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Andi Rose – 6 weeks

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Baby Andi | 2 comments

My sweet Andi Rose is 6 weeks old today.

15 day old Andi - 1(Are you dying a little bit over that photo? Because I am. But I’m her mom, so I’m obviously biased.)

These last 6 weeks have been bananas. On one hand, it is all going by too quickly for my liking. I already feel nostalgic thinking back to Andi’s birth and the moment the nurse placed her on my chest. A part of me wants to relive all that again because it was just so wonderful. But on the other hand, I’m like, “Hurry up, Christmas!” ←Because I just love Christmas and because Andi will be 6 months old then and that’s when I remember things getting really good with Atlas.

Andi is such a great baby though, so I really can’t say that things aren’t “good” now.

3To be honest, I have been pleasantly surprised by motherhood this go around. Atlas had colic and he pretty much screamed every day from about 5 or 6pm until midnight. He also hated his stroller, carseat and baby swing so that made life tricky. Andi rarely cries in the car (she’s already been on 2 road trips), she loves her stroller and she will sit in her baby swing for 45 minutes sometimes. She’s just laid back and easy going, which is exactly what I prayed for when I found out I was pregnant.

Simply put, I just enjoy her more than I anticipated. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Atlas…but let’s just say I enjoy him a lot more now than when he was her age. There isn’t a person on this planet who cracks me up like Atlas does and his spit-fire personality provides constant laugh-out-loud entertainment in our home. He is such a blessing. But, those first several weeks with him were so incredibly tough. Andi is just easier – at least at this stage. Who knows what she will throw at me later in life.

I keep waiting for her to ‘wake up’ and start screaming like he did. And don’t get me wrong, she does cry (if you were in our neighborhood Whole Foods yesterday around noon, then you know she cries). And she gets fussy in the evenings for sure! It just isn’t to the same level that I grew accustomed to with Atlas.

15 day old Andi - 14Her sleep schedule isn’t the best. That was one great thing about Atlas. He would scream until he just flat passed out and by the time he was her age he was sleeping 11+ hours at night, with only 1 quick wake up to feed. Andi’s nighttime sleeping is sporadic and she typically doesn’t sleep longer than 4 hours at a time. I’m pretty sleep deprived at the moment. But I do know this is a short phase, so I don’t actually mind waking up with her – especially since she isn’t up screaming. She’s just awake and squeaking and looking for food. Dare I say, some nights I even enjoy the extra cuddles with her? But then some nights I’m like, “OMG! I just want to freaking sleep!” So, there’s that.

She eats like a champ and I’m so grateful for that. She was 10 pounds 4 ounces at her 1 month check up. Homegirl can put down the food. I don’t have her on a ‘strict’ feeding schedule yet and I think this may be contributing to her sporadic sleep schedule, but we’ll get all that sorted out soon. For now, I’m just letting her rule the roost. With Atlas, I was all, “You’ve got to be on this Baby Wise schedule because that’s the only way you’ll get into college and that’s the only way I’ll ever get my life back.” With Andi I’m more like, “You may be better off just marrying rich and I don’t have a life anymore…unless watching The Bachelor with a pint of ice cream counts?” You can file this under hashtag “second child problems.”

15 day old Andi - 3Atlas has finally taken to her and it is the sweetest thing. Like today, he begged to hold her so I let him (of course, I supervised and helped) and he kept saying “awww” and kissing her. Gah! It’s just too cute! And then later she was crying in her swing so he ran over with his favorite bear and put his bear next to her. It’s so awesome to watch him with her now. Such a huge improvement from when we initially brought her home. But I still have to watch him around her 24/7 – not because he’s mean, but because he’s 22 months old and unpredictable.

