Belle’s Birth Story

Bellemme Grace

Due: April 3, 2019

Born: April 8, 2019

At our 20 week anatomy ultrasound the technician told us baby GIRL was about a week ahead of schedule on the size charts. This was super surprising to us since I had been measuring a bit small up until this point. We were so excited we might get to meet our bundle earlier than expected!

We creeped closer and closer to my “new” due date…until we passed it. At my 39 week appointment baby girl was still sitting high and seemed very content in the womb. Of course I couldn’t wait to meet her, but I also loved being pregnant so I wasn’t in a super rush to evict her. Our doctors were comfortable with us going one week over our due date- knowing this we decided to go ahead and set an induction date. By setting one ahead of time (but still hoping baby would come on her own) they were able to reserve a private room for us so we didn’t spend any time in triage.

*Triage at our hospital was a small room with curtain dividers that women hang out in until they are in active labor*

After my 40 week appointment I started getting really nervous about the thought of induction. I had read MANY induction birth stories and pitocin was often described as “the devil drug.” So yeah, I’d like to pass on that if possible. Between my Wednesday appointment and our Scheduled Sunday induction I did all of the suggested things- drank specific tea, walked liked crazy, climbed up and down stairs, ate spicy food, etc. But alas, the little lady decided she wasn’t coming out without some assistance.

Sunday at 5pm we checked into the hospital. From the minute we walked in the door it was go time! We barely got our stuff set down before the first nurse was (trying) to put my IV in. After two tries in my hand a new nurse came and was able to get it in my forearm. If you have an option, I would definitely recommend asking for your IV to be in your arm instead of hand- this allows you to move your hand easier which helps with many things but especially holding your new baby!

7pm- Once my IV was in place, the next step was to have Cervidil inserted. Cervidil is used to ripen and soften the cervix which will hopefully trigger your body into beginning labor on its own. Within minutes of my Cervidil being inserted I began having contractions that I couldn’t feel. We ate dinner, watched tv, and decided to try and get a good nights sleep knowing that the plan was to check me early the next morning for progress.

Jeff fell asleep on the couch in our room and I was just about to dose off when things got interesting.

12am- I’m starting to feel contractions. As weird as this may seem, I was so excited! There was a small chance that the Cervidil could progress me enough that pitocin wouldn’t have to be used- I was hoping this was a sign towards that! I can still drift in and out of sleep at this point.

2am-6am. Ok. This hurts. I really wanted to wake Jeff up so he could be with me but I knew I would need him 100% during active labor so I thought it was best to let him rest now. For these four hours I clung to the bedrail with my arms wrapped around both sides.

6am- My nurse came in and took out the Cervidil and I was told to get in the shower and clean off before we got things “started.” “STARTED”?! I thought we WERE “started.”

I have a pretty high pain tolerance and I’m pretty sure my husband has seen me cry 3 times in the 10 years we’ve been together (it’s just who I am) but at this point I cried to Jeff that I “just wanted to be sitting on the sectional together at home watching tv.” After about 30 seconds of that I pulled myself together and waited for the nurse to come back.

7am- pitocin begins. I’m not going to sugar coat this for you so if you’ve got a baby on the horizon and don’t want the truth, now is the time to turn back. Exit out of this page.

If you’re still with me- here we go!

7:15am- Within minutes of the pitocin starting in my IV the contractions were INTENSE. I was mostly still holding onto the bedrails and working through things on my own. I could talk and answer questions.

10am- When they checked my dilation and I was only at a 5 I told the nurse to go ahead and call for an epidural since I had been told it could take quite a while for or an anesthesiologist to make their way up to me.

10am-11:15am- My head is pushed into the side of the bed, I’m holding Jeff’s hands (probably breaking them) and trying to calmly ask the nurse if she’s heard from the anesthesiologist. She can tell I’m in excruciating pain and decides to stop the pitocin until we can get an epidural. Even though she cut the pitocin off from my IV the contractions aren’t slowing down any.

