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Eczema Baby Has Eczema I feel like this is karma. When people were like "Oh I have eczema and it SUCKSSOBAD" I was like "dude, it's just dry skin. GROW A PAIR". KARMA. MOTHERFUCKINGKARMA. Meet...

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I Did It! I really thought last week would break me you guys. I really did. The no soda thing is so much harder to accomplish than I originally thought. Which, I suppose, is all the...

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Real Food Week 2 Week 1 was....A SUCCESS! We did it! I know, I'm a little astonished myself, but I managed to get done some baking last weekend (I made banana muffins and banana pancakes)...

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Baby Steps Ok. We're doing it. We're going to reorganize our diet and follow the Real Food diet by the end of 2014! BOOM. Yeah I've said I was going to do this before, but somehow...

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Two Under Two: 3 Weeks In So we had our first full week last week with everything running "normally". Matt went back to work and I was at home with the girls by myself. I was prepared for a lot of...

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Eczema Baby Has Eczema

Category : Keira, The Mother

I feel like this is karma. When people were like “Oh I have eczema and it SUCKSSOBAD” I was like “dude, it’s just dry skin. GROW A PAIR”.

KARMA. MOTHERFUCKINGKARMA.

Meet my sweet squishy, Keira:

Keira1

She is perfect and I love her. She is sweet and happy and so incredibly adorable. When she smiles all her fat rolls curl up under her chin and she is SOFUCKINGCUTE.

Meet Keira’s eczema:

eczema

It started around 2 months old, right after her 2 month shots.

SIDENOTE: I don’t care what the hell side of the vaccine debate you’re on. TRUST ME. I have friends on both sides. I don’t want to hear it. This is about me. And my baby. The end. 

Anyway it started right after her 2 month shots. Her baby acne turned into a rash and then turned into this. It could all be coincidental. Who knows. It got really bad (see above) and was weeping and crusting over. I was worried it was infected so I took her to the ER and they told me “atopic dermatitis – tx: hydrocortisone cream 1% with heavy cream to moisturize” Ok. Cool. We did that. So then by Sunday here is what she looked like:

sunday

YAY SHE IS PERFECT. END OF ECZEMA. THE END.

(hahahhaha NO.)

This picture was taken the following day. A mere 24 hours later:

Tuesday7am

I. Was. So. Discouraged.

It’s been back and forth like this for the last 2 months. I’ve cut out dairy and wheat. I tried getting her allergy tested for other things. I have tried skin care regimens. I CANNOT FIX IT.

And here’s the thing. I know it’s just a “skin thing” and I know she’s not dying or truly ill, but she’s up all night scratching her damn face off. It stresses me out. All I can think is….

Did I cause this? 

Was it something I ate when I was pregnant? 

Is it something I’m wearing? 

Is it the dog? 

Is it her shots? 

Is it our house? Are we not clean enough? 

I MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING THIS IS ALL MY FAULT AND MY BABY IS UNCOMFORTABLE AND IT’S ALLLLLL MYYYYY FAULLLLT.

And I can’t fix it. 

When you decide to have children, you may have a good idea about the logistics involved. You may even have a pretty good idea about how much love you’ll have for your child. But I can say at least for me personally, I had NO. FUCKING. CLUE. the guilt you could feel as a parent when  your child is hurting and there is abso-fucking-lutely nothing you can do about it.

So if you’ve been wondering why I’m obsessing over it lately, this is why. Because I feel guilty. Because why can’t I help my baby? Because I feel like maybe a mother AND a future nurse should be able to address a freakin’ skin issue, no?

AND I KNOW. It’s not my fault. I know that. But I can’t stop worrying about her. I know all I can do is what I’m doing – to keep looking into what the root cause is. I can apply as many creams and ointments and steroids as I want, but if I don’t fix the problem underneath, nothing is going to magically make her skin all better.

So I’m continuing to search and research and do everything I can to find out what is causing this, because if I don’t advocate for her, no one will. And obviously, because she deserves it. She deserves to have someone care enough about her to do more than apply some steroids and call it quits.

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I Did It!

Category : 100 Days of Real Food

I really thought last week would break me you guys. I really did. The no soda thing is so much harder to accomplish than I originally thought. Which, I suppose, is all the more reason I needed to quit it. I don’t want to be so addicted to a food (or drink) that I go through withdrawl symptoms if I quit. (which, I SO DID. I had the friggin’ worst headache followed by the shakes on day 1. FOR THE LOVE.)

