Archive for November, 2012

November 27, 2012
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Okay, so you’re probably expecting to see pics of my 37 week old belly…or perhaps Aiden’s super-cool baseball nursery…both of which I plan to do ASAP! But tonight I decided to put my “37 Week Bumpdate” on hold for this hospital post instead. A little out of order, I know, but I have my reasons. First off – I want natural light to take pictures of the finished room. By the time I get home from work, entertain Miss Peyton, Jason gets home from work, and we eat dinner, it’s dark out. Bummer. Oh, and my belly? It is HUGE, and getting uncomfortable. I come home and immediately change into PJ pants. Once I’m in them, the idea of taking a picture of my large and in charge stomach doesn’t sound too appealing. But I promise I will take pictures of both…just not tonight! 😉

The other reason I am writing this post now instead of my Bumpdate? I REALLY want to blog about this topic before I go into the hospital. And with my luck, I will go into labor tomorrow and it will be too late (yes, those good ol’ Braxton Hicks contractions/cramps have started, and are sending me into panic mode!). So here it goes…my reflection on the post-baby hospital stay…

See this picture? It is what I thought all parents looked like after a baby was born: calm baby, overjoyed mama, and the picture of perfection. And it IS! This is one of my most favorite photos of Peyton from the hospital, taken by our wonderful birth photographer, Annie Varland (who I can’t wait to have photograph Aiden’s birth here soon!). I will always treasure this photo and the memory it holds for me. Before Peyton was born, I would look at a photo like this and think having a baby was all roses and butterflies. I was one of those people that if I heard someone I knew had a baby, I was dying to drive to the hospital, visit the parents, and get my hands on that sweet bundle of joy! I also thought that if I didn’t make the trek to the hospital, the new parents would feel like I didn’t care or didn’t acknowledge the birth of the baby. My oh my how having a baby of my own has changed my mind on that topic!

It wasn’t until I saw a fantastic blog post featuring Jenny Baker, the wonderful lady from Crossroads that married Jason and I, that I realized how important it is to establish boundaries about the birth of your baby. (Click here to watch it…it is full of great info, and Jenny cracks me up!) Don’t get me wrong, I thought about the actual BIRTH of Peyton. I knew I wanted Jason in the room, a birth photographer (which I would TOTALLY recommend if you’ve ever thought of having one!), and my mom. I set very firm boundaries with everyone, especially my mom. They went something like this:

1.)    You will stay by my head.

2.)    You won’t talk to me while I’m pushing.

3.)    You are not allowed to cry.

4.)    You will videotape the birth, but make sure that you don’t see anything “yucky.”

Okay, so maybe I was a little too firm on establishing the boundaries with her! 😉 But the after birth part? I hadn’t even thought of that! The next thing I knew, I had just pushed a kid out of my you-know-what, and people were asking to come in and visit. I said okay, and the room quickly filled with our families. Everyone held the baby, and I was glad that Annie was able to capture a picture or two of each member of the family holding Peyton for the first time. After awhile most everyone went back to the waiting room, and I suddenly felt nauseous. No one told me that might happen. The next thing I knew, I was covered in puke and having to change my gown. Yeah, no one told me THAT might happen either. I so desperately wanted to shower, but the idea of standing up in a shower after a day of labor and the pain “down there” made me cringe. So there I was, disgusting, exhausted, and feeling miserable, all within the first two hours of Peyton being in the world. Mind you, we were still in the delivery room at this point…yes, a total whirlwind of two hours. The next thing I knew, I was put in a wheelchair and felt like my head was spinning as they wheeled me to my recovery room. All of our families were out in the waiting room, and they wanted to steal a quick peek of the baby as we went by. I just remember feeling like I was in a daze, and all I wanted was to get into a semi-comfy bed and go to sleep. I think everyone saw how miserable I looked, said their goodbyes, and headed home for the night. Jason and I got a decent night’s sleep, even with keeping Peyton in our hospital room. I was determined to get her on a “good sleep schedule” from night one, so I was insistent that she stay with us where I could start being the enforcer of the Happiest Baby on the Block techniques (swaddling, shushing, etc.). Just ask Jason – I was kind of crazy about that! I could’ve done without the constant nurse check-in’s throughout the night, but I guess that’s just part of the gig…

