Sadie week.by.week {month 16}

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Sadie week.by.week {month 15}

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15_months

Sadie week.by.week {month 14}

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59 weeks

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Sadie week.by.week {month 13}

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life lately {since Sadie turned 1}

Sadie turned ONE and suddenly our lives turned upside down {again}. Without us even knowing it, we said “goodbye” to the baby phase, and “hello” to raising a toddler.

I’ve got a lot of blog post catching up to do – but for now – here’s a look at LIFE LATELY {through pictures}:

Sadie’s 1st Birthday PARTY {the details}

Originally, I wasn’t going to throw a 1st birthday party at all for Sadie.  And then I decided to have a very small gathering with cake and maybe a few balloons.  But THEN, the event planner in me turned on, and I knew in my heart that I wasn’t capable of throwing just a casual gathering.  {It’s just not in my DNA –  it has to be all or nothing!}

So with that, came Sadie’s PURPLE 1st birthday party.

the invites:

SJB IS TURNING ONE!-3

 

the decor: {– thanks to Etsy, my new favorite party decorating go-to site — and Catering Works for the beautiful purple flowers –}

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the favors:

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All of Sadie’s baby friends at the party were boys, so I found these adorable purple ties to give as favors!

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the food/drinks:

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family and friends {and of course, the birthday girl!}:

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And last but not least, the cake smash:

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Happy 1st Birthday my sweet Sadie Jane – I hope you enjoyed your 1st of many more birthday parties planned by your mommy!

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{you can view a slideshow with photos & video from the party by clicking here}

Sadie week.by.week {month 11}

week 41:

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week 42:

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week 43:

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11 months:

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sadie week.by.week {month 10}

week 37:

37 weeks

week 38:

38 weeks

week 39:

39 weeks

10 months:

10 months

life lately {9 months}

Life lately with our Sadie Jane..

We {ALL} celebrated our 1st Christmas with our good friends Scott & Cam at their beach house.

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Sadie said the cutest “buh-bye!” ever..

Sadie says BUH-BYE! from stacy black becher on Vimeo.

If the video doesn’t play, click here.

We had a quite night home to celebrate new year’s eve with our little mush tush. None of us made it until midnight!

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And then the best part of 2014 so far, we went on a vacation to Punta Cana! Despite the 12 hours travel time to/from the resort, it was an amazing trip and I’m so happy we brought Sadie with us!

Enjoy this video slideshow from our vacation:

punta cana january 2014 from stacy black becher on Vimeo.

If the video does not play, click here.

Big milestone this past week, Sadie sat up from the lying down position ON HER OWN. Watch this video of her pulling herself up, and then getting really excited about it afterwards!!

Sadie sits up from lying down position from stacy black becher on Vimeo.

If the video does not play, click here.

She now loves to sit up by herself in her crib…

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…so much so that she fell asleep while sitting up!

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The big 1 year is just around the corner, I can’t wait to see what the next 3 months bring!

sadie week.by.week {month 9}

week 33:

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week 34:

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week 35:

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9 months:

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Sadie week.by.week {month 8}

week 29:

week 30:

week 31:

8 months:

{almost} 8 months old

My dear {almost} 8 months old sadie,

I’m a little behind on this post, but here’s what’s been going on in your life Sadie Jane —

I decided months ago that I wanted to dress you up as a toy poodle for halloween. I found the perfect costume for you to become our 3rd poodle… and you rocked it!

This month you started Gymboree class on Tuesday afternoons. You love it, especially when the bubbles come out…

You welcomed twin baby boy cousins {from afar}…


Mazel Tov to your Aunt Carly and Uncle Sean!

You understand “clap your hands” and you be a clappin’!

Sadie claps her hands! from stacy black on Vimeo.

If the above video does not play, you can view it by clicking this link: http://vimeo.com/80954095

You celebrated your first Thanksgiving..

AND your first Channukah!

It’s hard to believe this was one year ago. {click here}

You also battled your first cold this month…and you managed to pass it on to me. I guess I should get used to that happening from now on 🙂

I can’t believe you will be 8 months old TOMORROW! It just gets better everyday…!

our family {November 2013}

Thank you to Heather of Bella Fino Photography for capturing our family on what was a beautiful November day in North Carolina!

one year later

Last November, we found out that baby B was a girl {read about it here}. This November, we decided that the fact Sadie is now sitting up was a good excuse for a photo shoot of our baby girl.

It’s amazing what a difference one year makes!

one year later

Looking at these two photos – side by side – I am once again brought back to a place of missing my mom. I remember so clearly the day we found out the sex of Baby B. I wanted a daughter more than anything; I wanted a daughter so I could be the mom that I just lost. Of course I would have been happy with a boy, but words could not describe how thrilled I was that we were having a baby girl. And now, one year later, looking at a photo of us with our precious daughter, it brings tears to my eyes. I came across this quote, “Mothers and daughters are closest, when daughters become mothers” and it really struck a chord with me. Even though I don’t have my mom here with me, I appreciate and respect the woman {and the mother} that she was in a whole new level now that I am a mother.

Thank you to Heather Finnocchiaro of Bella Fino Photography for capturing these moments for us to cherish last year, this year, and forever.

Sadie week.by.week {month 7}

week 25:

week 26:

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7 months:

{almost} 7 months old

my sweet Sadie baby, you are almost 7 months old.

You have 2 bottom teeth popping through your gums, and most certainly causing you a lot of pain!

You are sitting up on your own.

You’re interacting with your toys and passing objects from hand-to-hand.

You roll and roll and roll.

— if the video above doesn’t play, you can view it by clicking this link: http://vimeo.com/78220386

We’ve lowered your crib because you were grabbing at your mobile.

You look like an angel when you’re sleeping.

This month you’ve been loving your walker (video below is in SLOW MO {and super funny!} courtesy of Aunt Cam)..

— if the video above doesn’t play, you can view it by clicking this link: http://vimeo.com/78220629

You love to jump, jump, jump, in your jolly jumper.

— if the video above doesn’t play, you can view it by clicking this link: http://vimeo.com/78220800

You’ve excelled from playing the piano with your feet to your hands!

You are wearing 12 month size clothes — all of your little “newborn” clothes are {sadly} stored away.

You blow spit bubbles.

You love yogurt – blueberry, vanilla, and banana are your favorite flavors.

You {attempt to} drink water from a cup.

— if the video above doesn’t play, you can view it by clicking this link: http://vimeo.com/78211308

You’re weighing in at 19.4 pounds and you’re 28 inches long.

You still love your bath-time {“you hear the water running, you see the bubbles bubbling”….as daddy sings the bath song!} and now you play with toys in the bath.

This month you took your first flight {ever} to NJ and visited with your Grandma Leslie, Poppy Steve, Uncle Jason, Aunt Amy, and cousin Tyler.



You are my {almost} 7 month old sunshine Sadie Jane, my only sunshine!

guess who is sitting up all by herself?!

the first 6 months…and now a sense of calm

A good friend of mine just had a baby a few weeks ago and her text messages to me bring back so many memories of the first month.  The constant feedings, no sleep…..  and in my opinion it didn’t get easier after the first month.  But now that Sadie has reached 6 months, there’s a calmness in our house.   Sadie sleeps from 6:30/7pm – 6:30/7am.   But she’s been sleeping through the night since 3 months old!  This new calmness that I’m feeling is during her awake hours…   she’s sitting up on her own, playing with toys, interacting with her surroundings, and just more enjoyable to be around.  What I used to refer to as “hard work” is now the times I love the most during the day…. hanging out with my giggly 6 month old.  I have no idea what is to come around the corner — 7 months old could bring terror — but for now I’m pleasantly calm after making it through the first 6 months.