Unfortunately it got me seriously reconsidering the amount of sugar I consume on a weekly basis. I’m about 80% sure that my addiction to the fountain soda is less about the soda/caffeine and more about the sheer amount of sugar there is in each drink.

I feel like I need to stop and let you all to know I am not now, nor have I ever been, a “calorie counter”. I’m not of the “eat less than xyz amount of calories per day and lose weight!” philosophy. I believe in, truly, the “everything in moderation” philosophy. Which is to say – don’t eat ALL THE THINGS, be active, be healthy. I own a scale but only because I bought it to help me weigh Leah because I was worried about weight gain for her (she was itty bitty). I don’t believe in stressing over everything I put into my mouth or how many calories I burned while exercising today (hah…yeah…about that) or any of that.

I do, however, want my children to have a healthy relationship with food. It’s part of why I am working towards a clean diet. It’s not for weight loss; it’s for health. I want my kids to have the healthiest foods to fuel their body (and mine and Matt’s too, I guess). I want them to reach for an apple rather than a bag of potato chips ALL on their own, because they know it’s good for them and it makes them feel good. I want them to run and play and be active because they learn how great it feels to sweat and breathe heavy and feel your heart pumping doing something that you love. (Which is why I’m going to get back into running, but more on that in a minute).

Anyway, on to week 3 of my food/health challenge.

  • Make 1 entirely real food meal this week. (I have it planned out very simply; chicken with a homemade spice mix, steamed broccoli, and brown rice. Not very thrilling, but it’s not frozen pizza. So there’s that.)(also? Frozen pizza is on the meal plan for later in the week.)
  • No fast food during the week (except Thursday night Subway before class) I’m really bad about stopping to grab a burger on the way to get Leah from school. It’s quick, no one is touching me, and it costs me $1. Literally. I just…:sigh: I need to quit that. Again, everything in moderation, but just because it’s fast and easy doesn’t mean it’s good for my body. I will not, however, deny myself zaxby’s delicious chicken tenders on the weekend should I want them. SO THERE.
  • Chuck the sweet tea. In an effort to ease into my “no soda” goal, I subbed a sweet tea whenever I felt “the urge” about to overpower me. It satiated my need for the dr.pepper. This week, now that I’m far enough removed from it, I’m cutting the sweet tea out completely. HOWEVER, if I’m out at a restaurant this will probably be my drink “treat”. Well, that or wine. Or tequilla.
  • C25K time. Say what? That’s not a food! No, but I miss running. Remember that little bit above about how good it feels to be active? Yeah. I miss that. I’ve been walking this last week to see how my body feels about the whole “running” business (surprisingly I didn’t want to die) so this week I’m going to try to ease into the 5k again. My goal is simply a 5k. That’s it. I never want to run more than that. It hurts my lungs and my body if I try and frankly, AIN’T GOT TIME.

Those are my week 3 goals. Simple but important. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. (Because I know you’re dying to learn more about my day to day food battles LOL)

Real Food Week 2

Category : 100 Days of Real Food

Week 1 was….A SUCCESS! We did it! I know, I’m a little astonished myself, but I managed to get done some baking last weekend (I made banana muffins and banana pancakes) AND I even threw in two real food dinners, which wasn’t even on my weekly goal. CHECK ME OUT, Y’ALL.

This week I have a few more things I’m going to try out.

  • Real chicken nuggets – I’m using a recipe that I got from a friend, but essential it’s just some chicken and spices tossed in your food processor and then rolled in breadcrumbs. Bake 15 minutes at 375 and ENJOY. I need a quick “go to” meal for Leah but after looking through the ingredients on the chicken nuggets we buy currently…well. I figured this was the next thing to go.
  • Goodbye soda :( – yup. I’m giving soda the boot. I hate it. I LOVE fountain soda. It’s my weakness. Well, that and KitKats but you can pry those from my cold dead hands.
  • Block cheese – we use shredded cheeses a lot in our house for recipes, snacks, dinner (tacos/soups/chili/etc) but one of the things I learned through 100 days of real food ,is that shredded cheese has additives and agents to prevent the cheese from caking. So I went old school and bought a block of cheese and I’ll shred it as needed.
  • CRACKERS! I was super pumped to find a “cheddar cracker” recipe on the 100 days of real food website. Best of all, it’s only 3 ingredients. In case you decide to try this recipe, I added 2 extra TBSP’s of butter and 1/4 extra cheese in order to get the “dough” to become a ball. They turned out GREAT and now I no longer have to buy hella expensive cheddar bunnies. HOORAY.