Day two in the hospital brought lots of visitors. Parents, grandmas, siblings, cousins, aunts, friends…you name it, we had them in our room. At first it was fun to visit with everyone, and I loved showing off our precious little girl. But as the day went on, I was reminded of how crappy I felt after having a baby. (Again, something no one can really prepare you for until you go through it.) I put on a smile and even made myself get out of bed and sit in the rocker instead while we visited. I watched my baby get passed around the room, and I could feel myself getting more tired and overwhelmed by the minute. I felt like I needed to entertain people, even though my only job was to sit in the rocker and talk to them. One of my flaws is my desire to please everyone, and I hate hurting people’s feelings. I knew I could’ve asked everyone to leave and they would’ve understood, but I worried that they had traveled all that way, and I didn’t want them to feel like they weren’t wanted.

If you are still reading at this point, good for you! I have always said that God gave me three passions in life – teaching, photography, and writing. Unfortunately, He made me long-winded! 😉 I do have a point in telling all of this, though. First, I never really had an outlet to share Peyton’s birth story and what I learned from it. I think all women, whether they have had kids, are currently pregnant with baby #1, or dream of the day they may have a child, should know that the time after having a baby isn’t the picture of perfection it’s so often made out to be. We all know childbirth itself is a lot of work, exhausting, and not too pretty.  But no one talked to me about what life would be like in the hospital in the days following. After talking with many of my other mommy friends, I now know that most often times it is TOUGH. Now please don’t confuse all of this with complaining or a lack of gratitude. Having a baby is the single most MIRACULOUS event I have ever experienced! Despite the blood, puke, pain, and raging hormones, I was on cloud nine meeting the tiny baby that I bonded with for 9 long months! I have always said that I don’t know how anyone can have a baby and still question if there is a God. I feel oh so very privileged to be able to have children, and their birthdays will always mean the world to me. I’m just trying to be brutally honest about some of the things I wish I would’ve known about before I went to the hospital the first time.

My other reason for wanting to write this post before I go into labor is to hopefully establish some boundaries about our hospital stay. I am so much better writing my feelings than speaking them, so I thought this would be an easier way for me to share with family and friends my wishes for “Hospital Stay Take 2” (or “Take 3” if you count our first induction with Peyton, which could easily turn into a whole other blog post! Haha). So knowing what I know now, I am requesting that only immediate family visits the hospital (our parents and siblings). While I know Jason and I will be over the moon to share our little Aiden with everyone that we love, I also know that I will probably not be feeling too well and will want to rest. I am seriously considering asking that no one come back into the actual delivery room after his birth, but rather wait until we are transferred to the recovery room (which I think is two hours after the baby is born) for fear of what happened the first time around. I hope that all of our family members and friends understand that this is a personal decision, one that I feel I need to make for my sanity in order to rest and recuperate. After all, I only get two or three days to enjoy my baby before I’ll be home managing a newborn and an 18 month old who certainly won’t understand mommy’s need for sleep! Hehe.

Finally, after talking with another mommy friend, we came up with a list of things people can do for families that have just welcomed a new baby. After all, I know that everyone that wants to visit has the best intentions and just wants to offer their support and love. So if you know someone who is pregnant or just had a baby, here are a few ideas that I think new mommies would appreciate!

*Send them a text, Facebook message , or email letting them know you’re thinking of them. End it with something like, “I know you are busy and need your rest, so don’t worry about replying – just wanted to say I was thinking about you!” The last part is important because, as my friend pointed out, new mommies often feel bad for not getting back with people.  That last part will ease her guilt while she’s busy caring for that sweet new babe.

