Dreams To Do

Harder & Easier

I’ve been a mom of three for nearly a month now (SO CRAZY!) and the verdict on how I’m feeling about this new role is still up in the air. In a lot of ways things are so much easier this time around. In round three I’ve learned that you just have to roll with the punches – that no good comes from fretting over the small things. This time around I’m enjoying the quiet moments nursing a newborn in the wee hours of the morning instead of wishing for the future when I’ll sleep once again. I no longer even flinch over messy “blow-out” diapers. My heart rate doesn’t increase when the baby cries and I don’t stress out when he’s having an “off” day. I’m happier in the sense that it all feels “easier” and I’m really soaking up the newborn stage and not taking a second of it for granted.

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On the flip side, everything is 10 times harder. Emotionally, I’m pretty much a mess. I don’t want to say I’m suffering from postpartum depression because I don’t really think I am. But, I’m definitely having a much harder time with my emotions this time. I find myself crying for what feels like no reason at all when I get a second to myself. My husband looks at me strangely when I return with puffy eyes and a stuffy nose. I just don’t feel like myself, I guess. I have a feeling it’s going to take a while before I really do. I’m giving myself over to three little ones indefinitely. I’m sacrificing a bit of myself to be their mom. It’s the most rewarding job in the world, but it’s tough.

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I think it’s going to take me a while to get the hang of things in my new life. It’s a balancing act that I haven’t mastered yet. I’m the clown who just can’t seem to figure out how to juggle. Next week Andy returns to work and the roller coaster ride will really get going. I’m actually excited to be forced to figure things out on my own and terrified at the same time. Everything about this new adventure as a mom of three has been a contradiction of emotions. I can’t wait to look back on this season of my life in like 10 years and see how I come out.

The Ultimate Swaddle

I’m struggling with the realization that my newborn is 3 weeks old today. It feels like only yesterday I was packing my bag for the hospital and trying to wrap my head around the reality of bringing a new baby home. At the same time, it feels like I’ve already known him forever. Time, sometimes I despise you.

I could not have survived these past three weeks without one key baby item: the swaddling blanket. Roman does not like to feel “exposed” – he hates getting his diaper changed and is rather fussy when he’s not wrapped up like a burrito. To master a proper swaddle, you don’t need anything fancy. Any thin, large blanket will do. However, nowadays there are tons of great blankets designed for quick and easy newborn swaddling. One of my favorite swaddling blankets to use with Roman is the Cocooi Babywrap Merino Swaddle Blanket.

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If you’ve read my blog for a while you may remember when I reviewed the Merino Sleep Sack. Well, the Cocooi Merino Babywrap is made from the same super fine and soft 100% merino wool that helps to regulate your baby’s body temperature, making it perfect for use in warm and cool climates. This is my favorite thing about this blanket because I tend to always worry whether my babies are too hot or too cold.

Let’s take a look at the Cocooi Babywrap in action shall we?

EXHIBIT 1: Place fussy baby in the little pocket at the center of the diagonal wing design of the blanket. Baby will continue to fuss as you tuck the right wing over baby and wrap the left wing all the way around baby, creating a snuggly little burrito.

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EXHIBIT 2: Watch as baby slowly calms and falls asleep in the cozy cocoon of merino wool.

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EXHIBIT 3: Add the bonus matching wool hat that comes with the swaddling blanket for the ultimate in cozy comfort (and cuteness).

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This is a simple, no fuss blanket that contains no polyesters, velcro, zippers, or other cumbersome details. I would definitely consider it on the spendy end of the price spectrum, but you’re paying for the high quality materials here. If you plan on having more than one kiddo, I’d say it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.

Babysleepbags.com is offering a 5% discount when you purchase 2 or more Merino Kids, Safe T Sleep, or Poppet items from their website. Just use coupon code VO5DD2RR.

Disclaimer: I was sent this blanket in exchange for a review. I choose to only work with brands and products that I truly believe in. All opinions are honest and my own.

Five.

So, a few days ago this happened.

