Birth Story

On June 11th, our little Flora was born at 8:30am after a quick and kind of crazy delivery. She is absolute perfection and has changed our family for the better. Life with her in it is pure magic. Yesterday, she turned two months old (how??) and I have finally finished up her quick birth story for you guys. I think about her delivery a lot. It was not what I planned, but it was really incredible.

Now how about a birth story?

On the evening of June 10th I’d started feeling contractions that were different than the Braxton hicks contractions I’d felt the past few weeks. These ones weren’t super painful or anything, but I could tell they were slowly and surely getting more powerful. Harrison had a soccer game and then we went to my parents house for a while and the whole time I could just tell some things were changing, but I decided not to get my hopes up yet at this point and just tried to continue to be patient.

That evening around 9:30pm I felt like there was another shift in my body. More pain. A little more intensity. But nothing serious, yet. I got some stuff done around the house after putting the boys to bed, then decided to go to bed myself around 10:30 to see if I could sleep off the pain. I could until about 1:30am. I woke up somewhere around 1:30 hurting significantly more. I decided to finally download a contraction timing app and laid there in bed, timing my contractions for a while. They were coming anywhere from every 10-30 minutes, their intensity varying all the while. I texted my sisters just to let them know I may be needing them to come over in the middle of the night, then went back to waiting and timing and breathing.

Finally around 4 I had a contraction that made me shoot up. I couldn’t do it laying down anymore. It was a real, painful and powerful contraction. I woke Craig up in the process and I just remember him rubbing my back. He told me a little while later than when he saw me sit up, he knew this was the real deal. As I stood up, my water also broke (but in the moment I wasn’t sure if it was my water or if I’d wet my pants), but when I went to the restroom and noticed blood – a true labor sign for me – I quickly convinced myself that this was it.

Craig and I got ready, I told my sisters to come over and we arrived to the hospital right at 6 in the morning. I was hooked up to the monitors and checked (I was at a 4, with contractions coming every 1-2 minutes apart) and was told I’d be monitored for an hour to see if I progressed, and if I had enough, I’d be admitted.

I don’t think it was coincidence that my nurse (who we loved) randomly decided to check me at 30 minutes. Turns out, I was progressing fast, so with that, she admitted me a half an hour early! She called for my epidural, I got my IV and things started getting real. I was in a lot of pain by this point and I was also as hot as I have ever felt in my entire life.

The next little while was just waiting for things to continue to move. I kept dilating and kept waiting for my epidural. My doctor came in to say hi and check me and asked where my epidural was and the nurses explained they’d called for it couple of times and it still hadn’t shown up. He told them to call for it again. Not too long afterwards he came back in to check again and we knew that it would be time to push soon. Its a good thing I was hurting so bad and just totally in my own head, otherwise I probably would have gone into panic mode. When I had Harrison, my epidural was only sort of working, and I just remember that hurting – so I didn’t want to have to have a painful delivery again. But I was too busy focusing on surviving each contraction and trying not to burst into flames (seriously, I was SO hot) to think too much of my anesthesiologist not coming very fast – although I sure wished he would have hurried.

Around 8:20 the anesthesiologist finally came in and administered my long-awaited epidural. This one hurt pretty bad. I’m not sure if its just because everything hurt so bad at that point or what, but I just remember so much pain. Also, Craig couldn’t fan me anymore while I got my epidural, so I felt so hot I wanted to scream at people. Immediately after laying back down after getting that taken care of, I was checked.

It was time to push. Now. She was right there. But guess what? I was told my epidural would take at least 15 minutes to start working. I asked my nurse and Craig if there was anything we could do to make it work faster (in hind site, I see thats a silly question, but I was desperate) and she very kindly told me that I could wait for the epidural to start working, but that things were moving and baby sister was coming out.

So I started to push. I can honestly say that delivering a baby with no epidural to help me was the most pain I’ve ever felt and a lot more awful than I’d ever imagined, but at the same time, doing it without an epidural made me feel powerful and strong – something I don’t feel about myself too often. It was really neat to literally feel her every move as she came out of my body. Delivering her head and shoulders were…there are no words. Just ouch, ouch, ouch. But thankfully I only had to push a few times – about five minutes – and she was born.

