Little Miss Eleanor Reynolds

Sweet little Eleanor was born on February 26th, 2014 at 6:53pm - two and a half weeks early. She weighed 6 lbs. 8 oz. and was 19 inches long. That morning Justin and I went into the doctor’s office for our regular weekly checkup, and we, along with our doctor, were shocked to find out that I was already dilated to a 7 and 100% effaced.

When Dr. Smith checked me he exclaimed that it was a miracle I was up walking around at that point, and that I should already be in the hospital. “Like, right now?” I asked stupidly. “Yeah, right now.” So Justin and I ran home to grab our half-packed bags, excitedly texting and calling our families letting them know that it was baby day! We checked into the hospital and they immediately set me to an “emergency” delivery, and by the time our anesthesiologist gave me my epidural I was already at an 8. I considered going natural for about 2 seconds, since I was already so far along and had felt almost no pain, but by the time I had this baby girl I was so grateful that I didn’t follow through with that idea.

Justin and I suspected that little Nora might come early - since I was at 1.5 cm and 80% at my first weekly checkup, and then up to 3 cm at the next one. Justin was supposed to be out of town for work the day she was born, but thankfully cancelled his trip last minute. I was so grateful for that little miracle, and am so glad he was right there with me throughout the delivery. He was so, so supportive and was my strength through every push.

The 26th was a Wednesday, and it was such a beautiful day. We had a gorgeous view of the mountains through our window at the hospital and the sun shone through all day long. That morning I had woken up with some contractions, but they weren’t extremely painful and were still 10-12 minutes apart, so I didn’t think anything of it. My nurses kept exclaiming that they had never seen anything like it - at an 8 and no pain! I felt like I was somehow cheating the system, and I still don’t know why I was lucky enough to go through my entire pregnancy and labor without ever having real contractions. My labor nurse (Lori - who I was and am completely obsessed with) let me know that since the baby was already so low I should only have to push for about 45 minutes to an hour. 

I started pushing around 11:00, with Justin on one side of me and my mom on the other. Justin’s mom was on camera duty, and would occasionally hold my leg when my mom needed a break. I pushed for about 20 minutes before Lori claimed that she could see lots of dark hair already! I was so excited and asked for a mirror, and I watched the rest of my labor. (I had sworn off the mirror before getting there, but then was so grateful I changed my mind. It was incredible being able to watch the whole thing and I highly recommend it.) After about an hour of pushing we could still see sweet little Nora’s head, but she didn’t seem to be getting any further. I was getting tired and was losing energy fast, so the nurses kept bringing me Otter Pops to try and get my blood sugar up (I’m an idiot and requested blue--hence the blue mouth in half of our photos :)) Another hour of pushing passed, and Lori mentioned that she thought the baby might be turned on her side, and that there was a possibility that we’d have to use forceps or a vacuum to get her out. I told her I didn’t want to use either unless we absolutely had to, and that I wanted to try to keep pushing.

After one more hour of pushing I had completely lost all my energy and told everyone that I couldn’t do it anymore. Luckily my doctor had just arrived and hurried in to help. He checked the baby and confirmed that she was turned - she was completely posterior (face-up), which is why I was having such a hard time getting her out. He flipped her and then tried using the vacuum, but at that point I was so swollen that she still wasn’t coming. He finally had to give me an episiotomy, I gave one more large push, and we finally heard her first little cry.

Once they placed her on my chest the tears and screaming stopped, and she opened up her dark eyes and stared right at me. Justin and I were sobbing and kept exclaiming how beautiful and perfect she was. Laying there with both of them was honestly the most incredible and spiritual moment of my life, and I would go through a million more hours of pushing to experience it again. This little babe is truly a miracle and I have never felt so much love in my life.

Although the aftermath was pretty brutal (thank goodness for that epidural!) I still think that that day couldn’t have been more perfect. I had my sweet husband by my side, giving me strength and telling me over and over again that I could do it and how great I was doing. I had my two sweet moms taking care of and supporting me. I had the best nurse I could have asked for - who was just the right mix of warm and fuzzy and down-to-business, who stayed late to be with me and told us she loved us before heading home. And now I have the most perfect little soul as my daughter and she’s healthy and strong and we’re so crazy in love with her.

Little Eleanor is truly a miracle, and I thank my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ every single day for this angel that we get to have in our home. Motherhood is such a beautiful thing, and even though there are literally millions of babies born every year, I still feel like such a rockstar for doing what I did and my experience still feels so special and unique. Every day with Nora is magic and every step we overcome together makes me feel like I’m the best mom in the whole world.

These past two weeks have been a whirlwind, but at the same time I don’t really remember what I did with myself before being a mama. We’ve gotten so much love from our friends and family, and have been so grateful for the meals and visits and loving texts and phone calls. Nora had bilirubin and had to be on a light bed her first three days home - which was so hard because we couldn’t hold or swaddle her - but now she’s doing great and looks more Argentine brown than jaundiced yellow. She has her dad’s thick hair and mouth and nose, but my eyes and long fingers and toes. We both struggled with breastfeeding at first, and I had my fair share of breakdowns, but we’re doing much better now and I think we’ve almost nailed it. Everybody told me it would just take a couple of weeks to adjust, and they were right. They also told us that we couldn’t comprehend how much we’d love her until she was here, and they were right about that too.

