Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Birth Photography Sneak Peek

Laboring together at the hospital.  About to get into the tub to give birth! 

Photos courtesy of Vanessa J.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: 8 Days Old

I am freaking in love!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Postpartum Rest

My son is now one week old and I'm SO in love with him!  While I have relived the moments of his birth so many times in my mind, part of me still feels like I'm pregnant!  Yeesh!  I don't loooooove being pregnant. 

This pregnancy was way easier on me than my first in that I didn't have PUPPP or many of the other ailments that were breaking me down!  Thank God.  After my first pregnancy, I came out of it feeling like I needed a vacation.  India was a great sleeper (so is Mylo!) so I got good sleep at night, but what really wore me out was the postpartum period. 

Yes, those postpartum days were rough.

Between a tiring pregnancy, adapting to life with a newborn, Caaa-RAAAY-Zay hormones, a body that hadn't had a chance to rest after labor and birth, learning how to breastfeed, healing physically and a steady stream of visitors and well-wishers, by about 5 days postpartum, I was done with it all! 

We started dreaming of 'the next time' and the things we could do differently.
Many of the above are things I can't control - adapting to life with two little ones, healing, adapting to newbornland again (as I affectionately like to call it), and weird hormones - all out of my control.

But there were several steps we took to try to make this postpartum period as stress-free as possible.

~We made freezer meals.  I made 25 of them about a month before my due date.  This has freed up a lot of time and thought - we just grab whatever sounds good out of the freezer and toss it in the convection oven.  Minimal mess and dishes as well! 

~My husband took time off of work (for the most part) and committed to being home to help.  On days when he's been home and I'm not on my feet, it is unbelievable how much better I feel physically.  He has done the majority of the likey!

~I committed to napping and resting as wanted/needed.  If that means I play a movie for India and I lay down on the couch, so be it.  Or it might mean taking both kids to bed and taking a nap together.  Or maybe my husband watches India while Mylo and I sleep.  I don't think I got a nap in until about 10 days postpartum with India.  It wasn't good.

~We've said 'no' to visitors outside of the hospital.  This was one we wanted to implement after India was born, so I could rest, take baths and recuperate, but we didn't.  We both agreed that there would be no visitors this time, as hard as that could be to explain.  The stress of coordinating visitors around sitz baths, naps and breastfeeding, sitting up for hours (ouch on the downstairs!), keeping the house clean and keeping conversation alive when I just really wanted to curl up with my new baby was overwhelming.   Don't get me wrong, it was great to see people and hear their excitement and joy over a new little life, but hours of it for days on end was just too much. 

All of the above have made for a fairly smooth postpartum period - night and day difference from last time.  I have rested, slept and cuddled with my babies, played with my toddler, had time to think and relax and just enjoy this postpartum period by resting.  I've been so thankful for this last week and that it's filled with memories of rest and peace!

After all, before I know it, I'll be chasing these two little ones around, so I better soak up this time while I can! 

My beautiful children!
Did you have time to rest postpartum?  Is there anything you would do differently to make your postpartum period more enjoyable?

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Naming a Little Person

Giving a name to a pet can take some thought.  Naming a person, can take months of deliberation for some. In some instances, it's fairly simple and doesn't take a lot of consideration.  

For me, it takes months!  I'm the type of person who likes to try to think of everything.  Nicknames, popularity, pronunciation, etc, etc.  Because the meaning and significance of a name means so much to us, I think and perhaps over-analyzed that came our way.  Here is a little explanation as to why I think about names so much.

We don't find out the gender of our babies, so we made a list of boy names and a list of girl names.  Girl names are easier for us to agree on.  It's not that we disagree on boy names, it's just that we have a hard time finding ones that meet our criteria.  We can't know anyone else with the name.  Therefore, it has to be unique.  But not too unique...especially for a boy. 

Image courtesy of my sister/photographer/friend, Vanessa, Jewels & Treasures

When our son was born, we tossed around the three or four names we liked and decided we'd just sleep on it.  As the next day arrived, I felt the pressure mounting to name him.  We talked about it and decided that it I needed to let it go and not be bothered by the stress.  We decided to call him by the name that had become our favorite for the next day or so to see if it fit him.  And guess what?  It did! 

I'm so glad we took the last two days to think, pray, observe and let our little man's name sink in!


                                  Mylo Kenneth


~means peaceful, gracious, merciful soldier
~MY LOve
~Mylo was conceived around the time we had a special time away and heard a great band perform, Milo Greene.  Listen to a couple of their top hits, Autumn Tree or 1957  (which our daughter India likes to sing along to).  They have become a favorite and no doubt, inspired our name choice.
~While we both agreed wholeheartedly on the names of our kids, I came up with our daughter's name, India Josephine, and my husband came up with our son's name, Mylo Kenneth.  We didn't plan it that way, or set out to do it like that, it just happened!


~means born of fire and handsome
~Dallas' Dad and paternal Grandfather both shared the name of Kenneth
~Dallas' Dad has been an example of a godly, patient and loving man.  Obviously, he has had profound influence on Dallas.  If you know my father-in-law, you know how personable and respected he is: everyone loves him!

     Our prayer is that Mylo Kenneth, our peaceful, gracious boy, would know he is loved and celebrated.  We pray that music and praise will always be a part of his life!  We can only hope he follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, his life seasoned with patience, love for God and a deep sense of concern for others!

