ready for her close up.

Natalie from Bella Baby Photography knocked on our hospital room door the day after Evelyn was born and took some beautiful pictures of her.

Unfortunately Miss Evie was pretty sleepy & wouldn’t show off her baby blues (or whatever color they are … we are having trouble determining this). However, her parents are in agreement: Evelyn is the most photogenic baby there ever was.

{daddy’s hands holding his daughter’s feet}

{holding on to mommy’s hand}

{our little angel}



evie: day two.

{very comfortable with her Uncle Chris}

{wearing her hat that Aunt Val knit for her … unfortunately, her noggin’ was a bit too big.}

{meeting Aunt Laurel for the first time & giving her a look of suspicion. Don’t worry Evie, Laurel’s on our team.}

{Aunt Lo & Evie}

{Aunt Lo & Uncle D … very special visitors}

{Could she look any prouder? 🙂 }

{some face time with mommy}

{loves to be soothed by being on her side & having a loud SHHHHH in her ear}

{instant happiness}

{safe with daddy}

{best buds}

{hanging like the squirrels do in our backyard tree}

{“who is that?”}

{daddy the diaper changing champ}

{dry diaper, one tear drying.}


evie: day one.

I’m going to take some time to write about Evelyn’s birth story, but first, I thought I’d post some pictures of her first days in this world.

My time in the hospital was extremely pleasant. I will always look back and remember these days as days of wonder, beauty & love.

{minutes old}

{strong pair of lungs, from the second she was born}

{meeting her adoring grandmas}

{and her Aunt Emmy}

{and the proud grandpas}

{my daddy.}

{within an hour of birth, stuffing as many fingers in her mouth as she can}

{wide eyed in her daddy’s arms later that morning}

{mommy & daughter. the morning after our long night together.}

{later that morning, after family had gotten some rest, they returned to visit with Evie}

{meeting her godfather Chris for the first time}


{Papa’s girl.}

{their first grandchild.}

{Grandma bonding with her namesake (Kathleen)}

{smiles … or gas …  for mama. she likes them both.}

{craning her neck up toward Daddy}

{when she was first brought to me, she was blowing bubbles … she hasn’t stopped moving her mouth or tongue since.}

{post-lunch nap & showing off her impressive fingernails}

{her proud father.}

meet: our daughter.

Evelyn Kathleen
My fierce lion, my soft rose
Watch out for her thorns
{ haiku by Daddy }
Evelyn Kathleen
born April 22, 2012
at 3:08 in the morning
weighing in at 9lb 14oz
measuring 21.5 inches
with strong lungs & a full head of dark hair
Mommy & Daddy could not be prouder of their little lion.

Baby Barto: Week 40

me at week 40:  You can deduce a few facts from the picture above. (1) maternity shirts don’t even fit me any more. (2) I’m tired.

Of course, during the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt fairly constantly tired. However, I was blessed to get a fairly good night’s rest. The last few nights have been very touch-and-go, thanks to the PUPPPs. For those of you who didn’t Google that last time, it stands for Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. Definitely makes you want to Google it now, huh? (Who comes up with the names of these conditions?)

Anyways, I have found that ice packs around my ankles do help at night, but there are a few logistical hurdles with this method. Your typical ice packs don’t stay cold through the night, so taking them out of the freezer, getting them firmly attached some way to your ankles & falling asleep all before they lose their effectiveness can be quite a challenge. Straight up ice in a Ziploc, wrapped in a towel, and attached with an ace bandage works well … until the Ziploc leaks … which I’ve learned is inevitable & sets you up for a less-than-pleasant wake-up in the middle of the night. I think I may try Ziplocs within Ziplocs tonight and hope for the best. Now, this only takes care of the ankles, and doesn’t address the elbows, underarms, belly, etc, etc, nor the heartburn brought on by lying down, nor the nasty cold that is still lingering, nor the backaches that come from lugging a person around all day.

What did I say yesterday? I wouldn’t spend too much time complaining & be grateful for our little healthy baby?

Yes. So. Healthy baby topic! I had a doctor appointment this morning & did a nonstress test. For this, they hooked me up to the electronic fetal heart monitor for about 20-30 minutes. Every time baby girl moved, I was supposed to press a button. Each time she moved, they were looking for a 15-20 bpm increase in her heart rate from the baseline. At first, baby girl was napping, but after some crackers, ice water, and her father asking her nicely (which actually worked the best), she got some strong movements in and passed the test very well.

Since she did well on the test, this demonstrates that my placenta (her life support) is still functioning well & we don’t have to evict her just yet. However, the receptionist did write up an eviction notice for her and instruct me to wear it on my belly until she decides to come out. She said it would be a great “point of conversation.” Right, woman, like I need my belly to be more “points of conversation.”

