How Can I Help?

I’m going to blame this whole thing on hormones. But I’m not complaining about it. It’s brought about so many deep thoughts, goals and changes I’m eager to make. So look at that! Postpartum hormones can be good! Haha.

This is going to sound real deep. You ready? Lately I’ve been pondering the meaning of life. (Why do I feel cringey saying that?) It’s been a lot of wondering what my purpose is here. What am I here to do? How can I help people around me? How can I leave a good mark in my tiny corner of this big world?

The thought that keeps reoccurring to me is that generally, I believe the meaning of life – and the purpose of us all – is to love one another.

To me that means to reach out to people. To serve people. To pray for people. To ask how I can help. To give of my time. To listen when people speak. To be judgement free and try to see people how God sees them. To be understanding, forgiving and compassionate. I don’t think the purpose of life is to solely focus on ourselves (but of course that’s not to say we don’t need to love and serve ourselves as well) – I think a tremendous amount of life should be focused on looking outward.

I want to be better at this. I want to be the neighbor that everyone knows is reliable – who will lend help in a seconds notice. Who will leave notes or treats on the front step. Who will pray for your sick kids or struggling family member. Who will text you back or sit on your porch and chat. I want to be helpful. I want to be there for those around me. I want people to feel comfortable, safe and lifted when they are with me.

I’ve spent so many nights thinking of ways I can mindfully start this process. I’m excited to begin. With that all said, thank you for being here. For listening. For reading. For sending comments or messages. You’re all wonderful and I hope someone has told you that lately, and if they haven’t then… YOU’RE WONDERFUL! Now you’ve heard it. Believe it!

Fall is in the Air…and the House

I’m basic, I know. But Fall is my favorite. Everything about it is good, especially the decor. I love Christmas decorations and summery vibes throughout the home, but I’m really truly just obsessed with Fall decor. I love that its just fall-themed in September, Halloween themed in October and then hints of Thanksgiving come out in the decor in November. Its (f)all good.

My decorating style has changed quite a bit over the years I’ve realized. This year I feel like I’ve found my groove though and know how I want to and like to decorate currently, so this year and last year I’ve got several new pieces to add to my collection or replace and I’m just so happy with it.

HAPPY FALL!

Mothers Intuition

I am on this personal mission lately to really up my mom game. I’m a good mom – I truly believe that. But I also truly believe that there is always room for improvement.

I’m in a weird transition period. I’m still figuring out the life of a mom who has a kid in school all day and finding balance between homework and free time after school, not to mention jobs, sports, dinner and so on. I’m still figuring out how best to help my anxious four year old navigate his fears of preschool. He also has really big emotions lately, which is totally fine, but can be hard. We are working on it. I’ve got a two year old who is sweet and sour as they come. She’s honestly the best little light you’ll ever meet, but she can turn on a dime and gives me a real run for my money. Then there’s the newborn, who’s actually like the easiest baby ever, but still has his own needs that I need to meet.

Oh yeah, and the lack of sleep.

But despite all of that…or maybe because of all that, I feel extra inclined to be a better person for them. These four magical humans deserve a really great mom who does her best and works on herself. So that’s what I am striving to give them!

I’ve got goals. Oh you should see my notebooks full of ideas and notes I’ve taken from podcasts on this topic, talks from church leaders on how to be a good parent and make our home a wonderful place for my kids to grow up in, things I see other moms do that seem effective, etc. I’ve got goals, ideas and plans coming out of my ears at this point.

Don’t worry, for me that’s a good thing. I love it.

But as I’ve pondered over the last week how to really make sure I’m there for my kids, I just keep going back to my very own super power. My mothers intuition. I mean it when I say it’s a super power. I have done things and acted on promptings so many times throughout my time as a mother because of my intuition, and it ended up being a huge blessing and has helped and/or protected my children in ways no one else would know how to do.

I strongly believe that when we become mothers, God gives us that divine gift (or super power). He knows motherhood is hard. He gets that it’s overwhelming. He understands that it can be stressful, emotional and exhausting. So instead of giving us a manual, He gives us intuition. He helps us be so in tune with our kids that we can help and serve them in ways only we can. I think this help and service we can give them is even inspired my a loving Heavenly Father.

