Feb 8 2017

back in black.

//oh hi! this really long blog break is brought to you by my getting used to having two small children in my house.//

If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed a lack of colour in my photos lately.  What started as a coincidence has turned in to a personal project of sorts for me.  I’ve started working on perfecting my black and white edit, as well as documenting life in a more natural real way. This has led me to focus a lot on light and paying more attention to how the light is in the house at any given time during the day.  I feel like I’ve always struggled with getting light “just right” in my photos–particularly indoors.  Not enough that it’s a problem, but enough that I felt like a lot of the time my photos lacked a certain quality that I wanted.  If the room wasn’t bright I would discount it and not take pictures, or I would fail to pay attention enough and compensate in my edits.

I feel like black and white really highlights the use of light in a photo.  In order for black and white to be effective in story telling, there needs to be definition and contrast to draw attention to the subject.  Otherwise, why do black and white?

Anyway…I’ve always been a little picky about my black and white, so it felt fitting that I focused more in perfecting it.  Here’s a little glimpse into our year so far.


Jun 23 2016


//I wrote this about a month ago, but apparently having a newborn means I forget to publish things.//

I can’t really believe how fast this year is flying by.

Today I had my final midwife appointment (with the best midwife EVER. I’m a little sad about no more appointments!) and Sam is now 6 weeks old.

Our life has definitely been a whirlwind since Sam has arrived, but we are slowly starting to find a balance.

Because of Sam’s long labor and unique delivery, he ended up needing some major chiropractic care to help him feel a little happier.  I wasn’t really able to put him down without him screaming, and he ended up nursing constantly because it was the only way we could keep him happy.  Now he’s more content, cries a whole lot less and everyone is generally happier.

As for Lucy, I know I promised to update on her health a long time ago and I’ve had people asking a lot about it so here it is!

About a month before Sam was born, we finally got the results back of Lucy’s endoscopy, as well as a treatment plan.  The diagnosis as of now, is that she has something called “eosinophilic esophagitis”.  It’s a little difficult to explain (especially for someone like me who is not a doctor!) but essentially, her body doesn’t recognize certain things as food and it reacts to it.  It’s like an allergy in one sense, but it’s not anaphylactic so it’s very difficult to pinpoint what food is causing the problems.  The inflammation is slow which means that in order for us to figure out what is causing all the problems we need to work with an allergist and a dietician to do a full elimination diet to pinpoint the problem.  Right now she has been put on an oral steroid to control the inflammation in her esophagus so that she can get food down.  In fall, we will likely be starting the elimination diet to figure out what she can and can’t eat!  For now, she’s been eating like a (relatively) normal toddler.  She’s super picky, due to the fact that almost all her food has been pureed for the last two years, but we’re working in it and she’s getting more adventurous.  Still, she is able to keep most foods down on a regular basis.  We are just so thankful to finally have a direction for her health problems.


Jun 14 2016

samuel henry – a birth story

Samuel Henry

May 12th, 8:04AM

8lbs 13oz, 22”

Like his sister, Samuel came into the world in a dramatic way; unlike his sister, he took his sweet time doing it.

My pregnancy with Samuel was fairly routine despite being closely monitored for possible repeat complications.  It was to be a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian) and I had been approved by an OB to be a good candidate.  Even though it was very routine, I and my midwife (and everyone else for that matter) was pretty sure I wouldn’t make it to 40 weeks.  I had a lot of braxton hicks contractions from about 25 weeks on, and when I got to about 36 weeks they were a regular part of my day.  At 38 weeks I started experiencing painful (but still tolerable) contractions that would come 5-8 minutes apart and last for a few hours each day.  Every day we waited for them to get closer together but every day they just stayed the same.

At 40 weeks, my midwife tried doing a cervical check (and possible sweep) but Samuel was so low that she could barely reach around his head to do anything.  It was definitely frustrating.  We made all the appointments for the coming week to have NST’s (non stress tests) and an ultrasound to make sure fluid levels were good. Our plan was that if by 41 weeks and 3 days (10 days overdue) nothing had happened, we would start a slow induction (with a foley catheter and possibly oxytocin)

I had my first NST on Monday the 9th at 41 weeks and 1 day.  Sam was happy and moving and showing no signs of trouble.  The nurse performing the NST mentioned to me that the fact that baby was so low, he was not actually sitting on my cervix, and that might have something to do with why I wasn’t progressing with labor. She mentioned going on all fours and sticking my bum up in the air to get him repositioned and it would surely get things going.  That afternoon I went home and did that as much as I could handle.  I did end up getting stronger contractions that night and was woken up every 30 minutes or so by a strong one.

The next morning I still wasn’t convinced that anything was going to happen and went on throughout my day feeling sure that I was going to end up getting induced (and/or having a c-section).  Contractions kept getting stronger, more painful and closer that evening but still nothing that would send me to the hospital.

That night (Tuesday) I was up the whole night with 10 minute very painful contractions.  Again, not close enough that I could go to the hospital, despite the pain.  By Wednesday morning (the 11th) they were 5 minutes apart when resting and 2 minutes apart when walking.  I called my midwife and she came to my house right away to do an assessment.  She didn’t want to send me to the hospital only for me to get sent home disappointed.  When she checked me I was about 3-4cm dilated, but baby had an unusually high heart rate which concerned her.  We went straight to the hospital to get an NST done and make sure everything was fine.  It turned out he was just being very happy and active when she had been checking him–but at the end of it all (since I was already overdue) she and the OB on call recommended breaking my water to get the party started. I gladly agreed.

