When I was 19 weeks pregnant, my husband and I started discussing baby names. I wanted to find a name for a girl and a boy. I wanted to do this so that when we found out at our 20 week anatomy scan what we were having, we could give the baby a name right away. There was something about giving baby a name for the second half of the pregnancy that made things seem even more real.
On my birthday, when I was exactly 19 weeks pregnant, Charles woke up and told me he had a dream. He dreamt that he was at some sort of musical event and his old choir director from college saw him. They started talking and his old choir director said “How’s baby Matt doing?” Then he woke up. Charles had another dream that same night where he was playing with a baby girl named Grace.
Later in the morning as we were getting ready for breakfast Charles told me about the dream. He then suggested that if we were having a boy we should name him Matthew and if we were having a girl we should name her Grace.
I was shocked at his suggestion for the boy name, because Charles had momentarily forgotten that I had had a brother named Matthew. My brother Matthew died before I was born. He was 9 months old and died of a rare genetic condition, At first I wasn’t totally sure how I would feel about having a brother and a son named Matthew.
Throughout the week, I continued contemplating both the names Matthew and Grace. I focused mostly on Matthew because I still had this strong feeling we were having a boy. I decided to look up the meaning of the name Matthew just to see what it said. A gift from God. I thought How perfect is that!? Our rainbow baby’s name means A gift from God. Charles and I loved the meaning of the name and we also loved that it was classic, biblical and could be shortened to Matt or Matty.
About a week later we had our anatomy scan. We found out we were having a precious baby boy. We didn’t tell anyone about the boy name we had picked out until 23 weeks. At that time, I asked my mom if she would mind if we named our son Matthew. She was absolutely honored that we had even considered that name. She loved that her first grandson would be named after her son and she loved the meaning of the name.
So there you have it. We named our son Matthew. He is named after my brother and is our gift from God.
This post was written in 2021, a few weeks before having our son Matthew. I will admit, I do miss being pregnant and baby fever is very strong now that my son is a year old. But, don’t worry. I’m not pregnant. Just wanted to reminisce about the season in my life when I was. ❤️
Top 10 Things I Will Miss About Being Pregnant
At 32 weeks pregnant, I am realizing how quickly my pregnancy is coming to an end and we will soon be able to meet our precious baby boy! This pregnancy hasn’t always been easy but I have been very blessed to have gotten this far, and gone through this much.
HERE ARE MY TOP 10 THINGS I WILL MISS ABOUT BEING PREGNANT
1. THE PRECIOUS BABY KICKS, ROLLS AND SQUIRMS
2. CLEAR SKIN (FOR SOME REASON THESE PREGNANCY HORMONES GAVE ME THE CLEAREST SKIN OF MY LIFE)
3. NOT HAVING A PERIOD
4. PEOPLE BEING SO NICE TO ME BECAUSE I’M PREGNANT
5. THE CRAVINGS
6. THE STRONG PREGNANCY SMELL
7. LARGE APPETITE AND EATING FOR TWO
8. CUTE AND COMFY MATERNITY CLOTHES
9. THE EXCITEMENT AND ANTICIPATION OF PLANNING FOR A NEW BABY
The following blog post is the story of my son Matthew’s birth. This story recounts my experience of a 4 day induction, failed epidural, and the anxiety and excitement of bringing my rainbow baby into the world. I hope you enjoy the story below, and I promise… this story has a very happy ending. ❤️
On Thursday December 30th at 5am, I woke up feeling excited and nervous. Life before we knew it was about to change forever. Today is the day… I thought as I looked in the bathroom mirror at my 39 week pregnant belly. Today is the day I could meet my baby… I had waited 9 months for this moment. But when you really think about it, I had actually waited more like 3 years for this moment. I first got pregnant in January of 2019. After both of my losses in 2019, I had been praying for my rainbow baby. It had been a long journey. My entire life I have felt called to be a mom, and now my dream was coming true.
We left for the hospital around 7am. We were scheduled for a 39 week induction at our local hospital. We grabbed our bags, packed the car and said goodbye to our fur baby Rocky. As we pulled out of our apartment parking lot, my husband and I prayed. We thanked God for a healthy pregnancy, a pregnancy I thought wouldn’t happen even in my wildest dreams. We thanked God for the day ahead and prayed that his will would be done. Nerves of excitement filled the car as we headed to the hospital to start our next adventure.
When we got to the hospital we met Alli at the front door. Due to current Covid regulations, I was only allowed to have the two same people with me during my labor and delivery. I obviously wanted Charles there. We also asked Alli to be there because 1) she’s always been interested in seeing and being apart of a birth. 2) Alli knows me pretty well and I knew she would be willing to advocate for me if need be. And 3) she has lots of medical knowledge being a paramedic, and that gave me some comfort knowing she was there. Alli brought me breakfast as we entered the hospital. We went through the Covid screening and made our way up to Labor and Delivery,
When we checked in to L & D, they brought us up to the Antepartum section of the Mother and Baby floor. We got settled into a room, where a nurse asked me an hour worth of questions and hooked me and baby up to the monitors. After baby was monitored for an hour, and everything was looking fine, a nurse came in to talk to us and get things started.
The midwife came in and checked my cervix. I was dilated a centimeter on the outside but the inside of my cervix was still closed. I was also about 50% effaced. She suggested that it be best that I start the induction using the Cytotec drug. This was a pill inserted near my cervix that would dissolve and help it to ripen and dilate. The only issue with this pill was if I started having contractions too fast, then it wouldn’t be ideal to continue the drug. At 10:45am we started the first dose of Cytotec. In four hours I would get checked to see if it had done what it was supposed to and made changes to my cervix.
Four hours later, a midwife came in to check my cervix. I was disappointed to hear that my cervix hadn’t dilated anymore, and the effacement stayed about the same. Since the Cytotec didn’t progress my labor, they considered giving me another dose. However, after monitoring baby and my contractions for the past 4 hours they decided against another dose. The monitors showed that I was having too many contractions coming too close together. These contractions could be dangerous. Since the contractions weren’t strong enough to progress labor they could easily put me or baby into distress. My nurses advised that we shouldn’t do another dose of the Cytotec and try something different before starting Pitocin to advance the dilation process.
After talking to the midwife, we decided to try something called Cervadil. It was a little piece of plasstic with a string that is inserted and left near the cervix for 12 hours. It did the same thing as the Cytotec pill except if this drug caused too many contractions we could pull it out, whereas with the pill we couldn’t. Knowing that this intervention could take 12 hours to work, I realized I would not be having my baby that day. I was discouraged but tried to tell myself it was for the best and that he may come on Friday.
After receiving the first dose of the Cervadil, we were moved to the Labor and Delivery floor where they finally had an opening. I ordered room service while Alli and Charles got Chinese. After eating dinner Alli and I turned on some 2000’s music, and had a dance party and did exercises on the birth balls in hopes of getting things going. In the midst of our dance party, one of the midwives walked in on us. She was impressed with our eagerness to get the baby out. As the afternoon turned into evening, we decided to call it a day and get some rest.
