Entries Tagged as 'Family'

lucy’s birth story

Posted on: Monday, February 5, 2018

NAME: Lucy Grey Burdullis

DATE + TIME: Thursday, January 25 at 10:28am

SIZE: 6 lbs 11oz, 18 in long

It’s surreal for me to think that just over a week ago we were welcoming baby Lucy to the world! The entire birthing experience feels like a whirlwind, with some parts super vivid and others blending together, all at once. Like other life updates, I wanted to document and share Lucy’s birth story here. I’ve enjoyed reading other people’s birth stories (they often make me cry!) so taking time to reflect and write out our own little (but very long) story feels important and special to me. 💛 So here we go!

While the second trimester and beginning of the third trimester seemed to go by super quickly, the last few weeks of my pregnancy (pretty much the entire month of January) went by very slowly. I had wrapped a large portion of my work, so had a lot more free time and was anxiously and eagerly waiting for baby’s arrival! It was really strange, because we knew this big and exciting thing was happening, but had no idea or control over when or how. Our due date was Wednesday, January 24th, but throughout my pregnancy, I tried to not get too tied down to that date. Instead I tried to view the entire month as “baby month”; she would arrive when the time was right, not on our schedule. We had heard that first time moms often go past their due date, so I was sort of expecting that January 24th would come and go. I had a doctor’s appointment on January 25th where I could get a membrane sweep, which apparently would likely help get baby moving down there and kickstart the labor process. Little did I know that appointment wouldn’t be necessary!

I wouldn’t say I was necessarily scared of labor or having a baby, but definitely felt a little uneasy about all of the unknowns. How would I know when labor was starting? Would it happen while I was at home or out of the apartment? What would contractions feel like? How would I know the contractions were the real deal and not Braxton Hicks?

Starting in mid-January, I began trying out different natural labor-inducing techniques. I don’t think any of these are backed by science, but had heard different things worked for different people – eating pineapple, dates, and spicy foods, drinking third trimester tea, weekly acupuncture, taking long walks, bouncing on the yoga ball, etc. I took long, uphill walks with Jack and had acupuncture appointments both on Monday and Tuesday, but still felt the same – very pregnant – when we went to bed on Tuesday night.

Early Wednesday morning at 2:45am, I woke up to go to the bathroom (for probably the fifth time) and felt different. My lower abdomen felt sore and cramp-y, but I wasn’t in pain or anything, so I went back to sleep. When I woke up at 6am, I knew something was different. I felt the same stomach pressure and cramping and realized, oh hey! I think these are contractions! I talked on the phone with my mom who said we should start timing them, just in case. The contractions started off really sporadic and random – not in an obvious pattern and coming and going at different times. E stayed home from work and we ate breakfast and just lounged and kept timing them. We joke now that he was like a track coach; I would say “Time!” when a contraction started and he would begin tracking on a contraction timer app. Late morning, we went on a walk around the neighborhood with Jack while contractions continued. They were sharp and surprising at this point, but not intensely painful. We ordered Chinese takeout for lunch and tried to just rest as much as possible.

I had written out affirmation cards for myself during labor and would read them or recite them in my head. These were a mix of quotes, Bible verses, mindfulness tips, encouraging reminders and affirmations like “My body is strong and resilient. My body can do this.” and “On the other side of this pain, I get to meet my baby.” I am a total affirmations person, so having these reminders was really encouraging and helpful for me. Eric also wrote out affirmation notecards “from Jack” which were hilarious and definitely lightened my overall mood when reading them. 😝

By late afternoon (around 3-4pm), things started getting really intense. The contractions were a lot more painful and regular. The extra hard part was that I was having back labor, so had really terrible lower back pain throughout each contraction. When the contraction ended, the lower back pain still continued during the “rest period.” The doctor and doula said this was likely from the baby’s positioning. Looking back, the ongoing, deep back pain was the most challenging part of labor. I just wanted that part to stop! I rotated from the bed to the yoga ball to the bathtub throughout the afternoon. By later in the evening (6-7pm), it was getting to a point where I could barely talk during contractions and wanted to cry during each one. And I was SO tired. I could barely keep my eyes open and felt physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Throughout the entire day, we were updating my mom and also our doula Julia, both who were super helpful and encouraging. E was amazing and the entire time, he would encourage me, massage my back and feet, put pressure on my back to alleviate contractions, try to get me to eat and drink, etc. He was truly the best birthing partner ever and I’m so grateful for him (among millions of other reasons). Julia came over to our apartment around 8pm and we continued laboring at home. The pain and exhaustion level both continued to increase and by 9pm, I knew it was time for me to go into hospital. At this point, we had been doing this whole labor thing for about 13 hours!

