Our Natural Birth Story

If you don’t want to know details, don’t read! But I’ll keep it clean… ;o)

Friday night, November 16th, it started! My water broke at 4:30 pm. I was completely taken off guard. Stew and I were sitting on the couch getting ready to take Dexter for a walk. He was just finishing something up on the computer. He says, “I’ll be ready in 5 more minutes”. As I’m sitting there, I got a shooting pain in my stomach (that I thought was gas)! Then, just like in the movies, my water broke! 

The birthing class we took is called “Hypnobabies“. I absolutely recommend this class to anyone doing a natural birth!! To sum it up, it’s meant to keep you completely relaxed in order to have a shorter and more pleasant birthing time (our term for labor). There is a series of scripts loaded onto my ipod that are about 30 minutes long that I’ve been listening to every night for the past 2 months. I can’t tell you what they say because I fall asleep every time! I guess they work! The classes trained us to stay calm and not get too excited. So we did. We lit a fire, ate some dinner, and watched TV until about 9pm. At that point my birthing waves (our term for contractions) started getting stronger and closer together, about 8 minutes apart. They were not bad, but strong enough that I wanted to start listening to my scripts. So we got our bag and snacks ready for the birth center and got ready for bed. I put on my headphones and off to sleep I drifted. I knew laying down would slow down my birthing time, but I figured it was more important to get rest during the night which was a good plan! So I slept through the night until about 3:30 am. I would wake up every 30 to 40 minutes when a strong birthing wave would come but then go back to sleep.

Stew and I got up around 3:30am when my birthing waves were 5 minutes apart. They were really strong by then so he called the birth center. Our midwife said to wait until my birthing waves were 3 minutes apart. So I just kept listening to my ipod breathing through it. I walked a bit to speed up the process. Finally, around 6:00am they were 3 minutes apart. Stew packed the car and we hit the road. I kept my ipod in the whole time and just kept my eyes closed for the 25 minute drive.

We got to the birth center and my waves were REALLY strong by then. I laid on the bed for about 1 1/2 hours. I would have a REALLY strong wave and then fall asleep. Finally, the nurse had me turn over to shake things up. At that point they got even stronger so I knew something was about to happen. It was another hour before she started the tub. About 15 minutes later, Stew and I got in. Stew put on the “pushing baby out” script. I was only in the the tub for about 5 minutes before I started to push baby out! He was out in 25 minutes. I couldn’t believe how fast that happened! It was so surreal and amazing that I was holding our baby that was just inside me for the past 9 months! He was so perfect!!At that point, Stew got out of the tub and had “skin to skin” time with Turner while I got out of the tub. I felt so great afterwards! I couldn’t believe it. It was truly because of the relaxed atmosphere and the natural birthing process. There was not so much as an Advil in my system! I was really able to enjoy our time as a little family! It was the most amazing experience of my life!

Turner Lewis Watson was born November 17th at 10:21 am, weighed 8lbs 2 oz, and was 20 inches long.

It’s Go Time!

So, I took my lovely 39 week picture today. I’m not technically 39 weeks until Monday, so I wasn’t planning on posting it yet. Buuuuuut, mother nature had a different plan! My water broke at 4:30 this afternoon. It was crazy! I worked all day, feeling no different! Then, this afternoon, Stew came home from work, and we did some things to get the nursery finalized. We took down the chalkboard (sad), moved Turner’s changing table into its rightful position, hung up the shelf over his changing table, and arranged all of his goodies for all the poopy diapers to come!

Then, we took our wreaths and window candles out of the attic and got those all put up in the windows. His boss called during the decorating madness and laughed at us because it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! Stew’s response was, “well we don’t know how much time we have left”. Little did we know, we had about 30 minutes left!!!

So, needless to say, the birthing waves (prettier word than contractions) are coming and going, and I’m just taking it easy until we go to the birth center (probably in the middle of the night). Stew is making some chicken and dumplings for supper, and I’m ready to sit on the couch by the fire and enjoy our last night together! It’s hard to believe that it’s all coming to an end! I really enjoyed my pregnancy, but I think I’ll love having our little Turner even more! Just for kicks, I’ll post my 39 week picture even though I didn’t quite get there! Stay tuned for more to come!

Butternut Squash Soup

I LOVE this soup! All of my friends can attest to this. I make it every chance I get. We had it at our pumpkin carving party and at our early Thanksgiving celebration last night. I also make it for lunch every chance I get. I’ll make a big batch and just keep it in the fridge right in the dutch oven. That way I have a delicious lunch waiting for me every day! I think you get the point!