I have to tell you, doing this has really been a lot easier than I originally anticipated. The recipes on Lisa Leake’s website are very simple and usually there are very few ingredients. Honestly, if I can make these things ANYONE can make them. Seriously.

I’m very excited to see what other swaps we can make over the next several weeks. As I said before, I’m really focusing on Leah right now since her diet is probably the one I’m MOST concerned about, but I’m excited for where this takes our family :) Can’t wait to share more with you all soon!

Baby Steps

Category : 100 Days of Real Food

Ok. We’re doing it. We’re going to reorganize our diet and follow the Real Food diet by the end of 2014! BOOM.

Yeah I’ve said I was going to do this before, but somehow I feel a lot more in control of my life with two kids. Go figure? The difference between how I approached this before and how I am approaching it now is realism. I’ve got much more realistic goals for 2014.

Last year, I simply tried to switch to 100% real food. Yeah. That was overwhelming. Also? It didn’t happen. And then I felt all guilty inside and mad that I couldn’t do it and mad that my family was eating crap food. So sometime around summer last year I made a MUCH simpler goal: Cook 4 times a week.

Guess what? I did it. Was it always healthy? No, probably not. Was it from McDonalds? No. So there’s that.

This year I’m making the conversion. I’m not going to (ever) commit to 100% real food because, well, momma likes a Big Mac. I will, however, commit to making small changes each week in our diet (and pantry) so that by the end of 2014, we are cooking real food dinners (or eating leftovers of real food dinners) 6 nights a week and reserving a “free” night per week to eat whatever it is that we want.

So I’m going to keep you posted (hopefully) on this progress. SO, without further ado, week 1!

LEAH’S BREAKFAST and SNACK FOOD! 

Currently:

  • She eats stonyfield organic whole milk yogurt (peach or blueberry) and has an eggo waffle or pancakes. 

How I’m cleaning it up:

  • I’m going to switch to stonyfield’s plain yogurt and add fresh/frozen strawberries/blueberries/peaches/honey etc to omit the excess sugar
  • I’m going to make the Banana Pancakes from 100 Days of Real Food to replace her pancakes

On Sunday I’m going to make enough pancakes for the next couple of weeks and freeze them. I’m also going to make some banana bread mini muffins  to have on hand as a snack for Leah as well. Bonus? It’s a quick snack for me also!

Here’s to 2014 and cleaning up our diet!

Two Under Two: 3 Weeks In

Category : Keira, Leah, The Mother, Two Under Two

So we had our first full week last week with everything running “normally”. Matt went back to work and I was at home with the girls by myself. I was prepared for a lot of hiccups but I guess God was smiling down on me because it all went rather smoothly.

Things I’ve learned:

  • Leaving the house and getting places on time is entirely possible; You just have to be highly organized, do your “prep work” when kids are sleeping, and give yourself WAY more time than you think you’ll need.
  • Less is more. Less appointments/commitments = less getting little people ready and packed up into a car = less headache for mom. So we stayed in on the days that we didn’t absolutely have to be somewhere.
  • I am SO GRATEFUL for the double stroller. I wouldn’t have survived this week without it.
  • Plan to spend entirely more time out of the house whenever I do leave because kids will slowwwww youuuu dowwwwnnnn.
  • In relationship to that, pack more snacks for the toddler. She is hungry ALL THE TIME. So is my breastfed baby. This is part of what slowed me down. I had to stop to feed an infant at which point the toddler was all “I hung-y momma!” GREATTTT. Have some tit. No? Cool. I’ll get you some fries.
  • Littlest bit needs to nap in her own space or big sister will wake her up with squeels, a plethora of kisses, and many attempts to pick her up and “play”. Seriously. I felt like I was running some serious defense until I finally was like “screw this” and put Keira upstairs for nap time.
  • Schedules = less anxiety for all parties involved. We have daily routines we follow (ex. bed times and nap times are pretty much same time every day) I said it before, I’ll say it again – I’m so thankful that Leah had a solid routine before Keira came along. It’s been so much less hassle adding another child (whose routine is very unpredictable – I mean, a newborn eats and sleeps and poops as much as they feel like, ya know?) to the family because our first child is, for the most part, a highly predictable little girl.

