Enzo Alan: 1 Month



Photos by Kristeen Marie Photography

Age: 1 month

Stats: 8 lbs even, 21.5 inches.

Nicknames: Lovebug,  Munchkin, Little Dude, Sir


Sleep: You have slept for 3 hours straight on 4 occasions, and each time you do mama feels like she can conquer the world. Or at least the laundry. It’s most common for you to sleep in 1.5-2 hour segments, but it’s not unheard of for you to only make it 30-45 minutes between feedings. During your first growth spurt you basically never stopped eating. In other words, mom now averages 4 hours of broken sleep every 24 hours. Brutal, but much better than the 1.5 total hours she averaged the first two weeks. Progress!

Loves: You’re a thinker.


You love to study your surroundings, and will crane your neck to stare at things as we carry you around the house or the yard. When we put you in your boppy lounger, you gaze out the window until you fall asleep. Or until you start screaming.

You are also a fan of car rides, stroller walks, and cuddling with dad. He has a strong heartbeat and you love snuggling up on his chest to listen to it.


Memorable Moments: The time you peed on my pillow and pooped on my hand. Everything else is a blur of diapers, spit up, and tears.

Information that will hopefully answer FAQ.


Reviews have been mixed, which we expected. Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate, and that’s okay. It’s easy to pronounce, simple to spell, and unique (pretty sure he won’t be the 17th Enzo in his class). Those were three of my main criteria. We also wanted it to have special meaning, and that comes from its origin. Enzo is Italian, which is an homage of sorts to Ron’s grandfather, who immigrated here from Italy as a child and is basically the man who inspired the Dos Equis commercials. Just kidding. He doesn’t drink, but he is very interesting to talk to. He and Ron’s grandmother are what we aspire to be like as a couple and individuals. They are faith, generosity, hospitality, humor and kindness. And when Enzo learns about his name, he will learn about them.

His middle name, Alan, is Ron’s middle name, would have been my middle name if I had been a boy (Joseph Alan), and is Scottish, which I believe is his grandmother’s heritage.

Enzo means winner and Alan means handsome so I call him my handsome winner. When we were researching the name Enzo we found a Wikipedia page listing of famous people by that name and the majority were athletes. Judging by this kid’s muscle tone and strength, it’s a good bet he will be one too. Looking forward to seeing where his skills and passions take him.

So no, we didn’t name him after the pizza place by UIndy or Enzo Ferrari or any soccer players, current or late. (Enzo is a hugely popular name overseas because of some soccer stars, according to various name websites). But it’s fine if that’s what you think of when you hear his name. There are certainly worse connotations to have.

My Recovery


I was up walking around the evening after surgery and never felt anything more than sore. My abs still hurt and the incision burns a little when I walk too far but overall I got lucky. Very lucky, I think. The hardest part for me was following the rules and not overdoing it when I got home.


Also, for the record, I changed my clothes every day I was in the hospital. I only share that detail because the jury was split on whether they changed or just wore the hospital gown. Add me to the non-gown tally. I actually ran out of clean outfits to change into since I wasn’t planning to be there the extra day required for a c-section. I also took showers and put on makeup each day, once I was allowed to shower. It made me feel a billion times more human, and I needed that after being hooked up to so many machines and having my body frequently manhandled during 24 hours of fruitless labor (pretty sure every nurse on the floor got to check my cervix at some point) and eventual surgery.


I’ve lost 20 pounds, but I still have 20-30 to go. Weight loss has come to a complete halt unfortunately. I’m not cleared to work out yet and I can’t diet while trying to build up my breastfeeding supply so there’s nothing I can do about it at the moment. I’m not too terribly bothered by it but it’s pretty annoying not having much to wear while in the between stage.


The first couple weeks I handled everything relatively well, even with an average of 1.5 hours of sleep per day. But around 2-3 weeks it all caught up to me and I crashed and burned. 

I thought I might be headed for PPD at that point, but I just needed more sleep. I started taking a nap in the evening before Ron goes to bed, to try and get a head start on the night. I also now attempt to get out of the house for a walk each day, and usually I leave to pick up dinner on my own. <– Which, full disclosure: I used to think moms were exaggerating when they made jokes about driving alone feeling like a vacation. They were not. They. were. not. Tired as I am, I roll the windows down, turn the old school hip hop up, and rap my way to and from Panera, because it makes me feel 18 and free for a minute. And I need that minute, now that a tiny human depends on me for survival.