11:15am- The anesthesiologist arrives. I am TERRIFIED of needles but (as I had heard from other people) at this point you DO NOT CARE. I’ve never been so happy to see a doctor in my entire life. Curling up like a cat on the edge of the bed is not easy during contractions and I was SO glad that I had watched videos ahead of time on the correct form because in that moment I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate enough to figure out what the doctor was wanting from me. It took three tries before he could get the needle in place. They rub something on your back that is suppose to numb the area before it’s inserted but it wasn’t working. I was wenching but when he would ask me what hurt all I could get out was the word “pain.” After a few minutes the medicine started to kick in and while I was still feeling the contractions, the intensity had gone down tremendously so my nurse began the pitocin again.

10 minutes after my epidural was inserted I developed what they called a “hot spot.” This basically means that one spot on my body had not been numbed and was feeling ALL of the pain.

It. Was. Horrible.

They called the anesthesiologist back and he upped my medicine but nothing was working. By this point the entire epidural had worn off (30 minutes after it was inserted.)

Pitocin + No Epidural = I’m dying. I’m sure of it.

11:45am- I’ve pretty much blacked out at this point. Jeff says I was praying out loud but I don’t remember. All of a sudden my body is shaking like I’m in The North Pole. When I ask the nurse about this she tells me it’s a sign that it’s almost time. Within minutes the feeling to push that I had heard others talk about was very clear! Everything happened so fast that I could tell my nurse was a little panicked. About 30 seconds later there was a team of hospital staff in my room. I was using all of the breathing techniques they taught us in class and Jeff was a ROCKSTAR husband!

12:25pm- Pushing begins. After 20 minutes we can see the doctors looking at each other strangely. The nurse watching the heart rate monitors is giving them signals and while she’s trying to stay calm we can see the panic on her face as she catches the eyes of the doctors. Our hospital door opens and in come three more people while my doctor tells me that baby’s heart rate is dropping and we have to get her out fast. There’s a nurse at my head putting an oxygen mask over my face between pushes to try and get some help to baby. There are roughly 18 people in the room now. My doctor tells me we are going to use a vacuum on the next set of pushes.

12:47pm- Bellemme Grace is here. The feeling of complete exhaustion and new love consume me. I can’t get over Jeff’s face as we see our daughter for the first time. I look over and one of the nurses has my phone in her hand and is taking pictures of these first moments with our girl. After a few minutes of skin to skin Jeff takes her for all of her measurements and checks while I’m taken care of.

I had a 3rd degree tear requiring 37 stitches. If you have time for one thing before your baby is born I strongly encourage you to make some DIY padsickles (instructions on Pinterest.) They saved my life!

After an hour of stitches I got Belle back and we contacted our families to let them know she had been born!

Some nurses are quick to take out your IV since it can be uncomfortable for the patient- I asked to have mine left in. My doctors were concerned I might need to receive blood since I had lost so much during delivery (thankfully I didn’t end up needing any.) I did however have to get my last dose of RhoGAM and I was able to ask for it to be given through my IV instead of having to be poked again. RhoGAM is a special shot that negative blood types receive during pregnancy and after delivery.

P.S. If you have negative blood and you ever experience a miscarriage it is VERY important that you receive one of these shots no matter how far along you were so make sure your doctor knows you are negative.

The rest of our hospital stay had its ups and downs that I might write about another time. I know I read TONS of birth stories before my delivery and learned a lot of helpful things so I hope this has been a good preparer for someone reading it!

If you want to know more about the products I used for recovery after tearing just send me a message and I would be happy to give you a list of life savers!

Advertisements

Before Baby To-Do List

There are plenty of “ahead of time” things you can do to make your hospital stay as well as bringing home your new bundle go smoother. Here’s a list of some of the things I did that I found super helpful!

1.) When you get home from the hospital (one of) the last things you’ll want is to realize you are out of some basic necessities. We stocked up on:

⁃ toilet paper, hand sanitizer, hand soap, paper towels (we switched to these for company so we didn’t have multiple people using the same hand towels.)

2.) I cleaned up our house each evening before bed. Since we didn’t know when I would go into labor this was the easiest way to guarantee a clean house for our company and for me to come home to.

3.) Pack bags ahead of time and have a list of the items you can only pack last minute.

4.) Choose birth announcements and make a list of recipients. If you have the names written out and an address book you can give the task of filling out envelopes to a grandparent or visitor who wants a job to do!

