Welcome to the World, Juliet.

If you're here, you're probably like me and get a weird satisfaction in reading birth stories. Let me preface this by saying, I absolutely hate childbirth, but love reading about other peoples (the outside perspective does not provide me pain!)

Even though she's close to 2 months old now, I wanted to get this down in black & white on my little space of the internet before I forget all the details that I want her to know about someday.

Cara Lemmage Photography

9 months in

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I had a feeling this would be a whirlwind. At around six weeks, I started to feel extreme nausea. Unfortunately, with a toddler running around and a demanding career, the nausea was debilitating. Nothing could prepare our family for my inability to play with my son, sit at the dinner table while they ate and retreat to the bedroom while Dan cooked due to the smell. It was a constant battle of nausea due to hunger and the inability to eat anything due to food aversions. At 17 weeks pregnant, I landed in the E.R because I couldn't keep any food or water down. I was prescribed anti-nausea meds and at around 20 weeks pregnant, I finally took a turn. This left the second half of my pregnancy feeling stressed getting things done and prepared for the baby. Nesting is real, ya'll.

Cara Lemmage Photography

Her name

This was not a slam dunk name by any means. When we found out Jude was a boy, we knew instantly we would name him Jude Henry, and it wasn't discussed anymore. We always knew if we ever had a girl, we would struggle with a name because even after six years of marriage we could never settle on a name for a future daughter.

I have always liked the name Juliet, because it's feminine, but strong. I like that it is similar to Julia, which is the name of my grandmother who passed away several years ago, but was and always has been the shining light in our family. We also love the nickname Jules, which is what we call her most of the time.

Cara Lemmage Photography

The reason we struggled is that I did not love the way it sounded with Jude. I always joke that I feel like Kris Kardashian naming my kids with the same letter. It wasn't intentional, I guess I just have a thing for the 'j' sound. Jude and Juliet are similar sounding, but now that she's here, I can't picture her with any of the other names we had on our list (she was almost an Elle, Isla, or Marren!). We were still deciding her name at the hospital after she was born.

Her middle name, Kriss, is a tribute to my Dad and my maiden name. My father was a realtor as well and due to his legal last name being Krisfalusi and hard to say and spell, he shortened it to Kriss for business purposes. My entire life, I knew my dad as 'Chuck Kriss'. I love that she has a part of him as well as a part of my side of the family in her name.

Cara Lemmage Photography

Her Birth Story

Due to me having an unplanned c-section with Jude, I had the option this time around to plan a c-section or try to have a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean). I labored with Jude unmedicated for 24 hours, so I didn't feel like I 'missed out' on a vaginal and/or natural delivery. Long story short, my body didn't do what it was 'supposed to' when it came to birthing Jude, so I assumed it probably wouldn't know what to do the second time around either.

Due to having a scheduled c-section, the birth process was much more laid back. I knew exactly what date (August 12th!) she would be born (how cool that I got to pick her birthday, even numbers, of course!). I arrived at the hospital at 7am that day, Dan took Jude to daycare and met me at the hospital around 8AM, and Juliet was born at 9:36AM. Talk about quick!

I won't say it was 'easy', because duh, it is major abdominal surgery. Sure, the birthing process isn't as glamorous as vaginal birth. Being numb, under anesthesia, and laying on an operating table with oxygen strapped to your face isn't what you normally see in beautiful birth videos, however, it was the cards we were dealt and the hand we chose, and I don't regret my decision.

Thankfully, we did have the scheduled c-section, because even though I was 39 weeks and considered full-term, Juliet hadn't dropped AT ALL and was still so high, it took several doctors pushing on my abdomen as well as a vacuum and a bigger incision to get her out! At one point, my nurse alluded to the fact that she was going to be a big baby based on how hard it was to get her out, but she came out 6lbs,15oz.

She had a pretty gnarly bruise and swelling on her head for several weeks after the birth due to the suction of the vacuum. My doctor told me that if I had chosen to go the vbac route, she was confident it would have ended up in a c-section due to her positioning. Thankfully I didn't have to test that theory :)

Recovery the second time around was MUCH worse. I vomited the entire day of surgery (yep, imagine vomiting after major abdominal surgery... ouch), Juliet had a terrible first night of NON-sleep, I had awful gas pain and was trying to coordinate who would take care of drop offs, pick ups and overnights with Jude.

Once I arrived back home, the first week was extremely tough. Jude didn't understand that I had surgery, and was constantly climbing on me and didn't understand why I couldn't pick him up or play on the floor . Luckily, I was able to wean off the pain medications pretty quick and got right back to work about 10 days after surgery.

Cara Lemmage Photography


Since she's been born, it's been so fun to compare her looks and personality to Jude. In some ways, they are SO similar (they have the exact same nose!), but in other ways, much different. She hasn't been the easiest baby (which I had a feeling she wouldn't be, you don't get that lucky twice!). We navigated a reflux diagnosis and an over supply in milk which is causing her a lot of gassiness, pain, and a TON of spitting up. The past few weeks, she has taken a turn for the better. As of now (fingers crossed I don't jinx this!), she's waking up once a night for a feed and goes right back to sleep. She is pretty calm and content throughout the day (as long as I'm holding her or she's napping in her crib) until about 5:30pm, when she becomes real fussy until bedtime at 7:00pm. The witching hour is tough, but we're hopeful she'll grow out of it soon!

Cara Lemmage Photography

Jude seems to really love being a big brother. At first, he was testing the limits with what he could and couldn't get away with, but now he truly protects her and loves to help bring diapers, put her pacifier in and check on her when she's asleep. I am truly so excited to see their relationship evolve and so honored I get to be their Mom.

Cara Lemmage Photography

How was your birth story? Did you find the transition from one to two kids hard? Let me know your birth story in the comments below

Higbie Maxon Agney

83 Kercheval Ave

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236

(o) 313--886-3400 

(c) 248-515-2201

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