Friday Favorites (on Saturday): The Postpartum/Newborn Helpers Edition

 

A Saturday edition of Friday Favorites :)IMG_7035This Friday Favorites is dedicated to all the help I have had after having Gemma.  I know I will forget to mention some, but that is because I have major MOMMY BRAIN!IMG_7253

It’s been four weeks since I had Gemma.  It’s been an amazing month of getting to know her and the new family dynamic.  But none of it would be possible without the help from so many people.  Well, it would be possible, but it wouldn’t be as “easy.”

This time around, I am making more of an effort to let people help me and seek out the help when I need it.  It’s not always easy, because after becoming a mom I became someone who tried (still tries?) to do it all.  Maybe that is just what happens to all of us when we have kids.  But this time, I was (am?) determined to relax and let others help more.  Everyone knows I just had a baby and have a toddler, there is no reason to try and make things perfect.  So, I have been doing my best at letting go and letting others in.

And you know what?  This postpartum/newborn time has been MUCH more enjoyable and manageable.

Here are some (definitely not all) of the helpers I have had lately:

1.  The hospital.  This time around instead of trying to get the heck out of there as soon as they let me, I wanted to stay as long as our health insurance would allow (ummm, hello?!  The cost of c-sections?  I was going to get every last ounce out of the stay as I could!).  I stayed four nights, asked for all the help I needed and sent the baby to the nursery (which I barely did for Ashton) to get some stretches of sleep and showers.  When it was finally time to leave, I felt ready and a little rested (unlike the first time around).  This was soooo helpful going home to a house with a toddler.

2.  My husband.  He was able to take three weeks off, and this was wonderful!  He was on total Ashton-duty: getting him up, putting him to bed, putting him down for naps, keeping him from climbing on me and Gemma, etc.  He also cooked, cleaned, and much more.  He knocked it out of the park, and I am so incredibly grateful for such an awesome hubby. <3

Vacuum buddies.  Start him early!

Vacuum buddies. Start him early!

3.  Friends and my MOPs group for bringing meals over for our family.  I joined a moms’ group about a year ago, and recently met one of the moms in the group at a birthday party.  She offered to create a meal-train for us, and actually did it!  Sometimes people have great intentions, but life gets in the way of actually doing things (I know I am guilty of this).  But this sweet girl set it up and it was a HUGE blessing.

On top of some of the moms from that group signing up to bring meals, sweet girls from my MOPs group table organized a week of bringing meals, gift cards and presents for Gemma too.  MOPs is an incredible organization for moms of little kids, and I found out about it last summer via a blogger I adore.  After she spoke so highly of it, I found a local group and signed up (this took a lot of courage as I didn’t know anyone there.  And I am not one to venture out of my comfort zone too frequently).  Joining this group has been so awesome and I have made some great friends through it.  The theme of MOPs this year is “Be You Bravely.”  Coincidence?  I think not.IMG_7272

4.  Family.  From the Friday I went to the hospital to have Gemma until now, our family has done TONS.  From cooking and cleaning to babysitting and carrying Ashton to bed while I can’t.  And the gifts for both Gemma and Ashton… our family has really spoiled them.  And us.  So thankful for them ALL!IMG_7132IMG_7136

5.  Last but not least, my mom.  She falls into the family category too, but she deserves her own category :)  She is the most selfless giving person I know, and I don’t know what I would do without her, her help and the love she pours out on all of us.  She took a ton of time off from work to help us out before and after Gemma was born, and there is no way to thank her enough.  She puts up with me when I am grumpy and tired (sorry mom), has been amazing with helping us get into a little bit of a routine and she even let me get eight hour stretches of sleep a few nights in a row (priceless).  I am so sad that she will have to go back to work this next week, it has been so nice and so fun having her around so much.  Our kiddos are definitely blessed with the best Granny in town!

