On the morning of February 11th 2019, our hearts grew a little bit bigger when our sweet boy decided to officially join our family. Ashton Clarence Pett was born at 11:01 AM, measuring 22 inches in length and weighing in at a whooping 9 lbs 6.8 oz of sweet chunky love. He's been with our family for just under three weeks now, and even though his original arrival was a bit of an early surprise, now that he's here I can't help but reflect and feel grateful for what originally seemed like hectic timing because of how much joy it's brought us since. 💙
To say that I didn't expect Ashton to arrive when he did would be a gross understatement. My OB had mentioned to me a few times that she didn't see me making it all the way to my estimated due date (February 20th) because of Ashton's size, but I hadn't had much progression in my weekly appointments and thought for sure that I'd make it to at least my 39/40 week milestone before meeting our baby boy. I'd had inconsistent contractions that had been growing stronger day by day, but I genuinely believed that I could mind-over-matter my baby into staying inside of me at least until the 16th when my parents would fly in so that I could have my dad to help watch Emery and my Mom to help Kyle & I through labor as my birth coach. February 10th started (and seemingly ended) as any other casual Sunday; Kyle, Em & I went out to brunch in the morning and relaxed through the afternoon, and come bedtime I followed my nightly routine of chamomile tea, reading, sleep aide, and pregnancy meditation, and was sound asleep by 10PM. Around 11:50PM I woke up with a gasp and a "Kyle I think my water broke" as the mess spread over our bed proving that my water definitely had broken, and I realized that some things in life you just can't control with sheer willpower, and instead have to respond to with a slightly modified "mind-over-matter" mindset to get through the experience ahead. Ashton was ready to join our family, and it was time for me to get on board.
Since my parents were still in Utah and I had no way to teleport them to Louisville, we instead called on my dear friend Megan a little after midnight to see if she could watch Emery for us while Kyle and I went to the hospital. I swear if there was ever such thing as a heaven-sent friend, Megan is that friend. She came over to our apartment without a moments hesitation, slept on our couch, and then proceeded to take care of not only Emery but also Kyle and I in every way possible until my parents made it out the few days later. Before Kyle and I left for the hospital, she reminded me that everything happens for a reason and that Ashton coming early was probably meant to be, and although I could feel the anxiety of going into a natural labor without my birth coach (aka my mom) creeping at the back of my mind, I took her words to heart and left for the hospital with Kyle nervously cracking jokes and working to find peace in the idea that our baby coming a week and a half early was exactly how it was always meant to be. After all was said and done, I feel even more grateful for Meg's sweet reminder and can genuinely say that I do believe that Ashton coming early was a blessing for our little family. During my labor with Em I depended mostly on my mom to get through the contractions, and as forever grateful I'll be to her for her help through that event, it was such a special experience to be able to go through labor with only Kyle by my side. I was in labor for about 11 hours from start to finish, and Kyle was my rock and solid support through it all. I had to get put on pitocin (again- apparently my body just doesn't love progressing on it's own), and through every single contraction Kyle was right beside me helping me to stay relaxed, and when I reached the roughest part of labor right before Ashton (very quickly) came out, Kyle was the one who helped keep me grounded and get me through it all. Having a new baby is always a special experience, and this time around I felt just so grateful to be able to share and go through that occasion with Kyle in a new way that brought us even closer together as a couple.
Kyle and I took the day of Ashton's birth to spend together with just the three of us, and the next night brought Emery to the hospital to meet her baby brother. Her giggling excitement over seeing him is something that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. Ashton was a little fussy when Kyle brought Emery into the room which I hadn't been anticipating (we'd tried to plan it so that he'd be asleep during the initial meeting part but once again life showed us that we can't control everything 😆) but instead of getting overwhelmed or annoyed by his cries Em patted his head while telling him over and over "oh it's ok!". We are still adjusting as Em learns to share our attention and time with her baby Ashton, but her love and obsession with him have stayed strong and have literally made all of my hopes and dreams for their relationship come true, and it has been the best thing watching her with him over these past few weeks as they continue to grow and get used to each other.