Things I’m still trying to figure out:

  • How to get Leah to NOT try to pick up her sister. ALL. THE. TIME. We’re working on this and she’s getting it – but it’s definitely been a battle.
  • Dinner. How in the world will I ever find time to cook again? I *have* been making dinner but lord. I’m lucky if it’s even started or in the oven before Leah goes to bed. We are used to eating as a family but it’s all I can do to just keep everyone occupied until Matt gets home and then I just need 30 minutes to myself, yo.  I need to figure out meal prep.
  • Cleaning. I need to modify my cleaning schedule. I used to do the majority of my cleaning while Leah was napping, but as it stands now that’s the only alone time I get with Keira. So…I don’t want to clean then.

Random sidenote:

TOMORROW IS CHRISTMAS EVE AND I AM SO EXCITED! I can’t wait to celebrate Christmas with both of my girls! My family is expanding and I just love watching them grow :D

 

That’s all for now. (Best ending to a post ever, amirite?)

Two under Two: An Honest Reflection, One Week In

Category : Keira, The Mother

I was both nervous and excited that our children would be within 2 years of each other. I was so happy that they would be close in age because I wanted them to be good friends and to play well together, but nervous because two little people who have a lot of needs can be very overwhelming. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

I’m only one week in, but I figured I would do little updates here and there about how this whole first year goes. Here are my bullet thoughts about life with two under two so far:

  • I was much more prepared for sleep deprivation, and therefore much less aggravated by it.
  • I’m in a better mood overall than I was with my first baby and I’m glad for that. I was a bit neurotic with her.
  • Leah has been IN LOVE with Keira since we brought her home. It hasn’t worn off at all yet. She isn’t jealous or angry about the baby being here. When she wakes up in the morning the first person she asks to see is Keira (which currently sounds like Tia/Kia depending on if she can get the K sound to cooperate with her mouth)
  • Leah is still learning that she can’t pick Keira up and occasionally gets mad about that. We’ve had 2 tantrums in the last week about not being able to hold baby sister. One was in the middle of our family shoot and it was pretty epic. The other was in the hospital when we first introduced them to each other. I’m wondering if these tantrums are more related to other people being present because they really haven’t happened when it’s just me, Leah, Keira and Matt.
  • For the most part Leah has been veryyyy gentle with Keira. She gives her a ton of kisses. It’s ADORABLE. But she did throw a little people gorilla at her head yesterday – and my child is going to be a softball star because it hit Keira square between the eyes.
  • I’m so so so so so so so thankful that Leah has a predictable routine. I can’t imagine having to bring a second child home under any other circumstances. We’ve been able to seamlessly work Keira into our lives (she has ZERO schedule, and I’m cool with that. She’s a newborn. She needs to eat, sleep, and poo on her own clock for awhile) but it wouldn’t have been possible without Leah sleeping well at night. I can’t imagine having to get up for TWO little people at different times and BLAH. So glad.
  • Breastfeeding is going well and Leah seems very cool with it/indifferent. I told her mommy was feeding the baby with “mommy milk” and she was like “MILK!” and then got her sippy cup of milk and sat next to me while I nursed Keira. She often does this and I have found it to be really sweet.
  • At night before Leah’s bed time we’ve been snuggling as a family and watching a Christmas movie. It’s been a really nice way to wind down. I’m still working on feeling 100% normal and Matt’s exhausted (from helping SO MUCH y’all. He’s amazing.) and so we’re all enjoying a little “down time”.
  • I’ve been doing my best to spend some 1 on 1 time with Leah every day. I think this has been a big help in the transition. I hate putting my newborn down in the swing (I know, save me the ‘you’ll spoil her’ lecture…) but I’ve done it because I really want to be able to spend time with my “big girl” that didn’t include a baby attached to my tit. It’s amazing how big she seems to me now that Keira is here. It’s like I had no idea how big she was getting until I saw how tiny she used to be :( / :)

So overall, it’s been really great so far. I know it’s early to say it, but I’m finding my transition from 1 to 2 children much easier than my transition from none to 1. While logistically it was easier for me to care for 1 child, it’s been emotionally much easier and much more enjoyable this time around. I’m looking forward to updating on how it’s going in a few weeks. Hopefully it will continue to be amazing!

The Birth of Keira Elizabeth

Category : Birth, Keira

I blogged about the birth of my daughter Leah, because it was a difficult (and honestly, a little bit scary) experience and I wanted to do something that would be “therapeutic” for that experience.