*Offer to bring over a meal once they are home from the hospital. Better yet, organize a whole group of people to take them meals using an online organizer such as www.takethemameal.com. Make sure everyone knows to drop the meal off on their front porch and knock or text when it’s there. The last thing a new mommy should have to do is feel obligated to entertain! (And honestly, she will appreciate being able to look as raged as she likes without fear of who will stop by and see her in that condition.)

*If you MUST see that baby, offer to watch him or her while the mom takes a nap. I actually had a friend in our Church’s small group already offer to do this once Aiden is born, and I thought it was the best idea EVER! I immediately felt like I could stay in my sweats and not have to worry about entertaining her. Let’s face it…new moms are in DESPERATE need of a nap! But if you offer this, make the mom stick to the deal – send her upstairs while you man the baby.

*Send something thoughtful in the mail, either to the hospital or their house. Flowers are nice, but you can be creative…think a fruit bouquet (make sure there is something dipped in CHOCOLATE in there!), Graeter’s ice cream, etc. Hospital food is for the birds!

*Ask if there are any groceries you could pick up for them. I know this sounds silly, but I remember sending my mom out to the store when we got home with Peyton for simple things like fresh bread, water bottles, etc. Even if they don’t need anything, the new mom and dad will appreciate your offer!

Finally, I want to finish this post by saying that all of the above are my personal opinions. Just as I know many of my friends feel the same way in regards to visitors and feeling overwhelmed, I know just as many that LOVED having visitors and felt great after delivery! You really just need to feel out the new mama and see where you think she stands. Thanks for listening to my pregnancy rantings, and feel free to leave a comment about YOUR hospital stay experience below! I would love to hear how similar or different it was for all the mommies out there!

November 07, 2012
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To say we’ve had a busy Fall is an understatement. We had so many things we wanted to do to celebrate the season (and savor the last time we’ll be able to do things alone with Peyton for awhile). It also coincided with my busy season for photography, as well as end of the tri. craziness at school. I should be grading on-demand writing pieces as I type this, but I needed to take a break! So needless to say, this post will be rather short but filled with cute pictures! 🙂

First on our list was a trip to Kings Island for their Halloween weekends. We bought season passes for next summer, and got to go once this season when we bought the passes. Peyton and Braxton LOVED the rides, and they had lots of fun Halloween/Fall activities for the kids to do. Can’t wait to take the kids back next summer when they can ride more!

Next up was a pumpkin patch. We decided to go to Blooms and Berries this year, and it was a great choice! Peyton and Braxton loved playing on all the fun equipment and doing the activities they had there. They had a “sandbox” of corn that Braxton LOVED and Peyton took awhile to warm up to. I guess she feels the same way about corn as she does sand (she HATES it!). But eventually she tried it out and didn’t cry. She loved the hayride, and picked out our pumpkin. Literally – she pointed to the one she wanted (see pics below). Luckily it was a good size and mommy and daddy approved! 😉

After we got pumpkins, we spent some time painting the baby ones! Peyton loves art, but is not a fan of getting messy. (Yep, there are parts of her mommy in there!) She painted three – one to give to each set of grandparents, and one to keep at our house. Maybe we’ll try our hand at carving next year. Paint was as good as we got this year….

Finally, we wrapped up Fall with Halloween and Trick-or-Treat! Peyton was Pebbles, and Braxton was Bam Bam. Their personalities fit them to a tee. 🙂 Miss Gina (Peyton’s babysitter and Braxton’s Granny) made the costumes, and they turned out so cute! Too bad it was cold and rainy, so they had to wear coats. Luckily they had worn them to K.I. (see above) so they got to show them off SOMEWHERE! We tried to take some pics of the kiddos inside after they went to about 5 houses with their daddies, but getting two kids under 2 to sit and pose for pictures is near impossible. Miss Gina tried to help keep them occupied by singing songs and doing the motions. They sure love her and have learned so much!

We had a great Fall, and I am happy to say I survived all the festivities! I don’t know how I’ll fair for Thanksgiving and Christmas, since I’ll be VERY preggo or caring for a newborn. But I am trying to soak in every minute I can with Peyton before our life gets extra busy (but extra blessed!).