Stew and I went to Monza last weekend, our favorite restaurant downtown. The special that night was pumpkin soup. I HAD to get it to see how it compared to mine. I actually liked mine better!!! It was definitely tasty and had a great apple onion compote on top with some toasted almonds. But there is just something so addictive about this butternut squash soup!

It all started when I was home for lunch a few months back and the good old PB&J just wasn’t gonna cut it. I had all of the ingredients I needed to make this soup, so I gave it a whirl! I was so proud of the finished product! The thing that makes this different than all the other pumpkin or squash soups I’ve had is that it’s sweeter! It has a great balance of spice from the pepper and sweet from the maple syrup. Roasting the squash adds so much more flavor too! In my opinion, roasting the squash is the secret weapon. You can switch up the toppers to shake it up too. I topped this batch with a little toast with goat cheese, cranberry relish, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. SO GOOD!

You have to make it. It would be a perfect little appetizer for Thanksgiving or really any occasion! I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed!


Butternut
 Squash 
Soupserves 6

3 cups roasted butternut squash (1 large or 2 medium)*

olive oil

1/2 onion diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, diced

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp 2% milk (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

*For the squash-Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Peel the squash (I use a potato peeler) and cut the ends off. Cut in half where the squash begins to round. Cut the round half in two lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (just as you would a pumpkin). Cut the squash into about 1 inch cubes. Spread the cubes out onto two sheet pans. Pour 3 tbsp olive oil on each pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper on each pan. Mix thoroughly with your hands so that the squash is evenly coated. Place in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Use a spatula to move the squash around halfway through the cooking. Once they are fork tender, they’re ready!

Heat large dutch oven to medium heat. Sauté onion until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5 more minutes. Add in the butternut squash, chicken stock, and cinnamon. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes. Working in batches depending on the size of your blender, transfer mixture to your blender and mix until smooth (you can add more stock for a thinner consistency). Make sure to hold lid securely in place with a dish towel over it. Transfer the blended mixture back to the pot over low heat. Add in the maple syrup, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Just heat until warm enough to serve. I topped this batch with a little toast with goat cheese, cranberry relish, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

38 Weeks

How far along? 38 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 
27 pounds gained.
Maternity clothes?
 Definitely! I’ve somehow made it through my entire pregnancy without shopping more than twice! I picked up my basics (2 jeans, 1 pair of grey pants, 1 blue straight leg jeans, 4 T-shirts, 2 tanks). I was able to make that into tons of outfits. At this point, even those are uncomfortable. I’ll stick to the leggings. Thank God for lululemon! Only a few more days to go! 
Sleep: 
I fall asleep before my head hits the pillow. BUT I wake up at least every 2 hours to go to the bathroom. Apparently that means Turner’s in the right position! I suppose it’s worth it then! Luckily I’m only awake for about 5 seconds a pop then fall right back to sleep!
Best moment this week: 
Oh my goodness…it’s all so good! I keep having little pockets of realization thinking, “He could be here any day!!” I’m still not wishing anything away. I’m soaking up my last few days/weeks of being pregnant. Stew and I are spending every possible second doing things together to enjoy our alone time while we can! We had a great date night on Friday hitting all our favorite spots! We also walked around Charleston for HOURS on Sunday which is something we always love to do! 
Miss Anything?
Fitting into my regular clothes and yoga. I’m not talkin prenatal yoga or stretching. That I can still do. I’m talking POWER VINYASA at my favorite studio Charleston Power YogaI’ll tell you what I WON’T miss! Strangers coming up to me and thinking it’s ok to tell me all about their miserable birth stories! Just because I have a basketball under my shirt, doesn’t mean I want to hear horror stories! Keep it light people! 
Movement: 
He’s slowed down a bit. But his movements are very strong! He’ll make me jump with a solid rib kick! He also likes to straighten his legs so I can feel his feet on one side and his butt sticking out the other! People say I’ll miss feeling that. I have a feeling I’ll enjoy him wiggling around on the outside much more!
Food cravings: 
Still eating my fall faves. I’m so excited for Thanksgiving! It’s my favorite food holiday! I just love ALL cozy drinks and foods for the holiday season! Stew and I made our homemade marshmallows and hot cocoa mix for our hot chocolate bar! I can’t wait to use it.
Anything making you queasy or sick: 
Nope!
Have you started to show yet: 
Just a little bit!
Gender: 
Boy
Labor Signs: 
Tons of Braxton Hicks! But no real signs yet.
Belly Button in or out? 
Out!
Wedding rings on or off? 
Off.
Happy or Moody most of the time: 
So so happy!
Looking forward to:
 Obviously Turner being born. I also can’t wait for Thanksgiving and then decorating for Christmas the weekend after! This is my favorite time of year!!

