Baby Sister!

Flora

June 11, 2020

Details and birth story coming soon. For now, just know that we are all doing so, so well. Our hearts are full as full can be. We have already been so blessed by having this sweet little girl in our family! I can’t wait to share more of her with you later. In the meantime, I’ll be soaking up all the newborn snuggles, smells and sounds because this is my heaven on earth!

My ECV Experience

On June 4th, Craig and I went into the hospital to get Baby Sister moved from a breech (head up) position to a head down position. This was so I could have a much better chance at vaginal delivery and a VBAC. It was also because we didn’t want to possibly risk another experience like Emmett’s birth, which was a bit scary (thankfully only for a moment). We had a few different options of how to go about this all, but ultimately, Craig and I felt best and most peaceful about attempting to move her, and now that all is said and done, and she’s still head down, I feel that it was all very worth it and I’m glad we had the procedure done.

My experience with an External Cephalic Version, or ECV, was painful, but good. Here is the quick recap of how that day went.

Early in the morning we went to the hospital and got all registered and situated in a labor and delivery room. I got into a gown and was hooked up to the heart monitor to track Sisters heart, and a contraction monitor, just in case. I was hooked to an IV and then my doctor came in to explain to us what was going to happen. He told us about things that could go wrong and how they would handle those situations. An anesthesiologist came in, also just in case I needed to be whisked away to have an emergency c-section. The anticipation of the procedure about to happen was slightly nerve wracking, but I knew, I truly knew, I was in good, prepared hands.

I was given some muscle relaxer drug that kicked in really fast and made me feel so loopy and a lot more relaxed. It definitely wasn’t anything that muted any pain, but it did help my stomach stay soft and easy to work with. I was also given a shot in the back of my arm (not sure what that was?) and then a few nurses came in, the anesthesiologist stood nearby, Craig stood near by head and my doctor positioned himself beside me and began the ECV.

Overall, the whole procedure took less than ten minutes. It went smoothly and thankfully the baby cooperated with everything going on for the most part. My doctor definitely knew what he was doing and I was grateful to see how often he checked the ultrasound to make sure she was doing ok in there with all this chaos. Right towards the end when she was nearly all the way head down, her head was being a little stubborn and getting into place, and then all the sudden it was like a puzzle piece fitting perfectly where it should, I felt her head pop into the exact spot it was meant to be. I don’t know how to explain it except that all the sudden she just fit really well where she was at. The procedure was not comfortable at all. It hurt really bad. I kept my eyes closed the entire time and just tried to focus on breathing. I got so hot and felt so sweaty. I could feel my feet flexing hard (nurses later commented on that, too) and my hands were squeezing my gown as hard as I could. It was tolerable pain, but it was not fun at all. I was terribly sore the next couple of days and am still sore in one specific spot. It was rough, but thankfully, not long.

When it was all finished, I was monitored for the next hour, as well as sisters heartbeat. We both checked out just fine and were able to be discharged!

I was told to take it easy the next couple of days and be mindful of good fetal movement (which thankfully there was so much of). Now that it is all said and done, I am grateful for the experience. I’d say it was totally worth it and I’d recommend it to someone who was faced with that possibility with a breech baby.

10 Best Things About Pregnancy

I’m just about to have my third child and have officially reached the point of just being done. Every night and every morning, I plead/pray that labor will start within the next few hours, and I’m not going to lie, when it doesn’t, I get pretty bummed. I’m ready. I’m so, so ready. I want this baby out of my belly and into my arms.

As my attitude about being pregnant feels like it’s steadily declining here at the end, I decided this morning that I was going to try my best to change the way I’m viewing it for today at least. Today I want to dwell on all the things I love about pregnancy and the miracle that it is. I want to remember how very fortunate I am to be able to carry children. I want to have the blessing this phase of life is, no matter how uncomfortable or long, at the front of my mind.

So with that being said, here are

The 10 Best Things About Pregnancy (according to me):

1: The Movement. It’s both magical and crazy all at the same time. Admittedly, it’s also a little painful at times too. But to feel all the kicks, rolls, stretches, jabs, hiccups and twitches is something truly phenomenal. That is a real life, living, human baby inside of me growing and wiggling! It’s amazing.

2: The Connection. Before baby is born, no one is connected to her/him like you. It’s this special bond only the two of you have until they make their debut into the world. I love that currently, I’m the only one that really knows my daughters movements or the only one that really has (the tiniest) grasp at what her personality will be.

