Friday, January 24, 2020

Addie's Birth Story

In case you haven't heard, Baby K is here and SHE is named Addie Jo Kleinmeyer. We were thrilled to welcome Addie at 6:56 am on Thursday, January 9th. Both of our babies were ten days early and born on Thursdays, so apparently that's when my body likes to go into labor. Addie is the sweetest little girl and a precious gift, and we were honestly so shocked and delighted that she was a girl! (We didn't find out gender ahead of time.) I loved recording Eli's Birth Story, so here's the story of how our Addie girl came into the world!

On Wednesday, January 8th, I felt a few contractions here and there at school. Since I'd already done this whole thing once, I knew they weren't close enough together to be worried about, but I also knew they were actually contractions and not just Braxton Hicks. I had a doctor's appointment the next day, so I figured I could get checked there. (I hadn't been checked at all at this point, so I didn't know if I was dilated or effaced at all- but I did feel a lot more pressure.) Ironically enough, I remember thinking to myself as I left school that day that I may not be back for a long time. Maybe it was because I was mentally thinking that Eli was born ten days early, so if this baby came at the same time it would be the next day! 

That afternoon, I drove out to meet Aaron on our property at The Brim for a tour, with a mild contraction along the way. I remember joking with him that I was doing my best to just keep this baby in. After the tour, I picked up Eli and told my mom that I had been having some contractions here and there. She told me that she didn't have any plans all weekend, which ended up being a good thing!

I went home and worked on dinner, but felt myself having to stop here or there to breathe through contractions. Again, they weren't super consistent, about 25 minutes apart or so, so I didn't worry. But I did have a feeling that maybe this was actually "it". Aaron told me to go sit down because I was doing too much, but even while I sat on the couch I would randomly have contractions. Eli saw me breathing and was worried about me, but we just told him that our baby was getting ready to come!

Aaron and I climbed into Eli's big boy bed to put him to bed together that night, and though neither of us said it, there was an unspoken confidence that this would be our last night as a family of three. We soaked up the sweet time reading through Pete the Cat, and I handed off the book for Daddy to read a couple of times as I worked through some contractions. I attempted to "sleep" at about 9:40 pm, but woke up around 11:10 with random contractions- apparently I love going into labor in the middle of the night! I glanced at my watch here and there, and when Aaron heard me rolling over to my hands and knees and breathing through contractions at around 12:15 am, he asked if I was timing.

He got up and turned on the lights and started timing. I now know that I had back labor, which I didn't realize at the time, because when a contraction would end it seemed like it never actually ended. There was always this dull constant pain that I felt which made it seem like my contractions were constant. (I definitely don't recommend back labor- it is more common when babies are in a weird position, and Addie was head down but of sideways which was triggering the pain).

Aaron timed until about 1:15, and then told me he was going to call his brother to come to our house and be with Eli, who was sleeping. I was a little worried that this wasn't going to be "for real", and we would be bugging everyone for no reason, but a few more contractions in and I was pretty confident this baby was coming. Aaron also called my mom, who had been a huge help during Eli's 17 hrs of labor, and she headed our way to follow us to the hospital. I labored at home a little longer, and we pulled up the hospital about 2:00 am.

They got me up to labor and delivery and I was at about a 4, which I was honestly a little disappointed in. But I also knew that labor went quicker the second time around, and I was grateful I made it in time for a possible epidural. Since I was only at 38 weeks and 3 days, I had to "progress" in labor or they wouldn't be able to admit me, and they also couldn't induce me since I wasn't 39 weeks yet. I had a little PTSD from Eli's labor experience (going to the hospital, making no progress, going home, laboring until an 8, and coming back), so I was worried I would have to go home again, but thankfully I made progress and made it to a 7 very quickly.

Then it was time for the epidural. It took a few tries (and breathing through a few contractions) to make it work, but thankfully both Aaron and the nurse advocated for me (she said she shouldn't still be hearing me contract), so we had the anesthesiologist come back and she put something through that made me go numb a little more quickly and thoroughly. The back labor still wasn't completely gone, but I definitely didn't feel my contractions anymore, which was a relief and huge blessing. They moved me around a few times, broke my water when I was at a 9, and waited for me to reach a 10. I was able to rest a little, but it was all going so much more quickly than it did with Eli that I honestly couldn't believe I was as far along as I was.

Of course, coming in at 2:00 am and being close to a ten just after 6:00 am meant that my normal doctor who delivered Eli wasn't there. They had to call in the doctor who was on call for me, but it was time to push just before 7:00 am. I only pushed for 18 minutes (which would have been even shorter if they weren't waiting for the doctor to be in the room), and then little miss Addie was here at 6:56 am!

