She’s Here! Whitney’s Birth Story

We did it! We are so happy to announce the birth our our daughter, Whitney Catherine. She was born early morning on Thursday April 20.

We thought we were going in for a scheduled c-section but she had other plans for us. My husband and I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 in the two hours before our scheduled surgery. I was getting prepped and all of a sudden her heart rate dropped dramatically. In the 80’s (normal heart rate is anywhere between 110-160).

At first the nurse thought it was just a dip and would come back up, which is normal. But her heart rate didn’t want to budge. Within a minute there were about ten nurses, doctors in the little triage room and everyone was looking at the monitors.  They were trying to move and adjust me to see if they could move me to get a better heart rate. It was all happening so fast and seemed so chaotic to me.

My doctor wasn’t there yet, but I heard a doctor tell me that they couldn’t wait. They were going to perform my c-section right away.

That was when I started crying as they wheeled me out. I was able to get the words out if my husband could come and they said no, because I was going to be put under.

Que the uncontrollable sobbing.

And that was the last thing I remembered. The next thing I knew, I was in recovery wondering what exactly happened. I looked over and my husband was holding our perfect little girl.

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She was healthy, happy and here.

We still are not sure what exactly caused the slow heart rate , but I really feel like it was God stepping in and making us be in the right place at the right time.

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And, so far so good! Whitney is fitting in with her brothers very easily. They love her so much and it is adorable to see my husband with his little girl.

In the past couple of days when moments have gotten chaotic and I have to remember how lucky we are that we have three healthy happy little kids.

 

 

38 Week Bumpdate!!

Wow! I am 38 weeks. I know it sounds trite, but I really feel like this pregnancy has flown by and am so excited and READY to meet this little girl.  Not to say I haven’t had my challenges with this pregnancy.  I know all pregnancies are different, but holy hip pain! I don’t remember it being half as bad with my boys.  Maybe it was, though, and I just blocked it out.

FEELING: I am officially OVER IT.  I am not going to say I even feel great anymore.  I am exhausted, in pain (did I mention hip, back and pelvis pain)? And getting off the couch or turning over in bed is excruciating! I have stopped working out in the past two weeks. That alone is making me feel like a sloth.

I realized that I was getting over exerted and my heart rate was getting too high even with just walking at a excelled pace.  So, I am listening to my body and slowing WAY down.

While I still have to keep up with two active kiddos, I am relying on the TV more then I would like to admit.  And, as the weather has (finally) turned, they are able to blow some steam off in the backyard.

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Wardrobe: I hate to admit it…..but you can usually find me in leggings and a  stretchy top.  Jeans are for getting dressed up these days.  I actually wore a cute maternity dress on Sunday for a brunch with my girlfriends.  It felt great to feel pretty again! I cannot wait to bet back to my normal clothes.

CRAVINGS: Junk food.  Oops.  My healthy eating kick is out the window at this point.  I am really trying to get my proper nutrition in. But, that does not mean I’m not going to have a bowl of ice cream or a cupcake after dinner.

OVERALL: I am trying my very best to embrace the moment.  This is going to be my last pregnancy but it is really hard with two other little kids to take care of too.

We have finally picked a name!! We have told a few friends, but are waiting until she gets here to tell everyone.  Stay tuned!!

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Bumpdate: 33 Weeks!

I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy is going! Seven weeks from yesterday I will be having a c-section and get to meet our little girl!

FEELING: Still feeling pretty good for the most part! I have been having hip pain when I stay in the same position for too long.  Sleep is hit or miss.  I wake up several times a night. But, since I have had kids I don’t think I have ever slept ALL night long. I usually am up at least once for either the bathroom or making sure the kiddos are tucked in.

Other then my intense need for a nap almost EVERY day (one perk of staying home), I’m attributing feeling pretty good compared to this time in my last pregnancies to my working out 4-6 days a week.  Now…..this has REALLY slowed down.  I am more like 2-3 times a week.  And, honestly if I can get moving a few times a week I am happy with that. Most importantly I still feel strong and healthy.  Cardio is basically a thing of the past.  My lungs are so crowded by baby girl.  I will be happy when she drops a bit so I can take a deep breath!