 

Sadie week.by.week {month 6}

week 21:

week 22:

week 23:

6 months:

{almost} 6 months old

Sadie means princess.

Sadie, you are my little {almost} 6 months old princess.

You love to watch The Giggle Bellies.   You Are MY Sunshine. Bumble Bee.  ABC superstar.  Colors of the Rainbow.  You name it, if it’s The Giggle Bellies, you love it!

 

You wear two piece PJs now, and mommy thinks you look cute-as-can-be!

You are teething, but find little relief from your teething ring 🙁

But even though you’re teething, you still love to giggle and smile!

You’ve figured out how to turn from your back onto your stomach and cool tricks like getting from this position…

to this position…

all on your own!

I can’t believe you are almost 6 months — we’ve almost spent half a year with our little princess!!!!

some thoughts on this beautiful day for my beautiful daughter

You are dressed in black and white miss Sadie (mommy’s favorite colors) but you are far from black & white, you are full of color!  You love to gab and jibber jabber; there’s hardly a moment when you’re not speaking baby language.  And your smile warms my heart each and every day.

 

 

My favorite part of the evening is our special time together after your bath.  I hold you in my arms and together we softly sway as I rock you to sleep.  You are usually asleep within 20 minutes, but I rock you for much longer, and I just watch you — my beautiful daughter.  It’s our time together — our special time — and I will cherish these {baby} moments as I know they won’t last forever.

And on that note, a special prayer for my Sadie Jane…

I hold you in my arms
And together we softly sway
As I rock you to sleep
And this is what I pray:

I pray for your safety
Your health and happiness, too
I ask God to wrap you in his love
In Everything You do

I pray you’ll never know
A single ounce of pain
That you carry no burden
And that you smile through the rain

I pray you have the will
To make all your dreams come true
And that you find success
In all you set out to do

I pray for your future
One that I hope is bright
And if you have the choice
To always do what’s right

I pray you have peace
And love inside your heart
Not just for yourself
But for those less fortunate than you are

I pray you grow into a person
Who values those you love
And that loyalty and honesty
Are not just things you speak of

I pray so many things for you
Because I love you so
You are a little piece of me
My heart and my soul

 

Sadie week.by.week {month 5}

week 17:

week 18:

week 19:

5 months:

bathing baby beauty

Hard life this little bathing beauty has…she spent the day {or more like 1 hour} poolside!



{almost} 5 months

My dear Sadie Jane… you are {almost} 5 months and you are quite the fussy baby these days!

But when you aren’t being Miss Fuss — you are sleeping through the night, napping twice a day, and starting to eat solids like a pro.

You LOVE to be carried around in your baby bjorn.

Your fingers….

…AND your toes…

…are always in your mouth….unless they are playing the piano!

You still could care less about your puppies, but they sure do love being around you.

You amaze me everyday and {almost} 5 months later and I still can’t believe how lucky I am that you are my daughter.

my little munchkin

This little munchkin butt {as I like to call her} has stolen every little piece of my heart.



Sadie’s first solid foods

Sadie baby, today mommy woke up extra early so she could make you homemade applesauce for your first taste of solid foods. You were not impressed.

Here’s to trying again tomorrow!

my TALL baby girl

Today we took Sadie to the pediatrician for her 4 month {and 1 week} check-up.

She is 15 lbs 14 oz, and is 25.5 inches long. I know that she is a big baby, but I did not realize just how tall she is… Sadie is in the 99th percentile for height!

As we were checking out, I saw a young couple bringing in their brand new baby, just a few days old. I couldn’t believe how small the baby looked; it’s crazy knowing that was Sadie just a few months ago. The first 4 months have flown by..and I know time is just going to keep on flying. Before we know it, we’ll be bringing Sadie in for her 4 year check-up!

But for now, I’m loving my 4 month {and 1 week} old baby girl.

Sadie is such a cuddle bug these days, and she loves to burry her head in my neck nook.

She also loves her new found entertainment – her bouncer. And mommy loves that it distracts her for a good 15 minutes at a time.

Or plop Sadie in her bright green floor chair and turn on giggle bellies and she’s in heaven.

And what’s in store for Sadie baby tomorrow? We’re introducing solids….

SAY WHAT MOMMY?!

slideshow fun

During Sadie’s baby naming party, we played an ongoing slideshow on our TV’s for a little entertainment while everyone was mingling.  These pictures aren’t new, and if you’ve been following this blog, then you’ve probably seen almost all of them.  But the slideshow was worthy of a post of it’s own, for Sadie to have to watch one day!

Sadie Baby Naming Slideshow Video from stacy black on Vimeo.

If the video doesn’t show up, you can view it by going to this link: http://vimeo.com/71935684

our {not-so} beach vacation

While I was pregnant, Craig and I attended a charity event which had a raffle prize of a vacation at this beautiful NC beach house:

I never win anything, I mean NEVER, but guess who won the beach house trip? This {then} pregnant lady!

And so this past week, we “cashed-in” on my once in a lifetime win, along with Nana Sheila and Grandpa Mark, and headed to Topsail Island for what we thought would be 5 days of fun in the sun.

But thanks to the rainy summer we’ve been having here in NC, it turned into only 1 day of fun in the sun…

 

 

….which included Sadie’s first “feet in the ocean” experience…. [thanks Scott and Cam for the adorable water shoes!]

and 4 days of a {not-so} sunny beach vacation; but fun nonetheless!

We spent almost all of our time rocking and relaxing on the breezy back and front porches of the house, enjoying the views and the company.

But there’s only so much day-drinking and porch rocking that one can do on a beach-vacation-turned-{not-so}-beach-vacation; thank goodness we had Sadie there to keep us ALL entertained!

And don’t worry, Sadie had plenty of relaxation on her {not-so} beach vacation…

Simcha Chaya {Sadie’s Hebrew Naming}

This past weekend we had a Hebrew baby naming ceremony for Sadie at our home with close friends and family. The ceremony was very special as Sadie is named in honor and in memory of my grandfather and my mom. Sadie impressed her mommy so much as she was on her best behavior…not one bit of fussiness from her! And at the end of the ceremony, when the Rabbi blessed Sadie, she looked right in her eyes…. the Rabbi said in 25 years she has never had a baby look directly at her during the blessing. It was precious… my heart melted!

We have given Sadie the hebrew name Simcha Chaya in honor and in memory of her great-grandfather Stanley and her grandmother Jane. In the jewish religion, it is believed that a child will be inspired in her life by the good qualities of the loved ones for whom she is named. Craig and I can’t imagine two people whose lives were better suited for our daughter to emulate.

Simcha means joy. My grandfather Stanley had a special gift of bringing joy to those closest to him and to those he never met. He accomplished great things in his life, but he never lost site of what was most important to him: his family. When Sadie learns about her great-grandfather, she will know him as I knew him, as my Poppy. I will tell her about his morning wakeup calls, our monthly lunch dates, and the dozen roses he would send me every valentines day. She will learn about his giving nature and the difference he made in so many people’s lives, which in turn brought joy back to his life. Well, that and chocolate chip cookies. I will never forget what I was told by an employee of my Grandfather several years ago. She said that “if I could come back in my next life as anyone, I would want to come back as Stanley Tanger’s grand-daughter.” Her words have always stuck with me, and I know just how lucky I am to have been able to call him my Poppy. And even though Sadie will never get to meet him, she will learn about all of his good qualities and will one day realize how lucky she is to be his great-granddaughter. And with the name Simcha, we hope she will give joy to others and receive joy from them.

