June’s Birth Story

June Deanne arrived Friday, May 13, 2016 at 2:43 AM!

9 lbs. 9 oz.

21 1/2 in. long

15 in. head circumference

June was due on May 12th. Since I was 10 days overdue with Ada and 4 days overdue with Lola, I was sure that I’d be going at least a few days over with June. For most of my pregnancy, I told people that I was due on May 17th, my Bobba’s birthday, so that I could avoid the barrage of, “Is baby here yet?” questions. I made sure that my due date was packed with appointments and things to do so that I could stay busy and keep my mind off being due with no baby.

Thursday the 12th looked like this:

Get girls ready for school

Drop girls off

Joke with teachers about how I’d see them on Monday, still pregnant

Pick girls up from school

Go to 40 week check-up

Take girls to get their hair cut

Go to Orcutt Burger for dinner

Get my nails done

I had a full day! And stay busy I did. Well, at my check-up, when Dr. Rasul checked me, I was 4 cm dilated! I asked her to strip my membranes and she said that I would probably go into labor that night. She wanted to send me right over to labor and delivery, but my doctor (Colton) wanted to send me home. Less intervention = better chance of VBAC. I agreed and wanted to go home too to finish my list of to dos for the day! I was having some mild cramping but nothing unbearable. As I was leaving, she looked me up and down and said, “I don’t think baby will be 9 lbs. You let me know.” I went about the rest of my day and it was when I was getting my manicure that things were getting a little more uncomfortable. It was so funny, I closed the place down so they were mopping the floor while my nails were being finished. They said not to get out of the chair and walk, they would push me in my chair to the front. So I had two guys pushing hugely pregnant me in the rolling chair along with the owner walking behind us saying, “Taxi!” It was hilarious!

When I got home from the nail place around 8:30 PM, I told Matt and the girls that we needed to get packed up so the girls could spend the night at my mom’s that night. After a false alarm the week before (which really was my body doing some work and progressing), I already had everyone’s bags ready. So it was just the toiletries and electronics that needed to be added to the bags. As I was packing the bathroom stuff, painful contractions started. I was timing them on my phone and they were 3-4 minutes apart. I’d texted my mom after my doctor’s appointment so she had dropped off sub plans at her classroom just in case it was the real deal! We dropped the girls off at my mom’s and I stayed in the car it was so painful. Matt comes back out to the car and asks, “So, home or hospital? Maybe we can watch one more episode of Walking Dead?” I just looked at him and said, “Hospital. Now!” He dropped me at the ER door since it was after hours (11 PM) and went to park the car. I waddled in and said, “Hi, I’m in labor.” They got me in a wheelchair and took me up to L&D. Matt came up and joined me in the little triage area where they made sure I was actually in active labor. Baby girl was definitely coming tonight!June's Birth - karainthekitchen.comContractions at this point were getting closer and getting up on the little bed with metal bars on the side was not comfortable or fun. My nurse was awesome and stayed with me the whole time I labored! She rubbed my back and talked me through contractions. She said I started squatting while holding onto Matt and she knew we had to get into a delivery room. I had no idea I was doing that, it’s amazing what your body instinctively does to get through pain.

[Continue Reading…]

June Deanne’s Newborn Photo Shoot

At 8 days old, Matt and I put Junie on our bed and took pictures of her sweet newborn-ness. She only peed on the blankets twice :)June Newborn - karainthekitchen.comJune Newborn - karainthekitchen.com June Newborn - karainthekitchen.com June Newborn - karainthekitchen.com June Newborn - karainthekitchen.com June Newborn - karainthekitchen.com June Newborn - karainthekitchen.com

She is such a good baby! Super vocal and grunts a ton, and makes happy little content noises after nursing. Eats like a teenage boy, sleeps like an angel. She’s been giving us 6 hour stretches at night and I love her for it! Her hair is lighter than Ada & Lola’s was and her eyes are looking like they are going to be blue. Labor story coming soon :)

PinkBlush Maternity Dress Review & Giveaway!

I received a PinkBlush dress for this review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own!