Love

Love

What have I learned?  Help is good.  Ask for it (the worst that can happen is they say no).  It takes a village. Enjoy the people who help, they are good, precious people.

xoxo

 

What We Wore Wednesday: St. Patrick’s Day Edition

After a week and a half of nothingness here, I thought I would jump on the #WIWW bandwagon with a few pics of what we wore.

I have talked about my love for Evy’s Tree already, but I am going to wax poetic again.  I love them.  Everything is so soft and comfy.  And?  Their stuff looks great too!  That is a clothing trifecta if there ever was one.  Anyway, here is their “Sophie” hoodie in jade.  Again.

(I’m going with the fact that it was a shade of green for St. Patrick’s Day)

Out running a SOLO errand trip

Out running a SOLO errand trip

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I love the way this hoodie fits.  It covers all the right places without looking drab or oversized.  Love it. I’m hoping they come out with more colors soon!

And then, here are the kiddos on St. Patrick’Day:

Love him.

Love him.

Ashton last year vs. this year!

Ashton last year vs. this year!

The littlest leprechaun <3

The littlest leprechaun <3

O'Swaddled

O’Swaddled

Sibs

Sibs

That St. Patrick’s Day hat was such a great Target find last year!  It actually fits Ashton’s extra large noggin, score! :)

Happy Day-After-SPD!

 

Gemma Paisley: 2 Weeks New

Before I start, this is us surviving the time change over the weekend…IMG_7046

Ok, on to the update!

It’s been two weeks since baby Gemma was born.  It has flown by, but at the same time it kind of feels like she has always been here.  It is funny how before her arrival I wondered how it would be possible to love another child like I love Ashton, and the BOOM, my heart opened up and grew and I now feel like I love them both more than I ever loved anything before in my life.  I think having Gemma has made me softer and more loving than I have ever been.  Ok, I am off my sappy-sweet soapbox.  For a minute, anyway.

Kisses for his sister the first day home <3

Kisses for his sister the first day home <3

As for Gemma?  She is doing great!  At her five-day appointment she had gained a few ounces back.  She was up to 7’11”, only a few ounces shy of her birth weight.  I think she has probably reached her birth weight and maybe a couple ounces past now, but we will find out this week at her two week appointment.  She is eating great and breast feeding is going smoothly.  Right on her two week mark, she had a major feast.  She seemed to want to nurse about every 30 minutes!  I felt like that whole day was spent nursing and (me) trying to eat to keep up with it.  By the next day she was back to more of a routine (as routine as a newborn can be), and I was able to do more than just sit on the couch and feed her.

Post-milk coma.

Post-milk coma.

She still wears newborn sized clothing and diapers (although sometimes she will wear size 1 diapers if that is what I reach for, they are just a little big).  I tried to put three month clothes on her, and they are just way too big.  It is so crazy to actually have a baby that wears newborn clothing since Ashton was never able to wear them comfortably.

I have had a LOT of fun dressing her up with hair bows!  The girlie things are SO. MUCH. FUN.

Ohio State spirit!

Ohio State spirit!

Littlest Buckeye!

Littlest Buckeye!

All the pink bows <3

All the pink bows <3

Her sleeping is going nicely.  The first week I slept downstairs in the recliner (so I wouldn’t have to do stairs), but now we all sleep up in our bedroom.  She sleeps in a little sleeper next to my side of the bed.  She eats around 10:30-11pm and then sleeps for about three hours.  Around 2am she eats and then goes back to sleep for a couple hours and then does the same thing one more time.  I think I have been averaging about 7 hours of (broken) sleep, which has been great!  I have been feeling more rested than I have in a while since I wasn’t sleeping well for the last month or so of pregnancy.  Yes, getting up to feed her during the night is rough, but it seems to go quickly and then I can crash out again.

Sleeping.

Sleeping.

More sleeping...

More sleeping…

Gemma seems to be an easy newborn, but I think anything would seem easier than last time.  Ashton was a bit of a fussy baby and I was super sick, so it was a whole different animal.  Gemma only cries if she is hungry or getting a diaper change.  The girl does not like those diaper changes!

