Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Maker of All Things...A Mystery to Me

I haven't spent nearly enough time in the Word these days. Having a baby makes that very difficult, but increasingly important. God is my strength, my provider, the giver of life and endurance. The one who can give me peace when my baby cries, is sick, can't sleep at night. He is the one I go to every day and night asking for blessings upon Kate. Asking Him to make her a sweet and loving follower of Christ. Someone who is strong, and independent, yet knows how to ask for help. Someone who can have fun and laugh with others and laugh at herself. I ask God to giver her sweet sleep each night. I THANK God each night for the blessings that she is to me.

So how can I continue to go to God asking Him for things when I do not take the time I need with Him each day?

Well first I understand that there is a time of grace for a new mother when things aren't as they were before. I know that for a season, prayer and worship were my avenues to God and not as much Scripture. I also know that God has pressed upon my heart the need to dig in again. To dig deeper than before and truly be prepared to raise my baby as a follower of Christ. To help her become the woman I am praying for.

I am amazed that God would still answer my prayers even when I am far away. It is a mystery to me, and yet I clearly understand that He died for me so that I may live an imperfect life that will still see Him face to face one day.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 says, "As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body was formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, Maker of all things."

God allowed Steve and I to be part of the most amazing creation of a sweet baby. I am still in awe of how that baby came to be, and how they grow and develop not only in the womb, but each day on this earth. I will never understand how that occurs, but I will always understand who made it happen.

I know who gave me that child, I know who answered my prayers during pregnancy and labor and delivery. I know who is in control. I know hos much HE LOVES ME. I just wanted to take a moment and acknowledge that.

To Him be the Glory!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Giving Things Up

Breastfeeding is the best thing ever, although getting started is difficult and painful (no really it is). Now I love that special time with Kate! The hardest part really is what I can and can't eat!

I already can't have wheat/gluten/sugar. I have sadly had to add to the list dairy, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and anything spicy. All this makes her super gassy and have terribly stinky yucky baby poo. Now on the up side it is really helping the weight melt off. On the other hand, especially during a growth spurt when I am soooo hungry, it is much harder to find a snack to eat.

I am amazed at the reading I do that says eat what you want, it doesn't affect your baby. What I eat, Kate eats and she has a growing and developing tummy and digestive system that absolutely is sensitive to things. I just have to remember to follow my instincts sometimes and know that I spend the most time with my baby and I know what she needs (well...most of the time).

I wouldn't trade that time together for the world and it is amazing what you are willing to give up when you are responsible for the well being of another.

I had 9 months to begin giving things up for a season and getting ready to have my life taken over by a child. Getting ready for a little person who would need my love, nurturing, silly faces, giggles, songs and full attention. For Steve and every new daddy, it is a bigger shock when a child enter the world. They were able to go along with business as normal while we women carry the little bambino in our tummies. It is not until that baby enters the world that they have to change things and make sacrifices. As a new mom, I of course, thought this would be no problem and Steve would be happy to do it. But I had to realize that as he is willing to help with anything, but it is also a big shock to his life that he now has to get used to.

He must die to himself and the freedom he had. I struggled with this thinking he just didn't want to, but I now know that this is something that every dad deals with. They did not have the 9 months to prepare as we did. They don't have that motherly "instinct". Now they must think about how do I provide? How do I eat well? How do I sleep? How do I spend time with my wife? How do I give focus at home and at work? How do I find time for friends? How do I have time for myself? Time with God? Fun? When I think about it he will actually have to adjust quicker than I did.

She is the best baby and no matter how much we must lay down for this season, it is completely worth the short amount of time we have with her, while she is cuddly and tiny. Soon she will be crawling all over!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What I've learned in my 3 1/2 months as a mommy...

This information may or may not help other mommies of the world, but I want to make sure I write down all of the things I have learned as a mommy because when I have another child I'll be able to look back and that is important. If by some chance something that worked for me works for someone else's out there great!

Lets start with giving birth...

I know that everyone talks about the terrible pain of childbirth, it's rare that anyone shares their pleasant birth experience, but everyone is willing to share their horror stories. I have to start by telling you that my entire life I have been terrified of doctors, hospitals, etc, but I knew I wanted kids and therefore that came with the package. I had the BEST childbirth experience and I think it's important that people hear those stories too!