WARDROBE: I have my ‘dress’ leggings and my ‘casual’ leggings…..I hope I’m not the only one! I mostly wear leggings, a cami and open cardigan or sweater. It has been super warm (ish) here in Michigan and I have been enjoying not having to squeeze myself into a winter jacket!

CRAVING: Junk food.  Sadly that is all I want.  I still love my smoothies, but I am really trying to reign myself in with everything I want to eat! I also don’t have much room (thanks to her squeezing my insides) so I have to eat small portions or I feel sick.

OVERALL: I am so excited and also a little nervous.  With so many things going on in our household: baby, getting ready to sell our house, and getting ready to move! I don’t have much time to worry. Charlie (4.5) is so excited to meet ‘sissy’.  I hope he still feels the same way if she wakes him up with her crying at night.  Henry (20) months has no idea what is going on.  He will kiss my belly and say baby….but I am not sure it is actually connecting.

Less then two months! Let the countdown begin!!

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Being Positive in a Negative (Online) World

Once upon a time Facebook was filled with images of weddings, babies and drunk people. It was fun and silly.  Now it is filled with angry rants and negative energy.  Name calling, and worst of all friends degrading friends. I’ve seen it, I have been the victim of it and honestly, I’ve probably been sucked into a Facebook fight or two.  It is horrible, no one EVER wins these ‘fights’ and friends are lost, egos are bruised and feelings are hurt.

It doesn’t  matter if it’s mommy wars, political rants or even the best way to raise your puppy! The second it becomes negative and condescending people are bound to get fired up.

And, I get it! I am passionate about my beliefs (anyone who knows me well can vouch for this).  I want to disagree and agree with people too! I get angry when I see something that I don’t think is right or fair and want to enter into a Facebook exchange with them to ‘right their wrongs’.  But lately something has stopped me……I finally took a step back and thought: has telling them how wrong they are EVER changed their minds and made them see the ‘light’?

THAT WOULD BE A BIG FAT NO.

Most of the time it becomes a heated exchange where both parties and sometimes even third parties go at it.  No one wins.  And, I don’t know about you, but I often feel agitated and annoyed. Sometimes it can even ruin my day!! And for what? Nothing has changed at all.

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Don’t get me wrong. I fully support that people have the right to express whatever they want…we do live in America. But behind the veil of Facebook we seem to have lost any sense of humility.  Being kind has been thrown out the window. Just because you might see someone else being a jerk online, does that mean we all have to be?

I have discovered a few wonderful ways that has changed the way I peruse Facebook.  This is not to say that I am not open to reading about other peoples thoughtful opinions that I don’t agree with….just the opposite.  I like leaning about other viewpoints, but when it gets to negative, angry and personal I am OVER it.

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative!

I am choosing to only see the positive online and here is how I do it:

  • Follow only those feeds who make you happy and add something to your life.  If you are constantly annoyed or disagreeing with someone, maybe it is time to move on.
  • Re-evaluate your ‘friends’ list.  I have noticed that people I have not seen in over a decade keep popping up in my feed! Why do I even care what they think!! Sometimes saying ‘goodbye’ is the easiest thing to do!
  • If there is a certain post that is bothering you click on the top right corner of the post where the arrow is and ‘hide’ the post! It really is as easy as that! You won’t see it popping back up time after time.
  • If you really feel the need to engage….give yourself a five minute ‘timeout’ before posting.  Keep your comments positive and DO NOT under any circumstance personally insult your ‘friend’.
  • TAKE A BREAK FROM FACEBOOK.  Just stop looking at it for a while.  Remove the app from your phone.  If someone really needs to get a hold of you, they can call you!

Having an opinion and passion in our world is so important….and my guess is that we all have the best intentions too. Sometimes it’s not what we say but how we say it.

