Katie Elizabeth

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday Rambles

Blogging, how I miss you!

I've thought about writing this post about 50 times this past week, but two things have stopped me.  One: my baby is really only content when being held, don't even try setting her down! (not complaining, I know this will pass too fast!) and two: I don't even know where to start with writing.  My brain is all over the place and going in a million different directions.  I have plenty of things I want to share - Haddie's newborn pictures (I shared a sneak peak on Insta last night!), what I actually used in my hospital bag, my experience with the baby blues (they're real and why does no one talk about them?!), our first month favorites and plenty more.  But it will come in time... as I figure out a way to type one handed ;)

For today, a round up of pictures of life lately and some random rambles!

We celebrated Nick's 30th birthday (and Haddie's 2 week birthday!) with a BBQ with our immediate families.  We are finally getting our act together with fixing up our backyard and it feels so so much better.  There is still some work to go on the patio decor, but my favorite parts so far: these string lights from Costco and our new cornhole set!

I can't even handle the cuteness!  (And why does she look so big in this picture?)  Everyone swore up and down that we would live by the rock-n-play, but so far she's actually not too crazy about it.  She'll contently sit in it for about 10 minutes, but that's it.  Thankfully she does love...

...her Halo Bassinest.  That thing has been worth EVERY penny.  I love it and love having her right next to me.  Brady has only tried to get in it once ;)

You know we celebrated National Ice Cream Day last Sunday!  Did you?!

Also at 2 weeks old, she made her first trip to our friends lake cottage!  She slept the entire time, but I know there is plenty of fun ahead up there :)

Brady helping me shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  I shared a bunch of my favorite picks HERE - and did end up purchasing this Barbour jacket pictured above.  I feel like the sale selection was so amazing this year... but I haven't been impressed with the shipping.  I placed a huge order one week ago and it's all just shipping now.  Maybe I've been spoiled by Amazon Prime...

Oh my gosh, the baby smiles.  I don't think they're intentional smiles yet, but they are the absolute cutest and sweetest thing I've ever seen.

I've been trying to get out of the house and do something every day (or else I'd go stir crazy), and my friend had us over to hang out at her pool on Monday.  Friends, chips and guac and these delicious wine spritzer drinks = the best way to spend a Monday.  I can't wait until I can swim again.  Although... one pieces from here on out.  The stretch marks are UNREAL.  Please tell me if you know of a way to make them go away?!

Hope you're having a great week, too!


Friday, July 15, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I know, I know - another Nordstrom Anniversary sale post.  But it's just TOO GOOD not to mention.  Especially after going almost an entire year with barely any shopping... this lady is ready to do some damage.  Here are my favorites from the sale!

+ I'm pretty much living in athletic clothes right now, so this Zella hooded jacket will be mine.
+ If you buy one thing, buy this military jacket (under $45!).  I promise you'll wear it nonstop.
+ A classic, versatile dolman dress that's perfect for work, a casual Saturday or a night out.
+ I always like to buy a new winter jacket and am torn this year between this Patagonia down jacket or this Barbour quilted jacket...
+ Love the stripes, love the ruffle hem on this BP shirt.
+ A great $15 v-neck tee to pick up in every color!
+ I'm obsessed with lace up sweaters right now: love this ASTR one and this Love by Design pullover.
+ I will definitely be picking up a new pair of Hue black leggings and denim leggings since I wore mine to death while pregnant.

+ Drooling over these tall Ugg heel boots.  Suede water resistant and lined with shearling for extra warmth.
+ Loving the new Hunter boots!  I wear mine all.the.time and I kind of want this version, too...
+ I've been looking for a new pair of black heel boots and this Vince Camuto pair fit the bill.  Sizes going fast!
+ A great pair of BP booties in tons of different colors for under $80.
+ I'm a huge fan of Ivanka trump shoes and will be grabbing a pair of these over the knee boots in charcoal.
+ These Lucky perforated booties are so fun and different and such a great price.
+ Lace up flats for under $60 with great reviews... perfect for fall.
+ The sale is always a good time to pick up a new pair of Nike tennis shoes.  So many fun colors.