3: The Belly. I know women have varying opinions on pregnancy bodies and big growing bellies, but I personally adore mine. I really do. I feel most confident in my skin when I’m pregnant and I am dang proud of my giant belly! With my boys I never got stretch marks, but this time around I have a couple small ones and I’m strangely excited about them! I love what my body is doing and the crazy changes I’m going through. It’s a blessing that I’ve wished for since I was a little girl, and to be living it now is a dream come true.

4: The Food. I’ll be honest, not being judged on what you’re eating or how much you’re eating because you’re pregnant? Ah-mazing.

5: The Stories. I could talk pregnancy/birth all day long for the rest of my life. I love creating all these memories that I can share with people. One of my favorite things ever is sitting around with fellow moms and sharing stories about our pregnancies, births, etc. It’s bonding and it’s beautiful and it never ceases to blow my mind just how different each experience can be.

6: The Daydreaming. I love imaging the baby. Who will she/he be? What will their name be? What will they look like? What will their personality be? What will their interests be? Will they be born with hair? Who will they most resemble? It’s thrilling.

7: The Anticipation. Ok, anticipating your babies arrival can also be terrifying or feel excruciatingly long, but when looked at with the right attitude, it’s exhilarating. Waiting to add another little soul into your family is so special and exciting!

8: The Shopping. Buying tiny baby clothes and accessories is the. best. It also helps makes things feel real. Once you get a significant little stack of items for them you’ll find yourself obsessing over them and looking through them frequently.

9: The Attention. I’m just being honest here – you get special attention when you’re pregnant and hey, it’s kinda fun! You’re a tiny bit of a celebrity when you’re walking around with a big bump. People treat you a little kinder. It can be awkward for sure, but it’s also kind of sweet.

10: The Space. My current favorite thing is just starting at the space my daughter will take up once she arrives. Her nursery. Her bassinet in my bedroom. Things like that. She is going to figure out quickly how she fits into this family and fill that space so beautifully and I am beyond thrilled to watch it all take place. I know she’ll change the dynamic in our family and rock our world in the best possible way and seeing her spaces helps me remember that and get SO stinkin’ excited!

Delicious and Easy Banana Pudding

You know how so many recipes online can’t be accessed until you read (AKA skim over) 100 paragraphs that kind of have nothing to do with the recipe? That won’t be happening here.

(keep in mind I’ve never claimed to be a photographer. this is not an attractive picture of banana pudding. maybe I could have focused more on keeping it neat when I assembled it, but I was also getting help from a four year old, so.,..)

Here is the recipe to a delicious and easy, quick-to-make Banana Pudding recipe!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Large package of Instant Vanilla Pudding – 6oz
  • 2 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 16 oz container of cool whip
  • 4 sliced bananas
  • Nilla Wafers

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large bowl, mix together pack of Instant Vanilla Pudding with 2 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • Add sweetened condensed milk and mix well
  • Fold in half of the Cool Whip
  • In another large bowl, start assembling the dish, alternating between pudding, bananas and Nilla Wafers
  • Top with the remaining half of Cool Whip and decorate with remaining bananas and wafers
  • Refrigerate for a least one hour before serving

Enjoy! Quick, easy and oh so yummy!

ECV

Today I am going to the hospital to have what will hopefully be a successful External Cephalic Version. In other words, today I am going to the hospital and my doctor is going to attempt to spin my baby. If you didn’t know/didn’t remember, she is in a breech position with her head straight up and her little bum straight down. Ideally, she should be flipped the complete opposite way of where she currently is.

Since we have learned she’s breech, we have just been planning on a c-section. But apparently a c-section wouldn’t be able to be scheduled for me until 39 weeks, and with my last pregnancy (which was frank breech and ended up being kind of a scary delivery I’d rather not re-experience) I didn’t even make it to 39 weeks. My water broke just a little after 38 weeks. So my doctors concern was if we waited to schedule me until 39 weeks, there was a very good chance I’d go into labor before then.

There is a lot more detail to all of this and all the different options that I’m choosing to leave out, but ultimately, Craig and I decided to go in and attempt to have her moved. If this all goes successfully, I’ll have a shot to have a regular vaginal delivery – something I truly believed was just out of the cards for me this time around. So this could really be exciting, but I’m also not trying to get my hopes up either way.

