H’s Birth Story

My sweet baby H is almost one (can you believe it?) — so I guess now is as good of a time as ever to finally share his birth story, right? I have a private blog where I typed out his story in full detail and I had every intention of sharing it here as well but obviously I didn’t. But alas, here I am finally blogging about the most special, incredible day of my life.

On November 18th I started not to feel well. It was different than the usual discomfort I was used to and ::not to get too graphic:: that day I had passed my mucous plug. My body was getting ready for a baby!

On November 19th I was in pain all day but there wasn’t anything that stood out to me as signs of labor. Plus I had myself 95% convinced I was going to go over my due date (the 24th) so I was pretty sure it was nothing. We went to bed and not too long after falling asleep I woke up to the most excruciating pain in my hips — and it wasn’t stopping. We downloaded a contraction timer app and started timing the pain on the chance they were contractions. I had all my Braxton Hicks contractions in my stomach/hips/back and I’d always heard contractions happened in your stomach, so the fact that the pain I was feeling was only in my hips made me think it was just pain and not really contractions. As time went on the pain spread to my back and lower stomach and it was the same time that the pain AKA contractions were getting closer together and more intense.

I was awake all night and I kept Wild Man up all night with my restlessness and constant moving, whining and panicking. It was time for Wild Man to get ready to go to work and the entire time he kept asking if he needed to stay home and I kept insisting I was fine and he should go. He kept trying to help me find a comfortable position in bed but before I could take a deep breath, the pain would return. After a while I kept throwing up with about every other contraction and was miserable, but still sent Wild Man off to work. As he left I remember sitting on the coffee table and just thinking what the heck is this?!

A lot of the night and into the morning I had been texting my mom and one of my sisters in law about what was happening. They both were giving me advice and such and my mom kept telling me “the only way you’ll feel better is to have that baby!” …she knew I was in labor but I was being stubborn and not accepting that.

Wild Man hadn’t been at work a half hour before I called him and told him I needed to go to the hospital. He came straight home (luckily he worked really, really close to the house we lived in) and he came home and we grabbed our bags, he put a few things away and we left.

I was terrified I wouldn’t be admitted into the hospital and maybe this wasn’t really labor and I was just a baby. After trying to figure out where we were supposed to go we finally got to the labor and delivery area and they checked me. I was at a 6 and my cervix was ‘paper thin.’ HALLELUJAH! They hooked me up to the monitor to track babies heart beat and my contractions and we were admitted around 9:30am.

My contractions were coming every 45-60 seconds when we got there and the nurse strongly suggested if I was going to get an epidural to get it quickly so I wouldn’t be completely warn out when it came time to push. Even though my plan was to feel my contractions for a few hours, I was in a lot of pain and agreed to the epidural.

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After a little while the families started showing up. My mother-in-law, then my mom and sisters, then my dad, then my father-in-law and one of our cousins. I was progressing pretty decently and never had to be given Pitocin! At one point they decided to call in a doctor to break my water because it wasn’t breaking on its own. The doctor came in and had that tool to break my water, but before he used it he wanted to check me and ended up breaking my water with his hand. Also, the rumors are true – that is the strangest feeling.

As I said, I was progressing great but our baby boy wasn’t descending very quickly so they didn’t want me to push quite yet because he was so high so I’d be pushing for a long time. So we waited and waited and waited.

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During this waiting I started to notice something terrifying. My epidural wasn’t working anymore. I could feel everything again. Everything except my thighs down. I really needed it to be working a little higher and it wasn’t. Cue the panic. I told my nurse and she pushed the button that was supposed to give me another dose. But guess what? Nothing. It didn’t help.

Around 3ish I was informed it was time to push. I have a vivid memory of looking at Wild Man and my mom and saying “I can feel everything!” Wild Man squeezed my hand and my mom just said, “Yep!” I mean, what could she do?

So low and behold I had a natural birth. As scary as it was in the moment and as intense the pain was – it was actually pretty incredible and empowering and made me feel tougher and stronger than I’ve ever felt in my life.

Anyway. I pushed for about an hour. I had my family surrounding me and most importantly, Wild Man by my side holding my hand and my leg. Having him beside me was incredible. He was so supportive and I noticed during the pushing a lot of the time I would zero in on Craig and listen to his support and cheering and coaching and it was how I was somehow able to zone out the pain. Thank goodness for that great man.

