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Monday, July 29, 2013

The sweetest valley

Over the weekend, I attempted to "catch up" on some of my favorite blog reads. I realize with the transition to motherhood, there is no catching up. Taking a break from the blogosphere is good for me.

My priority is time with Maggie in this new season of transition.

However, in the moments when I feel alone as I'm home with Maggie and Milton, the dog, I pull out my iPhone and scroll through my feeds on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see what others are writing/doing.

This post from Nish hit me between the eyes when I read it on Saturday. She was speaking to "those in the valley."

I hadn't really thought about my new season of motherhood as a valley, but I find myself thinking of it as the most glorious valley I've ever walked through. I call it a valley because of the seemingly lonely, weary days I've had the past three weeks as a new mom.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Maggie's birth story

After a weekend of waiting and trying various suggestions to 'jumpstart' labor, we decided Monday to try one more thing. I received numerous texts from friends checking in and offering their suggestions for how to get things moving along. Given that I had been progressing already and my due date was the previous week, we decided I should try castor oil. My husband, Brandon, had done a little research on it, and it seemed there was a 50-70% chance it would start my labor.

I poured myself a glass of orange juice and mixed two tablespoons of castor oil with it. To my surprise, it went down rather quickly and I felt like there was vaseline on my lips afterward.

About two hours after drinking the castor oil, I felt two mild contractions, but wasn't sure if they were contractions, since I hadn't felt any previously. I decided to get ready for the day, taking a long shower. I was hopeful it would be my last time washing my hair and shaving my legs with a pregnant belly.

Due to my husband's work schedule and our distance from the hospital, we made plans for me to spend the afternoon closer to the hospital with a friend...just in case. Brandon loaded up the car with our hospital bags, the dog and his necessary items. Even if we were only gone for my husband's work shift, it would be too long to leave Milton alone.

I spent the afternoon with my friend, Rachel. She is also a doula in training and was hopeful her schedule would allow her to be there for our little one's birth.

About 3:15pm, Rachel and I were walking down the street to another friend's house and as I took a step I felt a gush of water. My water broke! Being GBS positive, I had been told to call my OB if my water broke before I got to the hospital, so I did.

Monday, July 22, 2013

third trimester essentials

Just as in the first and second trimesters, I found myself using several products almost religiously. With the temperature heating up in the past month, I'm sure this list would look very different if I was having a winter baby.

1- I drank my share of raspberry leaf tea, both hot and cold. It was hard to find this tea in stores, so I ordered it from Amazon (bonus: I became an Amazon Prime member two months ago and I have to say it's changed my life. I know it will continue to benefit me as a mom).

2- In the last month, as the weather heated up, I started eating popsicles daily. I had hopes of making my own, but ended up getting a few coupons and stocking up when they went on sale at the grocery store. Fruttare were one of my favorites, although a bit pricey.

3- At the beginning of my third trimester, I struggled with heartburn. My mother-in-law introduced me to a chewable papaya enzyme. Not only are they delicious, they helped quite a bit. There were days I found Zantac 75 more helpful, but I kept taking the papaya supplement. It's also supposed to be beneficial in labor.

4- These were another recommendation from my mother-in-law, Yellowbox flip flips. I hadn't heard of them, but they have the softest footbed that molded to my feet (I bought mine at Belk). At about 34 weeks, there was not much hope for getting my foot in anything but a sandal, so I've gotten really good use out of them.

5- A friend of mine recommended I start using lanolin on my nipples around 35 weeks since I plan to breastfeed (this is another Amazon find, they're price is much better than Target).

Not pictured: I think having some good books/easy reading can be helpful during the last trimester too. I'm not much of a reader, but found having a few books (other than child birthing, nursing, mothering) were a good distraction in the last weeks of pregnancy.

Just as my First Trimester Essentials and Second Trimester Essentials posts were not sponsored, I am not using affiliate links in this post. I simply thought I'd share what's worked for me in my first pregnancy.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

the first week of mommyhood

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably caught some cute baby pictures lately, along with some food highlights and our adventures.

Maggie is settling right into life with near-constant supervision from Milton, our Whippet/Jack Russell mix. He's been protective and loves to check up on her.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

a Boston shower for Baby G

Several weeks ago, my dear friends hosted a baby shower for me. I felt absolutely spoiled! And I can't believe how long it's taken me to get this post together.

Instead of games, we painted blocks for Baby G. They turned out to be so colorful and I can't wait to see our little one play with them someday!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I want to remember

During our days in the hospital after Maggie was born, I want to remember the nurses who went out of their way to make us sure we were comfortable. There were so many good things that happened in those days and I know it will soon seem like a blur.

Our nurse in labor and delivery was outstanding and only took two ten minute breaks in the seven hours we were together.