Eric dropped Julia and I off at the hospital and parked the car. At this point, the contractions were so painful that every time they hit, I couldn’t stand up and would have to squat down during that minute. E met us in the triage room, where they measured me at 5cm dilated. Woo hoo, halfway there!  In our birthing plan, I had wanted to labor as much at home as possible and wait until I reached 5cm to get an epidural. I didn’t actually think I would make it to 5cm without pain meds, because I have a fairly low pain tolerance, so was thrilled I had made it this far — getting closer to meeting baby! 🙌🏼 I asked for the epidural and thankfully, they were able to administer fairly quickly around 10:30pm. I IMMEDIATELY felt better. Like amazingly better. All of my back pain went away and while I could still feel the pressure of contractions, I didn’t feel pain itself. It was incredible. If you haven’t read Jessi Klein’s brilliant essay Get the Epidural, stop reading this post and immediately read her article. Everything about it is 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. I was so happy, in fact, that I was like gushing to the nurses, Eric and Julia how grateful I was for everyone and how happy I was that they were on our birthing team. 🤪

We tried to sleep, but it was hard because the nurses were constantly coming in to check on blood pressure, heart rate, baby’s movements, etc. and also because I was so excited – baby was coming soon(ish)! At 4am, I was still at 5cm dilated 😩 and the doctor broke my water. It wasn’t the gushing water experience you think of from movies (or that epic Charlotte and Mr. Big scene in SATC) but instead like a slow trickle. I honestly didn’t even notice because of that blessed epidural. 👌🏼We continued to intermittently nap and chat/ask questions to Julia. The overall mood in the room was pretty relaxed, which I’m really grateful for. We kept the lights off so the room was dim with twinkly lights and Julia had positioned tons of pillows to make me really comfortable. When they checked me again at 6am, I was at 9cm and I was also really happy knowing my mom was on a flight out to SF and would arrive at 10:15am. A little after 8am, I was at 10cm so it was time to push!

My OBGYN wasn’t on call in the hospital that day, but came over anyway, since we had that other 40 week appointment scheduled. She was able to do the early phases of pushing with me, which was really awesome, because she’s been so awesome and supportive throughout my entire pregnancy (and before). After an hour or so pushing, the doctor and her supervisor warned me that the baby’s heart rate was dropping after contractions so they wanted to keep closely monitoring that and said we might need to use vacuum extraction to get the baby out. This was yet another moment where I was super grateful we hired Julia as our doula, because she was able to advocate for us and ask questions – what was this process exactly? What were the potential risks? Was this necessary to do right at this moment? Could we continue to trying pushing like we’d been doing until it was completely necessary to move on to Option B? Could we try other positions for pushing? After two hours of pushing, the doctor and her supervisor said they really wanted us to do the vacuum extraction because they were concerned about the baby being in distress and wanted to avoid C-section. The primary way the baby would come out would be from pushing, of course, but the vacuum (which really is a terrible word for it – it looked more like a little suction cup that sticks to the baby’s head) would help ensure she would come out quickly and safely. The room was PACKED — the three of us, 2-3 nurses, the doctor and her supervisor, and three pediatricians, all in a small little room. The doctor cued me to push and began counting as I held my breath pushing and the next thing I knew, someone set the baby on my chest.


It sounds so cliché, but right when she arrived, it’s like I forgot about everything that had previously happened. The 28ish (!!) hours of labor, including 2 hours and 15 minutes (!!) of pushing — it all just faded away from my memory. The feeling was indescribable. It was overwhelming and beautiful and exciting and terrifying! She was so small and pink and cute and fluttered her eyes open at me like “WHAT IS GOING ON?” and we just kept saying to each other how perfect she was. Those first few moments holding her were so special and unforgettable. It was magical to watch Eric hold her for the first time and see her open her eyes to look at him, in so much peace. It was truly one of the sweetest moments and a something I won’t ever forget.