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My little baby girl, the one who made me a mother, turned FIVE. The morning of her birthday as I held her newborn brother in my arms and watched her frolic around our living room, I realized just how far I’ve come in the last 5 years. Sure, when it’s someone’s birthday it is a day all about them, but it is also a huge day for the parents. I don’t think you realize this until you are a parent yourself. I mean, growing up I never thought about my parents on my b-day! It was all about me! But boy-oh-boy do I realize how huge it is as a parent now. Five years ago my life changed forever in ways I never could have fully imagined. With each of Leila’s birthdays up until this one I still held on to a piece of her babyhood. This one was different. At five, she has very little baby left in her. She is a full blown KID. She’s opinionated, she’s smart, she’s self sufficient in a lot of ways. She’s friggin starting school in September!!!! (HOLD ME!) So, her birthday was a touch emotional for me. I felt like my experience with motherhood was coming full circle – I was celebrating her graduation from a baby to a big kid while starting over with a newborn in tow. It felt like she was passing on the torch to her new baby brother.

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Such a goof! So full of sass and spunk. She’s already more than I ever dreamed she would be.

This last year has been a huge year of growth for my little miss Leila Jade. A year ago I was terrified at the prospect of kindergarten. She was a shy, meek little thing who still clung to me some days when I dropped her off at daycare. But somewhere over the last several months she started to really come out of her shell. While she still has a quiet, shy side, she’s much more outgoing and willing to step up and try new things than she ever was before. We tried out soccer this spring and she blew me away. She got right in there and participated straight away and actually showed off a bit of an aggressive side on the field! Daddy was proud. She continues to be my best friend – we have some seriously great, deep conversations already and I know they will only continue to get better as the years progress. She is my special gift from God. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without her. She helps me out on so many levels – with her brothers and with putting a smile on my face exactly when I need it. I can’t explain in words the bond we have, but I know that I won’t ever take it for granted. Especially since I’m sure the teen years will put a wrench in it! HA!

I want nothing more in this life than for my kids to be happy. I hold so much hope for Leila that this next year is nothing but amazing for her. There’s a lot of change going on in her life, from the birth of her new bro to mommy not working any more to starting at a new school in the fall. I just hope and pray that through it all she remains the happy, spunky, funny, sassy, smart, creative, beautiful little girl she is today.

 

Sweeter than I remember.

It’s 2am and while you would think I’d dread the sound of his cry and having to roll out of bed yet again, I actually don’t mind at all. This is what comes with one’s third and final round of newborn. Instead of struggling through the sleepless nights, I’m finding myself reveling in them. It’s just him and I in the dark quiet. I get the newborn smell, the squishy snuggles, the little squeaks and sighs all to myself. It is so sweet.

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Roman is over a week old now and already I don’t know how I existed without him. The love that comes with a child continues to boggle my mind. It seems to miraculously grow out of nowhere and consume your entire being. And for those of you who are parents of one and planning on adding more to your brood, I’m happy to report that it seriously gets better every time. Gone are the days of stressing over each and every fuss and twitch. Instead, you just soak each moment in as if your life depends on it.

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It pains me to think of today as being my last day with an infant just this age – that tomorrow Roman will be one day bigger and stronger and just a little bit different than he was today. So, I don’t go there. Instead I’m just taking it all in – not looking too much towards the future or dwelling on the past. Just living in the moment.

And having lots of fun photographing the little man, too!

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On Sunday I would have been 40 weeks pregnant with Roman. I decided that I needed to complete my weekly belly shots with one final photo…

 

Introducing Roman Michael!

He’s here! I’m officially a mom of three!

We finally made it home from the hospital and it feels so good… and surreal. It’s going to take a while to establish a new normal around here, but I’m feeling really good about everything and excited for this new adventure. Before things get any crazier and before I forget the details, I thought I’d share with you Roman’s birth story and an update on his kidney situation. Here it goes…

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We checked into the hospital at 7am on June 30th for a scheduled induction at 39 weeks. I wasn’t dilated at all, so I knew we would have a loooonnnngggg day ahead of us. To add to the stress and craziness of it all, Landon started breaking out in a really nasty rash a couple days prior to the delivery so Andy had to ditch me at the hospital for a couple hours to take him to the doctor and get some meds. Oye.