You guys. There is an epidemic out there. It’s called Lack of Cute Clothes for Pregnant Women! I have become so frustrated while shopping through all of my pregnancies. I am big on quality. I can’t handle buying clothing items that will change after one wash. My momma taught me to look for items that would last the whole school year as a kid and what good fabrics felt like. That whole Wet Seal phase in Junior High just about killed her, I think :)

Thank goodness this time around, there are some great options for cute maternity clothing online! Pinkblush MaternityI found PinkBlush Maternity through a random search on Google. They also have women’s clothing for non-pregnant ladies, too! I immediately fell in love with their styles and flattering fits.Pinkblush Maternity-4Doesn’t the print on this dress just make you happy?! It’s like a Hawaiian luau! I like it so much that I’m wearing it in my new head shot to the right :)Pinkblush Maternity-2I got so many compliments when I wore this dress church. And lots of conversations were sparked about how much better maternity clothing is now! No more giant tent dresses, please. Pinkblush Maternity-3I wore my favorite (most comfortable) Born wedges and J.Crew statement necklace with it.   Pinkblush Maternity-6PinkBlush would like to give one of my readers a $75 gift code to use on their site! See details & enter on my Instagram here: $75 PinkBlush Gift Card Giveaway!

Good luck!

A Little News!

We are adding another little pumpkin to the bunch this Spring! Miller-5I’m 14 weeks along and due on May 12th, 2016! With my track record of being overdue – I’m saying May 17th instead. It’s my Bobba’s birthday and would be a great day to have a baby :) Miller-6We are so excited! Ada & Lola can’t wait to be big sisters to baby. Lola kisses my belly and says, “Goodnight, little one.” So far everything looks great! Growth is right on track and baby’s heart rate was 140-142 at my last appointment.Miller-4I am sorry if I’ve avoided you or been short in past months, I’ve been sick. So very tired, too. Thank goodness for Zofran! It took the edge off and helped me keep food down. Wish I would’ve had it with my girls.

Photos by the talented Kirsi of LK Photoshoots! She is so good with my girls and has such a great eye for locations and ideas. Book your spring photo shoot with her here!