At 3:30am, I met the new midwife on duty. It had been 12 hours since the first dose of Cervadil. I was feeling contractions every 2 to 3 minutes but they were manageable at a 4 on the pain scale. The midwife asked if I wanted to be checked to see if I was progressing. I agreed and she checked me. This cervical check was particularly uncomfortable as the midwife removed the medicine before performing the check. The medicine also made everything feel quite raw, which was not ideal. I was measuring at 2.5 centimeters and 50% effaced. I was thankful we were making some progress but sad it was moving so incredibly slow. We discussed the next course of treatment, and decided to do another dose of the Cervadil for another 12 hours because that is what seemed to be working. I wasn’t excited about this treatment as it was very uncomfortable, but if it meant that I would progress then I was all for it.
I woke up again Friday around 6am. I was hungry, uncomfortable and eager for things to get moving. I talked to family and friends over the phone and through messages, updating them on the progress of my labor. At around 7am I ordered breakfast, and Charles headed out to go feed our kitty Rocky. Alli left around 4am to get some sleep, and returned later in the morning. I tried my best not to feel angry, sad or discouraged. I was hopeful that this was the day. New Year’s Eve was the day I would have my baby. I spent the day, rocking on the birth balls, pacing the room, sitting in the bath, and anything else I could think of to get labor moving. Due to covid numbers being so high in the hospital I was in, I was not allowed to leave the room. I wasn’t allowed to walk the halls to progress labor. Being stuck in the same hospital room for hours was starting to make me go stir crazy, but I tried not to let that get me down.
In early afternoon, I started feeling a lot of pain in my groin. I was hopeful that it meant my cervix was dilating, but at every check, I was told the same thing. “You’re 2-2.5 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced.” It was so discouraging. After every check I cried partly from being raw and partly from feeling so discouraged. I asked for Tylenol to help with pain and my nurses said Tylenol wouldn’t do much to help, so they recommended morphine. I was given one dose of morphine in my leg. Within minutes I felt like I was on a pile of clouds floating through the sky, then I was out.
Around 3pm on Friday afternoon I met a new midwife. Her name was Jen. At first I felt like she was too nice to be a midwife. But after talking with her, I realized she was a genuinely nice person. I also liked that she was a go getter and willing to help me progress my labor by providing a variety of options. After getting checked and only progressing to 2.5 centimeters, Jen suggested we try a balloon catheter in my cervix to mechanically dilate my cervix to at least 4 centimeters. This intervention sounded very uncomfortable, but I was willing to try it because I trusted Jen and wanted to try anything to be one step closer to meeting my baby.
At 3:30pm I was given morphine to help prepare for the insertion of the balloon catheter. Within minutes I felt overly drowsy again. Jen came in shortly after to insert the catheter. She suggested I go to the bathroom before the procedure. While walking to the bathroom I was stumbling and falling asleep on the toilet. Considering how the morphine effected me, Jen did not feel comfortable giving me the catheter at that time since I was minimally conscious. She told me to sleep it off and we would try again later.
At 6pm, Jen came back to insert the catheter. Thankfully I was able to sleep the morphine off and was feeling a lot more coherent. Jen used lidocaine to help with the insertion process and it made things more comfortable. I braced myself for a lot of pain, when it actually wasn’t nearly as bad as getting the Cervadil. Once the catheter was in I decided to take a bath and relax. My contractions started to gradually speed up, and the bath water made things feel a lot better.
The balloon catheter stayed in throughout the night and I continued to have contractions that were mild in pain. I felt a mix of discouragement and hope as I prayed this would get things to progress sooner rather than later. I fell asleep around 11pm. I told myself if I wake up before midnight, I will turn on the tv and watch the ball drop. At 12:01am I was startled awake by fireworks bursting in the sky throughout the city. Alli and Charles woke up as well and we rang in 2022 in the hospital. I was slightly disappointed I didn’t have my baby in 2021. But I tried to stay positive and think about how wonderful it would be to start the year 2022 with my beautiful baby boy.
Saturday morning around 6am my nurse and midwife came in to remove the catheter. I told them I was sure there was probably no progress as I didn’t feel an increase in pain. I went to the bathroom and while in there I noticed blood in my underwear. At first it kind of startled me as I hadn’t seen blood down there in 9 months, besides some very minor spotting throughout my pregnancy. But then I got excited as I knew this was progress and things were starting to happen.
The midwife removed the catheter and checked my cervix. I was 3 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. My bag of waters were starting to bulge and things were actually looking up. My midwife, nurses and I decided to make up a plan. Since I was finally at 3 centimeters we were able to start pitocin which would hopefully kick start some stronger contractions. By 9:15am they started the pitocin, and I went back to the bathroom to labor in the tub. The excitement of having my baby soon was starting to sink in again. Today could be the day! I could have a January 1st baby!
At first the Pitocin seemed to be working. My contractions increased in frequency and became slightly more intense. As the day progressed and my nurses increased my dosage of Pitocin, my contractions slowed down. This was disheartening. I was so sure that once I started Pitocin it would put me into active labor, but it didn’t. That afternoon, I remember just laying in my hospital bed sobbing. Why is this taking so long? Is it my mindset? Is it my body? Does my body not know what to do? Is baby not ready to come out? I was overwhelmed with emotions and hormones. I was tired of being patient and all I wanted to do was hold my baby. Charles held me as I let all my emotions go. He told me I was strong and I could get through it. Alli encouraged me and said I was doing amazing. My parents comforted me over the phone, and told me they were proud of me. My nurses told me they knew it was hard but I was strong and they were proud of me too.
By mid afternoon, my midwife, nurses and I all came up with a new plan… again. We decided to stop the Pitocin since it didn’t seem to be doing anything and we didn’t want to put baby into distress. My nurses encouraged me to eat something since I hadn’t eaten since starting the Pitocin at 9:15am. After eating dinner around 6pm, my midwife Lanie recommended that we try the Cytotec drug again. She said since I had progressed since first trying the drug, it may be just what my body needed in order to kick start labor. Around 7pm, I was given my second dose of the Cytotec drug. Still feeling discouraged, I ate some fudge that Charlie bought me and watched Friends on Alli’s tablet. It was the episode where Rachel has her baby… which I deemed very appropriate. Throughout the night, my nurse Nichole gave me encouragement. I had the same night nurse every night I was there, so she had seen me through a lot already. Nichole brought me popsicles, 7 Up, a fan so I could get a good night sleep, and even drew me a picture to color as a focus point for when I eventually started pushing,
At 11pm, I had another cervical check. I remained the same at 3 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. My midwife said she could tell my cervix was starting to change and she was pretty confident my baby would have a January 2nd birthday. I was tired of getting my hopes up and didn’t believe her. I had a third dose of the Cytotec drug and was encouraged to get some sleep. At this point, I was starting to wonder if I was going to end up having a c-section. I didn’t know how much more my baby or I could take. I dozed off for about an hour then was wide awake. I stared at the ceiling and listened to my baby’s steady heartbeat on the monitor. It was 1am, and I was feeling restless. I got up and walked around my hospital room rubbing my belly. The more I moved the more often I would have contractions but they just wouldn’t increase in intensity. I called my mom and talked to her for about 45 minutes. She told me how strong and proud she was of me. I confided in her how defeated and tired I was. I so wanted to believe I was almost there but I really didn’t know that for sure. At a quarter to 2, my mom encouraged me to try and get a little more rest.