Because it’s overwhelming, on so many levels. We are surviving and adjusting but truth be told these first weeks (probably months) are kicking our butts. I could go into detail about all the changes and how they are affecting us, but I don’t have the energy for that right now. Feeding an 8 pound nugget is the most stressful, physically demanding thing I’ve done. Running 100 miles a week doesn’t even hold a candle.

Someday I’ll circle back and address all the ways the first month challenged and changed us when Enzo is sleeping more. Whenever that is. 

We love you Enzo. If you could stop trying to kill us that would be wonderful, but we’ll keep loving you regardless. 



Enzo Alan: Birth Story


Enzo Alan Frederick was due September 17th, but I always felt he would arrive early. Even with all the anecdotals about how the firstborn is typically late…I just knew. That said, the closer we got to his due date, the more I hoped he would be late so we could finish the paint and carpet, if not the nursery. The way it worked out, we had 3 contractors scheduled to be at our house the morning my OB said I needed to be induced. (straight lipped emoji)

As I got ready for my appointment that day, I considered doing my hair and makeup, and taking my go bag…just in case…but there had been 0 dilation the week before and I felt nothing so I showed up with wet hair, no makeup, no go bag, and no clue of how my whole life was about to change.

After my weekly NST, the doctor came in and explained that I was contracting (I wasn’t feeling it yet) and each time I did, my cord became compressed, causing the baby’s heart rate to drop. It wasn’t an emergency situation yet but she didn’t want to take the chance of sending me home and having it become one. Especially considering I wasn’t feeling the current contractions. By the time I could feel them, the baby could potentially be in serious trouble. So she felt it would be best to induce and monitor both of us.

She gave me instructions on what to do next, then told me to eat breakfast since it was the last meal I’d be able to have for awhile. When she left the room, Ron and I looked at each other…stunned. We were having a baby. Like, soon.

Oh Jesus, take the wheel. Father come near. This is NOT what we expected to hear.

Ron went home to let the painters in (they were standing at our doorstep at this point) and wait for my older brother (who was conveniently in town from out of state, with nothing pressing to do that day) to come babysit the rest of the contractors in case he needed to leave in a hurry to get to me.

Meanwhile I went to the cafeteria and choked down a muffin, too nervous to eat more (unfortunate at the time, tragic many hours later). I called and text friends and family, then went upstairs to be checked in, at 11am.

By 12pm I had signed all the paperwork and been hooked up to all the machines. The nurse placed my first round of cytotec, an induction drug.

At 4pm, I had not dilated any further, so a second round was placed. After the second round back pain began. Our precious little babe was head down but facing the wrong way. A “stargazer” some call it. That is what caused the back labor and eventually lead to a variety of interventions to try and get him to roll over.

At 8pm the nurses said I still hadn’t progressed. They called my doctor for next steps. Meanwhile the back pain intensified, as did my hunger.

At 9pm my new nurse took pity on me and brought me chicken broth, jello, and water since I was nowhere near active labor or potentially having a c-section. I swear to you it was the BEST meal of my entire life. Not even kidding. I was that hungry. I hadn’t had a full meal in over 24 hours at that point.

At 10pm the doctor came in and said I had progressed to a 2 and was able to break my water. The nurses began aggressively pushing pitocin to try and speed things along, and I went ahead and got my epidural in anticipation of everything moving very quickly going forward.

Except it didn’t. Move quickly. It didn’t move at all.

From 10pm-5am the nurses rolled me into various positions in an attempt to get the baby facing in a more optimal delivery position. They also inserted a special device to monitor my contractions because they weren’t being picked up consistently by the outer machine.

And they did an amnio infusion because breaking my water without going into active labor was negatively affecting the baby and he needed a little more room to move around.

AND they kept messing with the rate of my pitocin because increasing contractions without an increase in dilation wasn’t helping the baby either.

In other words I wasn’t sleeping, strangers were constantly all up in my biz (literally) and I was once again starving. Also I had chills.