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At 4:12 pm on November 20th on a Friday, our sweet and perfect baby boy was born. He weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces and was 20 inches long. That moment was so spiritual and perfect and raw and one I will never forget. Our sweet baby was perfect and healthy and we couldn’t have been happier.

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I had a major episiotomy (woof!) and the stitches were pretty painful to get. For the beginning half of getting them, my son was getting weighed and a basic cleaning and it was so hard to sit there and feel everything (stupid not working epidural) but as soon as they gave me my baby and I got to hold him and snuggle him again, I was able to look past the pain again. Thank goodness. You know those sweet babies are special when they can mute all pain.

Holding this fresh, tiny baby was so incredible. This little squishy, beautiful baby boy filled my heart so full and he put a happiness into our life that nothing else ever could.

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We spent the next few hours in the labor room while our family stood around us and stared at our sweet little guy. It was very special. After a little while everyone started leaving and it was just the three of us. Our little family of three. I can’t begin to describe the feeling we felt as it was just us. Everything became so real and raw. Our family felt whole. It was such a terrific moment.

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I was so excited when I learned I was able to go into the nursery with Wild Man and our newborn. They were very cautious about if I would feel ok and told me what to look out for but I knew I’d be ok to accompany my boys to the nursery. It was interesting. It was the first time I was really able to study him and take him all in. He was very red so they had to run a couple tests on his red blood cells (all was well) and then they cleaned him and bundled him up and put him back in my arms and we were taken back to our room.

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We didn’t name him until the day after he was born. We wanted his name to be absolutely perfect for him so we had to think on it a little longer than most people, I guess. It was fun though for a while to be the only two people who knew his name.

We were released on Sunday. We would have been able to leave sometime in the morning but they wanted us to stay until evening because they were keeping an eye on my episiotomy and bleeding. Sometime around 5pm we were released. Going home with our sweet new baby boy was the most wonderful and exciting thing I think we’ve ever experienced. It was all so real and beautiful. We are so, so very happy to be this perfect little boys parents and feel that Heavenly Father has blessed us tremendously with this sweet little one.

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xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Venting Session

Sometimes I wish becoming a mother came with a handbook but as we all know very obviously, it does not. The Captain does not eat. He nurses and he is all about that life. Its the only kind of food intake he wants. Actually I take that back, he likes corn too. But thats kind of it besides the random day where he’ll unhappily eat spoonfuls of baby food or pieces of whatever I’m eating. We all know I’m a worrier so it should come as no surprise to anyone that now — I am worried. I don’t believe he is starving or unhealthy, but I have noticed he gets cranky so much easier and is sad way more than usual and I always assume its because the poor guy is hungry. I love nursing, I really do. The times I nurse H are honestly some of my favorite parts of the day, but he is 10.5 months old and I know he needs a lot more than just my milk now. So I stress out that he’s not getting enough and that he doesn’t feel good or that he is always hungry. But you also can’t force a baby to eat anything so I feel like we stuck between a rock and a hard place. There is no real way to win right now. I just have to be patient and I’m bad at that. I want everything to be perfect for my little buddy and it breaks my heart to even think of him being hungry. Also maybe he isn’t hungry. Maybe he’s totally fine and I’m making this all up – this is a very plausible theory. This is more a post to vent because sometimes venting makes me feel better and can sometimes calm me down and be able to breathe a little better. Heres to hoping thats the case right now.

Thanks for listening.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

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Messy House – Happy Baby

I was talking to a girl the other day who has an 11 month old baby girl. We were having fun swapping baby stories, then all the sudden she asked me, “so does your husband get really upset with you when he comes home from work and the house isn’t clean?” I told her I try really hard to stay on top of house duties but when I don’t, my husband is patient with me and really has never brought the matter up before. After hearing her response I almost feel guilty for saying that. She explained to me that when her husband comes home, if the house isn’t clean, laundry isn’t done, bed isn’t made etc, he gets pretty ticked at her and always begins with, “you stay home with the baby all day…” then proceeds to make her feel like she is failing being a stay at home mom. This lit a fire in me that I haven’t been able to extinguish. A really gutsy part of me wants to march up to this guy I’ve never met before and chew him out – how dare he say that?! Maybe your house doesn’t look like a model home in a magazine, but your child is happy, healthy and safe and that is FAR more important than dishes sitting in the sink.

