Saturday, October 5, 2013

three months

RJ is three months old and she drools all over the place. Seriously, so slobbery.

She loves to suck on her fists and fingers unless she has her binky or teething toy...then she is all over that.

She is super fidgety, she waves her arms and hands around like crazy. She has been like this from the beginning, but she has only gotten more wiggly.

She is strong and likes to stand up while holding onto my fingers.

She grabs onto everything, especially linens like clothes or blankets. She talks by making humming noises in her throat. She loves to smile back at you if you smile at her. She will also copy you if you open your mouth really wide.

She loves to face outward in the Baby Bjorn and look at everything as we go on walks outside.

She is growing more hair on the top of her head everyday and when we go outside it glows red.

She doesn't throw up anymore (at two months she had been throwing up everyday because of acid reflux) hallelujah!! Sometimes she gets scared and she has the cutest scared frown/cry. Is that bad of me for saying that?

She is a true BYU fan.

She sleeps through the night pretty well. I wake up a few times in the night to feed her and put her back in the cradle right by our bed. Every morning at about 7 or 8 when she wakes up I bring her into our bed and it is probably her favorite part of the day. And probably ours as well. She is always so giddy and smiley, we love her.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blessing Day

Chris's sister, Bree, got married two weeks after RJ was born. A lot of family from far away would be coming into town, so we decided to have her blessed that same weekend. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful blessing given by her sweet daddy at our church.

The Spirit was strong as he blessed her to be a shining light for her brothers and sisters to follow. RJ is lucky to have a dad that loves her so much.

She was blessed in a dress that was hand made by her great grandmother. The same dress that her aunties Bree and Haylea were blessed in.


Meeting her was magical. I didn't know I could feel so much love at one time. My entire life changed in just one moment--redirected entirely for this tiny little human.
She is the most beautiful person I have ever met; I can't remember what it was like before she was here. I fall in love with her about 57 times a day. I would do anything for this little girl. I can't describe the gratitude I have for this chance to be a mother. It is the most fulfilling calling and responsibility I have ever experienced. Is this real life?! How did I get so lucky?

The past 2 1/2 months in photos:

snoozing at Auntie Bree's wedding

enjoying some snuggle time with her Auntie Linds

this was taken right before she rolled 7 weeks!

this boy is completely smitten

Bennion eyes and Redfern lips

gold bow, red nails, and dark jeans...
this girl is ready to go out
Motherhood may not be easy, but I feel like I was made for this. The lack of sleep, the wider hips, the sore boobs (and other unmentionables), the poop and puke stains...they are all 100% worth just one moment with this precious little baby. I am living the dream.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

RJ's Birth Story

As the weeks approaching baby girl's due date came closer, my anxieties got stronger. There was so much to get done (finishing school, moving apartments, etc.) before she got here and time was running out. I was so nervous that nothing would get done and that sweet RJ would come in the middle of all the craziness. I kept praying that she would hang in a little longer until at least my mom was here to help out. My mom was coming on the 23rd of June, one week before the due date.

Be careful what you wish for, people. She hung in there alright, a little too long if you ask me! June 29th (her due date) came and went and there was still no sign of baby girl. At first I didn't mind that she wasn't coming early because I had a whole week with my Mom to get settled in to our new apartment. I love my Mom.

But every day that went passed the due date was killer. It's silly, but as each day came to an end and I realized that we were yet another day over due, I cried. Even though I knew that most first babies were born late, it didn't put me at ease. Something didn't feel quite right and I was scared.

I had an OB appointment on July 1st and everything seemed to be just fine. I set up an appointment for a non-stress test July 2nd, and talked about the closest possible induction date being July 8th (unless something was wrong in the non-stress test). During the test the baby's heart rate dropped a little during one of my contractions so the nurse asked for a doctor to come and look at it. The doctor didn't seem worried about it and sent us back home to wait it out. We also learned during the test that baby was posterior (face up instead of face down) which was a little frightening to me, but there was still time for her to turn over.

As we were leaving the hospital we set up a second non-stress test for that Friday July 5th, but I was hoping we wouldn't have to wait that long. It turns out that we did.