I laid back down in bed and played the Greatest Showman on my phone. I still had yet to see the movie, but heard it was good. About 15 minutes into the movie, I started feeling pain, The pain started to increase rather quickly and I realized this was a good sign. I was starting to have frequent strong contractions again. Contractions continued for the next hour at a 6 on the pain scale, about 1-3 minutes apart. I started moaning and gripping the side of my bed which woke up Alli and Charles. I felt kind of bad as they had been troopers through the whole thing and I really didn’t want to disturb them unless this was the real deal.
At 2:55am, my midwife came in to check my cervix. She wanted to see if I had progressed anymore and if I needed another dose of the Cytotec. She said she noticed my contractions getting stronger and more frequent on the monitors. As she checked me she said “Umm, I’m not sure. Well I would say you are about 3 or 4 centimeters dilated and yeah, I definitely notice some change in your cervix… oh shoot.” I instantly felt a pop, a gush and some relief. “I just broke her water, I was not trying to do that.” She said to my nurse Nichole. I was actually excited my water broke. I knew that meant somehow, some way my baby would be born in the next 24 hours. It was January 2nd and I told myself yet again Today could be the day! Today could be the day I meet my baby.
I spent the next two hours trying to be brave. Contractions were coming every 1-2 minutes and getting more and more intense. At times they were regular but at other times I would have 3 small contractions back to back and one big contraction. I gripped the bed and took deep breaths. The pain was intense and it was hard for me to think. Charles and Alli took turns squeezing my hips and rubbing my back. By 5am I couldn’t handle it anymore and hit my call button, I requested to see my nurse and see if I could get something for pain, and when I could get the epidural.
At 5:15am, my nurse Nichole came in and told me that she spoke with my midwife and that it was a good time to administer the epidural if I was up for it. I asked if it was too early since I was only 3 or 4 centimeters dilated. They said it wasn’t and by getting the epidural I could get some rest. I agreed, and they called the anesthesiologist to administer the epidural.
In between contractions I listened to my nurses instructions and made my way to the edge of the bed in order to prepare for the epidural. The nurses asked Alli to step out as I was only allowed one support person in the room while the catheter was being inserted. Alli stepped out to the waiting room, while Charles was instructed to sit in front of me. He faced me and I put my feet on his thighs as the bed was raised as high up as it could go. The anesthesiologist numbed my back, inserted the catheter and waited for the epidural to take effect. He worked quickly in between contractions as I squeezed my husband’s hands and my nurse held me still, I felt some fear during the procedure as I had read of horror stories and epidurals going wrong. I prayed that the epidural would work and the pain would not necessarily go away but at least be manageable soon.
After about 8 contractions, I started to feel the effects of the epidural. I laid back in bed and tried to relax. My right lower half of my body started to get very numb, my left side only got slightly tingly. After a few more contractions the anesthesiologist was overly confident that everything was working the way it should and left. I laid in bed for the next two hours waiting for the full effect of the epidural to kick in… it didn’t. I was in tears as half my body was numb and pain free while the other half was feeling every single intense contraction. I felt lopsided, uncomfortable and frustrated. It was almost worse than not having the epidural at all. My nurses tried rolling me on my side to see if the medicine would drain more on my left and it didn’t.
At 7:30am, my midwife Jen came into the room. Through the pain and my tears I was actually really excited to see her. She had made a joke the last time I had saw her that hopefully by her next shift she would see me on the Mother and Baby floor with my baby, but if the baby wanted to wait for her that would be okay too. I said hi to Jen and told her that the baby waited for her. She laughed and said she was happy to see things moving along, As Jen got caught up on my chart, I continued breathing and crying through contractions. Jen suggested I get checked to see where I was at. She checked me and I was only 4 centimeters and 80% effaced. Seriously!? I even screamed seriously as I was in disbelief I hadn’t progressed at all. I was tired. I was defeated and I was feeling done, and yet I still had several hours of labor to go, 6 more centimeters to dilate, plus pushing. How was I going to do this? I was on day 4 of labor, and being in the hospital. The wait and intensity of labor was really starting to wear on me. Charles, Alli, my nurses and my midwife could all tell I was getting exhausted and if I was going to push through and make it to the end, I needed help.
My midwife Jen told my nurses to call in another anesthesiologist. She said it was possible that the epidural was just placed wrong or that I had what they called a hot spot where the medicine didn’t block the pain in a certain part in my body and therefore there wouldn’t be anything they could do.
Moments later a different anesthesiologist arrived. Again I was prepped and positioned for a second epidural. This time the anesthesiologist said I have a slight curve in my back that the first anesthesiologist missed. Due to the slight curve all the medicine from the epidural only went to the right side of my body. He removed the old catheter and placed the new one higher in my back. Within minutes I started feeling relief in my left side along with my already very numb right side. As the anesthesiologist left, I told him he was my favorite person. He chuckled and went on his way. Thank you Jesus. Finally some relief.
I spent the next hour or so resting in bed. I didn’t fall asleep, but rested my mind, and talked to my family on the phone. When it was quiet I listened to my baby’s steady heartbeat on the fetal monitor while also watching my contractions start to intensify on the screen above me. My nurses started my Pitocin again. This would hopefully help to make my contractions strong but also productive in helping me dilate and progress in labor. I was fine with anything at this point since my epidural was finally working the way it was supposed to.
By 10:30am, my nurses and Alli helped get me into different positions to try and open my pelvis in order to progress labor. Since I was completely numb from the waist down (besides being able to wiggle my toes), my nurses had to physically lift me and move me. I first tried laying on my side with a peanut shaped ball in between my legs. I laid on each side for about a half hour, to 45 minutes. Then I continued laying on my side while my nurse and Alli took turns squeezing and massaging my hips, and glutes. During one session of these, my belly was pressed against Alli’s. Without any warning, baby decided to start kicking which took Alli by surprise. She found it funny and weird to feel my baby kick her belly.
Around 11:30am, I tried yet another position where I was on my hands and knees on the bed. My bed was at a 45° angle and I had a beanbag chair placed under my belly for cushion. I then laid over the bean bag chair and laid my head and forearms on a pillow. In this position I talked to Charles and Alli, texted friends, called my parents and tried to relax. It was strange being in this position and not being able to feel my legs. I had a few issues with my fetal monitors picking up baby’s heartbeat. It seemed like baby would move for a moment and it couldn’t be detected but the minute the nurse came in baby decided to move back and the monitor would pick it up again. This happened a few times and it was quite comical. I told my nurse that baby just really wanted to mess with her.
Around noon as I watched my contractions on the screen get more and more intense, I started to get uncomfortable. I wasn’t feeling any contractions but I was starting to feel pressure in my left hip and glutes. At first I thought it was my hip falling asleep or getting more tingly from the epidural. As I continued to lay there the pressure got stronger and gravitated towards my pelvis. By 1pm, I started feeling the sensation every woman talks about when it’s time to push, I felt like I had to poop. The feeling was felt mostly in intervals as if it was during contractions. As my nurses came in to check on me I told them what I was feeling. They told me they would continue to check on me every 20 minutes or so, but to let them know if the pressure became stronger and didn’t go away.
