Lincoln’s Birth and First Week

A week ago, our son, Lincoln Joseph was born!

My due date was January 14th and I was ready long before he was due to give birth.  The end of my pregnancy brought terrible prodromal labor, a sore, swollen body, heartburn that ended in throwing up, groin pain, shortness of breath,  rolling over in bed was almost impossible, and every time he moved it hurt—I was ready to give birth and tried everything to spark labor naturally.  I drank the red raspberry tea, walked, squatted, washed all my hardwood floors and baseboards on my hands and knees, stair walked, vacuumed the entire house…several times, had sex, walked some more, took baths, and nothing seemed to work.  I even packed my classroom up because we are moving to another school in a week thinking that might push me into labor, but that didn’t work either.

3 days before he was born

The night of my due date I cracked and just cried because I was so uncomfortable and told Craig that I was trying to deal as best as I could, but I wasn’t sure how much longer I could do it.  The prodromal labor is what was really driving me over the edge because I was having contractions for three weeks!  He was supportive as possible with trying to make me comfortable, but I was at my breaking point.

About an hour later I sat on the couch and began to feel strong pains.  I dismissed it thinking it was the way I was sitting.  The pains became stronger, but I dismissed it as prodromal labor.  What made me realize I was in actual labor was when I went to the bathroom and I was bleeding…I knew my son would come soon!

I was not rushing to the hospital after being sent home twice already, so we decided to wait a little before calling the doctor.  Craig dried some laundry he was in the middle of doing and I made sure all the last minute items were added to my hospital bag.  We laid down in bed and decided to watch some TV, but the contractions were stronger—stronger than I had felt in my previous pregnancies.  I decided to call the doctor and I was told to go to the hospital.


I was 5cm when we arrived at 1am…I swear I would be farther along, but nope.  We were admitted and the contractions were more painful.  My doctor was not on call, but I did know the doctor who was.  I wanted to try the water bath to manage the pain, but he wouldn’t allow it because he was afraid I would then be giving birth in the water.  With few natural options to manage my pain I discussed an epidural with him—he said that it would not mean that I would end up delivering in a c-section and that the baby was not at risk.  He said I needed to decide asap because if I waited it would be too late.  I decided to have the epidural and be more comfortable.


While waiting for the epidural I decided it was time to give Craig his surprise I packed in my hospital bag—a dad shirt!


Being administered the epidural is a painful process itself, but I’m glad I decided to have it!  I did slow down my dilating, so needed Pitocin to speed things up again.  At one point I felt out of it and light headed because my blood pressure went down, but laying down helped that and all was good after that.  I dilated pretty quickly after that and we decided to break my water to further the progress.

We sent a few texts to let certain family and friends know that our little one would be here soon!  At this point my father and his girlfriend were in the waiting room, my oldest daughter, Autumn was in the room, and Craig’s cousin, Kayla was in the room.

Then we received some great news!  A shift change was about to happen which the doctor on call would be leaving, and because the doctor coming in had an operation scheduled my doctor would be coming in.  This is the same doctor who delivered Autumn and Cole, so it was nice!

The doctor walked in, I was fully dilated and ready to push.  He changed his clothes and I knew it wasn’t going to be long now.  He put some soapy water down below and I made the comment that cold water would feel good right about now.  He thought I meant a cup of water to drink, but I explained how some cold water poured down below would feel amazing…he said whatever I want and poured some cold water down there, but it didn’t feel as cold as I hoped.  I knew the ring of fire was coming…


I pushed for a little while and then I knew one more push and he would be here…the ring of fire was next and I knew if I could get through that then the majority of the pain would be over.  Listening to everyone encouraging me while Craig held my right leg and my doctor with my left I gave another push and he was here.  I only cursed once through it all…haha!  Craig cut the cord and he was put on my chest.  He immediately began to breastfeed—amazing that he knew what to do so quickly!  We all knew he was a large baby by looking at him—-I felt my entire pregnancy that he was going to be a big baby.

While he was on my chest and we were all checking him out the doctor pushed on my stomach to deliver the placenta and stitched me up.  I sure did grab his hand when he pushed on my stomach…a reflex I just can’t help!

I had about an hour of skin to skin contact with him until they took him to take his weight and do all of the tests they do.

Everything was perfect!

Candid Shot by Kayla

Lincoln Joseph

January 15th @8:45am

9lb. 13 1/4oz. 21″long

Lincoln’s 1st Week

Day 1:  He cluster fed all night, so we did not sleep at all…was a rough night!  The hospital shower is not hot enough and has minimal pressure.  I just want a nice, long, hot, shower!

Day 2:  I wanted to be home asap and my doctor approved, but we needed to stay the minimum of 36 hours—when that 36 hour mark hit we were out of there and home we were!  I wanted my own bed and my own shower!  If the pediatrician saw how we slept we would have been given a scolding…much better night of sleep than the night before.  I have a new found appreciation for the comfort of my own bed!