Chaya means life. My mom was given this hebrew name after she overcame two brain tumors when she was a small child. Her will to live was present then and everyday thereafter, as she never stopped pushing through challenges that came her way, all with a positive attitude. Her zest for life was truly contagious! And as today we celebrate the life of our new daughter, it’s hard to believe that exactly one year ago we were mourning my mom’s death. The biggest challenge that I had to face while I was pregnant and throughout the past 4 months of being a new mom, is the loss I feel on a daily basis of not having my mom here with me. And what hurts even more is knowing that my precious daughter will never have the opportunity to meet her. She will feel her presence though, as my mom’s memory will always be kept alive; she will always know who her Grandma Jane was and just how much she would have loved her. And as it is also believed in the Jewish religion that the soul of a loved one lives on in the child who now bears his or her name, I have faith that my mom’s soul lives on through her granddaughter, her namesake.

Our hope for Sadie Jane, through her hebrew name Simcha Chaya, is that she carries a piece of my grandfather and my mom in her heart, and most importantly, that she is able to find joy in her life.

You can watch (an unprofessional) video from the ceremony here:

Sadie’s Hebrew Baby Naming Ceremony from stacy black on Vimeo.

If the video doesn’t show up above, click this link to watch it:
https://vimeo.com/72162723

Sadie week.by.week {month 4}

13 weeks old:

14 weeks old:

15 weeks old:

4 months old:

almost 4 months old….some thoughts

Sadie you are just shy of 4 months old.
You are still such a newborn but you seem like such a big girl to your mommy. You love to suck your thumb and your fingers, and you sometimes do all that you can to get both of your hands into your mouth. To say you are always covered in saliva is an understatement. You love to be upright.
You no longer find comfort from the cradle hold; you don’t want to be rocked like a baby, you want to be held up like a big girl. You nap twice a day, but your nap time has a schedule of its own. You are little miss fussy when you don’t nap! You are still nursing, but you also have formula because you’re one hefty eater and mommy can’t keep up. Your smile melts my heart. You love the tickle monster (daddy) and you give him special giggles. You love your Gale, and mommy is so happy we have her to help. We have a special night time routine and mommy loves putting you to bed. And guess what? You now sleep “almost” through the night… if you consider 5am to be the morning! You love your swing, but only when it’s on the fastest setting. You could care less about your two puppies, but they like to sniff your toes. You have deep blue eyes, no clue where those came from, but let’s hope they stay. Your hair is always a mess, but you are still cute-as-can-be and I love you. love you. love you.
Sadie you are just shy of 4 months old, but to me you are nothing shy of perfect!

daddy love

Sadie week.by.week {month 3}

9 weeks old:

10 weeks old:

11 weeks old:

3 months old:

Sadie week.by.week {month 2}

5 weeks old:

6 weeks old:

7 weeks old:

2 months old:

Sadie week.by.week {month 1}

1 week old:

2 weeks old:

3 weeks old:

1 month old:

4th of July with Grandpa and Nana

Sadie was fast asleep before any fireworks started, but she still enjoyed celebrating July 4th weekend with her special visitors: Grandpa (Mark) and Nana (Sheila)!

a {tiny} hole in sweet Sadie’s heart

We found out on day #2 in the hospital that our precious baby girl was born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD)….also known as a hole in the heart. Medically speaking, it’s a congenital heart defect in which there is an abnormal opening in the dividing wall between the main pumping chambers of the heart. We were relieved to learn that the size of Sadie’s VSD was very small AND that we did not need to worry about anything as long as she gained weight… WHICH SHE DID….and then the next step was to see a specialist after she turned 2 months.

So that’s exactly what we did. We did not worry (or even have time to worry) about the VSD, and before we knew it we were sitting in the waiting room {with our 2 month old Sadie} to see a pediatric cardiologist.

AND THEN… that’s when it hit me. Sadie has a hole in her heart.

The doctor took her blood pressure with the tiniest cuff I’ve ever seen:

Followed by an ultrasound of her heart that seemed to last forever. And sure enough, the hole was still there. It’s smaller, but it’s still there. The tears started flowing…and suddenly I felt as if I too had a hole in my heart.

But for now, there’s nothing that needs to be or can be done – and according to the doctor, the hole does not appear to impose any immediate risk. We will go back to the cardiologist again when Sadie turns 1 year old, and hopefully the hole will have closed up on its own by that point.

And if not…we will cross that bridge at the time.

splish splash {it’s time for the big girl tub}

It seems like just yesterday Sadie was [not-so-much] enjoying her first bath……and now 3 months later she has officially splish splashed her way through her newborn tub, and loved every minute of it.

Enjoy this slideshow of Sadie’s favorite time of the day… BATH TIME!!

…And now onto the big girl tub!

life {lately} with our Sadie baby

Once again I find myself {very} behind on updating this blog and I have a feeling that playing “blog post catch up” will become the new norm for me. Here’s a few photos – starting with the most recent ones – from life lately {June 2013} with our Sadie baby:

{early} morning smiles

For as long as I can remember, the snooze button has always been my best friend in the mornings. I always set my alarm for at least 1-2 hours before the actual time that I need to wake up —alarm goes off.press snooze.sleep 15 minutes.alarm goes off.press snooze.sleep 15 minutes……you get the point! I have never popped out of bed at the first sound of my alarm; that is until my alarm clock turned into early morning cooing and smiles.
It all starts about 5:40am, I wake up ON MY OWN (which I have NEVER in my life done before) and I patiently wait in bed until my “new” alarm goes off — sometimes it goes off at 6:05am, sometimes 6:40am, and even sometimes {as late as} 7:20am — and then this mamma pops out of bed like it’s no ones business! No snooze button needed when I get to wakeup to {early} morning smiles from this little one:

life with Sadie {the first 50 days}

On April 12th, 2013, life as we knew it ended and life with Sadie Jane began. So many special moments, so many firsts, so many emotions…. all happening at lighting speed. And every week I’ve wanted to write a new blog post to document everything for Sadie to be able to look back on one day AND to continue sharing our journey into parenthood with our friends and family. But I quickly realized that wanting to update my blog was one thing; finding the time to do so was another. I did, however, manage to jot down daily notes to use as memory triggers for when I eventually found the time to update this blog — but when I finally did have some free time – I wanted to share what was happening in the moment.

But how could I possibly start documenting for the first time about life with Sadie at 4 weeks old, when there were so many memories from the weeks prior.. so many moments that I worried would be forgotten if I didn’t write about them..

And soon 4 weeks of blog catch up turned into 5 weeks…6 weeks…and now 7 weeks. I’ve finally come to the realization that I’m not going to have the chance in the near future to sit down for hours and write about our life with Sadie thus far, so I’m compacting it all into this one post – with very little details but lots of photos! And then FINALLY I will be able to cross off “update blog for past weeks” from my to-do list, and hopefully start posting more “in the moment” moving forward.

50(ish) MOMENTS/MEMORIES FROM THE FIRST 50 DAYS OF LIFE WITH OUR SADIE JANE

her arrival on April 12, 2013 at 4:20am (read more about it here)

Craig meeting Sadie for the first time, about 20 minutes after her arrival

Before I was put “under” – the last thing I remember being told was that I will wake up and have a baby. About 45 minutes later, I woke up and held my little girl for the first time.

