Bye Bye Maternity Leave

A quick post before the monster awakes!

I had time to make muffins (and time to eat one too many of them) while my sweet pea naps. This whole baby thing that had me straight terrified and stressed out for a while has been getting better and better. It’s the combination of him getting older and more interactive and me getting used to it 🙂 It seems your expectations adjust and the crying becomes part of the routine. I think it helps that I try to find silver lining again, like when his nightly crying fest starts, I thank God I’m home with my healthy wailing baby and not in the hospital for an illness or his breathing or something.

I start work soon and I keep hearing everyone tell me “I’ll get through it”. Now I know it won’t be a walk in the park to leave my baby. I expect a small emotional rollercoaster I guess. But I’m actually looking forward to it a little. I like routine so I’m eager to get our schedule together. I think I’ll also like the adult interaction again. It’s crazy because before I had him, I REFUSED to go back to work full time…and here I am now equally sad to leave my babe but happy to feel more human again.

I think the hardest part will be babe’s first illness 😦 It’s inevitable with this nasty cold and flu season we’re in the middle of. We’ve hibernated for the past few months so he hasn’t been exposed to anything really. I just keep trying to prepare myself for it. I also say prayers that his body be ready and able to fight off whatever he catches. I can’t pray for him to not get sick forever and I’m quite thankful we’ve made it this far.

I might be a little jealous too, just because someone else gets to enjoy his smiles and coos and have fun with him all day. That really get’s me, the idea that I might miss milestones. I hope our last day together he is super fussy so I have that to run with 😉 then I just feel sorry for his care provider…(kidding…kind of).

It might be a little easier for me because I have amazing care lined up for him. My cousin does in-home care and she used to babysit ME! And I loved her when she watched my sister and I growing up. Also, we’re extremely lucky to have my Aunt helping most of the time. We meet next week about baby’s breathing condition, to go over it all, and my Aunt insisted on being there. Without them, and how seriously they are taking his condition, I doubt I’d even be able to leave him.

We’re actually looking into the Owlet monitor. We decided against it before he was born but now that he has his breathing thing and will be exposed to germs (ugh), we’re thinking it might be helpful for a good nights sleep. Babe sleeps in our room still (and will for as long as he fits in his bassinet) but I still get nervous about him at night. I thank God before bed for our little family all tucked in together in one room. By little family I mean Jeffrey and myself, baby, and three dogs that all have their own bed. Kitty cat get’s the whole downstairs to herself because she doesn’t behave.

Time to go cherish more snuggles with my main squeeze (sorry Jeffrey) and catch more Home Improvement 😉 I could watch those reruns ALL DAY…oh wait I have for the last several months.

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Preggo Theories…or Facts?

You will be given a butt-load of information from doctors, friends, family (and strangers), while you are pregnant. It’s up to you to determine which gets filed into your BS folder. The best part, even the stuff that is TRUE or SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN may not apply to you. And because you will hear time and again that every pregnancy is different, sometimes you’ll just feel like your walking in the dark. The best knowledge…experience.

These are the 3 theories my first pregnancy (first that resulted in a baby in my arms) taught me might not be internet psycho babble after-all. BEFORE YOU CONTINUE: THESE ARE NOT MEANT TO SCARE ANYONE AND THE OUTCOME OF MY PREGNANCY WAS A HEALTHY BABY!

  1. Hiccups late in pregnancy = Cord around the neck

I found this to be unfortunately true. There’s a rule of thumb (that varies depending on your source) where if you’re having so many bouts of hiccups a day for long periods of time it could signal a problem with the cord. I read this and it of course scared me because my baby had hiccups ALL of the time, up until I popped him out.

Now, hiccups are a sign of the lungs maturing and practicing breathing, yes. I even asked my doctors and they just said “it’s fine” or “normal” and that was it. I don’t think anyone would admit it anyway, why scare us if there is nothing that could be done? Coincidence that little man came out with the cord around his neck? Perhaps, but the best piece of advice I could give any Mama is follow your gut. My gut was telling me his bouts of hiccups weren’t normal towards the end. (He did have issues at first too, but is doing well.)