At 5am I began to feel contractions and the back pain was super painful. With each contraction I felt a ton of water leaving my body, until I was laying in a pool of it. I didn’t know if it was amniotic fluid or pee…embarrassing. But whatever. I was just praying it meant that I had finally started to dilate and we could get this show on the road.

At 6am my doctor came in and said I still wasn’t dilated past a 2, which made me want to cry. She said I felt warm so they took my temperature and I had spiked a fever. With a fever, there was a chance that if I continued to labor in hopes of a natural delivery, I could pass it along to the baby and he would have to spend the first two days in the NICU. The choice was Ron’s and mine, I could do a C-section now, or keep laboring. She wouldn’t let me go past 24 hours of my water being broken though so I only had until 10pm to deliver before a c-section would be necessary.

Ron and I discussed it and decided we’d much rather avoid a NICU stay for our little babe, than keep trying for a natural delivery. To be perfectly honest I also had sincere doubt about whether I could labor for an entire day more with no food. (When a c-section is a possibility you are only allowed to have ice chips.)

Once the decision was made, a team assembled and began working quickly to get me back to the OR. In a short moment of quiet, I turned to look at Ron and tried not to cry as I said,

I’m afraid I won’t be a good parent.

He didn’t miss a beat with his response:

You don’t have to be good. You just have to be marginal. No need to be extraordinary. Just keep him alive and I’ll be the good parent when I get home.

That made me laugh, and not long after I was wheeled back to the OR.

In the OR, I couldn’t stop shaking. They covered me in warm blankets but what I could still feel continued to shake uncontrollably. I started crying out of exhaustion and fear. Ron never stopped looking at me, holding my hand, stroking my hair and trying to keep me calm. When Enzo was finally out, he stepped away to take video (which is awesome to have, yet weird to see yourself on a table like that.) but quickly returned to me until it was time to hold our baby and bring him over to me.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016. 7:04am. 6 lbs, 14 oz, 19 inches.

He was here. He was healthy. Perfect, actually. And I couldn’t believe it. It felt surreal then, and it still feels surreal now at times.

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As my OB closed up, she told me my pelvis is very small. She made several comments about it, not believing how little space I had. Apparently it’s too small for childbirth, which is why I never progressed in dilation. If we have more children, I will have to have them all by c-section. That blew my mind, I didn’t know a pelvis could be too small to bear children. It makes me equally sad and grateful. Grateful for modern medicine, sad to think of what would have happened if I didn’t have access to it. Both Enzo and I probably would not have survived. 

I’ll share more about my recovery, these first few weeks, and Enzo’s name when I start the monthly updates. I just wanted to get the birth story written down before I forgot it all. Only two weeks out and I already had to go back through text messages to see what happened when. However, I will say that overall and so far, Ron and I have handled the transition gracefully. I give God all the glory for that for real. Because this parenting business is legit challenging.

We’re learning as we go, taking it one day at a time. We don’t know much right now, but we do know we would do absolutely anything for you, Enzo.

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37 Weeks


Final baby shower was race themed! <3

How far along: 37 weeks

Gender: BOY!

Symptoms: The swelling in my hands and feet is getting kind of obnoxious, especially when I’m laying in bed. Also I have GOT to pace myself better when it comes to manual labor, because hot dang. I paid for all the cleaning I did before last weekend’s baby shower. My body felt like I had run a marathon with no training. Pretty sure I’m still recovering. Granted I took it to a level that far exceeded what’s normal and necessary according to all sane, non-preggo people. For example, I spent Friday night scooting around the main floor on a pillow, dusting then scrubbing the baseboards. By the time I was done I had bags under my red, watery eyes and I felt like my back might snap in half. But that didn’t stop me from then mopping the floor and vacuuming the staircase! All the white trim and doors look fabulous and I feel really good about it but I’m already having anxiety about how long it will last. Like when I pay to have gel polish on my fingers and then my nails grow out sooner than I want and I’m like NO! STOP! You are supposed to last longer than that! I need a baby to distract me from myself.

Cravings: Red Baron 4 cheese personal pan pizzas. I feel like I’m in elementary every time I eat them but man they taste SO GOOD to me right now.

