What I’ve Learned…8 Weeks Postpartum

Tomorrow I will be returning to work after being on maternity leave and thought I should spend some time reflecting.  The past eight weeks with our son have been an amazing adventure on many levels and trying to put it into words is impossible.  It’s incredible what a newborn can teach you about yourself.

What I learned (or reminded of again)…

  1. Children grow in the blink of an eye, so cherishing the time is important! 
    I realized the most important role in my life right now is to be the best mother to the kids, and girlfriend to Craig. We are a solid unit and need to focus our energy on being the best for them. Cole is almost 16 and thinking about him moving out and on blows my mind…(and insert tears here).  It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that he was a baby and I realize I have been wrapped up in other issues and concerns at times and may have not cherished the moments as much as I could have.  The same for Autumn and McKinley.
  2. It’s ok to cry.  
    I’ve had quite the emotional awakening since Lincoln has been born.  My heart has been softened and sometimes I cry just looking at him…and it’s ok!
  3. Don’t worry about the small things because children don’t care about them. 
    Children don’t care if you have spit up on your shirt, don’t have make-up on, and your hair is a mess.  They will remember how you made them feel…so hold them a little longer, kiss them more, play that board game, watch the show they pick, listen when they are telling you their stories…
  4. Don’t worry about what you can’t control.  
    This can mean not becoming wrapped up in the family or friends who don’t act how you think they should.  People will disappoint you all through life and instead of wasting the time on what a terrible person they are just focus on bettering yourself.
  5. One of the most powerful emotions is evoked when a baby smiles at you…or stares into your soul while holding him.
  6. Just how much happiness a baby can bring to a family!
    We were already happy, but he has added so much more joy to our lives.  Autumn was able to see his birth and was immediately bonded to him (even when he’s spitting up on her).  Cole enjoys playing music for him when he’s fussy and needs calming.  McKinley is never hesitant to pick him up and try to soothe him, and she loves giving him a bath, picking out his clothes, and dressing him (as long as I will put his diaper on).  I’m one blessed momma!
  7. Breastfeeding is not as easy as many assume or how the media portrays, but it is extremely rewarding.  
    With breastfeeding comes moments of painful latching, cluster feeding, engorgement, doubts if your baby is receiving enough, painful clogged milk ducts, the discomfort of the let down, the need for larger shirts, and handling people who have a negative reaction when your child needs to eat.  The look your child gives you while breastfeeding or when he falls asleep at the breast is rewarding…knowing that you overcame all the difficult obstacles to give him the best.  It is a beautiful gift from God not only to create a baby, but to nourish one too—-a woman’s body is beyond amazing!
  8. Giving Lincoln formula is ok.  I have been so focused on exclusively breastfeeding because that is what I have done in the past, but I had to come to realize that feeding him some formula is ok.
  9. Not all babies are the same. 
    Lincoln is different than Autumn, Cole, and McKinley…and I shouldn’t have expected him to be the same as I’m not even the same.  He loves sleeping in his crib, loves laying on his changing table, pees and/or poops after you take his diaper off (be warned), his favorite place to be is eating in mommy and daddy’s bed, and loves taking baths!
  10. How blessed I am!
    I have an amazing man who has supported and encouraged not only me, but my children as well.  Watching him become a father has been a wonderful experience.

Tomorrow will be a bitter-sweet day for sure, but one thing is for sure…the past eight weeks have been pure happiness!

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❤ Crystal

Post slightly inspired by The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: “Story”

39 Weeks Pregnant Update: Prodromal Labor

Never heard of prodromal labor?  Yea, neither did I until this pregnancy and it is one of the most challenging experiences I’ve had while pregnant!  I would have never even believed it was a real thing if someone told me about it.  My body has been acting like it’s in labor with the exception of dilating.  I have been having contractions for two weeks now and they even become consistent where they are 5-8 minutes apart, so I begin to think it just might be time and then they stop.  It’s frustrating, draining, and exhausting.  Sleeping is a challenge and work is interesting when I start contracting while trying to teach.  I’m trying not to complain…really, but this is driving me insane!