What was left of her umbilical cord just fell off, so now she has a normal looking belly button.  This makes the diapering a lot easier.  Right around the two week mark she also started becoming more alert and opening her eyes more.  I am not sure what color her eyes are yet, they seem to look different in different lighting.

Ashton is adjusting without much of a problem.  He loves to give Gemma kisses, and is genuinely concerned when she cries.  There have been a couple times where his eyes well up and he gets visibly upset when she cries.  It makes me want to cry!  He is such a big bruiser of a kid, but he has such a big heart and can be so sensitive. <3

He's already a protective big brother.

He’s already a protective big brother.

Lounging before bedtime.

Lounging before bedtime.

Happy Monday!

Friday Favorites: Gemma’s Birth Story

Today’s Friday Favorites is the story of Gemma’s arrival 💕

 

The day before Gemma was born, my husband made it back into town! Phew! This was a huge weight off my shoulders because I felt like the baby was starting to get close to arriving on her own. Luckily she held off until my scheduled c-section date on Friday the 20th. 😊

But before I get to that, here’s what I did the day before. I picked up my husband at the airport, and we headed home to see Ashton before his nap. The temps were single-digits out with wind chills of below-zero, so Ashton was not going outdoors. After Ashton went down for his nap, my dad came over to hangout so we could go to lunch and run errands.

We went to lunch at a Greek restaurant we love. We told the server that the baby was arriving the next day, and all the staff was excited for us. They gave us the yummiest salted Carmel chocolates on the house to celebrate! So sweet! After that we went to the mall and Target for some last minute items to be ready for the next day and also when we came home from the hospital.

After the running around we came home and hung out with Ashton until bedtime. It was really tugging at my emotions knowing it was the last time I would see him when he was the only child. He’s been my little buddy for so long, and especially the last month of pregnancy while I was less mobile. We let him stay up a little later than normal that night. ☺️

I showered my last pre-baby shower, made sure everything was packed and then had a big bowl of ice cream for my last meal (it was getting close to my cut-off time for eating and didn’t want to eat a big meal.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it).  Then it was off to bed.  Ha! Who was I kidding that I would sleep?! I maybe got 3-4 hours.  Maybe.

We had to be at the hospital at 7:30am, but at 4am I think I finally gave into the sleeplessness and got up. It killed me not to be able to drink anything (especially my beloved coffee). I survived on adrenaline and nerves, finished a little blog post, finished last minute packing (chargers, etc) and took a few final bump pics.

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(Side note, can I just say how much I love this Evy’s Tree hoodie?! The company is incredible and makes such great pieces)

My belly was in full-force that morning! I definitely looked bigger than with Ashton (and he was a huge baby)!

Then it was time! My mom arrived to stay with Ashton and we headed out.

We got to the hospital, valet parked and made our way to labor & delivery. Wow, my nerves were taking over. It was my first c-section and fear of the unknown was taking over. I was practicing a lot of breathing techniques I learned in yoga, and it did help some.

I got set up in the triage room, had bloodwork done and hooked up to an IV. The different doctors I would see in the operating room stopped in to explain the procedures, and then we waited to get all the tests back in order to head in. I asked a few doctors if they would give me something for my nerves, but that wasn’t going to happen 😄 In the meantime my hubby got in his scrubs.

When we were all ready, the nurse walked us to the operating room (I was surprised that I walked to the room, but since they don’t give you the spinal until you’re in the OR, it makes sense).  My husband took stuff to a locker and then waited outside the OR until I was ready. While he waited, I was taken into the OR with all the people I had met in the triage room. The OR was cold, but they gave me warm blankets when I got on the table. Everything happened quickly. I was given the spinal (it wasn’t bad at all) and then they quickly man-handled me to lay me flat on my back.  It sets in quick, so my lower body got warm and tingly and then I couldn’t feel a thing. When they tested to see if I felt anything, all it felt like was fingertips tapping on my belly. Apparently that’s what they were hoping for, so who knows what they were actually tapping me with. 😳  The curtain was put up so I couldn’t see anything, and then my husband was brought in.