I am really amazed at the female body and what it’s capable of. It’s surreal to think that my body housed, protected and nourished this baby for nine months, brought her into the world and is now learning how to take care of her and feed her, all on its own. Throughout different periods of my life, I’ve been unhappy with my body for not looking the way I wanted or doing what I wanted. I would compare my body with others, critique my body for not being “good enough” and measure my body and self-worth against an unrealistic expectation I set for myself. The process of being pregnant and having a baby has already taught me a whole new level of self-love, respect, and admiration for myself and my body, and I’m now reminded daily of the importance of being kind to myself. We are all incredible beings, “perfectly and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and bringing this baby into the world reminded me not only of the baby’s perfection, but that my body is *just right* too.

We named our daughter Lucy, a name that means “of light.” She’s already brightened our lives in her week or so of life. The world and life itself is full of hard stuff – pain, difficulties, darkness – but it’s also filled with so, so, so much goodness, love and light. And I truly believe that light always overpowers all darkness. It’s our dream and prayer that she recognizes how much light and love shines within her and all around her. We’re grateful for our little bundle of joy and light, Lucy. ✨


Thank you for reading and again, for all of your kind words and encouraging messages! I am so grateful by all of the love, encouragement and support our little family has received throughout my pregnancy and especially since Lucy arrived.

All photos by our amazing doula Julia Lorraine

maternity style

Posted on: Thursday, December 28, 2017

The countdown is on – just a few weeks until Bebe Burd is here! I’ve had a few people ask me questions about maternity clothes and what I’ve been wearing throughout my pregnancy, so wanted to share today!

Pretty much I’ve been wearing the same 15-20 items throughout my entire pregnancy. It’s been an unintentional capsule wardrobe of sorts! I’ve found that this has worked for me, because I work from home and don’t have to get “fully dressed” every day. Leggings and comfy clothes like t-shirts and tank tops were my best friends. 💛 I also have been rotating through the same few items because I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on maternity clothes that I would only wear for a few months. Instead, I decided to invest in “transitional” clothing that could be worn during/after pregnancy, like the STORQ jumpsuit and Amour Vert dress linked and shown below!

A few things to note:

Re: jeans and pants – Once I couldn’t button my regular jeans (around 20 weeks or so), I used the Bellaband, which is a tight band that goes around the top of your jeans and stretchy band over your stomach so you can wear your jeans for longer. I definitely needed to eventually get maternity jeans though, because by 26 weeks or so, the Bellaband wasn’t going to cut it. I tried several maternity jeans, including the pricey AG Jeans that everyone seems to rave about, but they just didn’t work for my body. My advice is to try lots of maternity jeans from different places, in different sizes, and find what works best for you. Comfort is key! 🙏🏻

ASOS is a pregnant woman’s best friend. I ordered SO much stuff from here in different sizes and cuts and they make it so easy to return whatever doesn’t work (plus free two day shipping 🙌🏼)

I don’t tend to wear a lot of tight things regularly, so my oversize sweaters worked perfectly all of the pregnancy. For basics like t-shirts and tanks, I just sized up to a medium so they are snug while pregnant and will be looser fitting once baby is here.

I ended up wearing a lot of non-maternity clothing, especially for things like leggings, which could be worn over or below the bump. I also wore several of my “regular” dresses throughout my pregnancy with leggings or tights. Regular shirts also have worked; in early/mid-pregnancy I wore my regular items and purchased a few non-maternity tops later on in the pregnancy one size up. Non-maternity clothing that I’ve purchased is marked as “NM” below.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of advice for those who have a traditional 9-5 job in terms of maternity clothes for a work environment, but this blogger had a killer maternity workwear, so check out her archives to get some outfit inspiration!

Soooo here’s what I’ve been wearing!

Maternity Overalls + Black Tshirt


Bellaband (this was a MUST — allowed me to wear my regular jeans up until Week 26 or so)

Sleep Bras (from ASOS)

Live In Bralette (from Gap – sized up! I also got a larger bra from Victoria’s Secret because my boobs grew so much 😮)

Long black maternity tank (from ASOS – this is a great “staple” piece you can wear under a lot of stuff like cardigans, regular tops, etc.)