Yesterday I had contractions for 5-10 minutes apart ALL DAY!  I made an appointment with my doctor because I was not going back to the hospital.  On my way home from work I had the brilliant idea to stop home—big mistake that was!  I attempted to pull in the driveway, but got stuck on a patch of ice.  I will spare you the long, frustrating story of being dug/chipped out.  I ended up making it to the office before they closed and my doctor was stressed thinking I was delivering in a snow bank!  Haha!  I am now 3cm dilated, heard the lil’ man’s heartbeat, and all is healthy!

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My little wonders…

  • What color eyes will he have?  Blue like mommy?  Brown like daddy?
  • Will he look like daddy?
  • How much will he weigh?  (doctors at the hospital said he weights 7lbs, but my doc says no way and that he is bigger)
  • How long will labor be?  quick?  natural like I’m planning?  smooth? painful?
  • How will labor begin? At home?  At work?  Water breaking?
  • Will labor begin in the middle of the night when I’m in bed with no make-up on or when I look decent?  Yea, hoping I don’t look like a train wreck before even going through labor!
  • Will he have hair?  If the old-wives tale is true that if you have heartburn your baby will have a lot of hair then he sure will have quite a bit of it!
  • How will his big brother and sisters react to holding him?
  • Will I remember how to push?
  • Will I be able to use the water bath/whirlpool for comfort?
  • How will Craig react to seeing his son?
  • What will our first few days home with our new son be like?
  • How many more days will I have to wait until he makes his way into the world?

Share in a comment:  Have you ever experienced prodromal labor?  How did you cope?  How did you end up going into labor?

❤ Crystal

post partially inspired by The Daily Post, One Word Prompt: Brilliant

 

Lesson Learned: Pack a Hospital Bag!

hospital bag blog

Wednesday we had a little scare…I thought I might be in labor…

Craig had his basketball game, and when he left, he gave me a kiss goodbye.  My stomach began feeling very tight, hard, and I kept feeling a sharp pain.  I thought maybe I needed to use the bathroom, so tried that with no luck.  I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and changed into my comfy bed clothes and that is when the pains started to really intensify.

I could barely search google to see if this was normal or what was going on…yes, I google just about everything before calling my doctor.  The pain hurt so bad I started to sweat and couldn’t even look at my phone.  I didn’t want to interrupt Craig’s game because it’s his one time a week he has to enjoy himself, so I decided I would wait.  I knew even if I did call he wouldn’t be able to hear it because he was running down the court…I did send a text for him to call me when he finished.

Maybe the baby is just in a certain position that is causing the pain?

I tried moving around to see if that would alleviate the pain, but that didn’t work.

My daughter looked concerned and asked what she could do…

“Mom, call the doctor or something”

My son began to google reasons for sharp pains, but I eventually told him put the phone down….

“Mom, it might be your cervix” is not something you expect to hear from your fifteen year old.

“Mom, I can drive you to the hospital…”

“Mom, call the doctor, I can talk to him”

Hahaha…what parent thinks they will hear their child say that?

I waited, and my stomach remained rock hard and the pains came and went.  I’ve felt contractions before and these were not what I experienced before.  I gave Craig a call, but knew he wouldn’t hear the ring.  I could wait a little longer!

I don’t even have a bag packed!  This was supposed to be the one time I had a bag ready to go!  I just washed my face and have comfy clothes on!  I don’t want to go to the hospital like this!  Noooo…I don’t want him to be born in November!  This just can’t be!

Fast forward an hour…

…the pains went away and I was able to move around without any discomfort.

Craig called in frantic mode because I sent him a text and called him which is out of the ordinary while he is playing basketball.  When I told him what was going on he said he would be home as fast as he could.

Lesson learned:  we need to write thank you cards, finish up the nursery, pack a hospital bag, and pick a baby name!

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Share in a comment:  What are the must pack items for a hospital bag?