First of all, I prayed through my entire pregnancy for very specific things. I prayed for specific doctors/midwives/nurses to be in my room and deliver my baby (they were there). I prayed for a small healthy baby that would be easier to have because I wanted a natural birth with no medical intervention. I was told I was going to have a decent sized baby, I was thinking over 8 lbs, but she was 6 lbs 12oz (and so healthy! She received an 8/9 on her APGAR, and you cant do much better than that). If you don't know what an APGAR score is, click the link and read on. I prayed for contractions that I could handle without medication (God answered my prayers). My contractions were isolated in my lower belly the entire time and completely manageable. I regretted not finding a Doula for our birth experience, and stumbled across one 2 weeks before we had her. (We couldn't have done it without her!) If you don't know what a Doula is, click and read on about this too!

I had a natural birth with completely manageable contractions in a peaceful environment and I could not ask for more!

How I felt after giving birth and the hospital stay...

While I was in labor I was amazed that in the middle of a contraction there was a woman wanting me to sign consent forms and tell her how we would be paying for the birth (ummmm...lady, I'm kind of having a baby right now! Can we talk about this later!?) That was quite annoying. They had me on oxygen and flipping me around alot at first because they were having trouble finding her heartbeat, but I had full peace that she would be okay and it didn't scare me at all. My doula continued to reassure me and I appreciated that so much. I had a whole birth plan ready, but it didn't go as planned. Counter pressure on my back relieved every contraction. I tried to get up and walk and use the birthing ball, but sitting or laying down worked best for me. I am very glad that I was prepared with all options and found music that I found soothing. I had yoga music playing the whole time and everyone in our room whispered the entire time. (Like I said, a very soothing experience).

It was amazing that without drugs they have you up in no time at all and want you to be able to pee before they move you to mother baby. That may sound like no big deal, but your muscles down there have just been through something incredible, and it's not that easy folks! After having her I was freezing and my adrenaline was so high. My legs were shaking and I couldn't wait for the fabulous warm blankets they cover you with after having a baby.

I had her at 3:22 am, and we got to out room at 6:30 am. She slept great, Steve slept great, and I...Well I tried to sleep. Nothing hurt but my tailbone, and those terrible hard hospital beds don't help. I finally gave in and took Ibuprofen and it helped. I can have a baby without drugs, but I need them afterwards (go figure). The nurses come in to check on me and baby Kate every three hours, except at night I got one longer stretch without interruption. The greatest thing (at least and the hospital we went to) was that they never took Kate out of my sight. She only left once for her hearing test. Everything else was done in my presence, which made me feel much better and more informed about all she went through. I did get worried because she wasn't waking up to eat because she was so exhausted, but They kept checking on her and she seemed fine so I was able to relax.

We were sent home at lunch the next day since I had a natural birth with no complications. It was such a whirlwind.

Bringing home baby...

We went home with this sweet baby and now what??? Eat. sleep. cry... The first night threw us for a loop. She had slept like a log in the hospital and the first night home SCREAMS alllll night long. I thought "I broke her already!" No one told me that they may not like sleeping on their back in a bassinet or crib at first. We didn't think to try a swing. Then I learned that their poor little digestive systems are developing and lying down can cause great discomfort. Once we figured that our she slept in the swing for the first 6-7 week, with the vibrate on.

Ahhh, the lovely hormones. They are something else after having a baby. I felt so many emotions I had never felt so intensely before. Happiness, joy, love, fear, compassion, and a protective instinct that kicks right in. 3 days after having her we went to the doctors and they gave me answers I didn't like, whew that mommy instinct was ready to take that doctor out. (Word of advice, look for a pediatrician early!!!!!!) I waited to long and I am still looking for one that I connect with and that is willing to be flexible on vaccine schedules.

Yes, I am one of those people that likes to do things naturally and I have MANY concerns about vaccines. It does not mean I will not vaccinate, but it does mean I am going to be very cautious about each one, and need to have God's peace about putting something in my childs body that contains, different metals, and the DNA of animals. Yes, there are some crazy things in these shots.

We tried not to use a pacifier very much, because we don't want her to become attached to it. We hope to keep her from being a thumb sucker as it can ruin her teeth, but she is lovin that thumb! We continue to pull it out of her little mouth and she pops it right back in :) You can only do what you can do.

