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!

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!

People are Good and Prayers get Answered

Sometimes good, amazing things happen and are just too good not to share. In fact, this past week at church we were kind of challenged to share our testimonies or spiritual experiences with people. As I pondered how I could do this, I kept thinking of my social media platforms and wanted to think of a way to share on those. Then Tuesday happened and I knew exactly what I could share.

I have two quick stories that will really stick with me for a while and I am excited to share!

Lets start at the beginning.

FIRST STORY

On Monday evening and all through the night, a lot of Utah, our area included, was hit with a crazy thunder and lightning storm accompanied with TONS of wind and rain. The boys and I had stayed up late that night watching the storm and listening to it from their bedroom window. The next morning it was evident that the wind had done some pretty significant damage around our town. For some reason our area was spared from much damage, but as we drove to the grocery store that morning we drove through a neighborhood that had been hit hard by the wind. Some streets you couldn’t even drive down because trees, huge ones and small ones alike, were strewn across the road. Fences were ruined by these trees, some light poles were down, play houses and trampolines weren’t in their original spots.. It was a mess.

But it brought about some amazing sights. There were so many trucks pulling trailers coming into this neighborhood and trucks and trailers already there. People, strangers, friends and neighbors scattered these neighborhoods and were helping chop these trees into smaller pieces and haul them out of the neighborhood. I watched a man standing in a yard with his arm around a little frail old woman who seemed pretty upset about the damage to her big front yard trees. I saw people working together to lift big heavy tree trunks into trailers. It was really incredible and humbling to see.

It was a beautiful reminder that there are so many good people in the world. It was amazing to see these people coming together to help their community. I felt really honored to witness it.

SECOND STORY

I have been (pretty silently) stressing out about body image this pregnancy. Not necessarily my pregnant body – I’m actually really confident in my pregnant body. I love what its doing and I’m truly proud of it. I’m more obsessed and nervous about my after-baby-body. If you remember, before this pregnancy I’d got my body to a place I was super proud of. I’d lost weight and got into great shape. I know very well that once Baby Boy is here I’ll very likely be starting back at square one with my body. I know I’m gaining weight and I’ll have to put in a lot of work again to get my body back to that spot I loved before I got pregnant. I keep getting so fixated on this. I’m not in a bad mental state or anything, its just frustrating and consumes my thoughts from time to time.

So on Monday evening, pretty casually in my prayers before bed, I asked Heavenly Father to help me accept my future post-baby body. I know it sounds kind of silly, but I knew God knew what I was talking about.

The next day we went to the grocery store (where we saw all the amazing stuff from story one). While there, I ran into a girl I knew from an old neighborhood. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, but one thing I remembered about her is that she isn’t able to have children of her own. However two months ago, she and her husband were able to adopt their first baby – a beautiful little baby girl she had wrapped around her chest. It was exciting to see her be a mother and we had a nice little brief conversation and caught up.

As she turned and walked the other way after we chatted, she ended up running into someone else she knew. I remained on the aisle trying to find salad dressing that was taking forever to be located (something I know now was no coincidence). I could hear my old friend and this lady she knew chatting for a second and then the adoption was brought up.

Clear as day during their conversation, I heard the girl start talking about how she’s still having a hard time accepting that her body will never look like…and then she pointed down at me. Then she told the woman she was talking with she would kill to have her body “look like that,” one day.

The brightest, most amazing lightbulb went off in my head then. My post-baby body, whatever it may look like, is something that some people would do anything to have. And I’ve been taking it for granted. I’ve been dreading it. I’ve been disrespectful to it. But in that moment, my prayers were answered and I was reminded of just how special, sacred and wonderful my body is – even the body that I’ll have in those following weeks and months after giving birth to my fourth child. I love how the Lord works.

So now I’m going to do my best to hold tight to those feelings I had in the grocery store. I’m going to try to remember the epiphany I had and the reminder I was given that even a post-baby body is absolutely beautiful and worthy of lots of love and respect.

The Final Countdown

I feel like once you hit week thirty of pregnancy, you’re on the final countdown. Right? So that means that for a couple of weeks now I’ve just slowly been checking off days getting me closer and closer to little brothers due date. Its exciting! Time is moving fast and slow, but all kind of at the perfect speed. School will have started by the time he arrives (likely) and I’m not mentally ready for that, so I’m ok with these summer days dragging on, honestly. However the stretching belly pain, hip throbbing, achey back, nausea, sciatic fun and heartburn are also causing me to wish that time flew. Its a mix – but I’m ok with it all for the most part.

I’m doing pretty well. Still sick, but the longer it lasts, the more you’re used to it. Gestational Diabetes has been a ton more manageable this time around and I’ve learned so much more about how to handle it, listen to my body and understand the foods I’m eating. My stomach is really sore and I feel like way more often than I’d like to, I need to lay down just to take the load off. That, or go hop in the pool to feel weightless for a while, and thankfully my kids are always happy to get in with me (hallelujah).

