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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Birthday, Shep!

Seven weeks have absolutely flown by since we welcomed sweet Shep into the world! I never meant for it to take this long to post about his birthday and all that's happened since. In fact, parts of this post have been written for weeks! Pretty sure it took me this long to post with Hatcher too. What can I say...life has been fun, hectic, crazy and super sweet these last seven weeks. Here's all about Shep's birthday and first few days of life!

On December 29th at 8:13 a.m. we welcomed our precious son Shepherd Morgan Ricks into the world! He weighed 7 lbs 9 ozs and was 20.5 inches long. Born with blue eyes and a head full of dark brown hair, he is PERFECT! Our hearts exploded with love for our second born son and we couldn't be happier to be a family of four!

The morning started very early with alarms sounding at 3:30 a.m. to ensure we made it to the hospital on time at 5:15 a.m. Basically, there was very little sleeping happening on mommy and daddy's end that night as we anticipated meeting our son the next morning.

After getting checked in, we got into our recovery room where preparations for my c section began. My nerves quickly set in and I was way more nervous this go round than with Hatcher. I knew what to expect this time and after a not so pleasant c section with Hatcher I was very anxious for what I knew was coming. Overall, the experience this time was much much better...answered prayers for sure! After receiving the spinal block, my blood pressure hit rock bottom just like with Hatcher but they were quick to fix it and I was feeling better within minutes. After that, my heart rate got very high and they couldn't figure out why. But, as soon as Johny walked into the OR it immediately went back to normal. Y'all I have to take a quick minute to brag on my husband. With both babies, he has a been a huge support system through the entire pregnancy but in the OR he is AMAZING! He knows just what to say to calm me or make me laugh...whatever is needed in the moment. His reaction when his sons were born makes my heart smile to this day. He loves his boys with all of his heart and I am so thankful we get to call him ours.

After surgery, we hung out in recovery for 2 hours and this time I got to hold my sweet boy as soon as we got in the room. Having that skin to skin contact with him and getting to hold him so quickly after the operation made me so happy! I didn't get that time with Hatcher so this was such a blessing to me. After getting into our permanent room, the visitors starting pouring in to shower Shep with love and gifts. We had such a great day and it was a wonderful celebration of his arrival!

The only hospital regret we have is that due to flu season Hatcher was unable to visit due to hospital policy. We weren't notified of this until just before surgery which of course brought me to tears. But, we understood the policy and wanted to make sure we kept Shep healthy. It sure was hard being away from him for 2 full days anticpating him meeting his baby brother but when we got home it was totally worth it!

We came home on Wednesday, 12/31 and Hatcher immediately fell in love with Shep. First thing he wanted to do was hold him and kiss him. It was a precious site to witness and a moment I'll never forget. Since then, he continues to always want to hold him but we are working on the gentle part of it. He's just a rough and tumble 2 year old but he's slowly but surely getting the hang of it.

We were so fortunate to have LOTS of help after coming home from the hospital and even while we were in the hospital. We could never begin to thank everyone adequately enough for the calls, texts, Facebook posts, visits, gifts and meals we received. I'm amazed at how thoughtful and generous so many people were during such a special time in our lives. The help continues to flow in abundance from our families as we are transitioning and learning our new "normal" as a family of four. Grateful doesn't even begin to describe how we feel!

Shep has joined our family and fits in just perfectly! I couldn't imagine a more beautiful baby boy. He's just perfect in every single way and we love him to pieces. Here's some photos from those first few days! More to come on how he's doing now very soon!

Whoa baby!! Last "bump" shot before heading to the hospital. Mama is ready to POP!!

Nervous but so ready to meet my baby!

Love at first sight!! :)

His first of many kisses!


Daddy kisses!

Adoring his second born son! :)

Holding Shep for the first time!

Skin to skin contact...a moment I'll never forget!


Love that crying face! He still looks exactly like this when he gets upset.


His favorite nurse, Angela, taking good care of him! She prayed over him everytime she came to check on him. Sweetest nurse ever!


