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What started as a side hustle for two creative, driven sisters has now become one of the Midwest’s premier event planning and design firms. At Elevate, we find pure, unbridled joy in celebrating all aspects of life - big moments, small gatherings and anything in between.

Elevate Exclusive: 2019 – The Year We Meet Baby Wedel

For the last seven years, Danny and I have thrown an epic party at our home on New Years Eve – welcoming new friends and old as we’re dressed to the nines, pouring refills of champagne, and leading toasts once the clock has struck midnight.

This year, however, our New Year’s Eve prep is going to look a little bit different. In just two days, I will turn 37 weeks pregnant. “Dressed to the nines” means I’ve taken the leap and put myself in something other than maternity leggings and a baggy sweater. I’ll waddle around the house, packing my hospital bag and filling drawers with baby onesies and diapers, and if I happen to make it to midnight without falling asleep, I’ll celebrate with a teeny glass of champagne chased with heartburn pills.

And while I sit here and reflect on how different this year has been (and how our life, in general, is about to be turned upside down in just three short weeks), I must say that waiting for this little one has already been one of the great pleasures of my life.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I remember exclaiming to Kirstie “There’s no way we’re making our blog and social media all about pregnancy and babies!” I wanted to be sure we stayed committed to our true craft – creating and executing beautiful events. But after SO many of our friends, former clients, and even complete strangers expressed so much joy and interest in this journey of ours (and because, well, my life IS about to change completely), I realized that I’d much prefer to share our joy (and a few stories here and there) rather than pretend like this momentous experience wasn’t happening to me. Plus, one thing I’ve definitely learned during this pregnancy – women LOVE to share their stories, even when they aren’t prompted! 🙂 So, if you’re interested in learning more about my pregnancy experience so far, why we aren’t finding out the gender, and some of the other choices we’ve made along the way, please feel free to keep reading!

Since this is my first pregnancy (and really, the first pregnancy on both sides of our families), there has been a lot of uncharted territory to navigate. When I first found out, I was honestly quite overwhelmed and terrified of what was to come. I approached the news in the extremely analytical way I approach most things: I made a mental checklist and immediately started crossing things off.

Confirm pregnancy… check.

Pick an OB… check.

Clear out office and transform into nursery… check.

Start registry (we used Babylist and have really loved it)…. check.

But as it turns out, pregnancy also has this magical way of forcing you to slow down and take in the bigger picture. Our doctor firmly believes that a woman’s pregnancy is the perfect natural window of time – long enough to give you time to get used to the idea, make plans and get excited, but quick enough to feel like a blip if you forget to take time to soak it all in. I can definitely say that I agree with her – I’m definitely looking forward to having a normal body again (who invented the last month of pregnancy anyway!?) but cannot believe how quickly this journey has flown by.

One thing Danny and I discussed and agreed upon pretty early on was that we wanted to be surprised by Baby W’s gender. We briefly considered finding out and keeping it a secret just between us, but quickly put that idea to bed when we realized that we can’t even keep our Internet passwords to ourselves, much less this big news! Our 20-week ultrasound appointment (where you generally find out the sex) came and went, and we were smitten with the knowledge that our baby boy OR girl was healthy, very active, and already starting to grow LOTS of hair. That was enough for us.

I’m a huge believer in documenting every chapter of your life – even though the sharing bit may be something I struggle with at times. 🙂 I am so grateful that we’ve had the chance to get to work with photographers and great friends, Maison and Caleb Engel of Maison Meredith Photography, for the last four+ years as they’ve documented our wedding, our first home, and now, capturing these beautiful memories of Baby Wedel!

I knew I wanted to schedule a maternity shoot at some point, but between wrapping up wedding season, baby appointments and prepping our home, had only gotten about half of the nursery done and was stressed about photographing ourselves in it too soon. Danny, however, in his ever-calm and knowledgeable manner, reminded me that life NEVER allows you to be fully “ready” for anything, and why not invite them in to capture everything as it currently was, while I was still feeling good? He was right, obviously, so I emailed Maison, picked out a few of my maternity “must-haves” from Pink Blush and cleaned up what I could in the baby’s room. Looking back, I’m SO grateful we got the photos done when we did!

