Saturday, June 23, 2012

Baby Bean: A Birth Story

On June 17, 2012, Miss Bean decided she wanted to come into the world 20 days early. I think she knew I didn't get anything for Hubs for Father's Day and knew the time was right. My parents were in town for a surprise visit and we had a busy weekend planting flowers and grooming the yard. I'd been drinking red raspberry leaf tea for two days and decided to mow the side yard and blow the back and front porches. Perhaps I was trying to help... or induce labor. At 37 weeks, I was super ready for Bean to make her debut. But I knew she wouldn't come until she was ready.
Sunday morning was uneventful. I got up and made french toast and eggs for my family. Around 10:30, I started having some really bad pain around my previous c-section scar. It felt like pulling, stinging and burning. My mom had me sit down with an ice pack and my dad sat next to me and talked me through the pain. It was constant, not coming and going. After about an hour of resting while Hubs and my brother had Little S out on a bike/trailer ride, I felt fine again. I got up and started working around the kitchen when the pain started, again. I collapsed on the floor by my linen closet while trying to reach a dish rag and couldn't get up because the pain was so brutal. This time, it was coming and going, but nothing like the Braxton Hicks I'd been having. I didn't have any cramping or tightening... just that burning, stinging feeling around my scar. Eventually, I got up and went to the bathroom to get sick because the pain was so bad. By that time, Hubs was home and called my OB's office. They wanted to meet me in triage at the hospital to check things out and make sure the baby and I were doing okay.
Once hooked up to the monitors, we found that Bean was doing great, but I was having contractions 2-4 minutes apart. The midwife gave me IV fluids to try and slow things down, but they didn't work. I got a shot in the back of my upper arm of something that's supposed to stop or slow contractions, and that didn't work, either. When she checked my cervix, I was still only 1 cm dilated, so I was moved to another room where I was given another IV medication to try and stop the contractions. The next thing I knew, my OB popped in and told me that because she couldn't see my uterine scar without opening me up to make sure it was okay, she was going to go ahead and take Bean that day.
What I didn't know was that she meant... right now. There was a mere 15 minutes between her telling me I was going to have a c-section and my being on the OR table. It happened so fast and I felt so blessed that my parents were already in town to watch S. The spinal block went much more smoothly than last time and I was ready to go within 3 minutes of getting the medication. Bean made her arrival at 7:08 p.m. on Sunday night and weighed 7lbs, 0.9oz at 19.5 inches long. 37 weeks and 1 day - this child was going to be huge at full term! She started crying and we knew her lungs were strong. There were 6 NICU nurses surrounding her to make sure she was healthy for being so early. Her APGAR scores were 9 and 9, so we knew she was doing great! I was so much more alert than I was with S' birth and so much more emotional. I think it's because I wasn't in labor for 30+ hours before the surgery. 
Bean nursed right away, which is something that I prayed and prayed for. She hasn't stopped since! God provides... let me tell you that. She was only 6lbs, 7 oz when we left the hospital on Wednesday morning, but was back up to 6lbs, 10oz by her first doctor's appointment on Friday. I get my staples taken out on Monday and Bean has another weight check on Tuesday.
As I expected, S was so, so excited to meet her baby sister. She's been nothing but sweet and helpful since meeting Bean and she loves to hold her and sing to her. It's the sweetest thing. I've been a bit overwhelmed with two kids, even though I've had help the entire time I've been home. I just hope I can manage them both. Yesterday, S stubbed her toe while I was feeding Bean and I couldn't comfort her. She just wanted to be held and as much as I wanted to soothe her, I wasn't able and it broke my heart. She just wanted her mommy.
S and Bean meet for the first time.
Gigi (my mom) with both of her granddaughters
My sweet little girls together
Bean was supposed to get her hospital pictures taken, but we had a mishap and I kicked the photographer out of the room! She said she'd come back on Tuesday, but was a no-show. This (onesie from Aunt Whitney and headband from Mellisa) is what we intended for her to wear.
 This is how S entertained herself for much of the time she visited us in the hospital.
Hubs snuck into my bed with Bean while I grabbed a quick shower.
Me and my girls!
S and I had a little dance party right before I was discharged from the hospital.
 S and Bean had matching dresses for going home - This is the only picture I got of the dresses together!
 Going home!
 Bean wore elephants from Aunt Jackie. They were meant for her littlest to come home from the hospital in, but her Baby S was too big! In a yellow receiving blanket from Mommy Moxie, Bean shows off her Rod Stewart-esque locks, post-bath.
 My brother has been staying with us for a few weeks and after S saw him holding Bean, she wanted to be held like a baby, too. 
 Bean has the same gassy "ooo" face that her sister did! And she commandeered my snuggle blanket for her own.
My sweet, sweet angels... How blessed am I?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Semi-Hiatus on the Account of Baby Preparation + Maternity Photos!