By 1:45pm the pressure and urge to push was not going away. I was thankful. I knew it was almost time to start pushing. I was uncomfortable but excited I would be meeting my baby very soon. I pleaded with my nurses that I wanted to push. They called Jen and told her what I was feeling. My nurses quickly got me out of the hands and knees position and on to my back. Jen gave me one last cervical check and said the words I had been waiting days to hear “You are… complete. So, you can either start pushing now, or wait for baby to descend a little more.” With tears and no hesitation I said “Let’s get this ball rolling, I want to push.” Jen agreed, and got into position. Jen directed Charles to grab my left leg and Alli to grab my right leg. My nurses used a catheter to empty my bladder and suggested inserting an internal monitor so we could see how strong my contractions truly were. I agreed to this and prepared myself to push. Jen instructed me to try and push as I felt the pressure to be more intense which would be during each contraction. She also told me to push like I am having the biggest poop of my life.
At 2pm, I grabbed behind both my knees and started pushing. Every 30 seconds I felt like I was doing ab crunches and having a bowel movement at the same time. Jen was calm and encouraging. She reminded me to breathe and push with my body and not my face. Alli and Charles encouraged me. They told me I was strong and to keep going. At first it felt like I was making no progress. But in the moments where Jen would say “I’m starting to see the head” or Alli saying “Oh my gosh, look at all that hair.” Or even Charles saying “He’s coming babe.” I was able to get a second wind and push harder.
As my baby’s head started to crown, Jen asked if I wanted to feel it. I hesitated at first then decided I did. I reached down and felt so much hair! Jen removed the internal monitor and told me to continue pushing at my own pace. In the moment, I was some what in disbelief that he was coming but also impatient that he wasn’t out yet. As I continued pushing, Jen explained to me that everything was going well and baby was slowly but steadily coming like he was supposed to. A few times in between pushes I panicked because I couldn’t hear the baby’s heartbeat. I was so afraid he was going into distress. I guess Alli read my face because she grabbed the fetal heart beat monitor and pressed it harder on my belly so we could all hear it.
It was 2:30pm and I continued pushing. My adrenaline was running and deep down I was willing to tear my own body apart in order to meet my baby. I felt like it was taking forever. I watched as my midwife put on a gown and set up trays with my nurses at the foot of the bed. She requested some Astroglide to assist with the delivery of the head. Alli and Charles continued encouraging me, telling me baby was beautiful and he was almost there. I remember telling them “that’s great cause he has a big head and I want him out.” After that I had an overwhelming wash of emotion come over me. I started to feel the ring of fire. I was so tired. I had been in labor for days. I was nearing the end but was afraid I was too exhausted to continue. I looked at Charles with tears in my eyes, then looked over at Alli and said “I’m so tired.” Alli said “I know but you’re almost there.”
Charles stroked my head, and Jen told me to give the biggest push I could. I felt a nurse pull down the front part of my hospital gown. With all my might I pushed, and I felt my baby’s body leave mine and I heard the most beautiful cry. A cry I waited my entire life to here. My baby boy was born. At 2:34pm my son entered the world. He was placed on my chest wiggling and crying. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen
During the afterbirth and as I got stitched up for my second degree tear, I held my baby in my arms. I told my son I loved him and that I had been waiting for him. I told him that I had prayed for him and that God answered my prayers. I kissed him and said “Welcome to the world baby. I’m your mom and I’m going to take care of you.”
May I present: Matthew Charles Rhames. He was born on 1/2/22 at 2:34pm weighing 7lbs 11oz and was 20 inches long. I was 39 weeks and 3 days along. A total of 76 hours of labor, 11 1/2 hours of active labor and 30 minutes of pushing. He had ten fingers, ten toes and a full head of hair. Cheeks and lips like his mommy and a nose and chin like his daddy. Oh, and big brown eyes from the both of us. ❤️
Growing up, my mom made sure my childhood was filled with various Christmas traditions. For as long as I can remember, every year we would spend an entire Saturday cleaning the living room and pulling out several totes of Christmas items and decorating our Christmas tree.
When I was about 10, we decided to start the tradition of ordering Chinese food on Christmas Eve. We got this idea from the movie A Christmas Story.
This year, I have been so excited to start some new Christmas traditions with my son. Some I have already started while others I plan to start when he is older.
1. Family Christmas Cards.
I have been doing Christmas cards since Charles and I got married 6 years ago. We started doing family photo Christmas cards the second year we were married. Last year, I was lame and did a virtual Christmas card because I was so close to my due date and my to-do list was piling up. This year I’m thankful I was able to incorporate our fall photos into an adorable Christmas Card.
2. Chinese for Christmas Eve
Not sure if any of ya’ll are aware, but Michigan and a few other states were hit with a blizzard Thursday. So, my family decided to order Chinese food on the 21st instead of Christmas Eve since we are pretty much snowed in until New Years.
3. Start Listening to Christmas Music in November
I can’t tell you exactly what day in November I will start the Christmas music, but you better believe every year I plan to play it!
4. Family Photos in Matching PJs
This year I was very excited to buy some matching pj bottoms and receive matching shirts to create some cute Family Christmas photos.
Here’s a few other Christmas Tradition ideas I hope to start either this year or next year.
Bake Christmas Cookies
Open 1 Gift on Christmas Eve
Put up a Christmas Tree
Watch Christmas Movies
Read the Christmas Story (Jesus’s Birth) on Christmas Eve
Do a Christmas Craft
Do a Christmas Box the day after Thanksgiving with pjs, a movie, and a stuffy.
Hello Third Trimester, and Goodbye Feet! We are in the final stretch! 28 weeks pregnant, and baby is the size of an eggplant! Only 12 more weeks to go… if baby decides to come on time. 🙂
These last few weeks have been crazy with Braxton Hicks really kicking in, getting diagnosed with GD and my apartment being taken over by baby items. Never the less we are so incredibly blessed!
This week I have two appointments, one with a dietitian about my gestational diabetes and one check in with my midwife.
This is our rainbow baby for whom we prayed for, cried over and waited on. As we get closer and closer to our due date, I feel myself getting more anxious for the birth and what raising this little miracle will be like.
I know I am beyond blessed for making it this far in my pregnancy and I don’t want to take that for granted, but at times I do struggle to appreciate what I have and what could be.
I know as someone who has struggled with recurrent miscarriages, trying to conceive and endometriosis that it’s hard to see others on their pregnancy journey. I also know the fear and anxiety of being pregnant after a loss. Please know you’re not alone. I see you. I hear you. I am you. If you ever need to talk I’m here. If you need encouragement I’m here. If you need a hug I’m here. 💕
29 Weeks pregnant with 11 weeks to go! Baby is the size of a Acorn Squash!
This week’s symptoms include fatigue, crazy emotions, hunger and cravings, varicose veins, light headed-ness, increased thirst, hot flashes, round ligament pain, lightning crotch, nesting and daily baby kicks.
We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here are a few things we have completed in order to prepare for baby,…
Set up bassinet/pack n’ play
Start washing baby clothes
Finalize birth plan
Pack about 50% of hospital bag
This morning I had 3 doctor appointments including 1 with a nurse at maternal fetal medicine about my gestational diabetes, the second with a dietitian at maternal fetal medicine about my gestational diabetes and the third with my midwife.
At my first appointment the nurse reviewed with me what gestational diabetes is, how it affects baby and how we can manage it. At my second appointment with my dietitian we reviewed how to manage gestational diabetes through diet.
At my last appointment, I saw my midwife and baby and I are doing great. Baby’s heart rate was 140, and he was wiggling around in my tummy. My uterus is measuring right on track at 29 cm, I received the TDap vaccine, and I go back in 2 weeks for another visit.
