long haul of pushing…we were well on our way.

With a calmness in the room I would NEVER attribute to my personality, I pushed 3 times (less than 10min) before little Miss Tallan Hope arrived into this world. Looking back, I have no idea why my type A, intense self wasn't more vocal, scared or stressed….but I just wasn't. Everyone in the delivery room can attest to the cool, calm and collected manner in which our birth occurred. A peace given from God is surely the only answer. We were truly blessed to have such a positive experience, with no complications.
4 weeks early, weighing in at 5lbs 12oz and 19inches long, Tallan was just ready to meet her phenomenal family. Her arrival made a couple of silly married people into the blessed little family we are today. We are still silly, we just added another character.

It has been a year from her birth, and I cannot comprehend how the time has passed so quickly. To sum things up after a year of motherhood: I have never been more in awe of the miracles God provides, scared of being inexperienced, proud for learning how to be a parent, excited to watch my spouse be a father. I love this little person so much it hurts. She is the best pieces of husband and myself all rolled up into this perfect little miracle that God has let us borrow.  Thank you, Tallan Hope, for joining our family. We will 
never, ever be the same.