I’m grateful that as I work on myself and how to be the best mom I can be, I’ll have my intuition to fall back on and heavily rely on. I love having it in me. I love knowing I’ve got my kids backs and that they know I’m here for them.

It’s just really struck me lately how phenomenal it is. You know?

Postpartum Round 4

This is only the beginning, I know that. I’m only four weeks in and historically for me, my postpartum skyrockets a couple of months in. But even with that knowledge, things are going really well so far. My birth with W went really well and the recovery has been pretty easy, all things considered. I feel good and feel like my body is feeling more…me than it ever did in the past postpartum recoveries. Maybe I can chalk that up to the fact that I was in the best shape I’ve been in for a while before I got pregnant with him. But whatever it was that made it happen, I’m loving it. I wasn’t sure how this would all feel especially since this was my first pregnancy/delivery in my 30’s, but its been awesome.

This baby is so easy. He is calm, easy to soothe, goes with the flow, eats like a champ, sleeps pretty well and is so stinkin’ delicious! He is snuggly, smells amazing, loves to be held, takes a binky (yay) and has such a peaceful spirit about him. We’re in love. Completely smitten.

I always say the newborn bubble is magic, and I mean that. I know this phase flies by heartbreakingly fast, so I’m reminding myself of that daily and trying my very best to soak this whole phase in. I’m letting house jobs slide a little more frequently and giving myself a lot of grace and patience. W will only be this tiny for such a small blip of time I can’t let it slip by without cherishing it. Goodness, because this boy is simply extraordinary.

…and is now hungry so I’ve got to go 🙂

Friday Favorites: Tula Glow + Get It

If you have tired eyes and you know it, clap your hands!

*clap clap*

I bought this on a whim after I had my fourth baby knowing my eyes always show how sleep deprived I am. I loved the idea of having this help brighten them… and I’m delighted to tell you it works!

The cooling effect feels so great first thing in the morning and helps me feel more awake and ready for the day.

This is a good buy.

He’s Here!!

You guys!! We’ve been in newborn heaven, this glorious, precious little bubble for the last week and a half and life feels so magical. How we ever lived without this little boy is a mystery to me. He is such a mild, sweet and easy little guy. We are feeling overwhelmed with the blessing that he is to us. He’s here! Finally!! My perfect little man.

Eventually I’ll tell you about his birth and gush about him some more, but for now I just wanted to tell you that he’s here and perfect and smoosh as can be and we are both doing really well and feeling great! Life is good.

My ECV Experience with Baby Four

I shared about my ECV with my third baby a couple of years ago but now we’re back with my ECV experience with my fourth baby! First of all, isn’t it crazy that I’ve (almost) had four babies, and three of them have been breech? My doctors predict that I have an odd shaped uterus that causes it to lead my babies to be more comfortable in a head-up position as opposed to the desirable head-down position. Lucky me, huh?

So anyway. Lets chat about this ECV, shall we?

First of all, ECV is short for External Cephalic Version. What does that mean? Basically, it means…ouch. Haha. But for real. Owie. Ok, but really an ECV is when a doctor externally moves your baby from a head-up to a head-down position. Essentially, they just push on your stomach really, really hard, moving your baby to the position they need to be in.

Now onto the story.

We got to the hospital about an hour-ish before the procedure was to begin. They get you all set in your hospital gown, check one last time with an ultrasound to ensure that the baby is indeed breech, hook you up to the monitors, put an IV in you and talk you through what’s going to happen. Finally, its time for the actual ECV.

My doctor came in, checked the ultrasound again to sort of make a game plan and began. My baby has been sitting at a bit of a diagonal angle, so this whole time I’ve believed the route from head-up to head-down would be slightly shortened since his head wasn’t completely straight up. Buuuuut turns out the safest way to move him was around the other way, so it was actually a longer turn. However it was what was safest for our baby, so obviously it was all ok.

Now it was go-time. I got a shot in my arm (I can’t completely remember what its for – maybe its a muscle relaxer? you want that uterus nice and relaxed so its not quite as difficult to move the baby) and just like last time I got this, it stung so dang badly. Then a small group of medical staff gather around, and in my case I also had a few students in there to watch, and then my doctor got to work.