I remember when writing up Emery's birth story I had made a few main points that I wanted as personal takeaways from her labor & birth, and it's funny now going back and reading through those past notes to myself how many of them still rung true with my labor and birthing of Ashton. Contractions still hurt like hell (but were still managed decently well thanks to Kyle and a LOT of meditation/deep breathing), I still embarrassed myself during labor and had to choose to not care about it (Ashton came out so quickly that the on-call OB wasn't actually able to make it into the delivery room in time, and while the nurse was desperately trying to keep him from coming out I was 100% that crazy labored woman that you see in movies swearing and yelling for the doctor 😳), and more than anything was given the reminder that there are SO many things in having a baby that are completely out of my control, but that with a loving support team and keeping my main motivators and priorities at the front of my mind, that it would make all the difference and make for an "alls well that ends well" situation. I'm still so amazed at the body's ability to create, grow, and birth a perfect little baby, and feel so grateful for the timing of our sweet little babe because it has helped me to appreciate SO much more than I feel like I would have otherwise. I can't even put into words just how much love and appreciation I have for Kyle, my parents, Megan, and other girlfriends that have all come together in one form or another to help us welcome Ashton into the world. I don't know if I've ever fully believed that whole "it takes a village" saying until this boy decided to surprise us with his early arrival, and now I don't only understand it but also feel so much gratitude for the specific "village" that I've been blessed with. We're off to an amazing start to this lovely little adventure as an official family of four, and I can't wait to see how our story continues to unfold now that our sweet little Ashton Clarence has joined the party. This is my happy place. 💙
How far along? 36 weeks, 3 days. Fun fact - I didn't realize it until I went to actually write up this post, but I was also exactly 36 weeks 3 days along in Emery's last bump update, and I love that we now have pictures documented at the same time from each pregnancy! Sleep? I've reached a point where not even makeup and photoshop can hide the dark circles under my eyes I've gained these past nine months. I remember struggling with sleep at this point in pregnancy with Em as well from waking up to roll over and pee in the middle of the night, but it seems like adding in an actual toddler Emery to the equation has made it so that I can't even remember the last time I actually got what could be considered a good night's rest. Needless to say, Em's afternoon naps and chai lattes have become some of my favorite things. 😜 Food Cravings? Cold water, fresh pineapple (specifically from Trader Joe's), and cold cereal with unsweetened almond milk. My stomach is compressed enough at this point to where I've had to shift to eating smaller snacks/meals throughout the day, and these seem to be the things that I've found myself subconsciously keeping our fridge/cupboard constantly stocked with to get me through day to day! Current Pregnancy Project? At my last OB appointment my doctor informed me that because of baby boy's size the likelihood of me making it all the way to my due date is fairly unlikely, and I've since then gone from what could be considered "nesting" to running around like a full-on crazy person trying to get all of the last minute to-do's done before our little babe makes his debut. Still on my list of tasks includes starting his baby book, meal planning for when my parents are in town, vacuuming out our car so that we can install his carseat, packing snacks for our hospital stay, filling up my birthing ball with air, and trying to continue to clean/declutter our apartment as much as possible before he gets here. I'm sure there's more that I'm probably forgetting, but for the sake of keeping some sort of inner calm/peace I'm working hard to remind myself that it is 100% OK if everything doesn't get done right away, and am feeling grateful that at least the majority of the basic big tasks (baby's laundry, hospital bag, Emery's care plan while we're away, etc) are already done. Funny Pregnancy Moment? I literally can not go ANYWHERE without getting asked when I'm due, having people assume that I'm having twins when they realize that I still have a little ways until said due date, and/or people making comments like "you're due any day now aren't you?" My belly has grown to the point where not even maternity tops/sweaters cover it fully (I have to layer with 2-3 shirts every day to cover everything) so the comments aren't fully unwarranted, and I've reached a point where I've found that it's much easier to laugh about the awkwardness of it all instead of getting embarrassed about the size of my midsection, or Kentuckiana's constant need to point it out. 