+ There are a few Kendra Scott pieces included and I can't wait to get one of the Elisa pendant necklaces!
+ A red check blanket scarf... Christmas card pictures anyone?
+ I seriously want this Louise et Cie bag in EVERY COLOR.  It's gorgeous.
+ Loving this versatile stripe wool scarf.  It will go with everything.
+ I wear my Gorjana necklaces all of the time, so I'm thinking about getting this beaded collar necklace this year.
+ This Rebecca Minkoff saddle bag... a bit of a splurge, but so worth it!
+ I want this Alex & Ani tassel coil bracelet.  I've never seen it before.

+Freshly Picked moccs are included in the sale!
+ Haddie needs this North Face jacket.  All the heart eyes.
+ Love this chambray dress for the fall.
+ Ergo baby carriers and a similar version of our car seat, the Nuna Pipa, are both on big sale.
+ How cute is this pink Jellycat?

I'll be back next week to share what I got!  Hope you all have a great weekend!  We're making our first day trip out of town tomorrow with the baby -- wish us luck ;) and be sure to follow along on Insta!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Haddie's Birth Story

Hi friends!  I'm finally back to share Haddie's birth story today.  I had big intentions of posting this last week, but I'm quickly realizing life with a newborn = life runs on her schedule, not mine!  We are getting into the swing of things with a little routine and it's been so nice.  I'm hoping to be able to blog a little more regularly now that we are getting into a groove over here.  So here we go!  The (super long :)) account of the day Haddie was born...

To start, let's go back to Thursday, June 23rd.  I was 41 weeks and headed to the doctor for a non-stress test to make sure baby was still doing okay and my weekly check up.  We passed the NST with flying colors and when we saw the doctor after, there wasn't much progress being made.  Despite being 'stretched' to 2 cm at my appointment on Monday, I was back to 1 cm and still 70% effaced - which I had been since 38 weeks.  So that was a major disappointment.  My doctor recommended scheduling an induction since it didn't look like things were going to happen on its own and I was just so over it that I agreed with her.  I told her to make it happen as soon as possible, like tomorrow, and she went to call the hospital to make arrangements.  When she came back, she said that they couldn't get me in for Friday and since they don't do inductions on the weekend, she scheduled me for Monday at 5am - 41 weeks and 4 days.  The doctor sent me home with orders to just relax and have a fun last weekend as the two of us.  I was totally bummed to have to wait 4 more long days, but it was nice to have an end date in sight - and now in retrospect, I am SO thankful it worked out this way!

Friday, the 24th, was a good day.  It was the first day I felt truly relaxed in a few weeks because I was resigned to this baby not coming on her own (and maybe that was the key?!) - I took Brady on a long walk, ran a couple of errands, read outside and took a nap that day.  It was so nice.  When Nick got home from work, we went out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants and sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  Afterwards, we took the long route over to one of our local lakes and walked along the water.  It was seriously just the perfect evening.  When we got home, we played outside with Brady and then watched a couple of episodes of Gracie & Frankie.  I felt totally fine all night.  I did sit on my fitness ball while we were watching TV and felt a bit of cramping, but that had been going on for a couple weeks so I didn't even think twice about it.  We made plans to go to the beach on Saturday and headed to bed around 11pm relaxed and happy.

I woke up for my first bathroom break of the night at 2:30am and noticed quite a bit of red blood (sorry for the TMI... but aren't birth stories in general TMI?! haha).  I went back to bed and suddenly felt a sharp, menstrual-like pain that lasted for what felt like forever.  Immediately I thought 'so that's what a contraction feels like!'  I laid there for a little bit and felt another one within 10 minutes.  I thought something might finally be happening, so I downloaded the Full Term app to start keeping track of the contractions.  Funny story: I had downloaded that app when I hit 37 weeks pregnant in preparation and deleted it on Thursday at 41 weeks after scheduling my induction out of bitterness ;)

The contractions continued and at 4am, they were about 8 minutes apart and pretty uncomfortable.  I decided to finally wake Nick up and let him know that I thought something was going on.  He was pretty excited and all ready to go... and then fell back asleep, ha!  My doctors office had said to call when contractions were 5 minutes apart, so I decided to go downstairs to wait things out.  I also threw in a load of laundry because I had NO clean clothes (I was planning on getting everything ready on Sunday before my induction!) and tidying things up around the house - in between pausing for contractions!