P.S. We didn’t end up getting these ordered so if you’re wondering why you didn’t get one from us there’s your answer.

5.) Choose a photographer and be in contact about what you want/possible dates.

6.) Give parents/important guests directions to hospital and home info. Our parents were coming from out of state so we made sure they had all the info they needed and wouldn’t be trying to get ahold of us during a time when we couldn’t talk.

7.) Pre-register at the hospital so you aren’t filling out paperwork through contractions.

8.) Go to classes. Of course there are labor courses but there are also classes about what to expect when bringing baby home!

9.) Talk about “rules” for when you will be sharing information about baby and what all you will share. Type out your social media post and have it saved so you don’t have to think about it when the time comes. Also, make sure your family and any visitors know your preferences for what they can share and when.

10.) Make list of people to let know the news before they see it on social media or hear from someone else. It’s easy to forget someone important when you’ve got other things on your mind!

11.) Work things out with your job.

12.) Wash everything for baby- clothes, swaddles, crib sheets, towels, etc.

13.) Prepare meals, grocery items, etc. I’m a HUGE breakfast person so I did a LOT of baking to make sure I had somewhat healthy items I could unthaw or pop in the microwave with one hand. Below are the links for the recipes I made that I would recommend for making, freezing, and reheating!

https://pin.it/k2leaaoes72t3n

https://pin.it/zeswjklye37l5n

https://pin.it/7u6vc6b6vd6sbd

https://pin.it/kmcyz6rdgkehtj

https://pin.it/ioxzxutfiu5xjy

https://pin.it/d4z6zl6nydldvt

https://pin.it/roarcfaco2jygj

Planning ahead = More time for baby snuggles!

A Google Motherhood

Happy ONE MONTH to my best girl! I can’t believe how much I’ve learned about Belle in such a short amount of time. From night two at the hospital when the feeling of being overwhelmed consumed me to night 30 when I knew exactly how much time I had before her “warning whimpering” turned to a full “I’m hungry NOW cry” we’ve come a long way!

I thought it would be fun to look back at my google history and see some of the things I searched in the first month regarding recovery/motherhood. The things on this list don’t even include what I looked up on Pinterest, in my mommy apps, in paperwork from my doctors, what I asked Jeff to search, or what I asked my friends, sisters, or the grandmas about. Baby information is often not black and white which makes it extra tricky!

So, to be transparent and maybe eye opening for soon to be mommy’s- here is my list exactly as searched and in order from first to most recent.

•21 stitches at birth

•Easiest foods to digest

•Using the restroom after tearing during childbirth

•Perineal cold pack (Amazon)