He was seated right by my head, and was told he could watch as much or as little as he wanted. What?! I told him not to watch so he wouldn’t pass out, but much to my surprise he actually watched a lot of it! I couldn’t have watched if roles were reversed. I talked some and think I just kept saying how weird the whole thing was. It probably was about 10-15 minutes when they said they were going to be delivering the baby and I would feel like the doctor was standing on me. It really did.

Then I heard her cry. It’s what I prayed for, to hear her cry to know she was okay. I started tearing up and crying a little myself. They said she was crying and not even out all the way. They also said she had a lot of hair! Next thing I know they were showing her to me on me left side. She was crying and perfect. My husband went with them while they cleaned her off, etc and then the next thing I knew he was sitting next to me again holding her all wrapped up in the hospital blanket ❤️It Was another 20 minutes or so that they put me back together, an we just looked at the baby. She was so precious. I asked my husband if she felt as heavy as Ashton did, and he said no. They wouldn’t weigh and measure her until we got to the post-op recovery area.

I don’t remember  going to the post-op area, but we got there and I tried nursing. She latched on right away, crazy! After she nursed a bit, they took her to get weighed, etc.  She was 8 pounds even and 21 inches of perfection.

In order to leave the post-op area, I had to be able to bend/lift my knees up.  This was more difficult than it sounded. We ended up having to wait a couple hours because apparently the anesthesiologist had a heavy hand that day 😉 I’d rather that than feeling anything during the surgery, though!

Once we got to the postpartum room (where we would be for the remainder of the stay), we sent announcements and Facebook posts out to our friends and family of the baby’s arrival 💕 Soon after, visitors started coming to meet baby Gemna.

We stayed Friday-Tuesday (this time around I wanted all the help and healing time I could get before starting our “new normal”) with the wonderful nurses and care I could ask for.

The first two days I was sooooo thirsty and not very hungry. The second day was the most painful (which I had heard was the case). That day they took out the catheter and made me get up a couple times. The getting up was painful and difficult, but I kept thinking about what friends and the nurses said “each time gets easier.”  And it did. Around 5am Sunday I noticed a big change for the better in pain and mobility, and after my full-octane soy vanilla latte my brother and SIL brought me, I felt pretty darn good! 😊

I had a Remicade infusion Saturday night to ward off any colitis flare-up that could occur, and so far I haven’t had any issues! Yay!!!

The rest of the stay was uneventful. Each day got easier, I was able to do laps around the hospital hallway and my appetite started to return. I gave all the nurses these little tokens of appreciation

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And Tuesday morning we loaded up and headed home!

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And that is the beginning of how Gemma Paisley was brought into this world!

xoxo

Friday Favorites: Baby Day!

I am linking up with Andrea, Erika and Narci again today for Friday Favorites!Friday Favorites

And today I am BURSTING AT THE SEAMS (literally and figuratively) because it is finally the day of my scheduled c-section!  We finally get to meet our baby girl!  It is hard to believe that the day is finally here, but it makes bringing her into the world my favorite thing today :) <3

Let's go have a baby!

Let’s go have a baby!

  • I am filled with excitement, nervousness and all of the emotions in-between.
  • I am going to miss Ashton terribly for the few days I am gone, but I am so excited to see him meet his new little sister.  These last few weeks while I have been less active, we have spent a lot of snuggle time together during the days/evenings, and my heart aches that I won’t be there with him while I am in the hospital.  But I know he will be in good hands and having a blast with family and friends (he’s probably getting bored seeing me all the time). :)
  • I am nervous about my first c-section (the unknown), but also excited that the birth and healing process should be much more pleasant than with my first delivery.
  • I am sad that I will no longer feel this baby’s kicks inside my belly anymore, but I am excited to get to see her do it in person.
  • I am nervous about my colitis flaring after delivery, but I am confident that God has His plan for me and this baby and He will equip me with all I need.  I also am confident that my doctors have my well-being in mind and will do everything to keep me healthy.
  • I am excited to finally share the name of the baby because it has become increasingly more difficult to keep it a secret!  My mushy pregnancy-brain has almost let it slip a few times.
  • I am excited for my husband and I to share this time together… And seeing him in scrubs in the operating room :)
  • I just cannot wait to meet this little girl who I have been dreaming about for 9 months!