I’m going to tell you all about the birth of my daughter Keira, but this is a bit different in that it’s a birth story with a few “sidenotes” and reflections on the entire process . I feel really awesome about my birth with Keira. In fact, I didn’t realize how not-ok with my first birth I was until I had delivered Keira and they put her straight into my arms. But let me start from the beginning….

*******************

Background: 
Around 36 weeks, my blood pressure began to rise. It wasn’t super high, however my normal blood pressure rested around 110/70 and sometime between 36 and 37 weeks I was measuring 140/90 and testing positive for protein in my urine (a positive test is indicated at 300, and I was at 306). My numbers were very borderline, but it was enough for my doctor to monitor me a little more closely.

I stayed at 140/90 for the last 3 weeks of pregnancy, so my doctor was comfortable letting me get “to term” (40 weeks) and then she told me we’d make a decision together about what to do.

*****

SIDENOTE: One of the things I LOVE about my doctor is how willing she is to be open and honest with me about her opinions but ultimately let me make the final decision in my birth.

*****

She told me she’d really rather not have me go past 40 weeks. I told her I’d like to wait until at least December 2nd (40 + 3) and she agreed that as long as I had an u/s, took my BP 3x daily, and peed in a cup for her once every 2 days until the birth that would be ok. So, my due date came and went, and I never went into labor on my own. This meant an induction. I thought I would struggle with this decision more; instead I found myself very at peace with it. I knew it was what I was supposed to do, just as I had known the week before that it was not what I was supposed to do.

“B-Day” (kind of like D-Day, but it’s Birth – Day…see what I did there?)(shut your face I AM HILARIOUS):

On Sunday, Matt and I spent the day with our sweet daughter Leah and then got packed and headed to the hospital. We decided to birth at the same hospital we did with Leah (Crestwood) because despite my difficult birthing experience, the hospital staff/nurses/anesthesiologists were amazing. Truly, I felt as if I was cared about and not just a “patient”.

When we got there we were brought back to a labor and delivery room. I got into a gown and hooked up to some monitors. BP was still high (150/96) though I think some of that is probably attributed to my nerves. I was anxious about how the induction would go. I really just wanted to avoid a c-section if at all possible. I had much more realistic goals for my birth this time, but I still wanted to attempt a natural birth so I sent a text to my doula (my labor lover, I shall call her. She was there for me throughout my labor and coached and helped me to feel more at peace) letting her know I was settled in and I’d call her when labor started.

Around 7:30 I took some cytotec (a cervical ripener that helps to completely efface and dilate the cervix) and by 8:30 I was having regular contractions that were increasing in strength. By 9 I was feeling a little rough already and realizing that yes, I’d be laboring through the night (again…ugh). I was starting to feel a little anxious about my birth. Anxious that it would go like my first birth, anxious that I wouldn’t dilate, anxious that I’d end up in surgery – really just all around anxious.

They placed me on telemetry monitors (so I could walk around without being tied to a machine – but they could still keep an eye on the baby) and I was back to walking, squatting, sitting on the birthing ball etc. By around 10 I was ready for my doula. When she got there I was very much starting to feel “in pain” and the amount of energy I was using with each contraction was growing. Matt and my doula just sat with me and helped me through each contraction and talked with me about anything and everything in between contractions. When I first imagined giving birth, I strongly believed I would need absolute silence to focus and “get through” labor. I assumed this because when I work on things that are important (like school work) I need silence in order to focus. After having Leah, I knew that was NOT what I actually needed (because newsflash Diana, BIRTH AIN’T SCHOOL).

I labored until around 6am. At this point, I had gone into labor at 2cm and after around 8 hours of labor, I was a “stretchy 3″ (which is code for, “you are 3cm but I don’t want to make you feel too bad about having just been in labor for ours and not having dilated practically at all.) I knew that this meant I would be getting the pitocin for sure (doc was waiting to see how I responded to the cytotec to see if we could avoid the pit) since I was only dilated an extra 1cm after several hours. I knew I was ready for the epidural.

