Christmas 2012

Christmas this year was amazing. Mostly because our little Norah was celebrating with us. 
We did all of our yearly traditions, 
Grandma Sue's gift exchange pj party, 
Grandma Nora's Christmas story, 
Grandma and Grandpa Esplin's soup dinner, 
Grandpa Hafen's Dinner party
and Grandma and Grandpa Wade's Nativity production 
(yes, Norah was baby Jesus)
(and yes, we have A LOT of grandparents)
One of my very favorite traditions though is the one that follows the nativity. 
Grandma Wade makes everyone an ornament for the tree and one by one we hang the ornament and say what our gift to Christ will be for the year. It can be anything from attending the temple more regularly, saying your morning prayers all year, improving a talent or working on your personal history. Any kind of gift you will give back to our Savior among the many others we should be giving daily. Grandma writes them all down and so everyone can look back years on what they have been setting goals to do. This is something I look forward to every year when really I should be setting these kind of goals much more often. 
This year I promised Christ to establish my new little family in righteousness, 
I hope that I can keep that promise.
Broc promised to do small acts of service and ignore the voice that tries to justify not giving.
Norah promised to continue being the best baby ever 
(okay maybe that was just my little plea to Heavenly Father as I put her mini ornament on)
Here are some of the highlights of Christmas 2012

p.s. Broc, along with both of our parents totally surprised me with a brand new camera!
Isn't he the best?


Daddy's Girl

These two kinda love eachother. 


So for those who know us, Durangos is like our second dining room.
In high school, we would go there at least 3 times a week, it was a little pathetic. 
But not pathetic enough to stop us because until Norah was born, we still went there about that much. 
(okay a tiny bit exaggerated)
We sit at the same table in the corner and order the same meal.
We have grown so attached that I almost wanted to see if it were
possible to have our wedding dinner there.
So when Norah was about 1.5 weeks old, we thought it was time to introduce her to the place where mommy and daddy fell in love over a tin of rice and beans.
She looks thrilled right?


Norah :: one month

I can't believe our baby girl has been around for a month already.
But then again, I can hardly imagine our lives without her.
She has been such a blessing in our home and every day with her is the best day of my life.
Although she has been in our family only a short time,
we have already become very well acquainted. 

Nora in a nutshell :: one month
-She has the best hair in the family.
-She has strawberry blonde eyebrows.
-She lost her umbilical cord after a week! (my mom said mine took 6 weeks to fall off)
-She sleeps 4-5 hours at a time during the night and falls right back to sleep after she fills her belly.
-She loves bath time but hates getting lotioned up.
-She does not like to sleep alone. She is like her mother.
-She loves her dad's voice and he was the first person to get her to smile.
-She is a morning person, not a night owl.
-She loves her tongue, it is the cutest thing.
-She has a dimple on her chin.
-She has great fingernails but she uses them to scratch her face if we aren't careful.
-She has a hard time waking up in the morning and groans and stretches for about 20 minutes.
-She loves being held so she can look over your shoulder.
-She has lots of nicknames. 
-Her dad calls her "Norah pants" or "Squirmy McSquirms"
-Her mom calls her "Munchie" or "Gorgeous"
-Her Grandma B calls her "Angel"
-Her aunt Taylor calls her "Baby Doll"
She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I think I have learned more about life in the last month than all the years I went to college.
Norah, thank you for coming into our lives and making us the happiest parents alive.
Here's to many more days, months, and years.


a family

In one second we went from being a "couple" to a "family".
I am not going to lie, I miss being able to go on long spontaneous dates with my husband,
but nothing beats sitting at home on a friday night cuddled on the couch with Broc and Norah.
People have asked me what is different about my life now that we have a baby.
Of course there are the obvious answers; lack of sleep, energy, and money.
But actually the biggest change I have noticed there are no words for.
It is hard for me to explain, but the moment that she was born I feel like I saw the whole world through a new pair of eyes.
My whole perspective on life is different. 
The way I think, feel and love is different.
Different in the very best of ways.

I love my new little family.


the wee small hours of the morning

I thought that during maternity leave I would have all the time in the world. I thought of all the projects I would do, walls I would decorate, goodies I would bake, tv shows I would catch up on yadda yadda... boy was I wrong.

Since Norah was born I spend about 30% of my time feeding her, 20% of my time changing diapers and the other 50% just staring at/kissing/snapping pictures of her. 

It is all Norah all the time. It is heaven.