Grandpa Mark and Nana Sheila arrived soon after to meet their first granddaughter / grandchild

The first day in the hospital… footprints, first bath

Grandma Leslie and Poppy Steve arrived to meet their first granddaughter

Sadie Jane surrounded with love by her grandparents

Ready to go home!

Lilly watching over her new baby sister from day one

First pediatrician visit

First stroll around the neighborhood with our baby girl

First “manicure”

First weekly photo, 1 week old!

meeting Great Grammy Doris

First bath at home

First time in her pack and play, snug as a bug

Mommy love

Cuddling with her baby nurse, Gale

2 weeks old!

Daddy feeding Sadie for the first time (bottle was introduced with breast milk at 2 weeks)

Craig giving Sadie a bath for the first time

3 weeks old!

First time on the playmate for tummy time

First craft project — Mother’s Day gift for Sadie’s Grandma Leslie and Nana Sheila

Someone likes to cuddle with her Mommy

Starting to interact with her swing

Goodbye kiss from daddy before he leaves for first business trip since she arrived

Lilly “sitting” guard

First time wearing Sadie

My first mother’s day – very bittersweet

1 month old!

First time chilling in her baby bjorn – which has now become a morning ritual

5 weeks old!

6 weeks old!

Grandpa Mark and Nana Sheila visit

Memorial Day play-day with Bryant – just a few months before they were both in the womb (remember this post?), now they are baby buddies

My little “big” girl…loving her at this 7 week old stage (it’s true that it just gets better everyday!)

Sadie is ready for the summer!

My beautiful Sadie Jane

 

birth plan..what birth plan?

My little Sadie, she came into this world with a bang! I had a plan…a very detailed birth plan. This included specifics such as: my doula and Craig to be in the room for the labor/delivery, receiving an epidural, delaying the chord cutting until blood was done pulsing, Craig to cut the chord, skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth. We attended a 2-day labor class and learned all about the different stages of labor and how to help mommy (and daddy) relax through the pain. But what caused me the most anxiety as her due date approached was the unknown of how it would all unfold. Where would I be when my water broke? Would my water even break on it’s own? How would I know if the contractions were real? How bad would the traffic be driving to the hospital? How much pain would I be in? Would I really have to push her out of me? Would the epidural take away all the pain? The questions were endless and the unknown was scary; but at the time the unknown consisted of many “knowns” – we just weren’t sure which of these “known” unknowns would come to fruition. Silly us for thinking we knew it all!

Our birth plan changed on April 11th, as we found out at my 38 week prenatal visit that Sadie was breeched (butt down). Since I was so far along, it didn’t make sense to attempt to turn her, which was unlikely to be successful but very likely to be painful. At this point, we scheduled at c-section for April 19th, when she would be 39 weeks. We called our parents that evening and shared the news. I spent the rest of the night grappling with the notion that my vision of how my labor/delivery would now consist of a c-section. This left me with a whole new set of questions and a little bit of sadness as well. But at the same time, we still had a plan, a planned c-section. That would all change a few hours later! I went to bed that evening with the intention of calling my doula in the morning to let her know we wouldn’t need to use her services since only Craig would be allowed in the room for the c-section, for our planned c-section. And then it happened, shortly after 1:30am, my water broke! The rest of the story is best told by my Doula, who documented everything starting with my call to her at 2am. Below is what she wrote:

Stacy called at 2:00a.m. And said that the baby was breach (butt was presenting) and her water had just broke. She was concerned that it was an emergency situation, but I explained to her that the baby was not coming out quickly and that she had time to shower and get herself ready to go to the hospital. She called back to say that they were heading to the hospital and I met them at 3:10a.m. In triage. Stacy seemed fine at first, but began having more intense contractions. At approx. 3:40, her nurse Kelly drew her blood and gave her an IV. Stacy became hot and felt faint during that procedure so we placed a cold washcloth on her forehead to cool her down. Her contractions became very intense and Kelly noticed the baby’s heart rate dipped so she had her roll to her left side. Kelly checked her cervix and the cord was prolapsed. The babies heart rate dipped and Kelly kept her hand on the baby to keep her off the cord. They rushed her back and put her under general anesthesia and proceeded with an emergency cesarean. Craig was not able to go with her. At 4:25 Kelly came in and told us that the baby girl was born 4:20a.m. Mom and baby were doing fine. She also said that the baby looked just like her daddy! At 4:40, one of the other nurses came and got Craig and myself and took us to see little Sadie Jane. She weighed 7lb. 5oz. and 20inches and her apgars were 9 and 9.

I think I will forever be in shock from the experience, but even more-so, I know I will forever be grateful to my nurse Kelly for saving our baby’s life. So even though we missed the birth of our daughter (since I was asleep and Craig wasn’t allowed in the room) – we have her here with us, and that’s all that matters.

And I will never again write another birth plan!

getting wheeled into the hospital, when it was calm before the storm

meeting Sadie for the first time

Baby Becher has arrived

We are SO excited to share that Sadie Jane was born on April 12th, at 4:20 AM, weighing in at 7lbs 5oz. I promise more pictures and updates to come once we’re back home and settled in with our baby girl Sadie!

notes from the nursery transformation

Our bags are packed, the to-do-before-baby list is completed, and the spare bedroom has been transformed into the nursery! (Now all we need is for baby Becher to arrive….T-2.5 weeks until her due date!)

before:

after:

WEEK 36

3/21/13 – 3/27/13

Baby Becher is now the size of a WATERMELON!! Week 36 has brought me some relief, as the sciatic nerve pain seems to have subsided and my blood pressure has lowered. This week I had a routine Group B Strep Test which is common among pregnant women, and I’ll get the results next week. I will officially be full-term on April 4th, which means now we play the waiting game….

maternity photos

Thank you to Heather of Bella Fina Photography for these fun photos!!

WEEK 35

3/14/13 – 3/20/13

The sciatic nerve pain has continued this week and on some occasions has gotten worse. It’s the strangest pain to try and describe — when it happens, it’s horrible — when it’s not happening, I’m perfectly fine. I try my best to stay off my feet as the pain seems to only happen when I’m standing, but it’s not exactly easy to sit on my butt all day (although a part of me thinks I should enjoy this time that I have of doing nothing while I can!)

To add to the sciatic nerve pain, my blood pressure has also started to increase this week. Due to this, as a precaution, the doctor wants me to come in 2x a week for a non-stress test to be performed. The test is non-invasive, and involves attaching two monitors to my stomach for about 20 minutes, one which monitors fetal heart rate and one which monitors contractions.

I also attended a breastfeeding class this week. I fully intend on breastfeeding for as long as I can, but I realize it doesn’t always work out (for mom or for baby). With that said, I did learn some helpful tips during the class to make the process easier, such as to NOT introduce a pacifier or bottle for the first 4 weeks; and that it’s highly recommended that the baby feed on breast milk ONLY for the first 6 months to receive the most benefits from this liquid gold, as they call it!

We had a fun maternity photo session with Heather from Bella Fina Photography this week. You can see the photos by clicking here.

Only 2 more weeks until I’m full-term!!!

WEEK 34

3/7/13 – 3/13/13

This week baby Becher is the size of a large cantaloupe! Week 34 = pain. I’ve started to experience sciatic nerve pain, which is absolutely horrible. I mean horrible! While the pain is periodic and only lasts a few seconds, it is by far the worst pain I’ve ever experienced (says the woman who hasn’t gone through labor yet!) The pain is caused by the baby resting on my sciatic nerve, and when it happens, it sends a jolt of nerve pain down my leg that literally takes me down to my knees. The best way to help alleviate the pain from coming on is to stay off my feet, which has limited me to staying on the couch pretty much all day (good thing I finished my last wedding over the weekend!). I’m not officially on bed rest because there is no harm/danger to the baby, but for the meantime, I’m staying off my feet as much as possible. On the other hand, Craig has been busy this week “on his feet” getting ready for baby..!