❤ Crystal

When in Rome…Have a Baby Shower!

This past Saturday we were thrown a baby shower by Craig’s family in Rome, New York.  It could not have been more perfect!  A huge thank you to his cousin, Kayla for organizing and planning it all with the help from his Aunt Mary, Uncle Curtis, and cousin Jaimie!  Without a doubt I am a lucky woman to have such an amazing man, and with the added bonus of his wonderful family it just makes everything so much more of a blessing!

Rome Baby Shower

 ❤ Our Favorite Moments ❤

  1. Craig’s Grandmother gave us baby pictures of Craig and photos of his mother and father.  Seeing the photos along with the candle set up to honor them immediately made the tears begin to flow.

 

2. How beautifully everything was set up…the photos do not do them any justice!  The basketball to have guests sign, the candle to light as an honor to Craig’s parents, the mimosa bar, balloons, beer mugs for the men to take as favors, and the candles the ladies received to burn when baby arrives were all just incredible!

 

3. The food!  The food was never ending and delicious—it was brought out in waves starting with breakfast which included eggs, breakfast potatoes, and french toast.  Then salad, along with chicken French, alfredo pasta, and grilled veggies.  Delta Lake Inn definitely has amazing food!

 

4. The games…everyone enjoyed the games and I was able to be the one to de-whistle Uncle Curtis because he said the word “baby”…love that shower game!

 

5. The desserts!!!  Creampuffs, cupcakes, and cannolis, Ohhh…My!  even though I couldn’t technically enjoy them as much as I would have liked they are delicious (I’ve had one here and there for a treat as I closely monitor my sugar).  The best part was the blue faces if they ate one of the blue frosted cupcakes!

 

6. The thoughtful gifts!  From the little red wagon, the sporty bathrobe, the basketball hoop, the million different balls in a box, the adorable suits, the tiny little outfits, and the dresser to put them all in we truely loved everything!  Driving home was quite eventful…haha!

 

7. The people!  It’s always a fun time when we are able to travel to Rome and spend time with Craig’s family, but this time was a little more special because he was able to see some people he hadn’t seen in a long time.  His aunt even drove from Michigan to be there!

 

8. The unplanned balloon release!  Craig wrote a little note on one of the balloons and we decided to release them…emotional moment to end it all, and another way to include his parents into the celebration.

 

As you can see from this post our little MVP is loved so much already!  We are blessed to be surrounded by such supportive, wonderful people.  Thank you all who came to shower us with love!

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❤ Crystal

Photo Credit to Cole and McKinley
The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Temporary

A Peek into Our Family Fall Pictures

Sneak Peek Family Pics Blog

The one must every year for me is to take fall family pictures! The fall is my favorite season.  I started years ago with just taking a few photos of the kids raking leaves, jumping in the pile we created, and going pumpkin picking.

It evolved into an event where more family members came and we took pictures of everyone.  Due to schedule constraints the past few years we have decided to just keep it small with just us–it’s difficult as it is to plan to take them with keeping in mind the peak foliage time, work schedules, and the unpredictable Rochester weather.

We had to do them at 8:30am this year (I was worried we wouldn’t have enough sunlight), and the temperature was about 35°-40°, so we were all freeeeezing!  There were even times where you could see our breath from talking and laughing that I thought it might ruin the shots.  Even though we didn’t take as many as we usually do I’m thankful we were able to take the ones we did ❤

Our sneak peek collage from this year

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Other Family Favorite Group Shots

 

Belly worshipping Favs ❤

 

We ended our hour session with McKinley in a tree as usual…

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Last year & this year (2016 & 2017)

