Dearly Noted

Tag: pregnancy

Wallace Harold: Month 3

Do you ever look at your child and wonder how they can actually be yours? How can God be this good? How can my baby be this precious? How can my heart feel this much love and, in certain moments, feel like it is going to burst with pride? I daily find my affections for this boy have grown to new heights I never thought possible. He is my sunshine baby who’s smile radiates joy.img_5241Wally’s Progress:

Eating:
My little man LOVES to eat (as evidenced by his adorable cheeks and chunka thighs). He continues to be solely breastfed or, while I’m at work, fed with breast milk from a bottle. He, like Flora, didn’t struggle at all with the bottle which is a huge blessing. I think my babies just love food, no matter what container they are being offered from. Ha.
I’ve stopped pumping in the mornings b/c we have a large supply of frozen milk now and it’s also quite hard to pump consistently every morning (usually our most crazy time of day).

Sleeping:
There isn’t much change from last month. Wally wakes only one time per night (HALLELIUAH) and goes right back down after he fed. I’m immensely grateful for this b/c Flora has been getting up one or two times each night and we are dealing with that currently. Any tips for helping toddlers sleep through the night? I never thought I’d wake up more with my 2-year-old than my newborn! Lol.
We still haven’t established a daytime nap routine with Wally. He just sleeps in the car here and there, and on occasion, will nap when Flora naps. He is a pretty flexible baby and seems to be able to sleep when he’s ready no matter where we are.

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Other:
We’ve stopped visiting the chiropractor b/c at about 8 weeks Wally stopped being so fussy. It was like suddenly he just grew out of it or something. He still spits up a little here and there, but he really turned a corner and is just such a happy and easy baby now. Praise Jesus.

Wally loves to try to ‘stand’ and put weight on his legs. From the beginning he has just been my strong little dude, holding his head up, looking around, standing with help, and grabbing with a grip of death. Haha. I always tell him not to grow up too fast on me and to remember to be my baby for a little while.

This last month he has started to smile SO big (see pics) and also giggle a bit as well! I can’t tell you what a precious sound it is. Flora didn’t laugh for the longest time, so I’m extra excited he has begun this sweet phase much earlier than she.

Ironically Wally has the same lazy eye that I had. We have a picture of me at 3 months and we look quite similar. 🙂

Each day I put a ‘bandana bib’ on Wally b/c he has started to drool like CRAZY! Flora never drooled much at all, but Wally is just all boy. He is somehow always dirtier and droolier than Flora ever was.

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Mama Updates:

The biggest change this last month was Flora turning 2 and me going back to work, leaving Wally for the first time…which all happened on the same day. It was actually a great day, Flora did super great at her daycare program (which we are calling ‘school’). She just waves goodbye to me and starts to play before I’m even gone. Ha! Wally stays with my mother-in-law who takes such attentive care of him. This allows me to get back to work and help bring in a little income for our family.
I was SO anxious leading up to that day. My baby was turning 2 and any sense of rhythm I had down with my ‘new mother-of-2 normal’ was thrown out the window for that day. But, God was SO gracious and it’s all gone very well.

Some of you may have seen that I started to do a capsule wardrobe for the first time (see this post), and it has been something that is really causing me to re-think a lot of things in my life. I plan to do a full update on that next week. But, basically God is really revealing to me just what is important to give my time, attention, and money toward. I’m seeing how I need to be conscious and a good steward of all things in my world. He is also just showing me that this particular season of life for me is about these babies. I need to raise them well and STOP FEELING GUILTY or putting so much pressure on myself to be good at…well really much else. Ha. I can learn and grow in new areas, but not cast this weight upon myself to be the best. It’s just not reality for me and it’s not what God is calling me to.

My body is still recovering from the birth, but has definitely come a LONG way. Some days I don’t even think about it, then suddenly I’ll twist or stand up too fast and realize I’m not quite there just yet.

Best Moment:
This last month has been a bit of a blur and still a bit of survival mode, but I’d say the very sweetest moments were celebrating Flora turning 2 and being blown away by her verbal skills. I am constantly in amazement by the milestones she crosses everyday.
And of course, sweet Wally. When he laughed this month I about fell over with joy. Baby laughs are from the Lord, y’all. Sent down straight from heaven above to help a strugglin mama’s heart make it through. ❤

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Hardest Moment:
Life with 2 babies just continues to show me my selfish ways. It causes me to realize that having children is so beautiful, but also means sacrifice. You can’t always get together when your friends are having a girl’s night. You can’t be as spontaneous or walk out the door looking put together. These are small things in the grand scheme of it all…but things you learn, none-the-less, as you add kids to the mix. All of this continues to challenge my thinking when it comes to friendships in my life. I have such little brain-space and free-time to offer to anyone outside of my little immediate family that I want to choose those friends carefully. Time is something that I must steward better than ever before. Friendships are ones I must select with care.