Day 3:  His first doctor’s visit—all is healthy!  Doc said his eyes are blue with a slight chance to change to hazel (looks like my blue eye gene is pretty dominant…haha).  More cluster feeding…in particular at night.  His siblings are loving him up!

Day 4:  First trip out of the house (other than for the doctor’s appointment).  I made sure to feed him right before we left to be prepared!  We were in the store for about 10 minutes when I heard him begin to fill his diaper…then he began to fuss which turned into us leaving to the car to change him and feed again.  We eventually went back in, but did rush through looking around because he was restless and we didn’t want to be those parents with a screaming child in the store.  As soon as we were walking out the door he passed right out though…haha!  We didn’t even need anything, but just wanted some fresh air and to walk around a bit.

Day 5:  I have been having some pains in my hip which were at their worst, but I’m going to see how it goes over the next week or so until I call the doctor.  Other than that I feel great and have been up and active–maybe I need to slow down a little and give my body time to relax!  Breastfeeding is coming along…he has an insatiable appetite, but he is a big baby.

Today was his big brother’s debut in the musical School of Rock, so Aunt Shannon watched him for a couple hours while we attended (I sure did cry when we dropped him off).  The play was amazing (I also cried watching Cole perform)!  By the end I was feeling the skipped feeding and was quite sore—my sister fed him baby formula because I didn’t have time to pump any milk for her to feed him (insert guilty feeling here).  All was good though and as soon as we were home I latched him on to relieve the pain.

Day 6:  Easiest day so far even if he had his most wardrobe changes today than any other day—he loves peeing and/or pooping all over when his diaper is changed. He does it EVERY diaper change!

Day 7:  Loves to snuggle, eat, and surprise you when you change his diaper.  We are ready with a wash cloth to cover him, so he doesn’t pee all over the blinds again.

We are incredibly happy and in love with him…ready for this next adventure…

❤ Crystal

post slightly inspired by The Daily Post, one word prompt “dominant”

Mildly Cranky 37 Weeks Pregnancy Update


How far along: 37 Weeks
Baby is size of a: honeydew melon
Total weight gain: this is just annoying now…the water weight alone is to the point I’m just over being pregnant!  I’m going to need new shoes after all this swelling!
Maternity clothes:  Live in them obviously…ready to burn them…ALL!
Sleep:  Maybe one or two days a week I’m able to have a decent night of sleep
Best moment this week:  receiving a gift from a student—so thoughtful!
Food cravings: The gestational diabetes (which I’m pretty confident was inaccurately diagnosed) has pretty much ended any cravings
Food aversions:  None
Gender: Boy…checked again at the last ultrasound to make sure
Name: My #1 favorite is Luke, but he doesn’t like it…still not 100% on a name yet
Labor signs:  I’ve had a lot of pains and Braxton hicks with this pregnancy…never with my others.
What I miss:  Conversations that don’t involve pregnancy, my weight, decisions…and WINE!
What I look forward to:  My pre-pregnancy body…ohhh…how I miss thee!  Let me count the ways!
Milestones: two weeks ago he was measuring 6lb, 9oz—according to the ultrasound (which were highly inaccurate for my other pregnancies, so we shall see)
Bump: feels like it’s growing by the second, and I swear his feet might break a rib soon

Share in a comment:  What week did you go into labor?  Did you do anything to naturally induce labor on your own?


Post inspired by The Daily Post One Word Prompt “Mild” 

29 Weeks Pregnant: Update


29 Weeks Pregnant

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

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

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

26 Weeks Pregnant


How far along: 26 Weeks


Baby is size of a: according to my Ovia App he is the size of a butternut squash or a bowling pin…he feels more like he’s the size of a bowling ball though!

Total weight gain: I don’t want to talk about this, but doctor is happy (and baby is healthy)!

Maternity clothes:  Of course I’m still wearing them—not the most stylish clothes to wear, but they aren’t what they used to be.  I bought another dress to wear that I do love…I might wear it for the baby shower, but I haven’t decided yet.  Some clothes I feel fabulous in and others just make me feel not so great (like the oversize shorts and shirts I wear to bed)—superficial I know!me
Sleep:  I have quite a bit of difficulty sleeping…after laying on the right for so long I’m sore, so flip to the left, then after so long I’m sore again and flip…then I have to flop out of bed to use the bathroom…then he thinks its time to play and is kicking…then the alarm to wake up sounds.

Best moment this week:  Hmmm…Craig’s surprise date night to see School of Rock…the baby was rockin out to all the music!


Symptoms:  Well no more heartburn now that doc prescribed me something.  Shortness of breath, back pain, and of course feeling baby kicking quite a bit—we can even see him moving!