•Recovering from 3rd degree tear

•Jaundice

•Newborn won’t stop crying

•Nighttime nanny

•Dealing with postpartum depression

•Baby blues

•Witch hazel

•Sitting with stitches after birth

•Groups for new moms Kansas City

•Vacuum used during labor

•Similac pro advance formula

•2oz premade formula bottle

•Can you drive after a 3rd degree tear

•Peri bottle

•Can baby sleep in momaroo

•My milk came in overnight

•Baby formula calculator

•Newborn hasn’t pooped in 24 hours

•Sit a baby in the sun for jaundice

•Sleepers that zip from the top down

•Working out after 3rd degree tear

•Skin darkens during pregnancy

•Will melasma go away

•How to get newborn to sleep

•Losing your belly when you can’t exercise

•Water for mixing formula

•Sleeping with baby on chest

•How long do stitches take to dissolve

•Similac coupons

•Stomach cramps 6 days after giving birth

•How old can baby be to take them out

•Dry skin on baby belly

•What should baby wear in 70 degree weather

•Newborn peeling lips

•Red bumps on baby private parts

•1 week postpartum inside of heels hurts

•How long will I bleed after birth

•What do you do all day with a baby

•Cluster feeding

•Just had a baby and keep dreaming husband cheats on me

•Newborn eyelashes

•Missing my husband after baby

•Blood clot after birth

•If I had to use a vacuum during birth will I always

•Birth stories

•Baby projectile spit up

•Bob revolution stroller

•Shaking during labor

•How to fold Chicco keyfit stroller

•Newborn diaper weight chart

•Does passing gas count as a burp

•Aldi diaper cream

•Aquaphor diaper cream

•Diaper rash

•Summer bassinet

•Tighten skin after baby

•Car seat cover

•If my first baby had hair will my others

•What to expect at 6 week postpartum checkup

•What should newborn sleep in at night

•Fisher price rocker

•Boba wrap newborn

•Caring for husband after birth

•Show your husband he’s important after birth

•Cheapest place to get diapers 2019

•Diaper reviews 2019

•How to clean bottles while traveling

•Stork bite on eyelid

•Onyx infant life jacket

•Co sleeper bassinet

•Baby feels hot but not sick

•How to hold anti colic bottles

•How long can a formula bottle sit at room temperature

•Easiest pacifiers for newborns

•When can I stop waking baby to feed at night

•Land diaper bag

•Women describe what labor actually feels like

•When to start using blooming bath

•Huggies wipes prices

•Epidural cost

•Ez pz plates

•Once upon a giggle diapers

•Kids shoe size conversion chart

•What to do when people want to hold baby

•Bottle stickers for baby

•When does baby stop sleeping all day

•My baby will only sleep when being held

•Baby carrier for summer

What are some of your most surprising or craziest things you searched when first taking on a little one?

Budget Friendly Nursery

*Any negative or “advicey” comments will be deleted*

Moving on:

When we found out we were pregnant there was about a month left of yard sale season. I was struggling to have the desire to buy things for the baby because I wasn’t letting myself get too attached at this point. If you’ve kept up with us in the past you know that our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage- so with only being about 5-9 weeks along during yard sale season I didn’t see the point in buying a bunch of baby stuff we might not get to use. (Side note- how sick is that?! The anxiety and feelings that come after a loss are so cruel! I’m actually in the process of writing a blog about this, too so be on the lookout.)

Anyways, I decided I would just start by making a list of what we would need for a baby and then on that list I would put a little star next to the items we would be fine with buying used. I wrote down everything I thought we needed (HA!) and then went on Pinterest to look at other peoples lists so I could see if I forgot anything.

YALLLLLL. THESE LITTLE HUMANS REQUIRE SO MUCH STUFF!

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of items on lists that I don’t think you have to have as well as a lot of items that are nice but not necessities. There are however still a ton of things baby actually needs.

I added a million items to my list and now had nearly two notebook pages filled out front and back. I assumed we would have at least one shower along the way at some point but I also knew that it was up to us to come up with a large portion of these items. One quick google search of “Cribs” or “Rocker” and all your eyes see are dollar signs 💵 I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap but my gosh- just the nursery furniture alone adds up FAST.

According to The Bump the average person will spend $2,000 on nursery furniture. In this amount they included – crib, changing table, dresser, rocker (not a big, soft rocker recliner- a regular rocker), rug, diaper pail, lamp, bookshelf, and sheets.

That’s gonna be a no. I wanted my baby to have everything she needs (and everything I want in order to have a Pinterest worthy nursery) but my budget friendly mindset wasn’t feeling this $2,000 price point.

Because of this, I started letting myself look at yard sales for these items but honestly didn’t have too much luck. Why is it that when you don’t want to find baby stuff you pull up to a sale and all they have are onesies but then when you need it there’s none to be found? Anyone else feel this way? Thankfully there are lots of ways to find used items these days- craigslist, Facebook marketplace, consignment shops, swap and shop websites, neighborhood email lists, etc.

READ CAREFULLY- There are many items that you do not want to purchase used for your baby! Some items have expiration dates. Do your research and decide what you feel comfortable buying secondhand.

Bellemme Graces Nursery Breakdown

•Crib ($Free) – I saw this crib in a yard sale listing that I wasn’t able to attend. After the sale I messaged the seller and asked if it was still available and she said yes! We ended up buying our coffee table, end table, and hamper from them and the crib was free!

•Crib Mattress ($Free) – Given to us by someone from church.

•Bookshelf (-$5) – Yard sale find.

•Changing Table ($Free) – Our church received a newer changing table so they gave this one to us. Some paint and tightening the screws and it was good to go. A lady in the church office also gave us the pad for on top.

•Dresser ($Free) – This was my dad (and most of his siblings) dresser when they were babies. My parents had it for years and then were going to put it in a yard sale so I snatched it up and used paint I already had.

•Handles for dresser (-$10) – Walmart

•Rocker Recliner (-$99) – Craigslist

•Nightstand (-$5) – Goodwill Outlet

•Rug (-$40) – Facebook Marketplace

Total $159

*The $2,000 average price included the sheets, diaper pail, and lamp but we didn’t purchase those items ourselves.*

Obviously not everyone can find all of those items so cheap or free- but the point for us was to be willing to search for them. Be patient! You have many months to furnish your nursery so don’t feel the need to go out and buy everything from Target at 8 weeks along. Take your time and buy a piece here and there when an awesome deal comes up. Look EVERY single day at the online resources. I think I missed out on about a dozen rockers before I was finally first in line.

It’s a double edged sword, but there are always people looking to get rid of baby stuff that has been sitting in their basement. If you’re willing to put up with the awkward “no thank you’s” to the items you don’t want/need then post on Facebook or let your church know what you’re looking for and you’ll more than likely get some good offers for free/inexpensive items you want!

I would LOVE to see yalls nurseries and hear any awesome stories of good deals you found while furnishing your rooms!

Pregnancy Product Must-Haves

Surviving Pregnancy

Some people enjoy their 9 (more like 10 months) of carrying around a little one while others are less than thrilled with all the different aspects of pregnancy.

Personally, I kind of enjoy being pregnant. Of course their are times when it’s less than glamorous (that first trimester sickness is no joke) but in general I like knowing this little life is venturing through the days with me. Although I’m starting to get uncomfortable now as my remaining weeks are dwindling, I enjoyed many months of not having to worry about how I looked in my clothes because you’re allowed to have a bump!

I’m not one to go out and buy every popular baby item I see on Pinterest. I don’t enjoy spending money on things I will only use for a short amount of time or that take up a lot of space in my home. There are however a few items that have helped me in different ways throughout my pregnancy that I wanted to share- so let’s dive in!

Pregnancy Must- Haves

•Toast, Mashed Potatoes, Soda

I was pretty sick during the First Trimester and found myself only wanting plain food. Fizzy soda also seemed to help with the nausea which I thought was weird but I’ve heard the same from multiple people! These mashed potato packets are super cheap and easy to make when you’re feeling sick and not up to cooking.

•Walmart maternity leggings and shirts

I tried all different brands at different prices but my favorite BY FARRR were the Time and Tru items from Walmart.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Maternity-Legging/704639424

•Cardigans and vests

I never felt super comfortable with letting my belly fully stick out so I wore a maternity shirt with something over it pretty much every single day.

•H & M Joggers

These are the ONLY athletic bottoms I found that were full belly panel.

https://m2.hm.com/m/en_us/productpage.0442915001.html

•Tylenol

You have to be careful what medication you take but Tylenol is on the safe list and it saved me when it comes to restless legs (especially at night!) I recommend picking up a bottle to have on hand ASAP. There’s nothing worse than not being able to fall asleep and not having the medicine you can take.

•Tums

My heartburn didn’t kick in until the 3rd trimester but it came with a vengeance!

•Snacks for your purse/car/desk

One of the only things that helped with my nausea was never letting myself get hungry. Even if you feel fine, make sure you eat something every couple of hours anyways! I was focused on not overeating so it took me a while to learn this lesson but once I did it helped TREMENDOUSLY.

•Water Bottle

I used this one from Walmart (link below) because it was spill-proof so I could throw it in my bag and the mouth was wide enough that I could put ice in it. You need a lot of water while pregnant and it’s important to keep up with staying hydrated so that if you do get sick you won’t be as likely to get dehydrated.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-24oz-Vacuum-Insulated-Stainless-Steel-Water-Bottle/295763041?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=2490&adid=22222222228135557402&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=m&wl3=244263776113&wl4=pla-399801303547&wl5=9023244&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=295763041&wl13=2490&veh=sem&gclid=CjwKCAiAhp_jBRAxEiwAXbniXS69J9BmBa24Lh9ZWPUxc0QzGh-nOy5rZd3U8aP2FQyWeCOQpcqx7RoC9EQQAvD_BwE

•Gum

OH MY GOSH- towards to the end of my first trimester and well into the second one I had the weirdest gagging issue. Dry heaving gagging would come out of nowhere throughout the entire day. It was TERRIBLE. The only thing that would help at all was chewing on gum- which I did about 18 hours out of the day.