2.Baby’s sleep pattern in the womb = Baby’s sleep pattern out of the womb

I think this might be true! A doctor mentioned that she heard this theory when we were discussing tracking his awake time and his kicks. I told her he sleeps so good at night. It was almost like when I started my nightly routine and settled down he would pick up on it and would lull off to sleep when I did. And by 7 weeks old he was sleeping 8-9 hours a night! Straight! By 2-3 weeks he was going about 5 hours a night at a time.

If you find yourself in this boat, don’t ruin the pattern! Start your sleep routine as soon as possible! You know, dim the lights, softer sounds, a bath and/or jammies. Good news is if your babes is a night-owl in the womb, your routine can also change that too! I think us mommas who’s baby sets his own pattern in our bellies might have it a tad easier post-birth. Woohoo!!

3. Dilation early = Baby early

Do NOT let anyone tell you dilation means your close to giving birth. One of my rotation doctor’s told me that…and 4 weeks later I was OVER due! I was at a 1 by 32 weeks and a 3 by 36 weeks. I sat a 3 for a few weeks and hit 4 I think at 39 weeks. I went overdue and scheduled my induction and later that day I had him! I ended up walking myself into labor. I felt “different” and literally walked around my neighborhood with a contraction app to see if it was legit go-time, since I had been waiting for WEEKS after I was told “any day now”. Of course, everybody is different but don’t let early dilation SCARE you…or get your hopes up. Baby (and God) decides when!

Again, these could all be a coincidence (but I don’t believe in those anyway). After you have a pregnancy down you feel like you become a little more knowledgable. I’m sure if we decide to do this whole baby thing again my second will go ahead and prove me wrong on these. But until then…use this info as you wish! 🙂

 

 

New Mommyhood

Time to blog!? Well I never…

My 6 week old snoozes away while laundry piles up, the dishwasher waits to be unloaded, and bottles bob in the sudsy sink. I’m beginning to feel more at ease with this new roommate and my new role.

Normally, as a clean freak and someone who can’t sit still, I’ve learned to embrace (tolerate) sitting for hours while my baby catches some Zzz’s on my chest, or turning the other cheek to the piled up recycling that needs to be taken out. I hope this isn’t something I can get used to though, I liked my old “get shit done” attitude. That attitude is now channeled into “learn your baby” and “survive”. More often now that attitude is also graced with a little “I’ve got this” positivity.

In a long drawn out post…things are slowly getting better. We got good news from the dreaded trip to the pede ENT and we survived the drive back home through an awful winter storm (with a newborn who mostly slept the whole time).

Our little boy has learned how to truly smile at us now, he coos, and kicks his tiny legs in a frenzy when he’s happy. I know his hungry cry and that he loves bath time. I’ve been peed on, puked on, cried on, and slept on. I’ve also cried with him. And I dance with him (daily). I’ve also had a chance to get hopped up on a glass of wine. A-as in one…yeah, life has certainly changed!

My last post I promised a labor and delivery story…and I’ll get to that eventually (hopefully). But for now I need to shove food in my face and sterilize pacifiers before my little monster stirs. We’ll finish off our evening with some soft classical music and his rocking chair. My heart melts in those moments and makes everything worth it.

 

 

Beauty in the Breakdown

Today I write basically one-handed, forgiveness is appreciated in advance for typos! Why one-handed typing? Because I have a 3 week old baby snoring away on my shoulder 🙂

What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been. I’ve read that it’s hard to remember labor and delivery and I completely agree. The day I gave birth seems to be a blur. I recall walking myself into labor and my neighbors thinking I was crazy, circling the same blocks a dozen times. I don’t know how I’ve gotten through it all, my nights and days have literally become one.

Having a baby is a rollercoaster of thoughts, emotions, and physical demands…and that’s even an understatement. I read, prayed and dreamed away having my first child. I thought I was SO ready…and with most of the logistics…I was. What I wasn’t prepared for was how much change I MYSELF would need to undergo. I’m a new person…keeping a new person alive.

You don’t think about the fact that you can’t just jump in the car and go to the store anymore. You can’t brush your teeth when you want and you might not have time to eat some days…I knew I would be at the beck and call of a tiny dictator but nothing could have prepared me for this new life. It took me by storm…how long would this last? Will I ever be myself again? Will I ever NOT WORRY constantly about this new life that is suddenly the only thing that matters?