To be terribly honest, I’m super struggling with our house flip. When you are home with 2 babes by yourself all week and you are tired and sweaty and want a break, the weekends come and you get excited to have help…to have the weight taken off a little. But then Daniel ends up working on the house flip all weekend and I am, at last, alone again (for the most part) to wipe the snot, change the diapers, feed the meals. I keep telling myself it’s just a season with this house and I know that is true. But is a hard season and one I’m trying not to be bitter about. I don’t want to leave this house with a sour taste in my mouth. But I already know I will walk away having learned a lot about priorities.

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Guess that’s about it! My brain is fried and I’m sure there is more that’s happened, but for now, this is it! Farewell to my precious newborn Wally. Hello baby Wallace!

Frugal & Functional: My Best Maternity Fashion Tips & Where to Shop

IMG_3349As I draw near to the end of my 2nd pregnancy, I thought it would be fun to share my best tips for getting through pregnancy when it comes to fashion. Some women feel their most beautiful when pregnant, others feel like a giant balloon, but either way, you gotta dress yourself! And if you are like me, you don’t have a lot of extra money to go buy a whole new wardrobe to accommodate this short, beautiful season. So, here are my tips for a functional and frugal maternity wardrobe…

  1. Stick with the basics.
    For the first few months of pregnancy, you can probably get by wearing your normal clothes, but as you progress you will definitely need a few things. I would recommend investing in a few pieces:
    -2 pairs of maternity jeans
    -5-6 basic maternity t-shirts (short or long sleeved depending on the season you are pregnant)
    -1-2 comfy dress options (I have 2 jersey-knit throw-on casual dresses)
    -1 nicer maternity dress (think for church or special occasion).
    It may not sound like much, but these are the basics of what I have used particularly through this 2nd pregnancy as I have realized I can make do with much less.
    If you are working away from the home and have to look more professional, this list may look different. I work 1 day/week in a professional office setting and I usually pair a dress with leggings and some flats to create a comfortable yet dressier look.IMG_2632
  2. Utilize cardigans, sweaters, or kimonos.
    With baby #2 I have been pregnant through mostly colder months and my go-to combo has been a long sleeve fitted maternity shirt under my open cardigans and sweaters. These are cardigans I already owned and simply paired them over my maternity shirts. If you are pregnant in the summer but still want a little more coverage, I would recommend buying 1-2 cute light-weight kimono style open tops.
  3. Let your accessories take the stage.
    With such few maternity pieces in my wardrobe, it’s easy to feel like I’m wearing the same old boring outfit over and over. But I’ve had a lot of fun challenging myself to wear some neglected accessories that pair well with basics. Do you have a statement necklace you like but that has been gathering dust? Pull that baby out! Do you, like me, have way too many scarves that never get worn? Put those in rotation! Try a fun hat, a funky earring, or stacking some bracelets in a new way. These things shake up an outfit and take away from the fact that you wear that simple black tank dress every week (guilty).IMG_2900
  4. Borrow from friends.
    Do you have a close friend who is a similar size and not pregnant right now? Ask them if they have a few pieces they would share with you. I was lucky enough to have a friend who just had her 4th and last baby and she passed down several wonderful pieces to me that I wore a lot over the winter. This is a frugal method to get some maternity clothes, and since it it such a short season of life, why not share the love! Then, when you are done with your season of growing babies, you can pass on your clothes too! Cool!
  5. See what you already own that will work throughout your pregnancy.
    You might be surprised to find that you have more pregnancy-friendly clothing than you realized. Flowy shirts are wonderful for accommodating the bump. I have worn my elastic high-waist skirts with a  tied up t-shirt through both pregnancies (these are easy to find at thrift stores!). Pull out any empire waist dresses; these can be easily worn with leggings as your belly grows and your dresses get shorter.IMG_3239
  6. Don’t forget about undergarments. 🙂
    Until I had Flora I didn’t realize just how much various parts of my body would change…not just my belly. Once of my 2 saving graces have been my seamless panties from Victoria’s Secret. They are the stretchy kind that have no seam around the legs or waist which accommodates growth in the bum area without cutting off circulation. My other secret weapon is my bra extender! As baby grows and takes up more space in your body, all your organs shift around and get pushed up. This means your rib cage widens and your bra size will change quite a bit. From my last pregnancy I had purchased 2 new bras, but this time around they just weren’t wide enough. For about $7 I ordered a 3 pack of bra extenders from Amazon that simply clip to your bra hook, and voila! No need to buy more bras (which can be dang pricey!).
  7. My favorite places to shop.
    So where do you find these few, but important pieces? This is where I have gone…
    -For inexpensive basic tops, shop at Ross! They have a small maternity section where I have found short and long-sleeve simple tops. They aren’t the most amazing quality, but for $3-5 a shirt, you can’t complain!
    -Check out Old Navy, online and in store. Both of my jersey-knit comfy dresses are from there. They also have great sales.
    -On Cyber Monday I ordered a pair of nice skinny jeans from Motherhood Maternity for $20 and they have been great. I don’t adore most of what Motherhood sells, but for a basic like jeans, it’s hard to go wrong.
    -Check Target for jeans, tops, and dresses. While there prices aren’t always amazing on maternity, the selection is usually pretty cute.
    -For a fancy dress, look at ASOS online. Be warned…it’s all super cute and not necessarily budget friendly.IMG_2985

Hopefully a few of these tips are helpful and you can learn from my experience and mistakes. 🙂 The season of pregnancy has really show me how little I can live with in my wardrobe and it’s kind of refreshing!