Rylie Jane Redfern
--RJ, little babe, or (Chris's favorite) "da sweetums"--
made her dramatic entrance into the world on July 5, 2013.

Here is a rough timeline of that great day:

9:00 AM   I went to the hospital with Chris and my mom for my second non-stress test.  The nurse hooked me up to all the monitors to check the water level, heart beat, etc. She mentioned that the water level was at a 10. I remembered her saying it was at a 17 on Tuesday, but really, I had no idea what that meant. Rylie's heart rate didn't seem as active as it was in the last non-stress test, but the nurse didn't say anything about it. I assumed it was normal.

9:30 AM   The nurse wasn't really saying much during the test, so it came as a surprise when she said:
"Alright, up to Labor & Delivery you go!"
Chris and I looked at each other with disbelief. What?! That's it? No explanation? Just...go have the baby? I was scared out of my mind, but excited that something was finally happening.

10:00 AM   Still in shock, we checked in upstairs and started to set up in our delivery room. I put the gown on, texted loved ones, and freaked out a little inside. We learned that the reason we were sent up to have the baby was because the heart rate wasn't ideal and the nurse didn't think it would be a good idea to wait. This wasn't the way I was expecting to get things started, but things were finally happening.
10:30 AM  I was all set up in the room and hooked up to different things that were monitoring the baby's heart beat and my contractions. I was having a few regular contractions on my own, but they were pretty small and not very painful.
11:15 AM  Induction started and I was put on Pitocin at a level 4.

11:30 AM   I started having larger contractions that I could actually feel, but the baby wasn't handling it very well. This was probably the scariest moment of my life. The nurse was just in the room checking on me and chatting a little when all of a sudden she quickly slammed my bed down flat, frantically put an oxygen mask on me, and called in for another nurse to bring something in immediately.
    I looked at the monitor and saw what everyone was freaking out about. Baby's heart rate was dropping a ton and staying low for several minutes. Since the nurses were busy taking action they didn't have time to explain to me what was going on, so I was only imagining the worst. They took me off Pitocin and gave me a shot in the arm to calm down my uterus and stop contractions.
    As soon as things were calmed down and the nurses left, the tears that I had been holding in burst out. I was so nervous I was shaking. Chris grabbed onto my hand as I talked about how scared I was that the baby wasn't going to be okay. Even though he was scared too, he did a good job at calming me down. We said a quick quiet prayer together on the side of the hospital bed.

11:45 AM   Things were calmed down. The nurse explained to me that we would try Pitocin one more time at a lower dosage to see how the baby handled it. If her heart rate continued to decelerate, then we would need to do an emergency c-section.
Even though the nurses seemed optimistic about it working out, I was almost positive that I was going in for a c-section. I started mentally preparing myself.
The doctor came in to break my water to see if contractions would start picking up more naturally.

1:30 PM   My contractions were regular, but not getting any bigger. The nurse put me back on the Pitocin at a level two. Over time she gradually raised me to a level 6. My contractions starting picking up and baby RJ was handling them like a champ this time.
    Over the next few hours i went in between sitting, standing and walking around as I bit through contractions and squeezed the life out of Chris's hand.

4:45 PM   I decided to get an epidural. The anesthesiologist came and gave me one. I wasn't sure what to expect once it kicked in, but WOW. That stuff really works. The pain from the contractions was gone and Chris's hand got a rest.

6:45 PM   I was 5 cm dilated and 90% effaced.

7:45 PM   I took a tiny nap. Thank you epidural.

8:00 PM   I was 7 cm dilated.

8:30 PM   I was dilated at 8 cm now, things were finally moving faster. Out of nowhere Rylie's heart rate started acting crazy again. I had several big contractions very close to one another and it seemed she wasn't handling it very well, much like earlier that morning.   It came back up and started acting normal again, so the nurse left the room. Almost as soon as she was gone Chris ran out looking for her and I heard him say that it dropped again, but was getting way way low. Baby's heart rates are normally at about 150 bpm and RJ's had dropped down into the 30s.
    I knew that I was already pretty far into labor, they couldn't just give me a shot this time. I started thinking about that emergency c-section again. The nurse had me turn over to my other side as soon as possible, put an oxygen mask on me, and took the Pitocin off completely. She called the doctor to let her know what was going on. I tried not to freak out every time the heart monitor acted crazy. But it was hard. I kept imagining the baby all tangled in the umbilical cord and helpless. I was shaking pretty bad. Most of the shaking was from all the fluids from the IV, but the nerves didn't help.