Everyone noticed that she was a “good sized baby,” or a, “big baby,” immediately (I’ve got that with all my kids now). Craig cut the cord and my perfect little girl, my first daughter, was placed on my chest. There is nothing more magical than those moments.

A while later she was weighed, measured, cleaned and cared for. She weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce and was 21 and 3/4ths inches, and 100% perfection.

We only stayed in the hospital one night due to Covid, and were able to go home the next day a few hours after noon. Only a couple of hours before we left, we finally named her Flora. The boys were beyond thrilled to meet their little sister. They greeted her so enthusiastically and sweetly, it melted me.

We are so, so happy to have our baby here safe, healthy and happy!

Newborn Favorites

*Before we start this post, just letting you know that I’m doing a giveaway over on my Instagram page with a couple great baby favorites/items!!

I can’t even believe that baby Flora is about TWO months old, already. When do babies stop being newborns? I’ve read that stops at two months and I’m not ok with that. Can’t she be my newborn for at least a few more months? However, if that phase does truly end at two months (insert crying emoji here), then I guess I need to hurry and tell you about all of my newborn favorites this time around! There have been a lot of things I’ve loved having for my new baby, but I rounded up the ones I’ve noticed I love the very most this time around with our third baby.

MY NEWBORN FAVORITES

LouLou & Company Swaddles

This was my first time buying swaddles from LouLou & Company, and I regret not buying from them before with my other babies. Best. Swaddles. Ever. They’re stretchy, soft and perfect. Flora likes to sleep being wrapped up tight in something, and I’ve found these swaddles are perfect for that. Plus the patterns you can choose from are adorable.

Bibs Binky

I reeeeally wanted Flora to take a binky. Harrison was obsessed with his and Emmett refused one and let’s just say, our experience with a kid who takes a binky was a lot easier then the experience with the kid who doesn’t. I bought a few different brands and let Flora kind of tell us which she liked the most, and this one won, and is coincidentally also the cutest! We have several colors and have been very happy with the soothing they bring our baby.

Mushie Binky Clip

First of all, so cute. There are so many colors to choose from AND the clip is perfect. It’s strong enough to clip onto things, but it’s not so strong that you have to struggle unclipping it. It’s perfect.

Adi’s Babies Bracelets

When I found out Flora was a girl, there was no doubt in my mind that I had to get her several brackets. But where? My cousin recommended Adi’s Babies and I’m beyond thrilled. The quality is awesome, the prices are great and there are so many adorable styles!

Little Poppy Co Bows

Cutest bows you’ll ever find. Serious. I’m a part of their monthly subscription program and I can honestly say that when I get that pink package in the mail every month I am giddy. I’ve never received a bow I didn’t totally love. I’m obsessed with bows, but these are hands down my favorite. There is such a variety and the different styles are all great. I could not recommend this company enough.

Old Navy Jammies

There is something about this style of pajamas that I’m super loving right now. Flora wears these really often. I feel like I sound like a broken record saying this so many times, but really – the selection is awesome and the quality is nice.

Aquaphor Bum Cream

Hey, it’s just stuff you’ve gotta have. I decided to try this one on a whim and I really like it! My kids tend to have very sensitive skin, and this hasn’t irritated any bums in all my time using it.

Mittens

Baby nails are as sharp as knives and they’re real good at scratching up their perfect little faces. When Flora gets mad, her little hands just attack her face and that left her with a lot of sad scratches on her face – some that even bled! So put these mittens on and the problem is solved. Flora is pretty much past wearing these now, but for when they’re being used, they’re incredibly handy.

Milk Snob Nursing Cover

These things are awesome and they have a Disney line! Win, win. I like this particular brand because the fabric is breathable. I enjoy the nursing covers that go around your whole body, so if you need to lift your shirt up, you aren’t exposing your back, you know what I’m saying?

Burts Bees Burp Cloths

I bought these on a whim about a month before Flora was born just because the other burp cloths we had were all a little more ‘boy’ looking than I wanted. Mainly I love these because they are the perfect size! The cute patterns don’t hurt either.