Just because I am a stay at home mom and I could potentially stay in my pajamas all day and drink 10 diet cokes doesn’t mean this is an easy job or a day off. Being a mom, even to one baby, is WORK. A fun, rewarding work, yes – but work nonetheless. Its the most important job ever. Raising a child is no small task and nothing to take lightly. It is a privilege, a gift and a divine role I have been given so my child is my priority. Certainly not the house, the garden, the groceries, the dishes or the items on the floor.

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I don’t clock in at the office every morning, but I wake up early (after getting not near enough sleep) every morning and I never get time off. I don’t even get private bathroom breaks! Also, I don’t get paid. I stay home with the baby and I keep him safe, I keep his tummy full, I allow him to adventure off and let his curiosity run wild while making sure no danger comes upon him, I teach him things, I actively try to be a good example to him, I practice a lot of patience, I finally get dressed and ready only to get food (or who knows what else) smeared in my hair and on my clothes, I play with him, I chase our wiggly, active baby around and keep him entertained. If I have time and if my baby doesn’t need me, then I will get house work done. Usually this isn’t too hard to accomplish, but some days its impossible – I’m not kidding. So if at the end of the day the house is a mess but the baby is fed, in one piece, happy and safe – I have excelled at my job.

I am so so sooooo grateful that my husband is patient with me and recognizes and appreciates the work I do as a full time mother. He knows I put H first and other duties second and I really love that he is in full support of that. For those of you who are feeling pressure to be better – I hope you don’t feel like you’re failing. You put that baby first. If you can get stuff done around the house, awesome. But that baby is your responsibility, your main priority and far, far more precious or valuable than anything else, ever. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for putting your little human first. You rock.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Bedtime Routine

I feel like this post needs a disclaimer. I am not a sleep training expert in the least. I very easily throw in the towel when H is crying in his crib and bring him in to sleep with us and only recently have I really started being strict about a schedule for him. So don’t think this is any form of professional advice – this is just what has worked (surprisingly well) for us.

Being a mom is so fun because you get to talk to other moms and bounce ideas off of each other, hear how they mom and share how you mom. Its way fun for me. The other day a couple friends and I were talking about crib training our little ones. Some were rocking it and some were feeling defeated. I feel like I’m somewhere in the middle but on the up-and-up.

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  • Every night we start our routine as close to 9pm as possible
  • We start with bath time – I let H play for a little bit because he loves bath time and splashing as much and as fast as he can
  • Then we take him into his room, lotion his body, clean his ears, brush his hair and put his diaper and pajamas on, put our Owlet Monitor on his foot and give him his binky
  • Then either me or Wild Man sit in the chair in his bedroom, stick H on our lap and read 2-3 books
  • We have family prayer – soon I would also like to do a little scripture study before we say prayer
  • Then Wild Man turns out the lights and I sit in the chair and nurse Harrison (and play on my phone)
  • After 10-15 minutes he is either asleep or very close to it and I lay him in his crib. 99% of the time he wakes up when I do this but I just leave him be in his crib
  • We sort of cry it out. I anticipated the whole cry it out ordeal to be awful but H is rocking it and only cries for 15 minutes tops before he falls asleep (then typically wakes up around 5am)
  • I also make sure he always has his Mickey Mouse plush in his crib with him. I read somewhere to make sure they have something familiar and comforting in the crib with them so we chose Mickey. I also like him having something to snuggle with in his crib because when he sleeps in our bed he cuddles up tight with one of us and I think now he’s used to having someone/something close to him, so when he’s in his crib that something is Mickey and its been working great so far

The whole routine usually ends around 9:30 or 9:45 and it leaves Wild Man and I a few hours to ourselves before we also go to bed. I’m so glad this schedule thing is finally working. Of course there are still the nights where nothing goes according to plan and H wakes up at 1am screaming, but for the most part it goes really well. Hooray! Sticking to a schedule and always trying to start at 9pm has probably been the most useful tool. Around 8:30 I can tell H starts to get tired, whereas before we started to do this some nights he’d go down for the night around 8 and other nights he’d finally fall asleep around midnight. Sticking to a time has been perfect for us.

How have you “crib trained” your little one?!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Another Swaddle Designs Giveaway!

A couple weeks ago the fabulous company that I love and adore, Swaddle Designs contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a product and doing another giveaway! Of course I said yes! And I am so, SO excited for this one because its something I am CRAZY about!

This is the Cotton Knit zzZipMe Sack and I promise you need it.