Aversions:  Same.

Workouts: See Symptoms.

Weight Gain: 41 pounds. But still no stretch marks and my belly button is in.

Movement:  It’s like he has toy cars in his hands and he’s ramming them into my pelvic bone. He has yet to kick me in the ribs though so I guess I’m glad it’s not both!

Best Moment(s): Main floor baseboards, doors, cabinets, and windows have been cleaned (I may do the upstairs this week. We’ll see. It’s a little hot up there. We are going to call a heating and cooling person to come check it out.) Hospital bag has been packed. And the final shower was just as fun and sweet as the others. <3

14102680_10100233203221088_6225930758677781775_nWith the hostesses!

14067427_10100233203241048_2995549157303462021_nRace themed since it was with my mom’s Speedway card club friends.

14079902_10100233203300928_3691469753668706262_n 14102243_10100233203335858_8804450294501978141_n 14053975_10100233213749988_2240893409115855301_nMom made this while she was pregnant with me, and gave it to me at the shower. <3

Not My Finest Moment:
Technically not during Week 37 since it happened last night, but whatever. It occurred before this post. So my plan was to make this meal with spaghetti squash and vegan meatballs.

And first I failed to read the directions thoroughly so I cooked the spaghetti squash too early. Therefore it was sitting out while I was still trying to finish up the ball mix, which themselves would need 40 MINUTES to cook. Already a dilemma, then the mix happened to be a lot more time consuming than I anticipated, with all sorts of chopping and mixing and blending and nonsense I was not in the mood for.

2 hours in the kitchen and I was almost done with them when I got out what was SUPPOSED to be ground flaxseed, only to discover we accidentally bought whole flaxseed. So I tried to pound them to a pulp but that didn’t work. Then I decided to try putting them in the mini processor but I couldn’t find the blade to it (Thank God we don’t have kids living in this house yet or that would have been a whole other detour) so I went with the big blender instead. As I was cleaning it out from it’s last task, I sliced my finger and had to run back to the master bathroom to get a bandaid. As I was walking and applying I realized it was the tiniest bandaid ever made and had to go back for another one, which just irritated me all the more.

I finally got the seeds in the blender and of course that didn’t work, they were too small. So then I was like forget it, I’ll just throw them in whole and see how it goes. Except it was supposed to be a powder mixed with water, not seeds, so that threw off the whole consistency of the mix. I tried to fix that with more olive oil and it was just a mess. So I abandoned the entire recipe and went with a garlic butter + pasta sauce situation for the squash, with bread and salad. A recipe that I could have completed in 1/4 the time I’d already spent in the kitchen. By then it was almost 9pm and I was so tired and pissed I started crying. And for some reason when I cry while pregnant, my chin breaks out in hives. Around 9:30 I finally got dinner on the table and Ron walked in to see me bleeding and crying with hives on my face and fire in my eyes.

We sat down to eat and I tried to explain to him why I was such a train wreck, which made me start laughing hysterically (because it was all do ridiculous), while still somewhat crying…and all I could think was Oh this poor kid, getting me for a mom.  

Looking Forward To: Paint and carpet! Not this week but next, for the paint. Carpet is a whole other ordeal I don’t even want to talk about right now, but we are still holding onto a shred of hope that it will be able to be completed just after the paint. So…yeah. At my appointment today the NP checked my cervix and she was like I’m sorry, nothing going on. And I was like NO. That’s GOOD. I need TIME. Lots and lots of time. So please, baby. Make like your parents and be more than fashionably late. 


Honest Blue, for the sitting room. It’s currently red, from when it was the dining room. We put an off white slipcover couch and two dark blue chairs in there, with glass coffee and side tables. This color is a few shades lighter than the chairs on the color stick so it should go well. Here’s hoping anyway!

Balmy, for the nursery. It’s currently greige.

-paints-stains-and-glazes respite

Respite, for the accent color in a little step up area in the nursery. That area is currently chocolate brown.

All these colors look darker on the screen than they do in the room. Hopefully we love them, it was so hard to make a decision!