WEEK 33

2/28/13 – 3/6/13

Baby Becher is now the size of a PINEAPPLE, and weighing in at 4.9 pounds.

This week we met with our doula – Andrea Hall from Nurtured Birth – to go over our *birth plan and what her role will be once I go into labor.  She will provide non-medical support and relaxation techniques, help maintain a calm and peaceful birth environment, document highlights from the labor and delivery, and stay with me for a few hours after delivery to make sure I’m comfortable and settled.  As the day gets closer, I’m getting more and more nervous about the actual labor & delivery, but knowing that we’ll have a doula with us calms my nerves just a little bit.

*during my search for “how to write a birth plan” – I came across a hilarious birth plan that you can read by clicking here [disclaimer: you will likely appreciate this humor more-so if you have been pregnant before and written a birth plan yourself, otherwise you might not find it funny at all.]

We also visited a 3rd pediatrician’s office this week, and 3rd times the charm!  Wake Forest Pediatrics meets all of the criteria we were considering in our selection, and we were impressed with the additional medical capabilities available within their practice.

I want to give a special thank you to my Junior League of Raleigh friends who threw me a surprise baby shower over the weekend…So much fun — thank you ladies!!

 

my first belly laughs…{a reflection}

I was looking through old pictures on my phone today and I smiled ear-to-ear as I came across these photos:

While these might look like baby bump photos, they are actually “fake” baby bumps. I thought I would share with you the story behind the pictures; or what I refer to as my first {pregnancy} belly laughs.

Flashback to August 2012..

I joined Craig on a business trip to NYC about 10 days after my mom passed away because I didn’t feel like I was emotionally ready to be home alone. At this point, I was a mere 4 weeks pregnant and we had only shared the news with my dad & step-mom and Craig’s mom & dad.

While Craig was working, I was excited to spend time with my friend Lauren S., who was on a break from law- school and able to gallop around town with me. However, I knew that it would be hard for me to keep the pregnancy a secret from her, as I’m not usually one to turn down a glass of wine! And just as I thought, the minute she ordered a glass of wine at lunch and I ordered a ginger-ale, the secret was out. But surprisingly, it was very comforting to share the news with her (even though it was so early in the pregnancy) because I was still grappling internally about losing my mom and then finding out that I was pregnant the next day; my emotional yin and yang.

We soon found ourselves [one barely pregnant and one definitely not pregnant] venturing over to Destination Maternity and trying on clothes with the help of their fake “6-month pregnancy bump” strapped around our bellies. Thus, the pictures above!

But what you can’t see (or hear) from the photos is what they truly captured – my first good ole belly laugh since my mom had died. And in that moment, I was able to briefly put my sadness to the side and focus solely on the excitement of my pregnancy.

I can hardly believe how fast the time has flown by since these photos were taken, as I’m now approaching 33 weeks with a “real” baby bump way past the “fake” baby bump that we were pretending to have. And while I sit here and reflect on the past several months, I find myself again in an emotional yin and yang; as with each week that has passed by, I’ve gotten that much closer to the day that I will say hello to my daughter for the first time, and that much further away from the day that I said goodbye to my mom for the last time.

WEEK 32

2/21/13 – 2/27/13

As we took this week’s baby bump picture, I was reminded of the first picture we took at 8 weeks pregnant, which is now the same number of weeks we have left until my due date!

Baby Becher is weighing in at 4 pounds this week, and she’s about 19 inches long. Speaking of weight and height, if you haven’t already done so, click here to add your guess to our online baby pool!

This week we visited 2 out of the 4 pediatrician offices on our list (which was created based on proximity to our house and if they are covered by our insurance). Jeffers Mann Pediatric seemed small when we walked in, but the pediatricians we met with were very informative about their role in our baby’s life – beginning with a visit to the hospital the day after she is born. The staff was super friendly and it seems like the type of pediatrician office that really gets to know your child/family on a more personal level. Growing Child Pediatrics was a much larger practice – which we thought we would like – but the waiting room was not divided into sick/well/newborn sections, and the pediatrician provided us with very little information. We did not get that warm and friendly feeling from the moment we walked in, but the deciding factor was that they do not visit newborns in the hospital, which is something that’s important to us. Is it obvious which one we like best so far?!

We also had our 32 week pre-natal appointment. Baby Becher’s heartbeat has dropped to 140bpm, which initially alarmed me, but we were reassured by the doctor that it’s normal for the heartbeat to slow down as we get closer to birth. We’ve also now “graduated” (as the doctor said) to the point where we carry around with us a copy of my prenatal visit records to assure that I always have them with me to bring to the hospital when I go into labor.

Our little honeydew (yes, she’s now the size of a honeydew, which is the first of the fruit comparisons that has made me say “wow, that’s big!”) is taking up so much room that she’s squishing my lungs, make it harder for me to breathe. And don’t even get me started on the difficulty I’m now having turning from side to side when I’m laying down, or trying to get myself up off the couch!

WEEK 31

2/14/13 – 2/20/13

This week we went back to school…labor & delivery school, that is! We attended a 2-day weekend intense labor and delivery education class at the hospital where our baby will be born. The class covered just about everything from the few days leading up to going into labor through the few days following the delivery, as well as a tour of the maternity ward. While some of the class was repetitive of things I already knew, there was definitely a wealth of information that was new to me (and Craig). For example, we weren’t aware of the benefits to the baby that come along with waiting to cut the umbilical cord until the blood stops flowing (which takes about 5 minutes) versus cutting it within the first few seconds. Also, I was already aware of the many positions (thanks to the Business of Being Born documentary) that a woman can be in to work with gravity while delivering her baby versus the position typically portrayed for giving birth. However, I thought that I was limited to the flat on my back position because I plan on getting an epidural, but I learned in the class about alternative position options that work even with an epidural. Those are just two examples of the many things we learned over the weekend and hopefully some of them will come in handy when it’s game time!

notes from the nursery transformation

We’ve made some fun progress on baby Becher’s nursery….

the crib:

the bookcase:

the [black-out] shades:

Just a few more things and the nursery transformation will soon be completed…stay tuned!!

WEEK 30

2/7/13 – 2/13/13

I can’t believe we’re at week 30! 10 weeks to go until our official due date, and only 7 weeks to go until baby Becher is full-term. She is now the size of a head of lettuce and weighing it at 3.2 pounds. Craig was out of the country this week for business, and so of-course I was nervous about something going wrong with the pregnancy or having another unexpected situation (ie: ER visit) this week, but luckily it was smooth sailing! I had my 30 week pre-natal appointment and my fundal height (or in layman’s terms, my stomach) is measuring in exactly where it’s supposed to be at 30 centimeters and baby’s heartbeat is thumping at a normal rate. I also learned that my gestational diabetes test results came back normal, so no worries on that end. And per the doctor’s instructions, we started looking into pediatricians in the area and scheduled appointments to meet with 3 different practices over the next few weeks. Check out some updates from the nursery transformation here.

WEEK 29

1/31/13 – 2/6/13

Baby Becher is now the size of a large butternut squash and she’s weighing in at 3 pounds! I started counting her kicks this week, which is important for me track on a daily basis because movement is one of the best signs of a baby’s well-being. Within a two hour window, I should feel her move (kick, elbow, twist, turn, etc..) at least 10 times. Although this usually happens within the first 15 minutes, as she is constantly on the move!