Mommy & Shep


First photo with Mommy & Daddy


Poppy & Shep


GaGa & Shep


Nanny & Shep


Precious boy!

Side by side comparison of the Ricks Brothers! {Hatcher on left, Shep on right}


Smooches!!


Proud Daddy

Pure joy!

Ready to take our little man home!

Loaded up & ready to go! :)

One of the most special moments of my life. My boys meeting one another for the first time. Brings tears to my eyes every time I see it. I pray they grow up to be the best of friends! 









Monday, December 22, 2014

38 Weeks

The past nine months seem to have flown by and we get to meet our precious baby boy in 7 days! It's officially our last week as Ricks Family party of 3. To say we are ready to meet Shepherd is an understatement. I know with Christmas festivities this week things will pass quickly and before we know it we will be hospital bound.

Sleeping for me has gotten pretty tough because I am flooded with thoughts and emotions. The past 2 years with Hatcher have been the greatest of my life and the memories we have made I will treasure forever. We have such a special bond and I love him more than he will ever know. Johny and I knew very early on after Hatcher's arrival that we wanted more children and that journey began for us just before Hatcher was turning one. It took us 8 months to get pregnant with Shep and although that journey was tough emotionally, God's timing was perfect. My dream of having a house full of children is finally coming true and I am so thankful God is giving us a son and Hatcher a little brother. It's perfect for our family. I know many if not every mother struggles with how or if their relationship with their first born will change once the new baby arrives and I cannot stop worrying about this. I just want him to know that Mommy and Daddy have more than enough love for both boys. I know Hatcher will need time to adjust and I am so thankful we have lots of family who will be with us over the first month to give him lots of love and attention. My prayer is that his transition will be a quick one and that we will settle into our new "normal" routine in no time. He's going to be the best big brother!!

We are beyond excited for Christmas this week! We have finally finished all of the last minute details of Shep's nursery so now I can get my gifts wrapped and under the tree. I can also focus on final things that need to be cleaned or organized before he gets here. Nesting is serious business, people!! We have a fun, busy week of things planned and just can't wait to see Hatcher's face on Christmas morning. He is so excited about Santa coming and entering through his chimney. He keeps going over to the fireplace and looking inside...it's so cute! :) We will celebrate Christmas Day with Johny's parents and then my mom arrives Friday to help me do some last minute things and have some mommy/daughter time. Then we will have my Dad, sister and grandparents here on Sunday for Christmas. And the best gift of all is the next day when we welcome Shepherd!!

We are scheduled for our c section on Monday, December 29 at 7:45 a.m. We check-in at 5:15 to get prepped and then it'll  be showtime. We will deliver Shep at a different hospital with a different doctor than we did with Hatcher. I am very anxious about surgery since my c section with Hatcher was not a good experience at all. Please pray with us that all will go well and that this experience will be much better and smoother for everyone.

Shepherd Morgan Ricks we are anticipating your arrival more and more every single day! We cannot wait to hold you in our arms, love on you and give you tons of kisses. We look forward to dressing you in your first precious outfit and debating who you look more like. We are ready for sleepless nights and learning all about who you are and what you like. You are the addition we have been waiting for and I know our hearts will explode with love we didn't know we had in us as soon as we lay our eyes on you! We love you so much already sweet baby and pray for your healthy and safe arrival.

Here's my "38 week bump" shot!


How far along? 38 weeks, 1 day
Total weight gain/loss: +35 lbs
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? Nope! 
Sleep: Lots of potty breaks during the night & can't turn my mind off because I am so excited!
Best moment this week: Having our friends Christmas with the Parker's & VanDusen's and celebrating Christmas with Hatcher's MMO class.
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything? Can't think of anything new. Just uncomfortable a lot these days and it's harder to bend over or down without discomfort. 
Movement: Yes and lots of it! Shep is very active and most active late at night. 
Food cravings: If it's sweet, give it to me!!!
Anything making you queasy or sick? Not lately...thank goodness.
Belly Button in or out? Depending on his position, sometimes it's in & sometimes it's out. 
Have you started to show yet: Yes
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs: No
Wedding rings on or off? Can only wear the engagement ring now!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward this week: Christmas Eve celebrations, Christmas and seeing the magic in Hatcher's eyes when he see his gifts from Santa, quality time with my mom as we make last minute preparations for Shep. And most importantly...meeting sweet Shep in just 7 days!!!!!!