Thanks everyone for the hospital bag advice! Here’s what I have so far:

1. Toiletries
2. Towel
3. Flip flops
4. Slippers (an old pair. I bought a new pair for the house in case the hospital ones get ruined.)
5. Tucks, in case they don’t give me any. I know they will give me a lot but hospitals can differ on what “a lot” means and I’d rather not take my chances when it comes to pain relief items.
6. A perineal spray, in case they don’t give me any. I wanted to get dermoblast but Target didn’t have it. So I went with the crunchy version.


I was also going to get the cream but I was trying to stick to a budget on that shopping trip. I may still get it soon. But you guys, it’s so hard for me to take this packaging seriously.

The wings, the nakedness, the clasped hands, the facial expression….STOP IT. I can’t.

7. A perineal bottle, in case they don’t give me one.


8. Colace
9. Necessary undergarment items.
10. Pajamas (includes nursing bras and tanks, and a robe.) and a going home outfit. (Baby has his own bag with clothing options.)

I’m seriously most excited about these pajamas. I tried on this set from Target and it was the FIRST time I felt comfortable in PJs while pregnant. The material is SO nice, I’m obsessed.

I have just had THE hardest time finding things to fit me without being too tight, too baggy, or too long and I don’t like to wear nightgowns every single night. I love these so much I bought them in black and blue.


I have pants too, because these may not be cute (or safe) when I’m walking around in a diaper, but they are SO nice for right now and will be for when we come home. I know I may never even get into them in the hospital but it’s worth taking a pair in case I’m feeling bold and want to change. They’re so magical I know they would instantly make me feel good. Or better anyway. ;)

I also plan to take my pillow, phone, and charger. We haven’t packed many snacks yet because Ron works where I am delivering and has access to all the water and snacks in the physician’s lounge. Which is handy. I hadn’t thought of that until I called him for feedback on what type of mini oreos to get lol.

While shopping this week I managed to find polar bear hooded towels, wash cloths, bath toys, etc. I couldn’t pass them up but after receiving some polar bear onesies at the shower I am now banned from more polar bear clothes. Which just means I can focus on decor… ;)

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The goal for this week is to move all my holiday items to the garage and put the baby items in our second pantry (a walk-in closet with lots of shelving. a gift from God Himself, I swear) downstairs so its easier to access the first few months. I don’t anticipate spending much time upstairs for awhile. Once we finish the nursery I’ll put things up there but I still want to use that closet space in the main living area for some of the gear, toys, extra diapers, burp cloths, etc. so they can be quickly accessed or stashed when we need it or are tired of looking at it.

36 Weeks
35 Weeks
34 Weeks

33 Weeks
32 Weeks

31 Weeks

30 Weeks
29 Weeks
28 Weeks

27 Weeks
26 Weeks

25 Weeks

24 Weeks

23 Weeks

22 Weeks

21 Weeks

20 weeks
19 Weeks

18 Weeks
Pregnancy So Far (up to 17 weeks)
God is on the Move (announcement)

[Husband Letters]



Dear Husband,

Facebook’s latest nomination trend is the Love Your Spouse Challenge. For 7 days, participants share a sweet photo and a nice caption about their spouse. As with every good-intentioned trend on the internet, there is some negative backlash. People who are like That’s not real life. I’ll show you real life, and then post pictures of arguments, exhaustion, and disconnect.

I’m a fan of both sides. I think the challenge is charming and the spoofs are funny.

Sort of.

If I’m being honest, the spoofs are actually my biggest concern about this next chapter of our life together. Because right now, and for the past several years, our relationship has felt like a fairytale to me. One we fought for, mind you. The first few years were not this easy, but we’ve found our groove and it’s a great one.

We have our moments, but we laugh…all the time. Often until we cry. Our kind actions far outnumber harsh words and slammed doors. We stay connected throughout the day with texts and facebook messages and still find things to talk about when we get home. We stand in sync on solid ground.

And all I keep hearing is that ground is about to shake. In a big way.

This season is so hard. Hard on your body. Hard on your emotions. Hard on your marriage.

There’s no shortage of blogs, quotes, memes, or statuses conveying those sentiments, and it makes me defensive. Of us, and the good thing we’ve got going. It’s not that I worry we won’t survive. I know we will. But I want us to do more than that. I want us to thrive. Be a Power Couple known not for their worldly success, but their love and longevity.