My baby shower was this week (see pictures here), and it was incredibly special to be surrounded by my friends and family! Thank you to everyone who literally showered me with gifts for baby Becher, but most of all – thank you for showering me with so much love!!

And how fun is this shirt that Craig’s mom made for him?

baby shower love

I often reflect on here about not having my mom anymore and how sad I am that my daughter will never get to meet her Grandma Jane.  Some days are harder than others, but everyday I miss her and long for the love that only a mother can give. But this past Saturday, February 2nd – while surrounded by my friends, my family, and my mom’s friends – I was reminded of how much love is around me and how lucky I am to have such special people in my life.  Thank you to my step-mom for throwing me such a beautiful baby shower, giving me the best gift of all – joy in my heart!

 

fun with the soon-to-be grandparents

My dad and step-mom {soon-to-be baby Becher’s Grandpa and Nana) were in town last weekend for the Duke vs. Maryland basketball game.  Of course, Duke won!

Going to this game is an annual tradition for the two of us, as Craig is a Maryland alum and I’m a Duke alum. I do have to admit that it felt a little strange to be back on the Duke campus and also be pregnant!

After the game I casually asked my dad and step-mom if they would like to feel the baby kick. You would not believe how fast they jumped up and moved over to where I was on the couch to get their hands on my belly! I’m so happy that Craig captured this picture-perfect moment:

Craig’s mom and dad {soon-to-be baby Becher’s Grandma and Poppy} were in town this weekend for my baby shower.  In response to one of my previous blog posts where I mentioned that Craig was feeling a little left out of the pregnancy process, they decided to throw him a mini-shower the night before the real one.  The pictures speak for themselves, Craig was all smiles while opening gifts for his little baby girl! (on a side note: the photo timestamp is off by 1 month)

We had such an enjoyable past 2 weekends with the grandparents-to-be!

WEEK 28

1/24/13 – 1/30/13

HELLO to the 3rd trimester! This week marks the beginning of the last trimester. We had our 28 week prenatal appointment which included my second glucose screening for gestational diabetes (results will be back next week) and an ultrasound to check on the choroid plexus cysts previously present in our baby’s brain during the 18 week check.  I’m VERY happy and VERY relieved to share the news that the cysts have disappeared! We also learned that baby Becher is no longer in a breached position. Trimester 3 is off to a good start!

 

notes from the nursery transformation

I’m so excited about bringing our nursery ideas to life, and I thought it would be fun to share our progress along the way!

First, a look at what we started with:

BEFORE: an empty bedroom perfect for miscellaneous storage

And the transformation begins…

This week the walls were painted, new carpet was installed, and the chandelier was hung.

THE WALLS are a light purple color with a darker purple scalloped border at the top (which will soon have a green button detail added to it):

THE CARPET has a lilac and cream lattice-pattern:

THE CHANDELIER is called the Crystorama and I just love it!

We did a lot this week, but it’s just the beginning:

…stay tuned for more notes from the nursery transformation!

WEEK 27

The highlight of Craig’s week (I’m sure of it): adding another bee!

1/17/13 – 1/23/13

27 weeks down….{only} 10 more to go until I’m full term! Baby Becher is now the size of a large head of cauliflower and she’s weighing in at a whopping 2.5 pounds.

Our nursery inspiration started to come to life this week (as seen in my Notes From The Nursery post). I also started organizing the nursery closet, and the first project was to wash (using our new baby approved detergent) and hang all of the adorable clothes that we have gotten over the past few months.

As I snapped this picture above, I was reminded of something that my mom had written 28 years ago in my own baby book (which I found a few days earlier while unpacking a box from my mom’s house).

I imagine that when my mom wrote this, just as I was doing while snapping the picture of baby Becher’s clothes, she was admiring all of my cute outfits – which she had listed out on the same page with a description of each. I don’t know if I lived up to the high “hopes” my mom had for me to always be the best dressed, but that’s not the point. What I love about the fact that she wrote this, is that at the time she was experiencing the same feelings and excitement that I’m now experiencing about having a baby girl. And even though my mom isn’t here with me now to share in the joy of my soon-to-be daughter, it gives me a special feeling knowing that something as simple as getting excited about dressing my little girl, was something my mom was just as excited about for her little girl!

WEEK 26

1/10/13 – 1/16/13

This week I took my last flight/trip before baby B {and for a while} to NYC and spent a few days enjoying the city that I love (and miss!) with Craig. I had a great time visiting with some of my Duke girls, who I also miss dearly.

We met with our baby nurse who will be coming from NYC {baby nurses don’t exist the same way in NC like they do in Manhattan, and believe it or not – it’s actually cheaper to have one come from NYC rather than hire one from an agency in NC!} Her name is Gale, and she’s originally from Trinidad. I loved when she asked us, “do you know anything about taking care of babies?”, in which we responded “no, not at all” and she excitedly responded “oh good, you’re the best kind, I can’t wait to teach you everything!” We. can’t. wait. either.
Gale will be living with us for a few months once baby Becher is born, and since we aren’t able to have my mom here to help us out, we feel so fortunate to be able to have her here with us {as well as my mother-in-law and step-mom [for a few days!]}, to teach us EVERYTHING!

Also this week, we received a special delivery from Pottery Barn Kids:

Madison Crib

madison changing table

Next week, the nursery painting and carpet installation begins…!

my pregnancy buddies

As I mentioned in my WEEK 16 post, two of my girlfriends are also pregnant and both are due within 2 weeks of baby Becher. Susan, who I’ve been friends with since elementary school, is expecting her second baby. And even though she lives in Virginia, it’s been very comforting to have her as my text/email/phone (long-distance) pregnant buddy. Lindsey, who I met a year ago (when I first moved to NC) through her brother who I went to high school with, has since become one of my best friends in the Raleigh area. She is also expecting her second baby, and since we just so happen to live around the corner from each other, we go to the same OBGYN and our babies will both be delivered at WakeMed.

Lindsey came over this week (with her adorable 2 year old son, Dylan) to try out our at-home-doppler (baby Cote’s heartbeat is a healthy 147 bpm!) and to watch The Business of Being Born, a documentary series that has definitely shed some light and opened my eyes to the different choices and routes taken during labor. I highly recommend watching this if you are pregnant.

And of course, we couldn’t resist taking a baby bump photo of us together!

Stacy at 26 weeks, Lindsey at 24 weeks

How cute is this little boy? Baby Becher’s closet is filled with just about anything & everything related to baby. {I’m waiting (and hoping) for this so-called nesting phase to kick in so I can organize it!} Anyway, there’s a small chair stored in her closet, which was handmade by my grandmother and then given to my mom, and now will be passed down to baby Becher. Dylan went in the closet, found a book among the mess, and plopped himself down in the chair — so precious!

Lindsey is in trouble if baby boy Cote is even half as cute as his big brother – it’s hard to say no to this face!

Dylan checking out the “Beeeees!”

nursery inspiration board

I mentioned a few weeks ago that baby Becher’s nursery planning was underway. We’ve narrowed down some of our ideas and I’ve created a nursery inspiration board (I’m LOVING photoshop!) to help pull it all together.

Next step, bring this inspiration board to life!

WEEK 25

1/3/13 – 1/9/13

Thank you so much to everyone for the thoughtful messages you sent me after my trip to the ER this week. I never know who is actually reading my updates and it truly meant so much to me when I received your encouraging support in response to my decision to have the CAT scan.