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I Hate Breast is Best

** I am not giving medical advice! I am just a mom and sharing my experience!**

I hate breast is best.  I hate nursing. There. I said it.  Those words have been simmering in my mind and soul for months, maybe years.  I have two boys (4.5 & 19 months).  And both of them are formula fed.  They are healthy, active, smart and sweet…….and might have had about ten ounces of breast milk in their whole life. I am passionate in my belief that Fed is Best, but still….as I am pregnant with my third child, I still feel that pressure from society, mom blogs and social media that if I don’t do it, I am a bad, lazy mom.

And let me tell you…..it really pisses me off.

I am not a medical professional.  I’m just a mom.  But, I can talk about my experiences and experiences that I have heard from other moms.  Yes, there are studies that show (or in their words, prove….) that breastfed babies are smarter and healthier then formula fed babies.

I say they are full of S***.

I have been told that I can outspoken and sometimes come across as brash when it comes to this subject.  And, I’m okay with that.  So many moms feel so much guilt about this, but don’t feel they have a voice to speak out.  I will be their voice. I have yet to hear an explanation to why it is better for me to keep trying to breastfeed my newborn that is continually losing weight and screaming because he is HUNGRY.  I want my child and the rest of my family to be happy and HEALTHY.

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Tummy full and sleeping.

I refuse to live in a state of fear that other moms will judge me anymore.

Picture this……me, a new mom leaving the hospital with a big, chubby, sweet baby boy. My husband and I had NO IDEA of what we were doing or getting ourselves into, other then the baby 101 class we had taken and the mom blogs that I had religiously read throughout my pregnancy.  We were winging it.

  • Breast is best!
  • Don’t give up!
  • Use this mysterious recipe for cookies that will for sure increase your supply.
  •  Here is the number to the BEST lactation consultant….she is amazing.  Only $100 per consultation.
  • Formula is disgusting! Do you know what is in it? Even if your newborn is screaming…..don’t you dare give him that poison!! He will be fat and dumb when he grows up.

I’m not kidding.  I heard it all.  And, the crazy thing is NONE of this advice came from my pediatrician!

About a week after being home in the middle of the night, I was doing my best to nurse a screaming baby for an hour and my husband came in the nursery.  The baby and I were both in tears. He gingerly took the baby and mentioned that we had some formula samples in the pantry.  Let’s just try it.  How can it get any worse then this? I agreed.  I was exhausted. He made the bottle and the baby sucked down the whole bottle and promptly fell asleep. We all did.  It was glorious.

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These two are formula fed and so happy!

The next morning the sun seemed to shine a little brighter, the baby smiled a little more and I was finally able to appreciate and embrace the moments of having a newborn instead of feeling the pressure and helplessness of not being able to nourish and sooth my baby.

And, I never looked back.

We love formula for my family.  And it has been wonderful that my husband is able to take part of the newborn bonding (and midnight feedings).  But, I will say this is just the experience for my family.  I truly believe that every family is different and they should do exactly what they feel is right for their own.  Is that breastfeeding until two years old? Yes? Then go for it! Is it formula feeding from the moment the baby is born? Then do it!

We all need to join together and stop the madness.  Let’s change the narrative that breast is best to fed is best.  Education and options give moms the ability to make decisions for what is best for their family.

So, instead of rolling your eyes at the mom with a bottle feeding her tiny baby, or the mom who is nursing without a cover….give them a smile…..that can go a LONG way.

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The Longest Moments

6:24

The kitchen is a mess.  We’ve just finished dinner and Charlie, my four-year-old, is upstairs having a screaming match against himself.  I sent him to his room for standing on the table and not getting down after I asked him five times.  Henry, my 19-month-old, is screaming just because he has just finished all of his milk and well…..it’s just all gone.  My dear husband is on his hands and knees trying to clean up all of the corn the baby flicked on the floor….well because it was not covered in ketchup…his new favorite must have food.

The reason we could not use any ketchup is because Charlie also loves it….so much that he licked the lid of the bottle because it is ‘so delicious’ and I had yet to clean it off.