Aaron and I had both secretly wanted a girl, but we just wouldn't say it. Because of that, along with the fact that I had PUPPS (which is 70/30 odds in favor of having a boy), I was completely convinced that we were going to have a boy. We had to come up with a new boy name, since Eli was our no-brainer boy name the first time around, so we had worked extra hard to have a boy option that we figured we would be using. I completely understand why people find out if they're having a boy or girl beforehand, and think everyone needs to do what's right for them, but wow is it fun to find out in the delivery room! With Addie being born at 6:56, and shift change happening at 7:00, there were a whole host of people in the room who were cheering and crying right alongside us as Aaron called out, "It's a Girl!" We have a video of that moment and I'll cherish it forever.

My eyes were closed so I didn't know until he said it, but I honestly was so surprised and thrilled. We just kept saying we couldn't believe we had a sweet little girl, Addie Jo, and that she was here in less than 7 hours of labor. Eli was a 4:08 pm birth, so this time it was crazy to have it all done and over with before breakfast time (and I joked that I didn't even have to miss a meal)!

Once again, we had incredible nurses, like Lola (pictured here), Jen, Meg, Mackenzie, Erika, and several others who loved on me, Aaron, and Addie so well. Gosh, what a blessing nurses are to care for you so kindly at your worst and most vulnerable, just acting like it's no big deal when they deal with some pretty gross and hard stuff.

Once we moved up to the mom and baby floor, we got to hang out a little bit and then Eli finally got to come meet his baby sister (which, for the record, he totally called with unwavering confidence the entire pregnancy). He was a little worried about the hospital (where he kept telling everyone that he didn't have a boo boo), and he didn't like the looks of my IV. But he warmed up a bit when he got to sit on the bed with Mama and we told him that Addie was his baby sister and she was finally here.

Our family made their way through throughout the day, and we loved getting to surprise them when they came in by introducing them to our baby girl- what a sweet surprise for us all. We ended up having typical Missouri weather, with Addie born on a 65 degree day, and then freezing rain moving in the next day, and 3.5 inches of snow the next day, so that meant fewer visitors getting out in the nasty weather. We had to stay a little later because of it, but it was sweet to have the extra time just Aaron, Addie, and I in the hospital together (with the help of the nurses and the nursery) before heading home to our new reality as a family of four.

All in all, I am so grateful for another incredible birth experience, where I was able to make it a good chunk of the way on my own without medication, go into spontaneous labor ten days early (again), get an epidural for relief, and see my baby on my chest just seconds after she was born. That moment is inexpressibly wonderful.

Welcome to world, sweet Addie! You are prized and precious. We love you so much, no matter what, and we always will.


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Monday, January 6, 2020

My Word for 2020

Ever since 2018, I've been choosing a "word of the year". Although I'm not always into doing what is trendy, I've found that I really enjoy having a word to tie back to: it grounds me, gives me a way to track my goals, and can encompass a variety of my resolutions or hopes. In 2018, I chose cultivate, which ended up being way more applicable than I would've ever guessed. Last year, I chose listen, which was also very very fitting- although admittedly I didn't master it and am still a work in progress. It definitely tied in a TON to all that we had going with The Brim. And now, in 2020, we look ahead to a year brimming with lots of unknown possibilities and hopes. Which leads to my word for this year: trust.

In the noun form, trust is defined as a "firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something." As a verb, it is to "believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of".

Trust. Believe. Have faith. Have confidence.

This is something I could stand to do in a lot of areas in 2020. I've found myself to be a lot more of a worrier than I thought. I'm the type of person who can read an email and instantly go to the worst case scenario, already freaking out about how to handle it before it even escalates to the problem that I'm imagining in my mind. I often dream up situations that may not even come to fruition, and yet I worry about and try to plan for them. I question myself, question my successes, question my dreams. I wholeheartedly fear failure, and I worry about the unknown, though I have zero control over it.

It's a type of mild, self-diagnosed anxiety, honestly. So this year, I'm going to strive to choose trust over worry. To trust that I am doing the right things at the right time (after I've thought them through and made a decision). To trust that things will work out. To trust myself and my gut as a parent. Trust that things will look up at some point, even when they are hard or dark in the moment.

To trust in the Lord, and in his plans for our family. To trust that they are to help me and not to harm me, to give me a future and a hope if only I am willing to follow.

To trust my husband, and that he always has the best intentions at heart, even when it doesn't feel that way in an emotional moment.

To trust that I will bring this new little life into the world and that our family will make it through the newborn fog with a toddler.

To trust that stepping out in faith will be worth it.