Blessings!

Star

*top image by Neal Dieker Photography

Conclusions & Beginnings

In the last few months of my blogging absence, Daniel and I have experienced mixture of hardship, confusion, waiting, pain, grieving, surprise, joy, fear, and just general busyness that the holidays always seem to bring. We announced a few weeks ago that we are expecting baby #2 and we did this with joy but also with hesitation. I thought I’d share our journey from the last few months and how the Lord has been with us through each step.

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In early/mid October we found out we were pregnant with our second baby. This was news that both excited and terrified us. We didn’t think this pregnancy would happen quite so quickly, but that little shock soon wore off as we imagined becoming a family of 4. Jump ahead a week later, I called Daniel in a panic b/c I had lightly spotted and wasn’t sure at all what this meant. After calls to the doctor, a blood draw, and an inconclusive sonogram we were basically told that we would just have to wait and see, but that spotting early on in pregnancy is very common. I was comforted by this news, yet still a bit fearful.

The next week my mother and I had planned to visit my sister in Denver. Despite being a bit nervous b/c of the spotting (which only happened that one day), we decided to move forward with the trip. Upon being in Denver for several hours, grabbing lunch, and heading out to an antique mall, we found ourselves all split up and wandering around this warehouse of vintage treasures. To my utter terror, I suddenly knew something was very wrong and began crying out for my mom. We quickly found one another and she rushed me to the bathroom followed by my sis. In a stinky dusty antique mall bathroom I began what I thought was the start of a miscarriage. Blood dripping from my body, we all cried and I just couldn’t believe this was really happening. I started to think about the phone call I would have to make to my husband to tell him we were losing the baby. I couldn’t fathom the thought of flushing our baby down this dirty old toilet in the middle of a city I’ve never been to. All the while strangers were ushering in and out of this public restroom, no doubt curious about what was happening in the stall we were all crammed in. That moment in time stood still. How could I even get up from this spot…let alone move forward…let alone complete this awful event that was taking place? I was scared and more sad and heartbroken than I’d ever felt.

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With the help of my mother and sister, we got in the car and drove 45 minutes back to my sister’s apartment where I continued to bleed and cry. Daniel was notified and the next few hours were spent between trips to the bathroom and laying down.

In the past, when I have faced a hurt or a trial, I can’t say I’ve always responded well initially. The shock and pain of it all sort of overcomes me and I have traditionally fallen to pieces for a while. But this time was different. Maybe the experience of the c-section and how the Lord has grown my faith since then had changed my heart. Because truly my only response in this time of disorder was to run to Jesus. I imagined myself in His arms, we were crying together, and He just held me. I felt no explanation for what was happening, but a sense that He was altogether in control. He had created this life and even though, to me, it seemed far too early to take it away, that was what He allowed to happen. Though I couldn’t understand Him, I trusted Him. I didn’t feel angry at God, but an overwhelming sense of trust. He has always provided and always been for the good of His people (thank you BSF for teaching me this). And I am one of His people, His daughter. I can tell you that when my own daughter falls and gets hurt, no matter how monumental or how tiny the scrape, I hold her and I tell her I love her and I just try to be there with her in her moment of pain. That’s what God did for me, He was there with me in my moment of pain.

My mom and I stayed in Denver one more day. The tone of the girl’s trip completely changed, but we tried to enjoy each other’s company as I thought I would continue to miscarry. But the next day I didn’t bleed at all. On our drive home on Sunday…no more blood. I was still convinced I was/had miscarried, yet I was a tad confused based on all I had read about the topic vs. what my body was doing. First thing Monday morning I went to my doctor’s office and they drew blood. I waited anxiously by my phone all day for them to tell me about my HGC levels and if they had decreased (a sign the pregnancy was ending). I never heard from them that day and in fact didn’t hear the results until Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday afternoon I received a call where they told me news I was not expecting one bit…my HCG levels had, ‘appropriately increased’ which could be a very hopeful thing. Yet they told me not to get my hopes up b/c it didn’t confirm anything fully. I had to go in for another sonogram that Friday to see for sure.