😂 Best pregnancy moment so far? I had the chance to have an ultrasound just this last week (at 36 weeks) and it was SO much fun being able to see baby boy so fully developed! I never had an ultrasound with Em after her 20 week appointment and I was blown away at just how real and close seeing baby boy so far along made everything feel. Based on his pictures he's set to have the most perfect chubby cheeks and my nose, but I guess we'll know for sure once he's actually here on the outside! Last minute pregnancy thoughts? Honestly, this last little bit of pregnancy has been a Disneyland-worthy rollercoaster of emotions for me. I didn't even realize how much of a hot mess I'd become until my sweet two and a half year old started feeling the need to console me with fairly constant kisses, hugs, and "oh it's ok mommy I love you's!" when she'd catch me silent crying during something as simple as our lunch time together or while trying to get my shoes on before we'd head out to run errands for the day. There's a part of me that's so nervous for this baby to get here because I know that it means getting thrown back into the newborn stage which for us with Emery was freaking HARD. I'm SO excited for Emery and her baby brother to officially meet and can't wait to watch their relationship grow, but then also anticipate how she'll adjust once her now beloved "baby brother" is on the outside and requiring a lot of attention, and I so badly want her to know and feel just how much Kyle and I love and care about her even with a new baby in the house. I'm so excited for baby brother to be able to officially join in on our family adventures, and also wonder constantly what those adventures will look like not only as a family of four, but also out of dental school and in a completely different state away from our community that we've grown to love and depend on so much over these past four years. I literally haven't even been able to make it through typing up these thoughts without getting teary-eyed (just in case there was any misunderstanding as to just how much of an emotional mess lack of sleep/pregnancy hormones have made me) BUT above all of these crazy emotions I especially feel grateful, for this incredible opportunity and most of all for the people that I get to experience it with. I still can't help but feel completely amazed at the body's ability to grow and deliver a human child, and am so grateful that me and baby boy have been able to make it through this pregnancy without too many scary complications or challenges. I'm so grateful for my close friends and for my parents and long-distance family members that have been such an incredible support system to me throughout this entire journey, and am so dang excited for my parents to get here in a few weeks to join in on the fun of welcoming in our new addition. More than anything I'm so thankful for Kyle and Emery. Without a doubt they were both heaven sent especially for me, and there is literally no one else that I could imagine myself doing life's crazy journey with than the two of them. We are all up for what I'm sure will be a bit of an adjustment once baby brother joins our party, but in my heart I already know that he is the exact person that our little family needs, and that once he's here the adventures we have together can only get more wonderful. Cheers to our soon-to-be family of four, and everything that's ahead. 💙
How far along? 24 Weeks 4 Days (in the picture) Maternity Clothes? The answer to this question should be just a straight yes, but I hit an unexpected roadblock when the season changed to autumn and I realized that aside from jeans, the majority of my maternity clothes were meant for warmer weather since I was my biggest with Em in the spring and summer. The idea of fitting into any pants that are non-maternity is a joke at this point, but I'm still trying to be as creative as possible with a few of my looser sweaters and long sleeve non-maternity shirts to stretch out my wardrobe for a little bit longer until I'm confined to wearing the three maternity sweaters I do have that actually fit on repeat. Sleep? For some reason sleep has been a ridiculous challenge for me during this pregnancy, to the point where I had to start taking a nightly sleep aide (suggested by my OB) for the sake of getting any sleep at all because I was struggling with nightly insomnia. I've honestly had a bit of a hard time not getting discouraged with the sleep issues because I hate feeling so tired during the day with Emery and I feel like the constant bags/dark circles under my eyes have robbed me of feeling any sort of pregnancy "glow" this time around, but I'm continuing to try and do everything that I can to get as much and as quality of sleep as possible (think yoga, meditation, chamomile tea + the sleep aide, early bedtime, etc) so that my body can continue to support this growing babe. Food Cravings? ALL the sweet things. I'd also had a specific craving for cinnamon sugar pita chips for AGES and was getting super discouraged because I couldn't find any in our local grocery stores until a few weeks ago when Kyle basically won husband of the year and found some for me, and has continued to shine by basically cleaning out the store of them whenever he happens to see them on the shelves. Queasy's? Not anymore which I am EXTREMELY grateful for. I still have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell that can pick out specific scents from a mile away, but any crazy, unexplained nausea has long since passed. Current Pregnancy Project? I'm including this in because while looking back at Em's bump updates I basically