The early morning hours are some of my favorite moments with this angel. She is so darling after a good night sleep. Many people have commented on how alert she is for a newborn. She is so much like her mother already, she hates sleeping alone. I slept in my parents bed till I was probably 5 and then shared a room with Ashley till I was 16. When we were kids, we use to go to bed holding hands. Norah won't sleep in her bassinet for long because the moment she opens her eyes and realizes she is alone she has a come apart. So she sleeps in the middle of her daddy and I. Sometimes in the middle of the night I open my eyes and there she is, wide awake just staring at her mama. She is perfect.


Room 457

The labor and delivery room was so nice and spacious that after a day of being in there, coming to our postpartum recovery room was a little bit of a let down. It was cramped, dark, and a lot less inviting. But I soon came to love that room. It was in that room that we spent our first moments as a little family. It was in that room that Broc and I looked at our little girl in amazement of how gorgeous she was. It was in that room that we gave her the name Norah Mae Hafen. That room was the beginning of the rest of our lives and I actually hated leaving. I wanted to stay in that secluded tight space and keep Norah sheltered from the world for as long as I possibly could. I will always be grateful for the time we spent in that cramped, dark and uninviting space. It was a little bit of heaven.


Norah's Birth Story

Friday night (11/09/12) Broc and I made bets as to when the hospital would call us in to start induction. Our doctor told us that they could call as early as 5:30 a.m.
Broc’s guess: 7:30 a.m.
My guess: 8:15 a.m.
Actual call: 5:39 a.m. – they don’t mess around
Broc jumped up and took the fastest shower I think I have ever seen him take (seriously I don’t know what he usually does in there, he takes the longest showers). I packed the rest of my things for the hospital while talking to myself “you’re going to have a baby today. Breathe. Today is the day. Breathe.” I think it was too early for my little pep talk to actually sink in because it still didn’t seem real by this point.
The drive to the hospital was a memory I will never forget. The streets were empty while the city of St. George slept. I don’t remember what was said between Broc and I, I just remember holding hands, knowing our life was about to change. Unfortunately that drive only lasted what seemed like 30 sec. before we arrived at the labor and delivery unit at the hospital. When we got there, the nurses seemed so excited to see us and it helped that one of them was a girl we knew from high school. It didn’t take them long to show us our room and hand me a gown. Before I knew it, Brianne our nurse was writing “Happy Birthday Baby Girl” on the white board across the room. That is when it started to become real. 

I got hooked up to an IV and Pitocin around 7:00 a.m. and started filling out birth certificate paperwork. Baby girl didn’t have a name yet, so we skipped that part. Unfortunately when they checked my dilation, they told me I was at a 2. They made sure to warn us that it was going to be a long day. Travis and Jilynne came at about 8:30 to see how we were doing. I have the best mother and father-in law out there. They told us that it was sprinkling outside and had officially turned to autumn. What a perfect day for a baby to be born, on one of my favorite kind of days. I was secretly a little jealous I couldn’t go out and feel the crisp air. The in-laws had to run somewhere and shortly after, around 9:00 my mom and sisters came. Ashley had driven down from Provo the night before to make it here for the big day. I was so glad to see them. My mom kept saying “I can’t believe my baby is having a baby!”, I couldn’t believe it either. 

My doctor was running a 5K that morning so another doctor came in to break my water around 10:50 a.m. I was a little bit nervous when the nurse handed him what looked like a crochet hook as long as a chop stick. After fudging around for a bit he pulled the hook out only to find that there was no hook on the end. He got it second time around. I think that breaking my water was my least favorite part of the day. Not because it hurt, but because it felt like I was peeing my pants for an hour afterward. Gross. They also said that there was some meconium in the water and that in fear of the baby swallowing some, the NICU nurses would be in the room when I delivered. They said this is a common thing when babies are over due. Meanwhile Broc sat by my side the entire time, and my mom on the couch while we watched Everybody loves Raymond. My contractions were starting to pick up by this time, a new sensation because I had never felt a contraction, besides mild Braxton Hicks my entire pregnancy. Katie and her husband CJ were going to drive down from Provo that day but the roads were too snowy so we facetimed on the Ipad. It was almost as good as having her there. 

I remember the little looks Broc would give me throughout the day. There aren’t words to describe them. He was just a sweetheart never leaving my side. At 2:00 my dad, Ashley, Taylor and Michael came to visit. Michael had just played in his soccer game and told us he scored two goals for the baby. What a great brother. My dad seemed at a loss for words when he saw me on that delivery bed. I don’t think anyone really comprehended until that day that a little angel would be joining our family. 