I'm often a safe person, taking the seemingly secure and risk-free option that seems to make the most sense. And yet, I've been called to take more risks lately. To consider leaping and trusting that a safety net will appear. To step outside of my comfort zone when something wonderful could be waiting on the horizon.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."
Jeremiah 17:7-8

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." 
Psalm 56:3

We've got lots of big dreams and big goals on the horizon, and 2020 will prove to be a year of leaping and trusting. I am hoping and praying that I will do just what these verses say. That I will continue to trust even if the timeline changes or it seems like a long road lies ahead. That I will remain rooted and planted in a firm foundation, that I will not fear when the heat or drought comes, that I will not be anxious, that I will continue to bear fruit even in the less fruitful seasons. I look forward to 2020 with eager anticipation, striving to choose to trust rather than worry or fear this year, and in the years to come. 

Happy New Year to you all! 


Monday, December 30, 2019

2019: A Year in Review

As I reflect on 2019, and all that happened, I am truly blown away. Looking back at the word I chose for the year (listen), I certainly could have done a better job in some areas, but I believe that both Aaron and I have done our best to listen and trust in a variety of ways for the last 365 days. It has been a year of growth, of dreaming, of watching things unfold, and of taking huge leaps. It has been a year that stripped away all "control" that I thought I had, teaching me how much better it was that I wasn't the one deciding how it would all unfold. Some of you may stop by this corner of the web more often than others, so whether you're new here or read regularly, here's a recap of the year: complete with highlights, posts, big news, and fun photos and videos. Here's to you, 2019.


In January, this blog marked its fourth birthday! Wow! I didn't post as much this year, as we were just a little busy with several things, but I still love showing up in this space and I'm so thankful for those who faithfully read, comment, encourage, or even email about a post. In January, I sought to start the year strong by listening, we set off on a trip to Austin that would change our lives forever, and I learned a little more about saying no to working on weekends and yes to loving on my sweet boys.


Between January and February, we had a TON of snow days. So many that I was ready for them to end because it meant we had to go to school until May 30th! I shared my Three Days in Austin Travel Guide,  and the big excitement for the month was throwing Eli his second birthday party: a Taco TWOsday party. Boy did we have fun with the fiesta theme and all the yummy food and pinata fun that came along with it. I wrote him a birthday letter, and loved making his one second everyday video of his 2nd year (you can view it below)! It's crazy how fast time has gone and how big he is now. He will be three in a couple of months and I simply can't believe it.

Two special guests at Eli's birthday party were actually our architect (the one we randomly met in Austin) and his fiancee'. They are the sweetest, and they flew in to design the chapel over Eli's bday weekend - I felt some mama guilt, but it was so worth it! We also started trying for a baby in February, and I shared in this post about how I nearly ruined Valentine's Day.


March came and I went on my first mom trip away to visit my sweet friend in Wisconsin. I thought I may have been pregnant at the time (like she was!) but I wasn't. I shared my travel must haves (including my new luggage that I'm still obsessed with). Aaron and I also got the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Clint Harp, and we learned a lot about marriage and about running a business while also being married!


April came and brought along Easter, Spring fun, and family adventures as we looked towards the summer. We started to do more work on our land, and I shared one of my favorite pieces of the year, One Fork at a Time on the blog. I also wrote a little reflection on marriage and how it looked these days in my post With This Ring. This was a month full of baby showers, and it was another month where I thought I may be pregnant but wasn't.


In May, I finished up my 8th year of teaching, and Aaron finished his 6th! I had many of my kiddos three years in a row at school, so it was weird saying goodbye for the summer and knowing I wouldn't see them in the fall. I woke up on May 9th and took what I thought was a pale-lined positive pregnancy test. That day on the blog, I shared No Matter What about unconditional love and my son. The next morning I took another test to confirm things- one that said "pregnant" just seconds after I took it in my school's faculty bathroom! We went to a wedding the next day, secretly basking in the fact that we were having another baby! 

I wrapped up the month by writing a post about The Edge Pieces, which was hinting at all that was going on with The Brim- about six months before we finally "went live". We had a great Mother's Day with our little secret, sister Angie graduated from Mizzou, and then went on a short vacation with Aaron's family to Branson- where we told them the happy news (just shortly after we had told my parents). 


In June, we finally started our summer vacation! I was able to share our Tuscan Villa Styled Shoot photos after the shoot was published on Confetti Daydreams (my friend Lacey of Lacey Rene Studios is SO talented.) We were also able to join my family for a trip out to Colorado for some fly-fishing, beautiful mountain views, and Eli's personal favorite: a ride on the Georgetown Loop! 

I got to help Lacey with a couple of weddings, which proved to be not only fun, but awesome experience for our new adventure in the world of weddings! I also took on the role as wedding coordinator at our church. Speaking of weddings, Aaron and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary on June 15th. 