 

Second Pregnancy: Weeks 38 & 39 And “WIWW” (What I Wore Wednesday)

Whoa, this is the last pregnancy update!!!  I will have my c-section a few days before I would hit 40 weeks…eeek!!!

So here I was last week at 38 weeks:

38 Weeks

38 Weeks

The bump is large and in-charge, and feeling like it has dropped.  A few people noticed that I looked like I was carrying lower too.  I could definitely feel a difference in my ability to breathe.  It has been hard to get a good breath for weeks (months, maybe?), but now I can take in a full breath without difficulty.  The downside of “the drop” is that she is using my bladder as a pillow and I feel like I have to use the bathroom all the time!!!!

At my 38 week appointment, I was still a little dilated and when I was hooked up to my NST it was showing that I was having some pretty decent contractions!  The nurse asked if I was feeling them, and I said “well, now that I know that’s what they are… YES!” I had noticed lately that my heart would race/tight chest throughout the day randomly.  This would also be when the baby would move some and I would have pressure.  I was just thinking that it was the baby changing position, and since she was bigger it just felt differently.  Now I know that when I feel it, it is a contraction.  When I am sitting I can see/feel my stomach get really tight, my heart/chest race and a little bit of low pressure.  It isn’t anything painful (it’s not comfortable, mind you) but they happen regularly all day.

Here is week 39 (I hit 39 weeks on Monday):

39 Weeks

39 Weeks

I am now getting my appetite back due to the fact that the baby has dropped and isn’t cramping my stomach as much.  So I guess I get a few days of enjoying eating before the baby is born :)

I had my last doctor appointment monday, and everything looked/sounded great!  I am/was 1cm dilated and still having those contractions.  The doctor confirmed the baby had dropped, but she thinks the baby will wait until Friday for the c-section :)  I was kind of sad to see my favorite nurse (Tricia) for the last time til after the baby is born and I have my six week checkup.  Everyone in their office is so sweet, it made it enjoyable to make my weekly visits.

I am excited, nervous, TIRED, etc.  I am still having trouble with sleep (to be expected).  But I feel ready as I can be.  I got a lot of stuff done over the weekend, thanks to my mom watching Ashton so I could go out.  I think I pushed it to hard, because I was pretty beat by Sunday night.  This week has been dedicated to relaxing (mani/pedi/yoga).  I have been doing some little organizing/cleaning of non-necesity things which is nice, and also reading more.

I haven’t walked in a while due to the ARCTIC BLAST, but I have been doing yoga.  I went to my final prenatal yoga class yesterday… wahhhhhhh!  I will miss it sooooo much!  I am looking forward to the Mommy/Baby yoga class and continuing my practice once I am cleared by my doctor.  This was my last-day-of-yoga outfit, haha!IMG_6748

I wanted to jump on the #WIWW bandwagon to document a few of the outfits I have worn (been able to fit into) these last weeks/days of pregnancy.  You’ll definitely notice some repeats of certain items, there aren’t too many things left in my closet that are fitting comfortably lately :)

Heading up to my last doctor appointment

Heading up to my last doctor appointment

Leg warmers are back in full-force :)

Leg warmers are back in full-force :)

Date night with my hubby

Date night with my hubby

48 hours til baby!

48 hours til baby!

Me and Ashton relaxing. He loves selfies now!

Me and Ashton relaxing. He loves selfies now!

So that is it!  I will be back to update on the new baby soon!

xoxo