Lola’s Birth Story

Lola Jennie arrived Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 4:03 PM!
9 lbs. 3.7 oz.
21 1/2 in. long
13 1/2 in. head circumference
14 in. chest
We are head over heels in love!
Labor Story:
I started having mild contractions on Saturday, but didn’t want to get my hopes up. We went to the grocery store and when I got out of the car I had a sharp pain in my lower abdomen, but was still able to shop. When I got home, another sharp cramp in the same area, but I told Matt to go to work anyway. My contractions were timeable all night, but not too painful yet. I decided to call my mom and tell her to come on up just in case. She arrived around midnight, and we all went to bed around 1 AM to try and get some sleep. I woke up at 4:20 AM to go to the bathroom, and was feeling terrible about having my mom come all the way up to Santa Cruz because my contractions still weren’t getting any stronger! So I climbed back into bed and ten minutes later, BAM! Real contractions! I woke Matt up and started getting ready. He called Sutter, where I wanted to deliver, but they were full. They faxed my information over to Dominican Hospital and we were told to head there. :( I didn’t like that place when I toured it, but that’s where we ended up. I told Matt I was feeling nauseous, so he grabbed a little tupperware for the car. I was having a contraction and said in my best angry whisper (since Ada was sleeping), “Why would you get that?! That’s the worst possible thing to throw up in!” Poor guy ran back and grabbed a plastic bag for me. In hindsight, the tupperware was probably just fine :)
Matt & I drove to Dominican, thankfully it is close and at that hour there was nobody on the 1! Miraculous! Leila came on the radio and I was singing, “Lo-la! You’ve got me on my knees Lola!” Matt started pulling into the visitor parking which was far away from the front door and I told him to go drop me off at the door. I get to the hospital door and it wouldn’t open. I ring the buzzer and say, “I’m in labor! Where do I go?!” The lady says, “Oh, hang on, just a minute…” while leaving the speaker on and carrying on a separate conversation. I was so mad! She finally buzzes the door open and says sorry. We walk into registration and it’s a ghost town. I turn around and two phlebotomists were pushing their carts our way, One says, “Ohhh mama where are you going?!” I said, “I don’t know – but I’m in labor!” She ditches her cart, grabs a wheelchair, and starts directing Matt to open doors and grab things as she runs while pushing me at lightning speed down the halls! It was awesome, she was not a small lady either! She got me to labor & delivery and I thanked her profusely.
I get into my room and the nurse hands me a lovely hospital gown to wear. I asked for an epidural right away. They checked me and I was at a 5. My contractions were getting stronger and were about 2 minutes apart. I said I was going to throw up, and my nurse kept typing into the computer. Matt said, “Can we get a bucket or something?” because he knows when I say I’m going to throw up I mean it. The nurse starting running around like a crazy person opening drawers and rummaging around the room looking for something. I see nothing is going to happen to I get up and start waddling to the bathroom. As I start to throw up on the floor, the nurse puts a teeny tiny plastic container (smaller than Matt’s tupperware) under my face. I throw up twice in it, fill it to overflowing, and she continues to hold it directly under my nose. I shove her hand away because I was done and having it right under my nose was going to make me puke again!
They get me hooked up to an IV and say that I have to have the whole bag of fluid in me before they can give me the epidural. During every contraction I was begging that bag to hurry up and get in me! If I moved my hand a certain way it would stop dripping, so I made sure to keep an eye on it. I continued laboring and a new nurse came who I loved. She talked me through the pain and was very helpful. Although I hated that she wanted me to look into Matt’s eyes during the pain…I prefer to go away to my happy place and get through it. Looking into his eyes tortures him too, he said it made him want to cry seeing me in so much pain!
By now, two hours had gone by and I wanted my epidural! A funny anesthesiologist came in and said that Matt and I need to keep having babies and populate the world with pretty people :) He was upset with the nurses that my epidural was taking so long to go through, as was I! Finally after two and a half hours, it comes. A different anesthesiologist starts putting it in, and I jumped. His voice scared me so bad, he said, “Kara, it is VERY important that you do not move!” I was trying so hard not to, but he was injecting the local anesthetic in very fast bursts and my body was just reacting, I wasn’t moving! So Matt helped hold me down and I focused on being very still. He got it in and I FINALLY had some relief! It was a very mild epidural, as I was still able to move my legs and roll over on my own. At this point I had progressed to a 6. This is where I stalled with Ada, so Matt and I were both saying silent prayers that I would continue to progress so that I could have a VBAC. I finally called my mom and let her know that I got the epidural and things were moving along. She said Ada had woken up just after we left for the hospital, so she was going on no sleep with a toddler up at 6 AM!
I continued to labor and at one point the doctor on call for mine came in and said if I don’t start progressing I might have to have another c-section. This saddened me a bit, but I was okay with it because it was an option. Lola didn’t like when I laid on my right side, so I stayed on my left. This was terrible for me because the nurse was sitting on my right, and Matt was on the other side of the room talking with her. So I was left out of the convo unless I turned my head and that got uncomfortable and old real quick! So I made Matt come sit on an uncomfortable doctor’s stool next to me so I could more easily join in on the conversation :) Some really funny, loud nurse came in and started telling stories about her giant Italian family…that was amusing until my contractions got stronger. Then her pounding on my bed was not funny anymore and I wanted her to go away. She was like a character out of a sitcom though…
The next time the doctor checked me, I was 8 cm! I was SO relieved and happy because I was so close to being able to push. They put an internal monitor on Lola to better measure her heart rate. I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink all day except for a bite of bagel at 5 AM that I threw up at the hospital. I was sipping on my water bottle before I received my epidural when the nurse told me I couldn’t have any fluids per the anesthesiologist’s orders in case I had to go into an emergency c-section. Boo :( I was SO THIRSTY! Those of you who know me know that I’m a camel and always have water within arm’s reach. So that was rough.
My contractions were becoming really uncomfortable and I had the urge to push like crazy. I was holding back, and the nurse said, “No! Use that pressure and push with it!” I was like, “Oh, okay…” I guess it didn’t really occur to me that’s how it would feel. So the doctor came and checked me and sure enough I was a 10 and ready to push! Matt and I freaked out and I called my mom in disbelief because it happened so fast! She hurried and got Ada ready and they came to the hospital. I pushed with my contractions and the nurse and my doctor really helped me through. They said I did quality pushes and did great for my first time. Matt went into Coach Miller mode during one push and I pushed his face away…the nurse told him, “Doctor Taylor is the boss here…” haha it was great. HE was great! So supportive and helpful in getting me through the labor. One of the hardest parts for me was holding my breath through the pushing. In sports and working out, you exhale on the exertion. So I was programmed to exhale on the push, and it felt foreign to hold my breath during the push. Anyway, I got the hang of it and my eyes got really puffy because of it!
After about 40 minutes of pushing, the doctor told me that if Lola didn’t come out in the next couple of pushes, she would have to get the vacuum to assist her. I did NOT want that and they were all amazed at how I got down to business right away after the threat! After 50 minutes of pushing, Lola Jennie took her first breath in this world! They handed Matt the scissors to cut the cord and he could barely see through his teary eyes. He scratched her leg a little because his vision was blurred :) Don’t hand the emotional dad scissors! They put her on my chest and I was in awe of how beautiful she was. She was looking at me, recognized my voice, grabbed my hand. It was beautiful. She was looking for food right away and her thumb found its way into her mouth. She has been a voracious nurser from the beginning…our nurse told us that her other babies were struggling that night and Lola was her champion nurser! Right now, she will nurse for hours and sleep for hours.