Once my waters were broken, contractions got a lot more intense and more painful…but still never more than 3 minutes apart.  My plan was to use laughing gas to cope, but I was hoping to avoid anything else.  But by Wednesday evening, I had basically been laboring since Monday with only slow progression.  I was very tired.  My midwife did a cervical check and found that I had dilated to maybe 5 or 6cm but was starting to swell which was causing things to slow.  That, and the fact that I hadn’t slept for the previous 2 nights brought her to recommend getting an epidural so that I could get some rest.  She said my body was probably just too tired to progress any more without some proper rest.

I never thought I would agree to an epidural but at the moment I came to a realization and said to myself “when he’s a grown man, no one will care that his mom had an epidural. Even when he is 1 day old, no one will care.”  So I agreed.

The epidural went very smoothly.  I was able to sleep on and off for a few hours (maybe 2 or 3 in total?) but by 2AM still was not having contractions any closer than 3 minutes apart.  I was SO frustrated.  We started oxytocin to pick things up which made my contractions more intense…but still never closer together.

By 4AM my midwife did another check.  I was not convinced that anything had changed, but lo and behold, (and much to EVERYONE’s surprise) I was actually fully dilated and ready to push if I felt like I could!  Because of the epidural though it was hard to tell at first when I could.  We upped the oxytocin again though and I just sort of went for it.  My midwife was great at coaching me and making sure I didn’t expel all my energy in the wrong way.  At about 6:30AM though, progress had still been slow.  I was exhausted and not sure how much more pushing I could do.  We tried numerous different positions at that point but still nothing seemed to be helping.  I could feel him moving down with each push and as soon as I would stop I’d feel him move back up.

We were using at rope with a handle at each end for me to pull on (and Dave pulled the other end) while I tried pushing.  It was working a bit, but I could only just start his head crowning before he’d go back in.  By about 7:30AM my midwife consulted the on call OB to see when our next steps would be.  We knew the baby was happy because I was on continual monitoring (because of it being a VBAC) but couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t get him out.  He felt around and realized that baby was actually posterior in the birth canal (facing up instead of down–babies should be facing down to come out easily).  Not only that, but his head seemed to be angled in such a way that he was just getting stuck.  The OB said my options were to have a c-section (which would be tricky because he was already so far down the birth canal) or to attempt a vacuum.  We decided to do the vacuum first and c-section later if that didn’t work.

While they were fiddling with setting up the vacuum though, I started getting some crazy contractions one on top of each other.  I was trying to get everyone’s attention and to get Dave or my midwife to grab the other end of the rope but they seemed to be preoccupied with the new plan.  So I grabbed my knees and went crazy pushing and within a few minutes had his head out.  A few more pushes and he was all out!  

I found out later that the reason he was so difficult to push out was because he was coming out brow first (not just sunny side up) and didn’t turn like a lot of posterior babies do.  That, and the fact that he was almost 9lbs (8lbs 13oz) meant I had my share of tearing (3rd degree).  He ended up with a lot of bruises on his head, as well as a black eye from when the OB was trying to determine his presentation earlier and jabbed his finger in the poor boys eye socket.

We are so thankful that he is out and safe and sound.  I only realized later how crazy the whole situation was when my midwife pointed out all the variables that made this birth epic (a VBAC brow presentation birth of an almost 9lb baby!)  We joked that if I ever had a third child (which is a definite NO) that it would have to have an equally crazy story to match its siblings.

//Photo Credits//
(in order of appearance)
Courteney Rodda Photography (newborn shot)
Amy Joy Photography
Cradled Creations Photography


May 1 2016

40 weeks.

40 weeks.

Ok.  We’re here.  Now it’s time to get this whole pregnancy thing over with and have a baby.  The above face is my “I-haven’t-slept-in-way-too-long-and-everything-hurts” face.  Yesterday was technically my due date, and while I know they really mean nothing it still just hurts the brain to still be pregnant after the due date.  Today I sent Lucy to church with my parents, and skipped out of my church to avoid the pity stares/questions.  I’m also trying to not feel sorry for myself over the fact that in a few hours all the pastors and their spouses from our church (along with all the BCMB conference pastors) are going on the annual weekend away at a beautiful hotel in Whistler (that Dave and I would normally be at as well) and I’m sitting at home having false labor that’s not sending me anywhere.

Can you tell I’m grouchy?

Let’s get this party started, y’all.  Seriously.


Apr 5 2016

36 weeks

36 weeks.

Two weeks past when I had Lucy, and baby is still cooking.  It’s crazy to think that at this point with Lucy, she was born, had been transferred to a new hospital, had one surgery and was only just starting tube feeds.

The last few weeks have been pretty wearing.  Easter is always a busy time for Pastors (and their wives!) but add in to that a toddler with health problems, a renovation and a pregnancy (that is technically considered high risk and has been highly monitored) and we are t-i-r-e-d.  March had 11 (ELEVEN) doctors appointments between me and Lucy.  The good news is that the Easter craziness is over, our renovations are getting close to being complete (or at least, close to us being able to switch all the bedrooms around which is what matters right now), Lucy has a diagnosis with her health problems (more on that later), and baby is healthy and still in my tummy (though it feels like both my hips are dislocated at this point).

So far, April only has 6 doctors appointments, but at the end of the month there is a due date!  I have a feeling it will be the slowest/quickest month ever.  If that even makes sense.

We still don’t really have anything ready for babies room.  I painted a picture and made some change pad covers…today I will paint Lucy’s old dresser.  But he still doesn’t have a bedroom!  Perhaps by next week.  Late next week. Perhaps….maybe.