The excitement is definitely growing. I’m imagining him in more detail now. I feel like I’m getting to learn more about his personality lately through his movements. He responds to sound, pokes, music and commotion. I’ve started going through the boys old baby clothes and am picturing him in them. Its been real for a while now, but its all getting really real lately.

I’ve also began the zillions of lists I make before having a baby. The hospital bag list, the things to do around the house before he’s born list, the list of random things I still need to buy, the list of postpartum care things I’ll need, the baby name list – because no, we are still not even close at naming this little man… You know, those types of things. But I actually love lists, so don’t confuse this paragraph for a complaint, because it isn’t at all.

As far as cravings go, I really don’t have any. Well any food cravings. I do, however, crave the smell of most cleaning products – especially laundry detergent and dryer sheets. I also love the smell of (don’t laugh at me) dirt. Oo, especially wet dirt. Yum. Am I psycho? I don’t know, maybe. But I love it all too much to really care.

I’m just really happy. I’m feeling hopeful and excited and can’t wait to finally meet this sweet little baby boy!! Life is good.

The Day I Found Out I’m Pregnant! – 1st Trimester of Pregnancy Log

It still doesn’t feel real. This 100% feels like a very, very good dream. But it’s actually reality! Today (January 3, 2022) I took a pregnancy test in the middle of the day and the clear, bold + sign told me loud and clear that I am pregnant!!!

The Story

We have been trying to get pregnant since October (my second miscarriage was in September) and I’ve been trying so hard not to get too hung up on the whole process, no matter how hard that can be for me. But a couple days ago I realized my period was due in the next couple of days and I hadn’t felt a single normal period cramp – and I’m one of those lucky people who start getting them a whole week before I start. I also finally let myself ponder on what the reasons could be that I get so tired in the evenings and have felt mildly nauseous for the past few nights.

Could I be for real pregnant?

I wanted to take a test but of course I didn’t have any in my house. So I added a pack to my online grocery pickup order and vowed to wait the 2 more days.

The day all these thoughts were starting was the day I was supposed to start my period. But nothing. The next day? Nothing. But that same day, I had my grocery pickup order in the late afternoon. I know it’s typically best to take a pregnancy test in the morning when you first wake up and use the restroom, but I simply couldn’t wait. I needed to know either way.

So in the middle of the day while Harrison was at school, Craig was at work and Emmett and Flora were content watching a show and playing with toys, I hid myself in the bathroom and took a test. I finished up then I watched it. I didn’t set it down for two minutes and walk away. I kept my eye on it the whole time. And as I washed my hands and watched it closely, I was greeted with a vibrant, clear plus sign.

Pregnant!

Birthdays!

These two beautiful people had birthdays last week!! Our Flora girl is two (how?) and Craig is thirty-something 🙂 I’m so grateful for both of them. I can’t think of two better people who are more deserving of wonderful lives!!

Your Little One CAN Go to Disneyland Resort! (updated)

Last time I’ve posted the list of things your little ones can do in Disneyland Resort was back in 2016! And guess what? Quite a bit has changed in the park since 2016, and seeing as people ask me actually quite a bit what I suggest doing with toddlers and babies in Disney, I think its about time I update this post so when I send it off to inquiring minds, its up to date!

Let me start with this, 100% I believe that Disneyland is for ALL ages. Even teeny tiny. I live in Utah so I, unfortunately, can’t get to DLR quite as frequently as I’d like to, but we still go often. The earliest I’ve taken a baby to Disney was when my second child was two months old. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be going when Baby Brother is even younger. Its still magical. Even with teeny tiny people. So if you’re asking me for my opinion on if its worth taking your littles to Disney, my answer will ALWAYS be YES.

So lets get into this, shall we?

WHAT YOUR LITTLE ONE CAN DO IN DISNEYLAND RESORT:

DISNEYLAND:

MAIN STREET USA

  • Disneyland Railroad: This train takes you around the whole park with plenty to look at. Its a great attraction to sit and relax for a while and eat a snack. If you’re a nursing mama, this is a great spot to nurse!
  • Main Street Vehicles: These are the cars or horse-drawn street cars and carriages you see going up and down Main Street. Its another fun way to get off your feet and see Main Street in a different way. Little ones love this, and being pulled by a horse is always particularly exciting! You can also learn your horses name, which hangs in the carriage it pulls.