The first thing I ate after Maggie was born was ice cream. The nurse brought me one cup of vanilla and one of chocolate.

My OB came by to visit me the morning Maggie was born (she was not the MD who delivered Maggie).

We had a few visitors during our hospital stay. One night friends brought us dinner from our favorite Chinese food restaurant and another brought delicious sandwiches for lunch.

The hospital food wasn't terrible. I have to admit I miss ordering breakfast and having it show up at my room 30 minutes later.

I loved Maggie's hair from the first moment I laid eyes on her, but loved it even more after she had been bathed. I didn't grow any hair until age two, so seeing my baby with hair was a sweet surprise!

I'll be back with more photos; the mister did a great job taking pictures throughout our hospital stay.

I can't wait to share the birth story, but finding time to write it down has been a challenge: I'd rather snuggle sweet Maggie!

Friday, July 12, 2013

grace: revisited

Earlier this year, I chose the word grace to be my word of 2013. I want to show more grace to others, as well as myself. It's hard to believe it's been almost six months since I settled on the word, grace, for this year.

I have certainly learned a thing or two about grace, but I still have a long way to go. One area of struggle has been showing grace to others. My natural instinct is to hold people accountable, to let them know I am keeping tabs. But that isn't fruitful. If anything it hinders a relationship, instead of allowing it to flourish.

Being pregnant has made me more emotional than usual (hello hormones), but I don't think it always makes me more willing to extend grace.

As I await this little one's arrival, I am giving myself my more grace. I often push myself, but at nearly 40 weeks pregnant, I allow myself to stop and rest, take naps or just sit under the ceiling fan and put my feet up.

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    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    Meet Maggie

    Baby G arrived early Tuesday morning and we are so in love with her.

    Her name is Maggie Louise. Maggie is a name we both liked and means "child of light" and her middle name, Louise, is the same as my mother's middle name.

    She arrived at 12:59am on July 9, weighing 8 lbs. 10 oz. and 21.5 inches long.

    I will share her birth story later, but for now wanted to leave you with some photos while I take time to get better acquainted with this little lady. Even though I've only been a mother for 36 hours, I am loving every minute of it.

    Sunday, July 7, 2013

    40 weeks

    We've officially passed the due date and anxiously anticipating looking at Baby G's face. On Friday, we took a few photos to complete the weekly photo taking...I'll try to post a week by week recap of the (still growing bump) in the near future.

    I wanted to get a photo showing the due date. I got the idea for using my phone to show the date from my blog friend, Karen.

    Friday, July 5, 2013

    The List: July

    A few highlights from June:

    My personal goals for July:
    • Listen to my body.
    • Have this baby! Today is my due date, so I'm confident we'll meet the little one this month.
    • Don't be a hermit...I hope it isn't sweltering, so I can get outside with Baby G.
    • Eat, don't forget to eat.
    • Soak in every moment, from the baby's arrival to visits from friends and family.

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    freezer meals

    One of my nesting projects was to prepare a bunch of freezer meals. I set the goal of making a dozen meals before Baby G arrives.

    Pinterest has some great options and I was thrilled to find some for the crock pot and some for the grill. Who wants to turn on the oven or stove in July? Not me (even when I'm not pregnant or a new mom).

    When I posted the above pic on Instagram last week, I had several comments about the recipes. I did make some changes to the grilled ones, so I thought it might be fun to share the details.

    These meals are great for baby prep, but also for days you just may not want to cook. An hour of prep on a Saturday morning, can really save time during the work week and I think most people, no matter what stage of life, would rather spend less time in the kitchen during the summer.

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    a baby shower fiesta

    I've fallen behind on baby shower blogging. Several weeks ago, my dear church family threw a baby shower fiesta for me. I was so amazed at the decorations and thankfully we were able to capture it since the Mister came along (his photography skills are far better than mine).

    Lunch was a yummy taco bar, complete with five kinds of salsa.

    We played two shower games. I'm not usually one for games, but I played along and everything worked out just fine ;-) In one game (shown below), everyone ripped off a length of toilet paper that was their guess of how big my baby bump is. Lots of apologies were made as I held up each piece of TP to see whose piece was closest!

    Monday, July 1, 2013

    one of our last Friday evenings

    I wonder if we'll remember how we spent one of our last Friday nights before we had kids. Brandon was off for the day and I already started my leave, so we enjoyed a trip to Ikea, watched Man of Steel in the theater, ate dinner out and then returned in hopes of capturing some maternity photos.

    We went back to the same park (just before dusk) where we had failed to get maternity photos earlier that day. Brandon took all the photos (or set his camera to take them). We hadn't been planning it for long, but I'm sure glad we took the time on the first day of summer to take some photos as a couple before our little one arrives.