Long Sleeve Striped T-shirts (about 4-5, like this + this from Old Navy, NM)

Short Sleeve T-shirts (love this Isabel Maternity one from Target)

Striped tshirt and maternity overalls


Embroidered Smock Dress (from ASOS – loved this and wore a lot until about 32 weeks and at that point, I needed to wear leggings/tights with it because it was too short. It still looks cute as a tunic though!)

Black Jumpsuit  (from STORQ)

Black Midi Dress (from Amour Vert, NM)

Dwell + Slumber Caftan   (just got my second for Christmas – so obsessed with these!)

Floral Shift Dress (from Who What Wear for Target, NM. I’m also obsessed with this collection. I wore this dress with OTK boots and tights to a retirement party and a holiday party! 🎉 There’s also another long sleeve WWW dress from last year I’ve worn to a wedding and some fancier events while pregnant too!)

Amour Vert Dress

Dwell and Slumber Caftan


Ripped Skinny Jeans (from ASOS)

Denim Overalls (from Destination Maternity)

Joggers (from Sweaty Betty, NM)

Lululemon ALIGN Leggings   (I couldn’t have survived without these! NM)

ZELLA Live-In Leggings (NM)

Storq Jumpsuit

Sweaters & Jackets:

Sherpa Jacket (from Old Navy, NM)

Oversize Sweater (from Who What Wear collection for Target, NM)

Gray Cardigan (from Topshop, NM)

Statement Sleeved Cardigan (from Topshop, NM)

Modern Sporty Cardigan (from Nike, NM)

ASOS Maternity dress


Embroidered Flat Mules (from Who What Wear collection for Target)

Black Nike Frees

OTK Boots (from Dolce Vita)

Leather Slide Loafers (from Halogen, similar here)

ASOS Maternity Jeans + WWW Flats

Topshop sweater with Halogen slides


fam photos with minted

Posted on: Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hi! We recently had some family photos taken via Minted’s new Photo Op program and I wanted to share them on my blog! We took our photos a few blocks around our apartment, including in Alamo Square (our go-to park for picnics and dog adventures).

Minted’s Photo Op program allows you to set up and schedule a convenient 30-minute family portrait mini session and holiday card styling for just $100. It’s a perfect and affordable way to get high-quality, professional photos that you can use for holiday cards, hang in your home, or just to keep for yourself. More details below! I really love how our photos turned out! 💛


Visit Minted’s Photo Op website, enter your location (this year, the service is only available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, and New York Metropolitan Area) and start your Photo Op quiz.

Choose your Style – Candid, Informal, or Classic. I choose Informal, which falls somewhere in between candid and classic.

Choose your “Look” – you can select the vibe you’re going for, like neighborhood stroll or monochrome or photo strip style. Or, select your “look” by location beautiful walls (cool walls as the photo backdrop), beach, in-home or on your porch.

Choose your Location – enter your address (so they can match you with a photographer in your area)

Choose designs that inspire you – select from different holiday card themes and styles that inspire you. You definitely don’t have to use these designs; it’s basically a way for the Minted team to determine your style and how you might want the photos to look within a card itself.

Choose a date + time – self-explanatory 😉

That’s it!


You receive an email from Minted with 10 retouched photos from the Minted team and a folder where you can download all photos from the photography session. You also will receive recommendations on Minted holiday cards that would work well with your particular photos (and get 20% off your order!). Of course, you aren’t required to order holiday cards, but this program makes it super easy to find the perfect holiday card to go with your photos. 🎄

Thanks to Minted for partnering with me on this post!

life update

Posted on: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I have some fun and v big news to share today! We are having a baby! And whew, it feels really good to finalllly share the news publicly (I’m so bad about being secretive). 💛 Our little BB is coming in January, so he/she will share a birthday month with me!

We found out we were pregnant when the baby was about 5 weeks and now we’re at about 16 weeks! At first, and especially during the first few weeks, it felt surreal and didn’t quite sink it that yes, we are having a kid. A few weeks ago, we had an ultrasound where we felt and heard the baby’s heartbeat and saw he/she moving (dancing) – it was so cool to experience and really clicked like THIS IS HAPPENING.