At 6am, they were about 6 minutes apart so I finally called the doctor.  It was one of my favorite doctors on call that weekend which I was happy about, but when I talked to him, he definitely gave me doubts.  I let him know what was going on and he said 'you can come in, but nothing was happening at your appointment on Thursday... but come in and get checked' - that made me think that I was almost imagining everything or that they were Braxton Hicks or something!  I decided to wait it out a little longer at home so I took a shower and packed my hospital bag all over again but at 8am, the pain was getting unbearable.  We finally said our goodbyes to Brady and headed out.  Even though we are only 15 minutes from the hospital, I remember being so scared for the drive because the pain was terrible!  I made Nick stop the car the second we pulled out of the driveway for a contraction, but we got there safely and quickly - only one red light was ran, and that was after a complete stop and no other cars around ;)

We went right up to the labor and delivery floor and after a couple of minutes, were escorted to a triage room.  The nurse checked me right away and I was 4 cm so I was there to stay!  Music to my ears.  I changed into my hospital gown, was hooked up to the monitors to observe contractions and baby's heart rate.... and then the waiting game started.  They were super busy that morning and there weren't any rooms available at the time, so we just had to hang out in the triage area until further notice.  Which meant delaying the only thing I wanted in life: an epidural!  

It was also rough because about a half hour after we got there, another woman came into the 'room' right next to me - 'room' as in we were separated by curtains so we could hear everything and I mean everything.  This lady was not holding back.  Every contraction, she would scream and swear at the top of her lungs, crying and at one point throwing up.  It was honestly scaring the crap out of me.  I was the type of person that with every contraction, had to go within myself and close my eyes and talk myself through the pain (and squeeze Nick's hand to death) - I kept listening to her and wondering is this what's coming for me?!  Not to mention, all of the nurses + doctors were focused on getting her out of there because she was causing such a scene, so we were just left alone for a while.  I have no idea what time it was, but she was eventually taken to get ready for her c-section and the nurses finally came back to place my IV and get some pain meds going.

It was about 10am that I was given Fentanyl and to be honest, it didn't do much besides make my head feel loopy.  I have never had pain medication before so it was kind of a funny experience when they first gave it to me.  I couldn't stop laughing and was just smiling stupidly!  That lasted for a whole 15 minutes before it was back to the intense pain again.  I remember telling Nick at one point that I just wanted to be put to sleep, haha.  They told us we should be in a room in about an hour though, so we decided that Nick should call our parents and let them know what was going on.

After what felt like FOREVER in triage, we were finally moved into our labor + delivery room at 11am.  I immediately requested an epidural, but the anesthesiologist was currently performing my earlier friends c-section (of course!), so they let me know it was going to be a little while still.  They started me on the pre-epidural fluids and gave me another dose of the Fentanyl to help me wait it out.  The pain was ridiculous and things are a little blurry in my memory of the next hour of waiting.  I do remember that the nurses checked my progress and I was at 7cm!  I was seriously so proud of myself for laboring that far all on my own.

At noon, the anesthisiologist came in and I have never been so happy to see anyone in my entire life.  I wasn't nervous for the epidural in the slightest because I just wanted the contraction pain to end.  And I had no reason to be nervous, because he did an amazing job and I felt nothing at all after the numbing shot.  The relief was immediate and magical.  I could still feel my legs and everything, but the pain was gone.  I did get the epidural shakes as soon as it was placed and one spot in my butt was totally numb, but I was just so happy to not be feeling the contractions anymore.  After that, the experience got so much more fun!  Our parents all showed up about an hour later and the six of us just hung out in the room, talking and taking pictures and laughing.  It was a great distraction from everything and helped make the time go faster.