I believe its possible, if we’re intentional. If we prepare ourselves like a town bracing for a hurricane. Which I know, is not your thing. You diligently prepare for each case at work but beyond that, your response is usually It’ll be fine. I have these things…they’re called “Life Skills.” You plan only for what is absolutely going to occur. The rest you handle as it comes. It’s a fine way to be, but it’s not me.

In grad school I took an entire class on disaster plans and enjoyed it so much I considered taking more like it, and transitioning into a library consultant. Someone who goes around and helps public libraries prepare for emergency situations or catastrophes.

I started thinking about hosting holiday gatherings the first time we walked through our house. And before we do, I want to test the recipes, write a timeline, then run through it once (or twice) on a random weeknight, to be sure it will all go flawlessly on the Big Day.

Basically if planning were a love language, it would be mine. You can’t fully appreciate it because it’s not yours, but just know that I make extensive plans based on the what ifs because I love you, and I love us. Also because I’m a tiny bit OCD and crazy. But mostly its done out of love, I promise.

So trust and believe, I’ve pondered long and hard about what our strategy should be as we approach parenthood. I’ve read all the articles and tips for baby-proofing your marriage. They include things like date nights, exercise, individual alone time, individual time with friends, etc. Which is all fine and good but I keep returning to one thought:

It’s my turn.

You spent 8 years working long, thankless hours. Sacrificing a lot, for us. At times you were exhausted, short-fused. Pulling scraps from the bottom of the energy barrel. Yet it was a cold day in July when you allowed the stress and pressure of your work to affect our relationship. It happened, but it was rare.

You still work hard but it’s different now. Some of the intensity has lifted and you’re able to reap more of what you’ve sown.

From all I’ve read and witnessed, the baby-toddler-preschool years are intense. Not unlike medical school and residency. There is joy and reward along the way, for sure, but there is also a lot of long, exhausting, thankless hours.

Making this my chance to return the favor and carry the bulk of the burden. These early years are the foundation for our family and how I handle them as a stay-at-home mother sets the tone for the (still challenging, I know) years that follow. Not just for our children, for us.

So it’s my turn.

To put my head down and grind through the tough parts.
To shred my tongue rather than your feelings, when a graceful response is elusive.
To smile more than grumble, pray more than complain.
To take it all seriously…but not too seriously.
To be the woman, wife, and mother I vowed to be on 12-6-14.

To be someone you still look forward to coming home to, and doing life with.

These final days of coupledom are sacred to me. For almost 12 years that’s all we’ve known, and I love who we’ve become. But I’m also ready for who we’re going to be. It may not seem like it, what with all my spazzing over whether or not we’re prepared in the little ways. But know this: I’m ready, in the big ways. I’ve got my mind and my heart right. I’m bringing the spirit and determination of the athlete I am, into my role as a mother. And aside from God, I believe that’s all I need to succeed. Not all the answers or perfect conditions, just a will to win.

At the end of the day the pain of a well run race is always, always worth it. I learned that time and again on the course and the track, and as I watched you apply it to routine life throughout medical training.

Now I have an opportunity to do the same.

You’ll help, of course. I’m not doing this 100% solo and I’m grateful for that. We’re a team and you’ve always been a willing partner. I have never had to ask you to help fix dinner or clean up afterward, you do it on your own. Which may have more to do with wanting to speed the process along rather than watch me flounder. My chopping skills need work and I’ve yet to figure out how to wash large pans without turning the counter into a wading pool. Still.

The point is my staying home means that I’ll spend more time in the parenting trenches for awhile. And I just want you to know I’m prepared to work this challenge not like someone with something to prove, but as a girl who’s ready to lose…her selfishness and perfectionist expectations. Because this time I’m not just running for me, I’m running for our baby, and you.

Pass me my shoes.


It’s time to separate the men from the boys
And the women from the girls
And the tools from the toys
Even if you’re freaking out: just relax

Losing, well, it sometimes burns, but you keep moving on
You’ve got to push on like you’re leading the nation
Got to make the best out of this situation
Get your hands up like it’s a celebration
And you keep moving on

Everything changes
Life happens in stages
You won’t have your story
Without turning pages yeah