I love this cake because it was so moist and light. My kids love fresh berries, so I put raspberries on top. Alice is not used to having sugar or anything super sweet, so I wanted to make sure this wasn’t too sweet. I didn’t want her to feel sick after. So I love that this recipe is dairy free, gluten free, and sugar free! You can sweeten the whipped cream to however sweet you want it (adding in honey or maple syrup). You can even add powdered sugar if you want to have a little bit of sugar. I’d say it was a success! Guilt free for me, and she thoroughly enjoyed it!
Why Water Kefir?
How do you do it?
& if you want to buy any on occasion, I love Kevita Brand in the Coconut Lime MoJito. You can find that brand at sprouts, harmons, Redmond Farms, and most natural grocery stores.
Water kefir vs Milk Kefir?
The whole week before Alice was born was a bit crazy. It all started when I went to a friends (new friends might I add) to have a juicing party. We drank juice, listened to a podcast, shared some laughs, etc.
While sharing laughs I kept feeling like I was peeing my pants, which isn’t unheard of during pregnancy.When I finally got up to go to the bathroom, my pants were soaked through. It didn’t smell like pee at all. I went home and I went to the bathroom again, but when I got off the toilet more liquid came out.
I felt panic set in. Could this be my water? I was so worried. I was not ready to have a baby. I had 6 weeks before my due date, and had planned a lot to get done in the next 4 weeks. I literally had hardly any clothes or new baby items for her arrival.
So much for wanting to feel ready with this one, both my labors I end up in active labor while I’m trying to pack. Peter was born on Christmas, and I even forgot to pack an outfit to take him home in. I also really wanted maternity pictures with Peter, almost as a last portrait session with my only child. Something special, but I’ll have to get over that not happening.
Tuesday I put myself on bedrest, and just took it easy. I still leaked a little bit but not very much. Wednesday I went into my dr office, tested if my waters broke, and checked the fluid levels with an ultrasound. The test was negative, and my ultrasound still showed a good amount in there. I was told to take it easy.
By Thursday at 1pm, I had a small trickle of water happen. I told peter mommy needed to lay down and take a nap, and he walked into his own room and put himself to bed. I love that little boy.By 5 pm my early labor had started. I was thinking it was just false labor or Braxton Hicks (I had never felt early labor with peter) I laid in bed hoping they would stop.
By 10pm, they were consistent and getting a little stronger. I tried to go to sleep, but that wasn’t happening. From 11-2 I started more real labor. I put the shower head on my tummy, swayed my hips on the exercise ball, and tried to focus on my breathing. It’s funny, when you are in labor it’s almost like you forgot how it works, how it actually feels. I kept questioning if this was intense, or if this was starting to be hard. It felt hard, and I thought it had to be active labor, but still doubted! Don’t worry, I was! I knew with Peter’s birth that my breathing was what made my labor. So luckily I had already been practicing for a few weeks before I started this labor.
By 2am I was ready to go to the hospital, knowing that this was probably the real deal, and trying to stay positive and that this was what needed to happen. That my baby needed to be born right now. I had been praying all week to be able to be brave, that I could feel peace. And it was so wonderful because when I went into labor and was at the hospital, I wasn’t emotional or worried about Alice at all. I felt such peace that everything was okay.Once we arrived at the hospital, they checked me and my test was positive. My water had definitely ruptured. I was dilated to a 4. They took me into the delivery room at 3am.
The charge nurse in the nicu came up and helped explain a little bit about preemie babies and if I wanted the steroid shot for her lungs. They usually administer 2, but I’d at least get 1 for her.I didn’t know what to decide but decided to have them check me before I made my decision. It was now 5am and I was at an 8! No turning back now, I was doing this unmedicated. Although, I still ended up with an epidural with peter after pushing for 3 hours haha. So the truth is, you just never know!
Starting transition. Everyone was a bit surprised I was at an 8. I guess I was pretty quiet and calm during contractions, even though it felt super intense to me, I was trying to just relax through them as much as I could. Taylor was constantly helping with pressure points on my knees, and that stuff is heaven. There wasn’t any time to do the steroid shots, but she prepped me a bit on what I could expect when Alice was born. She could need respiratory help, feeding help, maintaining temperature help. There was a possibility that she would be transferred to Utah Valley if she needed more intense care. They also told me how there would be a lot more people in the delivery room to care for Alice.