Solly Wrap

I feel like everyone loves these, so just go ahead and add me to the long list of lovers. I don’t know what it is, there’s something just awesome about these particular wraps. They’re sturdy and strong but still lightweight. They’re genius. I love mine.

Kate Quinn Clothes

If you’re looking for the cutest clothing ever with the softest fabric ever, look no further. I truly could not be more pleased with this company. The styles of clothing they offer is amazing and I can’t get over the fabric. It’s so soft and cozy. I have several pieces from them for Flora and the designs on them are incredible. They’re unique and different than anything else you can find anywhere. Just the best of the best.

What are some of your newborn favorites and must haves?

My Hospital Bag

So full disclosure, this is not going to be a long, elaborate list of things I bring to the hospital. I’ve found I’m actually quite minimalistic when it comes to packing for the hospital. With Harrison, I brought way too much to the hospital and touched less than half of it. For me, the hospital is a time to be laid-back and enjoy those first moments with this new, tiny baby. I didn’t need all the different things I was so sure I would. I followed lots of blogs and lots of friends advice, but found that overall, I didn’t need much at all, and neither did my baby. Plus, the hospital has everything you need. Seriously, they know what they’re doing and they’ve got you covered. However, if bringing nearly your entire home is something that works great for you and helps your hospital stay be more pleasant – then more power to you! You do you! This is just my personal opinion.

WHAT I’M PACKING IN MY HOSPITAL BAG THE THIRD TIME AROUND

FOR MAMA

  • Small, simple toiletry bag with whatever the essentials are for you. For me, my toiletry bag will have contacts, glasses, chapstick, my simplest skincare for morning and night, lotion, dry shampoo, hair brush, a cute hair tie, deodorant, toothbrush and paste, mascara, a brow pencil, concealer and makeup remover.
    • My tip for the toiletry bag: Likely, you won’t want to pack all of this stuff ahead of time because you’ll still be using it daily. So I stick a piece of paper in the top of my bag with a list of all the things I’ll need to grab last minute before we drive to the hospital. My list this time around for my last minute items include: toothbrush and paste, hair brush, deodorant, glasses, moisturizer, my simple make up items, phone and charger.
  • Robe. This isn’t necessary at all. The hospital gown is totally great, functional and there’s no pressure to ever take it off if you don’t want to. I just like having the option of a robe. I only wore my gown when I had Harrison and with Emmett I switched between a robe and the gown. This time around I have a robe that matches a swaddle and bow for Baby Sister. I can’t wait.
  • Phone/charger. Does this need explanation?
  • Socks. I have a lucky pair of socks that I only wear when I have a baby. But even if I didn’t have a lucky pair, I’d bring some just in case – you’d hate cold feet to inconvenience you during such a special time.
  • Clothes to wear home. This can be the same thing you wore in, too, keep in mind. With Harrison, I wore exactly what I wore to the hospital home from the hospital. With Emmett though, my water had broken, so the clothing I wore to the hospital was…not wearable (AKA gross), so I was happy I had a going home outfit for myself in my bag. For me, this outfit is something loose fitting and very comfortable. Don’t worry about being cute. Just worry about being as comfortable as possible.
    • Nursing bra. I forgot one when I had Harrison! I didn’t ever wear a bra during my whole hospital stay, but I wished I had one for the drive home (that wasn’t my regular bra that I wore in).
    • Shoes. Just wear something simple and easy to put on. Bonus points if you don’t have to lean over to put them on.
    • Underwear. But this is just a maybe. I’ve never taken my own underwear to the hospital. They provide you plenty of mesh underwear to wear that can be thrown away. You bleed a lot after birth, so its nice to just throw these disposable ones away instead of getting your own messy. However, this time I am bringing one pair of underwear for the drive home. I may not even wear them, I’m just testing them out. Mostly I got sucked into getting them because they’re supposed to be great for after c-sections, so I got them on a whim and decided to pack a pair.

