Getting used to the view 😌

Feeling super thankful as we wrap up the move into our new home! We’re hoping to have it all done by tomorrow night!

I’ve been working my ass off to get this done, but I’m also disappointed in how pregnant I really feel. Tasks are getting harder and my stamina is greatly reduced. Understandable at 25 weeks pregnant in the humid 90° Illinois summer. But I still just wanna go, go, go.

It feels amazing to be a first time homeowner. Like all of our hard work has finally proven to be worth a damn. We did this.

Enjoy some of the views- I sure am!!

23 weeks…

Are we there yet?

Yesterday I hit the 23 week mark. I know we are on the downhill slope already, but I’m already starting to feel so miserable. Well, I’ve had it rough this pregnancy as it is, but the swelling is in high gear already. I’ve got cankles every night and a simple walk across the house makes me tired.

Did I mention we are supposed to close on our new home next week?

It all sounds so daunting. I’ve got so much to do, but I’m trying to keep a healthy balance between being productive and making sure that I don’t push myself too much. It’s a hard thing to balance when you’re up and down so much cleaning and cooking and packing and playing with a toddler… Every night I’m so damn tired I pass out within ten minutes of hitting the pillow – which is weird for me, because usually I lay there and stew on life before bed. I’m usually laying there for quite a bit before I finally pass out, but not here lately. It’s actually pretty nice. And unexpected, considering the whole pregnancy thing. Thank goodness I bought a new mattress, mattress pad, silk sheets, and a fluffy duvet, huh? It’s like we are sleeping on a cloud every night… and to think I was considering on waiting until we moved! I’m so glad I pulled the trigger on new bedding. It was much needed and the money spent is definitely paying off. If you’re looking into getting new bedding at a low price, check out this post!

So I’ve technically got 111 days until we go to the hospital for the c-section. It doesn’t seem like a lot of time considering we are moving to a new home in that time period. I’ve got a lot of nesting left to do, and not a ton of time to do it! Hopefully the swelling and faint feelings stay away for a bit so we can get moved as easily as possible.

Baby is moving quite a bit and I’m getting anxious to get this pregnancy OVER WITH so that I never have to be pregnant again! LOL – I’m NOT kidding, though!

21 weeks

21 weeks. We are more than halfway to meeting our new family member!

Let me tell ya… This mom is READY.

I’m still throwing up in the mornings occasionally. I actually started my day puking this morning. Not to mention, my ankles are swelling every time I stand for too long. I haven’t had as many bad headaches as I was a few weeks ago, but I’m just waiting on their return. With as miserable as I’ve been, it’s hard for me to grasp that I still have 18 more weeks to go… And I only get bigger from here on out!

But now we know the gender and the exciting stuff starts… SHOPPING! DECORATING!

Well, that is, if the deal on our new house ever closes. We’ve been waiting since the end of April. We originally set our contract to close the first week of June, but the sellers have been dragging their feet and we had to extend to July 1. We are now less than a week away, and still haven’t heard a whole lot from our realtor on the progress of closing and being able to move. This is frustrating, because we have a lot to do within the next four months before the baby comes, and July is a busy month for us. Buuut, we will find a way to get it figured out and hopefully we’ll be moving here within a short time!

I’ve been feeling the lil bean move around a whole lot lately, which seems exciting! When I was pregnant with Della, I really had a disconnect between the baby I was carrying and the fact that it was my child. I still feel that with this pregnancy, but it’s a bit easier for me to understand that a human I will adore will come of it. I think some women have different reactions to pregnancy, and a lot of my reactions are ughhhh. I’m thankful for the experience, but I feel more connected and loving of the child after its born, rather than while it’s in my belly. I don’t think that’s abnormal – I think a lot of women also feel that way. I still do my best to eat (somewhat) healthy (considering cravings and what my appetite will tolerate), exercise, drink a lot of water, and get good rest. I feel like I have been eating a TON lately, which is good because the whole first trimester I did nothing but lose weight. My big thing this time around is CEREAL. I eat probably three bowls a day (LOL). Last time it was french fries and potatoes – I still will always say yes to a potato in any form, but I eat so much cereal this time that I could put General Mills out of business!

Dylan is, as always, such a big help and I’m truly very thankful that he is the partner I’ve gotten to experience parenthood with. He wouldn’t let me go to the store for a case of water the other day because it was “too heavy.” Doc says my weight limit is twenty pounds. I was like, ‘Dylan, there is no way a case of water is more than twenty pounds! I can get a case of water on my own!’ We googled it and sure enough, a case of water is 26.4 pounds. So he was right – to my dismay. He’s a real stickler, but I am so very thankful – even if I roll my eyes at him when he chastises me!