******

SIDENOTE: This is one of the big differences between my birth with Leah and my birth with Keira. During my birth with Leah, I was very much against the idea of drugs during birth. But then I had an atypical birth and I wasn’t dilating and my contractions were too strong, too fast, and too painful. My labor was NOT effective and I was moving towards a c-section and the effects of that labor showed very much in my baby’s heart rate (less than 100 and then non-existent during contractions) and her passing her first stool in utero. I wasn’t prepared with how to respond to this and accepted an epidural as a last ditch effort to avoid a c-section (by slowing down my contractions and giving my body and baby time to rest – and hopefully time for my cervix to dilate)(It worked by the way.) 

******

At around 7 the anesthesiologist came in. It took him a little longer than I expected (he was still on his way in from home) and I’ll be honest y’all – I was CUH-RYIN like a baby that whole hour. By the time he came in I literally had tears streaming down my face. My contractions were starting to resemble the same pattern that they had when I was in labor with Leah (very strong, long and close together with only a short resting period) but this time, I was ready for it! So once my epidural was in, the contractions slowed down, became more regular, and y’all by 8am (aka ONE hour) I went from 3-6 cm. My doula probably said the most hilariously accurate thing ever when she said, “Your cervix is a drug addict.” Shortly after my water broke all on its own and it was clear (hooray!).

******

SIDENOTE: My doctor seems to think that my angry cervix is a result of my oddly shaped (re: ANGRY) uterus. My doula even mentioned that my contractions seem to be different in that all the pain comes at the beginning of the contraction and very quickly and if she were a cervix she wouldn’t want to open  up for that either. So I feel a little better in that maybe I’m *not* just a wimp. (No, I’m really probably just a wimp, but we’ll go with it ;) )

******

Within the next two hours I went from 6-10 cm. My poor, exhausted husband took a much needed nap. I know those of you that know me well probably think I’m being sarcastic when I say that – but I assure you, Matthew earned that nap. He was so supportive and kind and perfect during my labor. He gets a gold star. I also rested for a bit while my doula hung out with me and my photographer showed up and got ready for “the big show”. Those few hours after getting my epidural were probably the happiest hours of my labor. I could feel the intensity of my abdomen and knew my baby’s arrival was imminent. I was able to share in that joy with those around me.

I thought with my first daughter I wanted this beautiful, natural, calm, unmedicated birth and then here I was – sitting with these people having this beautiful, calm birthing experience. I realized that just like all things parenting – I had no idea what my preferences about ANYTHING child related were before I had children. From birth to attachment parenting. But I knew better about myself this time, chose better, and was having a birth I could love and be proud of. I share this with you in case you are a person who has unhappy thoughts and feelings about your birth. You’re entitled to those feelings and you’re also entitled to choose the birth that will make you feel happy and wonderful.

Around the 9-10 cm mark Keira’s heart rate started to slow a bit so they started me on some oxygen as a precaution. They were pretty sure it was just because she was descending into the birth canal but the oxygen was probably a big help for us both, to be honest. Keira’s heart rate came back up and we were still in the vaginal birth game, so I was very happy.

Once I got to 10 cm (around 10am), it was just a waiting game.

******
SIDENOTE: If you’re pregnant or might become pregnant let me tell you about this little secret: 10 CM DOES NOT MEAN IT’S PUSH TIME. 

I know. It makes no sense, right? But trust me on this, if you get to 10cm and your doctor wants you to push, ask if you can wait until you feel “pushy”. If you get an epidural it’ll (sorry guys) feel like you have to poop. Don’t stress, it doesn’t mean you’ll poop. It’s just the baby being so far down the birth canal that it’s pressing all those lovely organs and giving you the “have to go” sensation. I did this with Leah and didn’t push for long at all – 15 min, maybe 5-8 contractions worth of pushing. I did this with Keira and…well…you’ll see. 

*****

Around 10:45 am the nurse asked if I was feeling “pushy”. I said I could try a push and so we did – she told me to stop mid-push and that we would be needing to call my doctor to come catch. I figured this was a good sign, but was even more surprised when my doctor came in around 11 and asked me to push again. Mid-push there were a lot of gasps from my lovely admirers (seriously, everyone in the room was all up in my vagina. My vagina was a ROCKSTAR. BOOM) and then my doctor asked me to just “wait a minute” because she didn’t want me to tear. Obviously I obeyed. Apparently after my 1st push Keira’s head was out and about saying hello to the world.

My doc then told me to “cough” through my next contraction, which I thought was odd. I did as she asked though. I coughed and out popped a shoulder. Coughed again and out popped another shoulder and a baby!

Then, my favorite part of the entire birth, my baby was handed to me.