FOR BABY

  • Diaper Bag. My goal is to fit everything both baby and I will need in my new Freshly Picked diaper bag. Its just easier to have everything in once space for me. It feels less messy, cluttered and chaotic, and I don’t want to be worrying about clutter after I’ve had my baby or worrying about what is in what bag.
  • Take home outfit. Bring something sweet and comfy for your new one to wear home. For my boys, they wore the same little navy blue footed, zip-up pair of pajamas. I decided for Baby Sister, she’d wear the exact same thing, except I found her a white one with little red and white hearts all over it. She also has a matching bow.
  • Mittens. Babies scratch the heck out of their little faces the second they’re born. You’ll want the mittens, believe me.
  • Binky. Everyone has their own opinion about when its appropriate to attempt to start your baby on a binky. I, personally, am fine with starting them on it in the hospital.
  • Swaddle. I’m actually bringing a couple swaddles this time for the pictures we’ll take in the hospital, but just one is totally fine.
  • Car Seat. Don’t forget to bring the carseat!! We install ours into our car a few weeks before the due date just so we don’t even have to worry about it when the time comes.

Thats it! I told you I was low maintenance when it came to this. In all honesty though, the hospital knows what its doing and provides all the essentials for you. They take care of you. Also, if you want to bring more things like your own pillow/blanket, a new outfit for you and baby each day, etc, then totally go for it! Like I said earlier, you do you.

 

So Much Closer

IMG_4492

So its only just very, very recently occurred to me that this pregnancy is starting to wrap up. I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever, so the fact that its totally nearing the end is hard for me to completely grasp. I am due next month! I’m due in six-ish weeks. I am full term in just a couple more weeks. This is crazy! I am so close to the end! We are SO close to meeting our anxiously awaited Baby Sister, finally!! Its all just so mind blowing to me. All the sudden its just…here! Or, super almost here, at least. Its so exciting and rewarding!!

Her nursery is all ready for her. The only thing missing is her. Craig and I love to spend time in there just sitting and daydreaming life with her in it. Its magical. I can’t wait to meet her and see who she is. See what she looks like. And hopefully finally figure out what in the world her name is.

IMG_4543

At my latest doctors appointment it was basically loosely confirmed that she’d be delivered via c-section. This isn’t how I envisioned her birth, at all. I was really hoping for a successful VBAC, but she had other plans when she decided to be a breech baby. I really disliked my c-section with Emmett, but I’m pretty sure thats because his was a scary emergency situation and he didn’t come out looking very good, at all. I’m hoping and praying that her c-section will go a lot better and change my mind about c-sections. I’m not super excited about the recovery, either. But I realize all of these reasons I’m not thrilled about a c-section are because of me being selfish. What matters is her. What matters is getting her here in the safest manner possible, which is very, very likely – a c-section. I’d much rather have her come into the world in the best way possible instead of fighting for what my idea of my third birth would be and having something not go so well. You know? I do find it funny though. Harrison was a head down baby. Emmett was a sideways baby. Baby Sister is a head up baby. Does that mean my fourth will be a sideways baby, but her head will be on the opposite side Emmett’s was?

 

25-ish

I very recently hit 25 weeks with Baby Sister and this ones really feeling like an exciting milestone. 25 weeks! Thats 15 weeks left of this pregnancy at the longest! I’m so glad time is passing – and moving a little faster every day. I think thats a benefit of subsequent pregnancies. You don’t have as much time to dwell on time and how fast or slow its moving when you have other kids to chase around. Its a pretty great thing that I’m grateful for.

I’m feeling so thankful for a healthy baby girl growing inside of me. She’s already blessed my life and is starting to give me hints of her personality stronger than she used to, and I’m loving getting to know her better and better. I can’t wait to meet her and get to know her even better. This little girl is really going to change the dynamic of our family – I can just tell and I’m eager to witness it all happen. Craig and I are making great progress in her nursery and I need to start working on organizing her closet/clothes/bows/etc and I know thats going to make it feel all the more real and exciting!

Now, just to mix up these periodic bump update pictures, here is a little collage of my three pregnancies, all at 25-ish weeks! You have Harrison first, Emmett in the middle and baby sister on the right!