kept myself busy with prepping for Emery in every possible way from about week 17 on and it cracks me up because now if I wanted to do any fun little projects like that I honestly don't know when I'd fit them in unless I did them late at night but that would involve sacrificing sleep so.... yeah. No baby specific projects currently. I did find a baby book for him that I LOVE and want to start filling out, so maybe if I can figure out how to keep my head on straight while chasing around a crazy toddler I can make some time to actually get that started. Best pregnancy moment so far? Thus far, our best pregnancy moment has actually resulted from what was originally one of the toughest trials I've faced while pregnant. While pregnant with Em, my favorite prenatal appointment was hands down her 20 week ultrasound, and as my 20 week appointment with baby boy approached I could not wait to share in the excitement of seeing him move around on the screen with Kyle & Emery. Our ultrasound went as planned, and aside from not being able to get a great face shot, everything seemed normal. However, when we met with my OB after the ultrasound she explained to Kyle and I that although baby boy was anatomically perfect and growing well, that I appeared to have something called Placenta Previa (for those like me that had no idea what this is, basically my placenta was covering my cervix - aka the baby's way out). My doctor said that she had hopes of the placenta moving up to a normal position, but that if it didn't that it would mean planning for a c-section about a month earlier than my original due date to prevent me from going into any sort of labor on my own. We scheduled another follow up ultrasound for 24 weeks, and I left the appointment with a fistful of tissues and a heart heavy with worry and anxiety over the thought of possibly having a premie baby in the dead of winter. Kyle and I decided to keep the news really close to home until we knew more, only telling my immediate family and one or two close girlfriends to help me mentally make it through the four-week waiting period. As much as I'd like to say that I was able to stay optimistic and keep my head clear of the stress of the situation, getting through the month of October was really hard for me. I worked to keep myself as distracted and busy as possible with Emery and Halloween preparations, but the worry was still constant in the back of my mind and took it's toll on my ability to sleep or fully relax and let myself just "be" in any sort of present moment. Our follow-up appointment happened to be on the 30th of October, and to our pleasant surprise we were told that the placenta had made some incredible movements in the past four weeks, and had put itself in such a good, normal-looking position that my doctor felt safe completely putting the Previa risks and scare to rest. For how discouraged I'd felt for the month leading up to the appointment, I can't even fully put into words how good it felt to hear that things had gone back to normal. It was like a hundred pound weight had been lifted off of my shoulders, and it was so nice to be able to see my little baby boy kicking in the ultrasound and know that at least for now everything with him and me together is a-ok. We even got a few really good face shots of him to make up for his shyness at the 20 week appointment, and it was literally the perfect way to start our Halloween fun without the anxiety. Looking back at the situation I realize that I probably stressed way more than I should have, but it was also a really valuable lesson for me to be in a situation where I literally had no control over what was happening, and really could do nothing but wait and try to find peace within myself and those close to me until we had more information and could plan accordingly. Getting the news that the Previa had resolved was definitely the highlight of the pregnancy thus far (along with seeing cute baby's face), but I'm also really grateful for the gentle reminder that I was given to let things be, and for knowing that I have such an amazing support of family and friends to help me get there. ❤️
Whew, this post ended up being a LOT longer than I originally intended it to be, but in all fairness I feel like I was literally trying to fit what could've been two separate posts into one, so maybe that's where all the wordiness came from. 😉 To anyone that actually read all the way through, thanks so much for following along! Your love and support for baby boy and our family seriously mean the world to me, and we love and appreciate each and every one of you!
By the time this bump update goes public for everyone to read I'll already be into my second trimester of pregnancy, but one of my favorite things about blogging is the opportunity that it gives me to document and journal life as we know it, regardless of who actually reads it or how specific timelines match up. With Emery, I started updates at about 15 weeks and then did them monthly throughout my entire pregnancy, and if I'm being honest with myself I just really don't see monthly pictures/updates happening with this pregnancy while chasing around a crazy two year old, so I thought that I'd try for a more realistic goal of three trimester updates instead so that I can still have some sort of documentation to remember the experience with.