After the longest week of waiting, we went in for the sono that Friday. I was so afraid of it. What would we see? Would I have to get a DNC if my body wasn’t completing a miscarriage? Would we see a baby but with abnormalities? I held my breath as the tech laid me down and began the ultrasound. She quickly found the yoke sack which had a little dot-like thing inside. We waited a minute for her to say something but she didn’t. Was she seeing something good or bad? I had never had a sono this early with Flora so I didn’t know what we were looking at. Finally I asked, ‘Is that a baby?’ to which she replied, ‘Yes! And see that flicker…that’s the heartbeat!’. Instantly I burst out in tears, this was unbelievable news. In my heart of hearts I had wanted to hope for this, but another part of me had already started to grieve this little life. It was all so confusing yet joyous, yet surprising. She continued to take pictures and I noticed something on the screen. There was a dark area around the sack that seemed strange to me. I inquired, but she didn’t know what it was and told me it was most likely a subchorionic hemorrhage. What in the world was that?! She explained it’s an internal bleed that normally go away on their own, but she would have to have the doctor call me. My joy instantly converted to a mixture of fear. Was this a big deal? Would I bleed again? Does it put the baby in danger? I knew nothing and the sono tech couldn’t answer my questions.

So now, we had a baby when we thought we had lost it, but there was also this added issue we knew nothing about. After much reading and a phone call from the nurse we learned a lot more about these hemorrhages and I took it very easy for a while. They told me it was nothing to worry about and they see them from time-to-time. I tried to keep that mindset, but given what had already happened, I was honestly a bit terrified.

Several weeks later, we had another sonogram scheduled. I decided to start praying and asking big things from the Lord. I prayed for a completely healthy baby with a strong heart beat. I prayed that the hemorrhaged area would be completely gone. I prayed that I could have a long talk with my OB and ask all the questions on my heart (specifically about the risks and possibility of a vbac). It seemed like a long laundry list of prayers, but I had already seen God work and knew He could tackle each one of these desires. And to praise and glory of my God, He answered EACH one. I’m not always the best at praying specifically for things like this, but I’m going to start doing it. To see how God answered each of these prayers was almost more that my heart could handle. We walked away from that appointment with the image of our squirmy baby engrained in our minds. My OB said I had a great chance for a vbac. The hemorrhage was gone as far as we could see. I was walking on cloud nine, praising my savior and kissing my husband with joy overflowing. To go from thinking you lost your baby, to this…it was a lot to take in.

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It’s been over a month now since all of this and I’ve thought about it all a lot. I know so many woman who have lost babies and, for several days, I thought I had joined the ranks of these women. It was a dreadful place to be. You feel like ‘just another number’ b/c miscarriages happen every day. But when it’s you and your child, you feel anything but common. The precious baby you were carrying is lost. You will never get to feed them, hold them, see them grow…it was the most devastating feeling. Even though you know there is nothing you could have done, you feel like a failure. You wonder if you will ever really move forward.

I have shed tear after tear wondering why the Lord allows me to keep this baby. Of course I am so grateful and I want this life so badly. But I also want the lives of all those other lost babies out there. I wish my friends who have lost babies didn’t have to know this feeling. I have, in moments, felt guilty to share the news of this pregnancy, when others don’t get to do that.

To you mamas out there who have lost, who are longing for a child, I just want you to know that my heart aches with you. B/c of this experience I have a little more of an understanding of the pain and questions that occur in that time of sorrow and loss. Each and every life deserves to be celebrated, no matter if that life lasted only a few short weeks in the womb or that person lived to 100. I see more than ever how incredibly precious life is and how it is truly an incredible miracle from the Lord. I also see more clearly that this world is not our final dwelling place, that we are so incomplete on this earth. Over the last few months I have found much comfort in the words of Rev 21:3-5a

‘And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Praise God He is making all things new. Even in the midst of sorrow, He is there. And in the end, there will be no more tears, no more death, no more loss. It will just be those who are God’s children standing in the comfort and completeness of His presence.

As we start this new year, I just wanted to share this. It is now a part of my story, a part of my marriage, a part of my family, and a part of this new baby’s life. I will tell them how I thought they were lost, but how the Lord has saved them, not just from an earthly death, but from an eternal one.

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Lastly I wanted to share this poem I wrote while I was in Denver. I wrote this a few hours after my bleed, believing then that we had lost our little one…

 

I stand in the center and the world spins round.
With veiled vision I see the commotion
Life moves forward but not for you
You have passed into realms of beauty
You see what I have not, the light and pureness of being whole

Too quickly we parted, but as I stay and shed my tears
You look down already knowing much more

You see beauty most lovely
Feel a warmth so close
Hear the sounds of heaven
Taste the delight of His presence

You are surrounded by hosts and saints
And one day I will join you

Will you meet me there at the pearly gates, my child, so we can meet?
For the first time I will hold you in my arms and tell you of your mother’s love
You will tell me of your years spent with the King and how radiant you will be

Bright shining as the sun, you will show me how it’s done
Hand in hand we will march forward, never to be parted.

Until we meet, my baby.

Dealing with a Postpartum Body

Tonight was one of THOSE nights. The kind where your emotions beat out your mind.