We are 30 weeks pregnant, and Baby Boy is the size of a Cantaloupe! Can you believe it? We only have 10 weeks left until we meet our Baby Bear!
This week I started checking my blood sugar four times a day, and so far all my numbers have been in range. This week I’ve been really struggling with sleep. I know they say you don’t sleep in the third trimester, and I guess I thought they were kidding. If I’m not waking up because I have to pee I’m usually waking up because baby is kicking me, I’m hungry, can’t get comfortable, have Braxton Hicks or I’m hot.
Other symptoms I’ve been having this week include fatigue, slight feet swelling and cramps, itchy belly, the starting of stretch marks, colostrum, acne, discharge, varicose veins, frequent urination and just lots of aches and pains.
So far we have the nursery about 85% complete! Still waiting on a few things like washing the rest of baby’s clothes, getting a hamper, diaper genie, and any other essentials I can’t think of at the moment.
Our hospital bag is about 50% complete and I still need to pick up a few things including deodorant, dry shampoo, snacks, going home clothes etc.
Here is to 30 weeks and only 10 weeks to go! January 6th can’t come soon enough!!!!!
Here is our big nursery reveal!!!
We currently live in a one bedroom apartment, so we will be sharing a sleeping space with Baby Bear at least for the first couple of months. Hopefully we will have a bigger space where baby will have his own room and place to store his toys, but still be able to sleep in our room until he turns 1. We got our travel size bassinet/ pack n’ play off of Amazon! It is a Graco brand and so far we love it! It’s perfect if you are working with a small space.
I found these cubes off of Amazon, and decided to use them to store Baby’s clothes, hats, swaddles, burp cloths and toys.
Baby Boy has 3 swaddles and over 30 hats all ranging in different sizes. He’s a winter baby being born in Michigan, so hopefully these hats will keep his head warm.
Baby Boy has a large amount of burp cloths and cloth diapers. I was told that cloth diapers work great as burp cloths!
Baby also has an abundance of books, and mommy has a thing for sloths so of course he has some sloths.
I plan to have all size newborn and 3 month clothes washed and ready to go before baby arrives.
Books, books, and more books. This year due to covid, I had a virtual book party instead of a baby shower, and let me tell you…. Baby was blessed with more than enough books.
We have lots of blankets washed and ready! Some are quilts, some knitted and some Sherpa.
Socks, booties, slippers and shoes are all organized in here.
Diapers and wipes are easily accessible and near the bassinet which is where we plan to change baby a majority of the time.
Diaper caddy is full of diapers, Vaseline, wipes, burp cloths, corn starch and first aid kit.
Thanks for stopping by my tour of Baby Boy’s nursery!
31 weeks pregnant! This week, baby boy is the size of a bunch of asparagus!
Symptoms this week include aches and pains, fatigue, rib pain, lots of baby movement, slight stretch marks, weight gain, acne, oily hair, increased colostrum, back pain and cravings.
We had a OB appointment this morning and everything is going great! Baby is head down like I suspected. He may flip around here and there before 36 weeks but we’ll see. 🤷🏻♀️
Baby’s heart rate was 135. I have no infections and blood sugar is looking great.
We only have 9 weeks to go! We’ve gotten a lot of things done and have a lot of things to do still. Here’s a few things I hope to get done in the next two weeks.
Pick a Pediatrician
Deep Clean the Apartment
Finish Packing the Hospital Bag
Finish Washing All Baby Clothes
9 weeks left to go! We got this 🙂
Officially 8 months pregnant! 32 weeks and Baby Boy is the size of a squash! We only have 8 weeks to go!
This week has been crazy and I’m a little late posting a bump update, but trust me… I’ve had a good reason. About a week ago I was exposed to someone with Covid. I got a test on Wednesday and tested negative. I started to develop Covid/flu like symptoms Wednesday night. I got retested yesterday (Sunday) and tested positive for Covid.
This week has been exhausting, challenging and scary to say the least. I am fully vaccinated, and have known full well that I could still get Covid while vaccinated but I can honestly say I did not expect to get Covid 8 months pregnant. I have developed pretty much all the symptoms of Covid these last 6 days including cough, fever, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, diarrhea, headaches, loss of smell and partial loss of taste.
A lot is up in the air at the moment as I am still waiting to hear from my OB about any testing or extra monitoring for baby and I that may need to be done. All in all, I’m doing okay. It honestly depends on the moment.
Baby is still moving and grooving which gives me great peace of mind. I am also doing my best to rest and take it easy at home while I can before I return to work and leave for maternity leave in a few weeks.
I would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts for my hubby, baby and I. It’s a scary time and there is so much unknown still about Covid. Regardless of our fears we are still doing our best to trust and have faith that we will get through this and all be okay and healthy very soon. ❤️
Already 33 weeks pregnant, with 7 weeks to go! The third trimester is flying! Baby Boy is the size of a stalk of celery and roughly 4 lbs.
This week mama is trying, but mama is tired. Testing positive for Covid and being quarantined for almost two weeks was not in the plans, but thankfully Baby Boy and I are surviving and getting through.
Baby and I had a non stress test done and a check in with our midwife this morning and so far all is going well. Since I have GD and tested positive with Covid so close to delivery, I am now considered to have a high risk pregnancy. From here on out, baby and I will be monitored closely through non stress tests and at least one more ultrasound.
Covid is scary, and Covid is exhausting. I’m truly thankful for my husband who has been taking such good care of us as well as my doctors to make sure we will be on the mend very soon.
On the plus side, since I have been home so much these past 10+ days we have been able to…
Get hospital bags packed and ready to go.
Finalize our birth plan
Wash all of baby’s clothes
Watch endless hours of movies on Disney+ 🥰
Thank you everyone who has been praying and checking in on us. Please continue to pray for us as we get through this Covid junk as well as the rest of my pregnancy. ❤️
34 weeks pregnant with 6 weeks (or less) to go! This week baby is the size of Butternut Squash! How fitting it is with it being Thanksgiving weekend!
Symptoms this week include, back aches, fatigue, joint pain (in my hips and pelvis), colostrum, dry skin, moodiness, slight spotting and lots of baby movements. At my last appointment I gained 2.6 lbs, which means I’ve gained a total of 5.6 lbs this pregnancy so far.
My weeks are filled with working 38 hours or less, non stress tests twice a week, and preparing for baby boy’s arrival when I have the energy. We are getting so excited to meet him, and I’m starting to do some light exercises now, in order to prepare for birth.
Only 6 weeks or less for this pregnancy, and I want to hear from you! What’s your guess? When do you think Baby Rhames will arrive?
35 weeks with 5 weeks to go! We are almost there!!! This week baby is the size of a pineapple. 🍍
I am really starting to feel the effects of the third trimester. I never thought I would reach a point where I am sick of being pregnant, but dare I say it… it’s just so hard to do the everyday things anymore. Charles has to help me put on my shoes because I just can’t reach my feet anymore. Doing dishes, cooking and any task in the kitchen is nearly impossible with out bumping my belly on something. And if I drop something on the floor, it’s game over. Looking back I have had a relatively easy pregnancy, but I can see why they say it gets so hard at the end.