Our baby is beautiful and mostly healthy, but a minor breathing condition has had me in complete disheveled tears saying “I can’t do this” right before a rushed trip to the ER. To anyone reading and understanding the overwhelming impact a baby has on your SOUL…we’ll get through it. (So I keep hearing…and at only 3 weeks out..I’m starting to believe.)

It goes with out saying I wanted this baby more that anything in the world. I thank God continuously through out the day that he’s finally here. BUT…BUT…this newborn stage is difficult and as much as I’m trying to enjoy it, I’m also just trying to survive it.

A baby during a polar vortex and flu season makes for LONG PSYCHOTIC POST PARTUM days with a gassy-fussy newborn. We haven’t had many visitors because his breathing condition means no room for illness right now. We also don’t leave the house, well because it’s been -20’s.

Babe sees a specialist 3 hours away this week (praying for a smooth trip and good results). After that appointment, I just want to enjoy my baby and the holiday’s with family. I’m eager to find this new normal “me” as a mom…and eager to feel more human again.

I think this post is the most unorganized and illogical thing I’ve written. Cheers if you’re still reading. Jeffrey has been a pretty big help and I find myself finally laughing more with him (hormones have hindered our laughs for a long time).

So the title to today’s post, my awkward “baby announcement” post I’ve been DYING to put up since a positive pee test…

“beauty in the breakdown”- Though this be the absolute hardest and trying time of my life so far…I find myself dancing with my new baby to get him to sleep soundly, laughing with Jeffrey over stupid things again, and I’ve also grown to love my body more for it’s job well done creating a human.

When my thoughts are back in order I’ll try to post about the day our boy joined the world 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Sweet Baby Boy

I write this with you still safe in my belly. Your father and I, impatiently awaiting your arrival, which we’re told will be any day now.

I’ve had time to contemplate how different our lives will be once you are here. I’ve pictured your little feet filling the tiny socks I’ve washed. I brace myself for sleepless nights. I’ve wondered how you’ll like your crib and how many times I’ll rock you in my arms in the new rocking chair.

I think about your father and how he’s going to handle a new, tiny little life. A tiny little life that will change date night, dinner plans, friendships, family and our attention to one another. I think about how much you will change him and I as a couple.

I think about all of these things that will affect me, your father, us, and the family. Which is so selfish, because I haven’t thought about how we are going to affect you.  How will we know which cry means your hungry and which means you need to be changed? And as you grow, how will we affect your thoughts and actions? How will we teach you right from wrong, how to be kind, how to forgive, how to stand for things you believe in, and how to dream? How will we shape your ability to laugh, love and enjoy this crazy world and beautiful life?

You’re not going to stay a baby forever. You’re going to grow. You’re going to succeed. You’re going to meet people that make you smile. You’re going to find passions that light a fire inside you. You’re going to learn, and learn, and learn. And you’re going to love.

You’ll also meet people who will be unkind. And failure is inevitable. You will make mistakes, many of them. And you’re going to get your heartbroken. I already wish I could take any pain you might have to endure, away from you. But I know it’ll be part of your experience; your journey.

No matter what happens, my innocent soul, your parents have never loved anybody more than they love you. Your mom has never been more scared and excited to meet someone before. She’s never laid awake at night dreaming about someone who hasn’t joined the world yet. She’s never been so in love with someone she’s never met.

So as I prepare physical necessities for you to join this world, I’m trying to prepare myself mentally and emotionally, too. Our lives will change in ways we aren’t even aware of, but more importantly we’ll change yours too. We will be your foundation for life, where who you are as a person will grow. And while this world will offer you so much joy and so much pain, don’t ever forget your safe place will be us…your parents…always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maternity Leave: Day 1

Lack of sleep, aches and pains, and severe preggo brain at work has promoted my leave to start a week early. Baby isn’t here yet but I’m looking forward to taking advantage of this time to clean and organize….and SLEEP!

As of Friday, we thought babe might be making his appearance over the weekend. Yet here we go on Monday morning with him still hogging up my organ space 🙂 Officially dilated to a 3, we’re learning that really doesn’t mean a thing. Weeks? Days? Hours? Dilated or not, the answer is the same…baby comes when baby is ready!