After I got all cleaned up, my mom brought Ada in. It was so sweet to see her react to Lola since she’d been hearing about her being in my belly for so long. She got up on the bed and leaned forward to whisper the sweetest hi you’ve ever heard! It was such a tender moment. She has been so good with her and asks about her all the time. “Baby? Lala?” And walks over and says, “Awwwwwe, baby!” She is interested in holding her, but only for a few seconds. Then it’s bye-bye.

That night, my nurse got me up to go to the bathroom and I got really lightheaded. I sat back down and they waved ammonia in my face. Then my nurse started scrubbing my face really hard with a wet washcloth. She did that once during labor and I pushed her hand away then! Not a good feeling! She kept repeating to people over and over again how she forgot that I didn’t like that, I’m thinking, “Who likes having a nasty rough hospital washcloth scrubbed on their face?!” Anyway, they all made a big deal about my lightheadedness and made me stay in that room extra long. I am convinced it’s from not eating or having anything to drink ALL day long, laboring, and blood loss…it didn’t seem in excess but I guess it’s better safe than sorry. We finally got into recovery and got a new nurse that was wonderful! Loved Val. She sounded like Ina Garten and said fabulous a lot. She was so sweet and attentive. The next day, my nurse forgot my meds TWICE after I asked for them. Yeesh. I felt like our room had a revolving door on it, people just kept coming in. Except when we needed something. One machine kept beeping like crazy so I pushed the call button. They said, “Oh okay, be right there.” Nobody came. So I pushed the call button a couple hundred times :) They laughed and finally got someone in there to turn it off. The cleaning lady came in right after Lola had nursed and fallen asleep, she was SO loud! Banging things like crazy. Another random nurse came in and was yelling to my nurse. It was like they had no respect for the fact that we had a brand new baby and needed some peace and quiet. Needless to say, we wanted to get home ASAP. It was the polar opposite of my experience at French Hospital with Ada – I never wanted to leave because they were so wonderful!
We were pushing to get everything signed and completed so that we could leave, and our nurse from the day before came back. She was so sweet and meant well, but she was a complete spaz! I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “Sorry!” and “Oh I forgot…” She came to give Lola her shot and forgot a band-aid. So blood got all over her blanket. She smashed her finger in my wheelchair the night before, and then while trying to open my ibuprofen she was complaining about her smashed finger. I said, “Oh, is that from the wheelchair?” She said no, it was from her wheelbarrow at home. Evidently she had piled her laundry up high in it and was trying to get the wheelbarrow across the yard…I don’t know. It was just so funny to me because that was just so something she would do! There was some confusion about the pediatrician, and Matt had to get firm to get them to do anything. Finally at 8 PM a doctor shows up to check Lola out and send us home. We were SO happy to be headed home!

Matt and I still keep looking at each other and saying, “We did it!” I am so happy that I accomplished my goal of a VBAC. The recovery has been so much better than a c-section! I was amazed at how I could get out of bed on my own when we got home. Lola is one week old now and I’m feeling better every day. Thank goodness for my mom being here, I’m having some anxiety about her leaving! I don’t know how I would’ve made it through this past week without her. She’s amazing. Ada has been having some major fun with her Nonnie!

Cool things: I was due on the 4th and came on the 7th. Lola did the same thing!
Matt was skateboarding home from work on Saturday night and asked if I wanted anything at 7-11. Usually I’d say no, but I said a Slurpee sounded good. So we had Slurpees from 7-11 and then Lola came on 8-7-11!