Your mind is saying:

‘Hey! You just had a baby 4 months ago. Your body did an amazing feat! You freaking grew a human in your belly. That little miracle you carried is your dream come true! You have absolutely no reason to fret or dismay. You weren’t a supermodel before, so why are you worrying?! Give yourself some GRACE.’

But your emotions are saying:

‘Yeeeeah. You have NOTHING in your closet to wear to work tomorrow. Literally everything you are trying on looks…weird. How are you only 2 pounds from your pre-pregnancy weight? Your butt has shrunk back up to being even more non-existent than before, but that belly. Are you sure you aren’t still pregnant? Don’t even think about reaching for that high-waisted skirt. Get to the gym, girl!’

Y’all. the struggle is real. After a crying breakdown laying in the midst of all the clothing I tore off in anger b/c they don’t fit and after a long hot bath while drinking wine, I’m able to breath and think a bit more rationally.

How do I deal with this postpartum body?

  1. First of all, I know I need to praise my heavenly Father. I was blessed to be able to conceive a child. A beautiful healthy girl who has the most amazing blue eyes I’ve ever seen in my life. And I get to stay home with her and make her smile and change her ooey gooey poopy diapers.
  2. Secondly, I need to make a plan. What are realistic steps I can take to work toward being more healthy and maybe loosing a few more pounds? I can cut out Dr. Pepper (sigh…), keep more fruit in my house to curb my sweet tooth, and plan for at least 2 visits to the gym this week. That doesn’t sound too bad.
  3. I can take a few minutes to put together a few outfits that I feel flatter my body, so when the morning comes I’m not distraught about having nothing to wear.
  4. I can go buy a pair of stinking dress pants that fit my body now, instead of waiting for the day I can squeeze into my old ones.
  5. Remember: I’m nursing. That uses a crazy amount of calories, and again, I’m still growing a human being! Just outside of the body now. So no need to cut my portions too small.
  6. Accept and embrace that my body may never be that size 0 again. This size 6 body may be the new me, and I just need to be ok with that. Hey…at least now I have boobs, right?

Has anyone else dealt with this issue? How did you work through it? I’d love advice/words of encouragement!

Motherhood Moments: Month 3

 

It’s that time again, another month gone by! My sweets is 3 months old now! Almost 13 weeks to be exact. Daniel and I fall more in love with her each day as she changes and grows. Flora is such an easy baby and my constant little side kick (all except for Monday’s when I work! Then she’s grandma’s sidekick!).

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Flora Updates:

  • Eating : No changes with Flora being an awesome nurser, praise the Lord. During month 3 I got very sick and my milk supply went down for a few weeks which was unfortunate. But thankfully everything normalized.
    I feel like nursing in public is getting easier and easier. It’s funny how every outfit choice/purchase now revolves around me thinking, ‘On a scale of 1-10, how easy will it be to feed Flora in this outfit in public?’. It’s also funny how little I seem to care about the prospect of me accidentally flashing someone. I guess I just think, ‘Hey, I need to feed my child. This is one of the most natural and beautiful things God designed and if a small piece of skin shows…oh well!’
  • Sleeping : Flora has been sleeping about the same, not too much progress. We usually put her down at about 9:30 and she wakes anywhere from 2:30-5 o’clock to eat, then goes back down for several more hours.
    We’ve transitioned Flora to sleeping into a fleece Halo sleeper, still with her arms tucked in. I think it helps her know it’s time to go to bed. We also use a Sleep Sheep noise machine
  • Development: At Flora’s 2 month appointment she weighed 10lbs 9oz (25th percentile), was 22.5 inches long (46th percentile), and her head circumference was 39cm (53th percentile). Lots of people comment on how small she is, but she seems to be growing everyday! Her cheeks are really starting to fill out. We have her 3 month appointment this week! I always look forward to seeing how she has grown!
    Flora is still in 3 month onsies and can now fit into her 3 month pants. We tried out cloth diapers this month which was an adventure. The brand we have didn’t work well for Flora, they totally soaked through the diaper and got us both wet every time she peed! I was changing her constantly and doing loads and loads of laundry. I still haven’t decided if we are going to try out other kinds or just stick with disposable. Cloth diapers are SO expensive and you have the cost of washing them. But the cost of disposables over time will be a lot too. Bah. We will see!
    She has continued to smile a lot and I THINK we are on the verge of maybe laughing soon! I’m dying to hear what her laugh will sound like! She also loves to talk and is really discovering the different types of sounds she can make. It’s fun to hear her experiment with her own voice!
    There have been a few times that Flora has rolled to her side and once or twice fully onto her belly. It’s not a regular thing just yet…but soon! I did finally get her a play mat so I think it will speed up the process!
  • Fav and least fav things: Lately Flora really loves to be held or to be on her back on our bed with us talking to her. Generally if we are giving her our full attention…she’s happy.
    Her least fav thing by FAR as of late is being in the car seat. She really doesn’t like it! I think it ‘s b/c it means she isn’t being held and she faces away from us in the car. So sad! Haha. It’s hard to keep driving when she is crying!

