Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Year In Utah: Then to Now

The three years we had in California were the best of my life! From all the amazing jobs I was blessed with to our awesome ward. The weather. The hiking. The ocean breeze. It was a dream life. It's March now so that means exactly one year has passed since we left! I was three months pregnant and just starting to get on the other side of miserable morning sickness and fatigue when we departed from our blissful life in beautiful Santa Monica and moved into my parents basement in Provo. I couldn't even tell the difference at first! *sarcasm*

This is the story of then til now!

Carah Gets Pregnant
When I found out I was pregnant it was Friday, January 10th 2014. After a solid two years of trying unsuccessfully, I just let everything fall into place whenever I was meant to have a baby. Time finally passed so much faster and I felt more grateful for all of the amazing things and people in my life.

After two weeks of having my dearest friend Kendall stay with me, I realized I hadn't taken a pregnancy test for two weeks. Nothing big, nothing wild...I just peed on a stick and it told me I was a mom. I strutted into the bedroom where Aaron was laying down and pulled out the two pee sticks from behind my back! We couldn't believe it. Then we counted the months...February, March....4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9...September! We're having a baby in September! I was five weeks pregnant.


That week in January went like this:

Sunday: Kendall and Carah go hiking and a car pulls out and hits us on the way home and my car is totaled
Monday: Kendall and Carah have fun
Tuesday: Kendall and Carah have fun
Wednesday: Kendall and Carah have fun
Thursday: Kendall leaves back home to Utah and Carah is lonely
Friday: I'M PREGNANT
Saturday: I fly to Florida

It was an intense few weeks. Thankfully Kendall and I lived through the car crash and were still able to do fun things that week and it didn't affect the tiny little baby! I was listening to Christian music in the car. It protected us. Hallelujah!

The mom I nannied for from April 2013 to February 2014 is among my favorite people alive. She ranks pretty high. I love her. I love her husband. I love her baby. I love her dog. I just freaking loved that job. We talked nonstop about the glorious day when I would finally get my chance to be a mom. So it was with great excitement that the next day after I found out the news she picked me up from my house early in the morning to leave for a business trip to Orlando with her for the week.

In the car was the whole troop. Christine, Ross, baby Charlotte and the lovable dog, Reiley. The sun wasn't quite up yet when I threw my suitcase in the trunk and then opened Charlotte's door to say hello. I patted Charlotte's head and said, "Ahhh! I can't wait until I get one of these in nine months!" *pause with giant grin on my face* We all screamed and they congratulated me. And that's how I remember what day my unbearable nausea started.

February was was doozy. I literally think I laid in bed the entire month except for one trip I took with Christine to Santa Barbara, one dinner out when my parents were in town for my 25th birthday, and a trip to the doctors to see our baby! Those were not pleasant times. But listening to my baby's heartbeat and just holding on to the future I would have with my future child gave me so much happiness I managed to get through it.

February 6th, 2014
At the doctor's office getting my first ultrasound!

Hi frog looking baby! You are 9 weeks along!

March 4th, 2014
13 weeks pregnant
The announcement we posted for everyone to see! 
With a baby coming, we realized Aaron needed to go back to the U to finish his degree in Computer Science if he was going to adequately provide for this baby. My boss decided to quit her job to stay at home with her daughter right at the time I felt too sick to work so everything worked out for the best!

Pregnancy for me was not pretty. I was pregnant through three seasons and spent the whole summer indoors hiding from the heat. The most difficult trial in my pregnancy were the painful rashes on my arms and chest that made me lose my mind. Things got better when I stopped wearing a bra though! (When in doubt about anything, take off your bra and life will improve. Works every time.) 

Hard Symptoms of Pregnancy Include:

·The itchiest most insane rashes on my chest and arms
·Sickening nausea for the first five months
·Hunger pains that woke me up multiple times a night to eat and eat and eat
·Painfully swollen feet and hands including carpel tunnel and completely numb fingers

Then you add constant trips to the bathroom, feeling like an ugly whale all the time, and never having anything to wear and you've got me! But even as I type this, Lake sits babbling next to me on the bed and for her...I'd do it again in a heartbeat! It's weird. I didn't have any bad heartburn or anything like that so I count myself lucky in that regard. I am actually extremely lucky because I was able to get my back worked on once a week by a massage therapist and a chiropractor to correct things from my car accident which made this pregnancy much more bearable

I think if I learned anything from those long, drawn out months waiting for Lake to arrive it's that I can't sit around waiting for life to begin. Because now that Lake is here I could just as easily get discontent and choose to set my sights on when Aaron graduates as the marker for when I will start living. I want to experience every day with excitement in whatever season of my life I'm in. So I just remember to ask myself, "What do I love doing? What makes me happy?" Then I can go for walks, hike, go to the temple, read books, play with my niece and nephews, visit friends, and get projects done so I feel like I made that day count! 