It was a GORGEOUS day and our delivery room had the best view!
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Anyway, I tested strep b positive so they had me on antibiotics for 4 hours before actually starting the induction. After that, it was a slow process. It took me until evening to dilate to a 3. During that time I really only felt mild contractions at least. I was fortunate to have my friend Katie come visit to help pass the time and then Andy’s parents brought by Leila to keep me company for a while. She’s fascinated with all things medical, so it was a great learning experience for her. Right after she left I finally started to really feel the pain of labor and that’s when I requested the epidural. Sorry, natural labor just isn’t for me.

Around 7pm I was still only 4cm dilated and STARVING! I hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast. All I could think about was getting this baby out so I could eat. Ha! At least I was completely comfortable and relaxed from the epi. 

Around 8:30pm Andy walked over to my bed and said, “Well, do you think we’re going to have a June or July baby?” I just apologized and said sorry that I can’t speed things up. Literally right as I was saying that, it was time. I felt unbearably intense pressure and started shaking uncontrollably. I called in the nurse and she frantically called the doctor as it took everything in me not to push the baby out right then and there. I remember the nurse telling me to breath and to NOT PUSH. It was the worst feeling holding it back. My doc of course was taking his sweet time getting there, but 8 minutes after he arrived (and 3 pushes later), I got to hold my son for the first time.

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Roman was the tiniest baby I’ve had and I fell in love hard right away. He was the picture of perfection to me. This birth experience was awesome because they immediately put him up on my chest and left him there for an hour before they even weighed him. We had some good skin to skin time, I nursed him (he’s a champ!), and we just took in his features. After him and I were both cleaned up, our family came in to meet the little man. Leila stayed up way past her bedtime to be there. She was so excited and in awe of him.

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The fam brought by some food and I stuffed my face so fast it was rather hilarious. Dripping sauce on the new little guy and everything. He he. We finally got moved to our recovery room around 10:30pm where we spent the next 2 days.

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There were a lot of visitors and a lot of time spent just lounging around with our little man. The rest of the time involved lots of poking and prodding (both me and baby) and lots of tests on Roman. Near the end of it all I was dying to get home. Right before we were discharged, we finally got the final results on Roman’s kidney/bladder issues. And… they were better than we all expected!

It turns out he does still have pretty severe hydronephrosis of his right kidney, but it is less severe than it appeared in utero. Also, they thought he was going to have extra skin blockages in his urethra that would need to be surgically removed, but he doesn’t! He is suffering from urinary reflux, so basically when he pees some of it comes out, but a lot of it refluxes back up into his kidneys. This is something that could fix itself over time, or he may still need surgery, but it wouldn’t be until he’s one or so. For now he just has to be on antibiotics indefinitely (not a huge fan of this) to prevent kidney infections and have regular ultrasounds and check ups. I feel pretty good about it all. Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers!!!

After the nephrologist and pediatrician FINALLY discharged us, we couldn’t get home fast enough. Landon never got to come to the hospital to meet his little brother since he was so sick, so I was really anxious for them to finally meet.

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Our return to home life couldn’t be going any better. Landon will run up and rub the baby’s head or give him a quick kiss, but otherwise he pays little attention to him and just goes about his business. Leila can’t get enough of holding Roman and pretty much hogs him all the time. Roman is definitely a little bit more needy than my other two were (he wants to eat every 1-2 hours and wants to be held all the time), but I’m not complaining. This time around I know how fast the infant period really does fly and I’m trying to savor each moment. He’s such a little ball of snuggly love – I can’t get enough of him!

Anyway, I hope you have a FABULOUS 4TH OF JULY! I may not make it up to see the fireworks, but I’m sure my holiday will still be special. :)

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