889F2B92-66A7-43D4-875A-37CB441B8480

Little Ones in Disneyland Q&A

By far the topic I get asked the most about when I’m talking Disney with someone, is about babies/toddlers/little ones in Disneyland Resort. I need to start working on blog posts for each subject I get asked about pertaining to small ones in Disney so when I get asked about it I can send them a post where I’ve given my in-depth answers, but for now while I slowly start working on those, I thought I’d do a little Q&A involving the questions I get asked most frequently. I asked on Instagram for people to send in questions they had about this, and I’ve compiled a list of the questions I get asked most often when people are planning their trips to Disneyland and picked the questions I get asked the very most/I feel are most important to know. If I didn’t answer your question in this post, please reach out to me and ask! I love talking about this – Disneyland and little humans?! My two favorites!!

 

Is it worth taking my little one to Disneyland? 

I will forever and always answer yes to this. Yes. It is always worth taking your little people to Disneyland. I know, its another person to watch, another mouth to feed, another person to care for, another factor to add to stress – but if you let it, its also another source of absolute magic. I know it sounds cheesy, but its true. The youngest I’ve taken my kids to Disneyland is at two months old, and even at two months I think its worth it. I know they aren’t going to retain any of the memories, but they still are taking stuff in. I think about my tiny babies in Disneyland and seeing them stare at lights and watch their little limbs flail around when they get excited about these new things they see. Its also adorable to watch their reactions to the new sounds. When they’re a little older, even though they still won’t keep these memories throughout their whole lives, they still will have the time of their lives in the park and you will take the cutest pictures of that. Walt Disney said that Disneyland is for people of all ages. He meant it. All ages can love and appreciate this wonderful, magical place.

IMG_4782

What shoes should my kid wear?

Wear what’s comfortable. Sometimes my kids wear sandals, sometimes we play it extra safe and wear comfortable sneakers. I recommend wearing what you know they walk well in and what doesn’t hurt their feet.

Is it worth it to wait in character lines? 

If you want those adorable character pictures, then absolutely. I love character pictures, so I definitely try to make it into several character lines, but my current problem right now is that my boys want nothing to do with characters right now and do not want to meet anyone. Such a fun phase. So right now it isn’t a priority for us (unless I’m in the mood to wrestle them a little bit), but you can bet as soon as they show even a little bit of interest in characters, we’ll be back in line!

IMG_5510

Where do I nurse my baby? 

Wherever your heart desires! I mean really, there are so many good places to breastfeed in Disneyland. There is also a Baby Care Center in both Disneyland and California Adventure (click on my link to it – this place is amazing, I love it) where you can privately nurse in a nice, quiet area. I, personally, am a fan of nursing on Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean or the Disneyland Railroad because they’re long enough that my little one gets a good feed and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself of activities while nursing. (does that make sense?) There are also benches galore, spots at restaurants to sit, you name it – I’m sure you could nurse there. I was also asked if there are any places you can’t nurse. To my knowledge, no. I am more comfortable nursing with a cover, so I feel totally fine nursing anywhere.

IMG_1477

Umbrella stroller or our big stroller?

I am team big ol’ stroller. I absolutely get the appeal of the umbrella stroller because its smaller and in theory, you could move around the park quicker, but I will never use an umbrella stroller because I refuse to sacrifice the comfier seats for my kids, the storage and the drink holders! I will happily accept that I’ll move a little slower in crowds with my big stroller (I use the Baby Jogger City Select Double stroller) knowing that my kids can take better naps in their reclinable seats, I can stick my bags, etc underneath and can store drinks, phones, etc in the drink holders.

IMG_5508

What are the stroller measurements now? 

Strollers can’t be larger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long.

What rides have no height restrictions? 

Way more than you think. Read this postI did earlier that maps out all the non-height requirement rides in Disneyland and California Adventure. (I know its a little dated – still has Bugs Land, etc, but you’ll get the general idea!)

Is it an issue if my toddler has a tantrum? Will they ask me to leave the park?

Disneyland Resort is so loud. More than likely, your kid, even while tantrum-ing will blend right in. Don’t worry about your noise, everyone is making their own noise and if you ask me, people need to be more accepting of the fact that kids will be kids! Also, I’ve never heard of a family being asked to leave the park because of a tantrum. I’m like 99.9% sure it doesn’t happen.