Overall, we are just hoping and praying that our sweet girl will be safe. We pray that her heart rate won’t do anything it shouldn’t and that her umbilical cord will cooperate. If possible, it’d be awesome if she decided to stay in the head down position. Then we’d just be able to wait for me to go into labor and have a vaginal delivery, which is what I’ve always wanted deep down. But this all comes down to her. Just as long as she is safe and healthy, I don’t really care how she comes into the world. But right now, the ECV is what feels best to both Craig and I.

Wish us luck!

May 2020

Good

  • Harrison had his adorable little preschool graduation this month and he felt like a star, which made my mom-heart nearly burst into a thousand pieces. It was the cutest. We drove by his preschool while music played and his teachers cheered for him and gave him a gift bag and a balloon. He was on cloud 9 and you could see pride just beaming from him. It was a really awesome experience.
  • My sister also graduated from High School! Best. Graduation. Ever. Can we just start always having drive-by graduations? It was still totally special and personal, but without the uncomfortable chairs, long speeches and the hardship of trying to keep your kids quiet.
  • I’ve been on a nesting spree and I’m all about it. I’m actually a little sad when I realize that after I have baby and I’m healing from my c-section I won’t be able to do all this upkeep on my house that I’ve been so, so obsessed with lately.
  • I’m due next month. Next month! Thats like…soon. I cannot wait. Everything is ready for her. Now we are just waiting for her!!
  • The boys are kind of figuring out bedtime, finally. I mean, its still a pain in the butt getting them to bed and keeping them in bed, but stuff is slowly catching on, especially with Harrison. I’m excited about it and proud of them for trying so hard! They have no idea how much I appreciate it.
  • I love home church. It looks like our church will be starting up again soon, and honestly there is part of me thats bummed out about it. I love doing church from home and I truly feel like my own testimony has grown, as well as the testimony in my little boys. Its exciting and really humbling and beautiful. I actually don’t think my family will be going back to church for a while with me being at the tail end of pregnancy and then we’ll have a newborn. So I believe home church will continue for us for a little bit, but to know its kind of coming to an end does make me a little sad, oddly.
  • I’ve planted my garden flowers and I kid you not, each and every time I see them, I smile. I love flowers so, so, so much. I’m proud of them. They become like children to me and they just bring me so much joy.

Not-So-Good

  • I’ve started having contractions that hurt. Like bad. Especially at night time. So this could totally be on my ‘good’ list too, because that means we are getting closer and closer to baby time, but I’m a big baby when it comes to pain, so its making the not-so-good list currently.
  • My heartburn had kind of slowed down, but its back with a vengeance. Enough said.
  • I feel like postpartum anxiety is already starting in me. Uh oh. I mean, I’m not surprised though. I’m very grateful that Craig is so supportive of me and in tune with my mental state. He helps me in every way possible and helps me feel validated and not like a psycho woman. I’m trying to be patient and kind with myself. I’m trying to remember that having anxiety doesn’t make me any less of a mother. I’m also clinging to the calm that Craig brings me when it comes to all this. I’m thankful for my family that respects me, especially around baby time – its so appreciated!

Home

  • Mostly, ‘Home’ has been used this month with just lots and lots of cleaning, sanitizing and organizing. A happier mom lives in this house when its orderly and clean. That also helps the spirit live here more abundantly, so its a win-win.
  • We have also been doing pretty well with our daily Come Follow Me study together as a family. I feel like I say it all the time, but I have loved seeing the Book of Mormon stories come to life in my boys minds. I love the questions they ask and the lessons they take away from what we talk about. I love hearing them talk about how the stories we’ve learned can apply to our daily lives. Its special and spiritual and has created such a wonderful feeling in our home.

The Big Brothers

It struck me just recently that next month, these wonderful little energy-bombs are going to become big brothers. One of them will become a big brother for a second time and the other will become a first time big brother (and new title of middle child). Like, wow.

Harrison was born to be the oldest. He was born to be the big brother. I have no doubt, that just like he did when Emmett was born, he’ll take on the new title of Big Brother x2 easily and quickly. He has always had this responsible, caring, kind and protective manner about him. Even as an almost two year old when Emmett was born, he never skipped a beat once he became a big brother. He just is meant to be one. I can’t wait to watch him interact with his new little sister and to hear what he has to say about her. I can’t wait to watch him care for her and her well-being. I can’t wait to see them grow up together.