I’m feeling pretty good postpartum. Mentally and emotionally I’m feeling a lot better this go around. I think it is just because my perspective is so different. That’s not to say I haven’t had my share of meltdowns, but overall I would say I’m feeling grateful, blessed and happy. Physically I feel mostly recovered, but still not 100%. I also still have around 10 pounds to lose (insert emoji with streaming tears here). I feel like I’m walking around with a small tire around my waist, but I’m hoping with the right amount of exercise I can get back into my favorite jeans by fall. That may be too ambitious though. There are definitely days when I look in the mirror and I want to cry, but then I realize I just had my second child so I need to cut myself some slack. You know those cute signs you can hang in your house that say, “Pardon the mess, but we live here” – that’s sort of how I feel about my body right now (*ahem* and my house). There’s a part of me that so desperately wants my old body back right.this.second, but then I’m like, “Um, pardon the mess, but 2 kids actually lived in here.” I’m so grateful that my body was a safe and nurturing home for Atlas and Andi. My stomach may be softer than I would like and my hips may be wider than they used to be, but my body was used to do something marvelous, so who cares if it is a bit ‘messy’ at the moment. It has been put to good use and it has served me well.

I mean, just look at this precious angel.

1I’ll take her over cute skinny jeans any day.

And yes, that’s a real cat in the above photo with Andi. I die.

*All photos are by Pebbles and Polkadots.* I cannot recommend Mary enough if you’re looking for a newborn/family photographer.

This One is for Gram

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Serious Stuff | 5 comments

Growing up, I used to daydream about meeting my ‘Prince Charming.’ I would think about what my future husband would look like (spoiler alert: he is tall, dark and handsome), what wonderful qualities he would possess (he’s giving, compassionate, hardworking, kind and gentle), what silly quirks he would have (he loves golf clothing more than the actual game of golf), etc. I always hoped he would be one of those men who walked in the door from work happy and excited to see me (almost 5 years in and he still walks through the door and greets me with a kiss). I guess what I’m saying is, I gave Dave a lot of thought even before I met him.

For as much thought as I gave Dave growing up, I never thought about the woman who was molding and shaping the heart of my Prince Charming. Now that I’m older, married and knee-deep in babies I realize one of the biggest reasons I have the husband I do is because someone invested a lot into him. A lot of time. A lot of love. A lot of energy. A lot of prayers. That person for Dave is his grandmother, better known as Gram, and she is the Queen I have to thank for my Prince.

DSC_0994Gram is now under the care of hospice and it is through tears that I say she has seen healthier and happier days. So, last week we loaded up a suburban with more baby items than aisle 4 of Babies R Us and headed to Pennsylvania to spend some sweet time with Gram and introduce her to Andi Rose – her first great-granddaughter. It was a moment I prayed fervently for since I found out I was pregnant and I’m beyond grateful that the Lord was gracious enough to ensure my sweet baby girl got to be held in the arms of her Great-Gram. We spent 6 days loving on Gram and soaking up precious time with her before having to return to NY so Dave could get back to work.

I think Gram is this blog’s number 1 fan (okay, she may actually be the only fan). I always know Gram will not only read my latest post, but she will also send me an e-mail letting me know what part she loved the most. Gram’s e-mails were always something I looked forward to – I won’t find a better pen pal. Gram doesn’t have the energy to get on her computer now, but I still want to dedicate this post to her in hopes that one of her sweet visitors will read it to her.

So Gram, this one is for you. 

DSC_1006For the woman who loves sweets as much as I do. You even made sure there was a birthday cake, complete with candles, waiting for me during our April visit. Never mind my birthday was 3 weeks past.  You wouldn’t allow us to miss the celebration. 

For the woman who can’t say ‘no’ to giving our dogs table scraps. Marley particularly enjoyed sitting at your feet and partaking in your breakfast ritual before the sun could creep over the trees of Cook Forest and wake the rest of the house up. You share with everyone, even the dogs. 

For the woman who has more patience with Atlas than any other person I know. It never mattered how loud my baby boy got or how tired you were, you always delighted in my child. 

For the woman whose hands are weathered from decades of serving & whose shoulders have carried the weight of the world, some burdens were not even your own to bare. Your quiet strength is inspiring. 

