Sleep Training Baby Sis

K guys. If you pay any attention to me, you probably know that I don’t sleep at night very well. Why? Well, besides crippling anxiety, it’s because little Flora struggles so hard at night time. It was more common than not to get like maaaaybe two hours of sleep – and not consecutively. I rode the struggle bus – heck, I think I drove the struggle bus – daily, and I knew I needed to figure this out. When I don’t sleep, the first thing really affected is my mental health and…obviously I don’t want that. It also made Flora struggle to be the happy girl she naturally is and it was negatively affecting her naps during the day! It’s safe to say, things needed to change.

So I started simple and hey, somehow it’s working finally! I’ve tried this many times, but now it’s clicking for us both and I’m not lying when I say I have cried about this.

I love sleep.

How We’ve Done It

•At dinner time, I make sure she has a nice, full belly

•She takes a nice, warm bath and thoroughly enjoys every second of it (it’s adorable how much she loves baths)

•We lotion her up and put her in cozy jammies and her sleep sack

•We go in her brothers room to read a book, do scriptures and prayer, then we kiss her brother goodnight

•I nurse her for a few minutes then put her in her crib. Sometimes she is asleep, sometimes she is drowsy. I’m not a stickler on that.

•I turn the video monitor on and leave the room and close the doors

Typically she’ll cry for several minutes, but is then able to soothe herself back to sleep (YAY!) And each night she falls asleep quicker. I’m so proud of her. Seriously.

During the night she will occasionally whimper, but is able to fall back asleep on her own. If she is really sad, I go comfort her for a minute by patting her back and speaking softly to her. She also typically wakes up around 2:30/3 and we nurse – in all honesty, this ones for me. My boobs can’t handle going all night without nursing yet.

It’s amazing. It’s so refreshing and it feels strange and so satisfying to be able to sleep so well at night again. It’s been a long time, after all.

Hashtag BLESSED

Yesterday our sweet Flora baby was blessed, and holy wow it was a special day. Craig gave her a blessing as beautiful and as special as she is (and she’s very beautiful and special). I think some of the phrases that were spoken in her blessing will be ones I keep with me forever, as I watch my little girl grow. She is going to do amazing things and live a great, positive life. I’m so grateful for her. We are so, so lucky to be this wonderful little ladies parents. Our family is so very blessed to have our Flora girl. Know who else is blessed? FLORA!

A Woman in Office

Wow, is Chelsea getting political on a post?!

No. I am not.

Just hear me out.

I am writing this on November 7th, and today, Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States. Which also means that today, Kamala Harris became Vice President. Today, a woman got into the office after a long, long, long line of men before her.

I’m going to be honest. The whole feminism thing has never been something I’m super, super passionate about. I mean, I wholeheartedly believe that women should be treated equal and can do anything a male can do. I don’t believe for a second that women are a lesser power or the weaker species. I’ve just never got all worked up about it before or gone out of my way to be any kind of vocal about women’s rights and things like that. I always supported it, but I didn’t put much into it after that.

Then I had a daughter.

When I look at my sweet baby girl, I daydream about her future. I look into her big hazel eyes and wonder who she’ll be. I wonder what she’ll stand for. I wonder what she’ll pursue. I wonder in what way she will change her part of the world. I wonder how she’ll impact those around her. There is so much I don’t know about her future, but one thing I know for certain is that I don’t want her to have to face any obstacle that her brothers wouldn’t have to face just because she is female. I want her to be able to be whatever the heck she wants to be and I want her to be able to do whatever the heck she wants to do.

Kamala Harris being in office is a step in the right direction. Its proof to these little girls (and big girls) that women can do whatever they put their minds to. Truly, I love what Vice President Harris said in her victory speech when she said, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last — because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

I hope Flora is one of those little girls. I’ll make sure she’s one of those little girls. I want her to know that yes, she is a woman, and she can do anything she puts her mind to. I’m happy that, though she won’t remember the time of Biden and Harris, she’ll be able to look at history and see that a woman was in office. Who knows how many more will have been in as my daughter continues to grow older. I hope it doesn’t stop. I really don’t. Because little girls, whether they’re paying attention to politics or not, still pay attention to what other girls are doing.

I’m very close-lipped about politics. This post is in no way indicative of who I did or didn’t vote for and I have no intention of getting into that. I’m just looking at this, this moment, as a win for girls. The symbolism and significance of a woman, no matter what she stands for or claims she’ll do, is pretty amazing, empowering and exciting. I don’t speak out about much stuff like this, but people being treated equally is something I’ll always be in favor of.

And my daughter can do and be anything she puts her mind to.

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?

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!

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!