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

37 Weeks

We are officially considered FULL TERM! This pregnancy has flown by and it's hard to believe we are only 13 days away from meeting Shepherd. I'm about to be a mother of 2!! Wow! :) This is something I have dreamed about my entire life and it's even better than I imagined it would be.

The nesting began a few weeks back but really kicked into high gear over the last week. I have a "to-do" list a mile long and I try desperately to mark a few things off every day. I have to brag on my husband too. I really put him to work over the weekend and he was such a trooper. Anyone who has experienced nesting knows there are things you want done that you really aren't capable of doing or shouldn't do. I am so thankful that he stepped in and helped me accomplish some things to mark off the list. We have a few more things to do this weekend and I think I'll finally feel "ready" for Shep to make his debut and welcome him into our home. Although, if he decides to come early then I guess he'll just experience home in it's normal everyday state which is clutter & chaos. But hey...I love that clutter & chaos because it means we have a happy home with a wild toddler running around and we wouldn't have it any other way!

My 37 week check-up was this morning and all is well. I'm not making any progress at this point and I wasn't surprised because I didn't make any with Hatcher either. At my 36 week c/u, the doctor was a little concerned about Shep's position but today he was definitely head down which is great news. My next appointment is for pre-op the day after Christmas...yay!!!

We have kept our days pretty busy so far this month and it's definitely making the time pass by so quickly. I am really enjoying my final days with Hatcher as an only child and trying to do some fun things over the next 13 days since I know I'll be out of commission for the first few weeks I am back at home after surgery. There are days when I just lay down & nap with him & try to enjoy those quiet moments just me & him. He has started waking up in the wee hours of the morning again and he comes to snuggle with us in our bed. I love waking up next to him and getting some early morning snuggles. I keep telling Johny we need to move to a king bed because that queen is about to be packed!! I know he is going to be a wonderful big brother and my anxiety over him not being the only child anymore is slowly starting to fade. Now, the excitement is kicking in & I just can't wait to introduce them and hear Hatcher say "aww wee" in his cute little baby voice!

Here's my 37 week "bump" shot and update! :)


How far along? 37 weeks, 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: +35 lbs
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? Nope! 
Sleep: Lots of potty breaks during the night & crazy dreams.
Best moment this week: Hearing Shep's heartbeat this morning...that just never gets old!
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything? Can't think of anything new. Just uncomfortable a lot these days and it's harder to bend over or down without discomfort. 
Movement: Yes and lots of it! Shep is very active and most active late at night. 
Food cravings: Still spicy food, sweets & sweet tea.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Over the past few weeks, I keep waking up nauseous during the night but can't figure out what's causing it. It's definitely not helping on the sleep end of this deal either.
Belly Button in or out? Depending on his position, sometimes it's in & sometimes it's out. 
Have you started to show yet: Yes
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs: No
Wedding rings on or off? Can only wear the engagement ring now!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward this week: Marking more things off my to-do list, framily Christmas with the Parker's & VanDusen's and getting my presents wrapped & under the tree! It's almost Christmas!!! :)


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

34 Weeks

It has been far too long since my last post. Life happened & we have been very busy over the past few months. Fall is always like that for us it seems. This pregnancy is flying by & I cannot believe we will be meeting our little guy in just 5 weeks!!

We are scheduled for a c section on Monday, December 29th. He'll be the perfect Christmas present & we just can't wait to meet him! His nursery is nearly complete with just a few final touches to be done. It has turned out better than I expected when I chose a nautical theme.

I had a beautiful baby shower several weeks back & am so thankful for everyone who came to shower our Shep with love! He got so many beautiful things & we had such a great time celebrating him. I'll post about that with lots of pictures soon.