Food cravings: I wanted a Thanksgiving meal, so that is what we had…soooooo good!!!  Apple Cider, Belgium waffles, and apple pie or apple crisp too!

Food aversions:  None

Gender: Boy

Name: Still no name…nothing we are both totally in love with yet, but we will agree on one eventually.

Labor signs: Too early for that, but I swear I felt a couple contractions while walking around the public market yesterday.

What I miss:  Laying on my stomach in bed or being comfortable just laying on the couch.  Bending over with ease is another thing I miss—if you come to my classroom and see highlighters on the floor it’s because I have stopped bending over to pick them up!

What I look forward to:  I was not a fan of the idea of having a baby shower at all, but I am looking forward to seeing people I haven’t seen in a while, celebrating our little MVP, and having a good time.

Milestones: Does the Bills leading the division count?  Maybe baby is good luck for them? (although as I’m typing this they are not doing so well…come on Bills…Super Bowl this year!)


Bump: It’s more like a hump now…


pregnant funny

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Dear Absent Father,

I’m not sure if it is because I’m pregnant which has made me think about people in my past, but I’ve been thinking about an individual some would label as my “biological father”.  This is an individual who was in prison for some time while I was a child, did not raise me, stepped into my life for a minute later on, and after unveiling his character I decided it was safer to keep my children away from him.

I decided to write an unsent letter to him: 

Dear Absent Father,

As a young child I made up fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.  Wishing on every dandelion I picked…

Years went by…

I created more fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.

I knew I resembled you from what I had been told, so every male I saw with blonde hair and blue eyes I would think to myself, “could this be you”.  For years I did this…even as a teenager as a cashier at the local grocery store…imagine a young teenager wondering if each and every one of the blonde hair, blue eyed, males who walked through her line could be her father.

I continued to create more fairytales.  Send more dandelion wishes…

You decided to make that step and introduce yourself…it was nothing close to that fairytale I created, what I wanted, or what I expected, but I opened my heart.  I opened it because I had yearned for so long.  I just wanted to be wanted.

I’m an observant woman, and hearing about your upbringing and where you came from I understood you didn’t know how to be a father.  You didn’t know how to raise a child.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt.  I accepted you for you, left the past behind us, and began to build a relationship.  It wasn’t perfect.  I couldn’t call you “dad”.  I had a dad who raised me, one who earned that title, one who also didn’t know how to raise a child, but he did it without batting an eyelash and Lord knows that man shed some tears dealing with me as an ungrateful, hateful, teenager.  It also hurt him when we began to build a relationship, but he knew I needed to find me.

I needed to find me…

Did I find me?  I thought I did.  For years I had to build me.  Encourage me.  Support me.  Protect me.  Provide for me.  I had to because you were not there like you should have been.  Maybe in a way you are a part of my success because I don’t need a man to do those things for me.  Now I just don’t know how to allow one to when he wants to.

Every now and then I wonder…how can you sleep at night?  How many children have you denied (or have you lost count)?  How many raised in poverty?  How many have seen those bars like you?  Taken the path like you?  Do you feel any sort of guilt?  Remorse?  Regret?  Shame?  Do you feel sorry for yourself?  Angry?  Does it even weigh on your soul?

I try not to judge…I really do…even as I type this I try to understand, but I just can’t…

For years I asked myself, “why don’t you want me?”

Sadly, I’ll also admit that every time I hear your favorite song, “Simple Man” by Lynard Skynard you come to mind.  A person’s favorite song usually says a lot about who they are, so I have thought many times why you feel such a strong connection to it.  After listing to it a few more times I ask this…

Do you think your mom would be proud? God?

Are you proud?


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My Thankful 30

This Friday we completed the second full week back to school which went fabulous, but it ended in a meeting that left me out of sorts.  I allowed myself to become bitter and I brought the negativity home with me, which is never fun for my family.


I decided I needed to put a stop to it and take a moment to reflect on the more popular moments of the week that I’m thankful for.  A strategy I recommend for anyone looking to turn their mood around!