•Good shoes with traction and support

New Balance ended up being my favorite. I did go up an entire shoe size by the third trimester so I would advise not spending a ton on new shoes in the beginning since you may find yourself buying more than one pair as your feet grow.

•Bras

Obviously your body is going through a lot of changes. I LOVE these bras off Amazon that are comfy, supportive, and flexible in size. I recommended going up a size for this brand.

Cabales Women’s 3-Pack Seamless Wireless Sports Bra with Removable Pads, Black/White/Nude, X-Large https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RE6P0I0/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_zynACb2232FSG

•Panty liners and feminine wipes

I head to most of my appointments straight from work so I love both of these items for keeping in my purse to help me feel fresh before heading into the doctor.

https://www.target.com/p/always-thin-dailies-unscented-wrapped-pantiliners-20ct/-/A-13369072?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Health%2BBeauty%2BShopping_Local&adgroup=SC_Health%2BBeauty&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=m&location=9023244&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1247077&ds_rl=1246978&gclid=CjwKCAiAhp_jBRAxEiwAXbniXWHR_B0YxqCo_AllxubD9Ku_jGr-DSyanO1WmAf6pisL7tlrAMCwUBoCnnsQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.target.com/p/summer-s-eve-blissful-escape-5-in-1-feminine-wipes-16ct/-/A-53149273?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Health%2BBeauty%2BShopping_Local&adgroup=SC_Health%2BBeauty&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=m&location=9023244&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1247077&ds_rl=1246978&gclid=CjwKCAiAhp_jBRAxEiwAXbniXTWd8fDYzunHdxn7pB1y0gJyb5_uXU_6uGNqrlVcew0cYNJcD06JehoCaW8QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

•Scrunchies

Not a necessity, but when I was sick or taking frequent naps I wanted my hair out of the way and these scrunchies are so much better for your strands than regular hair ties. They also don’t leave creases in your hair!

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Scunci-Hair-Twister-6-ct/641219607?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=2490&adid=22222222228000000000&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=m&wl3=42423897272&wl4=pla-51320962143&wl5=9023244&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=641219607&wl13=2490&veh=sem&gclid=CjwKCAiAhp_jBRAxEiwAXbniXRdV9xRt3CLmv1T3fTAsLpgzVZC3iJNaix5BAIBTTab9SyUc2FEtOxoClKMQAvD_BwE

•Face wipes

I was so bad about being exhausted by the time bedtime came that I didn’t wash my face. I found these wipes that have built in exfoliation and they are awesome! I keep the package in my nightstand.

https://www.target.com/p/exfoliating-cleansing-towelettes-30-ct-up-up-153/-/A-11658242?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Health%2BBeauty%2BShopping_Local&adgroup=SC_Health%2BBeauty&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=m&location=9023244&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1247077&ds_rl=1246978&gclid=CjwKCAiAhp_jBRAxEiwAXbniXeaJcsMkFUjx0_EugKqDyrwln4ErHHj9H-zUvLBwj2FHd8OBe7lnpxoClJQQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

•Stretch Mark Oil

I honestly haven’t been good at using this but I did a lot of research on the best one and this is what I ended up with.

https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/mothers-special-blend-all-natural-skin-toning-oil/ID=prod5642749-product?ext=gooKBM_PLA_-_Baby&pla&adtype=pla_with_promotion&kpid=sku5641616&sst=_k_CjwKCAiAhp_jBRAxEiwAXbniXVzhpJjY5lnmbTiTXTyt-vfBg5XzWXhBFEpvutBPcU3jBQzWmA1ltxoCkT8QAvD_BwE_k_&gclid=CjwKCAiAhp_jBRAxEiwAXbniXVzhpJjY5lnmbTiTXTyt-vfBg5XzWXhBFEpvutBPcU3jBQzWmA1ltxoCkT8QAvD_BwE

Lastly,

•Baggy t-shirts and bottoms

I’ve definitely taken over Jeff’s dresser for pajamas. By the end of the day you don’t want anything tight on your growing body so make sure you have soft, loose clothing available.