This is obviously a totally new phase of life for me/us and there’s a lot of unknowns but I’m trying to remind myself that so many other life phases were unknowns too – moving across the country, getting married, etc. And, I figured out those new phases out and learned a lot along the way. And I will do the same with this whole pregnancy/mamahood thing too!

Thank you to everyone for being so supportive and encouraging and amazing and kind to us! My support system is truly one of life’s biggest and richest gifts and words can’t quite explain how much I appreciate the advice, kindness, celebrations and love from our family and friends. ✨

And, I happen to think Prince Jack will be the cutest big (furry) brother. 💛 What do you guys think? 😉

In case you’re interested, here’s some random updates about my pregnancy so far!

FEELING (PHYSICALLY): overall, really good! Fortunately, I haven’t been sick at all (🙏🏻), but I have been super, super tired. Like, must-take-an-afternoon-nap and still go to bed at 9pm tired. Since I work remotely, my schedule is fairly flexible, so I’ve been waking up earlier to start work at 7/8am and then taking an hour or so nap in the afternoon and resuming work in the afternoon/evening. The tiredness was especially true/all-consuming during the first trimester, but like clockwork, I’ve started to get my energy back after hitting 13 or so weeks. Whew! I’ve also been feeling a lot more soreness in my lower back/hips/obliques. Not surprising, of course, since my body is obviously going to expand, but still kind of painful. My Saje pain release essential oil has been a lifesaver! Oh, and my acne realllllly flared up at the beginning, which has been a not-so-great (but apparently common) pregnancy symptom. Oh and one more not-so-glamourous and pretty gross physical thing — the first few weeks I was super gassy. It wasn’t great. This symptom wasn’t one I heard about a lot so…maybe people just keep that super private or maybe I’m the only one who experienced this symptom. 😂

FEELING (EMOTIONALLY/MENTALLY): When I first found out, I was a mix of happy and panicked. This happened a lot faster than we expected, so I guess I was just thrown off guard a bit! The all-encompassing emotion I felt especially in the first 5-9 weeks was just overwhelmed. By 8-9 weeks, I had told my family and inner circle of friends and I felt immediately better. Their support and encouragement really helped me shift towards more excitement over fear and stress. It was also stressful for me to keep this huge life thing private, especially when in social situations (aka – after saying you aren’t drinking after a few times, it’s just kind of obvious). I think a lot of this stress and overwhelmingness came from 1) being bombarded with lots of medical info and ‘worst case scenario’ doctor stuff about testing, etc and 2) feeling a little bit like a loner in the mom department. I don’t know a ton of moms/families in the Bay Area and that felt startling and difficult- how was I going to do this?! Thankfully, a lot of those feelings have subsided when I was reminded, over and over, that I have so many supportive and loving people in my life (moms and otherwise) both in the Bay Area and all over and everything was going to be okay. More than okay!

READING: Bringing Up Bébé, Mindful Birthing and allll of the MOTHER articles

WEARING: I still fit into all my pre-pregnancy clothes, but have been wearing less jeans and more flowy dresses/casual leggings + tshirt combo. I don’t really want to purchase a ton of maternity clothes, so going to try to work with what I have for the most part (said while I’m still fairly small and haven’t grown a ginormous belly *yet*) But, I do have my eye on the Storq leggings, jumpsuit and tank dress and I’ll probably get the Madewell maternity jeans too. Any other cool maternity brands/clothes you guys know of/recommend?

FITNESS: I’ve been continuing to work out 5x/week, mostly yoga and Pilates, plus a few SoulCycle classes. Other than making some modifications to different poses/moves, exercising has been pretty much the same since pre-pregnancy. Working out (as always) has been super beneficial both physically and mentally. I know this routine will likely change as my pregnancy progresses/I get much larger, so if any of you have recommendations on pre-natal friendly workouts, send my way!

FOOD AVERSIONS/CRAVINGS: I haven’t really had any aggressive aversions. I miss sushi. I’ve been craving cold and fruity, so have been making a lot of smoothies (but that’s pretty normal for me). I’m also drinking tons of water.

VITAMINS: Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins and Silver Fern Probiotic Vitamins (which I’m convinced have really helped clear my acne and help boost my immune system)

Thanks for reading! More photos below – and thanks to Lisha Wang for snapping these photos of us in our apartment!


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