The midwife asked if I would like to have my membranes stripped, especially with the rash … but I declined. Hopefully little girl will decide to come on her very own, and the next baby-related post will start with a picture of her sweet face.

Baby Girl Barto at week 40:  It’s hard to say for sure how big Baby Girl Barto will be, but the average newborn weighs about 7 1/2 pounds (a small pumpkin) and is about 20 inches long. Her skull bones are not yet fused, which allows them to overlap a bit if it’s a snug fit through the birth canal during labor [if it’s a snug fit? I’d like to find a mom who ever thought it wasn’t.]. This so-called “molding” is the reason baby girl’s noggin may look a little conehead-ish after birth. Rest assured — it’s normal and temporary.

{Most of this fun information is from}

Baby Barto: Weeks 35-39

Well, I’m behind, so I’m going to do a pregnancy catch-up post for weeks 35 through 39. I am currently 40 weeks, 3 days pregnant. We’ll take a picture of that belly/monstrosity tomorrow, before my doctor appointment.

Here’s a lineup of the last 5 weeks.

me, weeks 35-39: I’ll do a summary here, since I truthfully don’t remember all of the details. Work was extremely busy, up to the very end: my last day was on April 4! My 38w5d belly picture above was taken on that day.

During this 5 week period, I’ve had weekly doctor appointments. They are uneventful and usually quick: urine sample (I am now a pro, thank you very much), weight check, fundal height measurement (basically a belly measurement from top to bottom) & a check of the baby’s heart rate using a doptone. Everything has looked normal & healthy so far. If little girl has been active during the appointment, her heart rate is in the 150s; if she’s been napping, it’s in the mid-130s.  My fundal height measurement has always been either on target or 1-2 weeks ahead. My belly had a huge growth spurt in the middle of the pregnancy, and now it’s sort of plateaued.

I’ve been lucky to have these days away from work to finish things around the house that I’ve been meaning to do before little girl arrives. The nursery was the big one. I’ve also started writing about the pregnancy in her baby book, and got her 1st year calendar all ready to be filled in once she arrives. Michael set up the baby monitor the other day, which was pretty neat … we definitely splurged when we bought it! It’s the Smart Baby Monitor by Withings, which was just recently released in the US. We like it because we’ll be able to see the video feed on our iPhones and iPad. Michael also installed the car seat bases in both cars, and researched/found a 529 plan for our little girl.  It’s pretty crazy how much we would need to save every month if we wanted to cover tuition for 4 years, assuming either a public or private college! I’ve also been trying to keep up with thank you notes – all of our friends and family have just been so incredibly generous with their gift-giving. Baby girl has received a lot of very nice things.

I try to get a couple items accomplished each day; however, I get tired pretty easily. I can’t imagine having to keep up with other children, being 40 weeks pregnant. We’ll worry about that next time!

Physically, I felt pretty spectacular until around week 39. Up until then, I didn’t even have your typical aches and pains; I was pretty pain-free. I just had trouble getting up from sitting if I was in a deep chair, or getting out of bed 🙂  My heartburn has also been fairly constant throughout the pregnancy: nothing too intense, but I definitely feel it when I’m lying down & if I’m talking too much while lying down … hence the bottle of Tums on my nightstand! This past week, however, I’ve come down with a pretty nasty cold, as well as PUPPPs. The cold has been fairly manageable, just annoying with a runny nose & phlegmy cough. (Lovely, I know.) I could do without the PUPPPs, however.

I’ll let you Google PUPPPs & I won’t go into details, but it is sufficed to say that it’s not pleasant. It makes me itch night & day. It started on my tummy, and now it’s on my wrists, elbows, under arms, knees, and worst of all: ankles. My ankles during the night are what keep me from sleeping. Last night, however, I found a great remedy: wrapping ice packs to both feet with an ace bandage. Hydrocortisone cream and Sarna lotion help as well. My doctor recommended Benedryl, but I find it doesn’t help too much with the itching: it just knocks me out and leaves me drowsy. I usually try all of the other remedies in my arsenal before that one.

I’m not going to spend too much time complaining, however, because we are blessed to have made it this far with a healthy baby. She’s still moving as much as ever & every time she does, it brings me happiness & relief.

Baby Girl Barto, weeks 35-39: We have passed the weight of a honeydew melon & a crenshaw melon … she is now the weight of a mini-watermelon at 39 weeks (a bit over 7 pounds and measures about 20 inches… however, keep in mind, these are all averages!). After 37 weeks, she was considered full term. Babies born before 37 weeks are considered pre-term & babies born after 42 weeks are considered post-term.

Her kidneys are fully developed now, and her liver can process some waste products. Her basic physical development is now complete (including her lungs) and she has spent the last few weeks just putting on weight.  She’s also shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body, as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Baby girl has also developed a firm grasp, which we’ll soon be able to test when we hold her hand for the first time!

{Most of this fun information is from}