  1. Celebrating McKinley’s Birthday…she is officially a teenager!
  2. Hearing Mick’s team (and the opposing team) sing Happy Birthday to her
  3. Soccer, soccer, and more soccer
  4. Cole’s Cross Country Meets
  5. Messages from former students
  6. Continuing to keep up with my blog
  7. Hearing all is healthy at my doctor’s appointment and listening to his heartbeat
  8. Some amazing students…nobody will ever see or understand those little moments that go on inside my classroom
  9. Surprise breakfast sandwich from my amazing co-worker
  10. Surprising one of our co-workers with a thoughtful gift who is a first time grandfather
  11. Everyone being able to SEE the baby kick…lil guy is active and strong
  12. Hearing my Grandfather on the phone…after his stroke I was unsure if he would recover and he is slowly, but surely making improvements!  He is the most strong, stubborn, fighter I know!
  13. Going through baby names with Craig…always fun…he thinks it’s hilarious when I start yelling the name out like he’s in trouble or he’s about to score a goal…we have to know how it will sound, right?
  14. Apple Crisp with vanilla ice cream in bed…compliments of Craig
  15. Our first daycare tour…a gofundme page is coming soon…haha!
  16. Buying some more maternity clothes…having more options in the morning makes it more likely to have a positive start to the day
  17. Cole playing bass for homecoming
  18. Grandpa licking the container out of the Apple Crisp we brought him…haha
  19. Our first visit to Brighton Farmer’s Market–who doesn’t love live music, fresh food, beautiful weather, food trucks, plants, and holding hands with your man
  20. Snuggling with McKinley while she felt her lil brother kick
  21. Eating some amazing Italian food…Veal Parm is one of my favs!
  22. Cole going to his school dance
  23. Payday $$$$$
  24. A quick chat with a friend I haven’t talked to in a long time
  25. Healthy meals
  26. A man who wakes up early to make my lunch for work in the morning…all because he wants to…he even woke up extra early one morning this week to make egg salad for me
  27. Gramps feeling the baby kick again (to be honest I don’t think he was kicking at the time, but we will just let him believe he felt him)
  28. Receiving my Fabfitfun box…always fun when it comes
  29. The smell of the house as the turkey dinner is cooking
  30. Selling a couple items on Teachers Pay Teachers (who cares if I only made a dollar—still makes me happy)

Just a short list to remember all the wonderful moments from this past week.  Next week will bring even more to be thankful for!

thank you

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Fall in Love with Fabfitfun


Some women buy manicures, pedicures, and massages to pamper themselves.  One way I like to spoil myself is with the Fabfitfun subscription box (click link to sign up and receive a discount).  I enjoy receiving the box in the mail and it usually arrives on a day I need some positive vibes.  I’m hoping the mailman realizes the coincidence and understands that I’m not some crazy stalker as I wait for him to deliver my box!

If you are looking for a thoughtful gift item for that special someone this would make an amazing surprise!  Items are a mixture of skin care, hair care, make-up, beauty, fitness, and even jewelry related items!  I haven’t been disappointed with a box yet!


I just received my box today and these are the items that came with my initial thoughts…



Mer-Sea & Co. Cozy Wrap:  This looks like it might be my favorite item of the box.  Feels thick, soft and of high quality!  This will be perfect for the cooler weather on the way.  As a teacher my classroom temperature fluctuates, so I will be keeping this in the room for those moments I need a little warmth.

I purchased an extra…not sure if I will give it as a gift or hold my first giveaway. Hmmmm….decisions decisions. 



dpHUE ACV Hair Rinse:  This is another item I know I will love!  Every once in a while I rinse my hair with apple cider vinegar to clean it and bring back shine, so I’m sure I will love this item!  I can’t wait to give it a try!


Cotext wire heart ceramic jewelry holder:  This is a cute item, but honestly I don’t have much space on my vanity for it.  I’m sure other Fabfitfun members will be looking to trade something for it, so that is what I will probably do.  Trade anyone?



DECO Miami Cuticle Oil (Lavender):  I am a huge fan of lavender and take care of my nails, so I’m excited to give this item a try!



treStiQue Lip Color: (Matte)  I don’t wear lip color often and when I do it’s usually lighter shades, so this will be a change for me to try.  I have a couple darker colors, but haven’t found one that is a fit for me yet.  I’ll be giving this a try to see if this is the one!



The Jetset Diaries Beanie:  I will either gift this item or trade it.  I have a black beanie already in a higher quality, so I wont be needing this.



Private Party Gym Bag:  I received the “Gym & Juice” bag in my box.  Since I have been slacking on going to the gym and I don’t need a bag because I change at home I will be either gifting this item or trading it.  I like it, but have enough bags as it is.  Cute item though!



Whish Beauty Renewing Mud Mask:  Since I love mud masks I’m sure this will be a much loved item from the box!  My skin is so much cleaner and softer after, so I will be trying this sooner rather than later.



MYTAGALONGS Hot & Cold Gel Pack:  I’m sure being pregnant this will find quite a bit of use!  I’m not hoping for a migraine to try it, but I’ll be pulling this out if it does.

The Cottonelle fresh wipes will either go in my guest jar or to one of the kids for their sports bags.


There you have it… a quick review of the items in the Fall Fabfitfun Box!   It isn’t my most favorite box FFF has sent out, but it is well worth the money—I have items I wouldn’t normally purchase for myself to try which I think is one of best parts about receiving them.

Sign up here to receive a discount code if you are interested in pampering yourself or someone you love!

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Share in a comment:  What is your favorite item in the Fall box?  What item do you think you would enjoy most?