{Inspired} A Duke Mansion Fête

Today we are out and about doing all-things-design for Kristen+Josh’s wedding at The Duke Mansion next June. I love a traditional design at such a classic venue.  Stay tuned for more on this coming in 2015! (Photo Credit: Drea Cunningham)

Callahan’s Newborn Session

On September 3rd, we ventured out to take Cal’s newborn photos. This was my first time out of the house post-birth and looking back at how scared I was to take the trip is quite hilarious. We made it, and are very happy with how his pictures turned out! He has already changed so much in 1 month! We just love this boy. Thanks to Laura Wopperer Photography for the images of our little ragamuffin.

Foundation for the Carolinas Wedding: Liz + Max

Man it feels good to blog about a wedding again. This year has been purposefully slow due to my pregnancy (now life with a newborn!) and I’ve missed ‘normal’ life with Come+Together Events! Liz+Max were married in July on a rainy day–but you could never tell by these beautiful images by The Schultzes. Liz+Max were so fun to work with, and became friends as we’d sit at Luna’s Living Kitchen and talk about the wedding and life (Liz has a kale obsession…). Congrats you two xo. Thanks to the awesome vendor team who always makes my life (especially at 8 months pregnant!) easier!

Bride’s hair/makeup – Who’s the Fairest
Bride’s dress – Martina Liana purchased from J Major’s
Bride’s veil – Tessa Kim
Groom/Groomsmen attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Bow Ties – High Cotton
Florals – Philosophy Flowers
Invitations/Table Numbers – Elizabeth Rose
DJ – Split Second Sound
Catering – Best Impressions
Cake – Sky’s The Limit Bridal Sweets
Linens – Party Reflections
Pedicab – R&R Pedicab Company

Callahan Ryan Hutchins

We are so proud and honored to welcome Callahan Ryan Hutchins in to this wonderful world. He arrived at 5:26pm on August 25, 2014. Weighing in at 7lbs 11oz and measuring 20 inches long.

It was so fun to finally announce his name once he was born! “Callahan” is my Grandmother’s maiden name (and my Dad’s middle name) and we are so excited to carry on her namesake–such a special privilege. Ryan, is of course, after his VERY proud papa (however, I call him ‘Hutch,’ so don’t be confused!). We lovingly refer to our baby boy as, ‘Cal’.

I’ve debated on whether to go in to my ‘birth story’ publicly on the blog. Since I shared so much with my readers during the pregnancy, I decided that I will; as maybe it will help someone with their experience and close the ‘pregnancy chapter’ that I’ve created here. So here goes…(TMI 110% so stop reading now if you’re not in to this sort of thing!).

August 19th was my due date. It came and went…and so did the 20th, 21st, 22nd..etc. I had my membranes stripped THREE TIMES (who does that?!). Nada. Eggplant parmesan, bouncing on the exercise ball…hell I even went to acupuncture. No dice. Let me tell you how NOT fun that waiting game is, especially when your mom flew in town on the 18th to ‘help’ and no baby is here. I was frustrated but trying to stay positive. My doctor scheduled me for induction on Sunday August 24th–FINALLY, an end in sight. Not what I wanted, but I’d take anything at this point.
Leaving our condo for the last time as a family of ‘2’. :)

The CFO and I (and mom!) went to Nikko for one final sushi dinner before I wouldn’t be allowed to eat again until after he arrived. I was ready. I had a little anxiety as we rolled through Dunkin Donuts on the way to the hospital (one last cookies n’ cream milkshake), but I was ready. Birth plan? No…just as with my pregnancy, I did not plan for anything really…my doctor loved that because no one’s ‘plan’ ever really works so it creates less anxiety. I was happy with my decision (you’ll see why if you keep reading…). Healthy and safe (and with drugs, yes…give me the drugs), were my only ‘plans’.