This week has been uneventful after Friday’s scare, and I’ve spent it resting up and trying to get rid of my lingering cold. Baby Becher is now the size of an eggplant and she’s a kicking machine. We can now see my stomach move (or pop out) when she kicks…it’s pretty entertaining, for us at least!

I have officially grown out of my baby bump weekly photo shirt and it has been retired! I thought I was safe with my Michael Star’s “one size fits all” shirt for the entire 40 weeks, but apparently one size does not actually fit all.

You probably didn’t notice the change in my shirt, but I’m sure you noticed something else that is different about this photo. After my visit to the ER, I decided that I deserved a little “treat”, so I bought myself a new toy – photoshop! It’s VERY complicated to learn and I have a long way to go, but since I had some extra time these past few days while I was resting up, I did manage to learn a few things; hence this week’s photo.

baby Becher in 3D

As I mentioned in my last 3D ultrasound post, we were given a “re-do” ultrasound free of charge since they were not able to get a clear shot of baby B’s face. We decided to schedule the ultrasound while our friends Cam and Scott were visiting, and we thought it would be a fun treat to bring them with us to share in the experience!

Stacy and Cam, January 3rd

The ultrasound tech informed us that our baby is breached, which is the reason why it was tough last time to get a good picture in regards to the 3D, and again this time. On a side note, it’s too early for us to worry about the other issues (the real ones that actually matter) in regards to our baby being breached, so right now that’s not our focus. With that said, we did manage to get a few good photos from our 3D session……check out those lips!


WEEK 24

12/27/12 – 1/2/13

We spent the first part of this week in Morocco for the last few days of our trip. See babymoon post for Morocco pics! We arrived back in North Carolina late on New Year’s Eve, and got to our house just in time to ring in the New Year from our couch watching Anderson Cooper & Kathy Griffin live in Times Square. Week 24 ended on a very special day, January 2nd, which would have been my mom’s 62nd birthday. I spent the day thinking about last year, on her birthday, which we celebrated together. I had no idea it would be her last birthday celebration on earth; I never imagined it would be the last time I would give her a birthday hug.

Happy Birthday to my mom in heaven!

our babymoon

We spent the past 10 days in Morocco for our last big vacation before baby Becher arrives, aka our babymoon. All of the books advise that the safest time to travel while pregnant is during the second trimester, so we planned this trip accordingly. Looking back, it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to travel to a fairly underdevelopment country while pregnant, but luckily all was fine and we made it back without any issues. However, next time around, I’m thinking Hawaii sounds like a good babymoon spot!

Enjoy this photo slideshow of our favorite memories from the trip:

babymoon memories from stacy black on Vimeo.

WEEK 23

12/20/12 – 12/26/12

This week we left the bumble bees at home and opted for a much more scenic baby bump photo taken outside our hotel (The Widiane) in the middle of Morocco’s breathtaking Atlas mountains!

You can view more photos from our trip in the babymoon post.

WEEK 22

12/13/12-12/19/12

This week my heart goes out to all of the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School who lost their precious loved ones. As Craig and I embark on our journey into parenthood, we have so many hopes and dreams for our daughter. The minute we found out we were having a girl, Craig said “this means I’ll get to give a father-of-the-bride speech one day!” I can’t imagine being robbed of our future with our daughter so soon after she is brought into this world. My heart truly breaks for the parents, siblings, children, and other relatives of the 27 victims (I consider Nancy Lanza to be a victim too) and I can only pray that they are able to get through the pain of this tragedy in due time.

We will be spending week 23 and part of week 24 in Morocco, as we’re headed on a final rendezvous (for a little while), a.k.a our baby-moon!
S and C + baby B will be back in 2013….but until then, I wish all of you who celebrate it a Merry Christmas, and for those who don’t, a merry eating Chinese Food and going to the movies day! And to everyone, warm wishes for the new year!

WEEK 21

12/6/12-12/12/12

The highlight of this week {in the world of baby B} was on 12/7. We were watching CSI:NY (our typical Friday night TV) and the baby’s movement felt a little stronger to me, so I quickly told Craig to put his hand on my belly. And a few seconds later, he felt our baby kicking (or elbowing!)

I’m still trying to get used to the “special treatment” that comes along with being pregnant, or rather once a pregnant woman start looking pregnant. In my eyes (and Craig’s), I’ve been showing since week 8, so it still surprises me when now it’s obvious to strangers that I’m pregnant, since so many weeks went by without any acknowledgement. For example, this week I volunteered at the Bargain Box for the Junior League of Raleigh. While we (the volunteers) were getting instructions at the beginning of our shift, the sales associate training us stopped in the middle and looked towards me, as he said “if you need a seat to sit down, let me know” — and I was like “who, me?” It’s little things like this that are appreciated, but completely catch me off guard!

This week was a little harder emotionally than some of the others have been, as this week was Hanukkah and I couldn’t help but think about my mom as we lit the candles each night. She loved all of the Jewish holidays! I started going through some of the boxes that we now have in our house from my mom’s belongings in her house, and I came across a very special bracelet. It was my mom’s baby bracelet, given to her on January 2nd, 1951 by her aunt and uncle. I would have assumed it was my own baby bracelet, but it’s engraved with her name and birthday! I’m shocked that my mom still had this, but incredibly happy that I found it. I’m considering it a little Hanukkah gift from my mom in heaven for us to pass on to our daughter.

3D/4D ultrasound number 2

When we went to Baby Bump 4D for our early gender detection ultrasound, we were told we could come back for a second 3D/4D ultrasound at a discounted price. So this week – 5 1/2 weeks later – we made a spur of the moment decision (I know, we’re so adventurous!) to go back for that second ultrasound. Well it turns out that our daughter is already stubborn as she refused to turn towards us so we could see her whole face. After 45 minutes, the ultrasound tech had me eat a sugary (& delicious) cake-pop and do a few jumping jacks, neither got her to turn the “correct” way. All we got from Baby B after that was a yawn, seriously, she yawned at us! We did however get a GREAT shot of her hand (which is in-front of her face).

As I previously mentioned in the WEEK 18 post, we were told that our baby has 2 choroid plexus cysts in her brain. We were assured by a specialist that these will go away and everything will be OKAY, but we won’t know if we are 100% in the clear until our 28 week ultrasound with the doctor. With that said, the specialist commented at the time that it was a positive sign that we could see our baby’s 5 fingers, which meant baby B was opening (rather than clinching) her first. According to the doctor, a closed fist is a strong indicator of the complications caused by choroid plexus cysts, but an open fist is a strong indicator that the baby is healthy & the cysts will disappear. And as you can see in the 3D ultrasound picture below, there’s an open hand with 5-beautiful-fingers!

The 2 other pictures are from the side, as she had no intentions on turning towards the camera. And then finally a “BIG” yawn from our little girl (this last picture makes her look a little strange – okay, all of the pictures look a little weird/creepy, BUT her yawn is so cute that I couldn’t resist sharing it!)

Our spur-of-the-moment ultrasound turned out to be a win-win situation, as we were further reassured that everything is OKAY with our baby regarding the cysts, and we now get a free 3D/4D ultrasound in January since they were “unsuccessful” at getting a full shot of her face. But in mommy Becher’s book, it was as successful as she could have hoped for!

12.12 a reflection

Everyone is aware that today is 12.12.12! To some, the date is just another set of numbers on the calendar, and to others it represents a once-in-a-lifetime-lucky-date that won’t happen again until 2101. To me, it’s the 3 year anniversary of the day I said “YES” to spending the rest of my life with my best friend.