9:00 PM   I was dilated at 9 cm and the nurse was getting everything ready for delivery so that I would be ready once the doctor got there. Because the baby had already shown that she was having troubles during big changes in the contractions, the nurse was worried about how she would handle the pushing. She seemed optimistic, but she let me know that c-section was a possibility.

9:30 PM   I was finally at 10 cm and ready to push! BUT, then I had a fever. The nurse left to go get me some antibiotics to lower the fever. They wouldn't let me push until they tried to lower it.

10:00 PM   I finally got the antibiotics. Now we had to wait for them to kick in. Even though I had an epidural, it was wearing off a little and I could definitely feel the pressure from the baby's head trying to push its way into the world.

10:40 PM   I still had a fever, but since I had already been at a 10 for so long the nurse got me ready to push. Like I was afraid of, her heart rate went down with my first push. When I stopped pushing it came right back up. Because of the heart situation I had to wait for the doctor to get there before I could push any more. (Just in case they had to wheel me into the c-section room.)

11:00 PM   The doctor arrived and I started pushing again. With each push the baby's heart rate dropped and stayed dropped until I stopped pushing. The doctor suspected that this was because she was caught in the umbilical cord. As her head moved through the birthing canal the cord wrapped around her neck tighter causing her heart rate to drop. As long as it kept coming back up after the push, the doctor said that we would keep trying to deliver this baby vaginally. If for some reason it didn't come back up, then I would get the c-section.
    I pushed during every other contraction instead of every contraction to give little Rylie's heart time to rest and recover in between. With each push the doctor had her eyes glued to the monitor. And with every push the doctor had a VERY worried look on her face. I could also hear the anxiety in my Mom's voice as she counted to 10 for me each time. It was too stressful and scary for me to think about her heart so I tried to drown all of that out. I had to either close my eyes or focus on Chris's face. He was doing a great job at staying calm.
    I was getting so exhausted from pushing, all I wanted was a glass of water. I remember thinking I just wanted it to be over so I could drink some water, and pass out.

11:58 PM   Rylie Jane was born with no c-section necessary. It was a miracle. This was the most incredible moment I have ever experienced. All of a sudden this tiny little human came from inside my body and was placed on top of it. I thought I had imagined what this would feel like, but no words can describe it. It was so surreal. I remember repeating over and over how beautiful she was as tears filled my eyes.
   The doctor was right, the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. THREE times. It freaks me out just thinking about it, but I was so relieved that she was finally out and free with no other heart problems.
    After I had my first little moment with her, the nurses measured Rylie while the doctor sewed me up (ick). She was born 7.4 lb and 20 in. We fell completely in love with our little girl from the very beginning.

My talented and awesome sister in law, Lindsey, came and visited us in the hospital the next day and took some photos of baby RJ when she was just 15 hours old. Here are a few favorites.

Rylie Jane and Grandma Holly Jane

We love this little babe so much. Stay tuned for more photos from her first 6 weeks.

Monday, May 27, 2013

It's no use crying over spilled milk

...unless you're 35 weeks pregnant. Then you can do whatever the hell-o you want. Because you're most likely a little crazy. See photo below for proof.

even Batman is scared

Not that I did or anything. Okay, yes. The other night I literally cried over spilled milk. Granted, there were a lot of different factors and emotions that led up to this spill, but the spill is indeed what triggered the tears. Poor Chris didn't know whether to laugh or to console me.
Luckily, (for his sake) he did not laugh.