Pretty soon things intensified. Holy cow, labor is crazy! Our bodies are amazing. I still was breathing through them, and then I was at a 10 at 6am. I found giving in and accepting each contraction helped so much to progress my labor and keep me relaxed from fighting it. She wasn’t quite descending and I wasn’t feeling the need to push like I did with Peter.But I started pushing, and doing little pushes here and there. It felt a little better. It was starting to feel like so much pressure everywhere. It was hard to find a good position as things intensified. I was on my knees, than put into thrown position. Then I went on the floor for a second. Then I settled kind of on the bed angled into Taylor.
It was about 6:45, and my midwife said I really needed to start getting her out. So I started giving all my might to each push. It really was so intense and crazy. It didn’t really feel like I was getting anywhere but when I pushed I could feel the pressure lighten almost. It was so crazy and intense and I could feel her inside of me, which actually helped a lot with my labor.
The other nurses and respiratory team arrived. I was pushing my guts out, her heart rate wasn’t doing great, and my midwife said I was going to have to push her down. One of the nurses told my midwife to give me an espisiotomy and to just cut me (without any numbing shot or anything). I would have been so mad if that would have happened. Luckily my midwife was just as peeved a nurse was just yelling that out, and she said I was already tearing on my own and it looked good. I also didn’t want an episiotomy and knew I was now on the clock and had to get her out in the next 1-2 contractions. Crazy pushing and trying to get her out, and my midwife also helped grab her a bit to come all the way out. It was soooo intense, and so amazing at the same time to feel her descent and come out. …..Although my only thought immediately following the birth was that I never wanted to feel that again. hahaha. I was so glad I was done!
My placenta had actually ripped off and came out right behind Alice, so I didn’t end up pushing that out at all. I guess that can be scary, but it all came out in one piece, and my midwife just said I’d be a lot more bruised and kind of like a rug burn where it ripped off.Alice was doing pretty well once she was out, I was able to hold her for a few minutes before she had to go to the NICU. Taylor left with her, and I started getting stitched up. This always feels like the longest, and it is a bit easier while holding a newborn baby I think. My midwife gave me lots of shots, as I tore in two places, but what a blessing I didn’t tear all the way. I do have to mention that because of my SPD pain I had during pregnancy, for some reason it was a million times worse following the birth. Like I had broken every bone in my pelvic area. It was excruciating, and I really couldn’t walk or get out of bed without wanting to cry for the next week. ….So I think now that’s what I’m most scared of for future pregnancies and recoveries. My midwife had it too, and she warned me it gets worse with each pregnancy. Eeek! Luckily after two weeks postpartum it felt better enough it wasn’t bothering me to do any daily tasks.
It was definitely a different experience being in the recovery room with a pump machine instead of a baby. I am so grateful for the NICU care we received, and so grateful for so many of the wonderful nurses. I still can’t believe how small Alice was when she was born, and we are so grateful nothing major has had to happen with her. It’s been wonderful to have access to oxygen, heat, and a feeding tube at the beginning. She has breastfed super well since day 2 of being born, and she really just seems to not think it’s a big deal she came early. She is a trooper, and we are so happy to have her in our family. Peter is very sweet to her always saying “Baby Alice, so cute.” & showering her with lots of kisses, and wanting to hold her often. Can’t imagine our family without her now.
|Loved seeing turtles night and day! It was so fun to see such big turtles pretty close.|
|We had such great weather, and only were rained out one of the days. I love the views of Hawaii, and I especially loved taking landscape pictures.|
|Went on a hike that was a bit slippery, but we went super slow, and it wasn’t too bad! Then watched Taylor jump into the waterfall, and he did it for a while. It looked super fun, and was so beautiful there.|
|Evidence we love pizza, two different pictures above, and swimming was my saving grace for my pain at the end of the day. Passion Fruit shaved ice. I hope we can recreate this somehow one day.|
|Went golfing with awesome views and great prices! Felt proud I had a few good shots.|
|Pretty awesome rainbow trees we saw on a walk. They look like a painting!|
|Our favorite stop for fresh fruit snow cones. Loved every single one we had!|
|This is the waterfall from Jurassic Park! We were able to go way close, which isn’t as common.|
|See you again one day Kauai! I can’t wait to come again, and we can’t wait for our baby girl in a few months!|
|Photo Taken at Milford Sound. Fitting because any trial can feel like a bit of a storm.|
I’m writing this because it just feels good to talk about the very best, and the hard things in life. We can all learn from them, and I have found a lot of comfort from those that have written about the subject.