I looked at the clock again and it was only 6:28…..seriously??? That must have been the slowest four minutes EVER.  How was I going to get to 7:00? Yes, my kids go to bed early….but thirty two minutes away seemed like an eternity!

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These boys are sweet and sneaky.  A unstoppable combination.

After a few minutes I go upstairs to see a puffy faced,  sad looking boy.  He was so upset he could hardly talk. “Mommy….you….. you….. you made me sad.” Oh jeez.  The guilt.  I was totally in the right to send him to his room.  He chose not to listen to me and had several warnings.  But in that moment my heart was breaking for my little con-artist. He can put a steak through my heart then kiss it better in about three seconds. He says sorry and we hug.

6:39

Back downstairs the baby has calmed down and I changed him into his pajamas. Then the three of us go back upstairs and snuggled onto the rocking chair in the baby’s room to read books before bed.  If you were a fly on the wall in that moment, you would see a mother and her two adorable children who were giggling and hugging and kissing each other as we read an Elmo nighttime book.  It was like the last twenty minutes didn’t even happen.  Like the blink of an eye that horrible, crazy part of the night was gone.

Why do they do this to my heart and my soul?

At moments like this, I cherish being their mom.  It is the best thing in the world. But, I, like most moms also get so caught up in the moments of pure exhaustion and frustration. Right now, though,  I will just rock them and soak it in…..

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Trying to choose to remember all the good moments!

7:22

Both kids are in bed.  I can take a deep breath and realize that we made it through another night.

This night was not our normal, but by no doubt it happens…..sometimes several nights in a row.  I complain. I get angry. Sometimes I  yell……but I also love, hug and kiss. All of this often happens the span of a few minutes!

Those sweet faces constantly keep me on the edge.  The edge of sanity, of breakdowns, of laughing fits and crying fits….you name it and I have felt it.  They keeps our hearts raw and wide open. These days with small children are full of extremes.  Extremely hard and extremely fulfilling.  Not much in between.

I’ve heard many times before that I should cherish these days.  One day they will just be a faint memory…..and as much as I hate to admit it….they are right.  Looking back at chaotic vacations or school recitals…..I mostly remember the smiles and adorable performances….not the whining and  the exasperation I feel getting out the door.

So, for right now, I will enjoy the next two hours in peace and quiet knowing my little love muffins are happily sleeping, resting up to wreak havoc tomorrow.

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Baby Shower Diaper Wreath

This past weekend I went to a sprinkle for a friend who is about to have her third boy!  We wanted to celebrate and make her feel special……and although I wanted to get her something practical (what mom does not need diapers)? I also wanted it be be a little more special then just a boring box of diapers.  In the past I’ve played around with making a diaper ‘masterpiece’ and often my well intentioned diaper elephant creation ended up looking like a lopsided cow.  So…..I decided to keep it simple and focus on the details to make is cute!

This diaper wreath was pretty simple, but has the wow factor too! I was able to create it the night before her sprinkle while watching TV in about an hour.  It is easy to customize for girls, boys or neutral theme.

Here is what you will need:

  • Package of diapers (I bought the smallest package….37 diapers and still had several leftover).
  • Floral foam wreath.  I got mine at Micheal’s.
  • Curling ribbon.  In whatever colors you want. I picked white and light blue.
  • Small baby items (pacifiers, travel size shampoo, lotion, rattles……you pick)!

 

First make sure you use the side of the diaper facing up that is mostly white.  For mine (Target brand) it is the backside, so I flipped them over. Cut a long piece of ribbon- at least two feet. You want enough to curl it. Tie the ribbon around the diaper and wreath as shown below. I am alternating white and blue.

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As your wreath gets more full, push the diapers closer together so it will be full when finished.

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Once all of the diapers are on, start adding your fun baby items you picked out! Just use another piece of curling ribbon and tie around the desired diaper.

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Once this is done I pushed the white ribbon diapers to the back and brought up the blue ribbon diapers to the front and  fluffed them out to make it full-looking. Now you can curl all of the ribbon!

And you are done! Everyone will love this adorable and practical gift!

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