I am using cloth diapers. FLIP by Bum genius. They are great. We used regular diapers at first because it was easier while we figured out 10 million other things. They wash up great, hang they up to dry and use them again. Once I learned that it takes hundreds of years for one diaper to break down, I knew I didn't want to add to that problem.

For us having a schedule is GREAT! I know some moms feed on demand, but this child definitely loves a schedule. It has of course changed as she has grown, but it brings peace to her and I. She is sleeping 10-11 hours through the night and has been sleeping at least 9-10 since she was maybe 8 weeks old. We have a bed time routine for sure and she puts herself to sleep so well because she knows its time. She always wakes up about 7 these days, but seemed to need more sleep. So instead of hoping she'd sleep long in the am, we made her bedtime earlier and it's working great.

She has been sleeping in her crib since I think 6 or 7 weeks. I started trying it out for naps instead of at night to she how she did. Once we had the hang of things we moved her over and she did great.

- Coconut Oil is amazing for their skin and for diaper rash
- Apple Cider Vinegar really helps Cradle cap
- Putting breast milk in baby acne for 10-15 min then washing it off, helps it to heal faster) I've also heard it will cure pink eye and many other things. It is antibacterial/antimicrobial, etc...
- Use the mommy instincts
- I never learned about milk blisters from breastfeeding. I had only heard about mastitis.
- If you are breastfeeding, get lanolin and take advantage of the lactation specialist at the hospital.
- I pump one ounce off each side before the first feeding every day. It makes a freezable amount for a bottle every 3 days now, and I will have it for when we go out, or to use when it's time to make baby food. (yes I plan to make my own baby food).
- Sound machines are fabulous for getting them to sleep (or any white noise).

Kate goes to the chiropractor. Yes she does! Think about all the pressure on a babies head when they come out. And just from flipping around in your tummy! We actually just went today, because I noticed she was extra fussy and didn't like being on her back. Now she is taking a great nap while I write this. Adjustments for babies are extremely gentle and really help the babies immune system and digestion! Just make sure you find a chiropractor who has experience with babies.

I'm sure there is more, but this is long enough for now....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Soon You Can Call Me Mommy!

In less than 3 weeks I get to be a mommy! That is the most amazing and unbelievable thing I have ever heard :) God has protected me through this pregnancy, given me peace, joy and health. I have been so blessed not to have morning sickness or major aches and pains. Now I ask him to grant favor to have this child naturally with no medical intervention and without being induced. The number of women who have to be induced is amazing to me. Rarely do I meet a woman who went into labor on her own. It makes me wonder what causes that?

The nursery is almost done, we have almost everything put together (now we just need 35 thousand batteries for all the different swinging, rocking, vibrating and musical gadgets that are ALL over the house). When parents told us to buy stock in batteries they weren't kidding :)

We have wonderful friends who have offered so much help and meals after Kate arrives and I am very grateful for that. The hardest part about this entire pregnancy is not having any family around us to share in it or to help. I hate that I am missing time with my first nephew Jackson, and he will not be around to grow up with his cousin Kate, especially when they are so close in age. I don't love technology because I think it is mistreated and takes away from person to person interaction, but I am so thankful for Facetime to talk with my family and say hi to Jackson and watch him grow.

Not only is he growing, but it has been amazing to watch my sister grow. She has become more nurturing and patient, loving and has more of an ease about her. Amazing what a child can do to soften us and bring a new understanding of love and patience into our lives.

I am now just waiting for this child to show up, a walk in the morning before the heat, doctors appointments, cleaning the house top to bottom, ordering the last of the needed baby items, and waiting. At 37 1/2 weeks there is not much else to do, mobility is limited :) Most days I am just ready to meet her not worrying about the process in which she will enter the world, then there are other days when I get a tiny knot in my stomach as I think about what I will endure to meet her. I keep reminding myself that God has blessed this pregnancy, it was in his timing and women do this every day. The end result is a baby, a daughter to raise and love.

I can't wait to watch Steve with her, changing her diaper, feeding her, rocking her, and taking her on dates teaching her how a man should treat her. To raise up a fully devoted follower of Christ. To be challenged in who I am because now I am accountable to a little impressionable girl who will look at her parents and everything we do and say. Have I mentioned my WHOLE life will change in less than 3 weeks??? (Well....if she shows up on time).