At 3pm, I was checked again and was 10 centimeters dilated!  They broke my water and placed the peanut ball between my legs to help the baby move down more.  The nurses instructed me to let them know when I felt pressure down there, as that would signal the time to start pushing.  So we waited.. and waited some more.. to feel any pressure.  At 5pm, I still couldn't feel anything going on down there, so they kicked our families out of the room and had me flip onto all fours and lay on top of a bean bag type thing.  They said they would be back to check on me in one hour.  It was super uncomfortable and within 10 minutes of laying like that, I started to feel a lot of pressure.  I tried to wait out the full hour, but things were starting to get really painful so after 45 minutes, we called the nurse back in.  She flipped me back over and we did a practice push while waiting for the doctor to get to my room.

It was 6pm when my doctor arrived and pushing began.  This time is kind of a blur to me, too but there are a few things I remember.  First of all, pushing is intense.  No joke, it was the thing I was most nervous for during labor because I honestly don't really work out and have no core whatsoever so I was worried that I was going to be a total failure at getting her out myself.  But it surprisingly came really naturally to me.  The biggest problem we had was that she was stuck on my pubic bone and they had to maneveur her around it.  My doctor was amazing though.  I saw him a lot throughout my pregnancy and he's such a character.  I would be pushing and take a quick break and I'd hear him say something like 'are those new curtains?' or talking about his vacation he just got back from, ha!  It definitely kept the mood lighthearted, even if I couldn't process what he was talking about in the moment!  It took one hour - longest hour of my life - of pushing before she was born.  And I felt pretty much everything.  I didn't know it at the time, but my epidural got dislodged when they flipped me over onto all fours and despite them telling Nick to turn it up multiple times, but it wasn't working. 
But in the end, I'm glad I could feel everything because it really helped me know when to push and feeling her slide out at 7:16pm was the most surreal moment of my life.  It was such a blur of activity, but all I remember is Nick saying 'she's here, she's here' and hearing her loud cry fill the room.  There was meconium when they broke my water and I had a fever, so they had the NICU team there as well (so. many. people. in the room, but all shame was out the window at that point, haha), but thankfully she was just fine.  After they checked her over, we did skin to skin for a minute before Nick fed her and I got stitched up.  We spent time as a family of 3 and Haddie had her first bath and vitals check before we called our parents back at 9:30pm.  It was so special to finally introduce them to her and share her name :)

It was truly the best labor and delivery experience I could have asked for.  Everything went so, so well and even the couple of things that didn't, I can see the silver lining in them.  My doctor was awesome, the nurses were angels and our entire time at the hospital was wonderful.  Just a few pictures from our stay...

We took Haddie girl home on Monday the 27th - the day I was scheduled to be induced :) - and the adventure began!  We are just so happy that she's here and healthy and I swear we fall more in love every day.  She's such a good baby and (knock on wood!) has been sleeping fabulously.  I can't wait to watch her grow and see the little lady she's going to turn into, but for now, we are seriously soaking up all of those newborn snuggles.  There is nothing better.

Thank you for all of your comments, texts, emails and prayers throughout the last few weeks and my entire pregnancy.  They have been beyond appreciated and I have truly felt the love and support.  We are so thankful.  God is good!


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The First Week

Our first week at home: check!

The past 10 days have been the most surreal of my life, it's hard to even put it into words.  I'm hoping to have her birth story up on Thursday, but since free time is a tad scarce right now... today, pictures!

Here's what we've been up to in our first few days as a family of three (four, plus Brady :))...

{Sleep all day, party all night!  This little lady is pretty alert at night, but sleeps so well swaddled and snuggled up during the day (of course, right?!)}

{Two successful pediatrician's appointments to check on weight gain - she was born at 7lbs, 14oz and was down to 7lbs, 6oz when we left the hospital, but is slowly starting to gain it back.}

{First attempt at baby wearing with the Solly baby wrap - and Brady wanting attention, ha!}

{Maiden voyage to Costco - plenty more of those in her future.}

{I didn't break out the champs at the hospital like I thought I would - I wasn't sure how well those would mix with the narcotics painkillers I was on and a brand new baby haha - but we've toasted to her arrival back at home and also enjoyed a NYF rootbeer on the back porch.  So delish.}