Even though I am the oldest of six kids and watched my mom go through five pregnancies, there were still SO many things about pregnancy that I just did not anticipate. So many symptoms that I had never known about. For example: Sneezing/farting/doing-any-type-of-bodily-function WITHOUT peeing your pants becomes one of the hardest skills to master. Don't worry, I pretty much have it down. ;)

35 weeks with my SIL

Over the past several months the following questions have been asked by a number of different people:
(yes, people have actually asked me these questions)

"Do you like being pregnant?"


"It seems like you've had a really easy pregnancy, is this true?"

The truth is--being pregnant is hard. But I don't like to dwell on that. One of my pet peeves is when women complain and complain and complain about pregnancy. So, I try and make a solid effort not to. (Although, I'm not perfect at it.)

I get it, trust me, I get it. There are some symptoms that I would like to just nip in the bud. Whenever I complain about it in public though, I always feel immediate guilt.
Because, to answer the question:


And just because I do, does NOT mean that I have had an "easy" pregnancy.
I have had too many close family members/friends who have dealt with infertility and pregnancy loss to not realize what an amazing miracle and blessing it is to be able to carry this little baby inside of me.

33 weeks with a built-in table

I feel so incredibly grateful for this chance that I have to grow and bond with sweet baby RJ. Even when she likes to wedge her little feet into my aching ribcage. Even when it feels like every bone that connects my legs to my back is dislocating with each change in position.

Pregnancy is hard, but it is also a miracle. There are no words that can describe the joy, happiness and gratitude I feel. I can't wait to meet Rylie Jane. One. more. month.

30 weeks

P.S. If you have any funny pregnancy stories, please share. :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013


This Valentines Day was seriously one of the best ones we have ever had.  I'm the type of person that would much rather be doing/eating something simple that me and my husband both really enjoy instead of stressing over buying each other cheesy gifts. Especially right now when we have limited money. Trust me, we have done our fair share of cheesy over the years. Particularly in high school. Now, we usually just go to a Steakhouse and treat ourselves to deliciousness. Sometimes we snuggle and watch a movie. But this year we were struggling on finding something to do because we had just eaten at our favorite steakhouse the week before when we found out we were having a girl.

I suggested that we make something and after bouncing a few ideas around we eventually decided to paint and tie-dye baby onesies together while watching our shows on Hulu Plus and eating chocolate ice cream. Yes. My husband, Chris Redfern, wanted to do CRAFTS for fun. What more can a girl ask for? If it were for any other reason than making things for baby RJ it would have been torture for him. But he was super excited! And that made it all the more fun for me.

To be honest I had very low expectations as to how his would turn out. So I was pleasantly surprised when he came up with this (he did the light blue and yellow striped one by himself! I am so proud!) Painters tape, people. It works miracles.

The best part about this whole thing was that it was a project I was planning on doing anyways! So the money was already going to be spent and we made it into a fun and cute date instead of a project I would do by myself later.

I saw this on pinterest awhile back, but there was no tutorial linked to it. Just a caption with the materials needed. And so that is all I went off of! (We decided to save the tie-dye for another day.)

Here is what we did

Step 1: Collect or purchase the materials you will need:
  • white onesies
  • painters tape
  • martha stewart craft paint
  • stencil sponges
  • cardboard (to put in onesies)


  • fabric paint markers (if you want to draw or write anything free hand)
  • fabric paint medium (we didn’t use this, but it might be helpful)

We found everything we needed at Joann’s and Babies R Us, which for us was in the same parking lot so it was super convenient.

Step 2: Set everything up. Make sure you have newspaper or something under you, cardboard in the onesie so the paint doesn't leak through to the other side, and some place to keep your paint like a paper plate.

Step 3: Tape the onesie to the design you like. We didn’t get too crazy.

Step 4: Paint!

This is what we came up with that night. The top is the front and back of mine, the bottom is the front and back of Chris’s.

If you want to add anything extra you can sketch it (I used micron pens) and tape around it. I did this with the heart on the front and the little RJ on the back. Chris used fabric paint markers that we had to write “Booty Booty Booty” on the rear end of his. Very classy.

Afterwards we still had two extra onesies. We finished them together the next week for family night. Here are all the finished products. 

I love them!