Hey, friends! I just wanted to let you know that I know I've been MIA a lot, lately. I don't plan to completely disappear, but Bean is coming in 2 weeks and 1 day and I do need to concentrate on... well, getting everything ready. My mind is constantly wandering and sitting in the computer chair is pretty much the most brutal thing I can do to my sciatica. Basically, what I'm saying is that between now and Bean's birth, you should probably only expect to see 2 or so posts a week from me.
I wear the same dress every time I leave the house (so I try not to frequent the same places within a week's period), so outfit posts are pretty much nonexistent.
Because I'm going AWOL on you guys for a bit, I thought I'd leave you with some of the maternity photos that my best friend took last weekend! I love what I've seen so far and can't wait to share more as we get them! All photos are c/o of Jackie Ranson Photography.
Thank you so much to Jackie for this session and our beautiful pictures! And extra special thanks for dealing with me when I broke the dress!
Stay tuned for my 37 week update on Saturday and a sneak peek of Bean's nursery!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Baby Bean Update: 36 Weeks & Mommy Moxie Winner!

First of all, I am officially dubbing myself the bravest plus-sized, pregnant style blogger because I'm posting 36 week pregnancy photos of me in a bathing suit.
Also, this has been my uniform as of late and I didn't wear anything else today, so...
 bathing suit: Merona for Target (last year-not maternity), flip flops: Old Navy
Well, you can't really see me anymore than that, right? This is Bean and me at 36 weeks and 1 day. Please excuse my amazingly sexy tank top tan lines. I've been wearing a tank top in the sun for the past year and a half while watching kids run around, so I think it might be semi-permanent. 
In other news, I touched up my roots (by myself! without a box!) and then got some highlights just to make things really evened out for my maternity pictures, which were yesterday. My best friend, Jackie, was here with her two youngest girls and we had a BUSY time. Crazy busy. But it was awesome to have her here and I can't wait 'til she gets back to stay for a week after Bean's born.
Pregnancy? Well, it's going... slowly. You know that hip adductor machine at the gym where you have the weights between your thighs and press together? Or maybe you'd understand riding a horse better... Either way, I feel like I've been doing those for a week straight. My inner thighs are killing me and I have absolutely no idea what the deal is. Pressure? Anyone experience that before? My hips, pelvis and low back (especially on the left side) are hurting all the time and about 75% of the time, my left bum cheek and left leg are numb/sore (sciatica). Being in the pool is 100% my favorite feeling right now, because it takes all the pressure off of my ginormous body. Oh, also, swelling is so happening. My flip flops and fake wedding ring no longer fit. So, yeah. Needless to say, I thought I was ready before, but I'm super ready, now. We have our 36 week appointment on Wednesday and are having an ultrasound for size and position. I pray that she's head down and wants to come out on her own before my surgery date. If not, oh well. It's in God's hands.
Big thanks to Mommy Moxie for having the awesome giveaway last week on my blog! We had a great turnout with 95 entries and the winner of the maternity hospital gown is MICHAELA! Congratulations! Michaela said she was going to use the gown as a shower gift for one of her many friends who are expecting soon.
If you haven't visited the Mommy Moxie shop recently, stop by! You can now order your own The Little Bit hospital gown and there are some awesome new items in the shop, too! Check out the Custom Minky Crib Sheet and Custom Changing Pad Cover! I'm definitely going to be getting one of those changing pad covers. Too cute!
If you entered the Mommy Moxie Giveaway last week and are interested in receiving a 20% shop discount on your next purchase, please email me for a special promo code!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer is Upon Us - The Kids are IN

For many parents, summer time is as exciting as it is a challenge when it comes to the kids being out of school. I've been struggling with ways to entertain my little one since I started staying home and with another one on the way, I've had to brainstorm a lot when it comes to keeping Little S active and engaged during the warmer months! With the Littlewoods Reebok EasyTone line, the whole family can comfortably enjoy the three months of summer vacation around the corner. Here are some outdoor ideas for you and your littlest family members.