My baby was very stubborn this time around. My last ECV lasted maybe five minutes. This one was a little over twenty, I believe? His little bum was nestled comfortably in a spot that he did not want to move from so my doctor had to first lift his bum out of that spot and then start moving him with his hands.

He had to push really hard. Craig said during the whole procedure my doctor was white knuckled he was pushing so hard and after the procedure he showed us that he’d actually broken a sweat! Like I said, baby boy really put up a fight!

Every once in a while we had to pause and wait because babies heart rate would drop lower than they wanted – something we hadn’t experienced before. One of the medicines they’d given me made my heart rate go really high, so they said monitoring our hearts was kind of interesting because mine was so fast and his would drop down so slow. Luckily though, every time we’d pause, his heart would go back to normal and there never was a real issue there. It did make me nervous as we’d sit and wait for it to get back to a regular pace, but I found a lot of peace in knowing I was in good hands (I quite literally trust my doctor with my life…and my babies) and I knew if it got real bad, I’d be taken right into a c-section and it’d be ok.

Finally, he was head down. The doctor had got his head in a nice, snug place where he’d be able to settle until it was time to deliver him! As he told me, with how hard it was to get him into that position, he was sure it’d be nearly impossible for him to move out of his new position (spoiler alert: he stayed head down!)

After everything was done, they kept us for an additional two and a half-ish hours to monitor us, but mostly baby. With my last ECV they only kept us an hour, but this time with babies heart going up and down every once in a while during the version, they kept us just a little longer to watch. Thankfully everything looked just as it should and we were freed to go home.

Recovery from this is a bit uncomfortable for sure. I describe it as feeling as if my entire stomach is a very sensitive bruise. It hurt to touch, especially in a couple of spots he had to push particularly hard on. It also took me a good 24 hours to stop feeling the effects of the drugs they’d given me, but other than that it was really just fine!

Then finally I allowed baby watch to officially begin with the hopes that I’d have another successful v-bac!

Getting Close!!

I had a doctors appointment yesterday and I have another one next week. This period of pregnancy is so exciting when the appointments are so frequent and you keep yourself up every night just wondering if you’ll even make it to your next appointment, or will you have a baby instead? In all honesty, I think I’ll definitely be there next week, but still, its exciting to know we are so, so close to meeting our baby brother we’ve been daydreaming about for what feels like years.

There was no surprise to find that baby boy is still breech. I mean, I can feel his adorable tiny little head up in my ribcage 24/7, so I sure wasn’t shocked at all when they confirmed it. But now I am far enough along that it was time to schedule an ECV! An ECV is the external Cephalic Version – I did this with Flora, too, because so far Harrison has been my only head-down, obedient baby and the rest have been breech. Thats where my doctor will manually move my baby from head up to head down by basically just pressing into my belly. Real hard. Real painful. Its a party. However, its super worth it to me. My c-section with Emmett turned out to be just fine, but I sure prefer vaginal deliveries, so if I can give myself that chance, safely, then we’ll give it another go!

All this to say, my ECV is scheduled for next week. I’m in a weird headspace of being so excited to hopefully get him to go head down and with the excitement of knowing he’ll be here in the next couple weeks, but I’m also a wee bit nervous about the pain. I’m a baby when it comes to pain, ok? But we are going to focus on the positive, friends. I feel really grateful that I have such skilled doctors who I know keep me in good hands. I know they’ll monitor me and baby closely and ultimately what will keep my baby the safest is what will be done!

Exciting, crazy times, guys!!

Friday Favorites: Amazon Pajamas

These. Pajamas.

A few months I was looking on Amazon for comfy clothes to wear postpartum and I happened upon these and proceeded to buy…six pair.

The patterns and the designs are adorable and they seemed super comfy and the reviews backed that suspicion up. I was so happy when they made it to my house to find that they are so comfy and even cuter than they looked online.

Will I ever wear different pajamas again? I don’t know why I’d ever need to!

First Grade

I’m in all kinds of denial about this, but somehow today my first baby started FIRST GRADE!! Where in the world does time go, friends?! Like, were we not just starting Kindergarten a couple of days ago? Goodness..