Friday, August 31, 2012

Just a Little Love Letter.

My dearest love,

I'm so blessed to be sharing this journey with you.  I adore you.  Everyday you prove to me over and over that God is so carefully working in our lives.  My blessings as your wife and mother to our children fill my heart with joy.  When our family is struggling, you protect us and pour your love over us.  I admire your strength to carry our growing family and all of our needs on your shoulders.  So strong, steady, and hardworking, you are the keystone to the small niche in the world we are building.  I want you to know, I do see all that you do, even though you ask for no reward.  Your eagerness to serve our family humbles me daily. I'd marry you again tomorrow and a thousand times over.  Happy anniversary to my sweet man, I'm cherishing every moment.

Forever and always,

September 6th 2008

Thursday, August 30, 2012


We're vacationing (finally) in Outer Banks, NC.  Surrounded by our incredibly awesome family, this trip has been such a treat for us.  I'm laying in bed cuddling next to a beautiful dozing toddler and I sent Daddy off to the beach to enjoy the full moon with family.  This little person in my belly is staying pretty still during the day and usually only chooses to move when we're experiencing a peaceful moment.

Life is good. God is good. Sleep tight blog world.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Favorite Things: Newborn

  1. Bordeaux's All Natural Butt Paste
  2. Pack - n- Play (with elevated sleep surface)
  3. Wipe warmer
  4. Moby wrap
  5. 100% cotton flannel extra large receiving blankets
  6. Medela Freestyle breast pump
  7. Lanolin
  8. Mother's Milk Tea
  9. Boppy pillow
  10. Infant swing

  1. All Natural Butt Paste:  Simply the best diaper ointment out there.  We tried them all and this is by far the best!  And I'm sorry, but there is absolutely no excuse for diaper rash.  I am a well documented diaper changing fiend.  If your baby is wet, change them.  Guess what happens if you don't change them frequently enough? Yep, diaper rash.  Muffin never had it and I vow this baby won't have it either.  I've watched too many babies with it and it breaks my heart.  Stop being lazy and change your kids diaper.  Buy extra diapers and lots of ointment, change frequently. *steps down from soap box*
  2. Pack-n-play with sleeper:  Our cheaper version of a co-sleeper.  I would love love and Arm's Reach Co-sleeper, but I'm not about to shell out for a crib plus a co-sleeper.  I breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months so having the baby right next to me at night time is a must. (Not to mention wonderful<3)  I'm a strong believer in extended breastfeeding, keeping baby/toddler close makes this so much easier.
  3. Wipe warmer:  Seasoned moms can laugh all they want, every time my baby nurses at night, I change their diaper.  Newborns have a habit of tinkling when they eat and falling asleep during the burping process, so a wipe warmer to keep from startling a baby with a cold wipe is worth it to me.  (Again, you can probably file this under: Diaper changing fiend).
  4. Moby wrap:  I adore wearing my daughter.  I bought an expensive Boba carrier just so I can carry her now that she's a toddler.  Babies are meant to be next to Momma, it's been scientifically proven beneficial for both mom and baby.  (Not to mention it feels so absolutely wonderful).
  5. Extra large receiving blankets: Save your money on those expensive swaddler things in the store and just use a huge flannel receiving blanket.
  6. Medela pump:  It's expensive but you really get what you pay for here.  Pumping isn't fun and it's not the most comfortable even with the best pump money can buy.  So get the most effective one for your money.
  7. Lanolin: Yeah, if you're pumping, nursing, or both you'll need this.  A lot of this.  Lansinoh sells 100% pure lanolin completely safe for babes.  (Other brands have additives- I'd stick to the pure stuff).
  8. Mother's Milk Tea:  All natural tea that helps me keep my milk supply up.  Muffin was a really lazy nurser, constantly falling asleep at the breast.  She'd wake up and be hungry again in 15 minutes.  The child was affixed to my boob but because she wasn't eating full feedings it made my supply all wonky; the tea was a life saver.
  9. Boppy: Not always necessary but it can give you a more secure hold on the baby if you're super sleepy while nursing.
  10. Infant swing:  I don't really put babies placed in my arms down.  (You can ask family members, I'm not keen on sharing them either).  But when I do need to do something like shower or get something out of the oven, a swing comes in handy.
A lot of these fall under our attachment parenting style.  Just remembering all of the newborn moments with our little girl makes me so excited for this baby on the way!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Thing No One Talks About

You research everything before you have babies, most of the stats and numbers making you a nervous wreck.  I thought I had done this before our first born, but if I have learned anything it's that parenting is a never ending journey of learning.

I can honestly say that if our little girl was a boy I would have made a decision based on nothing more than what I thought should be done.  A permanent decision that I would have made without truly educating myself on the subject.

Now, I have a gut feeling this baby is a boy and the husband and I will be making an informed decision on what we feel is best for our potential son.

Every parent will have a million choices to make once their babe is born and everyone has a right to their personal preferences and beliefs.  But, would you change your mind if you were faced with information that isn't listed in the baby books?  We did.

Warning: The following links I actually started to weep.

