Wednesday, March 27, 2013


While reflecting on the past few weeks since Otto joined our family, I realized I never shared my own photos from the hospital. I hold that time very near and dear to my heart, so I want to take a few minutes and share some of my favorite first photos here.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I went to write this post and saw that I had already started two others. Two which were aborted mid post, mid thought. Presumably interrupted by a crying newborn. Right now my house is quiet(ish), so I shall attempt again.

Adjusting to life with three has been busy. Things that I thought would be hard have turned out to be a breeze, and things that I thought would be easy have turned out to be hard.

Just for fun, lets make a list, shall we?

Easy: Getting three kids bundled up, loaded and unloaded in the van * Getting places on time (I've even been early to a few, gasp!) * Surviving on less sleep

Hard: Keeping my house clean (why do I even bother?) * Nugget and Dude fighting. Non-stop * Showering * Being patient * Grocery shopping * Making meals

I am so grateful to all my fabulous friends and of course, my husband, who have tremendously helped out in the dinner department. Tonight is only the second time in a month that I've had to make a complete meal and that's pretty awesome.

This photo was taken on our first night home from the hospital, and well, it just pretty much sums up the state of my home these days.

But him?

Totally worth every mess, meltdown, and in between moment.

He is doing awesome. He slid right into our family like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, meant to be here all along. The older two are doing amazingly well with him. I thought there would be some bits of jealousy, but they totally love him.

He's a lover, and as long as Mama's holding or nursing him, he's a gem.

He's a pretty predictable, poop, sleep. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

He turned a month old this weekend, and its wild to believe that much time has gone by already. My life is crazy and chaotic right now, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Not even for a few more hours of sleep.

I hear him starting to stir, so I better wrap this up. I'll leave with you a few precious photos of his first month...

My lil' foxy loxy.

First bath at home.

First car ride. He hates being put in his seat, but the ride always lulls him to sleep.

Lost his cord stump at exactly one week. Tear.


Will we have a thumb sucker?

Holy crap, I have three kids!

Baby loves light.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Otto's birth was unlike my other two. It amazes me how I have brought three different children into this world, and each of their birth stories is unique to themselves. They all came in different ways, on their own time, in their own way.

I actually had a secret induction date scheduled for Monday, February 25th. Nothing was wrong that warranted him coming out a week early. I just had lots of anxiety about when I would go into labor, who was going to look after my other children, and I wanted to be sure my doctor delivered this baby, as he missed Milo's birth. My doctor first proposed the idea of induction early on in my pregnancy, and I was immediately against it. I wanted my baby to choose his own birthday. But as time went on I slowly warmed up to the idea. But turns out I didn't need to worry about any of that, as Otto beat the clock by coming on his own the day before I was to be induced. However, my doctor was not on call once again, and missed delivering yet another one of my babies.

My labor literally hit me like a ton of bricks. Contractions came out of nowhere, fast and painful, at 9:45 on Saturday night. I took a shower. Tried to sleep. But the pain was intense and sleep was nowhere in sight. I was unsure if it was the real deal, so I beared with it as long as I could. I kept telling myself 'One more contraction, and I'll call the doctor.' Well, I weathered three hours of that before I finally decided it was legit. So at 1am I called my sister and asked her to come stay with Nugget and Doodey. And sure thing, I got off the phone with her and the contractions stopped. Almost completely. Now what? I had already woken my sister up in the middle of the night and she was in route on the half hour drive to my house. I decided to head in to the hospital anyways. After all, it's pretty much in my front yard (for real), and the worst that could happen is that they would send me back home.

So to the hospital we went at 2am. We walked. Carrying all our bags. It was probably a funny sight, but really, we could walk there faster than we could drive. And it felt good to move. And breathe in the fresh air. I was monitored for a few hours, during which time I made enough progress to warrant my stay.

Baby was high and my cervix was thick, so I fought off an epidural as long as I could. I choose to walk around and sit on the birthing ball to try to help mother nature move baby downward. After about five hours of that, I was so exhausted and needed some rest. Mind you, I had been awake since 7am the previous morning. I requested an epideral. I got some relief from the pain but still wasn't able to get any sleep. Dang adrenaline.

Baby's hear rate was low, so the darn heart rate monitor kept going off every few minutes, I swear. After about the billionth time, we asked if we could just push the silence button ourselves, but nope. Every single time a nurse had to come in a check it over. Another reason why I got no sleep.

Things progressed slowly and steadily for the next few hours. At 11am I was checked and was dilated to a 6, and baby was coming down nicely. My epidural was crazy intense, and I could feel nothing. I was probably the first woman ever to ask if it could be turned down. I could hardly move my body and I did not like the feeling. I've had three epidurals now, and this one was my least favorite. Any who, at this point I was started on Pitocin as my contractions had started to slow down a bit. But also at this time I got really nauseous and had a headache. It made me vomit. For real. It was gross. Time now was 11:35am. The nurse was going to give me some medication for the nausea, but wanted to check me again before doing so. And wham, just like that I was fully dilated and ready to push. Things went into a bit of a panic for a few seconds there, as I was moved onto my side, told not to push ( not like I could feel the urge anyway), and an order was given for another nurse to call in the doctor (who was at her home at this point). Good thing it's a small town and the doctor lives close.

I don't know what time exactly it was when I started pushing, I just know that I went through four rounds of pushing and he was born at 12:05pm. His slippery little body was thrust onto mine and I lost it. I wrapped my arms around that little ball of sweetness and fell madly in love.

He was finally here. Healthy and hearty.

And that's his story. Most of it anyway.

A special thanks to my beautiful and very talented friend Jen, who captured Otto's birth. I teetered back and forth with having birth photography done, and had ultimately decided it wasn't for me. Then spontaneously, while in labor, I decided I wanted Jen there. A phone call and a few crazy texts later, Jen arrived in the midst of my pushing. She captured his arrival just in time. Words cannot even begin to describe my gratitude for her that day. What a blessed way to make a friendship grow even deeper. She also put together this beautiful video. Have a little look for yourself.


Sunday, March 3, 2013


He came a week ago today. It's hard to believe he's been with us for eight days already. It feels like I've loved him my whole life.

His name. Otto Joseph. Otto is my Great Grandpa's middle name (Louis Otto Kemp) and I also just learned from my Grandma that both her brothers middle names are Otto, and a few others down the family tree also share the name. Joseph was my Grandpa's name.

So far he doesn't have a nickname. We have Nugget and Doodey, and now this little lover. We call him lots of things, but we're still waiting for the right one to stick.

He weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds 15 ounces and 19.5 inches long. My doctor guessed I'd deliver a 7 pound baby. I knew he'd be wrong. I knew this baby would be big, but I was a little shocked at just how big. But he's hearty and I like that. My babies have come a pound heavier and a half inch shorter each time. Ha. Chubby babies are awesome.

Our hospital stay was lovely and quiet. I want to go back. But we're home and doing well. The family has been in an adjustment period this week. It has been up and down. I'm hoping we'll find an even ground soon.

My labor is a story all its own. One he wrote for me. I'm amazed at how three different babies have entered my world in three completely different ways. Each one wanting to make their mark, set their own destiny.

I will share his birth story soon. I have some absolutley gorgeous photos to share along with it, and once those are ready i'll tell his story too.

In the meantime, we're loving up this little man. He's a very chill little guy. Eats and sleeps right through all the noise of big sister and brother. He's gonna love them. They adore him.

We're all in love.