On the blog, I wrote The View from the Valley, a reflection about viewing the ups and downs of life from a different lens. We enjoyed lots of pool time and settled in to the sweet simplicity of summertime as teachers. I had a surprise early 30th Birthday surprise with the sweetest friends.


In July, we enjoyed a free visit to the zoo, had a wonderful Fourth of July (Eli loved the poppers and getting involved with the fireworks this year), and soaked up all of the moments with Puddle Jumper pool time, sunny days, and train rides. Aaron and I jetted off to England and Scotland for an EF Tour (minus Eli), and we announced our pregnancy at Stonehenge! It was quite the adventure getting there (yikes), but it was the most amazing trip once we were there!

I read a bunch of great books, and turned the big 3-0 on July 28th! I wrote a blog post reflecting on the decade, saying goodbye to my 20s and my first 30 years. I also did an entire wedding, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and reception at our church- it was for the sweetest couple and was so fun running the whole shabang. 


August started out with a bang when Aaron threw me a surprise 30th Birthday Party at Tribe Collective in the KC River Market. What started as a fun "girls' afternoon" celebrating my belated birthday with coffee and an escape room led to going for a bite to eat- where 32 of my favorite people happened to be waiting. Aaron really pulled off a great one for me, and I felt so loved and special. 

It was back to reality for us both as school started, but I knew that getting through this semester put me right at the end of my pregnancy, with lots of time with BOTH of our babies starting sometime in January. I shared my 18 week "bumpdate" on the blog, and kicked off my 9th year of teaching. We also jumped into the start of our parking lot and irrigation with things at The Brim.


In September, I wasn't training for the Kansas City Half Marathon for the first time in three years, which felt kind of weird. We settled into school, and I shared our big England and Scotland Travel Recap with all the details on our crazy delay (along with gorgeous photos of our adventures). I also got to share my thoughts about what I really need and want as a second time mama in a blog post called And the Kitchen Sink.

We enjoyed a wedding and a couple of birthday parties, along with a football game at my school with E. As a family, we celebrated our SIXTH house-iversary, where I shared more about our new deck project!


October came and I shared my 25 week bumpdate! We celebrated sweet Grandma Alice's (or "Gigi" to Eli) 80th Birthday, I helped with another beautiful wedding, and I struggled a bit with my mama guilt while at work each day. On the blog, I also shared something a bit heavier in We Don't Know, a post about the things we say when we don't know what people are going through: including some of my own experiences prior to getting pregnant with our second child.

After surviving conferences, Aaron and I were able to jet off on a little "babymoon" getaway to San Antonio, which was super fun minus the delay that left me sleeping on the floor of the Houston airport overnight. We had an amazing Halloween with our little dino, who just continues to get more and more fun.


In November, we celebrated Aaron's 29th birthday, and we hosted a special "preview night" kickoff with some of our closest friends and family out at The Brim. It was amazing and emotional to have so many folks out there to hear the story from us on our land and to watch us leap head first into our dream.

 We took family photos with the talented Kaylee of Kaylee Hoeflicker Photography, and then spent most of our month taking people up to the land and sharing our story with them. The blog was all about finally opening up and sharing all that had happened over the course of the last two years. If you'd like to read it, here are part one, part two, and part three of the story. It is truly incredible, and we are thrilled to continue to watch this big journey unfold! Definitely take a read if you haven't yet, and if you're looking for an affordable wedding venue in KC that cares about your marriage too, be sure to take a look:

To round out the month, I hit 30 weeks in my pregnancy, went to a ton of baby showers and sprinkles for other friends having little nuggets soon, and we ended the month with a rainy, chilly, 51st annual Thanksgiving Day family football game and good time with our sweet families.


And here it is, the last couple of days of December, and of the entire decade! I can hardly believe it! On the blog, I shared a quick 2019 Holiday Home Tour, along with my 36 week bumpdate (gosh that went fast). We had two snow days, battled Eli's constipation woes, and enjoyed some fun Christmas parties with friends. We also had the pleasure of taking a bunch of really amazing couples out for tours of The Brim, and had probably my favorite Christmas ever with a joyful and wonder-filled Eli.

We don't go back to school until January 6th, and with this baby due on January 19th, I have numbered days ahead of me at school this semester. Time will tell if I'll be early like I was with Eli (10 days), on time, or late. Depending on when baby comes, I'll have to go back for the last month or so of school, which will be brutal but then it will be summer! Time will also tell if we'll have a girl or boy- it could be really any day now which is crazy!

Cheers to 2020, a new decade, a new baby, weddings, and everything else that it will bring! I pray that it finds you healthy, happy, and oh so loved. Thanks for sticking around this year and loving on us through all of the ups and downs. We hope you'll join us next year for all of our new adventures!