My brother just got S a soccer ball and she LOVES it. Whether we're inside or outside, she wants to kick her sparkly pink and purple soccer ball around. This is an easy sport to get your child involved in because all it requires are comfortable, athletic shoes, a field, a ball, and people! You can block off an area for a goal if you'd like, but the point here is to get you and your kids moving.
We take the most advantage of this activity since I'm hugely pregnant and being in the pool takes the pressure off of my body. S gets in her floating device and goes to town on her own. She's constantly moving, kicking her legs and spinning around from one side of the pool to the other. With plenty of sunscreen, water to drink, and swimming safety, one to two hours at the pool ensures a good appetite and a deep, long night of sleep for parent and child!
If the pool is too crowded or it's a cloudy or cool day, we hit the playground. There are several in our local area, so I like to change it up and rotate so S doesn't get bored with the same scenery and equipment. Going to different locations also ensures new faces and new friends for both parents and children. Yesterday, S wanted to swing and as much as that's a workout for me, she wasn't releasing much energy. I started an obstacle course and soon had her running laps around the structure, going up rock walls, down slides, up ladders, down ramps, and we had one tired out little girl in the evening!
Our family proudly owns new bicycles for each member and although I don't feel comfortable riding mine outside of the neighborhood at this point in my pregnancy, it's proven to be a great release and exercise tool for my husband. S loves riding along on her tricycle, stopping at every dandelion to pick on for respective family members (even the unborn baby!), or she'll tag along with Daddy in the bike trailer on a trip to the river or around the neighborhood.
This is one of the best activities I can suggest for families at home during the summer time. With comfortable and supportive walking shoes and loads of sunscreen, you and your kids can be off on any sort of adventure. We scavenge for ladybugs, dandelions, dodge ant hills, look at different color grasses, spy different colors from nature, and learn numbers from looking at house addresses. Patience is a virtue when it comes to walking with toddlers because they take their time and really take it all in. Enjoy it! Soon, their lives will be going at warp speed just like yours!
all images via Pinterest
*This post is sponsored by All research, ideas, and opinions are my own.

Don't forget to enter the Mommy Moxie Giveaway for your chance to win a beautiful handmade maternity hospital gown OR a $60 credit to the Mommy Moxie shop! 
Tomorrow's the last day!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Hospital Bag

I don't know about other moms, but I've written, re-written, and re-re-written my list for packing the hospital bags. I have one for Bean and I and one for Big Sister S. She won't be staying at the hospital overnight, but we got her some sweet things that will hopefully make her feel very special, involved, and appreciated. I keep panicking that I'm going to forget something super important or pack way too much that I won't need. Remember, I've done this before, so I'm not a total novice. I just feel so much more last minute and unprepared with Bean than I did S. I don't know why. 
I found these two lists on Pinterest and printed out yet another. Some of the items on these lists, I find necessary. Some are obviously extras. And some are things I totally didn't think of - like spending money. I forgot that if I want Husband to stay with me, I'd better hand over some cash so he can get food from the hospital. Sure, I can pack snacks... but is that really going to hold him over? Here's the other thing: We live 2 miles from the hospital, so really, if I forget something or he's hungry, he can just run home and get those things.

That said, I've packed the bags and know that I need one more tanktop that's in the dryer right now and to grab my blow dryer on my way out the door (I need it for my maternity pics this weekend!). Other than that, I feel pretty stocked up. I'm not brining diapers and wipes because I know our hospital provides them. But I'm bringing my own lotion for her because I don't want them to put that pink Johnson & Johnson's all over her! Basically, I want to know from those with experience - 
What did YOU bring that you felt was super necessary? What did you pack that you didn't use once? And what do you wish you'd packed?
The countdown is on - 24 days left 'til the official D-Day. And if I go before then, THANK HEAVEN! I've got to get these last minute details wrapped up and I'd love your advice!

Don't forget to head over to the Mommy Moxie Giveaway for your chance to win a handmade maternity hospital gown of your choice!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mommy Moxie Giveaway

Mommy Moxie has agreed to give away a $60 credit to her shop if you do not need the Maternity Hospital Gown! You can use this toward crib bedding or changing pad covers, which will hit the shop this week - OR you can request an item!

I hope you're as excited as I am about this giveaway! Nicole, of Mommy Moxie, has graciously agreed to give one of her beautiful, handmade maternity hospital gowns to one lucky a little bit of this reader! If you didn't see/read my review last week, check it out here! I'm so in love with this product and absolutely can't wait to wear mine at the hospital. No drab, used and reused hospital gown for this girl! Check out The Little Bit gown that I got to help create!
Let's get to know Nicole, the creator of Mommy Moxie!
1. How did you get started with making maternity hospital gowns, blankets and burp cloths?
Back in 2009 when I was pregnant with my first son, I happened to stop by the cardiac ICU where my husband worked.  There was a patient that was bleeding all over the place, which included their hospital gown.  I asked my husband if there were different gowns for Labor and Delivery; he laughed and said "no".  That night I went home and started looking for gowns online to wear for my delivery because there was no way I was wearing something someone else had bled all over, sterilized or not.  All the gowns I found were either really ugly or way too expensive.  I then asked my husband to borrow a gown from the hospital and I started experimenting.  I hadn't turned on my sewing machine in years, but I just kept revising...and sewing...and revising...(you get the picture).  I wore a pretty simple gown for my first birth, but then over the next two years I kept tweaking the gown until I had a winning design.  In 2011 I started selling the gowns you see in my shop today :)
The burp cloths, blankets and such resulted from need.  I either started making them when friends requested them, or when I needed something.  In the near future I'll be adding crib bedding and a few other items as well.

2. You're a busy mom. What motivates you to keep up with daily responsibilities *and* your business?
I'm lucky enough to be not only a SAHM, but to also have Mommy Moxie.  Some days my business is the only thing that keeps me sane!  Having a two and a half year old and a six month old definitely keeps me on my toes.  I think the knowledge that I'm helping another mom look amazing on one of the biggest days of her life is what keeps me (somewhat) focused and on top of all the different things I have going on in my life.

3. What's your best-selling item and why do you think it's so popular?
My gowns are my best selling items, and of those, the Hudson and the Adam gowns are my most popular.  I have some other items in my shop, but gowns are by far my specialty.  I think moms are realizing that there is no reason they have to look drab on the day their little one makes their debut, even if they've been in labor for 36 hours ;)
4. What is YOUR favorite item in the shop? Do (or did) you personally use it?
The gowns are my favorite by far and yes, I had one for each of my births.  I was 34 weeks along when my water broke with my second son; I hadn't even STARTED my gown, so I had to quickly add the snaps to a gown that was almost finished while I waited for my girlfriends to arrive to take me to the hospital (my husband was at work and I had no idea I was actually going to give birth that night.  I thought they could stop what I thought was a "leak").  When they arrived, I made them wait an extra 10 minutes while I finished the gown while they laughed at me.  There was just no way I was wearing a nasty hospital-issued gown!

5. For fun, what's your go-to outfit for going shopping with girlfriends?
Shopping with girlfriends?  What's that?  (LOL).  I rarely get to shop with girlfriends these days since our schedules are so opposite.  When I do get to go  I usually wear a long maxi dress and sandals or jeans and a cute top with flats or heels (depending on the amount of shopping!).  When you have two kids, fitting rooms can be a challenge, so if I can just slip something over my head I will.  Gotta keep it easy!

And here are some more of my favorite gowns from Mommy Moxie:

(If you choose a gown that doesn't already have a name, you get to name it!)

Giveaway open to US residents only. Sorry to our International readers! 
Open until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 8 - Please enter via Rafflecopter below!
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