Watching Justin become a dad has probably been my favorite part of this whole experience. He’s head over heels for this girl. He holds her every chance he gets and walks her around the house telling her how beautiful and perfect she is, over and over again. They lay on the couch and watch TV together, sit at the computer and car shop together, and he’ll stay up with her at night walking up and down the hall until she falls asleep. He’s been more than helpful, and I feel like I literally haven’t done anything besides feed her because he’s so willing to do everything else (and would probably be more than happy to do that part too, if he just had some boobies :)) I honestly feel like I’ve fallen in love with him all over again, because I’m seeing a brand new side of him that is just so sweet and special. And Nora is just as obsessed with him and he is with her. When she’s fussy or upset all he has to do is talk to her and she’ll calm down. I’m so thankful to have such a great baby daddy by my side.

Life is good right now. We feel so happy and so blessed. I can’t wait to watch this little human grow.


Baby baby baby

Justin and I are so, so happy to announce that we are having a baby! After a year of trying, surgery in January, and a miscarriage in March, this has been one emotional roller coaster that I'm glad is over (for the most part…if you exclude my occasional crying breakdowns due to the hormones. Poor Justin.) We are due March 14th and found out a couple of weeks ago that we're having a little girl.

We had a small get together with our families to reveal the gender, and it was perfect. We enjoyed a laid back BBQ in my parents backyard, and cut into the cake for dessert. Everyone is thrilled that we're having a girl--Justin's family because our new niece Cici will be getting a built-in best friend, and my family because my sister has a little boy that we all adore and they're excited to get to experience the girly side of baby shopping. Justin knew all along she was a she, and I was convinced she was a he. He was right, I was wrong, yadda yadda yadda.

The first couple of months were rough, I was nauseous and my usual migraines got worse. I even passed out in the middle of Home Depot, much to the dismay of the three men in orange helping me with a project. They called an ambulance and took such good care of me, and since Justin was out of town on a business trip and my family was in Lake Powell, my sweet father-in-law ended up taking me to my OBGYN for a check up. Baby was unharmed, and Terry earned a billion brownie points for sitting in the waiting room for so long. 

I'm now 17 weeks along and feeling great. I've finally figured out a good eating schedule (basically lots of food ALL DAY LONG with snacks in-between) and lots of rest once I get home from work. Now that I'm no longer feeling sick I'm just enjoying being pregnant and impatiently waiting for my bump to get bigger. I love going to my monthly appointments and hearing my little girl's heartbeat, and I'm constantly on the search for new baby names. Any suggestions are gladly accepted!

Justin and I are selling our house and getting ready to build in Bluffdale, so we have a lot of changes coming our way. Life is crazy but so happy, and we're excited for the next few months that we have to look forward to. Baby girl can't come soon enough!



This last week my mom and I took off for a girl’s trip to Chicago to visit my sister and her family, who are currently attending medical school there. It was my first time away from Justin for more than a night since we’ve been married and it was harder than I thought it would be, but at the same time it was so nice to get some quality time with my mama. We’re besties. We flew in Thursday morning and my nephew Nate and I celebrated seeing each other with some good bed-jumping at the hotel. Because that’s what hotel beds are made for. We spent that night swimming in the hotel pool, catching up on each other’s lives, and playing my family’s favorite card game—Screwy Louie (which isn’t nearly as inappropriate as it sounds.)

On Friday we ventured downtown and started our day with a tour of the Art Institute of Chicago. I hadn’t been back to the city in over 5 years, so my fam let me choose all of our destinations—and this was first on my list. I mean, look how pretty just the outside of the building is. 

We spent a few hours wandering through the galleries, dragging each other to our favorite pieces. 

My mom and I are both suckers for Monet.  

After the museum we ventured to the “jelly bean,” Nate’s favorite. You can’t go to Chicago without stopping at the bean, you just can’t. We took our fair share of selfies there before searching for some deep dish pizza for dinner.

Oh Giordano’s, I love you.

 We stopped at the Cheesecake Factory on our way home for dessert, and my mom and I enjoyed ours along side with a few episodes of Downton Abbey back at the hotel. I realize I’m way behind on that bandwagon, but I’m completely obsessed. We stayed up all night every night watching it. 

On Saturday we set out for a Cub’s game, also per my request. I’ve been dying to go to Wrigley Field and it did not disappoint. I felt slightly guilty going to the game without Justin, but not guilty enough to not send him continuous photos and updates throughout the entire game. I loved the atmosphere and the people and I stood up and belted the “Go Cubs Go” song as loud as I could after they won the game. Such a fun experience. 

After the game we went to visit our long-time friends the Young’s, who moved from SLC to Chicago when I was ten, taking my best friend with them. We’re all still just as close as before they left and we try to see them at least once a year. Relaxing in their backyard and watching Uncle Dave play baseball with Nate was probably my favorite part of the trip. I mean, could you die?

The rest of our trip was spent eating, shopping, and hanging out. It was so fun to get away for a while and to spend time with family and friends. I miss this little dude already, and I know he misses me just as much. Even though he won’t say it out loud. 

Bye, bye Chicago. Until next time.