As you might imagine, one aspect of this pregnancy I have thoroughly enjoyed is putting together the nursery. Since we are being surprised by the baby’s gender, I wanted to keep the overall style neutral, calming, and in line with the rest of our home decor (and truly would have even IF we had known whether it’s a boy or girl). Danny and I purchased a white dresser that could grow with the baby, a white crib from Ikea, and a super comfy glider/recliner from Walmart (which we actually spent an inordinate amount of time researching). All the rest of our nursery decor is actually pretty neutral and minimalist, and I plan to adorn the rest of the walls with these and other baby photos (obviously) once he/she is here.

If you have any other questions about the nursery, please let me know – I LOVE intentional home decor and could honestly spend hours talking about it!

One of the more empowering and fascinating experiences in planning for Baby has been to discuss our birth “strategy” and come up with our goals for delivering and caring for this new little life. Without getting into the gory details, I will share that we have been spending SO much time educating ourselves on how we’d like Baby’s birth to go, and feel super comfortable with our plan going forward as a couple and family. Obviously, you can never plan for everything to go your way (babies do seem to have a mind of their own – which I’ll share about next!) but there are a few key goals we have decided on together:

  1. I’m hoping to have a natural, vaginal delivery with no medical interventions.
  2. We’ve hired a doula, and plan to deliver Baby with just the two of us, her, and our OB present.
  3. Water has always been a very calming, steady presence in my life, so I am planning to spend most of my labor in the tub.
  4. I hope to exclusively breastfeed and am WAY interested in seeing how that goes.
  5. We’re cloth diapering!

We’ll see how all of the above transpires, but I am VERY grateful we’ve had such a supportive community around us from the beginning and have had time to discuss and plan for these goals. Again, happy to follow up on any of these if you have questions!

Our first real (and unnerving) glimpse into understanding that Baby calls the shots actually came just a couple of days after Christmas. I was having my routine 36-week checkup, which included doing a quick ultrasound on a hand-held device. The doc was looking around for all of the normal signs (heartbeat, etc.) and also wanted to confirm that baby was head down and ready for delivery (they usually settle in to this position between 30 and 34 weeks).

As she was searching around, I noticed her get a little bit quiet. She moved the doppler a bit further up my belly, then sighed and told me that Baby was in a breech position (feet first). I immediately teared up, knowing that all of our previously discussed goals and plans for having a natural birth were quickly going out the window, since breech babies almost exclusively need to be born via C-Section. I called Danny on the way home, explaining that we basically had to look up every remedy possible to convince baby to flip, or I was going to be planning for a C-Section in the next two weeks.

I spend the rest of the evening performing several thousand down-dogs in our living room and bedroom, researching natural methods for spinning babies, and scheduling appointments with specialists who are able to flip babies from the outside. It wasn’t pretty. Luckily, once again, my ever-sturdy husband found a local acupuncturist who performed special treatments for pregnancy, and we were able to get in the next day. It was my first acupuncture experience (and I HIGHLY recommend, even if you aren’t pregnant). We had a follow-up ultrasound later that afternoon, which was going to confirm baby’s breech position and allow for us to move forward with the plans for our C-Section.

Imagine, then, my complete surprise when I lay down on the table, got all gooped up with gel, and looked up to see our beautiful, squirmy baby in the CORRECT POSITION. I have no clue whether the acupunture, Chinese incense, or down-dogs did the trick, if Baby simply decided to spin on its own, or if our Doctor was wrong from the beginning, but I was SO relieved to know that we were back on track to have the birth we always wanted.

SO, after all of this, Baby W., these highs and lows and endless hours of prep…all that remains is waiting to meet YOU! I simply cannot wait to see you, get to know your personality, your likes and dislikes, and watch your hunky dad do his thing.

2019 is going to be the year of YOU, and I can’t wait to show you what’s in store.