Your life reminds me of a stone that was cast into a lake and created a giant ripple. I’m sure when you were having late night conversations with a young boy and guiding his life, you never imagined the ripple effect you were creating. But that’s exactly what you were doing. You were shaping the heart of the man who eventually captured mine and I’m forever indebted to you. You were showing him what love looks like in action and that’s what he implements in our home today for our children to see. His patience, compassion, work ethic & kindness can be traced back to you.

Matthew 5 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” When I think of a peacemaker, I think of you. I find this verse so fitting for you because not only are you a shining example of a peacemaker, but you’ve dedicated your life to your children and it only seems right that God return the favor and now call you a child of His.

Gram, there is a long list of people who are so thankful for you and the life you’ve lived and you can count me and my children in at the top of that list. I’m so grateful that you welcomed me into your family with open arms and loved me like one of your own.

I love you and I thank you. I pray one day there is a girl who marries my Atlas and she will be as grateful for me as I am for you. 

Love, 
Ashley 
 
 

Things I’m Loving – Fall Fashion Edition

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Sprinkles | 2 comments

There was a time in my life where I used to spend hours planning out my outfits and accessories and playing with make-up. That time was obviously long before children and truthfully, even before marriage. Once I met Dave, I preferred to spend more time with him than in the bathroom playing with make-up. And once I had Atlas, I preferred to throw on the easiest and cheapest thing possible because…well, motherhood can be kind of gross.

I will never spend that much time thinking about clothes and make up again because 1) I simply don’t care like I used to and 2) I flat out don’t have that kind of time anymore. And that’s okay. My life is so much better and more fulfilled now than it was when I had ample time to sit poolside with the latest issue of Vogue (but let’s be real – those days weren’t half bad).

That said, now that I’m done being pregnant I am excited to burn sell my maternity clothes and start adding some new pieces to my closet.

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I know it probably sounds silly to most, but I really can’t wait to pick out clothes without thinking, “Will I care if this gets poop on it?” ← That thought has kept me from buying a LOT over the last 21 months. Or, “Can I nurse easily in this?” For the last 2 years, I haven’t picked much out with the thought of “Do I like this?” but rather, “Is this practical?”

To be honest, most days workout clothes just make more sense for me because I’m playing with Atlas  outside, getting puked on by Andi, walking dogs, bleaching everything in our house, etc. And that is totally fine by me. That’s my calling right now & I feel blessed to do all those things. But, there are those nights when I love to shower and get dressed and go out to eat dinner and feel like a real girly-girl again. And for those special (and oh-so-rare) nights, I’ve been daydreaming about what to wear.

I thought I would share some of my favorite pieces I’ve been eyeing for fall. I know it is only July, but I’ve still got a ways to go before I’m not a 24 hour grocery store to Andi, so I’m setting my sights on fall fashion. For the remainder of summer I’ll be in gym shorts, nursing tanks and pajamas. ;) I’m by no means a fashionista – these are just things I’m loving and I could see actually wearing with my 2 little munchkins in tow.

fall fashion

 

  • I’m loving the look of long tunics. I actually already purchased this one in a few colors! They are affordable (currently on sale), comfortable, forgiving (which is great because hello…still losing that last bit of baby weight) and perfect for all seasons. They can be paired with boyfriend jeans and dressed down in the summer or with a cute fur vest in the fall/winter.
  • I don’t own these boots and they would be a total splurge so I doubt I take that plunge, but there’s nothing I love more in the fall than a classic pair of riding boots and Tory Burch makes the best boots, in my opinion. I’m also loving over the knee boots. I snagged these in brown on major sale and I cannot wait to wear them.
  • I had my eye on this vest forever last year and never bit the bullet and bought it before it sold out. It is back in stock and I am thinking it belongs in my closet. I’m also loving this vest. Give me all the faux fur things for winter!
  • This jacket and this jacket seem like the perfect thing to throw on over a white t-shirt with jeans and boots for those chilly fall days. I don’t own a moto jacket, but I think they can look so chic when paired with the right accessories.
  •  These flats. Gah. I can’t even. I’m in love. With distressed white denim. Or jeans. Or a simple dress. Love.