November 04, 2012
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Week 33 Belly Pictures…

Here are the latest stats: 

Pregnancy Length: 33 weeks, 6 days (as of 11/4)

Countdown to Due Date: 6 weeks , one day (HOLY COW!)

Weight Gain: Still not sure, since our home scale’s batteries died and I have yet to replace them.

Baby is the size of a: pineapple (19 to 22 in., 4.9 lbs)

New baby developments: Still growing and gaining more weight. His fingernails now reach the end of his fingertips and may even curl over the tip. My pregnancy app also talks about how his testicles are making their way down from his abdomen. But I don’t know if any of us really need to know that lil’ detail…

Gender: Boy

Names: Aiden Michael

Sleep: Not going as well as it had been. I woke up a few nights in a row with massive cramps in my legs. I know that’s normal during pregnancy, but OUCH! I have to get up and walk around to get rid of them. Also, I have started waking up at least once in the middle of the night (usually at the same time) for no reason. I did this with Peyton, too. I guess it’s your body’s way of getting ready for those middle-of-the-night feedings. Can’t wait! Hehe.

Feeling: Tired and stressed. Report cards and conferences are coming up at school, so that’s not helping. Once those are done, I can turn more attention to getting those last minute things ready for Aiden and finishing his room.

Health: Everything checks out well at the doctor’s. However, heartburn is my new (unwanted) friend. I guess I’ll take it over the nausea I had with Peyton.

Movement: Since he’s bigger, I feel him move much more now! I think he’s starting to run out of room in there. I get a good jab at least once a day that makes me stop dead in my tracks!

Cravings: Everything I shouldn’t eat.

Nursery: We are making progress! Jason painted the walls and they look great! He put up with my crazy paint dilemma. Basically I wasn’t happy with the paint I bought for the three walls and had to take it back. Normally Lowe’s doesn’t take paint back, but I think the guy felt sorry for me and my big ol’ belly. The color we got is much more what I had in mind! My mom started on the baseball wall. Below you’ll see pics of the progress. It’s mainly done, but she needs to add some finishing details. Jason put together the crib and dresser. The dresser is the same as Peyton’s,  but I found baseball knobs instead of the ones that came with it. How stinking cute are they?! I can’t wait to put together all the little details in his room. Everything is bought…I just need to find time (and energy!) to get it all set up!

Belly: I feel like I am the size I was when I delivered Peyton! But I can still see my feet, which is a blessing I suppose. I am starting to get stretch marks around my belly button, which I was really hoping to avoid. So I will now be applying stretch mark cream daily to try and combat them! Also, my belly button seems to be getting smaller and smaller as my belly gets bigger and bigger. I am just waiting for it to pop out. Luckily it never did with Peyton, but I don’t think I’ll be so lucky this time. I am not looking forward to my “innie” becoming an “outtie.”  I’m just glad I heard about this pregnancy phenomenon from my teacher friends at school. I’m thinking about writing a blog post for all my friends that aren’t yet pregnant or are newly pregnant about all the things no one tells you about pregnancy. Would anyone be interested in those tidbits?!

Next Appointment: Nov. 14th

And now for what most people probably came here to see…Aiden’s room! A BIG thank you to Jason and my mom for working so hard – I don’t know what I’d do without you two! I personally think it looks amazing. My mom may need to retire early and start a mural business. 😉 Also, thank you to Pinterest for giving me the idea of the baseball wall, which got the ball rolling (literally) on our baseball themed nursery! And I suppose I should also thank Big Sister Peyton for inspecting all of the hard work and making sure it’s suitable for her little brother. 🙂

And finally some pics of my little stinker, Peyton. She came in the bathroom as I was taking my bump pictures, and I thought I’d try and get her in some with my belly. Well, she instead found the Q-tips and proceeded to stick them up her nose. So me, being the good mom that I am, decided to take pictures of her doing that. But I also got some sweet ones of her “reading” her new favorite book (Goodnight Moon) and hugging her teddy bear. That girl warms my heart and makes me laugh all at the same time!

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