TOMORROWLAND

  • Astro Orbiter: This is basically the Dumbo ride, but in a rocket. To little ones, its exhilarating and exciting.
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: A fun ride with bright, glowing colors and fun sounds. Weather your little one can shoot the blaster or not, its a fun one for them. They also tend to enjoy controlling the direction your vehicle turns.
  • Monorail: There are stops for the monorail in a few spots in DLR, but we’ll cover it here. Its cool, out of the sun, another great nursing spot and little ones looking out the window at a unique aerial view of Disney.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: This is a long, unique ride. You board a submarine, take your seat and peer out your own personal window at Nemo’s world under the sea. Its a lot of fun and there is so much to look at.

FANTASYLAND

  • Alice in Wonderland: A bright, exciting ride that takes you through Alice’s story. Its both indoors and outdoors and you get to ride in a cute, colorful caterpillar.
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train: An outdoor ride with sights and sounds galore. All the cars are different and provide a slightly different riding experience. Our personal favorites are the cage-like cars.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant: Everyone knows this one, right? Its iconic and something so many people associate with Disney, so little ones get so excited about it. You ride in Dumbo and fly around in circles. Your little one will adore it.
  • Small World: If I could only recommend one ride for you and your little one to enjoy while at Disney, this would be it. Its a fairly long ride, its bright and colorful, its happy and the song is fun (right?!).
  • King Arthurs Carousel: Its your typical carousel on brightly colored horses with great music and sights. My kids always gravitate toward this ride.
  • Mad Tea Party: The teacups always spin, but if you don’t manually spin them, they don’t go nearly as fast which can make for a fun and more tame ride for your little partner.
  • Mr. Toads Wild Ride: A short little indoor ride in a cute little car with a wheel to steer and plenty to look at.
  • Peter Pans Flight: Another classic much like Dumbo. You ride in a pirate ship suspended in the air and fly over London and Neverland. If you ask me, its a must do.
  • Pinnochio’s Daring Journey: A ride very comparable to Mr. Toads – a fun one.
  • Snow White’s Enchanted Wish: This ride has been updated from Snow White’s Scary Adventure and is much more child-friendly now. Again, similar to Mr. Toad and Pinnochio. Even better things to look at.
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats: You ride an adorable boat while a Cast Member gives you a magical guided tour around Storybook Land where you’ll see Princess castles, Monstro the whale and lots more.

TOONTOWN

  • Gadgets Go-Coaster: A children’s rollercoaster thats a lot of fun – there is still a heigh requirement here, 35 inches, its just a lot shorter than the usual rollercoasters.
  • Rodger Rabbits Car Toon Spin: A ride through Rodger Rabbits story – and your car spins!
  • You can meet Mickey and many of his friends in Toontown, too, as well as tour the Fab 5’s houses.

FRONTIERLAND

  • Mark Twain Riverboat: Its the huge white boat out in Rivers of America. Its a fun ride to sit and snack, nurse or sight-see and people watch.

CRITTER COUNTRY

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Board a beehive and ride through the Hundred Acre Woods to go on an adventure with Pooh Bear and all his friends.

NEW ORLEANS SQUARE

  • Haunted Mansion: This gets a wrap for being a scary ride. Smaller babies don’t seem to care that its ‘scary’ and its possible your LO will be a little frightened, but I know from experience that you can talk your child through it and help them realize its only pretend scary. Try and give it a shot if your little buddy will let you.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: There are two smallish drops on this ride, but considering a teeny tiny baby could still ride this, that tells you its not too dramatic. This is another that may seem a little scary, but is likely more exciting and has lots to look at.

ADVENTURELAND:

  • Enchanted Tiki Room: This is a show where you get to sit and listen to the birdies sing, chant and thoroughly entertain you. Its bright, loud and lots of fun. Another good spot to nurse.
  • Jungle Cruise: A cruise through the jungle with a  hilarious Skipper and lots of animals (and the backside of water!) to look at. Super exciting for a little one!

CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE:

  • Little Mermaid’s Undersea Adventure: One of my personal favorites. You ride in a big sea shell and basically go through the movie, Little Mermaid. It is bright with so much to look at and there are songs throughout the whole ride.
  • Red Car Trolley: This is the Trolley that rides on tracks around Buena Vista Street. Its a fun way to sit and let your little one look around.
  • Disney Junior – Live on Stage: Ok, its not a ride but I had to mention this one. Its a bunch of the Disney Junior shows on stage! If you have little ones (especially ones who love Disney Junior) then this is an absolute must.
  • Monsters Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue: A fun ride through Monstroplois. Its short, air-conditioned and bright. The outside of this ride is an awesome photo op too, by the way.
  • Golden Zephyr: Soar around in a spaceship! Its fun, spins and is something a little different for the kids.
  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind: Do you remember Flik’s Flyers in Bugs Land? This is it! No really. Its the same ride, just repurposed. Ride in a cute Inside Out themed bucket around and around.
  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel: Quite possibly the cutest carousel ever. Woody’s Roundup animals are all together for you to ride on in the most adorably themed carousel.
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic: A fun 3D show featuring Donald Duck popping in and out of different Disney movies.
  • Toy Story Midway Mania: Ok, admittedly this rides a little rough for some little ones. There is some fast and jolty spinning, but I’ve taken small babies on this and its been just fine. Lots to look at – and its indoors.
  • Pixar Pal Around: A big, fun ferris wheel! You have the option of a swinging gondola or a non-swinging one. It gives a great view of California Adventure and for me, its an excellent time to breast feed (and sometimes not have to fully cover up!)
  • WEB Slingers: I. Love. This. Ride. So. Much. I love that all ages can enjoy it. Go on an adventure with Spider-Man, himself, and help him destroy the rampant Spider-Bots by slinging your very own webs! Seriously, the greatest.