What age is the best time to go with a baby?

This one is tricky for me to answer because I love taking all ages, but if I had to choose one, I’d say 2 and older (broad, I know). Before age 2, I don’t know that they get into it quite as much, but once they’re two, they can understand rides, lines, characters, parades, fireworks, etc. Also, they’re still free when they’re two! (you start paying for their tickets at three).

IMG_8958

Should I do the rider switch/baby swap passes for rides? 

Absolutely. My husband especially swears by these – I think he’ll be real sad when we no longer have babies to use for this! With the rider switch passes you and your group go up to the Cast Member at the entrance of the line and tell them you need a baby swap pass. Then they’ll give you some kind of slip of paper. Then the first half of your group will go through the regular line and ride the ride. When the first group is done, the second group will then take the slip of paper to the Cast Member at the entrance of the ride and be able to go through the Fast Pass line and get on the ride. Thats the very simple explanation of how to baby swap. If you have questions on how it works, ask a Cast Member! They are friendly and ready to answer your questions!

IMG_4854

How do you do naps in Disneyland?

This is half the reason I love bringing my nice, big stroller to Disney – so my kids can take a nice nap in them and we can stay in the park. I’ll recline them in their chair, pull the shade over them, bring a light blanket for them to use if they want and let them snooze. Sometimes we’ll still walk around and do our regular Disney things, or sometimes we’ll sit somewhere quiet and let them sleep in semi-silence. However, I also think sometimes going back to the hotel for nap time is a beautiful thing. We don’t do that nearly as often, but when we do I never have regretted it. You know your kid the best though – you know how they’ll nap the best!

IMG_8996

What do you recommend we don’t miss with little ones?

I’m going to be broad here – but if its a ride that your child is tall enough to ride on/has no height requirement, I say go on it! I’d especially be sure not to miss Jungle Cruise, Small World, Disneyland Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Casey Jr. Circus Train, King Arthurs Carousel, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Disney Junior Dance Party, Ariels Undersea Adventure, all the parades, fireworks (if they’re not too scary) and all the Main Street shows!

Are there good food options for little ones in Disneyland?

I will bring baby food in (pouches, juice, etc) when my babies are at that certain age, but with feeding my little ones in the park, I typically just let them eat what I eat. I’ll break it down into little pieces and give them what they’ll eat.

IMG_7294

Can I bring baby food/snacks/juice in?

Yes! You can bring any food in you’d like to. Also, if your baby is a baby food eater and you’ve forgotten to bring it into the park, they also sell baby food at the Baby Care Centers!

Should I try to get there at rope drop even with a baby/toddler? What about for staying until close?

This one is hard to answer because again, you know your kids better than anyone else. If you kid can handle getting there early at rope drop and it won’t make them overly tired or cranky or hard later in the day – totally try to get there at rope drop so you can get there when the park first opens and the lines are a little shorter. If your kid can stay up late without ruining their night, or will sleep good in the stroller while you wait it out until close, go for it. Just do what you know will be best for your little ones! I personally just play it by ear every trip because as parents, we know sleep schedules can change weekly!

Tips for going to Disneyland while pregnant? 

Its totally doable! Just be prepared to move a little slower and take extra breaks. When I’m in Disneyland while pregnant, I know that I’ll have limited rides I can go on, but I also give myself permission to eat extra treats 😉 I get pretty sick when I’m pregnant, so I also make it a point to know where the nearest restroom is at all times so I can run there to throw up if needed (fun fact: I have a list of my favorite restrooms to throw up in, in Disneyland). Other tips I have would be to stay hydrated, don’t be ashamed if you need to go back to the hotel for a nap, sit a lot – watch the parades, go to the shows, etc, eat a lot and don’t rush yourself! If you go when you’re big pregnant, I’d recommend renting a wheelchair, too. That was a lifesaver for me when I went at eight months pregnant.