And now I’m off to bed. Only not really, because I have a newborn. So really, I’m off to sleep in very short increments for the remainder of the night until my toddler wakes up. But I am growing more and more aware of the fact that these are the days I’m going to miss when they’re over. These babies of mine sure are sweet. ♥

 

My Favorite Items for the 1st Month of Motherhood

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Motherhood | 6 comments

Since Andi arrived, there have been a few things I’ve been using every day to help me through this stage of motherhood. I  wanted to share some of the things I’ve been loving and swearing by the first 3 weeks with our newborn, just in case you or someone you know is expecting a baby.

baby must haves

MammaBaby iPhone App: This app keeps up with all of Andi’s feedings (how long she eats, the time she eats, what side she ate on, etc) + keeps count of her dirty/wet diapers + her sleep patterns + her growth chart. I don’t clock her sleep patterns too much and I’ve only entered in her weight/height once, but I love that it provides an easy way for me to keep up with our breastfeeding schedule (or lack thereof, at this point – homegirl eats whenever she wants, which is about every 2.5 minutes).

Earth Mama and Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter: I had the WORST pain and issues while breastfeeding Atlas (seriously, I think that part was more traumatic than labor). Think: cracked and bleeding. I know, you just gagged at that. Sorry. That purple Lansinoh cream didn’t really help me a lick, so this time I thought I would be prepared with something new. I started using this butter in the hospital and I didn’t have any real pain while feeding Andi. I recommend getting this and packing it in your hospital bag if you’re a mom-to-be. It also smells like cookie dough. I personally think that’s a bonus.

Triple Paste Ointment for Diaper Rash: Moving right along from nipple butter to butt cream (what in Heaven’s name has this blog become?). This stuff is the best for preventing + curing a diaper rash. I always keep it in our house for both of my babies.

Balance Essential Oil: I don’t sell essential oils. I refuse to ingest them. I don’t buy into all the hype that they are a cure all for everything, but I do like using them in moderation for certain things (i.e. I love the lavender for the kids at night before bed and the breathe oil to help when we have colds). I have been putting the balance oil on each day & I really do believe it is helping me stay calm and centered. Good gosh –  I sound like a hippie. And it’s probably all in my head. But either way, it helps my mood, which helps everyone in my house.

Lactation Cookies: I’m not sure you could call these a real ‘need’ but I’ve been making batches of these cookies from Jessica’s blog and omg! They are so good. And they are good for the baby and my milk supply. And they make the perfect snack at 3am when I’m up with Andi. And I’ll take any excuse to eat a cookie…so let’s just leave it at that and move on…

Mama Mio Belly Butter: My stomach isn’t going down quite as fast as it did after I had Atlas (insert crying emoticon here). I’m sure this has nothing to do with the aforementioned 3am cookie consumption. Anyways, I’ve still been using belly butter and oil each night before bed to ensure my skin’s elasticity stays up to par during this transition. I like the way it makes my skin feel and I think it helps keep my skin hydrated, which is important because it is tough to stay hydrated while feeding another human.

The Ollie Swaddle: This swaddle is made for people like me (aka – people who suck at swaddling) and babies like mine (aka – babies who thrash about wildly as you try to swaddle them). The velcro kind of makes it fool proof and Andi sleeps better at night when she’s wrapped up in this.

On The Night You Were Born Book: We have 2 of these books. One for Atlas and one for Andi. We took the book to the hospital on the night they were born (get it?) and had all the doctors and nurses who helped deliver them sign it. We also had some of our relatives sign it who stayed up in anticipation for their arrival. This book is easily one of my favorite things in our home. It is so sweet and sentimental and I can hardly read it without crying. The fact that it is signed by people who helped bring our babies into this world just makes it all the more special. I hope one day the signed book sits on a shelf in my grand baby’s nursery. If you order this, just make sure you get the hardcover so you can have people sign it!

There are, of course, other baby-related things I love but this is just the short list for you. If you give any of these products a try, I hope they work in your house like they do in ours. :) And feel free to list your favorite baby products in the comment section below.