By this point we had been there long enough to go through our first shift of nurses. Shortly after I got a new nurse, Brittney, I asked when I could have my epidural. The contractions were getting to the point that I could hardly keep my eyes open during them and Broc’s poor hand was probably loosing circulation from me squeezing it so hard. The anesthesiologist, Dr. Thomas came in around 2:30. He calmed the whole room down with his chill, nonchalant behavior. I was most nervous about getting an epidural. While looking for a place to put the needle, his composed comments started turning into worried ones. He said my vertebras were unusually close together for my height and that he was having a hard time putting the needle in. He got it in and I laid down anticipating the relief of my pain. It never left. I started to feel numb in my toes and from about my knees down, but nowhere else. At this point, Broc’s grandma and aunts had arrived and I felt bad to have them see my whimpering during contractions because the epidural surely did not work. Broc called the nurse in, who called Dr. Thomas back in. He re-stuck the needle but Broc said he had to stick it close to 7 times and push with all the force of his body to get it in. Good thing I wasn’t watching. Relief finally came and it felt oh too good. But it didn’t last long… 

Travis, Jilynne had come back and my mom had been there all day. It was fun to sit and chat with our parents. We don’t get a lot of time to do that. Unfortunately by around 6:00 I was back to feeling everything. I was terrified that there was nothing else that they could do to fix the epidural. There was no way I could have this baby natural. No way. Dr. Thomas came back and decided to stick the needle much higher, warning me that I would be numb from my chest down. By this point, I liked the sound of that. He also told me that he was having the pharmacy prepare a stronger dose of medicine for me. Shortly after, it was smooth sailing. I felt great, and huge as an elephant. 

We had made it to another round of nurses. This time our nurse’s name was Erin. It was meant to be. She was so great and really made us feel so at home. At 7:15 they checked and I was dilated to a 5! Woo hoo! Most people dilate to a 5 on their own at home! This baby did not want to come, that is for sure. The baby’s heart rate had dropped at this point and they were a bit concerned. Fortunately she’s a fighter and shortly after, she was right back on track. Meanwhile, we were keeping our minds preoccupied while watching Family Feud on the game show channel. I always wanted to be on that show, and after watching it for 2 hours in the hospital room, I would definitely want my mother in law Jilynne on my team.  

At 9:00 I was dilated to a 6+ but my temperature had spiked. Erin told me that if my temperature did not go down in the next hour, the baby would have to be taken to the NICU for 24 hours after she was born for blood tests and to keep a close eye on her. I was holding back tears. Something inside of me knew that she was fine, a healthy baby. I did not like the thought of her being taken away. Broc didn’t either and started wetting towels to bring my fever down. I asked Broc for a blessing, but no one had any oil. Fortunately, they keep oil for blessings in then NICU and one of the nurses was sweet enough to run up there and get some. I loved that I lived in a town and was delivering in a hospital where they keep consecrated oil for blessing the sick. Broc offered me a beautiful blessing. He struggled to hold his tears back, something that doesn’t happen often. I knew then that he was going to be an amazing dad. He already loved his daughter so much. 

When the nurse came back at 10:00 she was happy to see that my temperature had dropped back to normal. I was elated and so thankful for the power of the Priesthood that my husband holds. She followed with the good news that I was dilated to a 9!  It wasn’t until 12:15 that I started pushing. All along I had said that I just wanted Broc in the room when I delivered, but when it came down to it, I couldn’t imagine my mom not being there. When the nurses asked if I wanted anyone else in the room, Broc said “do you want your mom?” and from behind the curtain I heard Broc’s mom Jilynne yell, “let her in!”. When my mom came around the curtain, she had tears in her eyes, so excited to witness a miracle (of course I made her stand behind my head). 

 Trying to push a baby out is a funny thing when you are numb from the chest down. The nurses told me to breathe in and then hold my breath and push for ten seconds at a time. Some of my favorite memories of Broc will be during these moments. He was amazing, holding my left leg and saying things like “you got it babe!” and “PUSH!! You are doing amazing”. I could tell how excited he was for our lives to change for the better and how proud he was of me, sometimes a girl needs a little reminder of that from the men in her life. When the nurse said “I see a full head of hair!” I had a sigh of relief. I knew I would love my baby girl no matter what, I just knew it would be such a bonus if she had cute hair. She invited Broc to look and for a second he declined in fear of passing out. When he finally decided to look, his face lit up. All he could say now was “OH MY GOSH! She is so close!!” After about 45 minutes of pushing, Doctor Clark came in and took over, when he started getting his robe and gloves on, I knew it wouldn’t be too much longer. He too was so encouraging and kept telling me how great I was doing. Broc had to keep giving me sips of water in between pushes because it is dang tiring! 