This week’s symptoms include round ligament pain, fatigue, Braxton Hicks, insomnia, pelvic pressure, stretch marks, nesting, heartburn, body aches, acne, and baby kicks
We got a few things checked off our list this week including
Installing the car seat base in the car.
Creating my padsicles.
Reviewing our birth plan with our midwife.
This week we also had 2 non stress tests and and prenatal appointment. Everything is looking great! My uterus is measuring at 36 cm, so about a week ahead and I’ve gained 1/2 a pound. Heart rate is good and baby is in a great position for birth as he is more on the left side and head down. He has hiccups a few times a day which is completely normal. Blood pressure is good, and we have been passing all of the non stress tests. The only concern this week is Braxton Hicks. I’ve been having about 2-3 every hour. Midwife says all is normal and my body is just getting ready.
5 more weeks to go! We can’t wait!!! 🥰
36 Weeks = 9 Months! Baby Boy is the size of a Papaya and keeps on growing!
This week’s symptoms include fatigue, increased hunger, pelvic/joint pain, back aches, stretch marks, round ligament pain, lots of baby kicks and rolls.
Our OB appointments the last few weeks have gone very well. We are passing all our NST’s and mentally preparing for labor and delivery.
This week I have been in full blown nesting mode. I have…
Deep cleaned my kitchen.
Deep cleaned my dining room.
Deep cleaned my living room.
Double checked my hospital bags.
Cleaned my carpets.
Picked up my breast pump.
Caught up on all the laundry.
Started stocking up on food and essentials for winter.
We are counting down the days until we meet our Baby Boy!
Here’s a good laugh for all of you! A quote from one of my preschoolers:
Child is rubbing my tummy and says “You’re having a baby? My mommy’s water bottle broke when she had my baby sister!”
Oh, from the mouths of babes. 🥰😂
So as many of you know, I’ve stayed pretty on top of documenting and taking photos of my pregnancy and bump progress. One thing I really wish I was able to do, is take some professional maternity photos. For weeks I tried budgeting for photos and we simply just didn’t have the funds. Then I tried reaching out to different family members and friends to take the photos, but it seemed like every time we tried to schedule something there was either bad weather or someone was exposed to Covid.
Thankfully at 35 weeks, my Mama took some time out of her day to take a few cute maternity pictures of us. They turned out adorable and I’m thankful for what we have! 🥰
Baby Bear, we love you so much and can’t wait to meet you! 💕
37 Weeks! Baby is officially considered “Early Term” and is the size of a head of romaine lettuce.
It has been an exciting week, with lots of doctor appointments as we get closer to our due date.
On Monday morning, Baby was up kicking momma from 2-5am. After that he fell asleep. I went to my non-stress test at 8am. The way the test works is within a half hour they are looking for two accelerations of baby’s heart rate (heart rate needs to go up 15 beats and stay there for 10 seconds, Ex Baseline is 140, so he needs to reach 155 at least for ten seconds twice). Unfortunately during the test, he was only able to do this once, even after using a buzzer like tool on my belly to wake him up. So my nurses ordered an ultrasound. A little while later I had an ultrasound to check on baby and make sure he was alright.
As we suspected, baby boy was doing just fine and sleeping the day away since he was up partying all night long.
Thursday, I had a full morning of appointments. First a non-stress test which baby passed with flying colors. Then a check in with my midwife. We reviewed my birth plan and everything seems to make sense and be in order. We also discussed an epidural, how it works and what I can expect. Finally, I did the Group B Strep test and asked my OB for a cervical check. I was just curious to see where I was at. We discovered that I am 1 cm dilated and my cervix is beginning to get soft.
Next, we headed to another ultrasound appointment, to determine how baby is growing. Since I have GD and had Covid later in pregnancy, my doctors suggested I have a growth scan since GD can make baby too big and Covid can make baby too small. It was so exciting to see baby on the ultrasound screen twice in one week. He had grown so much since our 20 week scan. The tech was able to confirm that we are certainly having a boy. We also found out that our little man has long thick hair! 🥰 Finally, we were told that as far as measurements he is just above average. Baby Boy is measuring at 37 weeks 6 days and at 6 lbs 15 oz so almost 7 lbs, and in the 63rd percentile. We will discuss at our next appointment if we need to schedule an induction.
At 37 weeks pregnant, this week’s symptoms include back pain, pelvic pain, lose joints and ligaments, diarrhea, fatigue, nesting, increased hunger, lots of baby movements, lots of emotional ups and downs.
3 weeks or less to go! Come on baby! We’d love to meet you in time for Christmas!!!
38 Weeks and ready to pop! Baby could come any time! This week baby is the size of a winter melon or a pumpkin depending on which set of measurements you go by.
Today we had a non-stress test and baby did great. He slept in the beginning and they had to use a buzzer to wake him up, but he started moving and grooving after that.
Later, we had a midwife appointment. I have gained another pound and have gained a total of 9 lbs this pregnancy so far. My blood pressure is looking good and baby is still measuring a week ahead. He is still head down, and in a good position for labor when ever he decides to get things moving.
We also talked to the midwife about my ultrasound. Since baby is measuring fine, and passing all of his tests, my midwife said they will let me go to 40 weeks and 5 days before having an induction on 1/11. I did ask to have a membrane sweep done and my midwife said at my next visit (39 weeks) I can have it done.
At the end of my visit my midwife did give me permission to try and induce labor naturally at home. Here are a few things she suggested I should try:
Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Doing the Miles Circuit
This week’s symptoms include fatigue, nesting, nausea, pelvic and back pain, irregular contractions, mood swings and lots of baby kicks. I’m getting very uncomfortable and not feeling cute these days as my clothes just don’t seem to fit right, and everything just feels snug.
This mama is trying and doing what she can to stay active for labor, and allow my body to get ready for whenever labor kicks in. We are getting so excited to meet our baby boy. We are still of course hoping for a Christmas baby, but honestly we will be fine with whenever Baby Rhames decides to make his grand arrival! 💕
39 weeks pregnant! Baby Boy is in between the size of a pumpkin and a watermelon. Something exciting happened this week. Baby officially dropped which means we are one step closer to starting labor and meeting our baby. ❤️
Mommy and Daddy and anxiously awaiting Baby Bears arrival. I am officially on maternity leave and have loads of appointments scheduled.
Today I have an appointment with my midwife where I am hoping to get a membrane sweep and schedule an induction in case he decides to be stubborn and not come out on his own.
Later in the morning, I am also scheduled for a pregnancy massage. My midwife made a recommendation that I get a massage in hopes that it will induce labor.
This past week I have also been trying to induce labor at home in different ways, including walking up and down stairs, curb stepping, eating dates, doing figure 8’s with my hips, the miles circuit and yoga.
This weeks symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, nesting, frequent urination, Braxton Hicks, irregular contractions, pelvic and back pain, and lots of baby kicks.
I’m praying baby comes before the end of the year! ❤️
On Saturday (Christmas Day), I noticed my body starting to make some changes. I was feeling slightly more fatigued than I had been that week and took multiple cat naps. After one cat nap in the afternoon, I noticed a lot of pressure in my pelvis. No contractions but a little back pain. I got up and went to the bathroom. When I was done I did a double take in the mirror and realized a big difference. My belly was different. My belly was lower. Baby boy had dropped. I was ecstatic at this realization. Finally, things were progressing and moving in the right direction.