Our Life with 2 Kids Under 2

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Baby Atlas, Motherhood | 4 comments

From the moment people found out I was pregnant, the comments started. “Whoah! 2 kids under 2? That’s going to be crazy!” or “You’re never going to sleep again.” and “How on earth will you manage all that? 2 kids and 2 dogs? What will you do?”

Today I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on life with 2 kids under 2. You can also find this topic filed under “Life in crazy town.” Andi is 3 weeks old today and Atlas just turned 21 months old last week.

IMG_0122The first thing I want to touch on is that going from 1 child to 2 has not been nearly as traumatic as going from 0-1. At least, for me. When I had Atlas my entire world was rocked and I wasn’t at all prepared for how drastically  my life changed. I wasn’t prepared for the difficult delivery. I wasn’t prepared for the colic and hours upon hours of crying (by both Atlas and me). I wasn’t prepared for how long it would take me to leave the house. The whole experience really shook me to my core. However, with Andi, my perspective, expectations and goals have been totally different. For example, I know this season of life with a newborn is so incredibly short, so I don’t necessarily mind waking up at 3 am to feed my baby girl. In fact, I actually sort of cherish those cuddle sessions in the middle of the night with Andi because trying to cuddle Atlas now is like trying to wrestle a greased pig.( So – yes – I’m one of those moms now.) Also, I don’t expect to leave the house looking ‘put together’ and I certainly don’t anticipate arriving at any event on time for a while, much less with jewelry and make-up on. I am more {mentally} prepared this go around for those occasions where I get everybody ready to go and right before we walk out the door, Andi has a blowout diaper, requiring 2 of our 4 family members to change clothes. This is just the season of life I’m in right now and it is so messy and so crazy, but so sweet and so beautiful and sometimes it is even kind of fun.

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I should also state that Andi is proving to be an easier baby than Atlas was (at least so far), which is making the transition smoother. I think part of it is that I’m more relaxed. Her cry doesn’t rattle me like Atlas’ cry used to. I expect her to cry. But she also just doesn’t cry as much as he did. He cried during every bath and diaper change. He cried every time we set him down in his swing. He cried every time he was in the stroller for longer than 10 minutes. He cried in his carseat. She rarely cries. I realize she could ‘wake up’ any day now and start expressing her opinions, just like her brother, but for now I’m enjoying her go-with-the-flow personality to the fullest. I rarely left the house with Atlas when he was a newborn because he fussed so much and I was so scared and anxious, but Andi has already been to the zoo with our family, out to dinner, out to lunch and to the mall with me. She is the perfect shopping partner right now! :)

Baby Andi

The hardest part of this transition from 1 child to 2 has been watching Atlas try to adjust. The first week we brought Andi home from the hospital was difficult. I knew it would be tough on Atlas, but I wasn’t fully prepared for just how hard it was on him. He wouldn’t sit by me if I was holding Andi. He wouldn’t kiss me or hug me. He threw several things at Andi. He hit her every chance he got. He just acted so angry and it was heartbreaking for me to watch. It was also frustrating because I was still recovering from labor, so I couldn’t play with him like he was used to, but yet I was still the one who had to discipline him for hitting his new baby sister. I just felt like the bad guy and it sucked. Luckily, he’s doing better with each week that passes and he’s even given Andi a few kisses. Since I’m feeling better, I’m able to play with him more and I’m making a daily effort to take time away from Andi and devote undivided attention to him.

My FirstbornAtlas currently loves all trucks, so if I can take him out to look for any motorized vehicle his day is pretty much made. We made a special stop at a fire station the other day and I scored major mom points with him. Slowly but surely I’m falling back into his good graces.

IMG_0108The other difficult thing that has come with adding Andi  to our crew has been relinquishing control. Control of the house. Control of our meals. Control of Atlas. Turns out I’m kind of a control freak (I think we learned this after I had Atlas) and I prefer to handle most things myself – especially around my house and with my children. However, with 2 kids under 2 I just have to accept help. I can’t make dinner, do all the laundry, feed Atlas his dinner, nurse Andi, do the dishes, give both kids their bath, etc. I have to let Dave and my mom help with some things and while I’m so grateful for their help (I would sink right now without it), I definitely struggle with wanting to do it ALL myself. That just isn’t realistic at this time though.

It is definitely hard to juggle meeting the needs of both children (I’m pretty sure I could spend 6 hours a day just feeding both of them all their meals and snacks) and my mom has been here to help, so I’m not quite sure how things will fall into place when she leaves us and I’m on my own, but I know we will find our groove. Life with 2 kids under 2 certainly brings a new set of challenges. I assume my house won’t be tidied up every day now. I assume we will eat a lot of quick dinners that might not be the fanciest or healthiest, at least for a few weeks. I assume there will be times when 1 kid has to cry because their sibling’s needs must be met first. I assume there will be a few days where I call Dave and beg him to come home early from work to save me. But when I stop and think about the situation we are currently in, I realize we are in the midst of so many blessings. When I’m trying to change double the diapers and manage double the meltdowns and do double quadruple the laundry (who knew a 7 pound human could fill a laundry basket so fast), I realize I’m just managing blessings. God has blessed us beyond what we deserve with 2 healthy children. In a strange way, the diapers, laundry and meltdowns are just reminders of how much God loves me. Sure, to some it may look like a burden and some days it does feel overwhelming, but the crazy workload is just a sign of the crazy blessings.

IMG_0090So, it is definitely crazy town around these parts. At the moment I smell like spit up and this post is fueled by a {cold} cup of coffee, but life with 2 kids under 2 is marvelous. Sure, it is crazy and sleep is rare, but it is nothing short of wonderful.

 

 

 

 

 

Andi Rose

Posted by on Jun 28, 2015 in Motherhood, pregnancy | 4 comments

On Monday, June 22nd at 6:14pm we became a family of 6 (Ob & Marley obviously included in that head count).

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Allow me to introduce to you the newest member of the Andrews’ clan…

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Andi Rose. She is 7 pounds, 3 ounces of perfection. I still can’t believe I have a little girl. I can’t believe I get to be her mom. I just feel so lucky.

Birth Story

Since I didn’t have the best experience delivering Atlas (a bad cold + a cord wrapped around his neck + the use of a vacuum, an episiotomy and a tear to get him out all made for a less than stellar delivery), I went into this delivery with very low expectations. Leading up to Andi’s arrival, I prayed several specific prayers for her and our family. Obviously I prayed for an easier delivery and recovery. I prayed for a healthy baby girl. But I also prayed fervently that I would feel God’s presence during the entire process, no matter how smooth or rough it was. I just wanted to see God’s hand in it all.

On Father’s Day, after Atlas had been tucked into bed and dinner had been cleaned up, I curled up on our oversized living room chair to watch the U.S. Open Golf tournament (Dave controls the remote in our household). My doctor had told me earlier in the week she didn’t think I would make it through the weekend without going into labor, but yet it was Sunday evening at 9:30pm and we seemed no closer to meeting our baby girl. I was slightly agitated at still being pregnant, but overall I felt at ease because I knew in my heart God already had our baby’s birthday on His calendar and she would come on His time. We all enjoyed a relaxing evening as we watched Jordan Spieth become the 6th player in history to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same season (Sweet Lord, we have watched a lot of golf in this house for me to know that off the top of my head). Then, shortly after 10pm I felt a small gush of liquid and I quickly assumed I peed my pants. Only, when I got up to run to the bathroom, I realized I actually had no control over what was coming out of me. It wasn’t much but it was continuous, so I waited several minutes before I finally walked into the living room and told Dave that I was pretty sure my water had broke, but there was still a small chance I was just losing all control of my bladder. So hard to tell those things apart. Then I felt a much bigger gush and I was all, “Oh, thank goodness! I don’t need Depends. My water definitely broke.”

