Cora’s Birth Story

Cora Ann was born on 10/2/16 at 5:19am.  9lbs 3oz and 20 in long


My first labor was what is called a precipitous labor.  Fortunately in that case, I was already in the hospital for observation when my water broke and contractions started.  Gretchen was born 3 hours later and by the time we realized I was complete, it was too late for an epidural.  I really wanted one the second time around and hoped there’d be time for one.  Spoiler alert: hahahaha, NO.

This time around I was expecting another fast labor, possibly even faster, but the OB warned me there was no way to know until it happened.  I hoped things might be different if I went to term. Gretchen was born at almost 36 weeks and I had already passed that mark with this pregnancy with no signs of impending labor.  Growth ultrasounds in the last trimester indicated that Cora would be big but they tend to be off a pound or two in either direction, so they’re not an accurate predictor of size.  The scan I did at 37 weeks suggested she was anywhere between 7 and 9 pounds.  So not small but probably not huge just yet.

By 37 weeks her head was low down in my pelvis and causing a lot of discomfort.  I was hyper paranoid about my water leaking like it did during my last pregnancy and this paranoia led us to two trips to L&D that turned out to be false alarms.  One between 37 and 38 weeks, and one just 2 days before she was born.  From 37 weeks to the end I was 3cm dilated and 50% effaced.  They could feel her head and the bag of water when they checked me so I knew she was ready to go as soon as that bag of water broke.  For this and several other reasons we scheduled an induction for 39 weeks all while hoping she’d come on her own.

Two nights after my last false alarm I had some cramping at bedtime but this was not unusual since I’d been constipated for a couple of weeks (sorry, TMI but if you’ve been pregnant before, you know all the unpleasantries!)  I got out of bed and bounced on the yoga ball for awhile and did some stretches, trying to get some relief from the pain.  When I got in bed around 1am I noticed the cramping had started to come and go and that I was actually contracting so I started timing them.  They were anywhere from 3-6 minutes apart, sometimes with a 15 minute break if I changed positions. Usually they were about a minute long but not very painful, just annoying since I wanted to sleep.  I told Tyler about them and he asked if we should go in and I said no since they were so irregular.  Around 3:15 they stopped altogether and I fell asleep.

I woke up with a start at 4:20 when my water suddenly broke. I jumped out of bad faster than I knew possible and immediately called my sister to come over and then called my doctor to tell her we were coming in.  It wasn’t until after those calls that the first contraction hit, more water gushed, and I felt the intensity of the pain and knew it was going to happen fast again.  Tyler ran next door and woke up our neighbor to come over and wait for my sister to arrive.  Our bags were already packed and in the car from the previous trip to L&D so we hopped in and sped to the hospital.  Since it was the middle of the night we hit every green light and with every contraction I told Tyler to drive a little faster. They were about 2 minutes apart at this point and less than a minute long.  It took us 10 minutes to get to the hospital (10 miles away but we were driving on residential streets, not the highway!)  He dropped me off at the ER entrance and I went upstairs to check in.

As I climbed into bed I told them “I know there’s probably not time, but I’d really like an epidural this time around.”  When the nurse informed me that involved drawing labs first I knew there was no way it was going to happen.  They managed to get an IV in between contractions and when they checked me I was complete (this was probably 40 minutes after my water broke).  My doctor arrived shortly thereafter when I was feeling the urge to push and they quickly got me up into the stirrups.  She was out in 4 pushes, born at 5:19 am, exactly 59 minutes after my water broke and active labor began.


Once again no time to change into a hospital gown so I delivered in a t-shirt!  More comfortable anyway.

My OB and the nurses were incredible during my delivery and after.  They knew how to keep me calm and coach and encourage me.  Tyler let me squeeze his hand so hard I thought I was going to break it.

Since she was full term (born at exactly 39 weeks, the day before my scheduled induction) she got to spend a lot of time on my chest after the birth (Gretchen was early so the NICU team had to assess her for several minutes right after she was born).  She cried quite a bit but quickly settled down once we had her warm and snuggled up.  We could not believe she was over 9lbs and I was immediately very relieved she was already out and didn’t have a chance to grow any more gigantic!

We are so SO thankful that my water broke in the middle of the night when we were both home and there was no traffic to battle with on our way to the hospital. I’m glad I followed my instincts and didn’t wait to go in.  Even though I expected a faster labor this time around, I was thinking maybe like, 2 hours this time, not 59 minutes!  I get panicky thinking about the what ifs if it had happened at a different time or place.  Gretchen didn’t even know we’d left for the hospital until she woke up the next morning and her aunt was here instead of us.  She was soooooo excited to come to the hospital and meet her baby sister later that day.


Thanks for all the well wishes, we are settled in at home and doing really well!

St Louis Trip

Well it only took me 3 months but I finally finished our trip write up!  We went in early May and the weather was great. Cool but not cold.  We only stayed 2 nights so there was only so much we could fit.  Next time I’d love to stay longer and do more.  Spend more time in Forest Park, at the botanical gardens, and at the Magic House.  Here’s a rundown of our trip.