Throughout the holiday I continued looking at my bump and how it had changed. I also continued staying active and eating dates in case labor was truly just around the corner.
Sunday night (December 26th), I went to bed at 9:30pm. I woke up at 11:30pm in some pain and discomfort. I tried just brushing it off and continue sleeping. The pain and discomfort was similar to menstrual and diarrhea cramps. The pain also wrapped around to my back and down my legs. Since pain came and went, I decided to start timing my pains and what I suspected were contractions. At first the pain was every 15 minutes apart and lasting a minute, then every 8 minutes apart, then bounced around between every 4 minutes to every 20 minutes. As the pain continued throughout the night, I decided to call the on call number for my OB office and ask their opinion on what to do and if I needed to go to L & D.
After being on hold for a full hour, at 2:45am a nurse finally answered. She asked me some questions and I explained to her what I was feeling. The pain was not unbearable by any means, but I truly felt like what I was feeling were indeed contractions. After the nurse’s over the phone assessment, it was determined that I should go into L & D to be checked in case it was truly labor.
At 3:50am, Charles and I walked into L & D triage on the 4th floor of the hospital. I was immediately, assessed and hooked up to monitors. Baby’s heart rate was excellent around 145, and some very light contractions were starting to show up on the monitor at roughly 8 minutes apart. My nurse gave me a cervical check said I was about 1 cm dilated on the outside of my cervix but closed on the inside and 50% effaced.
After an hour of being monitored, a midwife came and spoke to me. She said that I was likely not in active labor but early labor. It was possible I could go into labor anytime or I could just be in early labor for a week or so. She also mentioned that she noticed in my chart that I had had Covid at around 32 weeks. Within the last few days it had just became a new hospital protocol that if moms in the third trimester test positive for Covid, they would have a scheduled induction at 39 weeks.
Once we were cleared to leave, we scheduled our induction for Thursday December 30th @ 7:30am. I was getting very excited that my body was starting to show signs of labor, and that we would meet our boy sometime that week.
Two years ago, I was an entirely different person. I was a newly college graduated, preschool teaching, fur mama, and wife. I struggled with grief on a daily and finding my purpose in the midst of the uncertainty that lie ahead. I aspired to be great. I aspired to do many things, but the one thing I wanted and dreamed more than anything was to be a mom.
Today I am a stay at home mom, blogger and aspiring writer. In many ways I’ve made it and in other ways, I’m still working on it one day at a time.
I remember the day I created this vision board, two years ago. I went to the dollar store and bought some poster board. The next day I got up early on a sunny Saturday morning, pulled out my scrapbooking stuff and went to work. I created a vision. I displayed through art the desires of my heart to be a mother. I had no idea how it would play out, but I knew with even the tiniest bit of faith, God would see me, God would hear me and He would grant me the desires of my heart as long as it was according to His will.
As hard as the waiting season was, I’m so glad I never lost faith. 💛
In January of 2019, my life took a turn and headed down a path that I didn’t see coming. Many of you know this story as it has been the foundation of my blog. I got pregnant for the first time. In February I suffered a loss that would not only be a defining moment in my life, but would also change the way I live my life.
After my first pregnancy loss, I spent a lot of time at home. As I grieved and healed from the loss of our baby, I spent a lot of time in my thoughts. I spent hours on social media such as Instagram and Facebook, watching other influencers on stories and in their posts.
In the summer of 2019, I put a pause on therapy. My therapist didn’t work through the summer, so took that time to really dive into what I felt my purpose and new found calling was… advocacy. I was passionate and felt led to advocate for women like me who had suffered a pregnancy loss.
In September I was ready, and I was motivated to share my story to anyone who would listen, and help those who had experienced loss. My what would have been due date was approaching, so in the midst of being passionate, I was also grieving. Then I got pregnant for a second time.
This was it. This was my rainbow baby. I was nervous but almost over confident I wasn’t going to have another loss. Things would be different this time. I went to school, went to all my appointments. I ate healthy. Everything was going to be just fine. Then at the end of September, I had my second loss.
I was numb. I was confused. I did everything right… and I still lost another baby. I beat myself up. I again had that intense passion and a little whisper in my ear that said share your story. Write a book. That was it! I should write a memoir. My blog was doing great. Why not take it a step further and start writing. The beginning of the writing process really wasn’t difficult because I just had to take bits and pieces of blog posts and turn it into a book.
In February of 2020, on a whim I created a rough draft of a children’s book that explained miscarriage in a child-friendly way. In March of 2020, I got a new job teaching, literally right before the big pandemic. In April of 2020, I graduated college. Being a new college graduate and starting a new job, my writing took a back seat.
In May of 2020, Charles and I decided to try for a baby one more time before pursuing adoption. It was frustrating, terrifying, and very much out of our control, but we said we’d give it a year.
In June of 2020, I decided to publish the children’s book I created back in February. I was touched by its’ small success and this motivated me to continue writing my story. I occasionally fiddled with my story on weekends or holiday breaks. But it wasn’t until December of 2020 that I finished my first draft.
In April of 2021, I was feeling very discouraged. We received negative test after test. It was feeling like my opportunities of being pregnant and having a baby had come and gone. At the end of that month I missed my period, and was pregnant for the third time.
For months, I had been experiencing writer’s block when it came to my book. I told myself I should have finished and published my book before I got pregnant, but that just didn’t happen. My blog continued to do well. I created stories, reels, posted pictures of my life, home decor and was hopeful to soon be sharing our pregnancy.
In May of 2021, I started telling a few people we were pregnant after having our first ultrasound. I fought morning sickness and fatigue which was awful, but also reassuring that things were likely okay with our pregnancy.
In June, I shared with the world that I was pregnant. I was hopeful that third time was it for us, and that this would be our rainbow baby. 3 pregnancies and we were finally able to make a public announcement.
In August, we found out we were having a baby boy. I was engulfed with sleepers, nursing bras, bassinets and diapers. My manuscript continued to take a back seat. To be honest, I was slightly afraid to read it while being pregnant. I knew by reading my memoir I would be reliving the pain and grief of our previous losses, and I didn’t want to do that while caring for my so far healthy third pregnancy.
My third pregnancy was actually going perfect. Every ultrasound and appointment seemed to be right on track, until October when I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes and November when I got Covid. This led to non-stress tests 2 times a week along with my normal OB appointments. This took up much of my time on top of working 35-40 hours a week.
We had our rainbow baby in January of 2022. Everything fell into place. My husband and I both had great jobs, and we were blessed to finally have our rainbow baby. You could blame it on hormones or endorphins, but at the time I felt like I had it all and didn’t feel a need to share my story anymore.
It wasn’t until I wrote out our birth story, and it occurred to me that there was a reason I hadn’t finished my memoir yet. Maybe my story wasn’t finished with the miscarriages. Maybe my story wasn’t only about loss and grief, but faith and hope. I pondered this for awhile and realized deep down, I still indeed wanted to write and publish my memoir.
So here we are, 8ish months after I gave birth and 3.5 years since my story began. In these times of chasing around a mobile baby, I find myself with the desire of changing my focus from influencing to writing. I’ve enjoyed my time on Instagram, but it’s just not me anymore. I’m ready to focus on my writing and focus on sharing my story through print.