After throwing some last minute things into the hospital bag, we headed to the hospital around midnight. My Dr said I would have a very fast labor because Andi was sitting low, so we didn’t wait around our house too long.  This mama was not going to miss her window to get that epidural. I arrived at the hospital and was checked by a brand new resident and an overseeing dr that was on call. They confirmed that my water had broken and I was at 4cm dilated, so I  was quickly transferred to a labor and delivery room. The nurse assigned to us told me I could get the epidural whenever I was ready and I should start having contractions soon. I opted to walk around first to get things moving while Dave opted to get some sleep. This was it! We were going to meet our baby girl soon!

…fast forward almost 14 hours later…

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I had received the epidural, I was on the highest dose of Pitocin possible and I still wasn’t having any major contractions. And I still had yet to be re-checked by a doctor, after my initial check by the newbie resident.

Finally at 2pm on Monday afternoon, another Dr came in to perform an exam to see what the hold up was (my Dr wasn’t on call). Turns out I was still only 4 cm dilated. I hadn’t progressed at all. AT. ALL. At this point I was about to lose my mind, mainly because I was starving and I wasn’t allowed to eat until after the baby arrived. I was hangry.  The Dr discovered that while my water had broken, my “forebag” had not broken. Apparently that little detail is important. Too bad the intern who checked me 14 hours earlier didn’t catch that little nugget of info. I want to cut her some slack because I’m pretty sure it was her first night on the job…but 14 hours, ya’ll. 14 hours! The Dr broke the forebag and within minutes I was hit with a crazy contraction. This was great news because I could tell I was finally in labor! This was also not great news because despite the epidural, I could feel the contractions all down my left side while the right side of my body was so incredibly numb that I actually couldn’t move my right leg. They immediately turned down the Pitocin and got my epidural fixed (thanks to Dave pulling out his New Yorker attitude) and within minutes all was right in the world again…except for the fact that I was starving. Dave proved to be the best husband, yet again, and snuck me bites of his lunch to keep me from passing out. I’m pretty sure the mashed potatoes and sour patch kids he served me were the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life.

Less than 4 hours after that Dr broke my forebag, I was at 10cm and ready to push! By this point a new Dr was on call and I was pretty terrified when she walked in the room because we had never met and I didn’t know much about her. However, within 2 minutes of talking with her I realized she was exactly who I needed to help me get our baby girl out. She reminded me of a coach & I instantly loved her.

She asked me to push 3 times and after pushing my little heart out, I asked her how I did. Without missing a beat she said, “Not good, sweetie. Not good at all.” Dave could not stop laughing and I was all, “OMG! Seriously? Because I thought I crushed it.” Good grief – pushing a baby out is hard, you guys. She gave me a little pep talk with detailed instructions and then asked me to push again. I tuned everything out and for 10 minutes I pushed my body harder than I ever have in my life and at 6:14pm I saw the little human that I have worked so hard to nurture and carry for the last 9 months. I saw the little girl who made me a mom all over again. I saw God’s blessing on my life and His goodness to me. All wrapped up in this 7 pound little package fresh from Heaven.

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Meeting Andi was one of the best moments of my life. There were so many times in my pregnancy when I questioned God. I was raised to know God is good, but when I was walking through some of the sickest days of my life with a toddler at home and no family close by to help, I felt as though God had overlooked me. In the weeks leading up to Andi’s birth I felt God pressing on my heart that He was in fact good to me. Not just good, but good to me. He is good on the mountain top and He is good in the valley. Seeing Andi’s precious little face reminded me of His great love for me. She is so worth every sick minute I spent hunched over a toilet and every minute I spent stuck in bed.

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The recovery for this pregnancy has been significantly easier. God answered that prayer in a huge way. We are home and I am so enjoying having this little baby to take care of. I kiss her face no less than 100 times a day and while we are working through sleep deprivation and life with 2 babies under 2, I look around at the beautiful chaos that is my life and I feel so blessed. Undeserving. Overwhelmed by His goodness. Lucky. Grateful. Humbled. Amazed by the amount of love that is in our home. Life is good. Really good. Our home truly feels complete now that Andi Rose is here. I can’t imagine life without her.

Thanks for sharing in this joyous time with us, friends!