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

 

38 Weeks Pregnant: Contractions, Nesting, and the Bills make the Playoffs!

I have received texts and messages from people asking were I have been, so I decided it was time for an update.  We wanted to take a social media break until our lil man arrived, but many people live far and the updates are reassuring that everything is ok.

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After being sent home from the hospital twice I’ve decided that this baby will be born at home or in the car…I’m not going back to be sent home again.

The first time we made a visit to the hospital was this past Saturday.  After a day of shopping, cleaning, and spending time with my youngest daughter at the arcade contractions began.  I have had three previous pregnancies where I delivered fairly quickly, so they had me come in to be checked right away.  I was sure that intense game of air hockey sparked his competitive nature and that he was on the way.

We spent the time in triage and having regular contractions, but was only dilated 2, 70% effaced.  They had me walk around for a while to see if I would dilate, but no progress.  We were sent home…

I thought for sure we would be back in no time, but nope…

I vacuumed, mopped, dusted, put away all the Christmas decorations, carried laundry up and down the stairs, moved furniture around, and then experienced the bloody show (TMI I know, but a good sign labor is on the way), but still no major changes…

After watching that incredible Buffalo Bills win and then the Cincinnati win that clenched the Bills a spot in the playoffs I thought that would have to bring our lil guy out as contractions came and went, but they never became consistent.

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Then…at 1am this morning contractions woke me up and were about 15-20 minutes apart.  When I called the doctor’s office they said to call back when they were closer and around 10 minutes apart.  When they were 8-10 minutes apart I called and was told to go to the hospital.  I was also feeling a pinching pain and a lot of movement down low.  After being monitored and more walking I made very little progress…only dilated to 2.5, so we were sent home yet again.  I was bummed because they even reserved a room for me and it was all set up…I thought I would be holding my son today!  I’m still contracting as I write this which is a new experience for me…contracting without dilating, so in a sense my son is being squeezed all day.  Poor lil guy!

I was told to go back when I need to grab a hold of something when feeling a contraction, can’t breath, or my water breaks. Hmmmm….contractions for me have never been painful until after my water was broke and my water has never broke on its own.  We shall see what happens next, but I told Craig that he should prepare to deliver this baby at home because I’m not going back to the hospital to be sent home again.  If I’m in pain enough to have to grab a hold of something I don’t think it will be safe for anyone to be driving me anywhere…haha!  We shall see how this lil one makes his way into the world…

Has anyone else had consistent contractions without dilating?  What was your experience?

Crystal

Post slightly inspired by The Daily Post one-word prompt, “Reservation”

 

Mildly Cranky 37 Weeks Pregnancy Update

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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?

Crystal

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

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

26 Weeks Pregnant

Crystal

How far along: 26 Weeks

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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!

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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!)

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Bump: It’s more like a hump now…

 

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Crystal

24 Weeks Pregnancy Update

 

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How far along: 24 Weeks
Baby is size of a: according to my Ovia App he is the size of an eggplant
Total weight gain: I don’t weigh myself at home, but I will find out Friday at my next appointment
Maternity clothes:  Wearing them every day!  Just bought a new dress on amazon and was a little worried because it isn’t technically a maternity dress, but it was just delivered yesterday and I love it!
Sleep:  Sleeping better, but he wakes me up with all the movement sometimes.
Best moment this week:

1.  Craig surprising me with a “in between seasons” Fabfitfun box with some new maternity shirts for the upcoming cooler weather.  He really goes above and beyond to make sure I’m comfortable and taken care of.  He has to be the most creative and thoughtful man on the planet!

2. Our sunset date with McKinely…we took some great silhouette pictures.  We were even able to take one of McKinley giving the peace sign which she loved—she does not like photos taken of herself, so this was a huge surprise!
Symptoms:  Heartburn is still in full force…call me the Pepcid popper!  Since I really do not enjoy taking medication every day I drank apple cider vinegar mixed with water before bed last night and no heartburn. I’ll be trying this again to avoid taking meds!

 

Food cravings: Goulash…yummm!
Food aversions:  None
Gender: Boy
Name: No name yet…I’m in love with the name Curtis, but Craig has an uncle with the same name which would be a little awkward.  We are still searching for a name for him.
Labor signs: Too early for that
What I miss:  My non-maternity clothes…I miss having more options to pick from.
What I look forward to:  Now that the nursery is painted I’m looking forward to beginning to design it
Milestones: You can SEE my stomach move when he is moving around in there
Bump: For 24 weeks I feel larger than my previous pregnancies…a little scary considering they were large babies.

 

Share in a comment:  What pregnancy symptoms were the most difficult for you to handle?  Did you have to resort to medication for relief?

 

Crystal