I am OK with this. I’m looking forward to a few days of taking my time to get a few household chores done. Jeffrey on the other hand thinks every ache is a contraction and wants to speed to the hospital. He also isn’t sleeping well now because HE has anxiety over the delivery. Nevermind the one who gives birth, he’s stressed out 😉

It’s brisk but fairly warm for November so I’ll be taking advantage of not having to stuff myself into a winter coat for long walks. This is most likely my last blog post before our bundle enters the world!

Excited, nervous, scared, ready, anxious, happy, and so GRATEFUL we made it this far. Party of two becomes party of 3…any day now!

Colder Air and Darker Nights

As the leaves change colors, the sun sets sooner and our clothes become layered, it brings us closer to the holiday season. Something that is forever changed for me since our loss last year. What was supposed to be happy Thanksgiving “we’re expecting” announcement, was turned into one of the hardest times we’ve gone through.

Now, with my belly growing and kicking and hiccuping away, I feel a sense of complete and utter gratefulness. A perfect time to be thankful for the healthy baby we’ve been blessed with. It’s also the time we reflect on our first pregnancy the most.

Miscarriages aren’t discussed openly so sometimes I think that makes them feel less real, or less accepted as a “loss”. Little lives lost hurt in a whole different way and many don’t understand it until they’ve experienced it. Time takes away the sting of the experience but it doesn’t erase the heartache.

I’m trying to settle my thoughts and emotions as life keeps pushing on and our due date nears, and the anniversary of the loss nears. Pregnancy is nothing short of a miracle and every healthy baby is just that, a miracle.

This pregnancy has been amazing and difficult for me. I thank God every night I go to sleep with my boy healthy in my belly. But the connection from the first is different, the physical aches and pains are real, and the stress is definitely exhausting.

I’m enjoying these final weeks with him safe and sound with me everywhere I go. Yet I cannot help but count the minutes until we get to meet this little person. This holiday season will be…an experience. I know it will impact me as a mother and a person. How, I don’t know yet.

Life is a crazy, beautiful, upsetting and uplifting ride. Cheers to your trying times, your darker nights, and especially…to your euphoric moments. ❤

A Growing Belly, Leaves, and Pumpkins.

I haven’t posted in MONTHS! Starting a new job, moving towns, renovating a home and growing a little baby barely leaves time for sleep, let alone blogs.

I’m happy to write that I’m 32 weeks and baby is doing great! HE currently has the hiccups. Yes, we couldn’t wait, we found out that our bundle on the way is a little boy.

Our home is coming together nicely, though not as quickly as I would’ve wanted, but nicely. The nursery isn’t done yet but we’ve got the big stuff finished. I have another baby shower this weekend then it’s shop shop shop time for whatever we still need. Apparently the car seat should be getting installed and inspected soon, too. He will be here so quick!

The pregnancy has been pretty good. I have been an emotional roller coaster and super stressed but putting a type-A personality living in the middle of a reno while pregnant, is sort of a recipe for disaster. Baby has been fairly easy on me…until the last few days. I’m finally starting the back pains and sore feet, the insomnia and restlessness.

We’re both so excited to meet our little man. I think Jeffrey is just excited for me to not be pregnant anymore 🙂

It’s amazing when girls sail through pregnancies glowing, happy, and on cloud 9 constantly. I try SO HARD to put myself in that position, especially this being our rainbow baby. But pregnancy isn’t alway easy and it might not be what you expected it to be. In my instance, I’m a lot more fragile that I would normally be. I find myself craving more support amidst Jeffrey being constantly busy with work and home reno things.

My first trimester I was just scared of losing him again. Second trimester I was scared of preterm labor, renovation dust/mold/mildew, and of course mosquitoes (Zika thankfully isn’t officially this far north yet). I’m really trying to finally just ENJOY my third trimester. I want to be sure I fully embrace this pregnancy before he is out forever.

Fall has just started and I love taking walks, watching more and more homes decorate with mums and pumpkins. The crisp air, crunchy  leaves, and a baby squirming about in my belly is quite possibly the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced.