It's a controversial subject and many people think we're extreme and don't agree and that's completely fine with me.  I can completely understand believing old wives tales because it's not a normal thing to research unless you're expecting. (And even then it's often not given a second thought- this was me for our first pregnancy).  I am also one of the people who (in the past) scoffed at a friends decision to leave their son whole.  I've been on both sides of this debate.  Peer pressure and pressures from family can be really tough, I can attest to that.  Just trust your gut and rely on your partner.  Do your own research and you'll make the decision that's right for your family either way, as long as you educate yourself before hand.

I found this link today (8/25/12) very helpful when considering a faith based decision.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Favorite Things: Pregnancy

I'm joining in on all of the "favorite things" posts!  I'll do a few of these because they are pretty fun and will be fun to look back at in 10 years when everything I love I'm sure will seem so old fashioned.

My favorite things while pregnant:

  1. Leachco Snuggle body pillow deluxe
  2. Motherhood maternity underwear
  3. Hammock
  4. Sally Hansen french manicure nail polish
  5. Business of Being Born DVD
  6. Bio Oil
  7. Flintstones chew-able vitamins
  8. Sports Bras
  9. Target brand maternity clothes

  1. Leachco body pillow:  Mom got this for me when my belly started to get really large with Muffin.  It's amazing.  There have been plenty of times when Corey's back pain has flared and he borrowed it.  It gives ample support and makes it so you don't have to fight a million pillows.
  2. Maternity underwear:  Pregnant or not, just do yourself a favor and go buy some.  My favorite underwear, ever.
  3. Hammock:  I have a pretty fantastic doting husband and when I was pregnant with our little girl I begged for a hammock.  Once we made it out of the first trimester for this pregnancy, my sweet husband ordered what may be the most comfortable hammock on the planet.
  4. Sally Hansen french manicure polish: The ONLY time I have nice fingernails is when I'm expecting.  So naturally, it's the only time I actually showcase them.
  5. Business of Being Born: This DVD isn't for everyone, although I think everyone should see it.  But for me, it's a great reminder of why I make the choices I do when expecting, laboring, and delivering.  Corey has always backed my decisions, but since watching this together he understands why and acts as my advocate.
  6. Bio Oil: This is more towards the end of my pregnancy.  I will forever have a tiger stripped belly from stretch marks so I don't use it to hide them, I use it because at the very end of pregnancy my skin is so stretched and taut that it's itchy.  Bio Oil just lasts the longest for comfort. (My reality check moment: I actually thought I was going to escape my first pregnancy without stretch marks.  Then I woke up one morning a little over 8 months pregnant and literally out of the blue I didn't recognize my ridiculously marked belly- ha. what a foolish girl I was).
  7. Flintstones: The only vitamins I can keep down.* (*most of the time).
  8. Sports Bra: My boobs fluctuate like crazy, I quit fighting cup sizes.
  9.  Target maternity clothes: I've tried them all and these wash, wear, and are the most comfortable.

Coming soon: My favorite things: Newborn!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Things Accomplished at 14 weeks

Last week.  14 weeks pregnant.

 Baby girl is definitely a strong willed child, (I haven't a clue where she gets it from *sarcasm*) and has no problem objecting to having her picture taken.  The picture above is her waving her finger at Daddy saying "No cheeses, Daddy.  No cheeses."  But since this is a baby bump update, I will mention that I'm feeling some movement!

We made a trip to the children's museum and it was money well spent!  She absolutely loved everything but took special attention when we came to the arts and crafts room.
Milking a plastic life size cow.  Daddy was so proud of her "natural" farming talent.  We spent a lot of the ride home talking about cowgirls and cowboys.

Later, she was finally able to check out the grape vine that has been tempting her all summer.

Have I mentioned yet that my husband is an absolutely phenomenal photographer?

Despite the not so fun health stuff, life is pretty amazing for us right now.  I feel very blessed and I'm so deeply in love with our little family.  God is great.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Caution: Pregnancy and Birth Uncensored

Warning: For mature viewing only.

I read all of the typical pregnancy books for our first pregnancy and yet some how when it came down to the real life experience there was a lot left unmentioned.  I know A LOT of people who are currently expecting their first and I know that every pregnancy, labor, and delivery are vastly different, but if you are interested on some of the things the books leave out here is my take.

Big and beautiful: You're 9 months, your belly is round and full of baby.  You are ready to meet this baby wonder and thinking about how you'll get your pre-pregnancy shape back.  You won't get it back.  I'm sorry, but your hips will widen with each baby and in some cases your feet too.  And as far as your mid section if you were able to avoid stretch marks consider yourself blessed.  If you are like the women in my family your belly grows only forward and looks like you're smuggling a beach ball, it will not matter how many crunches I do or how many sessions of Zumba classes, I will for the rest of my life have extra skin, not fat, actual skin.  This is NOT the case for everyone but for some women it's just a fact of carrying babies.  So don't drive your self mad after the baby comes trying to bounce back like a celebrity, enjoy your baby and your squishy tummy for a while... you earned it!