7516827456_PY1A3809

*****

I’d just like to wrap this up with saying, Disneyland can be so extra magical with your little ones there. I promise! Its more work, but its 1,000% worth it. Again, I promise. Seeing the magic through your little ones eyes, no matter the age, is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life! Also, if I didn’t answer your question here – like I said, please reach out to me!! I’m happy to answer you!! I just tried to answer my most frequently asked questions!

Have a great time in Disneyland!

xoxo

17 Weeks and So Stinkin’ Thankful

Yesterday I had a doctors appointment – just the usual one to check on baby and make sure everything is going fine. I’m very gracious to say that all is looking well with our sweet baby. For some reason hearing its little heartbeat this time around was extra special and so exciting for me. It was such a peaceful and exhilarating feeling.

IMG_1223

I just feel so thankful right now. I’m grateful for a great husband who supports me and loves me endlessly – he means more to me than he’ll ever know. I’m thankful for my little boys who are the epitome of joy. They inspire me to be better, they are kind and friendly and they make me so proud of them. Then there is my sweet baby who I can’t wait to meet in several more months. I’m just very lucky. Very thankful. Very blessed.

First Pregnancy Update!

I’ve been really excited to start these baby updates! I don’t know why, but keeping this pregnancy a secret for those first several weeks, was particularly tough for me this time around! I mean, first of all, my bump made its debut so fast, and I’ve just been so eager to share the news!! I know a lot of people were suspicious, so it was also a relief to finally tell people they weren’t crazy and I wasn’t getting chubby – its a baby!

Much like with the boys, I’ve felt pretty miserable. Lots of throw up and so much body pain, especially in my pelvic area, upper thighs and lower back. Oh, and my c-section scar has been hurting a lot too as it stretches – thats something new.

I have been graving sweet/sugary things. Candy and fruit are my current cup of tea and some of few things I can keep down. I also have gone through phases of craving chocolate milk, hot chocolate, greasy fast food and mashed potatoes.

I have lots of aversions. Sometimes I feel like absolutely everything sounds revolting. The worst thing for me has been the smell of my fridge and the smell of smoke or heat (ha that sounds so weird, I know).

At first, sleep was coming easy, but I’m now reaching the point where sleep is rough. Laying on my sides hurts my hips so bad, laying on my belly isn’t possible and laying on my back gives me instant heartburn.

I’m very low energy, low motivation. I feel like maaaaybe that is starting to ease up a little bit, but for the most part I just feel like a slug.

IMG_0434

I’m so very excited to add this baby to the family. Three kids! Thats so awesome!! It will also be really fun to have a warm weather baby! Life is good!

I Never Had to Split My Heart in Half

When I got pregnant with E, I was ecstatic. But almost as soon as I saw that positive sign, another weird, unexpected feeling rushed over me along with the joy. That was guilt. It instantly hit me that H would no longer be an only child and his world of near constant attention and having his parents all to himself would be over in several months. I knew having more than one kid was absolutely right for me. I knew I was going to have more than two kids even. But I never knew how part of me would feel guilty for growing our family. I never thought about that when I was younger and to be honest I never really thought about it much until I learned I was pregnant with my second child.

The feeling of joy was a million times stronger than the guilty and sad feeling. But when I let myself really dwell on those two words, it got worse and worse. I knew how much I loved H. SO MUCH. So how on earth could I possibly love another human as much? Was my heart even capable of somehow dividing such a strong, powerful, fierce love to two kids? How would H not just always be my favorite because I’d had him and known him the longest? Would my second child feel neglected? Would he see that I had a ‘better’ relationship with his big brother? Fear and worry would creep over me easier each time I allowed myself to think on these scary thoughts.

I did my best to ignore them. People add children into their families every day and guess what? The other kids are ok. The new babies are ok. The family is ok. The mom…I hope she is ok. I would switch my focus back to joy. Adding this new little brother to our family was perfect. He was going to be so sweet and handsome and I couldn’t even handle the thoughts of how cute his relationship would be with his brother. Having two sons was absolutely going to be the best thing ever. It was right. It was good. It was perfect. I was going to figure out how to split my love.