Since my last post, Hatcher turned 2 & we had a big celebration for him! He is getting more & more excited about becoming a big brother. We talk about Shep all the time and he loves to play in his room while Mommy organizes baby essentials. He also loves to give him kisses & point to his ultrasound pictures on the fridge. I just know these two boys will be the best of friends! :)

We got to have another 3D ultrasound on 11/3 and it was so much fun. Shep gave us lots of great pictures & was very active. He has the cutest little nose & chubby cheeks! They had him measuring about 2 weeks ahead of schedule but the doctor isn't concerned at this point because I am measuring right on schedule. We shall see if he decides to make his appearance early but we sure hope he stays in there & is born healthy!

I had my 34 week check-up today & all is well. Below is my "bump" shot & some updates.


How far along? 34 weeks, 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: +33 lbs
Maternity clothes? Oh yes!! And lots of Johny's t-shirts for sleeping! :)
Stretch marks? Nope! 
Sleep: Getting more uncomfortable and having a harder time falling asleep. My wedge pillow is helping a lot though and once I'm asleep I'm usually good minus a potty break or two! 
Best moment this week: Enjoying some quality time in Charleston with sweet friends & hearing Baby Shep's heartbeat today at the doctor.
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything? Being able to bend over comfortably to put my shoes on. Boots are no joke! Thankful my sweet husband is willing to assist! 
Movement: Yes and lots of it! Shep is very active and most active late at night. 
Food cravings: Still spicy food, sweets & sweet tea.
Anything making you queasy or sick? No
Belly Button in or out? Depends on how he's laying but the past few days it's officially been OUT! That never happened with Hatcher so it's funny to us.
Have you started to show yet: Yes
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs: No
Wedding rings on or off? Engagement ring...on...wedding band....off & on...depends on the day!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward this week: Thanksgiving in LaGrange with all of my family! Can't wait for yummy food & good quality family time! :)


Monday, September 15, 2014

24 weeks

These weeks are flying by! I cannot believe we have already reached the 24 week mark. We are making lots of progress & starting to get prepared on the home front for Shep's arrival! 

We recently moved our guest room furniture into our bonus room, turning it into a office/man cave/guest room. It turned out nicely and we are pleased with it. So now we can really focus on the nursery. We paint this weekend thanks to the help of my parents and now I just need to narrow my five grey paint choices down to one! Who knew grey paint could be so hard to choose?

Hatcher is really starting to notice the baby bump now. He waves to the baby and kisses my tummy all the time. It is so sweet! Let's just pray he's that sweet to baby Shep once he's here! :)

I had my 24 week check-up this afternoon so below are the details on that and of course my most recent "bump" shot!


How far along? 24 weeks, 1 day
Total weight gain/loss: +16 lbs
Maternity clothes? Yes. Recently bought some fall/winter items and can't wait for my favorite Old Navy skinny jeans to arrive this week! Being able to order my favorite jeans in maternity is super exciting!
Stretch marks? Nope! :)
Sleep: Having difficulty going to sleep some nights because I can't turn my brain off. Lots to think about & do. Hatcher is still struggling with sleeping all night in his big boy bed so snuggling with him in a twin isn't all that comfy either. But I do enjoy his sweet cuddles!
Best moment this week: Having some quality family time with my boys this weekend & getting to hear Shep's heart beat today!
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything? Sounds funny but the bigger Shep gets the harder it is to get a good deep breath some moments. Activities that used to be simple & easy leave me huffing & puffing lately. Glad that sweet boy is growing big & strong!
Movement: Yes and lots of it! Shep is very active and most active late at night. 
Food cravings: Boy do I have a sweet tooth! I made peanut butter cookies with Reese's cups in them the other week and this past weekend chocolate chip cookies. I can't help myself!
Anything making you queasy or sick? No!
Belly Button in or out? In
Have you started to show yet: Yes
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs: No
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy but I've had my moody moments over the last few weeks.
Looking forward this week: Painting the nursery & seeing my parents!!