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Momma Updates:

  • Best Moments: This last month I have really enjoyed hearing Flora make so many new sounds. It was also fun to take her to Thanksgiving and meet many more of my family members. She has so many amazing people in her life that I know are going to encourage her and help her grow into a woman of faith!
  • Learning Moments: So, there was a lot of learning moments this month, but a big one was about dealing with medical bills and insurance. It’s all such a mess! We’ve started receiving all of the medical bills from Flora’s birth and we have to double and triple check each one. There have already been mistakes we caught. I’ll admit I’ve become very upset and impatient when dealing with it all. I need to work on this. It’s very frustrating.
  • Unexpected Moments: Another unexpected and learning moment this month was getting sick. I had a stomach bug for several days and could hardly get out of bed! Daniel and my mom had to take care of me and the baby. This was very hard! It’s no fun being sick and even less fun when you have an infant to care for! Thankfully she didn’t catch anything. I think the breast milk helps with that! Antibodies!
  • Hard Moments: The combination of getting sick and dealing with insurance have been tough but that’s about it! I have so many reasons to rejoice!
    Weight/Body Check-In: Unfortunately I’m still at 130. Sigh. I think that these last 10/15 pounds will be the hard ones to loose. BUT I’m actually able to fit into several of my pre-pregnancy jeans! That feels good. AND I’ve been going to the YMCA quite a bit. They have a great daycare system and so many good machines to work out on. I’ve really enjoyed doing the elliptical and just having a few minutes to ‘myself’ to do something healthy and out of the house.
  • Misc: This girl brings me oodles of joy. I feel like she has also brought Daniel and me closer together. She is just such a miracle! When I look at her tears come to my eyes. I keep wondering when that’s going to stop…but it definitely hasn’t!
    This month Daniel and I both helped out with our church moving to a new building and today was our first service at the new location! It was so awesome and we both left feeling uplifted and encouraged. We are grateful to have found a place where we can both worship, grow, serve, and where Flora will be taught the gospel!

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My happy girl!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Motherhood Moments: Month 2

Somehow this little treasure was 2 months old on Monday! In some ways time is going fast, but in others, it seems just right. We are busy but there is lots of cuddling still involved and I really try to soak in all her little changes each day.

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These baby blues just kill me!

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Flora Updates:

  • Eating : Flora continues to be an excellent eater! It’s such a blessing that breastfeeding hasn’t been a hurdle whatsoever. Each morning I pump several ounces to have in the freezer for when my mother-in-law watches her on Mondays while I work. It’s also nice to have some stored in case I have a chance to go out with friends for a few hours.
    Generally Flora never spits up while nursing, but there has been a few times when she eats too fast and she looses her whole meal. And usually it happens at 3am and it somehow soaks through every article of clothing I am wearing. Haha.
  • Sleeping : Our new record is a solid 7 hours of sleep. That happened only 1 night and hasn’t occurred since. Usually she sleeps 5-6 hours then about 2 more hours after that. We continue to have her in our room but we have moved the moses basket from in the bed in between us to next to me on its rocker stand. This has worked well and I feel Daniel and I are both sleeping better.
    Daniel doesn’t get up in the night with the baby but honestly I don’t see why he would! If she is up she is hungry and only momma has got the goods to help with that problem! Haha.
  • Development: At Flora’s 1 month appointment she weighted 8lbs 14oz (she was 7lb 3oz at birth). We have her 2 month appointment next weeks so I will see how much she has grown! To me she seems to weigh much more and is getting LONG!
    She now wears 3 month onsies but is still in newborn pants. The 3 month pants are too wide in the waist and a bit too long.
    Flora is now starting to smile! It’s the best thing ever! She is also able to tell where I’m at in the room and will follow me with her head and eyes. She is starting to grab onto things more than before and push with her legs when they are up against something.
  • Fav and least fav things: Flora really loves to lay on her changing pad and look at herself or me in the mirror (she must sense how beautiful she is…lol). This is the location we get the most smiles and coos. Her least favorite thing is to be alone. If I’m running downstairs to change the laundry or just go in the kitchen to *attempt* to make myself breakfast, she looses it. Basically if I’m not in her line of sight, she gets upset. In this way she is like her daddy, doesn’t really need alone time. I on the other hand LOVE alone time, which, as you can guess, happens very frequently these days. Haha!

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(Here’s baby girl in her pretty smocked dress that her daddy & I found in Santa Fe at a vintage resale shop!)

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(And here is Flora all dressed up for Halloween! She was ‘Flora the Fancy Fox’! I found this cute little outfit online at H&M. It’s REALLY hard to find costumes for kiddos younger than 6 months!)