We decided on a whim that maybe it was time to think about adding a little sibling to the family for Peter. I was able to get pregnant right away, and we found out I was pregnant as early as we could have. Went and peed on a stick, and there was the positive sign! I couldn’t believe it. So many emotions, it was so crazy this would be happening again, and it was so fun to immediately start talking to each other about how Peter would be with a new baby brother or sister when it came time. We cleared out a whole bedroom, knowing that Peter would move from the nursery into there. Taylor had some free Freshly Picked shoes he could pick out, and we picked some out for the baby that was coming. Blue little moccs, and they are so cute and tiny.
The due date landed exactly on valentines day! It was so fun, because Peter was born on Christmas, and we couldn’t believe it was possible to then have this baby on the holiday of love. Just perfect timing. Peter would be just over 2, and it was happening before I would be photographing during the busy wedding season of summer. My pregnancy symptoms usually start out with exhaustion. Pure exhaustion. It really is kind of crazy, because I felt like I could go to bed for the night at 5pm. I never felt nausea, but I didn’t make it to 8 weeks, so I just felt like that would maybe come later.
We were a week away from surprising everyone with the news when I miscarried.
I started having some spotting. I didn’t even think anything of it because I had spotted with Peter (and I swore I had mild cramps too), and he arrived here safe and sound. I told Taylor not to worry, and everything would be fine. Cramps then started coming, nothing super painful yet, and I just brushed it off. They lasted throughout the night, and I had to war a pad. I never soaked through the pad, and when morning arrived, I was done cramping. I called my Dr’s office just in case, but I really didn’t think it was a miscarriage. They told me to come in, and so I did. We did a vaginal ultrasound, and the doctor couldn’t see anything from it. He said that I either had already miscarried, had an ectopic pregnancy, or that I wasn’t as far along as I thought. I could rule out the third because I definitely knew when I conceived. Once I left the doctor, I was a bit worried that it was an ectopic pregnancy. I was pretty sure I hadn’t miscarried yet, but I just had to wait.
I ended up miscarrying that night. I arrived to my sweet friends house, and I felt something fall out of me. I went to the bathroom, and there it was. Some people miscarry differently, and it all comes out slowly. Mine came out all at once, and it was very startling. It is also undeniable. You will know if you miscarry. I was honestly shocked it had just happened, and it was a little hard to process that night. I was full of emotions, but didn’t get home until late, so I didn’t tell Taylor until right before he went to work. Which was a hard conversation to have, and I was so close to just keeping it to my self for a bit.
If you do miscarry, be prepared for lots of blood draws, and a doctor’s office that isn’t sure how to say I’m Sorry when they tell you it was a confirmed miscarriage. That whole process just feels so cold. But maybe others will have a better experience.
I might also just add in a little tidbit that sometimes guilt might seep in. I started feeling guilty I was working too hard, or that I wasn’t getting enough rest, and that’s why I miscarried. Or that I wasn’t taking a prenatal before I became pregnant. Or that my body was just too messed up from labor & delivery with Peter. Everyone told me that it wasn’t a viable pregnancy, and that miscarriage would have happened either way. But it’s super easy to ignore that, and just think of all the ways you did wrong, and made the miscarriage happen. I just tried to take care of myself, treat my body right, and remember things I should do for the next time.
Miscarriage for me has a lot of ups and downs. I was grateful it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy, sad that February 14th, 2018 wouldn’t be a due date for my child. During all of this, my body had just felt like it went through labor. I do like talking about the miscarriage to others because it felt like it happened. And we can’t truly get over something unless we acknowledge our pain, and talk about it. We were so ready for that baby to come, but then we never were able to have that chance. We lost a baby we didn’t yet know. But it still felt like a loss, and us humans usually do share when we have a big loss in our lives. So sharing I am to celebrate the life I did have in my body for those 7 weeks.