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I will be honest, when I first heard about it I was skeptical and wrote it off as an item my 8 month old son would not be into – therefore neither would I. But here I am, eating my words. I am in love with this product. This product was created to help transition your sweet baby from swaddling. It is essentially a cute sack to zip your baby up in when they go to bed. There are arm holes at the top so their little arms can still be out and able to wiggle but their bodies are all enclosed in the sack. A feature I particularly love is the double ended zipper which makes middle of the night diaper changes a breeze. Oh and the fabric options are to die for! They are available in sizes 0-6 months (fits up to 28 inches) and 6-12 months (fits up to 32 inches). It is soft and stretchy and makes your baby somehow look even more cuddly and sweet!

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Now YOU can enter to win a zzZipMe Sack! To enter visit my instagram: @ceeceesparkles and follow the directions there! Good luck!

While you’re at it make sure you visit swaddledesigns.com to see all their amazing products and follow them at @SwaddleDesigns on Twitter and Instagram! I really do love Swaddle Designs and have been a die hard fan since becoming a mother.

Good luck!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Sweet Baby Stinker H

When we got home from Lake Powell I vowed to myself, Wild Man, H and anyone else who would listen that we were finally going to get H to sleep in his own room – in his crib. I am totally a supporter and a fan of co-sleeping and of course we are going to still do that from time to time, but he is 8.5 months old and I want him to be comfortable in his crib and for him to take good, solid naps in there and sleep the whole (or majority of the) night. For so long this has seemed like the impossible goal. I get so easily discouraged about this and after asking around, getting advice from all sorts of other Mommy Bloggers I have decided to be diligent in this goal.

After Powell I let H sleep one more night in bed with us, then we got onto real crib training. I hated it, but we did the cry it out method. I was ready for a long, awful, emotional night but much to my surprise he cried for maybe 15 minutes and was out and slept until 4:30am! We were so thrilled!

We have been good about our night time ritual. At 9 o’clock we start winding down. We try to make sure we are home, we give H a bath then lotion him, get him in his pajamas, read 2-3 books, say our family prayers then I nurse him and stick him in his crib. He’s either fallen right to sleep or cried for a little bit, but ultimately this has worked awesome for us.

I have to mention the Owlet, too. This is a little monitor we stick on his foot at night and it tracks his heart rate and oxygen level. I can check these levels on my phone whenever I want. This has given my anxiety-filled heart so much peace of mind. I love knowing an alert will sound if something is wrong with my baby, so I’m able to get some solid sleep in. Its a miraculous invention and I highly, highly, highly recommend this incredible product.

Anyway.. We were doing awesome for a week. Then two days ago I don’t know what happened. Everything is ruined. K, not everything. But our precious schedule is skewed somehow and I want to go back to the way things were before. H doesn’t really want to nap, anymore. He fights them so hard and has rarely gone over an hour long nap in a while. We get him to bed around 9:30 and usually he’ll sleep until 3 or 4 am but now he wakes up at like 11pm screaming! And he’s really hard to get back to sleep. Its so frustrating because not long ago he was rocking his perfect schedule.

Everyone assures me it’ll all go back to normal eventually. But I just had to complain.

Also, H has decided he is a big boy and no longer needs baby food. Or most food, really. He used to be the champion baby food eater. But then he just decided he was past that point in his life. So we started feeding him real solids – bananas, watermelon, raspberries, cereal, etc, and now he doesn’t want those either! Stinker. He will eat snacks upon snacks upon snacks (he got that from his mom – shoot) and has no interest in any other food. Except breast milk, of course. This boy is ALL about nursing and I think he’d happily let my milk be his sole food source for the foreseeable future.

Again, I’m sure this is a phase and he’ll decide to eat food good again soon. But again… I needed to complain somewhere.

Babies are funny. Just when you think you’ve got them figured out they decide to change everything up on you!

Gotta love it.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Tummy Drama

My little Captain has had a rough go since starting solid foods. Everything was smooth sailing and easy going when he was living solely on breast milk then we introduced baby food and its been a roller coaster ever since. One day all baby food and baby treats are treating him well and sitting just fine, then the next day boom, everything that isn’t breast milk wreaks havoc on his poor tummy. I hate that I can’t fix it and can’t figure out what exactly the problem is. Especially today after he has had yucky diaper after yucky diaper after yucky diaper I am feeling awful that I don’t have super powers that can take away whatever little stomach bug he has. The only good thing about all of this is that I am getting lots of awesome snuggles. But I still feel mom guilt.

Oh sweet babies. Tugging our heart strings, keeping us on our toes and consuming our every thought.

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Feel free to send H good vibes – we’d both appreciate it!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles