Family · kids · pregnancy

Postpartum Reality

Y’all, if there has ever been a blog post I want to share, this is it. Having a baby is the greatest joy you will EVER experience. Hands down. But, let me tell you, it isn’t all sunshine and butterflies.

Why does no one ever tell you how dang HARD it is after the baby comes. And I don’t mean the sleepless nights and endless diaper changes. That all deals with baby. I am talking how you will feel. It ain’t pretty ladies. But here is the cold-hard truth……

1. You are going to cry

When I say you are going to cry, I mean, you are going to flood the floor. You thought you cried a lot when pregnant? Well this is 100 x’s worse. (At least for me it was.)

I remember when I had Ford, I cried every single night rocking him to sleep, and the song “You’re gonna miss this” played in my head nonstop. (I still refuse to listen to it because it hits me right in the feels.) I would think about him growing up and getting married and I would just sob. (Seriously, he was 2 weeks old and all I could think about was him getting MARRIED. Insane.)

With Cash I cried, but it wasn’t as bad. Callaway was different in that I just had a mini breakdown. I had no reason at all, other than I felt like crying. My sister was here and I remember her coming in the room and asking what was wrong…I told her to leave and she just walked to the living room and told Dale ” You may want to go deal with that. She is having a breakdown.” Hahahaha now it’s funny but then all I could do was cry. No reason. Just cry.

2. The bleeding is unreal

Its like a period that lasts 5 weeks. And you don’t just bleed. You lose these huge nasty clots that make you want to vomit. I passed one the size of an egg (the doc told me to call if I pass one the size of an egg) and so I called, to which she said, “They now changed it to, ‘Call us if it is the size of an orange’. WHO THE MESS IS PASSING CLOTS THE SIZE OF AN ORANGE? At any rate, you see what I am getting at. You pass some nasty jazz in those first few weeks. Get ready for it.

3. Pain like you can’t describe

It’s all over once you get that amazing little baby laid on your chest, right? WRONG. True, once you get to hold that miracle, all the pain before goes away. But it all starts back up soon after, and continues for a while later.

Another thing no one tells you, is that nurses will come in every few hours and push on your belly to get rid of all the ‘afterbirth.’ NOT FUN. It hurts, but evidently it’s needed, so try to roll with it.

Something I haven’t shared with my little corner of the internet, is that after having Callaway, I got my tubes tied. Yup. She is 100% our last baby and we are ok with that. (Every once in a while, Dale looks at our kids and says “It’s a sin for us not to bring more babies into this world. Look at how CUTE they are!” Yeah, he is right, but we have our reasons for stopping now. )

*Cue cute kid.

Either way, tubes tied or not, your pain after is AWFUL. This time was definitely the worst though. Every time I laid on my stomach, it felt like all of my insides fell towards the front of my body (not sure how else to explain that). It was awful! Not to mention, sitting, standing, peeing, pooping, ALLLLLL of it-horrible. No one prepares you for that. Speaking of poo…..

4. Pooping just got real

Yeah I am going there. The first poo after giving birth is nothing short of TERRIFYING. Not sure why, but you can’t tell how to make all those parts work after having a baby. You don’t feel normal down below, and it messes with EVERYTHING..By the way, your nurse is going to ask if you pooped every time they come in the room in the next 24 hours, and if you are passing gas. It’s marvelous, really. Any dignity you had left after having 20 people shove their hands up your business, is now flushed down the toilet with your nonexistent poo.

5. Night 2 is the way harder than night 1.

Think about it…Your sweet little bundle is getting used to the fact that they aren’t constantly being nourished, being fed, warm-it’s all different! This world is way different than what they are used to in the womb. And I think the adrenaline is slowing down night 2 as well. (That’s speculation on my part, but I’m 3 babies in and am giving myself permission to say what I want.) Just Prepare yourself for no sleep between your baby trying to get acclimated to the world around her, and your nurses coming in every hour to check you.

Not kidding, with Ford it was EVERY HOUR. One nurse would come check him. An hour later, the nurse would come check me. An hour later, check him, then me. For DAYS. As if it isn’t crazy enough trying to nurse a newbie and get them to sleep, you falling asleep, add in nurses coming every hour or more, and it’s complete madness. Thank goodness our hospital changed their ways in the last 6 years, and only check in on mom every 4 hours (unless you ask for help in between visits) and check baby every 2-3 hours. I hope for your sake, your hospital will be the same!

6. You 100% hate your body

I am not sure when this all changed. At some point in time, having a baby was a miracle. Our bodies were amazing for carrying this little human, and giving birth was a right of passage. Now all we do is stare at our deflated stomachs and cry . And judge. And wish. We wish we looked like we did at 18. We wish we wouldn’t be judged by everyone we see. We wish we could shrink back down to pre-pregnancy weight in a week like the supermodels on social media. I am trying with all my might to love myself and my ever changing body-but ladies-its HARD. My advice? Try. Try to love this miracle body women were given. Try to view it as a home for your sweet baby and trust your husband when he says a little extra curve is never a bad thing. (Thank heavens for this husband that is so supportive and tries to make me see the good in my postpartum body. Bless him.)

And I hate to break it to you, but there are so many other things that are DANG hard. But you get through it. I promise. And on the really hard days, just snuggle your baby and realize YOU have the privilege of being that sweet little one’s mama. He/she is going to give you the happiest moments of your life and it’s only going to get sweeter as you watch the sweet thing grow. Soak it up!

So there it is. The real real. Sorry for the graphic word pictures-but its’ the truth and I wish someone would have told me!

Thanks for reading and of course,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

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Family · Home · kids · pregnancy

Birth Story

You guys! I have missed you-but sheesh! It’s hard to keep up with my blog, when I have a newbie on my hands. But YALL, let me just tell you, she is utter perfection. Sweet Callaway is keeping us on our toes, and is already 3 weeks now. (Ummm…someone PLEASE tell me how that happened so fast!)

So while I have a minute in before dinner, I wanted to share a little bit about our birth story! ( I may throw in some details about my boys birth stories as well-it’s always fun to compare the differences, right?)

Now technically my due date was September 8th, but Callaway came on August 27th via induction. This was my third time being induced for chronic hypertension in pregnancy. With both boys I had to be on blood pressure meds throughout my pregnancy. But this LO was good to me in the BP department.

At week 37, the doctors decided induction was necessary as my blood pressure was starting to rise. I REALLY wanted to experience labor this time around, but better safe than sorry, so I said let’s do it. Preeclampsia is no joke! So we set the date for Aug 27th. That out me at 38 weeks 2 days pregnant. EEEK!!!!!

I was told to be at the hospital at 5:30am and we arrived by 5:15. At 5:30 I was already dressed in my gown and getting started! That was new for us. With Cash, we got there at midnight and didn’t get into our room for like-2 hours! (Yeah they scheduled me to be induced at midnight. Weird.)

So by 6am, we were getting hooked up to IV’s and all that jazz. This was the first part of a pretty rough day-it took 5 sticks to get my IV in. FIVE STICKS by 3 different people. Let me tell you, I am not funny about needles. I am not weird about getting blood drawn. It doesn’t phase me. But they were digging that needle around in my arm forever! I had a huge bruise from one of the sticks. NO fun. But hey, maybe an hour later, I had an IV ready to go! (Trying to make that sound way better than it was.)

After being checked to see how far I dilated, I was still only at 2cm. How depressing. With Cash, by the time I got there I was 4 cm! WIth Ford I was at 2cm, and they used a Foley bulb on me. This was BY FAR the worst part of my labor with Ford! It hurt so bad it brought tears to my eyes! So if you aren’t familiar with this amazing (terrible) contraption, it’s a little balloon they stick up in your cervix to open it up. Then every little bit they come pull on it to get you to 4cm. It’s pure horror.

So this time around, I told hubbs, that will be one thing I REFUSE TO GET. Cue the doctor. “Ok so I think the first thing we need to do is a Foley bulb.” Oh my gosh I instantly felt all emotional-Dale told her that was the only thing I didn’t want this go around. She proceeded to tell me that since I am on baby number 3, it wont’ be nearly as bad as my body knows what to do this go around! So I agreed (begrudgingly) and got it done. Ya know what? She was right. It was bad, but not nearly as horrible as it was the first go around. Either way-if you can avoid one of those things with your birth-do it.

I also had one other huge issue that I don’t really want out there on the internet, but let me tell you, doctors had me sobbing and feeling super attacked. It was horrible and I was so happy to never see them again. Maybe if I don’t write it on here, I can forget about it all together. Ugh.

So after all that craziness, we could move on with labor. The whole process took about 11 hours, start to finish. Ford’s took 19 hours, and Cash was 11 as well!

I got an epidural which, again, was a nightmare! The guy was a resident and it HURT! He couldn’t find where to put it in, and I kept feeling pain in either side of my back. There was an actual anesthesiologist in the room who wouldn’t step in. She kept telling him ” Try this. Try this. Do that.” It took maybe an hour of trying to get it to work, (maybe more, again, I couldn’t keep up) and finally it kicked in! I could move my feet, but couldn’t feel contractions (which at this point were pretty strong.) I was feeling some crazy pressure in my rear after a couple hours, and that’s usually when it’s time to push! SO the last time I was checked, I was 5-6 cm dilated. When I told her I was having all the pressure, she checked again, and boom! 9.5 cm and I was ready to push! Oh all the feels hit me then. Time to meet my baby girl!

So the nurse (who happened to be the sister-in-law to a friend of mine) gets ready for this baby to pop out, and the doc gets ready as well! All in all, pushing took 45 minutes. That’s no time, right? WRONG. It felt like HOURS. I couldn’t believe when they told me I pushed for less than an hour…NO way! I was laying there pushing all day (Ok dramatic, but really, I felt like it would never end.)

As I was pushing, I kept feeling like I would pass out..Not good. But for some reason, at the end of every push, I was struggling. Either way, I made it through! At the end of our 45 grueling minutes, the nurse said “Give me one more good push!”……and I did. Then I hear “Oh ok wait. Hold on. Jamie, push the button and call the doctor!” Well, Callaway decided it was time to make her entrance, and that she wasn’t waiting on no big-shot-doc. Our sweet nurse was delivering this baby. Sure enough she came without another push! She was here! (and pretty much on her own in the end.)

**Back up a minute** The first 20 minutes of pushing-NOTHING. NADA. No movement. No progress. Just me wearing myself out and feeling defeated. I felt pretty pitiful. Here I am with a huge mirror down below for everyone in the room to see EVERYTHING I’ve got-except my baby. Yeah-fabulous. But after the first 20 minutes passed, we started to kick things into gear, I figured out how to push the RIGHT WAY (OH YES…there is a right and wrong way. I think I hit every wrong way in those first 20 minutes.) But man was it worth the wait and pain. She was perfect. Seriously. SO PERFECT.

She handed her to me, and her eyes instantly opened! We were so surprised and overjoyed with our sweet and tiny little bundle! She also started rooting around right off the bat, and man did she not STOP. This baby is an eater. She hasn’t stopped since.

My boys had a really rough time breastfeeding-they were plastic babies from the start! They loved the bottle and never went back…Callaway is a definite boob baby though….and I am kind of adoring being able to feed my baby! At some point, we may start bottle feeding a bit, but for now, she is stuck on the boob and were rolling with it!

Ok….That’s the short-ish version of our birth story with sweet Callaway! Now….Ready for some super adorable squishy baby pictures???? Prepare yourself. They are kinda phenomenal.

Can we just stop right here. Soak up that newbie goodness, will ya?

Tell me she isn’t the cutest???

These black and white pics are Giving me LIFE. Seriously….You need to get a photographer to come to the hospital for some fresh 48 pics. It’s the greatest!

Such proud aunties!

This big brother was so in love from the start..It’s amazing!

Gosh…these happy family members sure do make me smile… Can’t you see how smitten they are?

This is one of my family favorites!

Ummm…How cute?? Daddy is looking at Momma..A moment I am so happy was captured!

We even managed to get some pics with Daddy in them! (If you knew the hubbs, you would know this is HUGE!)

So there it is yall. Our little piece of newbie heaven—and I am OVERLY THANKFUL to have Jaira to be there to capture this important part of our life! Our very last baby. Our very first girl. Our completed family.

And you need to go visit her Website for some amazing photography deals here in Knoxville. She is so talented and definitely one of my favorite photographers to date. Prices are unreal. She doesn’t make you feel awkward…..actually she helps you feel so confident! She will pose you, giggle with you, and show you shots along the way. Go book with her now! JairaJohnson.com

Ok babes. Thanks for following along and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the blog post-make sure to comment-then go see my Instagram for some more baby fun! @smittenwiththree_blog

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Deals · Family · knoxville

How I am staying organized these days

Yall…It’s one of those days. I have already run 100 errands this morning and now I am back home and ready to crash. But, oh. Yeah. I can’t. Why? Because my life is insanity all the time!

Yes, I am technically considered a stay at home mom, but let me tell you why that isn’t always the easiest.

We have one child in school (thank goodness that is almost over for the summer!) and one who stays home with me. So every day, we take Ford to school and then the madness starts. (Cash is a tiny tornado, so the longer I am home, the more he is terrorizing the house. It’s madness.)

I have dishes and laundry nonstop-and my dear gosh-pray for me when this baby gets here. I have a strong feeling it isn’t going to get easier.

Doctor appointments are an every week thing….and here is why. One kid in school means sickness NONSTOP. Literally, I have to pick him up early for an appt today. Then he likes to pass on his sicknesses to the other kid a week later. Let’s just say our docs know us well….

Not to mention, all the preggo appts I have to go to. ( I am considered a high-risk pregnancy because of my high blood pressure with past pregnancies so I go every 2 weeks.)

This month, every Tuesday and Thursday we have swim lessons and physical therapy for Ford’s knee. (Yeah we are trying to fix a knee injury from when he was 2.)

And of course, all the blog things going on now…Which I refuse to complain about! You all have been amazing at keeping me busy, and I love it! But I want you to know, this blog venture isn’t always easy. Maybe one of these days, I will try to give you the rundown of what each blog post entails!

I also work in the office one day a week for a Non-Profit Foundation. Let me tell you, I LOVE my job! I get to find people to donate money to and that is pretty darn fun. But with that, comes board meetings that I have to prepare for, meet with potential NPO’s to work with, emails, phone calls, work conferences, etc. That all can’t be done during one day, so my work week is whenever I have a moment to take care of those things….a lot of times….in the carline to pick up my son, driving to appointments, just whenever!

Now throw in all the day to day things that happen, and really, life can get messy if I don’t somehow stay organized! I want to share with you all how I do it!

1. My phone calendar

This is where I immediately insert every appointment as soon as I know about it. (For a long time my phone calendar didn’t work and I kept a little calendar in my purse!) This keeps me organized on the go…

But I like a backup….so…..

2. My Picture it Custom Calendar

This is my newest addition to the calendar family..and it’s so fun! I am doing my best to start meal planning a bit better, and this has a place for my meals, things to do weekly, monthly, and daily. I even have a “goals” section! It’s metal, so I can use my dry erase markers and this way we can edit as we go!

Check out our month here….

How cute that our name is at the top?? And for everyone who doesn’t know, believe it or not, it’s pronounced “Cook”!

Make sure Click here to buy one of these awesome customized family calendars, or any of the awesome things Picture it Custom has to offer… I am telling you…they are amazing! Every item they make is gorgeous!

My favorites are the Metal prints and Wood pallet prints. Their prices are amazing and the quality is phenomenal!

Check out their showroom here..

(How flipping cute is all that????? I want every piece!)

Better yet, they are a local business right here in Knoxville! Believe it or not, they are only 4 minutes from my house, so I obviously am going to support them being a little Fountain City business! ***Can I take a minute to tell yall, it’s time to shop small, OK? Little businesses need our support, and I guarantee you there are places in your hometown that could really use your love and support! Let’s build up our little towns friends!***

Now, I know plenty of your photographers could use them in your line of work, and all of their items make such wonderful gifts! (What a great surprise it would be to anyone who chose you to freeze their moments in time over another photographer!)

And all you picture fanatics like me: Sometimes you need to print those pictures off and use them as a statement piece in your house. Now is the time to do it! And what an amazing present for a bride to be, anniversary gift, or a special keepsake for a momma to be. Just thinking out loud here people.

Make sure to follow Picture It Custom on Instagram for fun giveaways and all the newest products Here! *Fun giveaway coming soon…FYI I may or may not be hosting it on my Instagram page over at @SmittenWithThree_blog TODAY!!!!!*

And if you are local, stop in and see them! Take a look at the showroom and meet the owners. They are awesome people! (Fun fact: They have 2 boys with a baby girl too!)

Ok now that my local business rant is over, make sure to look them up on IG, follow, support, and come back to tell me you did….I want to know!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Deals · Family · Food · Home · kids · pregnancy

Staying Hydrated in Pregnancy

Let me just tell you, I was ON IT when pregnant with my boys.

With Ford, I drank 10-12 glasses of water a day….and it was never enough! At 31 weeks pregnant with him, I had to be taken to the ER for severe dehydration….The doctor told me my baby was taking everything from me-and my body was suffering! After 2 IV bolus’s (Is that what they are called? If not, feel free to laugh at me) I felt like a new woman! So he sent me out, and told me to drink more water….Well 12 glasses a day was already putting me on the toilet every half hour or so, and working at a credit union at the time, (the bathroom was at the very back, and walking back there KILLED ME! Thanks swollen ankles.) It just wasn’t good. All the girls there were so sweet to me and never said a word about my frequent potty visits…but I hated it! But I did my best to drink more, and thankfully, never ended up in the ER again!

With Cash, water was my friend and I drank it up! I never once had a problem! But this pregnancy, yall, I have STRUGGLED. Drinking water the first 3 months was miserable and I couldn’t make myself drink it. Lately, I can stomach it, but I am not nearly as diligent as I was with my boys… I know. I’m terrible. Really. I do.

But if you are a fellow preggo, please know dehydration is so unsafe for you and your baby! Now your body will first thing, take care of your baby, thank goodness. But that leaves Mama NOT at her best, and it just isn’t doable when you have 2 other babies, or a husband, or anyone who needs you!

So while I have struggled so terrible in the beginning, I have finally found a drink that doesn’t make me feel guilty (the sweet tea was out of control) and it’s super hydrating for me and baby!

Insert *BODY ARMOR*. YALL. I’m obsessed. I drink this stuff nonstop. And yes, I am still drinking water throughout the day, but this is my saving grace right now.

Have you all tried it? My uncle swears by it for his workouts. My sister drinks them religiously (working night shift is a pistol) and everywhere I go I see people with one in their hand! There has got to be something good about it!

There are less sugars than other sports drinks, it has coconut water in it (que the extra hydration) electrolytes, vitamins, and NO caffeine!

If you are worried about the calories, there are a few lighter versions and they taste sooooo good!

And let me include, when I am dehydrated, the first place to show it is my lips. When I am being good about drinking these, my lips are smooth and my skin is plump! It makes such a difference when I am being naughty about drinking my water. (Please don’t judge. It’s just so hard this time around!)

I know this is so random, but I really wanted to share how I am staying hydrated this time. I wish I had these the first time around..It could have saved me a mini heart attack and an ER visit!! (I gave you the short version. It was traumatic yall.) And maybe, just maybe, this will help some of you all along the way! (Really that is all I hope from my blog-maybe I am being helpful to someone and that keeps me going!)

And really, they are good for anyone to drink..Not just the mama’s to be. (Obviously my uncle isn’t expecting.) So if you haven’t tried them, I promise, they are AMAZING and deserve you trying one soon! If you are close, come to my house and I’m happy to share one of mine with you:)

**Oh I forgot to share my favorite flavors!!! My top two favs are cherry berry and orange mango! That’s a start-and then try them all one by one from there!**

Ok yall, off to work…but in the meantime, go grab you one, and report back !

I’m out, but don’t forget,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Deals · Family · pregnancy

Momma guilt is real

True story.

It’s not joke. We all compare. We all analyze. We all judge. And while we all try not to, (at least I would think) it’s difficult! And not just thinking we are the ones doing it right–It’s more like thinking we are constantly in the wrong.

Like-seeing the mom at Chick Fil A not lose her cool over her kid doing that, when I totally would have. It’s pushing our child too hard in school, or not hard enough….It’s not feeding them the right foods, making them drink enough water, play outside enough, read them enough stories, etc. It’s all there. Tell me I am not the only one with these thoughts??

I refuse to believe I am the only one who feels this way, and wanted to make it clear. Today, momma, you are enough. You are perfection. You did it. You kept them alive. They were fed (maybe not bathed) but hey, nourished at least.

And I am not just talking about raising our big kids. *gulp* I just referred to my chit-lins as “big kids.” But really, I mean the Little’s too. The infants. Can we talk about the whole “breastfed vs. bottle-fed” conflict? I once had someone ask me how my oldest was fed..I replied with something like “He is a bottle baby (formula baby)” or something to that affect. It killed me that I couldn’t breastfeed. That is what I wanted for him. And for myself. Her response? “God’s way is never the wrong way.” I died. I didn’t want it all to go that way. It just did. She unknowingly called me out, and it broke me.

What I should have responded with? “Ummmm. Fed is best. Nourished is best.” But after the shock wore off, I just cried. If she would have known my struggle, she never would have made that comment. I thought it was so insensitive….And you know what I felt? Guilt.

Like I wasn’t enough for my baby. I’ll talk more about all this come later in pregnancy, but until then…..the guilt continues.

Something I think about (or talk about often if you know me in person) is how so many people are unable to have babies and this is all they truly long for in life. Pregnancy. To carry and hold their own baby. Or the others, who pine to adopt a baby with no home, but are unable because of the cost of adoption. And the guilt these ladies feel is overwhelming. Like maybe they aren’t enough… While every day, we see so many women popping out babies left and right who truly don’t deserve the privilege, nor do they cherish their title as mother. It’s cruel and unfair. I hate it.

Now while that may be a tad controversial, I truly believe it. So we are left with the mothers who know what some women are struggling with as far as conceiving goes, and our heart aches for them. We know that every baby they see born is a reminder of the fact that they still aren’t a mother. That they aren’t pregnant. That they can’t feel their own baby kick. I am doing my best to be a friend to those and truly sympathize with them. To cry with them. To listen to them. Just to be there.

I have to admit, my pregnancies have brought on guilt for this reason. Every time I have found out I’m pregnant, I know there are some who truly want the same feeling and can’t have it. It kills me. Then I want to apologize for my pregnancy. To apologize for happiness. This is where the pregnancy guilt kicks in. It’s a rough cycle ya’ll.

But if you are one of those women who are trying to conceive, trying to adopt, thinking about the feeling of pregnancy every day, please know I am in your corner. I want you to experience this more than I can express, and only want the best for you and your family!

And while sometimes it’s so hard NOT to complain about being pregnant and all the little things that comes with it, I am trying my hardest to cool it. There are so many out there who would kill to be in my misery. I’m trying to be sensitive to that!

This is something that has been weighing on me for a while…and today was the day to share with you friends on my corner of the internet. Thanks for following along with me and I hope this doesn’t offend or hurt anyone along the way. You all are amazing and I cherish you all!

Make sure to leave me your thoughts here-good or bad! I want to know..Fill me in yall!

All the love dollsπŸ’‹

*top from Pink Blush …Tap the pic to shop some amazing maternity wear*

Family · kids · pregnancy

Gender Reveal

You guys! We finally know what this baby is…I say finally, but really, I am only 15 weeks along. That is pretty early to find out via ultrasound, but thanks to my best friend being an ultrasound technician, I didn’t have to wait for my doctor to tell me at 18-19 weeks. (Hallelujah!)

The first time we tried to see gender, I was 13 weeks along. Cali said she would TRY to see, but made no promises. So she checked, and last minute, I decided I didn’t want to find out…I would just wait for the little gender reveal party! She then proceeded to make a guess as to what she thought it was, but said she couldn’t be 100% sure. Either way, she told Dale and my sister what her best guess was, and I was left in the dark.

The whole time, Dale told me he was 100% sure he knew what it was (despite what Cali said.) He said Cali told him what to look for in the ultrasound, and he said he “saw what he needed to see.” I just left it at that hahaha. So I made him write down in an envelope what HE thought it was….and seal it up in an envelope. Funny enough, he didn’t trust me to NOT look at it. (I can’t lie–A few times I was SO TEMPTED to peek. But I never even ONCE picked up the envelope. On my honor.)

So just in case I was to try to look through the envelope, he wrote BOY on one side…..like so.

But when you unfolded it….It said NOT A BOY…….. Well played husband. Well played.

And on the flip side……it said GIRL

Now I obviously didn’t see this until after our reveal, but still wanted to share this fun little detail… Really…He was right all along! ( I am telling you, he knows me better than I know myself.)

Now I have felt like it was a girl since Day 1. With my boys I wasn’t sick AT ALL. This time I was nauseous every day for 10 1/2 weeks. I also didn’t have pregnancy cravings like I have with this girl! It has just been so different, I just knew it HAD to be a girl this time. But, you know how it goes. Plenty of times, mothers “intuition” kicks in….and the girl they thought they were having….is 100% a boy. So of course, I had some doubts.

Now our gender reveal was SIMPLE.

Actually, my husband did it all! We just had a few family members over and did a cupcake reveal. My daddy made the cupcakes and brought them over (And I swear the man should go into the cupcake business. They were BOMB.) He still had no idea what baby was, so Dale then took 2 of the cupcakes-one vanilla/one chocolate-and filled them with whatever color icing the baby would be! He even decorated the cupcakes and all! I was a proud wifey for all his hard work…….Lord it even caused him to miss almost half a basketball game ( his team was playing) and he still put so much work into them and had a smile the whole time. Actually a pretty snarky smile. He loved actually having a secret from me. Brat.

The plan was to let everyone grab a cupcake and then as we all bit in, 2 people would know what baby was and would have to share! Last minute, Dale and Daddy decided to make sure I got a cupcake with icing (Yeah I was pretty happy about that decision too. I was the first to see, were having a GIRL!)

* I still haven’t found out what the Batman wrappers were about…I have to get the scoop there hehehe *

My uncle got the other cupcake and he was just a split second behind me…We got it all on video for those who want to see…Just ask and I will be happy to show you! Funny enough, my grandfather was DEAD set on picking the right cupcake…..And he did! Then he realized it was chocolate and he wanted a vanilla one….so he gave his away. Hahahaha ain’t that life?

Check our dale’s Handiwork here…..

I am also just not realizing our confetti was fish. Random. Fish and Batman….I guess that is a good way to throw people off. Hahahahahaha. Oh another thing….One of the cupcakes had a slight swirl of blue icing…This made me think for a split second I was wrong about being pregnant with a girl…and later found out that was just a mistake (that he left on purpose to throw us all off.Again. Brat.)

All in all, it was a fun reveal and I was so happy my husband took the lead in it! I am usually the party planner, so this was a nice little mix-up!

We found out Sunday that baby is a girl, and by Monday morning at 9:30 I was already shopping for her. This baby may be what sends us to the poor house–I seriously thought it would be feeding my boys, but now I am thinking buying bows may be what sends us over the edge.

Again, excuse the pictures. I managed to snap them in a split second before we chowed down…I was fortunate to get these! At least you get the gist and now everyone knows, IT’S A GIRL!

Pray for my budget, and pray that my husband doesn’t get wrapped around her finger so bad he forgets who the REAL princess is. πŸ˜†

That’s it for today…But of course,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · kids · pregnancy

Preggo Problems-AKA: Stretch Marks

Oh yes. Along with all the glowing that is supposed to happen (Ummmm….Glowing….Hello? Glow? Are you there? You can show up ANYTIME now if so…….) we get some not so pretty things. And if you are one of the fortunate ones who don’t get stretch marks..Congrats. Hate you. (JK all the the love dolls.)

My body, on the other hand, just thrives on stretch marks. This stomach yall-it’s been through some serious stretching. And the boobs. And the thighs. Lawd have mercy-the thighs. During pregnancy, I get so much cellulite on my thighs it’s unreal…..SO let’s all say a prayer that Brandi’s legs go back to something decent after pregnancy. And that this face won’t look like a bee stung my whole head anymore.

But really, this go around, I want to prevent all the grossness I can. I have never met ANYONE who says how much they love their stretch marks. Nope. Everyone wants to prevent and/or erase the old ones. I am totally one of those people. I need all the help I can get along the way. Enter The Spoiled Mama.

Now, y’all know how much I love to share my favorite products with you, and I expect you to do the same! I love to hear your favorite skin products, makeup tips, clothing brands, etc so please keep me updated as well! But at this very moment, I am obsessing over skin care products. And anything simple, vegan, clean, (all that good stuff) I am loving lately! Pregnancy skin care is so important in that you aren’t just putting things on YOUR body, you are also putting those products into your baby’s blood stream and it’s reaping the benefits (or disadvantages) of every thing you put on and in your body! (Now don’t judge me when you see me eating pizza, Ok? Thanks in advance.)