Where We Stayed

Home2 Suites Forest Park.  This hotel is only a year old and was perfect for us.  We prefer to stay in suites whenever we travel so that we can stay up after Gretchen goes to bed.  Having a partial kitchen is great too.  This suite was huge with a fridge, sink, microwave, dishes, and a table to eat at.  Gretchen slept on her cot in the living area (pull out couch was there if we wanted it) and we had a king bed in the other room.  Huge bathroom with a nice big tub.  They offered a really great complimentary breakfast and had an indoor pool (saltwater) that we enjoyed.  Location was very central to everything we did.  Kind of steep at $250 a night but worth it!


  • Anthonio’s Taverna– Italian restaurant in The Hill district.  Great Italian restaurant but not too fancy for kids.  They do take reservations but we forgot to make them and walked right in and got a table around 5.  Sorry, no pictures of our delicious meal (including the St. Louis special, toasted ravioli)
  • Gelato Di Riso– this was just a couple of blogs from Anthonio’s and the gelato was FANTASTIC.  Wish we had a great gelato place like this in KC.


  • Bailey’s Range– this restaurant is downtown near CityGarden and the arch.  They have great burgers, salads, and make their own ice cream! Very kid friendly place to eat while not sacrificing great food.

Things We Did:

  • St. Louis Zoo– while admission to the zoo is free, parking is not and neither are the extras like the train, sea lion show, feeding the stingrays, and the children’s area.  If you have a zoo membership elsewhere you can get a discount but we opted not to get one this year. We were able to see most of the zoo in 3 hours with the help of the train.  Gretchen loved the penguins, polar bear, and the hippos.  The hippo exhibit was phenomenal.  The children’s area of the zoo was very shaded which was nice and there is a playground and splash pad there where you can stop and play.
  • Turtle Park– this is a park right by Forest Park and next to the highway that has a bunch of turtle sculptures that kids can climb on.  Big turtles, baby turtles, turtle hatchlings.  It’s really unique and a fun stop.


  • Missouri Botanical Garden– This was my favorite stop on our trip and I could have spent more time here.  The gardens are beautiful and there are almost too many to see them all.  We got there late in the afternoon so didn’t get to spend as much time in the children’s garden as we probably would have liked as it closes early.  It is AMAZING though.  Treehouses, slides, a general store for pretend play, and in the summer there is a splashpad to enjoy as well.13263791_768470697971_4784912242508492926_n13255926_768470084201_9103440642436251344_n



  • St. Louis Science Center – I was feeling pretty exhausted the morning we went since we’d walked all over the zoo the day before.  The museum is free but the extras are not.  Our Union Station/Science City membership got us a free admission to the kid’s Discovery Room which was Gretchen’s favorite part.  I wish the sessions were longer (you only get 45 minutes in there) since there was so much to do and explore.13230104_768469924521_4222101808238888441_n
  • CityGarden– Only a short walk from Bailey’s Range, CityGarden is a sculpture park right in the heart of the city.  It was a little cool for us to enjoy the fountains but it would be great in the summer.  You can also get a good view of the arch from here.13232996_768471421521_130822128540047043_n13254298_768471167031_1705166848221008063_n


  • Magic House–  I was SO excited to take Gretchen here as I have clear memories of going as a kid.  We got there right when it opened but after about an hour it got somewhat crowded (depending on which room you were in).  This is a children’s museum for kids of all ages.  Gretchen is very into playing pretend right now so she loved the vet clinic, pizza parlour, and baby nursery.  I loved the things that made me nostalgic, like the static ball, three story slide, and the bubble room.  We spent only about 2 hours here but could have spent more, sadly it was time to head home.13260233_768471536291_2770321847287516267_n13239206_768472025311_8674125121213880493_n


32 Weeks


How far along: 32 weeks

Cravings/aversions: nothing really sounds good or bad right now.  Baby is taking up so much room in my tummy I can only eat a little bit before I feel full, so I mostly snack throughout the day.

Feeling: Pretty good now that my heartburn is under control (thank you zantac!)  I am usually up 2-3 times a night to pee, so good times. I struggle with some insomnia if I wake up after 5am but Gretchen has been awesome about hanging out with me in bed and looking at books so I can snooze a little longer in the mornings.  The heat has been rough but I’m hoping the worst is over and fall will be here soon!  Lots of braxton hicks contractions and lots of baby movement.  I have a doctor’s appointment and growth scan this week and my OB will be back from maternity leave.  Excited to be back under her care and discuss how thing are going.

We had maternity photos taken last weekend, something we didn’t do last time around. I’m so glad we decided to have them done this time since it’s our last baby!  The ones we’ve seen so far have been amazing!  Can’t recommend Brooke German Photography highly enough!


20 Weeks


How far along: 20 weeks

Cravings/aversions: chocolate/vanilla swirl ice cream cones, pork pot stickers, California rolls, caeser salad.