Our little pumpkin is due in November. Despite the aches and pains he can stay put for as long as he needs. Because I know once he is out, my “first” pregnancy will be in the books…and he will grow so fast.

1st trimester-2nd attempt

So I’m writing this post in April but it won’t get shared until we’re “out of the woods”. I’m over the moon, thanking God multiple times a day, losing sleep over the pure joy and excitement that we’re pregnant again. This is our rainbow baby. After experiencing a loss last November that shocked and ripped our hearts out, we are ready for this second chance.

It is crazy how fast maternal instincts kick in, to even just build a healthy environment for your baby to grow. I ditched the coffee (I allow myself decaf here and there), ditched my daily Coke (which I used to get headaches from not drinking), halted my fast food obsession, and I’ve TRIED to learn how to slow down.

I’ve got two apps on my phone, the Bump and Grow. I’ve found they actually don’t use the same timelines for pregnancy. One says my baby switches from embryo to fetus at 9 weeks and the other says at the end of the trimester. Either way, I enjoy different perks from each app. Grow’s visual of what your baby probably looks like is so fun to watch progress through the weeks. The Bump has fantastic articles.

So far the first trimester has been normal I think. Not too great, not too miserable. I don’t feel full of energy, glowing, or happy 24-7 but I’m not constantly bedridden or next to the waste basket. My “morning sickness” seems to enjoy early evenings. I almost can’t function without a nap. I had a crappy cold for a couple of weeks in which I refused to take any meds, even the safe ones. I loaded up on hot honey lemon water, fruits and veggies, sleep and bought a humidifier.

I can say, I know the bonding is a little different this pregnancy. I’m a little more apprehensive. I pray constantly for the health of baby and the pregnancy and I even talk to him or her. We’ve got our ultra sounds on the fridge and framed by our bed….but I’m just not 100% comfortable with letting myself be vulnerable. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

We had a viability scan at almost 8 weeks, so after that came back with a strong heartbeat we told our parents. I had another scan because of a scare 5 days later…still a strong heartbeat. Our 10-week scan is in a few days and I’m just remaining hopeful and positive that God hears our prayers and that baby is doing just fine.

We’re also in the middle of selling one house and renovating another. So I get to disinfect door knobs, light switches, handles…you name it…about 3 times a week after showings. I go through hand sanitizer like crazy and pester Jeffrey to wash his hands…a lot. I haven’t been able to really be a part of the renovations but I’m proud of Jeffrey for putting in all of the hard work for our future home.

So what have I been doing while our lives have been showings and renos? Eating and sleeping. Right now my diet has several must haves:

Edamame, watermelon, bananas, cereal, yogurt, string cheese, pomegranate, cottage cheese with cherry tomatoes, chicken, popcorn, veggie corn dogs, and I don’t know why but…GREEN OLIVES. Also anything I can dip or douse in ketchup is fantastic. Sweets are kind of a bad craving too. Warm fresh cookies out of the oven served over ice cream…good night! Let’s not get started on pizza…or that one night when Jeffrey wasn’t home and somehow a whole pizza was eaten. I make better eating choices earlier in the day, so I usually start out super healthy. By dinner when I’m tired and don’t want to cook, or before bed when my sweet tooth won’t let me sleep…I let myself indulge a little.

I could go on and on but this would become the post that never ends. So I’ll just stop now. This weekend, since everyone will be at the new house doing work, I’m going to try homemade breakfast burritos that we can freeze and reheat. Yippee!! Since everyone is either at the new house or staying away from me because they are sick (that time of the year) I have found talking to my dogs is starting to make me sound borderline nuts. They also now follow me from room to room because I’m always talking to them. Such great listeners! Here’s a TMI post but it explains my situation perfectly…they pushed the door open while I was using the loo…

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My Sister’s Bridal Shower

It’s a rainy day here in Iowa! But thankfully we had a forecast of 76 and sunny last Saturday for my sister’s bridal shower brunch.

We did a mimosa bar, croissants, egg bake, bacon and chive creamcheese pinwheels, donuts, cake balls, fruit and scones! My sister also loves Izze soda, so we had an ice bucket full of those with the cute pink stripe straws too.

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Her new place is a living Crate and Barrel magazine. She got so many great gifts!

And of course we played a few games…

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