Did you know you actually can go through the same postpartum depression after a miscarriage that you can when you have a baby? I didn’t know that, but my hormones were crazy, and the loss of the baby consumed my every thought. I had a pit in my stomach for a straight two weeks, and I was pretty good at holding it together, until the times when I just couldn’t anymore. I felt like I was still just going through the motions of life, but all I wanted to do was sit down and think about what I had just lost. It is so hard, and I didn’t know it was quite like this until I experienced it. & I definitely had a form of depression. I had just started my maskcara business, that I absolutely loved, and was in the middle of wedding season as a photographer (which I love too). While I knew why I wanted to do those things, and how grateful I was to be able to make an income in ways that I did genuinely love, I didn’t care about it. I didn’t care about much of anything in my daily routine besides my family. I wasn’t doing what I should be doing, and I felt like all I could think about was that loss.
Honestly, what got me out of it? Going to church (being religious in some way), finding strength in talking about it. Deciding to do one fun thing each day with Peter. Posting about maskcara and getting in a routine of taking care of my face and putting makeup on honestly helped me feel good about myself, and it felt so good to apply this makeup to others for them to see their beauty. I found being busy in photography forced me to not pity myself in my thoughts, and wish for that due date to still be real. I started my prayers each night by thinking of what I was grateful for that day. I’m not going to lie that my grief is over. I think it takes time.
I think it’s important to know that everyone has a different timetable of healing, and if you know someone who goes through something like this, just know putting a bandaid on it after just a few days, can feel very painful to the person going through it. Don’t get mad at them for not getting over it soon enough either. Let them feel the pain, and let them take time to heal from such a loss. It still hits me in waves, and is just a really hard emotion to process even now. My biggest advice to anyone that has someone struggling with anything (including miscarriage), is to connect with them somehow. Validate what they are going through, and bring it up when you are in conversation. I know maybe there are others who don’t want to talk about it, but then you probably wouldn’t know about it anyway. So if you know, they are probably the type that wants that connection, and wants to not go through it alone.
Also, if someone has unfortunately suffered from multiple miscarriages, or not being able to become pregnant, I can only imagine how much deeper and harder that pain must be inside of them. I can’t fathom what that is like, but be delicate, and helpful, and connect with them too.
We know we will have more children in the future, and we are so grateful for the support we had when we told people about the miscarriage. So thank you!
|His cousin Ernest, wanted to get in on the action of eating cake too!|
|He isn’t quite sure what this whole opening gifts thing is, but I think he liked his gift!|
|We visited Thanksgiving Point because we have free passes this year (thanks husband for being awesome). Peter is obsessed with animals, so it was a lot of fun!|
|Cute kid at church. Hanging out with Sterling, one of his favorite people to see each week! He’s a hoot. Always gives peter a roll of smarties that we just end up throwing away later.|
|Dressed up as nephites and lamanites for the ward Christmas party! It was a lot of fun!|
|The bachelor party before Kollyn got married.|
|Peter became so sick this winter, and it was so sad to see! He was pretty lethargic, sleeping a ton, but so thankful it didn’t get terribly bad.|
|Out cold in the middle of the reception. Taylor left the reception early because Peter was not feeling good at all. Poor sick kiddo! It was so hard at night, and he just wanted to sleep with me during the day. So hard to see your child sick.|
|As you can see from his facial expression, Peter is really n love with driving through Christmas lights!|
|Obsessed with dogs, and kitties. Talks about them all day long.|
|Also loves birds, wild and domesticated.|
|His new lounging position while playing in his crib when he should be going to sleep.|
|His favorite puppy!|
|Peter was really good at feeding the ducks. We saw lots of dogs there, and he had such an amazing time running around the boardwalk. Everyone loves Peter!|
|Our rock climbing while mom is working! So glad these boys have so much fun together. And look so cold!|
|Went to the Celine Dion concert for my Christmas gift, and it was amazing! She seems like such a sweet, good person, and the concert was phenomenal. Amazing to hear her perform in person, her voice is stunning and powerful.|
|I attended a photo conference this winter, and it was so much fun! I love spending time with new friends, and seeing longtime ones. What an incredible community!|
|Oh ya, dancing with someone I don’t know, but having a blast of course!|
|Every night Taylor reads Peter his bedtime book. “It’s time to sleep, It’s time to sleep” ….we have it memorized 😀|
|Currently loves getting into clothes, and taking big bites!|
|Taylor falling asleep watching his favorite thing: Basketball. He even said he wasn’t tired haha.|
|Exploring the snow, and hanging out at home.|
|He loves smiling and leaning to one side while he is eating. It feels like he is trying to show his love, and we LOVE it.|
|Wow! How can life get any better?!|