Feeling: Really good, lots more energy and about 50% less puking.  Some pelvic pain that comes and goes but I’m planning to visit with a chiropractor to see if I can get some relief from that.  As it gets more hot and humid I’m more uncomfortable so we plan to spend most of the summer in the pool!

For Mother’s Day we had an elective ultrasound to learn the sex of the baby.  After our crappy experience at our NT scan we wanted a more positive one when we found out the news.  We all guessed girl and were all right🙂  Gretchen is thrilled and talks about her baby sister all the time.

We’ve also picked a name


We are at least half way there! So excited to meet baby Cora🙂

Pregnancy Update


How far along: 14 weeks

Cravings/aversions: I crave salty stuff, not big on sweets with the exception of Dr. Pepper and my favorite iced chai from Starbucks!  I ate buffalo chicken dip for lunch a couple of days earlier this week.

Feeling: Mostly okay, the worst thing is the insomnia which hits a few nights a week.  This pregnancy has been very different from the last since I haven’t had to take progesterone supplements.  They exacerbated the nausea last time.  I usually throw up once every morning but then I’m good.  I threw up every day of my last pregnancy so we’ll see if that happens again this time, so far it looks like it.  My appetite is significantly smaller than usual.  My energy level has rebounded now that I’m in second trimester.

I am showing much earlier this pregnancy.  I can still wear my regular jeans but they ride down and I’m constantly hiking them up.  Time to buy more maternity pants!  I’m ready for summer and maxi dress/skirt season.

Gretchen changes her mind all the time about whether it’s a boy or a girl.  She wanted to buy the baby a pacifier to help it “stop crying” so we bought a turtle wubbanub this week.  She’s currently using it on her dolls.

I definitely felt movement for the first time this week.  Much earlier than last time which I think is pretty normal for second pregnancies.

We are hoping to do some work in the finished basement this weekend to get it ready to become our new guest room. Haven’t made any nursery plans yet since we haven’t found out the sex yet (about 5 more weeks til that ultrasound).  Toying around with a baseball theme if it’s a boy.  No clue if it’s a girl.  I feel like I used up all my ideas on the first kid!

Our Happy News


(photo credit Legris Photography)

It was a long road.   We spent all of 2015 doing fertility treatments, save for a couple of months after I had surgery to try to get to the bottom of whatever our problem was.  With IUIs the egg and sperm were in the right place at the right time and conditions were perfect but still, month after month they failed. By September when we went on our early 10 year anniversary trip we had pretty much accepted that a second child wasn’t going to happen.

When we got back from our trip and I had bloodwork done to start our next cycle we found out I was pregnant.  I ovulated and conceived on our vacation, and without any assistance!  Sadly it was a chemical pregnancy, over before it ever really began, but it gave us a little glimmer of hope to keep going a bit longer.  We agreed that after 3 more rounds of treatment we were going to stop for both emotional and financial reasons.

2015 came to a close (and our insurance deductible reset at zero of course!)  I lost track at some point but I believe January was our 6th or 7th IUI, and my first time trying acupuncture (figured it couldn’t hurt even though insurance wouldn’t cover it).  I resisted the urge to start testing early but towards the end of the second week I felt crampy but in a weird way. The next morning I ripped into the box of pregnancy tests and got the second pink line we’d been waiting such a long time for.

I will be 12 weeks in a few days and while we’ve had 3 ultrasounds so far and heard the heartbeat at each one it still hasn’t really sunk in yet.  This pregnancy has been night and day different from my first one, mostly because I’m not on progesterone supplements.  If it weren’t for a bout of nausea each morning and my growing stomach I don’t think I’d believe it.

Sharing the news has been the absolute best, as we’ve had so many friends and family that have hoped with us and prayed for us the last year.

We meet with a high risk doctor (MFM) next week to discuss options for trying to prevent another premature birth.  Likely I will need to do progesterone shots for several weeks in my second and third trimesters (thought I left shots behind with fertility treatments but I guess not so much!)  We will be finding out the sex but not until closer to 20 weeks, so sometime in May.  My intuition told me it was a boy last time so I am just ignoring any “hunches” I have.  Tyler keeps saying “maybe it will be a girl and you won’t have to buy any more clothes” and I just laugh and laugh.  Apparently after almost 10 years of marriage he doesn’t know me at all😉

Thanks for rooting for us!


Year of Dates

a year of dates

Several friends gave me this idea as a gift for Tyler, whose birthday falls right after Christmas.  I really want to spend more quality time together in 2016, so it seems like a great time for this!  Here’s what we have planned:

January:  Sushi date and Tyler’s work holiday party

February: Hot chocolate at Christopher Elbow Chocolates and arcade games at Up/Down.

March: Pasta making class at the Kansas City Culinary Center.

April: Date in downtown Lawrence.

May: Lunch out and a game of mini golf.

June: Recreating our first date: picnic and a visit to the Nelson Atkins museum.

July: Drive in movie

August: First Fridays in the Crossroads District

September: Tyler’s pick

October: Brew at the Zoo

November: Brunch and a movie

December: Dinner and a carriage ride on the Plaza.