How far along? 12 Weeks 3 Days (in the picture) Maternity Clothes? Yes & No. At this point in time we'd only told family and a couple of close friends that we were expecting so hiding my bump was still a priority BUT I also started showing a lot sooner with this baby than I did with Emery and have had a distinct bump to hide since about week six. I've found that elastic waisted pants with a few maternity shorts, loose fitting tee shirts, and loose dresses have been my main go-to's. I had worn the outfit pictured to my 12 week prenatal appointment and it felt SO good to actually dress my bump instead of hiding it, and I'm looking forward to the news being out in the open so that I can let this baby bump shine! Sleep? Getting a good night's sleep has probably been my biggest challenge with this pregnancy so far. Fairly early on insomnia became a regular occurrence, and I'd find myself awake in the middle of the night tossing, turning, and snacking for several hours at a time. I've made it a habit of trying to be in bed by 9:30 or 10 each night to try and offset it, and would nap with Emery if I'd had a particularly bad night. I also finally caved and bought one of those fancy pregnancy pillows on Prime Day, and that combined with moving out of the first trimester seems to be improving my sleep quality. Food Cravings? Veggie sandwiches (usually from Great Harvest or Jimmy John's) and fresh fruit. While pregnant with Emery I basically lived off of Olive Garden's minestrone soup, and I feel like having my first trimester in the dead heat of the summer instead of the fall/winter has switched my veggie cravings to a less hot dish. 😂 Aside from the sandwiches and fruit, I've also found that I can consume a ridiculous amount of Hot Tamales candy, which is weird because those have never been a candy that I'd of chosen off the shelf pre-pregnancy. Queasy's? I haven't been completely clear of the first-trimester nausea, but also feel EXTREMELY blessed/lucky because I feel like the nausea this time around has been much more manageable than it was with Emery. Typically as long as I can get enough sleep (cue 10 o'clock bedtime), avoid an empty stomach, and stay away from certain triggers (specific smells, extreme heat, etc) I've been a-OK. Gender Prediction? This pregnancy has been SO funny with the whole gender prediction thing because literally every. single. person that we've told about the pregnancy has predicted that we're having a girl, and I feel like usually people's guesses are more split. From the beginning Kyle said he also felt like we'd be adding another little girl to the family, and even though for weeks I wasn't getting any hunches or intuition the further along the pregnancy goes the more I feel like it's a girl as well. I'm too impatient to wait longer than necessary to find out the gender, so it'll be a lot of fun to go back and read this once we know and see if we all guessed right! (actual gender result here!) Best pregnancy moment so far? Easily the most fun part of this pregnancy so far has been the process of trying to introduce Emery to the fact that she'll soon have a new baby to love as a part of her family. She got a baby doll for her birthday and has been obsessed with taking care of it, and we bought her a big sister book that has since become a daily read for us. I literally can't even handle the cuteness of Emery taking care of her baby, or pointing at the little girl in her book and saying "Emery" and then pointing to the baby and getting excited about "her baby" too. She's also taken to trying to lift up my shirt to see the baby growing inside, and whenever she says "hi baby" in her sweet little voice to my stomach it literally makes my mama heart burst. 😍😭 I feel so incredibly excited and blessed to be able to grow our family from three to four, and can't wait to see how the journey progresses.
So... the secret is officially out! Kyle and I are over-the-moon excited to announce that a sweet baby BOY will be joining our family come February 2019! Keeping our surprise quiet has been no easy task (mostly thanks to my belly popping out really early on) and we are so happy to finally have the news out in the open! We feel so blessed to be able to give Emery a younger sibling, and even though it might seem a bit crazy to some that this will put us having not just one but TWO babies while in dental school, we feel really fortunate to be able to have another baby with the same incredible doctor & hospital that delivered Em, as well as while still living in our amazing community of close friends out here in Kentucky! The timing of everything just feels so right, and we're so grateful that things have worked out the way that they have.