Random Facts About Fall Family Picture Day

  1. There is much arguing and bickering prior to many of the shots
  2. Cole must flip and fluff his hair for every photo
  3. McKinley wore a pair of my shoes, and was not happy about it (she wanted to wear her Nike sneakers)
  4. A spare, handy towel was used for Craig’s runny nose
  5. This was the first year EVERYONE wore the same color (gray)…with the planned exception of me which we decided on purpose
  6. Autumn arrived on time which just doesn’t usually happen
  7. It was so cold that I didn’t switch my lens or settings like I should have
  8. We were unsure if we would have enough sunlight because Autumn had to be at work, so we had to work around her schedule
  9. It was about 35° out…burrrrrrrr
  10. Autumn and I wore the exact same nail polish (unintentional)
  11. Cole’s famous line, “I’m so cold my nipples are as hard as rocks” made us laugh so hard I thought our breath was going to ruin the pics (from the cold)

thankful-and-gratefulShare in a comment:  What does your family do for photos?  Do you take a yearly picture?  I’d love to hear what others do.

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Crystal

Post inspired by the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge Prompt:  Peek

 

 

 

 

 

I Have Been Diagnosed With…

gd blog

After taking my one hour glucose test and my number coming back slightly high (147) I was sent for the three hour test.  This past Saturday I went in to take my three hour glucose test and received the results Monday…

20171029_223341I have gestational diabetes!  Ugggg…months prior to beginning to try and conceive we stepped up our healthy eating, meal planning, started taking vitamins, and being mindful of the foods we eat.  I am beyond disappointed, but know God is trying to teach me something from it all.  Only two of my numbers were slightly high, so that makes me feel better than if they were off the charts.

Next step is to go to the Endocrinologist to see what they say.

I have read just about every article online to gather more information and I just don’t understand why this happened.  I don’t have any of the symptoms.  I want a natural birth…no induction, no cesarean section…I just want to go in labor, without any complications and have a healthy baby!

Is it because I ate too many sweets?  The cupcakes?  The Andy’s Candies?  Chico-Sticks?  I’m not obese!  It’s all a mystery!  Maybe because I have been skipping out on the gym?  I am on my feet most of the day though…that has to count for something?  Does this mean I’ll have diabetes later in life?  What about my son?  Are my other children at risk?  Is it hereditary?  Why have I never been diagnosed with it before?  I worked at a candy store with my first pregnancy and ate pounds of chocolate, but managed to be fine!  So many questions…

I know this is just a small obstacle compared to some that could be thrown my way, so I’m grateful that at least we can make a few more changes to our lifestyle and hopefully finish this pregnancy with everyone in good health!

Comment:  Do you or have you had gestational diabetes?  Any advice you have for me?  Snack ideas? 

Crystal

The Daily Post, One Word Prompt: Mystery

29 Weeks Pregnant: Update

 

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29 Weeks Pregnant

How far along:  29 Weeks
Baby is size of a: Hawaiian Pineapple

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Maternity clothes:  Of course I’m still wearing them…couldn’t even squeeze into my winter coat when the weather took a plunge.  I have to support my Bills, so wear a non-maternity zip-up—love my comfy football Sunday clothes!


Sleep: Sleep has improved actually and my dreams are quite vivid
Best moment this week:  Starting to put the nursery together.  Craig put the crib together, put the rug in, and we started to organize everything—still a long way to go though.  A nursery blog post is in the works.
Symptoms:  Charlie Horses…in my legs and I had one in my arm for the first time ever!
I also had another laughing fit which was so random…I couldn’t stop laughing, I was crying tears, and it was at something that wasn’t even that funny.  I asked my doctor about it, but he said he’s never heard of it before (he ended up blaming it on the hormones).
Food cravings:  Chico-Sticks, milkshakes, Belgium waffles

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Belgium Waffle topped with with Aunt Vicki’s Fruit Dip

Food aversions:  Are these even a real thing?
Gender:  He’s still a boy
Name:  We still haven’t decided on a name
Labor signs:  None…not ready for labor signs yet
What I miss:  Being able to clip my own toenails
Milestones:  Officially a week into my third trimester!  My one hour glucose test came back slightly high, so I had to go in for the three hour test.  I also had my Rhogam shot and TDAP shot this week.
Bump:  Measuring right on track

 

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Crystal

The Daily Post Word Prompt: Gratitude
The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Rounded