The Milk Factory:  I knew I wanted to breastfeed, it is what's best after all.  But not a single soul told me that the night I came home from the hospital I should have slept on a mound of towels because my milk would come in and completely soak through the mattress.  No one bothered to mention lanolin either.  If you're going to breastfeed do yourself a favor and buy a case of it, your nipples will thank you.  Also, if your baby cries your milk will let down, you'll unhook your nursing bra and before baby can make contact you will shoot milk across the room or in your baby's eye etc.  The longer you breastfeed the less likely it is that your let down will be so strong but at least I gave you a heads up. (Side note: After the baby is born, the hospital will send many different lactation consultants.  I found that the advice I received completely varied from consultant to consultant.  A vast age difference made for the passing along of old wives tales about how to breastfeed.  I attribute my nursing success to Mother's Milk tea, pumping which ever side the baby didn't nurse from in the beginning, and 2 visits to the local La Leche League.)

Third Trimester Dreams:  I woke up in the middle of the night crying and wondering what in the world was wrong with me during my third trimester.  I called Mom and told her about my nightmare and she told me it was normal.  A little warning would have been nice.  Third trimester dreams can be horrifically vivid and gory.  Some of the most disturbing images you never thought you could dare imagine come to life in super hormone charged slumber.  You're not crazy but your hormones are.

After All The Pushing:  You'll be sore but you won't care because you'll be struck with awe at this little human you just ushered into the world.  Unfortunately, you'll most likely be shifted to the hospital post delivery wing and be inundated with interns and nurses checking on you and the baby.  My advice: either check out early or hang a sign on the door asking staff to not disturb unless necessary.  We hung the sign on the door.  (It probably saved a few nurses from some serious over protective new Momma wrath).

Recovery:  This little person has stolen your heart and you're completely smitten.  As you should be, there is no love greater than Momma-Baby love.  You're devoted to this new life but you also have to remember to take care of yourself after delivery.  For routine vaginal births it is common to bleed to a certain degree for about 6 weeks.  Note: Passing blood versus passing clots is very different, if you are passing clots call your care provider.  This is the first time I will have ever admitted this but if it helps someone then it's worth the embarrassment: I actually wore super thin adult diapers.  The hospital will send you home with these funky mesh undies with heavy duty pads that felt more than a diaper to me that the actual adult diaper.  The super thin adult diapers gave me a more secure feeling not to mention being more comfortable.  There it is, gross but true.

This isn't to scare or deter from having babies, but maybe there is a reason why all of the books leave it out.  All I can say is that I'm willing to do it again and women all over the world are willing to do it time and time again.  It's worth it.  So incredibly worth it. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The HG Pregnancy Diary

We are into the 2nd trimester!  This pregnancy is certainly rolling along faster than Muffin's.  A lot of that can be attributed to the fact that I'm chasing a very active toddler and I haven't picked up a single pregnancy book (they'll drive you nuts with anticipation and in hindsight didn't tell me anything useful anyway.)

This pregnancy I am vowing to take more belly bump pictures, I feel I didn't take enough the first go round.  I also want to be a little more diligent about documenting my pregnancy care/upkeep.  So without further ado here is the first belly bump picture for baby #2:
This is about 12 weeks.  My body has already shifted into "looking pregnant", it would seem that it remembers very well how to make room for baby.  I'm showing much earlier this go round which is a perk because who doesn't love having a baby bump to rub!?  Especially when you're a sick preggo, like myself.

And about being a sick preggo...

The hubby snapped this one on one of my twice weekly fluids treatments.  I have hyperemesis gravidarum, (HG for short) basically my body can't handle to hormones produced in pregnancy and I stay in a constant state of extreme nausea and vomiting.  I have read many different statistics about how many women suffer with HG and although the exact number vary slightly, the most common is 1%-3%.  And of that 1%-3% only 20%-30% suffer from HG for the entire duration until birth.  Last time I was in that 20%-30%, I've been told by my midwife that there is a chance that it may not last the entire pregnancy this time but I'm not holding my breath.  (Something to pray for though!)

As of right now I've only had one overnight stay in the hospital at 11 weeks due to my keytones testing too high before and after a fluids therapy visit. (More than +4)  I usually test around trace to +2 and bounce back after 2 liters but sometimes I fall in a rut with sickness and it's hard to get back in front of the 8 ball without getting a little extra help.  (Keytones are what they use to measure dehydration from testing urine.  If you're hydrated your keytones are negative.  Anything "trace" or "+" is a sign of dehydration.  The higher the "+" the more dehydrated you are.)

So the routine at the moment is 2 visits a week and 2 liters at each of those visits, testing keytones before and after.  I wear a 3 day scopolamine patch and take zofran twice a day.  They considered setting me up with a zofran pump but I feel as though I get poked enough with needles and opted out of poking myself in the stomach daily and wearing a fanny pack filled with syringes of medicine.  I eat a cup of food at a time, I'm not able to stomach full meals so I graze.  (And what does stay down is pretty bland).
(Note:  I also take OTC softeners because if you don't while on a regime of Zofran you can suffer some very serious cramping.)

There are good days and bad days, if I take it easy I can stay on top of being hydrated.  I'm still so thrilled to be having this baby, I wish my body was better at being pregnant but as long as we can welcome this healthy bundle into the world this journey is completely worth it!
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