17 weeks

Here we are. 17 weeks pregnant and doing fine. We are quickly approaching the halfway mark, and in just 18 days we will know what the gender of this lil bean is. Dylan’s mom wanted to have some sort of gender reveal again this time, but I turned that down. We did one when we had Della, but so much is different this time around. I now know that most of my family doesn’t actually care to make the effort to see my daughter. Her grandparents don’t come around, ask to see her, check in often… It’s disgusting. I never imagined I’d have virtually NO help in raising my children, but I’ve already proven that I’m capable of doing things on my own, so this time around I’m just going to save the time, energy, and disappointment and just not go all-out. I already know that friends are hard to come by – especially “friends” that stick by your side once you have children. So what? Throw a gender reveal party for who? No one. I’m not doin’ it.

I don’t mean to sound totally pessimistic. I’m actually really excited to have this babe, even if family doesn’t come around to share that excitement. Dylan and I just can’t wait to know the gender – we want a boy so bad it hurts. Our daughter already has a really special family name, so I really hope we don’t have a girl just so I don’t have to TRY and think up a new baby girl name that can stand against a family heirloom. Once we know I can begin planning a nursery, buying clothes, and put together future names. All of the fun stuff really begins once you get that ultrasound. I can’t wait.

At 17 weeks, the baby is about 5 inches long from head to butt, and weighs about 5 ounces. The baby’s cartilage skeleton is now hardening into bone. There is still so much left to develop, but as you watch each week, it’s truly remarkable how fast things progress in womb. And to think that my body is sustaining this wonderful, new life.

I’ve noticed that my belly is finally sticking out. It seemed one week it wasn’t, and the next it was. I wore a dress to work yesterday and once I put it on my jaw dropped because I couldn’t believe the size of my gut! I’m truly showing now!

So much excitement and so much to look forward to. I’m continuously losing weight and each appointment, so my doctor told me to watch it. I’ve been feeling faint here recently, so much that I had to lay down on the dining room floor in a hurry as I walked through the house the other night, just so I didn’t fall to the ground. My vision gets narrowed and I catch a chill and I immediately know that I have to lay down or I’m going to pass out. I told doc yesterday and he ordered labs. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious. Overall, doc thinks I’m still healthy, there are just a few things I need to keep an eye on.

Getting closer to halfway. I can do this.

Before you become a Sister

I feel like I was taking these little moments for granted. Of course I’ve always loved your snuggles, giggles, and kisses, but these moments are different.

You were my first baby.

The baby that made me realize that I was going to be make it as a mom. Because, ya know, becoming a parent is simultaneously the hardest thing and the easiest thing that I have ever done.

Everyone has doubt. Every soon-to-be parent wonders if they have what it takes to provide their child with what a child truly deserves. We asked ourselves, ‘Can I really do this?’ and told ourselves, ‘I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.’

But then you came.

And you single-handedly made all of the doubt cease to exist.

You taught me that being a good mom isn’t about making sure you have the newest toys or the fanciest clothes.

You taught me that there is only one love that will ever be this deep and everlasting.

You gave me the courage to face the unknown.

You gave me confidence in who I am as a mom.

But now the days of it being just me and you are limited. The life as we’ve known it is about to change in a beautiful, yet significant way.

It’s not gonna be just us.

You’ll no longer be the baby of the house. You’re gonna be the example-setter. The teacher. The helper.

Your infancy is becoming just a memory.

You’ve grown before my very eyes. Through these eyes, I watched creation come to life for the very first time.

So now I’m paying deeper attention into the moments we have left to be us.

Me and you.

We’re pregnant (again)!

We are super excited to share our big news finally! I’ve been waiting with anticipation to tell our friends for about six weeks now. We told our family just a few weeks ago. I was a little more hesitant to tell the world this time, since we had been trying to conceive for months with no luck.

On Tuesday, I will hit twelve weeks. I have been so sick this go-around, which is something I didn’t have much trouble with when I was pregnant with my daughter. Maybe that means this pregnancy will be a boy??? We are sooo hoping for a boy, but to be honest, I’ll be totally happy if we end up with another little girl. Our family will be complete and our hearts will be so full.

My due date is officially November 2nd, but since I had a previous C-section, I’ve decided to take the safe route and have another one. We will schedule this C-section the last week in October most likely.

So safe to say… LOTS of exciting things coming our way in 2021! Buying a new home and welcoming the completion of our family. We are overwhelmed with joy and so very happy that everything seems to be falling right into place. 😌

23 Years of Adventure

Today I am celebrating twenty-three years of life. Twenty-three years of love. Twenty-three years of adventure.

I heard my birth story from my aunt and grandmother a bunch of times growing up. I think mainly because, as they tell it, it was a wild day! My mother was in labor prematurely and it was sometime in the morning when my aunt and grandma took my mother in to the hospital. I don’t know exactly how many weeks early I was born, but they had to life flight my mom from our local hospital to the hospital at the capitol, Springfield. My aunt and grandma tell the story that they actually raced down the interstate to beat the helicopter. They both swear they were in the hospital parking lot when the helicopter landed.

Sometime just after lunch I was born via emergency c-section. My back was actually up against my mother’s abdomen when they cut her open to deliver me, so I have a large scar across my back from where they cut me when performing the c-section. I was so small I wore doll clothes because preemie clothes were too big. I’ve been told it’s a miracle I survived.

But here I am. Flourishing in the sunlight, and dreaming of tomorrow. I have been blessed many times in this life. I do my best to slow down, breathe it in, and enjoy the things that bring me joy. In honor of today, I have made a list of a few of the things that bring me JOY!

  1. My beautiful daughter, Della Rae. Her spunky attitude and playful heart brings an overwhelming sense of pride every time I look at her.
  2. My handsome fiancé. Dylan’s passion for music and sly rhetoric reminds me that the simplest things in life are the most important. Our love is truly an adventure and I cannot wait to marry him in just over one year!
  3. The adrenaline rush that comes when you start to run.
  4. Sunrises.
  5. My family.
  6. Pumpkins patches and autumn weather.
  7. Hugs.
  8. Hearing “I love you”
  9. Good hair days.
  10. Singing in the shower and on road trips.
  11. The way my keyboard sounds when I type really fast at work.
  12. My daughter’s laugh.
  13. Hiking and camping.
  14. Pay day!
  15. Sunday morning snuggles in bed with Della Rae and Dylan
  16. Softball and basketball and football and hockey and any sport, really.
  17. Blogging and the friends I’ve made through WordPress.
  18. Mexican food and margaritas.
  19. Friends.
  20. Watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Some are silly, some are very common. But all bring me joy and make me enjoy the life that I am living. Today I am celebrating twenty-three years of life. A good life.

I am so very blessed. Here is to a life full of love and adventure!! 🎉🎁🎊

Good News … Finally!

Life has been absolutely CRAZYYYY lately… Is anyone else ready for fall, too? I haven’t had much time to put into my writing because I feel like I’m so busy I can’t even breathe sometimes. Everyone tells you it’s hard being a mom, but you can’t really prepare yourself for something like motherhood. I think what I miss the most about my life before my baby is that I had unlimited time to spend on myself. Not that I ever really did all that much, but the option was always there to pamper myself if I wanted to. My life has changed now to the point where I can’t even take a shower at a relaxing pace because I’m constantly worrying about what is going on outside of the bathroom…

However,

I do have some life updates that I feel like are worth sharing. I know we all get into slumps, and hopefully if you find yourself in one now, this will give you comfort that there is always light at the end of the tunnel!

I got a promotion at work! I’ve been working at my current company for almost a year now. I was hired on last August for a part-time position. Five months later, I took a leave for the birth of my daughter. Two short months after that, I returned back to work. Not long after my return, my manager asked me if I would be willing to work full-time hours. Since I was in a part-time position, I would still be ineligible for employee benefits, vacation and sick days, holiday pay, and performance-based bonuses. So, in short, I was working full-time hours, but not getting all of the benefits that the rest of the full-time staff was entitled to. To be frank, I was getting screwed!!

A full-time position opened up within my department, so I thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll just throw my name in the hat!’ My boss told me I’d still have to go through the entire hiring process of a three-person panel interview and online testing. Sooo, we scheduled the interview and testing. I walked out of it all totally disappointed and so sure they wouldn’t give me the job. I had envisioned the scenario over and over in my head and I felt like I had let myself down. It didn’t go at all like I thought it would. But of course, it’s human nature to be harder on yourself than what was reality. I was offered the job!!

I am now going to get good health insurance for myself and my daughter, a $2.50 raise, holiday pay, bonuses, etc. After some long, hard months, things have finally turned around.