I’ve got 6 weeks left so if you have any advice on getting through the home stretch send them my way!

In Memory Of…

In Memory Of…

I don’t think I’ve ever attended a church that didn’t offer a time during the Advent season for people to purchase poinsettias in memory of loved ones. You pay for your flower, the church will purchase it and have it decorate a space in the building, they’ll post a list of who we are remembering this year and then at some point the flower is yours to take home.

I’ve seen this done my entire life but this year I wanted to know why poinsettias. So, if you’ve been curious like me, keep reading!

“There is an old Mexican legend about how Poinsettias and Christmas come together, it goes like this:

There was once a poor Mexican girl called Pepita who had no present to give the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Service. As Pepita walked to the chapel sadly, her cousin Pedro tried to cheer her up.

‘Pepita’, he said “I’m sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves him will make Jesus Happy.”

Pepita didn’t know what she could give, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a a small bouquet. She felt embarrassed because she could only give this small present to Jesus. As she walked through the chapel to the altar, she remembered what Pedro had said. She began to feel better, knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the ‘Flores de Noche Buena’, or ‘Flowers of the Holy Night’.”

https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/poinsettia.shtml

Basically I only found why poinsettias are used at Christmas time (many people think the flowers leaves look like the star of Bethlehem.) With that being said, I’m guessing that we often celebrate who we have lost at the end of each year which happens to be Christmas time- when we use poinsettias. If you know a more direct correlation please feel free to share!

Today we are remembering Baby Byler as this would have been his/her first birthday (according to the due date.) Jeff and I spent a lot of time last year trying to find the perfect way to honor Baby B. There were quite a few posts online with ideas which I so appreciated!

I wanted something to carry with me daily so I went with a little Turquoise ring (December’s birthstone) that I wear everyday. It’s subtle and doesn’t draw attention but I know what it means.

I personally don’t like to remember the day at the hospital that we found out we lost the baby, so we mainly choose to remember and honor her birthday instead.

For us this looks like doing something that benefits our community and then spending some part of the day just the two of us.

Last year we donated coats to a local Elementary School in need.

This year the Kansas City Department of Family Services was able to partner us with a family in need of Christmas presents for their child turning one today, December 20th. We felt so lucky to get such an exact match! It was bittersweet going shopping together and picking out what we may have gotten for our child this Christmas.

A few ideas we have for the future are…

-Cleaning up a local park

-Participate in a 5K that benefits miscarriage awareness

-Donate baby blankets to the hospital

-Have my wedding dress turned into gowns to be donated to the hospital. These are used for parents who have lost their child. They can choose to bury their baby in them so it’s one less thing they have to think about during that time.

Honestly, I’m counting down the days until I can post a blog about our new lives with Belle. I can’t wait to share non-toy gift ideas, birthday party decorations, cupcake recipes for classroom parties, crafts, etc.

In no way will Belle being with us diminish the life that we lost. We will always remember our first child!

I hope that the posts related to miscarriage and loss are helpful to someone else who is currently living in that darkness. I know I read a TON of blogs and articles during that time!

I would LOVE to hear how you remember your loved ones that have passed- grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, children, friends…

Send me a message or leave a comment with your ideas!

Your Words Matter

Four years ago a dear friend of mine was battling infertility and in the midst of treatments with the hope of getting pregnant. As I walked through that time with her one of the conversations that stood out to me revolved around her telling me a few of the things good people in her life had said to her about the situation that were actually incredibly unhelpful. And when I say “unhelpful” what I mean is that some comments (although well intended) were annoying, rude, or even hurtful.

The worst part? I knew that I had made some of those “bad” comments!

It was such an eye opener for me that I decided to write a blog on things to say and not say to people going through situations that outsiders feel the need to comment on.

I mainly focused my questioning towards the topic of children: single parents, young mothers, miscarriage sufferers, infertility, people with one child, large families, adoption, blended families, people who had put their child(ren) up for adoption, etc.