Emmett is going to be unpredictable as a big brother. He will be sweet, excited and so happy to have a baby in the house, but I can also see him being kind of rough, wild and at times, jealous about his new little sister. However, I know overall that he will be so proud of her and eager to show her off. He loves babies, so I can’t only imagine how much he’ll love his own baby. I think he will be fascinated in everything she is doing, even when she is doing nothing. I imagine there will be so, so many questions asked and I can imagine him trying to take care of her all by himself, sneakily, behind his parents backs. He will love her fiercely and I can’t wait to see that all happen. I can’t wait to see how he helps shape his little sister and how he’ll protect her (and probably also drive her nuts) as they grow up together.

I only have sisters, but I always wished I had a big brother, so I feel really excited that my daughter gets two of the very best big brothers, ever. They will each treat her, love her and protect her so differently, and I hope that she’ll always be grateful for them, even if she doesn’t want to admit it at times. I hope they’re always close friends and that they see how much they can learn from one another. I hope they form a bond that never breaks. I’m so excited to see it all. I can’t say that enough. I’m just so excited to see it all happen.

Of course there are the pieces of guilt and worry that sneak in before you add a baby to the family and change the dynamic of the family. But I’ve felt very fortunate this time that the guilt and worry doesn’t completely consume me. More than anything, I am consumed by the excitement and wonder. I keep hearing how a little girl will change the whole dynamic of our family. I keep hearing that Harrison and Emmett are going to be the best big brothers.

I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT ALL HAPPEN!!

Our Memorial Day

On Monday we celebrated Memorial Day. Every year I end up feeling the same way on this day – I feel so proud and grateful. I feel like you read it thousands of times on that day, but the quote “land of the free because of the brave,” always stirs my heart up a bit. I am so very grateful that there are people in this world who fight for my freedoms. I am grateful for their dedication to people. I am grateful for their families. I am grateful for their bravery – oh my goodness, their bravery. I vow to always remember these people and honor them.

On this day, we went with my family to visit my sweet grandpa (who served in the Korean War) and walked around the cemetery for a while. My boys are obsessed with pinwheels and made it their life mission to touch every pinwheel in the cemetery. I always enjoy looking at the gravestones and just wondering who these people were. After that, we went and visited Craig’s grandma at a different cemetery. We didn’t stay very long, but we still did some ‘browsing’ and pinwheel touching. It was such a nice, peaceful day. It felt good to be outside in the nice weather and to visit loved ones who we miss, dearly.

She Did It!

Last Wednesday my youngest sister graduated from High School! I think its safe to say that the class of 2020 has bragging rights for the rest of their lives for the crazy end they had to their Senior year.

So many things were canceled that every high school Senior looks forward to – for my sister, this included Preference, Senior Prom, her end of year Drill Show (she was Head Captain of the Drill Team), and much, much more. I’ve got to say, though, I am so proud of her and her attitude. I know she was bummed – there was no way several months ago when her senior year started that she had even the slightest idea that her last year of school would end so oddly, but she has taken it all in stride, effortlessly. She has kept a good attitude, she’s made the most of it and has found the bright side to each situation that could have easily brought her down. I’m proud of her for graduating, but I’m also so super proud of her for her resilience and optimism. She’s the best.

Her graduation made me think back to mine from several years ago. First of all, my sisters was way better than mine. Her graduation was a drive-by graduation – no long speeches or sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours (the 8 month pregnant woman in me was especially grateful for that part).

I had such a different idea of what my future would hold when I was graduating. I thought I was going to be a Kindergarten teacher. I thought/hoped I’d get married super fast out of school. I thought my friend group and I wouldn’t change at all, and even though we were all going our separate ways, we’d stay as close as we’d always been. I thought I was at the peak of my life and that those were the best days of my life. I thought I knew how to be an adult. I learned pretty fast, however, that my life would actually be pretty different than I assumed it’d turn out – and I’m grateful for that. I love my life now. I wonder what I would have thought back then if I could have got a glimpse into my actual future. I’d probably be shocked to see how different it was – how different I was – than what I planned for. I think I’d be proud and excited of my future.

Now I have to laugh, because the only picture I could find quickly of my graduation that didn’t have friends/boys/family in it, was this one. I had it in an album and captioned this picture with, “looking into my future,” haha! But it seems pretty fitting for this post.

To wrap this up, I just want to tell my sister again how proud I am of her. I can’t wait to see what she does with her life, because I have no doubt it’ll be incredible. Just like her.

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.