Momma Updates:

  • Best Moments: I think the best moment this last month was when she first started smiling! It’s the first sign of her little personality and the first time I truly felt like we were interacting. I think it was significant for Daniel too b/c I get to bond with her while she nurses and now I feel like he is starting to get a reaction out of her which is exciting!
  • Learning Moments: Thankfully going out and about has gotten easier and I feel like we have a better ‘system’ down. I’m getting more comfortable nursing in public (seriously, where did good-ol modest Star go? lol) and my arms are getting stronger. Baby+baby carrier+diaper bag=HEAVY!
    However I did learn something significant this 2nd month…BLOWOUTS! If they keep happening there are a few good things to consider:
    1. Pack extra baby clothes in the diaper bag. This should be a ‘duh!’, right? Well…I was left empty handed a few times and it was a MESS!
    2. Potentially this means you need to move up a diaper size. A few wiser women filled me in on this treasure of an idea and BAM. Blowouts are fewer and farther between!
    3. Change baby right after you hear her fill up a diaper. Maybe I’m a bad momma, but previoulsy I wouldn’t change her right away. Sometimes she would just have toots that didn’t leave anything in the diaper so I was changing it for nothing. Well, after a few public blowouts I revised my theory!
  • Unexpected Moments: I’m officially back to work 1 day a week at my uncle’s dental practice. I’m one blessed momma for only having to work 1 day a week and spend the rest with my daughter. But I figured I would be a MESS on Mondays, missing Flora SO much. While I do miss her, I’ve been surprised how good I feel getting out and about and working! My sweet mother-in-law watches her at my house and I think that is a huge part of it. I trust her completely to take care of Flora and I just don’t have to worry! It’s really nice to be able to be with adults and to make a little money to contribute to our family.
  • Hard Moments: Thankfully there haven’t been any huge break-down moments this month (hormones settling down? lol). But a few challenging things…
    Feeling like I don’t get very much ‘done’ in a day. It’s hard when Daniel asks me what I’ve done today and I can list maybe 2 things. With a baby that just loves to be with momma and isn’t mobile yet, it’s hard to do much!
    Feeling like my house is messy all the time. I like a very picked up organized home so this is something I’m trying to let go of. I can only do what I can do! Being with my baby and not letting these special moments slip by is more important!
  • Weight/Body Check-In: 2 months post-delivery my weight is 130. While that number still seems high to me, that is a whole 10 pounds lower than just a month ago! So I’m happy about that!
    I was cleared for exercise 2 weeks ago and I have gone to the YMCA a couple of times. I’ve done 2 yoga classes and some speed walking on the treadmill as well as trying to walk the dog regularly. I’m still taking things a bit slow b/c I can still feel soreness and pulling on my incision, but I feel SO much better this month physically wise.
    I also told myself that after 6 weeks I was really going to start watching what I eat better. This has gone OK. I’m drinking much less soda (my vice!) and trying to do more eggs, veggies, & fruit while not eating as much fast food. It’s hard to eat healthy with a newborn b/c honestly I just want something fast and easy so I don’t leave her crying in the next room while I prepare something. Thankfully Daniel is amazing and cooks us healthy dinners.
  • Misc: So much of me wants to be ‘super mom’ or ‘super woman’ and be able to do it all. It’s been humbling lately to know this is just not possible. I’m learning to prioritize my time and energy. This last month I’ve really tried to focus on getting my Bible study done each week and getting out of the house regularly. I also try to get ‘ready’ each day with makeup on and a semi-put together outfit. This helps me feel a little better about myself and more ready to tackle the day!
    I feel like spending time with the Lord every day (which doesn’t always happen) truly keeps my heart and mind in a better place. When I am focusing on Him I remember where my worth comes from. I easily fall into the compare-snare, so time with God has been crucial lately.
    Daniel and I have also been attending an orphan care Bible study at our church. Now that I have a little one I feel even more passionate about caring for and loving kids that are at risk. We are praying about what role this will have in our future.

There you have it! A somewhat summary of month 2 of mommyhood! I leave you with this PRECIOUS smile that I hope lights up your day! ❤

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First Week Home: Essentials for Baby & Momma

Today marks 1 week home from the hospital (wahoo!). I thought I’d share the products we’ve relied on as first time parents and the products that have helped me as a new momma who is still healing from a c-section.

Baby Essentials:

1st Week Home: Baby Essentials

(See all product links on my Polyvore page, here)