So as I am trying to be a little more careful with what I am using, this Tummy butter is my biggest ally. It’s safe for my baby and helps prevent all of those pesky stretch marks we are trying to avoid! This Pregnancy stretch mark oil is the holy grail of baby-mama skincare. It helps rid you of old stretch marks, all the while preventing the ugly new ones! Score! I use them morning and night, and the tummy butter smells like fruity pebbles…with a nice mix of chocolate. NO joke y’all.

Ready to indulge? The Peppermint Vanilla body polish is my favorite Sugar scrub for stretch marks. It smells like an Andes Mint! You know, how at Olive Garden, they give you one mint per person and it isn’t ever enough? Well this is the Andes mint that keeps on giving. It’s indulgence in a bottle-No calories expended. Doesn’t this look like the beach in a bottle?*Doesn’t this look like the beach in a bottle?*

Speaking of Luxury, we all could use a more therapeutic shower, am I right? Especially us Preggos! So if you are looking for some luxury, Mama, try this Pregnancy safe body wash. It’s worth it. Vanilla+Lavender come together for one of the happiest scents and you feel like you are at the spa even at home in your shower that may not be 100% perfect. It’s ok. Your body wash will be–and you can feel good about the ingredients in it! Mama and baby are safe and all is good in the universe.

So if you want to try them yourself (Believe me, you do) The Spoiled Mama has been so gracious to give me a coupon code for you babes! Just type in BASPOIL18BK at checkout for 20% off your order! AHHHHHHHH! Make sure to visit the site and go crazy yall-every product will be worth it for you and your baby!

* Stay tuned to my Instagram for something REALLY exciting this week! *

Happy shopping yall! And of course,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · Home · kids

Alllllll about the pregnancy

You guys! I am so excited for this blog post- it’s what everyone has been asking me- and I promised a blog post soon! To be honest, growing this little human has totally knocked me OUT! It’s such a different pregnancy that what my other 2 have been, and I want to tell you friends all about it!

My stomach has been a mess–like nauseous NONSTOP. And headaches are on the menu as well. It’s fab. Not really. But let me say, with my other 2 boys, I had NO SICKNESS. I was happy. No nausea. No puke. No cravings. Now this time, I crave ALL THE FOOD. And I am so moody it’s unreal. Sorry world. Really, so sorry. (I’m in week 11 now and the nausea *I think* is gone! Thank goodness!)

So–lets rewind a bit…Say…..mid-January? We were headed to Ohio for the Cav’s game–remember? This was the first week I started to feel nauseous…I just wasn’t right-and I knew it! The couple weeks even before that, these boobs of mine-ya’ll. They KILLED me. All day, every day-HURT. So needless to say, I had a darn good feeling I was preggo-but still, I obviously didn’t want to let on that my gut feeling was right.

So we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner, and I felt TERRIBLE after I ate…My bestie with me said ” OH geez-every time we eat at a Buffalo Wild Wings, you end up pregnant!” I laughed-because I felt it..but still couldn’t say… ** Our first pregnancy, I was out to eat with a group of friends, felt the weird urge to throw up, ran to the bathroom, puked, felt great, ran back to sit down. “That was odd..I just threw up…But I feel great now!” Oh then the comments came…”You are so pregnant. You are totally pregnant! Etc…” Sure enough…Preggo. (Also, the only time I remember puking with Ford!) So you ladies looking to make a baby-try BWW. Seems to work for me. Heehehe

Anyways, back to this baby. I kept it hid that I wasn’t feeling that great our whole ohio trip. I even took a test before we left (which at this point, I would have been past 6 weeks) that turned out negative so here is where I start to think I’m crazy. But oh well, life goes on.

So January 16th, we were all 4 camped out in the living room, pillows on the floor, tents made out of sheets, and watching Megamind for the 800th time. Before we get into the movie, we decide we’re going to all tell fun bedtime stories… So at some point, it’s my turn. I start out “Once upon a time, there was a princess, and she found out she was going to have a baby….” Dale turns to me so fast and whispers, “Are you serious??!” I just laughed and said ” No, no. It’s just the story. I took a test.” Well the stories continued and the night went on. We all fell asleep in the living room and as the night went on, we all made our ways back to our rooms. (Couch pillow are not that comfy but one fun memory was made for us that night.)

Well the next day, we put the boys to bed, and I just knew at this point I was pregnant. I had to take another test! So I took it, and within a minute, it showed. PREGNANT. I was in utter shock and totally prepared for that at the same time. Although I think the shocked feeling won over. I walked into the living room and started to tell Dale, “So once upon a time there was a princess…(slowly now) ……and she found out she was going to have a baby…” and handed him the test. Now his face—was pure SHOCK. “Are you sure? Are you kidding? Take another.” This always makes me laugh- every single pregnancy this is Dale’s go-to remark. “Take another.” So I immediately ran to the bathroom and took another. (Yes I can pee on command every. Single. Time.) Sure enough. PREGNANT.

We wanted to be excited. This was something we had talked about for a while now! Especially Dale! (((Lately, every night, dale had been rubbing my belly saying “That’s because my little baby is in there. That’s because we are going to have another little Bebe.” This is way before we even knew! This man-he knows all. Even though this was the running joke, I think he knew too. Deep down, he knows me way better than I know myself.)))) He has been talking baby girl for probably 2 years now… But this timing. Wow. We had JUST put our deposits down on a cruise to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. And I kid you not, were taking probably 30+people with us. They all had put their money down. How were we going to tell everyone? I was slightly devastated. And let me tell you, that is hard for me to admit. We love newbies! How could I find out I’m pregnant and not be ecstatic? It was so hard to get past telling everyone at first. We thought we would be hated!