******

SIDENOTE: Because Leah had a bowel movement in utero, she was at risk for infection and aspiration and all sorts of other things so they had to take her to the warmer away from me. For almost 30 minutes I had to steal glimpses of her while everyone else got to see, touch, and admire MY child. I was heartbroken. I didn’t say it at the time, but I think this is where some of my post partum depression started. More on that in another post. 

******

My doctor placed Keira on my stomach and I got to love, touch, and admire her. I was the first person to look into her eyes and the first person to tell her how much I loved and adored her. I got to see her hair (so much of it!) and her little nails, and her nose (it’s my nose!) and her squishy face and her squishy bum and her long feet (I knew it!) and I cried. I loved her immediately and she knew me and loved me too.

Matt was able to cut the umbilical cord. While I was loving on my baby, my doctor waited patiently for my placenta to deliver on its own. I appreciated this since many doctors will begin immediately pulling on the umbilical cord to deliver the placenta and I wasn’t in the mood to hemorrhage.

After about 15-20 minutes I let them weigh her and wipe her off a little bit while I was getting one very tiny superficial tear repaired and my doctor made a quick uterine sweep to ensure my placenta was completely out and wouldn’t be causing me any issues later.

Keira was born at 11:17 am (after 1 push and 2 coughs) weighing 7lbs 13 oz, 20 inches long. She. Is. Perfect.

1st Keira Picture
They handed her back to me within 10 minutes and I began to nurse her and PRAISE the Lord for He is good, she nurses like a mega-champ. We had 2 hours to ourselves in that room and I was so thankful for it. Matt left after he knew I was started nursing and he went to get Leah. It was important to us that she was the first person, aside from ourselves, to hold her baby sister. I have been worried about how Leah would react but you guys…YOU GUYS…This:

leah and keira
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I absolutely loved my birth. It was everything I could have hoped for. I am a little over a day and a half post-delivery and I’m feeling sore and swollen, but also SO amazing. I feel proud of my birth, proud of my baby, and most of all, proud of my family. We’re a family of four now. It sounds crazy to say it or type it, but I guess it’s official now and we’ll have to get used to it.

At this point after birth with my first daughter I was terrified. I felt so unsure of myself and my ability to be a parent. This time, however, I’m excited. I know there will be struggles, I’m not naive, but I am so excited for all the good things that I know are coming for our family. Motherhood is amazing, and I’m so glad to be adding a beautiful new addition to our family.

Oh Induction

Category : Baby Klingler

I’m so whiny. I KNOW IT Y’ALL, OK?

I know I’ve been whiny this pregnancy. I know I’ve been a pain in the butt to listen to. I know it’s tiring and it’s really the reason that I haven’t been blogging very much. The only thing I wanted to blog about for the past 5-6 weeks is WHY IS MY UTERUS THE WORST, Y’ALL?

Except it’s not the worst. It’s actually doing its job. Which, I feel like I should be thankful for that so I am going to be.

I have a lot of people asking me “why don’t you just induce?” Well. There are a lot of reasons, but here’s the big one:

I went into the office today for my 38.5 week check up and my blood pressure is still elevated, but still not frightening, and my urine still shows small amounts of protein but not enough to cause excessive worrying. She measured me and, ahem. 42.5 weeks according to the handy dandy tape measure of my fundal height. Keira has dropped, she’s head down, and  heart rate is 145 and beating regularly.

And so my doctor looked at me all swollen and defeated by my non-labor and asked if I wanted to induce on Monday (just after 39 weeks).

And I didn’t even think about it before I answered, very resoundingly, NO.

SO. That’s my big reason. Confused? I know I was too. I just have to believe that if my gut told me to say “NO” despite the fact that I’ve been having legit contractions since 34 weeks, despite the fact that I pee every 5-10 minutes and my baby feels like she’s going to fall out and/or crush my internal organs, despite the fact that I’m exhausted and I haven’t really slept more than 20-30 minutes straight in days – my gut still told me no induction. So I’m going with it.

I’ve learned QUITE a few things being Leah’s momma this last 20 months, but the most important thing I’ve learned is to trust your mom gut. So I’m going with it.

So I’ll be giving birth sometime in December is what I’m saying here. Thanks for sticking with me and listening to me complain. I really do appreciate it. I love Keira more than words but man, I’m just done being pregnant. But I’ll stick it out because she needs me to. There has to be a reason she hasn’t popped out yet or she would have done so already.