We checked in at 7pm, got settled in to our room, prayed and started what turned out to be a LONG process. I was still just at 1cm dilated (no progress despite all of my crazy attempts all week!). I was given Cervidil, a sleeping pill and it was time to hit the sack. I had heard mixed reviews on Cervidil (a lot of people said it didn’t work for them) so I wasn’t getting my hopes up on dilating. At 1am I woke up in PAIN. Contractions…those things I had been waiting for all week were upon me. I got checked a little bit later–3cm. Progress. Thank God. By 3am, I was shaking and in so much pain. I would look over at Hutch in tears. I asked for the epidural and by 4am was feeling much better. By 8am I was dilated to 5cm–so happy! 10am I was 8cm and was told ‘baby by noon’. I let Cheyenne (of the Schultzes) know and she was on stand-by. At 10:30 I was 10cm–WOAH. We’re going to have this baby SOON. Cheyenne ripped in to the room FAST–I was cracking up picturing her whipping around the parking garage in a really dramatic fashion (which she assured me she did!).
My “let’s do this” and “thank God for the epidural” face on the morning of August 25th

10cm–let’s go. This was the magic number. Didn’t even need the dreaded Pitocin that I had heard so much about-awesome. It was the most BEAUTIFUL, Fall-like day outside (uncharacteristic for August!), today was going to be a good, easy day–I couldn’t believe it!

I started pushing, hopeful that this wouldn’t take too long. The only downfall of the epidural is you can’t really ‘feel’ what you’re doing so you just hope you’re doing it ‘right’.  Pushed, and pushed and pushed…nothing. We could see his head this entire time, he was RIGHT there. My doctor informed me that his head was cranked the wrong way and he was ‘stuck’. We attempted a vacuum, but decided that I needed to start having stronger and more frequent contractions–so I was given Pitocin. No worries, I already was at 10cm and had my epidural, right? Well…my epidural stopped working on my left side. Thank GOD Cheyenne was there–she knew just what to do because she had done a natural birth in the past with her daughter. She helped coach me and Hutch through it until the doctors re-dosed my epidural and got me numb again. It was brutal. I can’t say enough times that we are so thankful for Cheyenne being there. She turned out to be the Doula I never knew I needed and I couldn’t have done with out–and she still managed to capture the entire thing on film (SUPER WOMAN?!). SO thankful.

The long story short of this is, I pushed for 8 hours on and off. He was stuck. I was exhausted. I was falling asleep between pushes. He did so well and only went in to distress once (THAT was scary!), so we didn’t want to just rush to the c-section. One last hail-mary was to up the Pitocin (again and again) and try the vacuum. If it didn’t work, we were going in for surgery. The doctor put on all of the dressings, called in the baby nurse team, Hutch on my left and Cheyenne on my right–this was my last shot. With more encouragement than I ever knew was possible and a great medical team…we got that sweet boy OUT. I thought they were lying until he was all of a sudden screaming and Hutch was cutting his cord. As soon as he hit my chest I just bawled, Hutch bawled. It was the most amazing feeling, I was exhausted–but he was here. Finally. While a flurry of things were happening between shots, stitches, after-birth etc…we just sat there in awe, staring at him. He had finally arrived. Our baby boy.

Then a bit of reality set in as I realized that I have a long recovery ahead but it was worth every second, every pain and every moment of doubt. My husband has been amazing. I have no idea how I got so lucky. I could not have ever done this with out him (literally). I’ve also never seen him happier. It is such a blessing. We are smitten and thank everyone so much for their kind words of congratulations and encouragement. Here is, yet another, amazing video of Cal’s birth by our sweet friends, The Schultzes. (And if anyone knows of any amazing gift ideas to give to people who have captured your entire life’s special moments on film, then made videos and then became your Doula and first and foremost are amazing friends…please let me know. I googled it and nothing came up in that description :)!).

BabyCallahan BirthDay from The Schultzes on Vimeo.

Candice - September 3, 2014 - 9:20 am

perfection. you were beautiful through it all. just loved this.

Lauren Kaczmarski - September 3, 2014 - 9:58 am

Just beautiful. Congratulations! And I’m pretty sure Cheyenne is going to become a midwife in her future!

Kristin Byrum - September 3, 2014 - 10:57 am

ok. this is perfection. your hair looks perfect. cal looks perfect. just breathtaking!

Alexis - September 4, 2014 - 10:41 am

What a sweet video. I definitely shed tears at work. Happy for your little family! Congrats on baby Cal!!!!

Engaged: Christa + Andrew

Christa+Andrew are set to marry in late December. Their wedding promises to be a cozy Winter affair at The Club at Longview!  I absolutely love working with Christa, her mom and her sister–those 3 are just a blast. I can’t wait for the big day! Enjoy some beautiful engagement photos from Cunningham Photo Artists :).