First Birthday Party

One year already?! Every day with this girl is special, but celebrating her first birthday party is a celebration I’ll never forget (& she’ll never remember, lol). We started with a trip to the zoo on her actual birthday, March 9th. Olivia was more interested in other kids than the animals but we also don’t leave the house much, unless it’s a walk in our neighborhood. It was so much fun watching her expressions as she looked around at new scenery.

Over the weekend we had TWO parties – one with DeDe and G Mike and one with Oma and Papa. Unfortunately, we’re still not comfortable merging families until everyone is vaccinated (so soon!). Plus what a lucky kid to have multiple birthday parties! Stressful for the parents who have to clean, cook, bake, and decorate all weekend 🙂

Verdict is…. she likes cake! Look at that smile 🙂
Balloon garland is from amazon, the curtain is borrowed from her nursery windows, the name sign was a gift at my baby shower (from Etsy), high chair Ikea, seat cover/mat Yeah Baby Goods, and 1 banner from Amazon.
The cutest rose gold tableware
Okay, this icing made it SO EASY to decorate cupcakes. It comes with 4 different tips. Thank goodness this exists 🙂
Ta – da! They’re not the most perfect but they sure were easy to decorate!
My parents bought their first grandchild a car, lol! OMG, it’s so realistic.

Such a fun weekend! Both for Livvy and for us. She got nonstop hugs and kisses for 48 hours straight, and we got to spend time with family and feel a sense of normalcy. But, this weekend also opened our eyes to how lucky we had it with a newborn, staying at home, and keeping a strict schedule. A combination of parties, fun, cake (sugar), and spring forward made our bedtime routines later and last a little longer. Parents were exhausted by Sunday night, lol!

This dress from Red Dress Boutique is stunning! I love the pastel color, the floral design, the movement, long sleeves, boho vibe.. but I’m wearing a small and wish it were offered in an XS. I felt a little swallowed by this dress. I did wear some nude block heels (not pictured) to help with length, but the top of the dress was very roomy and felt a little too big. I ended up wearing a cami underneath to feel more secure.

Olivia’s birth story

How can it be??? In 6 days, my sweet baby girl is turning ONE. I’ve held her in my arms for an entire year and I can’t help but feel emotional. I recently saw a poem by a.r.asher that read, “There is my heart, and there is you, and I’m not sure there is a difference.”

My due date was estimated to be March 11, 2020. Two of my favorite people, my grandparents, are no longer with us. The bright spot here is that my grandpa’s birthday is March 3rd (Happy Heavenly Birthday, Bumpy (IYKYK!)) and my grandma’s birthday is March 12th! I saw my due date being somewhere between their birthday’s as a sign. I love that my baby is going to share their zodiac sign and I’d love for her to inherit some of their traits. It’s so special to me that she was born on March 9th.

March 8, 2020: I started my Sunday like normal. Probably slept in, probably made waffles for breakfast. I remember it was a gorgeous day and we planned on taking a lot of walks and grilling spicy chicken sandwiches for dinner (even though I had a manageable pregnancy, we were anxious to meet our girl and were to the point of trying all of the old wives tales). I remember during one of our walks feeling a big cramp but it didn’t last very long and I didn’t feel anything else for several hours later. I had a nail appt (my last one since the pandemic began – RIP almond shaped nails – and I felt a couple more cramps, but still felt fine. I came home and we ate spicy chicken sandwiches outside on our patio and finally around 7pm, I started to feel more constant cramping. It was starting to feel stronger to the point that I text my mom and told her to keep her phone on her. I started to track the cramps I was feeling using my Ovia app. By 10pm I was feeling pretty uncomfortable and I got ready for bed and tried to lay down. My cramps were about 20 mins apart and it was impossible to get comfortable. I think I tossed and turned until midnight. Then there is no tracking on my app until 2AM so I think I did get a quick nap in, but by 2AM I came downstairs to the living room and watched Bridesmaids on HBO.

March 9, 2020: I kept tracking contractions and trying to keep calm and distracted. By 5:30AM, I knew my husband would be waking up for work soon and would see that I wasn’t in bed. I made him a pot of coffee while I waited for him to come downstairs. I logged onto my work computer and sent some of my usual Monday morning reports and emailed my boss/teammates that I wasn’t going to make it to work.

My contractions were really close to 5 mins apart and lasting a minute or longer. I was starting to get scared and worried that if we went to the hospital now they’d tell me it wasn’t time and we’d have to go back home and keep waiting. Finally, my husband came down stairs and told me to get in the car, we were going to the hospital! The worst thing they could say was ‘no’. It was about a 20-25 minute drive and we arrived around 7AM! That was pretty close to 12 hours of laboring at home.

In Triage, there were two other couples also coming in around the same time as us and a family already in the waiting room! We hadn’t told our family we were at the hospital because we weren’t sure what they were going to tell us. Finally, we were called back, I got hooked up to the contraction monitor and was told I was 4cm dilated. We were getting checked into L&D and were going to expect a baby today, ahhh! My parents live a little more than an hour away and my in-laws are 45 mins away. I have no idea what time everyone got to the hospital, but my parents, my in laws, brother in law, and sister in law all made it to the waiting room. It’s so crazy and sad to think that just 6 days later, only one support person could be in the hospital with you :(. My mama and husband were in the L&D room with me for this journey.

I did get an epidural and they had to take it out and start the process again because it was too high in my vertebrae and was causing my heart rate to spike. I remember not being able to control my breathing and felt very cold. I thought it was all normal and although I hated getting the epidural, it also numbed me so I could rest a little bit through these contractions.

The rest of the day is such a blur. They broke my water and gave me a peanut ball to speed up my dilation. My OB doctor wasn’t the on call doctor so I met the nurses and doctor not knowing if I’d deliver during their shift or get new nurses/doctors. Finally by 4:30pm it was go time. It all happened so fast and by 5:04pm I had a crying baby in my arms. <3

I was so hungry and so glad I had time to eat a bowl of oatmeal before we left for the hospital. But no sleep and no food all day, plus having a baby, I was exhausted! I remember getting the food menu and asking what I couldn’t have. The nurses told me there were no restrictions so I ordered the turkey burger, French fries, and brownie for dessert.

Sleeping in the hospital is so uncomfortable. They asked that we keep a specific light on which shined on my bed, there’s always someone checking on you or the baby so no matter how tired I was or how loud our noise machine was, I could barely get sleep. First night, Olivia didn’t eat very much. By the second night, she was cluster feeding and I was so exhausted, I contemplated asking if she could go to the nursery for a little bit, but the mom guilt was already kicking in!

Somehow, we’ve survived the newborn phase, we’ve conquered leaving the house with a baby and all of her things, and now we’re 6 days away from having a one year old under our roof. Even though 2020 kept us inside and at home, there’s no place I’d rather be than with my husband and our baby girl.

If you made it this far, hi! Our next baby challenge will be a long car ride and a vacation with a 15 month old (this June). Drop your travel tips below! No advice is too small, I’ll try anything to make our travels smooth sailing 🙂

Next week’s post is going to feature some home organization and/or home project while I plan and organize Olivia’s birthday party. In two weeks, my post will feature her decor, dress, etc! Check back soon <3