Time for my walk, and as much productivity as I can before I need a nap :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

12 Weeks to Mommyhood

28 weeks and 12 to go to being a mommy! There is so much to do and so much to think about. What doctor to see, family doctor or pediatrician? Preparing for labor, taking classes, setting up the babies room, and getting the house in order. I am extremely excited and scared all at once, but just taking one item at a time and making decisions.

I have had two wonderful family baby showers and am feeling extremely blessed. God has put wonderful people around us that have really been there for us.

As for carrying a child, it has been a very enjoyable experience. Well, all but how much this child moves. I think she is using me as a punching bag, which I do not appreciate :) I know many women enjoy thee feeling of their baby moving around in their tummy, but when most of them feel well...painful... It takes a bit of the joy away. But, I know it's the good Lord's way of letting me know she's alive and well!

This week is my last 4 week appointment and glucose testing and then we are down two every two weeks. It is going by so fast (although I'm sure the hot summer days ahead and my growing tummy will make the time pass by a bit slower).

My sister Carolyn is due in 4 short weeks, which is also so amazing to me. My first nephew! I keep praying everyday for a safe delivery for her. What a wonderful thing to enjoy being mom's together.

For me 12 weeks until I meet Katherine "Kate" Hope Madison!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

16-17 weeks and counting

I am somewhere around 16-17 weeks pregnant. It's hard to tell after the ultrasound when they measure and change things, but it's close enough :) They asked me at my doctors appointment yesterday if I have felt the baby move yet, but I can't way I am to sure. When they tell you it can feel alot like gas (something that I have more of these days) it is hard to tell (ha!) It was so good to hear the baby's heart beat and know that he or she is growing and healthy as far as anyone knows. Sometimes it doesn't feel real until I hear that heart beat again.

My sister has 12 weeks left, which is just insane. I am so glad that she is having a baby and I will not be far behind, and yet I won't be able to be there to meet the little guy when he comes into the world because I won't be able to travel.

We are starting to plan baby showers for her and myself (at least the ones I have to travel for). It is exciting, and yet overwhelming when I think about all of the things we need to register for. Research one day at a time to pick out so many items, that I may or may not know how to use :) I know things are returnable, but I am very slow to buy anything even for myself and now I have to pick out things for someone who is not here, and not know if they will use it or not. It's just pure craziness...

It's time to start taking the fun weekly belly pics, but there are so many creative ideas on Pinterest that I just know which one to choose.

I can't wait to be a mommy, I used to think that single and independent was the way to go, but I see the joy God has in creating families and I am excited and truly blessed!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Baby Product Comparison

16 weeks along, and took my first trip to Baby's R Us to start looking at all of the things we will soon need for Baby Madison. Tooooo many stinking options out there. It is crazy, but I choose not to let it be overwhelming. Just taking it one item at a time and starting the research.

I started with strollers/car seats/travel systems and have it narrowed down to 2 or 3, which I think is a good start considering all that is out there. Not only do I have to pick one out, but then find the best place to buy it. Whether I am buying it or someone else buys it for me, I still have to find the best price, it's just the way I am...

Breast Pumps can cost a ridiculous amount of money! I remember the manual one my mom had. They still make manual ones, but now there is electric, and kits and fancy travel bags and the list and price go on and on. But, I think I have at least picked a brand I like :)

Bottles have been my next tricky decision. I started wanting the Playtex bottles with the disposable bags that our parents used. But, now I am thinking of glass bottles, since plastic, even BPA free bottles are still plastic and not as healthy or safe for anything or anyone. But with the Playtex bags you can get the air out, with the glass it is not so easy.

If formula is necessary, I also have many decisions there. All baby formulas contain vegetable oil, and it's usually a top ingredient. Vegetable oil is terrible for anyone, I can't imagine it's good to feed so much to a baby. Yes I know people have been using formula for years, but the health of people has also decreased over the years because of our poor foods. I want to make my own formula, but there sure is alot of controversy out there.

But on a fun note I think I felt the baby for the first time last week. The fluttering, that I have never felt before. It was quick and I don't think I realized it at first, but it is just crazy that there is life growing in my belly, forming into a little person who I will be responsible for. Can't Wait!