I mean, I did a few things while I was pregnant that I was proud of. I learned to code and built a website for my dad's framing business! I also woke up early on the weekends to go to garage sales where I scored so many marvelous baby items! But I'd say just growing a human was productive in itself. 

I got my prenatal care from the amazing American Fork midwife group at Valley Obstetrics and Gynecology. Six midwives rotated appointments each time I came in so I got to know a whole team of amazing women! I was always so excited for my prenatal check ups! 
Next time I'm pregnant, I hope I'm in Utah so I can get my care through them again! I count my blessings everyday that Lake was healthy and the entire pregnancy had zero concerns or complications! 


At our 18 week appointment we got to find out our baby's gender and it was one of the most thrilling days of my life! I thought I was definitely going to have a boy, but when that ultrasound screen came up and they said my growing baby was a girl I forgot all notions about boys and couldn't wait to meet my DAUGHTER!


13 weeks
18 weeks

April 9th, 2014  -  18 weeks 
Found out Carah Jr. is on her way!
April 18th  -  19 weeks and June 7th, 2014  -  26 weeks
Yay to having friends with babies! Ameri was about two months ahead of my pregnancy. Here we are at her baby shower holding the little quilt I sewed for baby Bellamy! 

June 15th, 2014  -  28 weeks

July 4th, 2014  -  30 weeks
July 28th  -  33 weeks
July 31st  -  33 weeks


August 7th  -  35 weeks
The baby shower at Mary Lee's house was amazing beyond my wildest dreams! I can't even explain. You just had to be there.
August 16th, 2014  -  37 weeks
Aaron and I drove back to LA for a week. I really missed California. 
September 8th, 2014  -  39 weeks
Mary Lee is such a treasure. She took my full grown tummy and painted a Henna masterpiece! 
So hard not to laugh while getting painted by that woman though...

41 weeks
Waiting for my little girl.


Carah Has a Baby 
I went into labor on the morning of September 19th. Bringing Lake into this world was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I would do it over just to feel that matchless joy of meeting her again. She was so perfect. I was in love. I will never be able to find the words, but I wrote a few more over here.  

Holding this tiny, incomprehensible miracle in my arms for the first time. 

September 20th, 2014  -  1 day old
Her lips are so gorgeous. She takes my breath away!
Lake's birth announcement  


The Burrells Move to Salt Lake
We have made it to the end of the story! We are now in Salt Lake and I have a five month old baby who is rolling and laughing and still keeping me up all night. 

After ten months of living in Provo it was time to move closer to the U for Aaron. January 8th we packed up and moved into the married student housing on campus where we already resided from 2009 to 2011. There are about 60 different housing blocks we could have been assigned to but we got placed exactly. below. our. old. apartment. It was like a sick joke. But even though our apartment number is just one digit off from our old number and I mix them up all the time and even though our church starts at 9am when we just endured a year of 9am church...I know this place will be a good home for us as we start our new life as a family of three! 

This has been the best year of my life because it gave me the chance to be a mother. I love Aaron so much and I love seeing him as a father. He is so involved with Lake and cherishes every moment he spends with her. He exceeded my expectations as a husband and now as a father to our baby girl. Seeing Aaron as he rocks Lake to sleep or makes her giggle furiously really taps me out on love for him. He is just too good. 

This is just the beginning of our life as parents. I know there is so much more for us three and I honestly just can't wait to see what life has in store! More children to have, more love to give, more patience to increase, more places to visit. We have so many more decisions to make and paths to walk down but now we can do it all together! The future can be scary when it's so uncertain, but as long as I can squeeze these two forever, I've got all I need!  

February 8th, 2014
Daddy, Mommy, and Lakey

1 comment:

  1. I loved this whole post!! Lake is so dreamy. Also, my brother and sister in law live in the U of U housing, they have a 4 month old baby boy. You should be friends. The end.

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