37 Weeks-FULL TERM!!!

How far along? 37 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 
26 pounds gained.
Maternity clothes?
 I’m so thankful it’s getting cooler! My standard uniform is leggings and boots with a maternity top thrown in the mix.
Sleep: 
I am still sleeping like a champ. My bathroom breaks have increased to about 5 times a night. But I don’t even think I wake up to walk to the bathroom. Somehow I end up there and back in bed sound asleep. Apparently my hypnosis works well every night! 
Best moment this week: 
Getting my home office set up! I’ve been getting into my routine working at home. I’m obsessed with my office. I’ll have to get some pictures of it soon. 
Miss Anything?
Laying on my side without getting a foot to the rib, wearing my favorite jeans, and sweaty yoga!! 
Movement: 
He’s so crazy. He doesn’t make drastic movements, but he’s constantly moving his feet and butt! I feel EVERYTHING! He’s really stuffed in there. 
Food cravings: 
The usual fall foods. I HATE coffee these days, but I’ll substitute that with warm apple cider. I also have been SO thirsty! I’ve been drinking water with lemon constantly. I’m a big fan of citrus right now too. I just got some clementines and grapefruit that are delicious! 
Anything making you queasy or sick: 
Nope!
Have you started to show yet: 
Don’t be silly!
Gender: 
Boy
Labor Signs:
I have  a lot of Braxton Hicks. My midwife told me last week to take it easy until I hit 37 weeks. Once I hit that I can go nuts…BAM…hit it! Now I can go back to my walks every night with Stew and Dexter! She also told me to wait on my herbal supplements until 37 weeks. But now I can start taking my primrose oil and red raspberry leaf capsules. It’s go time!!
Belly Button in or out? 
Out!
Wedding rings on or off? 
Off.
Happy or Moody most of the time: 
So so happy!
Looking forward to:
 Turner’s arrival and the holidays! The two combined will make this the best holiday season ever!

Baby Showers

I was lucky enough to have two baby showers! My first shower was here in Charleston at the end of September with my friends and family of the south! My mom organized a perfect shower with the help of my amazing friends Annie, Missy, and Jess. It was filled with fun, food, games, and gifts!! It was so cool to have friends from all different parts of my life together for one celebration! I have some pictures that captured the day. 

Three generations! Me, Mom, and Nanny.

My amazing friends!

Shower Number 2!

Stew and I were planning our trip to NJ for his brother, Luke’s, wedding. I knew I’d be VERY pregnant by then (34 weeks), but needed to see Luke and Suzy get married! I knew it would be worth a 24 hr roundtrip drive! I was talking to Stew’s mom and we decided, since I was coming up, why not have a baby shower for me! I was totally on board. That way we’d be able to spend more time there so it wouldn’t be a quick back and forth trip. So we went up Oct. 16th, had my shower the next day, and then enjoyed the wedding festivities over the weekend! It was a great week. I think we packed as much into that trip as humanly possible!

My mother in law went all out for my shower! My friends Amanda and Marion were a huge help too! There were at least 30 people at her house! She had it catered with DELICIOUS food. It was another successful shower. Here are some pictures that captured shower number 2!

My wonderful mother in law!

Holy presents!!! It was fun packing this up into our car and driving back to Charleston!

Me and my beautiful sister in law, Suzy!

My lovely cousins Michelle and ChristinaMy cousin’s daughter, Mikaela. She was the flower girl at my wedding and has graduated to the most amazing baby shower helper ever!!

The next two photos are of my best friends! First picture is Amanda and Marion…Did you notice we’re ALL pregnant?! Just WEEKS apart ;o) And the second picture is of me and my other awesome friend Sandi! These girls are amazing and I miss them so much! 

My showers were so wonderful. I truly am blessed to have so many people in my life who love me, Stew, AND Turner! It’s hard to believe that he could be here any day! It’s what we’ve been waiting for! Now that we’re home and the festivities are over, we’ve had time to really buckle down and get ready for his arrival. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome him home!