Grandpa Ken and Mylo

PS: Yes, we like Coldplay, but Mylo's not named after Mylo Xyloto! ;)

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's a....


We are thrilled to announce the arrival of our son on Tuesday, August 14, 2012! 
He was born at 2:34 am, at almost 42 weeks gestation.
He is gorgeous and peaceful and I'm thrilled to have a little boy! 
LOTS of cool details surrounding his last days in my belly and his birth was a dream come true!

His birth story will come sometime soon... will his name. 

But for now, here he is!

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Maternity Photos

I can't believe I forgot to share these with you all!  Enjoy all these baby bump pictures and hopefully, the next photos I share with you will be of me holding my little one! 

Photos courtesy of Vanessa J.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hospital Packing List

It's always kind of fun to dig in another person's suitcase.  What?  You don't rummage through a stranger's suitcase?  ;-)  Well, I'm going to share with you what is in my suitcase for the hospital. 

Since I'm due NOW, I thought it'd be a good time to pack for the hospital.  Just kidding.  No, I've been packed since about 38 weeks.  But mentally, I've known what I'm going to bring since my last birth two years ago.

When I went into labor with my daughter, I didn't have much packed.  We had been really busy and hadn't had much time to prepare for the big day(s).  Maybe some of you remember how I begged my husband to install the car seat for weeks beforehand but he was too busy and so I ended up installing it by myself WHILE in labor

That is NOT happening again! 

I over pack all the time.  I will admit that I could be on the list of Overpackers Anonymous, leading the crew and unfortunately, my husband could join me.  We pack differently though.  I bring 3 outfits per day and he brings 13 electronic devices or adapting cords per day.  Thank God he has a Kindle, otherwise, he'd still haul around his 30 pound briefcase with a couple of LARGE reference Bibles, laptop, magazines and several books. 

With our first baby, we over packed.  I knew that at the time and I didn't care, but this time, I'm trying to only bring the essentials!  It's kind of a theme that I'm trying to let resonate throughout my entire life...worry only about the essentials!

What I will bring to the hospital: 
1. Bathrobe
2. Nursing PJs, just in case.  I wore the hospital gowns postpartum and I'll probably do the same this time - less laundry and mess for me!
3. Flippy floppys.  I wore these like slippers last time and it worked great!
4. Cameras.  Absolutely!
5. A list of who to call and who to text with the good news.
6. My laptop. 
7. A boy take home outfit and a girl take home outfit.
8. A boy swaddle blanket and a girl swaddle blanket.
9. A small, handheld mirror.  I wanted to look decent for visitors and pictures, but getting up and doing hair and makeup in the large mirror wasn't my favorite thing.  With a small mirror, I can nurse or hold the baby and touch up my makeup all while laying in bed.  Nice.
10. My favorite snacks for postpartum. Licorice and dark chocolate sound perfect.
11. Earth Mama Bottom Balm and Earth Mama New Mama Bottom Spray.  In fact, this whole postpartum kit is highly recommended!  I use crappy Dermoplast that the hospital provided for the first day before I switched to Earth Mama Angel Baby Products and I can't even describe the difference in relief!
12. Relief for afterbirth pains.  They got me pretty good with India and they only get worse with subsequent pregnancies, or so I've heard.  Arnica Montana, magnesium phosphate, Monthly Comfort Tea and Afterease Tincture are options.
13. Lansinoh cream, coconut oil and nursing pads.  I didn't need these during my first hospital stay, but I've heard your milk can come in faster with second pregnancies.
14. Chapstick, makeup, and lotion. No shampoo because I'm poo free!
15.  Journal and baby book.  Those first emotions, so weighed down with hormones, are precious to capture.  
16. A hand fan.  This was the BEST labor item we had with.   My husband used it to fan me gently during contractions.
17. Comfy clothes for me.  As stated, I wore the hospital gown for the first day or two because it was less laundry for me, but I will have a couple shirts, a pair of shorts and a pair of pants with if I choose to wear them.  
18.  A birthing skirt.  I didn't buy or make one, but I just used a wrap skirt from India (conveniently, I ended up having a girl and naming her India).  I could easily untie it and didn't have to lift my legs, it wasn't too tight and I felt very comfortable in it.
19. Boppy pillow.  I brought this last time and said I wouldn't do it again, but I didn't have hardly any breastfeeding issues with India, so a regular pillow sufficed.  But I figure I can bring it with and leave it in the car to use when/if needed. 

My stuff and Baby's stuff is all packed and ready to go!

What I won't bring again:

1. Massage/birthing helps - I couldn't even talk in between contractions because I was vomiting and shaking so I had no time to tell anyone what I wanted/needed.  Even if I could have talked, I didn't want much touching me.  My hospital has plenty of useful helps if needed.
2. 8,034 articles of clothing - I'm just sticking with the basics.  A couple shirts and comfy pants.
3. Pads - The hospital provided me with plenty for my stay.  I can always send the husband out to buy HUGE maxi pads if I would need more.  He'd love to do that!
4.  Books and playing cards.  Excuse me, but who has time to do that during labor?!?  I can understand if you're opting for the epidural, but even natural labor sites suggested these items.  "Excuse me from this game of Pinochle, I'm having a contraction."  No.  And afterwards?  I just wanted to kiss my baby!  I wasn't bored for one minute last time!

My bag is packed, I'm ready to go!  Now all I need is a baby! 

What did you find useful in your hospital bag?  Am I missing anything? 

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