Fear not, I’ll keep you posted with my facebook hashtag #stateoftheuterus2013 ;)

This One Is For My Momma’s

Category : My Life

I need you to say something with me. It’s going to feel really uncomfortable and awkward – but just go with me. Ready?

I AM A GOOD MOTHER. 

Ok. Now say it about 400 more times, because I’m feeling like we all need it right now. For whatever reason, my news feed has been FILLED with “the mommy guilt” lately. And it breaks my heart.

Why?

Because I know these women. They are EXTRAORDINARY women. They are women who are not only fabulous mothers, but they are fabulous wives, fabulous people, and just genuinely amazing all round.

And I know how it feels. I know what it feels like to get the guilt spiral going and then before you know it you feel like you’ll just never be the mom you want to be and that your child will turn out to be a serial killer or some crap.

But they won’t. Know why? Because the guilt you feel - it means you care. It means you want to be better than your best. It means you feel obligated to be on your A-game all the time because your child deserves that, right?

No! Calm down. Your child deserves YOU. All of you. Including the parts of you that are sometimes less than A-game. Why? Because it teaches them that we are ALL human. Even our super-duper amazingly awesome mothers (and fathers). We all have “down” days. And that’s ok. IT’S OK.

The last two weeks, I’ve done barely anything with my baby other than watch disney jr and princess movies. I may or may not have let her eat in the living room, as well as given her a donut and watched her color on a wall with no consequence. I am just too tired to be 100% mommy right now. Oh well. Screw it! I’ll be better in a few weeks when I have control of my bladder, lungs, and stomach again. Today, I’ll continue to be a little bit lazy. But I’ll love her all the same. 

So the next time you are feeling bad about spending too much time at work, or not making enough dinners, or slacking in some random other random parenting department, just say this to yourself:

love my child. I am the perfect parent for them and they are the perfect child for me. I am a good mother.

IMG_1490

Imperfection

Category : My Life

Another letter to my daughter.

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Leah,

 

You had a fabulous day today. You were excited to go to school! This is becoming more and more of a regular thing, which makes me SO very happy because I want you to LOVE school. I’m so glad that you do! You were also still excited when I picked you up, which makes me happy because I obviously want you to still want to be around me ;)  Then you got to play with your babysitter buddy while I went to school, and you got to hang with your dad all night (who feeds you meatballs for dinner so he OBVIOUSLY wins) while I went to school to take a test.

And I did not do so fabulously on that test.

:sigh:

I have a hard time with imperfection. I got a C. A barely passing C in nursing school – which is to say I got a 76. When I got my grade, I almost cried. I’m not really sure why, but it was probably because of the amount of hours that I spent away from you in order to actually study for the test. I always feel mom guilt about my study time but when I do well, I can somehow justify it in my head.

But  I pulled myself together knowing that no matter what my grade said I knew the material, studied just as much as I had on previous tests, and that the things that were most important about me were waiting for me at home – my family.

And then somehow I let other people make me start to doubt myself. Admittedly I did post my grade for the world to see (looking for support, really), but some people seemed to think it was OK to make me feel poorly about that grade, and that is not OK.

You’re probably wondering why I am telling you this, but I feel like this is actually some kind of mom lesson I need to teach you. Like this is one of those things I want you to SEE that I experienced myself and KNOW that when it happens to you (and it will)(and I hate that, by the way) that you are still a wonderful person that has family that loves you and that is what matters most.

Perfection is not the goal in life. I don’t expect you to get an A on every test, or even a B. Sometimes you will get C’s, D’s or even F’s. It happens. It’s life.  And then one day you will have something that isn’t graded – maybe a project you do for work – and you will do poorly on it. Or your boss will yell at you. Or you’ll disappoint a client.

Sometimes you will feel like you have failed.

You have not. You have not failed, because to truly fail is to never try.

I would much rather you work hard and attempt something that may be difficult but rewarding, than to give up or never try at all.

People may try to make you feel “less than” along the way. They may try to project their own insecurities onto you. Please, PLEASE, get rid of those people. You don’t need them. Find the people in your life that lift you up, support you, pick you up when you are down, celebrate you when you are up. Find those people, never let them go.

And obviously, always remember that I love you, I love you, I love you.

Love,

Mom

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And today, will be spent playing with my baby. No school. No studying. Nothing that doesn’t involve taking care of the people that matter most to me. Amen.

sweet Leah