When we found out that we were expecting, Kyle and I both thought for sure that we were having another girl, so to find out that baby #2 was actually and indeed a boy was equal parts exciting and surprising!! Kyle is ecstatic about the thought of being less outnumbered by girls, and I'm already going crazy trying to clear out all of Em's old baby clothes so that I can start filling up the space with baby boy clothes instead. 😂 We were originally planning on doing a little gender reveal party with friends to announce the news, but ended up having to wait about a week and a half later than expected to get the results, so by the time we actually knew it was a boy were so antsy and excited that we ended up just telling our family and close friends that knew we were expecting the second we'd found out the news! Because at heart I actually am a planner, I'd bought these non-returnable smoke cannons before we knew the gender (or how impatient we'd be to announce it) but.... I didn't want the cannons to go to waste so we decided to still have some fun and snap a couple of pictures with them. Em was a little unsure of being in the colored smoke and I ended up burning my hand thanks to a faulty cannon, so I guess you could say that in the end it was a good thing we didn't use them in a full on party situation. Moral of the story: smoke cannons look really neat in photographs, but maybe aren't worth the hassle once all is said and done. 😆 If there's one thing that I've learned in these past 15-ish weeks of being pregnant with baby #2, it's that things are never going to go as expected and things will most likely be different than they were with Em's pregnancy journey and that is OK. Figuring out how to simplify is forever a challenge for me, but one that I'm trying to take in with open arms for the sake of making this pregnancy journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible!
Because everyone always asks, here are a few quick FAQ's and their answers for anyone curious as to how things have played out so far with our sweet little baby #2:
How did you tell Kyle, family, friends, etc? I found out that I was pregnant right before Father's Day weekend and was totally planning on waiting until the actual holiday to surprise Kyle, then soon realized that I was incapable of keeping a secret this big from my husband for more than 24 hours. I ended up making him open up his Father's Day present early and included the news in the gift! We told both of our families together while celebrating Em's birthday out in Utah with a "sister" t-shirt, and have been breaking the news to friends basically by me just awkwardly blurting out the news in the middle of random conversation.
When is the official due date?! I think that the official date is February 20th, but for the sake of my sanity I'm working hard to get that date out of my mind and expect to be due simply at the end of February. While pregnant with Em it helped a ton forgetting the actual due date to not get overly antsy/anxious when I went over the expected timeframe, and I'm planning on doing the same thing with this little guy to keep things easy!
How are you feeling? Physically I have felt really well which is something I'm SO grateful for. I dealt with the expected nausea/morning sickness at the beginning but ended up going through the worst of it while visiting family which was great because my parents are amazing and helped a TON to take care of me, Em and Kyle while I wasn't feeling well. I'm much more tired with this pregnancy than I was with Em, but that could be due to the fact that I spend all day everyday chasing around a crazy, high-energy toddler. 😉 Overall I feel just really lucky to be doing so well so that I can keep up with Emery and carry a healthy, growing baby.
Are you planning on a natural birth again? Yes absolutely. My birthing experience with Em to this day is one of the most beautiful and special experiences I've ever had in my life. I'm a strong believer in the ability of a woman's body to naturally birth her baby, as well as in all of the benefits that it provides to the baby (and mama) to birth naturally if possible. As long as baby boy is healthy and my doctor gives us the go ahead, we'll plan on a similar birth plan to Em's.
How has Emery reacted to the idea of a new baby? Em's reaction to her new baby brother has honestly been my favorite part of this pregnancy so far. I don't know if she's really caught on yet to the fact that she's getting a brother specifically, but she's always lifting up my shirt to check on her baby and will talk to him and give my belly kisses and hugs. 😍😭 I get a little emotional every time I think about our little world being more than just Emery, but with how excited and protective she's been over her baby already it makes me so excited to see how she'll be with her baby brother once he's on the outside!
A big thank you to our family and close friends that have already shown us SO much love and support with this new baby while we've been keeping quiet with the news. It makes my heart burst knowing that this baby boy is already loved by so many and we can't wait to meet him!
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.