Split my love. I hated that phrase, but I thought it all the time. Somehow I’d have to figure out how to take half the love I had for H and give it to his brother. Thats where the real guilt came in. Would H notice I had to share my love? Would he feel like he was less loved and less important? Sure he wasn’t even two yet – but even toddlers notice change. Was he going to be sad? Was he going to be mad at me? Was he going to resent his brother for this big life change?

I never told anyone these fears. No one. I was worried saying I was worried I couldn’t love them both as powerfully, equally and strongly made me a weak mom. I thought it would make me a bad mom. I kept it to myself and I tried not to worry and focus on the joy. I prayed a lot. I tried to have as much faith in myself as a mother as I could.

Then the day came. November 10th happened and I had my second son that night!

I learned something incredible. The second my c-section started I started praying in my head. I prayed that the operation would go well and that my new baby would be safe and healthy. I prayed I would be healthy. I prayed that H was happy back home with his grandparents.

I prayed that my heart could figure out how to be a mom of two.

Something pretty cool happened then. E’s delivery was a little bit scary. As soon as he was out, he was taken immediately to a NICU team in the next room and my husband went with him. I was alone on the operating table with medical people around me. They were talking to me, trying to distract me from the scary thing that had just happened. They were trying to distract me so I wouldn’t dwell on the fact that my new baby still hadn’t screamed or cried or taken a very good breath. I was terrified. Their distractions didn’t work. All I knew is I had only seen my sweet son for a split second and he was gray and silent. I just wanted to hear him cry. I needed to know he was ok. Nothing else in the world mattered in those unknown moments.

Thats when it all dawned on me. I loved him with my whole heart. I loved him just as powerfully, equally and strongly as I loved H. But it wasn’t because my heart split in half. It was because my heart doubled in size in a way only the heart of a mother can do. My love didn’t change, it didn’t shrink or alter for H. It stayed big and the same – maybe it even grew. My love for my new son matched the love I had for H perfectly. I just knew all those worries and fears I’d had most of my pregnancy were all a thing of the past now. I knew that both of my sons had equal, huge love from me. It was such a calming, overwhelming feeling. I was so gracious.

It felt like forever, but not too much longer there were finally some loud and glorious screams from the room next door. My doctors all sighed with relief saying, “there he is!” or smiling really big at me. My anesthesiologist energetically patted my shoulder. My nurses cheered. He was ok. So was I. I loved that little boy I hadn’t really seen so, so much.

He was finally brought out to me where we had our little post c-section face snuggles. It was so spiritual and perfect. He was snorting in my ear and seemed to be telling me he loved me and he was comfortable and happy to be back with me. It was perfect. I told him I loved him and I felt that. I truly, truly meant it.

My heart never had to change its love for H. It knew what it was doing. Maybe all the while my belly was growing, preparing to deliver a child, my heart, too, was growing – preparing to love another sweet little baby.

Magical Monday: Ode to the Disneyland Baby Care Center

*these pictures are not mine – i found them on google

No joke, if I could choose anywhere to work in the Disneyland Resort, I would choose to work in the Baby Care Center. I’m weirdly obsessed with it. You can find the Baby Center at the end of Main Street. If you’re walking up Main Street towards Sleeping Beauty Castle, just turn right at the end of Main Street and its right around the corner.

Its a quiet little building that is a great little baby/toddler/parent sanctuary. If you forgot a binky, diapers, wipes, baby food, etc. you can pick up what you need inside. Its quiet and calm and lovely.

As you enter, there is a small room that seems to be where people like to sit and bottle feed their little ones. Then you come into the large main room (second picture) where there is a small play area, a tv, highchairs and some seating. Beside the main room is a large, blocked off and private breast feeding area. At the end of the large room is another smaller room where you can purchase forgotten items, use a microwave, etc. Then in the back right corner there is a room with 4 changing tables (with large papers to lay down to keep it sanitary), and two small potties (that are also private).

I look forward to any chance to go in there. Is that weird? Well its the truth. We don’t do every single diaper change or nursing break in there, but its a nice option to have – especially when you are decently close to it. If you are in Disneyland and you have a little one who needs to eat, get a diaper change or just needs a moment away from the noise, commotion and stimulation, I couldn’t recommend the Baby Care Center more!

baby-care-externalDSC_0482