Through this process of fine tuning my purpose, I have wrote out a few general goals/ideas I hope to pursue in the near future:
Sign up for a Writing for Beginner’s Workshop
Scrap my first draft, start fresh but also continue the story and add my third pregnancy and birth.
Back off from my blogging IG, and focus mainly on the blog.
It’s been fun being an instagrammer, but I’m ready to come back to my first love so to speak, which is writing. ❤️
The smell of a specific perfume, or the noise of a powerful laugh; the thought of a memory that happened many years ago, yet feels like was only within a few moments. The thought of missing someone so heavily that all of time stops, and your entire body grows cold.
This is grief.
I recently had a dream that my grandparents came over to my home. They were over the moon and all smiles about my son. They snuggled with him, played with him and laughed so deeply that it shook the house. They were honored to be great grandparents. They were in love with my son.
Then I woke up.
I woke up and remembered my Grandma and Grandpa were gone. Both had been gone for a few years now. One died from Alzheimer’s and the other from cancer. I remembered they were no longer apart of this life. They never got to be great grandparents and they never got to meet their great grandson.
This is when grief returns.
There are moments, I look at my son and I just can’t believe he’s mine. He’s a perfect mix of both his father and I. I can’t help but think of his siblings, the babies we had before him that we never got to meet.
Grief hits hard.
Last year when I was pregnant for my son, my best friend was pregnant with her daughter. My best friend lost her baby before 21 weeks. It was painful. It was excruciating and it wasn’t fair.
Grief has defining moments.
My senior year of high school, a girl I knew from youth group drowned. At the time I could hardly fathom someone around my age dying. How could it be? She had so much life to live and so much love to give. Why?
Grief is apart life.
Without death there is no life. Without life there is no love. With love comes risk. We risk loving someone even though we know we could lose them. Love is more than a feeling, yet with it sometimes comes loss which can be excruciating. If we don’t love we don’t live. And if we don’t live then, what’s the point?
Grief is a reminder.
As hard as it is to grieve, it reminds us of what we had. It reminds us of the good in our lives, the relationships and the memories. By grieving we aren’t forgetting those we love, we are remembering and we are honoring those gone, usually way too soon.
Can you guys believe this is my 7th blog post round up!? I sure can’t. As of April I have been blogging for 3 years. Wow! Just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to everyone who has been a loyal reader and a part of my blogging journey. And now, without further or do, Here is my 7th blog post round up.
DIY Padsicles and Postpartum Care
This post I wrote when I was very pregnant, maybe 37 weeks? I wrote a variety of different blog posts before I gave birth so that I could take some time to spend with my newborn before returning back to blogging. This was a recipe I found online and heard great things about from different moms who’ve gone through a vaginal birth. I added my own twist to this recipe and I believe many others found this post helpful as well
Baby is Here!!! (Our Birth Story)
This was by far my most popular blog post, on every platform including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and WordPress Reader. I will say this too is one of my favorite blog posts as this is the story of how my sweet Baby Bear was born.
My Baby Bear is 1 Month Old!
After my son was born, I quickly realized that any blog post that was about my baby, usually became a popular post. This one was about Matthew turning a month old.
Why We Named Our Son Matthew
This post was a very special one to write as I was able to share the meaning of my son’s name as well as how and why we came up with the name Matthew.
Anxiety and Motherhood
I have always been an anxious person, but my anxiety intensified even more when I became a mom. In this post I talk about the joys, the challenges and the anxiety of being a mom.
How to Style a Bookshelf
This post helped me to unleash my creative juices and my need to organize everything. I thoroughly enjoyed creating and sharing my ideas on styling a bookshelf.
People Who Inspire Me: Meet My Mom
This post I wrote about my momma. I’ll be honest, I’ve been wanting to write this post about my mom for a long time, but I was almost always too emotional to do it. Once my mom finally became a Grandma, I decided to just buckle down and do it, and I’m so glad I did.
My Summer 2022 Bucket List
If you’ve been here awhile, you all know how I love creating a summer bucket list every year. This year things are going to be looking a little different as I’m temporarily staying with family, but never the less we’ll make it work.
My Nursing Journey Part 1
Nursing is no joke. It is hard work and an experience that I definitely wanted to document and share to encourage other mommas on their nursing journey.
Physical Therapy for Phagiocephaly and Torticollis
I decided to write about my son’s health because I enjoy reading other moms and their experiences and I too wanted to do the same thing to help others. I also wrote this post, because I’m curious to see his progress in the next few months.
Our Love Story (Part 6)
On a chilly November afternoon almost 6 years ago, I married my best friend. This is the story of our wedding day, and by far one of my most popular blog posts.
When my son was 4 months old, our pediatrician gave us the go ahead to start solid foods. I was excited but very nervous about this new adventure. I took two weeks to do research before starting solid foods.
My husband and I decided on starting with purées as these seemed to be the most safe and best option for us. We first started with carrots and let me tell you, my son was not a fan. The carrots would go in and a moment later the carrots would go out. Three days later we tried butternut squash. This time he swallowed a few spoonfuls and the rest went all over his bib.
My son is now 6 months old and so far we have tried peas, carrots, butternut squash, apples, bananas, mango, chicken, green beans, prunes, cereal, pears and peaches. His favorites seem to be bananas, butternut squash and apples.
This solid food journey has been exciting and I can’t wait to see what other foods my son likes to try. 🙂
At my son’s 4 month well check appointment, it was discovered that he had a mild case of Phagiocephaly. This meant my son had a flat spot on his head. We were referred to physical therapy to have him evaluated and to determine whether he needed to go through therapy for the next few months and if he would need a helmet to help reshape and correct his head.
We went to the first appointment anxious about what they might find. The therapist did a variety of different stretches and evaluated his gross motor skills and mobility. It was determined that he did in fact have a flat spot on his head that just barely qualified as a moderate case, therefore requiring the physical therapist to refer him to be further evaluated for a helmet. We also were told that he had a mild to moderate case of Torticollis. This meant that he preferred to look more to one side over the other and that one side of the neck muscles were tight and needed to be stretched out. It was likely something he has had his entire life and even in the womb. This made a lot of sense to me as he preferred to sit on my left side the last 8-10 weeks of my pregnancy.
The therapist sent us on our way with some exercises and neck stretches to continue at home. The next two weeks my son and I worked hard. I was so thankful to be able to be home and work one-on-one with him so that I could best help him in stretching and strengthening his muscles, as well as possibly avoiding the helmet at all costs. I was also thankful for my education and my background in human anatomy and child development as I was able to help my son in all aspects.
Two weeks later at our next appointment, my son’s therapist again reevaluated his gross motor skills and mobility. She said she was very impressed with Matthew and thought he was a quick study. His Torticollis had improved tremendously and he was very close to sitting unassisted. Unfortunately, his flat spot on his head hadn’t changed much and we were still being referred for further reevaluation to possibly get a helmet.
Another two weeks went by and despite packing up our apartment and moving, I still diligently spent one-on-one time with Matthew doing his exercises and stretches.
When we returned to therapy the therapist noticed he was continuing to improve his Torticollis and even his flat spot was starting to improve. I was so thankful to hear that my son’s hard work was starting to pay off.
We currently are still going to therapy for both his Phagiocephaly and his Torticollis. But, I am confident that if we continue to work with him at home, then we will be able to avoid the intervention of a reshaping helmet very soon.