This was by far the most research I had ever done for a blog and the most time I had ever put into one.

After talking to about a dozen different people I sat down to write. I wrote and deleted this blog three times. The first time I felt like I sounded angry. The second time it was way too long. I don’t even remember what happened the third time but that one got scrapped as well. After multiple tries I decided it just didn’t feel right to write it. I felt terrible for wasting people’s time but I didn’t want to publish this piece unless I did it justice- THAT’S HOW IMPORTANT I believe this topic is.

Jump ahead three years to the Spring of 2017 when my husband and I found ourselves in the midst of miscarriage heartache. Although we didn’t tell too many people what we were going through, we still had multiple comments made that were less than helpful. It was during that time that I realized I was ready to write this blog. I knew firsthand what people should and shouldn’t say- I was living it.

I want to make a few statements before I jump into the “meat” of this post.

1.) I waited to come foreword with our miscarriage and write this until after we announced our next pregnancy because I didn’t want people constantly asking me when we were going to “try again.”

2.) If you read this and you see something in the “What not to say” category that you said to me, I want you to know that I was not and am not mad at you. I understand that your intentions were good and you probably had no idea that what you were saying wasn’t helpful.

3.) Everyone is different! The majority of people I spoke to are Christians between the ages of 15-60. You may not have a problem with some of these statements- that’s fine! However, the majority (actually everyone) I spoke with and all of the research I did online agreed to the below post.

Lastly, this is geared towards Miscarriage Loss but I hope you’ll be able to see some of these comments and transfer them to other situations as well.

WHAT NOT TO SAY

•”You’ll get pregnant when the time is right.”

•”Maybe there’s a reason you lost your baby- maybe you weren’t ready” or “maybe there was something wrong with it.”

•”How far along were you?” “At least you were only ___ weeks along.”

Let me ask you- did your love for your child, grandchild, niece/nephew, etc. begin when the pregnant person reached a certain amount of weeks? No. It began when you found out that a baby was coming. How far along a person was doesn’t matter.

•”I know how you feel.”

•”There is a reason for everything.”

•”Maybe you should/shouldn’t have…”

•”Well did you ___? Because I’ve heard that can cause a miscarriage.”

•”He/she is in a better place now.”

•”You’ll feel better with time.”

•”You can always adopt.”

•”At least you know you can actually get pregnant.”

•”Did the doctor say why it happened?”

•”You can have another child.”

•”When will you start trying again?”

•”At least you already have a child.”

•”At least they weren’t born yet! I know someone who lost their living child…”

•”God needed another angel.”

•”God will give you a baby when you’re ready.”

•”It will happen in Gods time.”

***At this point you’re probably catching on to the “God Card.” I beg you not to pull the “God Card.” Just don’t do it. It’s never good.***

•Don’t try to cheer someone up.

•Don’t act like it didn’t happen. It happened. It’s real. It might seem awkward to bring it up but most of the time it means a lot to the person who has gone through it.

WHAT TO SAY…and not expect a reply to.

•”I’m so sorry.”

•”I will always remember your sweet baby.”

•”Your emotions are valid.”

•”I’m praying for you.”

•”I love you.”

•”I’m thinking of you.”

•”I can’t imagine.”

•Do say things that validate a persons feelings.

On the topic of children- here are a few more pieces of advice.

•Don’t ask someone you’re meeting if they have children. I promise most people will openly tell you about their children if they have them or want to talk about them-you don’t have to ask. And if you go a while not knowing whether or not they have children- that’s okay!

•Don’t ask someone who doesn’t have children when they are going to have children or if they want children.

•Don’t ask someone with one child if they are going to have more.

•If someone says they don’t have children LEAVE it at that. You don’t need to find out why.

Overall I hope this post simply reminds people to think before speaking. It is better to have questions in your own head unanswered than it is to pry. Fewer words and bigger listening ears are generally better in times of loss.

If you have firsthand experience with any type of difficult situation in life that you feel there are things “to say” and “not to say” in regards to, I would encourage you to let the world know! I genuinely think that most people mean well with their words- let’s help each other know how to speak to one another.