After a bit, and Dale seriously acting as my therapist ( I’m talking, holding me on the couch, in the fetal position, and letting me cry and him telling me it’s going to be a great thing.) Which of course I knew, but I was so worried about everyone else’s opinion it got in the way of my happiness! After I realized that this was crazy talk, I slowly started to get excited and couldn’t wait to tell my family…Starting with our boys!

We waited until the night before we told our family, because Little Cashy boy CANNOT keep a secret. We pretty much threatened him with all his toys he would receive that weekend if he told a soul. ( Yall this is the way to go! This kid was a VAULT. All I can think is “Huh uh..I’m a vault baby, LOCKED DOWN.” Extra points if you can name that movie.) At any rate, we went to our room and shut the door ( don’t laugh, I am a weirdo) and told them we had something very important to tell them. We then showed them a couple pacifiers and asked them who would use those…And went on to explain that there was a tiny baby in Mommy’s belly! My goodness they were so excited- Cutest thing ever! But again, they had to keep the secret until we told everyone!

We never have gotten to do a big reveal, because I am so dang impatient, I can’t wait 2 days to tell people! This time I FORCED myself to wait..and let me tell you that was ROUGH. We are so close to our family and seeing them almost every day made it a difficult secret to keep on local-down. I almost let it slip so many times!

Ok, So technically we found out we were pregnant on January 17th. We told everyone on Feb 2..Here is how it went!

For 3 years now, my family has done a cabin on my grandparents anniversary and we all pick a name of someone to buy a gift for. This year I got my Granny. Yay! This ended up being so perfect for our reveal! So it finally came time for her to open her gift, and one gift had written on it “Open Last”. After all the other gifts, she got to this one, and inside it, was this! (We open gifts one at a time so we can all see what everyone got!)

(Please excuse the TERRIBLE pics. I just snapped them on my phone in the awful nighttime lighting.)

As she opened it, the whole family caught on. “I knew it! I knew it! She’s pregnant? Are you pregnant? Is this a joke? Oh my gosh you ARE pregnant!” FYI the “Is this a joke” comment is totally valid. We like to prank our family into thinking everyone is pregnant. But I promise, I would never do this to my 80+year old granny y’all. She is too presh!

So after all the happy tears and excitement cooled, we got to explain it all to everyone and then Dale immediately called his family. They happened to all be together as well, so that worked out nicely! (Kind of sad I didnt’ get to tell one certain person myself, but ya know, life goes on.)

So there it is yall! Our little story for the third baby! We are so excited and it’s so fun to hear our little guys tell people about he baby in Mommy’s belly. They want a girl 100%…So we are trying to let them know it could be a boy. Well they refuse to accept that so here in about 5 more weeks, our life could get interesting..

Now, I am on to start looking for Maternity clothes and needing to start stocking up on diapers! Life is getting crazier by the minute, and I’m kind of in love 😍.

Any thoughts? Questions? Let me know! And of course,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · Home · kids

Ectopic Pregnancy -My experience

*This is another one of those Lady only reads y’all…Believe me . Men-step away.*

So what is an ectopic pregnancy?

Most women refer to it as a ‘tubal pregnancy’, and most women would never think it would happen to them! It is when pregnancy occurs in the Fallopian tube instead of the uterus where a healthy pregnancy has to take place. Tubal pregnancies only occur in 1-2% of all pregnancies and can be life threatening to the mother if not treated.

I know a few people already know, but in between my 2 boys, I had an ectopic or “tubal” pregnancy. It was one of the -for lack of a better word-weirdest experiences of my life. *Please know, this is just my experience and everyone’s will be different! Please don’t let this freak you out at all! I just wanted to share with you all. If you think you are having any issues with your pregnancy, see your doctor!*

Like I said, it was after I had Ford, and we were just in the process of talking baby #2. Want to know my whole story? Grab a snack because this is a long one…

I was going to be spending the day with my Mom, dropping her at a routine appointment and knew she would be a while. I decided to run to the mall for some fun shopping to kill some time!

The shopping fun ended up being short lived. I can remember exactly where I was standing when I got the most HORRIBLE pain in my lower left abdomen. I could pinpoint it, it was so direct. ( I also happened to be underwear shopping in VS..and 1 year old in tow.) So as I get this striking pain, Ford is running around VS like a wild man. I am doubled over next to a table of pretties, and feeling some of the worst pain I can remember. I knew something was wrong and right then got a call from my Dad asking for me to pick him up at his truck.

I book out of the mall to the car. As soon as I got to the car, it hit me. Oh shoot…. I have to poo..It’s bad. Gotta go. .. *Keep in mind–I never get this feeling. Ever.* So here is where it gets gross…Men, if you are still here, turn away now! I ran back into the mall, to the bathroom, and there was no poo. At all. Just total blood. The toilet was full and I was scared. So not knowing what to do next, I just got cleaned up, hopped in the car and drove to get my Dad. He jumped in the driver’s seat and I moved to the passenger seat and laid my seat back. He asked, “What are you all going to do today?” I was in allllllll the pain and still freaking out, but just said “ahhh…probably go to the ER.” He looked over at me and said “Why? What’s wrong with you.” Then I am shaking a little and say ” I’m in awful pain and I am bleeding.”

He goes into total Dad mode and says so matter-of-factly, “I’ll keep Ford. I’ll drop you off at the ER. Then I will pick up your Mom and we will be back over here right after.” *Her appointment happened to be right next door to the hospital, so overall, perfect conditions for this crazy situation*

I couldn’t get a hold of my Hubbs to explain to him that I was in the ER for quite some time, and while ‘ectopic’ was in the back of my mind, I didn’t mention it to him when I finally reached him! He was on a job pretty far away, and he said he would be over right away but I told him not to worry. “By the time you get here, we will be gone. No worries! I”m fine! I’ll see you in a few hours!Love you!”