 After another 45 minutes, at 1:29 a.m. Dr. Clark put a beautiful baby girl on my chest. I could hardly organize my thoughts at this point, a miracle had just occurred and a new little spirit was born. The room was spinning and the only thing I could concentrate on was her little hand holding my finger while my husband kissed my forehead. 

I realized then that I had known this little girl all along, she was always a part of our family. She was gorgeous. Life had been good to Broc and I, but it had suddenly gotten so much better. 



It is hard to wrap up my emotions at this point.
I have officially reached my due date and I am still pregnant.
That is definitely not something I wanted to have happen.
Every day that goes by seems like an eternity.

For a while, I'll admit, I wanted her to come because I was just done with being pregnant. I was uncomfortable, fat and sick of being winded after walking up a flight of stairs.

Now, I want her to come for all of those reasons, 
but the excitement of finally meeting our little angel is almost overbearing at times. 
I cannot wait to see her face, hear her cute cry, touch those little feet that my ribs have gotten so well acquainted with. I cannot wait to hold her in my arms and not in my stomach. I can't wait to see her tiny nose that I fell in love with in our ultrasound. And I cannot wait to see Broc's face when he sees his daughter. 

Broc doesn't express too much excitement for things, but to see how anxious he is for her to come is perfectly endearing. I can already see the hold she has on his heart. I can't even count how many times throughout the day that he says things like "think baby thoughts" and "how is your stomach? Anything? Anything that could even resemble a contraction??". He whispers to my stomach quite often too telling her that her time is officially up. 

At least we know for sure that by this time next week, she will be with us. The doctor will induce me 11/10 if she doesn't come by then. Ready or not, she is coming. And we could not be more excited!

Halloween 2012

This Halloween sort of crept up on us. 
No pun intended. 
We have been so focused on this baby coming and whether or not she would be here before halloween, that it came before we knew it.
Unfortunately Broc had a class that night and missed most of the festivities, but here are some of the pictures of the awesome costumes that gma wade provided this year.

Sonny and Cher

She is a weeping willow

Cher and Elvis

The Fam 
minus Broc and Ashley :(

The fat baker, tourist and weeping willow

My grandpa is always a younger, hairier version of himself.
I love him!

The Esplin crew

My trick or treat buddy, Dorothy



I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
This week I was excited to go to the doctor and have him tell me how dilated I was. 
When he told me I was barely at a 1, first I wanted to scream and then I just wanted to lay on that table and cry. I almost felt a sense of shame like he had expected me to be further along. 
At least I expected it.
Needless to say, I became determined.

Broc and I have become a couple of walking fools. We have walked so much that I am embarrassed to say that I am actually getting shin splints in my right leg. 
I rather like taking walks with my husband, 
I think I will have to continue it even after the baby is here. 
However, after a long walk, I go home feeling like I have been riding a horse for days, 
you all know the saddle walk I am talking about. 

So, I have another appointment on Tuesday.
And I dang well be further along.
It is crazy how impatient you get these last few weeks of pregnancy.
I am ashamed to say that I am already a kind of impatient girl so this is killing me.
I keep finding myself thinking things like 
"will this be the last time I buy a carton of milk before she comes?"
or "is this the last time I will have to change the toilet paper roll before she is here?"
We are just DYING to meet this little lady.
One of my favorite parts about this week is seeing Broc so anxious and excited for her to come.
I just know he will be the best dad.
He already loves her so much.
We both do.
Come on sweet little one.

"Will this be the last blog post before she comes?"



As much as I hate to admit it, 
I have become a waddler!
I think it might have a little something to do with walking up and down the stairs for half and hour, followed by jumping on the trampoline trying to get this baby ready to come.
What can I say? We are a little excited to meet her already!

Yesterday Broc and I went on a little day date to main street.
We got sodas at Judds, cupcakes at 25 main and just strolled hand in hand for the afternoon.
It was a perfect way to spend one of our last days before we become a family of three.
Afterwards, we went to my parents house to carve pumpkins with the family. 

Photo by erinhafen 

My dad got really in to the pumpkin decorating this year. 
He had way too much fun with his pumpkin covered in warts. 
Michael had to substitute with mr. potato-like pieces after he accidentally-on purpose cut holes out of every side of his pumpkin. 
Broc and I carved the skeleton and my 13 year old brother mitch did the awesome witch!
Not pictured, Lexi and Brynlee's awesome polka-dot spiral pumpkin.
(my camera died before I could get a shot of it, but it was great)


Come on home.

You can come any day my dear, we are ready.