So there you have it, friends! An updated list just proving there is so much for little ones to do in Disneyland Resort! And these are only the attractions – there is still so much more! Parades! Fireworks! Shops! Shows! The list could go on..

I hope this is helpful! You’re all amazing and lovely and magical!

Lately..

Hi, friends!

Gosh its been forever. But the break has been good. Pregnancy really kicks my booty. I’m still feeling so nauseous and throw up frequently and though some energy has come back, I definitely don’t have it all yet (will I ever?) and also chasing around three energetic little kids…oh boy. Its all a lot. I’m not complaining though! This is all I’ve ever wanted. I love my people and in the long run, I know that I’ll miss this pregnancy someday and I mean, nine months isn’t thaaaaaat long (but it does feel like eternities when you’re in it).

We are so happy to have peeks of warmer weather lately. Its like pool season is just around the corner and I can’t wait! This is truly one of the most beautiful times of the year and I love being able to experience it all with my kids and taking them out to explore it all. We’re currently in the middle of Spring Break where we decided to stay home but do something fun each day (so far its consisted of the zoo and the dinosaur museum) and its been a blast!

I’m sure hoping to be here more often. But ultimately I’m a mom and my kids, husband and my health take the front seat – so sometimes that means the blog is put on hold for a while. But at least right now, I just feel ready! Sooooo hopefully see you again soon!!

SURPRISE!

TA-DA!!

We have been keeping an exciting little secret for the last several weeks and I’m overjoyed to be able to share this news with you!! A sweet little baby will be joining our family later this year! Our fourth baby! I’m feeling so, so grateful. This is my second rainbow baby, and this little one has already calmed, healed and helped my heart in so, so many ways.

I think the best part of all of this is just how excited my boys are for this baby. They’ve known for a few weeks now (and have done a great job at keeping it secret) and are so beyond excited. Its precious! It gets me all teary-eyed just thinking about the great love they already have for this little one.

As far as myself, I’ve been feeling very…well, pregnant. I’m sick and throwing up way more than I care to admit. I’m super weak and get dizzy pretty easy. I have no motivation. Like, maybe lately its kinda-sorta trying to come back for a few minutes at a time, but for the most part, my energy is at a big ol’ 0. BUT its hard to complain when I know I’m getting the great honor of having another sweet baby.

Its an exciting time, friends!! Thanks for being here for it all!

The Slow, Happy Start to 2022

Oh, hey! Its been a while, hasn’t it? I’m not going to lie, I just haven’t been in the headspace lately to really keep up on my blog. Even Instagram, which I really love, hasn’t been my favorite for the last couple of months. Just sometimes things come easy and sometimes things don’t, you know? So I decided not to force anything. If I felt inspired to blog, I was going to – but clearly, it never happened.

BUT I’m starting to feel the itch to do this all actively again. Its exciting! I’m glad I gave myself the break. It felt good and it felt right. Now it feels good and right to be back.

2022 has started off really slowly for me. I was comparing the beginning of this year to the beginning of 2021 for me, and wow it has been different. In 2021 I started off strong and so determined to put my health first. I was a powerhouse. I was crushing goals. I was feeling so ambitious and motivated. It was awesome. For 2022, I made the decision not to set a whole lot of goals/resolutions at the beginning of the year. I’m not sure why exactly, because its so unlike me, but again, it just felt right in the time. I just decided to focus on my family, myself and putting service at the forefront of our minds. Its been nice. I’ve felt a lot less pressure. I’ve figured out how to be grateful for each small moment. I’ve learned that I have accomplishments all the time, they’re just small. Accomplishments don’t have to be massive and monumental. Its been really good for me.

My family and I have had a really good year so far. Admittedly, I think we are all looking forward to warmer weather a bit, but even still, life is good (and the snow is so stinkin’ pretty). I’m not entirely sure what this year will look like. Like I’ve said, for the first time in a long time, I don’t have these milestones I’m working towards. I’m just taking every day in stride and enjoying it all.

Life is good. I am happy. I hope you, my friends, are as well!