In the meantime, I am getting all of these tests done. Ultrasounds. Bloodwork. Urine tests. Everything. I can’t remember exactly how it all went, but after so long one of the nurses asked me the million dollar question “Is there a chance you could be pregnant?” I proceeded to give her my million dollar answer. ” I mean, I’m married. Isn’t there always a chance I could be pregnant?” I am still in decent spirits at this point, mind you.

At some point, one of the nurses is finally brave enough to tell me what is going on. Before this moment, not a single one would leak even a smidgen of detail! I can picture them all now outside the nurses desk talking “Awww..how awful….I don’t want to tell her!……Well, I certainly won’t be the one.” Etc.

Whoever the brave soul was that stepped up, explained to me that I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. She told me my HCG levels were raised just enough to show I might be pregnant, but not like they should be. She then showed me the ultrasound of the tube with the tiniest little dot/blur ever! “You see that little tiny dot? That is the start of pregnancy-but it’s stuck in the tube. When babies come-in order for them to survive-they have to be in the uterus. I’m so sorry honey.” This is the vague explanation which was accompanied by condolences that I don’t quite remember, but I know they tried to console me in some very nurse-like way.

But at this point, I am in total shock. I can’t believe my first inclination was right.

Now I have to call Dale to explain, that I am technically pregnant, but our baby won’t live. So I make the call and I am crying and trying to explain this….”I’m pregnant but…” He is saying so happily, “You ARE?? You ARE PREGNANT??” And of course I lose it. “Babe, It’s an ectopic pregnancy. The baby can’t live.” He had never heard of one and was so optimistic “No I am sure there is something we can do. There’s gotta be something.” I had to tell him I would explain it all when I saw him, that it was the same thing that happened to our family member. We just caught mine extremely early. The nurse said I had to have only been 2 days pregnant or so and that’s why it was so difficult to 100% “diagnose”, hence every test known to man being done.

They told me as long as HCG levels were rising, the baby was still “alive”. When the levels started to drop, we knew the baby had passed. I want you to know how hard that was-to know I was still growing a baby that had no chance at life. And was just waiting for it’s life to end. It’s all I could think about! So over the next two weeks I had to continue to get blood drawn to check HCG levels ( I think I went twice before the levels dropped.) *This makes me feel so sick now to put in actual words for the world to see. I feel like there is no delicate way to say it.*

So now we knew the baby was gone, but it was still in the tube. The doctor gave me a couple options-and was so gentle and sweet with the way he worded it all. I can’t remember his name or exactly what he said, but I remember his demeanor and thinking how it was so crazy to me that a man could be this understanding to a mother. He said he would take all the time needed to explain to me the options as to what to do next, and would do his best to make us comfortable. That meant so much to me and I am still so appreciative!

We decided to go with a Methotrexate shot. It sometimes can be used when a person has Cancer, as it rids your body of anything foreign-anything it doesn’t recognize. In this case, the embryo of our lifeless baby. This was such a difficult concept for me to wrap my head around, but we talked with the older men in our congregations about it. They explained to us this shot would be ok since we already lost the baby, and would have had no way to develop as it was. One elder in particular, also couldn’t believe he was hearing this for the second time–as a close family member had an ectopic as well. They are so uncommon, and we both ended up having one. Hers, on the other hand, was much more severe.

She was further along (I think 7-8 weeks?) and knew she was pregnant for a bit. She started to have some pain and slight bleeding and finally made it to the ER for surgery to remove hers…Long story short…Her’s ruptured while they were operating. If she would have waited a few minutes longer, she could have died! Thank goodness all is well and she is healthy and great now! No problems at all. * I did get permission to post a little about her story, but since it isn’t mine, I will leave it to her to maybe guest blog one day. : ) *

Now mine was different in that it was so small and caught so early I didn’t need surgery. The ‘shot’ would take care of ridding my body of the embryo. *Once again, I feel like there is no delicate way to say any of this. It all sounds so harsh. I wish I could sugar coat it a bit more, but this is all I am capable of dolls.* (They did make me wait 2 weeks to get the methotrexate. This threw me for a loop, as I knew when my family member had one, once they knew what it was, they had to act fast. Not to mention, I had already had to sit and wait for a baby to pass that I knew would never make it. I just wanted this to all end and we could move on! )

Little did I know this shot would send me into full on LABOR. After so many hours, I started getting pain and pressure down low as if I was in full-term labor, ready to push! I was not prepared for that in the least bit. This went on for hours, every few minutes feeling this intense pressure near my rear, and after several bathroom breaks, suddenly, it was over. No more pain. Nothing. Over just like that.

After it was all over, and my hormones started to level out, we got ourselves back to normal! Overall, I look back and think how much worse this could have been. I am so happy I went to the doctor that first moment as I never go to the doctor for pain!

I also, as awful as it sounds, am happy I didn’t know I was pregnant going into it. If I would have known, even for a day-even for a minute-that I was pregnant, I would have been crushed to the core. This is also one of the reasons I think emotionally I bounced back as quickly as I did….. And now thinking back, we always wonder “Maybe that would have been our little girl! Or what would he/she have looked like?” Either way, give or take 6 months we were pregnant again with sweet little Cashy boy and can’t imagine life without him! While we were all thrilled when we first found out, we were also terrified it would happen again! (Your chances are higher to have another ectopic if you have had one before.) Low and behold, everything was perfect and he has been the craziest little addition to our home. We are so thankful for the boys we have, and just can’t picture life any other way.

Ok there it is. One of the craziest parts of my life is now public. As most of you now realize, I am an open book, but for a while, this is something I was not ok to talk much about, except with a few close friends. Now I am to the point I am ok to share, and welcome any questions or comments you all may warrant.

Thanks for reading through my craziness and know, it was over 4 years ago-so it’s not 100% a complete story, but it’s the best I can remember! Again, please, if you think you are having any type of complications with your pregnancy, see your doctor!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Huge thanks to Jeremy at Upsplash for letting me use this beautiful flower pic!