On 12.12.09 Craig got down on one knee, and what started as a typical Saturday morning in our NYC apartment quickly turned into the happiest morning of my life; the official beginning of our journey together as S&C. Little did either of us know at the time, this journey would soon take on some of life’s biggest stressors in a very short period, including (in no particular order): getting married, the death of 2 close family members, moving to a new city, changing jobs, and purchasing our first house. And now we’re (eagerly) facing what will likely be the biggest challenge of them all, becoming parents. But through each up & down we have come out stronger together in the end and I can hardly wait for this next chapter in our journey to begin!

Happy 3 year engagement anniversary to my incredible husband, thank you for being you.

engagement photo taken by NY VISUAL in Washington Square Park

HAPPY HANUKKAH

Wishing everyone a happy hanukkah!! And to our little baby B, thank you for the fun Hanukkah gift of letting your dad-to-be feel you kicking!

WEEK 20

11/29/12-12/5/12

HALF
WAY
THERE!

20 weeks down…20 {or less!} weeks to go.

We started designing baby Becher’s nursery this week. Craig and I both want a more grownup looking nursery without a “baby” theme. The colors will be purple (in lavender tones) and white with a touch of a green. We weren’t crazy about any of the 100’s of crib bedding designs/patterns that we looked at across various baby stores, so instead we are going to create a custom bedding design through Doodlefish or Carousel Designs.

Traditionally, in our religion, parents do not setup their nursery before the baby is born (or even prepare for the baby) incase something should go wrong during the pregnancy and the baby does not survive. I know that I will be absolutely devastated if god forbid something should go wrong, but I also know that having the nursery setup wouldn’t make it any worse, it would be horribly painful regardless. So I’ve decided that when it comes to preparing ahead of time for our baby, I’m going to do what Craig and I feel is best, which is to be optimistic INSTEAD OF supersticious. As I’m typing this, I’m reminded of when I shared with my mom our baby’s name and wrote letters to our baby with her before she passed away (which those of you who have been following the blog read about previously in the we are thrilled to be having a baby girl post). I’m certain this would be a no-no in the superstitious beliefs, but it was by far one of the best decisions I made at the time. So with that said, and with optimism at hand, the nursery decorating for our baby girl is underway!!

We also had our 20 week doctor’s appointment this week. Baby Becher’s heart is beating at 150 bpm, and according to the doctor – my belly is measuring exactly as it should be at this point. Speaking of my belly, I’m starting to grow out of my weekly “baby bump” (non-maternity) shirt…it can only stretch so far! Baby Becher is now the size of a large mango.

Also, a big congratulations to our friends Lindsey & Tyler Cote who just found out they are expecting their 2nd boy! Baby Cote is due 2 weeks after Baby Becher (at the same hospital!) and he’ll be first in line to win her heart <3

WEEK 19

11/22/12-11/28/12

Zoe wanted to make an appearance in this week’s baby bump photo…and just incase you’re counting, she’s blocking a bee!

Week 19 can be described in 3 words:

Kicking.

Elbowing.

Kneeing.

Baby Becher is now the size of a small mango….my little kickboxing mango, that is. It’s exciting to finally feel her movements – but unlike everything that I read which described the feeling as “butterflies” or “bubbles” – I think it feels more like a strong pulsing sensation. Not exactly as enjoyable as butterflies, but a surreal feeling nonetheless!

miami trip

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been a little behind in my blog updates. We took a trip to Miami earlier this month to visit family…

I loved spending time with my 7 month pregnant cousin (Jenine) and her adorable daughter Ellie:

…and with my Aunt Susan, who I adore:

Mazel Tov to Jenine & Lenny on their soon-to-be second daughter, as well as to my Aunt Susan & Uncle Joe on their gorgeous new apartment!

WEEK 17

11/8/12-11/14/12

This week we received our test results for the 2nd trimester testing, which tests for spina bifida. All is well & tests results were normal! No spina bifida for baby becher 🙂 I also took an early gestational diabetes test (because my mom was pre-diabetic) which came back normal as well! No gestational diabetes for mommy becher 🙂

WEEK 16

11/1/12-11/7/12
This week I celebrated my 28th birthday….the last of my birthdays before becoming a MOM! The celebration started over the weekend with a birthday date-night with Craig, followed by the next night with a mini-celebration over tacos & cheesecake with our best buds Cam & Scott who were in town visiting. My actual birthday was celebrated in Roanoke, as I had 2 jam-packed days of wedding planning for our bride getting married at the Center in the Square. Even though I was away from Craig (and my dogs!) on my birthday – I was able to celebrate it with my Dad & stepmom, Sheila!

I also managed to squeeze in a visit with 3 of my favorite Roanoke girls, all in 1 day! And I’m so excited that I can finally share that 1 of these ladies, Susan S., is also pregnant!!!! We’re due one week apart! AND my friend Lindsey M., here in Raleigh (but also from Roanoke), is ALSO pregnant and is due 2 weeks after me!! I always wanted to have a pregnant buddy, and it turns out that I have 2!!! So happy for both of these ladies!

On my way back from Virginia, I made a stop at the Tanger Outlets in Mebane, NC. I went a little crazy in the polo store with baby girl outfits, I just couldn’t resist. And as I checked out, the guy behind the counter commented, “I hope you got something for yourself too!” while he sorted through all of the baby girl clothes. I realized at that moment that even though ALL of the clothes were baby clothes, it felt JUST as if I were buying them for myself. I’m sure that if you are a mother, you understand what I mean. And with that, I smirked and responded “these are for my baby, which is better than buying something for myself!”

Thank you to everyone who helped me celebrate my birthday this week & a special thank you for the MANY thoughtful “baby” related birthday gifts!

The week ended with my 16-week prenatal visit which included drinking an ultra-sugary concoction for my gestational diabetes testing, results will be back next week.

Our little avocado’s heart-beat is chugging along at 156 bpm.

we are thrilled to be having a baby girl

Having a healthy baby is obviously most important, but we’re very happy that baby Becher is a girl! We’re excited about having a daughter for many reasons and there’s one reason in particular that is closest to my heart:

A few days before my mom died I was not aware that I was already pregnant, but I did hope for a baby in the very near future. I knew that my mom would soon pass away and that she would never meet her grandchildren. It hurt so much knowing that she was going to be robbed of the joy that comes with being a Grandmother and the chance to spoil her grandkids. I decided then to share with her the names that we had chosen if we were to have a baby girl and a baby boy, and I thought it would be special to write letters to them from their Grandma Jane. I would keep these letters in a safe place until the appropriate time to give to my kids(s). We started with the set of letters to her granddaughter; one for her 5th birthday, her bat-mitzvah, her 16th birthday, and her wedding. And even though the tears were flowing from my eyes as we wrote the letters, it was something that I felt was very special to do; not only for my kids but also for my mom. Sadly, my mom died before we were able to write the letters to her grandson. And as I’ve shared in my previous how we found out blog post, we learned that I was pregnant the day after my mom died. So as it turns out, when my mom and I wrote these letters to her granddaughter, I was actually pregnant with her. I would have been just as happy if baby Becher was a boy, but now that we know she is a girl, it makes everything even more special. I can’t wait to share with my daughter the first letter on her 5th birthday – one of the many milestones that my mom won’t physically be there for – but she will know from the letters just how much her Grandma Jane would have LOVED to be there and that she is watching over her from above.

Thank you to Heather Finnocchiaro of Bella Fino Photography  for the photos, taken just a few minutes after we found out the sex of our baby!