Lawson’s Birth Story + Newborn Photos July 6, 2017 | All of the beautiful images in this post were taken by Little Nest Portraits here in Charlotte. We took them when Lawson was only 6 days old and they did such an incredible job with her. The studio had been warmed up for her, there was a shushing sound on the surround sound speakers (who knew that was even a thing) and they even have a private nursing and changing space. To boot, they had games, colors, books and snacks for big sister Landry. I felt SO comfortable in the studio and it was a huge relief because newborn photos can be super stressful (especially so soon after birth). Keep reading to hear more about my experience and take advantage of a special offer for Style Your Senses readers! Little Nest Portraits **Please know that I fully understand and respect that every single birth story is different, yet all are beautiful. Natural or medicated, c-section or not, each woman is given her own story to tell and I would ask that any negative comments are withheld from this post. Thank you :)* I cannot believe that it’s taken me 2.5 months to sit down and write out sweet baby Lawson’s birth story! Life has been a whirlwind and before I completely forget everything, I wanted to take some time to write it all down. I alluded to it quite a few times, but at the risk of sounding unappreciative or insensitive to someone struggling to carry their own child, I never really wrote down my feelings towards pregnancy. Truth be told, I don’t love it. I don’t “glow,” I gained lots of weight, and generally it’s just not a good look on me. Needless to say, I was counting down until my due date and was so so ready to give birth to and meet our sweet girl. The entire pregnancy (just like with Landry’s) I was tracking a different due date than the doctors, so in my head I would always be 4+ days ahead of their count, which was so frustrating. Little Nest Portraits By week 36 I really started to feel antsy, which I think is normal. I sat down with my doctor and talked about a plan for the next few weeks. He agreed to start the process a little early since I was measuring and tracking ahead and was packing on fluid like a mad woman. At 38 weeks 4 days (a Monday), we tried to stimulate labor by sweeping my membranes (which worked on the first try with Landry). He told me if this try didn’t work that I could come back in on that Friday to sweep them again. He was probably so terrified of me at this point that he would have done pretty much anything…ha! Needless to say, the first try didn’t work so you can bet your last dollar I was back in there on Friday. We talked for a while about next steps if this try didn’t work either and I told my Dr. that much of my anxiety was coming from the fact that we had no family around and I couldn’t plan for anyone to be here to help with Landry and logistics. He assured me that all would work out and was pretty confident that labor was near. He said that if things weren’t moving along by Monday to just come in to the hospital during his shift and they would start an induction. I felt like 1000lbs had been lifted off of my shoulders. Now I knew that I could call my mom and tell her to head our way and make sure everything was taken care of for Landry. In life, I really enjoy being spontaneous, but when it comes to my children, not having concrete plans for them can send me into a tailspin. Little Nest Portraits We went ahead with sweeping the membranes for a second time and he sent me on my way…all the while saying that I should really go home and get things together because he would be shocked if I didn’t go into labor. Deep down I didn’t believe him, so I went about my day. We met Dan for lunch and then I brought Landry to a Birthday party around 1pm. During that time I was having light cramping, but again I was not letting myself get excited. I walked into the party and my two girlfriends both asked “Are you ok?” I guess I looked a little surprised when they asked, but both just said you look like you don’t feel well. During the party, the cramps got increasingly more intense and I had to get up and take a walk outside. I called my mom and we decided that it would be best for her to book a flight to be here in the morning. Best case, she would make it in time if this really was labor and worst case, I would go in for an induction on Monday and she would already be here. She booked a flight right away and got to packing. The birthday party ended at 3pm and I called Dan and told him to meet me at home. I said that I was 70% sure this was the real thing and told him we would go on a walk when we got home to keep things moving. Meanwhile, my friends at the party were 100% sure this was it and walked me to my car after the festivities were over. Little Nest Portraits On my way home, I called my friend Amy and gave her an update. We decided that it was probably a good idea for Landry to stay with her for the night, just in case. Dan met me at home and we walked and talked for about 2 miles around the neighborhood (mind you I had already worked out earlier that morning, so I was getting exhausted). At this point the contractions were still 10-15 minutes apart and very tolerable. I told him that I wanted to get the grilled veggie pizza from Pizza Peel (known here in Charlotte to stimulate labor), so we all went to dinner. I’m sure that it was a coincidence, but after a few bites, my contractions started to really ramp up. I was uncomfortable at this point and also getting so emotional thinking that this would really be our last dinner as a family of 3. After what felt like the longest dinner EVER, we headed home with a major game plan as I was now 100% sure it was time to head towards the hospital. I showered and packed some last minute essentials and Dan bathed Landry and got her stuff ready to go. By this time it was about 9:15pm and I thought that I would be fine to bring Landry to my friend Amy’s house (about 30 minutes away). Well, about 10 minutes into the drive I knew that this wasn’t my brightest idea. The contractions were intense and 2-3 minutes apart. We made it there and did a quick handoff to make it back uptown (20 minutes away) to the hospital. I was clinching the door handles the entire time and I could tell Dan knew I meant business as he nervously weaved through the interstate traffic. By the time we got there the contractions were more intense than they had ever gotten with Landry and I was starting to get nervous. I couldn’t even fill out the admittance paperwork, so I handed it off to Dan and they brought me back to triage in a wheelchair. When they checked me in triage around 10:45 pm the nurse said that I was still only 3 cm dilated and I could have cried. She asked me my pain level on a scale of 1-10 and I said a 7…and that I never wanted to know what an 