I’m also officially enrolled at my university again to get a degree in Business Management. I start on August 26th. I’m suuuper excited to get back to learning and furthering my education. It’s going to be tough, but there is no one more determined than I!

How is your guys’ summer going? Our county fair started last night, which means FAIR FOOD, DEMOLITION DERBIES, AND VISITS TO THE BEER TENT! Can’t wait to hear from all of you! Sorry it’s been so long!

Story time!

Sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t a fictional story… I haven’t had much time to put into my writing lately, but I wanted to give you guys a quick glimpse into what I’ve been up to lately!

1. I have a baaaad rash of POISON SUMAC. 🌿😭 A few friends and I thought it would be fun to go creek swimming, but to get to the water we had to walk through some high weeds and grass. We must’ve walked through a patch of poison sumac because OH MY GOSH my legs are broken out and itch soo bad! It has spread on both legs, both feet, up onto my hips, and on my bum! I’ve never had poison ivy, so when my fiancé broke out I didn’t think I would too! Turns out, I did and I have GOT to get to the doc because I can’t take this anymore!

2. We had nearly $500 stolen out of our house this past week. It puts a huge strain on paying the bills this month. We don’t know who did it or what to do now that the cash is gone. VERY frustrating!

3. I have a job interview for a full time position at my current workplace! After the awful poison sumac and stolen cash, this news was a light in a dark tunnel! If I get this job I will make $3 more an hour and be offered great medical benefits. Fingers crossed I get this job!!! 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

4. Babies grow SO FAST. My daughter Della turned SIX months old on the 5th!! She is the best part of my day and it’s so fun watching her grow!!!

What have you guys been up to? Sorry I’ve been a bit absent, but I’d love to chat!! Drop a comment!

The Night Before Her Birth

Until you’ve experienced it, childbirth is a scary thing to think about. For a long time, it was at the very TOP of my list of biggest fears. I didn’t have any experiences to compare the most painful and emotional thing that I was ever going to put myself through, so the thought of becoming a mom was absolutely terrifying for me. There is no moment in your life that will prepare you for motherhood. It’s something you just have to dive into, even if you’re scared shitless and don’t have a clue what to expect.

My daughter was measuring two weeks ahead and in the 99 percentile from the very first ultrasound. As my due date got closer and my belly got bigger, our concerns became about the method of delivery. I am 5’3” (on a good day) and my hips are pretty narrow. My doctor was worried about delivering vaginally because she may have gotten stuck on the way out, resulting in a traumatizing delivery or emergency c-section. He left the decision up to me: Did I want to try a vaginal delivery and risk her getting stuck? Or did I want to go ahead and schedule a c-section and avoid the trauma?

36 weeks- large & glowing!

After a lot of deliberation and weighing the options carefully, I decided to have the c-section.

With that decision came a lot of emotion. For some reason, people have this invalid perception that having a baby cut from your womb is “the easy way out.” I am here to tell you that it is without a doubt, not an easier way to give birth. Any method of delivery is beautiful, worthy, courageous, and just plain hard.

Seven layers of flesh are cut during a c-section.

The recovery time is much slower than that of a vaginal birth.

You are awake the entire time, knowing that your insides are open and laid out behind the sheet in front of you.

I didn’t get to hold my baby until almost an hour after she was born.

Five months later and I still can’t feel nearly half of my abdomen when I touch it.

I went in to be induced at 39 weeks, on January 5, 2019. I was told to be at the hospital by 6am. The night before I knew I had to be there, I laid in bed with my mind spinning and imagining what I was going to be experiencing in just a few short hours. 

I don’t think I even blinked the entire night.

Being induced and knowing that it is most likely going to result in a c-section is perhaps one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever gone through. I laid there that night and thought about how once I left the house, I would not return until the human that I had been housing inside of me for the last nine months was introduced to the outside world. I worried about how I would be as a first-time mom. I watched videos of c-sections and scared myself even more (Still cool though – I’m a science nerd). I was more scared the night before we went to the hospital than I was the entire nine months prior combined.

Laying in bed with my fiancé the night before we went to the hospital

Four o’clock came fast. After what seemed like year-long pregnancy, it was finally time to get up, grab my bags, and go meet my baby girl for the very first time.

I never knew excitement and terror could co-exist so charmingly.

Baby time! Our picture together when we arrived at the hospital 🎉

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Stay tuned for my birth story. I will publish at a later time!! ❤️❤️❤️