  1. Moses Basket: One of my favorite Instagrammers, Mammawaters, had a Moses basket for her son Theodore when he was first born. She would place him in it and take him from room to room as she was going about her day.This seemed like a practical product so I started to keep an eye out on Craigslist during pregnancy and found one with a rocker attachment for just $30! Daniel & I have already used the basket SO much. We place it between us at night with Flora inside so she is close by at all times. And as I’ve gotten more mobile this week, I carry her with me from room to room (when I’m not snuggling her in my arms of course!). I feel much better having her in this basket than placing her on the couch or on the floor.
  2. SwaddleMe Swaddler: In the hospital they have these awful blankets that they swaddle the babies in. They aren’t that soft and somehow Flora always managed to get her arms out of the swaddle. So our 1st night home we used one of these SwaddleMe contraptions and she slept SO much better than in the hospital. She is sleeping in 4 hour increments and I actually have to wake her up to feed. I think these swaddlers really make a difference. They keep her arms tucked in where she can’t wake herself up. It’s important (according to our pediatrician) to find ones that leave lots of room in the hip area so baby’s hips don’t grow inward.
  3. Wubbanub Pacifier: I swore I wasn’t going to use a pacifier for Flora b/c I read if she is rooting around that means she is hungry. So why would I give her this false plastic plug instead of the real deal? WELL…in the hospital I would feed her and feed her until she wouldn’t take anymore. I’d swaddle her up and place her back to bed. But she would just fuss and coo and not go to sleep. She kept giving me nursing cues but when I would try again she didn’t want to eat, she was full. We talked to multiple nurses who said she probably just wants to suck, it’s babies instinct. So we started giving her the Wubbanub when we put her down to sleep. She will suck on it for a few minutes then it falls out and she is sound asleep…voila! I particularly like the Wubbanub b/c it stays in better than other pacifiers we tried. The animal attachment props it in a way that it can stay in more easily.
  4. Newborn Sized Clothing: This is probably a huge ‘duh’, but I didn’t realize the big difference between ‘newborn’ and ‘0-3’ sizing. Flora was born 7lbs 3oz and went down to 6lbs 9oz. So she was fairly small. Even the clothes we brought to the hospital swallowed her. We received a TON of size 0-3 but really nothing in newborn sizing. Thankfully I had thrifted a few little items and have since found a few more. I don’t think you need that many outfits, but a few things that fit are nice!
  5. Changing Pad: We moved the changing pad into our room on top of my dresser and it has been a life saver. I just get up at night, feed her, go over and change her diaper on the changing pad, and slip us both back in bed. It’s so convenient and better than changing her on our bed. We also use the changing pad to change her into her pj’s or her outfit for the day. It’s a nice little station to take care of Flora.
  6. Muslin Blankets: Although we don’t swaddle her in these blankets at night, pretty much every other moment of the day we have one of these nearby. We’ve also used it to cover her in the carseat if it’s a little chilly. They are so thin that they pack really nicely in the diaper bag. I also like to have people put this on their arms before I hand them to her. It provides a little protection from germs and helps other people feel she is warm and taken care of.

Momma Essentials:

1st Week Home: Essential for Mom

(See all product links on my Polyvore page, here)

  1. Nursing Bras & Tanks: Oh boy. Let me just say I had NO idea how life changing nursing would be. I’m absolutely loving providing nourishment to my baby girl and enjoying all the cuddles, but it is very time consuming and…messy. I bought 2 nursing bras and 2 nursing tanks before she arrived and those were all dirty in about 5 minutes (ok, not really…but close!). My mom took me to get 2 more tanks and 2 more bras and I still feel like I could use a few more. I REALLY love the bras and tanks we found at Motherhood Maternity.
  2. Cold Packs: Since I had a c-section I have a lovely incision to deal with. There is also the matter of your milk coming in and this other lovely issue that I had NO idea about…night sweats! Apparently if you are breast feeding your body is telling itself not to ovulate therefore you aren’t producing estrogen. So…essentially it’s like your body is going through menopause. I also get hot flashes throughout the day as well. SO…a few of the gel-type freezer packs have really made me feel better. I will use one on my incision at night and put one on my forehead! They also provide relief if your breasts are engorged. Just a great item to have around!
  3. Baby Wrap Carrier: As a first time mom I just never want to put my baby down! I feel guilty not holding her, I mean I’m used to carrying her around in my belly 24/7, so it’s hard to just have her in the basket for hours at a time. Happy Baby Wrap sent me this adorable seafoam wrap and I’ve used it a ton already. It allows me to pick up the house, go on short walks, sort the laundry, or even run errands without having to lug around a plastic carrier. I also like it b/c nobody asks to hold your baby when they are all snuggled into a wrap like this. They just see her sweet face, make a comment about how cute she is, and leave it at that! 🙂 (I’m going to do a full review of this particular wrap on a later blog post.)
  4. Glider: When it’s time to feed, there is no more comfortable place than our glider! Not only is it comforting to Flora, but it’s comforting to me. We just rock and nurse and rest. I’ve been taking naps in it as well. It’s become a little ‘safe place’ for us and I’ve loved having one!
  5. Water Bottle: Pregnancy made me SO thirsty and I thought that might go away, but nope! Nursing has continued to make me crave water like nobody’s business. It’s nice to have a water bottle you like nearby at all times. Water will also help keep your milk supply up!
  6. Pads: Doesn’t matter if you had a c-section or not, you just need these for a while!
  7. Nursing Pads: Like I said, nursing is MESSY. I bought a small box of disposable nursing pads and I already need more! You never know when you might leak or if little lady is extra messy, these are just nice to have. They also make me feel more secure when I go out in public that my shirt won’t get randomly soaked!

I’d love to hear what products you have found helpful post-baby! Please share!