8 felt like, so I would take the epidural as fast as she would give it to me. Around 11:00 while she was getting everything ready to admit me, Dan was doing or saying something ridiculous to try and make me laugh (I don’t even remember what it was at this point) and all of the sudden I felt a huge gush. My water never broke naturally with Landry so I had no idea what that felt like. I told Dan that I had just peed my pants and that his stupid jokes backfired. He looked like a deer in headlights. Little Nest Portraits Immediately after this…like the second it happened…the contractions came on with a ferocity that I’d never felt. At my request, Dan walked out to get one of the nurses and she came in to check me and said that I went from a 3 to a 6 in 10 minutes and that my water did indeed break. Oh shit. All I could think was that I didn’t have the epidural yet and this definitely wasn’t the plan. She shuffled out to get my triage nurse who came in and looked like she was on a mission. She got all of my stuff together and they started wheeling me into a delivery room. At this point I literally felt like I came out of my body and looking back it is so so clear that it was the onset of the transition phase of labor. The pain was so intense that I never even opened my eyes and there were just tears streaming down my face. The on call doctor came in and introduced herself and checked me…I was at an 8. I pleaded with her to get the anesthesiologist ASAP and she said that they were doing their best. I think that my poor nurse talked to me about what to be prepared for if I couldn’t get an epidural, but I mostly tuned her out because #noway. The doctor told the nurses to prep the room for delivery and I just lost it. Crying hysterically because I was in no way mentally prepared for this. Poor Dan was pacing the room because #1 he was scared of me and #2 I know that he was uncomfortable seeing me in so much pain…on top of that I didn’t want anyone even near me. At the very very last minute the anesthesiologist came in and got right to work. He was only about 50% sure that it would work, but I asked him to move forward anyway. With Landry the epidural slowed things down immensely, so I was hopeful. I endured about 3 more contractions and then the pain began to subside. I felt such a sense of calm and peace come over me and it was amazing to re-group. We all did high fives when it began working and I felt my body take a rest…this was around midnight. Dan and I both tried to get some rest and my nurse assured me that it was good for my body to take it a bit slower now and rest up for delivery…I paused between 8-9 cm for about 2.5 hours and went in and out of sleep. Around 3 am she drained my fluids and was confident that it would jumpstart things again, which it did. At 3:50 am he nurse checked me again and I was a full 10cm dilated and we tried one test push. She ran to get the doctor and it was go time! Little Nest Portraits At 4:00 am on the dot I started pushing and with 3 solid pushes, our sweet Lawson Grace entered the world at 4:06 am! There’s truly nothing like seeing your child for the first time. I would have 100 more babies just for that moment…not really, but it’s definitely the most joy I’ve ever felt! My mom was already en route to the airport, so she would be to Charlotte in a few short hours and my friend Amy was up and ready to bring Landry to the hospital. Once we were moved to a room, Dan and I enjoyed about 3 hours alone with Lawson and just stared at her in awe. She nursed like a champ right out of the gate and after that Dan and I switched off skin to skin. Once my mom landed, Dan went to grab her from the airport and brought me back the breakfast that I had been plotting and craving for post birth for longer than I’d like to admit. For you Charlotte people, grits bowl from Earl’s Grocery is what I wanted! Around the same time that Dan and my mom got back, Amy was bringing Landry up. Seeing Landry walk in and meet her sister for the first time was definitely one of the highlights of my life. You could tell that Landry was nervous and she immediately asked me if I was ok, once I assured her I was, she hopped right into the bed with me and I let her hold Lawson. Que heart explosions. While I really tried to enjoy some quiet time int he hospital, I couldn’t let myself relax. I wanted to be with Landry and really I cannot stand so many people in and out of my room…I felt like I never got to rest. They discharged us Sunday afternoon and we were thrilled to return home. My mom stayed for 10 days and was SUCH a lifesaver and Dan was able to take off the following week, which was amazing.They both afforded me so much grace as I adjusted to being a mom of two, making the transition easier than I anticipated. Also a huge THANK YOU to you guys for giving me SO much grace here on the blog. I’ve been posting at my own speed, because when I felt like I was forcing myself it felt awful. I’m finally finding a groove and cannot wait to be full force next week for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2017!!! Back to my amazing experience at Little Nest! I mentioned it in our Maternity post, but you guys this studio is just so chic. It feels like walking into an Anthropologie store. They didn’t miss one detail and the environment really really elevates the experience. If you are ever in Waverly, stop in and check it out…I promise it will not disappoint! What I loved about our newborn experience was that I didn’t have to stress about outfits, packing up the entire nursery or bringing an entourage to help me. Little Nest provides the absolute cutest props, outfits and ideas (all of the images from above are using Little Nest props). Melissa (our photographer) was SO SO well-trained to handle newborns. Lawson was incredibly calm with her and it immediately made me calm as well. I will treasure these images forever! To document all of Lawson’s life, I signed up for their Heirloom package, which makes it REALLY easy to capture all stages of her first year. If you have kids, you definitely need to check this out! Here’s what the package consists of: – 6 Indoor Classic Sessions a year OR up to 12 sessionettes a year – 50 digitals to use throughout the year, however you group them. After a session you can get 1 digital or 30, it’s up to you! Use your 50 digitals however you would like throughout the year. – Member only a-la-carte pricing and exclusive sales – Customized mobile app of their selected 50 digitals – Invites to all monthly stylized events – Guest passes for unlimited number of friends for PhotoPOP or sessionette on their first experience with Little Nest. Sharing is caring! Get more details on the Heirloom package HERE and if you decide to sign up they are offering a FREE 8×10 print from your first session as an Heirloom member!