Welp, there it is. We are now a family of FOUR! And Matt is destined to be outnumbered and have little Papa’s girls :)

Ada’s Birth Story

Born December 3, 2009
@ 5:34 PM
9 lbs.
21 1/2 in. long
14 1/2 in. head circumference

Perfectly healthy & beautiful!
She came out with rolls and a head full of hair just like her momma.
We are so in love!
Labor Story:
I went to bed after hanging a bunch of pictures on the wall. I woke up to waddle to the bathroom at 1:30 AM. Fell asleep, then at 2 AM woke up with painful contractions. I tried to sleep through them for as long as possible but they were getting worse and about 5 min. apart. So I got out of bed and started getting ready. Putting make-up on is hard while having contractions! :) I was surprised Matt didn’t wake up because of all the noise I was making during the pain. I yelled to him a couple of times but he kept on sleeping, so I went over and shook him. Here is how it went:
Me: “Babe! Wake up!”
Matt: “Huh?”
Me: “We have to go!”
Matt: “Where?”
Me: “The hospital!”
Matt: “Why?”
Me (pointing to baby in belly): “I’m in labor!”
Matt then stumbles out of bed and wakes up while in the bathroom…he does not remember that conversation at all!
I called my midwife and she asked if I wanted to labor at home, I said nope! We are on our way to the hospital. I wanted pain relief ASAP! The song Viva la Vida by Coldplay came on the radio during a contraction and I was pounding on the car door to the beat of the bass drum. Matt found that amusing and imitates me every time we hear that song now.
We got checked in and I said I wanted the epidural so they called the anesthesiologist. I was throwing up during the contractions they were so painful! Once that wonderful man showed up with the needle, I was SO happy! I can’t believe that people go through labor without anesthesia. It is truly beyond me!
My nurse, Claudia, was INCREDIBLE! She bent over backwards to make sure that my family and I were comfortable. She was such a sweet, calming, funny, perfect person to have around. Love that woman.
Here I am, happy, after the epidural holding up the awesome Jell-O I was allowed to eat. I HATED the finger heart rate monitor! It was always in the way and beeping because I was messing with it. A nurse on the second day told me I could put it on my toe, and my problems were solved :)
I continued to labor and had dilated to 4 cm. My mom, Matt, and I were able to get some sleep which was nice. At this point, Ada’s heartbeat was dropping a little during contractions. The next course of action was to put me on Pitocin to try and move things along. So while on that, my epidural wore off on the left side. My right leg felt like it weighed 300 lbs. – while my left I could move. I was feeling painful Pitocin-induced contractions on my left side and it was AWFUL! My husband had disappeared at this point as well, so I was not a happy camper. I said, “Where is the man with the needle, and where is my husband?!” So my mom went out to find them both. Another anesthesiologist came and fixed the epidural so I couldn’t feel anything again. It was wonderful.
At one point, it felt like we had every nurse from the station in our room! Ada’s heart rate had dropped really low during a contraction and they all came rushing in. They then took off the external belly heart rate monitors and put an internal one in that is more accurate.
My contractions began to double up on one another which they said was odd. When Helen, my midwife, checked me again, I was only at 6 cm. I had been in labor for 14 hours.
I knew that I had done everything physically possible to have this baby naturally. For her health and mine, it was c-section time. I was okay with this even though it was not my original plan. At this point, I was just ready to meet my daughter!
Matt was more nervous than I was:
I was just excited!
I was amazed at how quickly things went. I could feel them tugging on me, but was completely numb. When they pulled her out and saw how big she was, they said, “No way was she going to come out the other way!” Helen kept telling me how beautiful she was and how much hair she had while holding my hand. Matt was watching everything, he’s a curious boy like that. Dr. Kromhout was showing him all of my insides and he was fascinated by it!
I was not prepared for how hearing Ada’s cry would affect me. I immediately burst into tears hearing that precious baby girl cry out and take her first breaths in this world.
I love this picture of her right after being born. Her little bottom lip she sticks out is so cute!When they put her on my chest and let me hold her, she grabbed onto my finger. She stopped crying when she heard my voice. She recognized that voice she’d heard for so long!
Our first family picture:
The surgery went well with no complications.
One nurse said, “Oh my goodness, your stomach already looks better than mine, and we just pulled a baby out of it.” That one made me laugh! Gotta love humor while you’re laying on an operating table!
I was only in the recovery room for a short while. They put Ada on me skin to skin and let me breastfeed right away, it was wonderful. She even peed on me! Haha
Here she is meeting my mom:
And Matt’s mom:
Meeting Uncle Sean:
Daddy & Nurse Judy giving Ada her first bath (which I’m sad I missed out on):
After meeting the family in the other room and getting her bath, they FINALLY all came into my room. It felt like forever because I hate being alone. It was really only a few minutes though. And they handed me my precious baby girl again. I still can’t believe that we made something so beautiful.
I looked over at Matt later that night and said, “She is the most perfect thing we have ever done.” She is so innocent and pure. I still get emotional when I think about this life that we have been entrusted with!
Giving birth was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The bond that I have with this child is so strong, and it was there immediately. I would do anything for her!