{Girlfriend LOVES being swaddled!  (And I love that little comb over.)  So far our two favorites are the Halo Sleep Sack and the Miracle Blanket.}

{Poor Brady is definitely adjusting to this new life.  I feel so bad for the guy, he used to get all all all of my attention and right now baby definitely consumes it.  I miss playing with him, but I know we'll get back there soon.  He's not too interested in Haddie, but he does like to sneak in licks and sniff spots she's just been laying in.  I can't wait for them to be best friends!}

{Nailing the newborn photo shoot.  I am DYING to get these pictures back!}

{I ordered this Little Unicorn swaddle blanket back in April and it was out of stock for forever.  It finally arrived the Friday before she was born, so I guess it's a good thing she was late so we could have it for her pictures ;)}

{The sweetest.}

{I wasn't quite prepared with a first 4th of July outfit, so we got as close as we could with blue, white and pink!}

We've also done our first sponge bath, a few (short and slow) walks in the neighborhood, and have had lots and lots of visitors.  Our friends + family have been the best.  Nick's mom stayed with us our first two days home and cleaned our house, did our laundry, and grocery shopped.  Not to mention, our friends have been stocking our fridge with delicious meals left and right.  We've been totally spoiled.

Today has been Nick's first full day back and I'd be lying if I said a few tears weren't shed, but it will be nice to start getting into our new routine.  Now I'm off to try and sneak in a nap :)

Hope you all had fabulous weekends!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

She's Here!

She's finally here!

Hadley Elizabeth - 'Haddie' - arrived on Saturday evening, June 25th, at 7:16pm (41 weeks and 2 days).  She is 7 pounds, 14.1 ounces and 20.5 inches long.  Everyone is happy and healthy and so in love!

Her birth went pretty perfectly with 17 hours of labor, as did our hospital stay, and we were able to come home on Monday afternoon.  I very narrowly avoided an induction - it was scheduled for 5am on Monday - and am just so, so thankful that she decided to come on her own!  She is seriously the sweetest baby and I am starting to feel better myself, recovery-wise.  I can't wait to share her birth story next week, but for now just wanted to pop in with the good news and wish you all a wonderful holiday weekend!

If you want to follow along for an overload of baby, my Instagram is @ka5ohare and my Snapchat @kavanderploeg :) Be safe and have a very happy 4th!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday's Five

Image via

Fri-YAY!  I am so very happy to see today - it has been a long week of basically waiting around by myself, and now I'm thankful that I'll have Nick home all weekend to wait around with me ;)  What do you guys have planned?  Since this is for sure our last weekend just the two of us - my doctors office won't let me go past 42 weeks - I really want to take advantage of it.  Date nights and having fun and playing with Brady and also sleeping as much as possible.  I'm giving up on all of the crazy 'tricks' to go into labor, and am just going to enjoy the down time.  Hope you have a fun weekend ahead, too!

+ Have you heard that Victoria's Secret is discontinuing their swimsuit line?!  Whyyyy?  This makes me so sad, it's been one of my two go to spots (other one being here, of course) for swimsuits for pretty much forever.  They do have a m-a-j-o-r sale going on right now though, as in $4.99 bottoms!!  Check it out here - sale ends Monday.

+ Monika Hibbs can do NO wrong, especially when it comes to home decorating.  Her baby daughter's nursery is seriously drool-worthy.

+ I ordered this dress for Nick's rapidly approaching 30th birthday BBQ (in the denim)!  Fingers crossed it fits the postpartum body... I have no idea what to expect with that.

+ Loved Kristina's post on sunscreen this week.  It is sooo important to wear SPF every day and I loved her opinions and advice as a derm PA.  I ordered this one that she recommended and can't wait to try it out.

+ And I couldn't leave it out... the Shopbop sale is still going strong!  A couple of my favorites: this white ruffled dress (want so bad), these lounge pants would be on major repeat, and a denim tank by BB Dakota that I've had my eye on for so long.  Happy shopping :)

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