Monday, August 7, 2017

Silas' Birth Story Part 2

Alright, here's part 2...

We made it into the room and I got situated on a birth ball. The contractions were strong, but I kept focusing on taking big breaths in my nose and then pushing them out my mouth. My nurse asked me some questions about my birth plan. Our basic answer was—I wanted to go medication free, didn’t want to be asked pain level, and wanted to move around and not be in bed.

After laboring for a while I leaned forward and laid my head down on some pillows on the bed. I was tired and could tell I needed some energy to get through the next stage. Amazingly I had a long stretch with no contractions and actually got a little rest. I really have no idea how long this was, it probably was only 5 minutes but it was exactly what I needed. During this time I could feel Silas moving around. My body was clearly working hard to get everything in place for delivery. On the next contraction my water broke.
(Side note: this is super weird feeling. My water broke in the tub with Walt so I never really experienced it.)

The nurse let my midwife know my water had broke and she came in to talk to me, she let me know I probably was not going to get all the antibiotics in before delivery. I really wanted to get in a tub to help with the pain, so they were trying to get one cleaned for me. But Silas had other plans.

I had one extremely strong contraction, to the point of where I was questioning whether or not I could keep going. And then I felt the pressure and knew Silas was coming. I told the nurse “He’s coming!” and she calmly said, “Yes I’m sure he is.” She called for a cart and then for Lindsey (the midwife) but Lindsey was already walking in the room.
Pretty sure this was my "He's coming!" face
At this point I was still sitting on the ball, still wearing the shorts I wore to the hospital. They had me stand up, lean forward over the bed, and had Kyle hold my arms because my legs were pretty shaky at this point. The next contraction his head came out and then they had me make low noises to help get the rest of his body out. And he was here! Born at 4:35 pm, just 5 hours after my labor started!

They placed him on the bed in front of me, I remember asking if he was okay because he wasn’t making any noises. But they said he was fine and told me to keep talking to him. So I put my face up against his and kept talking to him and he started making noises. Apparently we were both a little in shock with how quick he came.

Look at that proud daddy
Finally meeting my little boy 

Kyle got to cut the umbilical cord and then we snuggled up with little Silas in bed.

After about 20 minutes they weighed and measured him. He was 8 pounds 5 ounces and 21 inches long, a pretty big boy! 

My parents brought Walt up to meet his little brother after we had gotten situated in our room. He was excited to meet baby Si as he affectionately calls him.

Everything about Silas' labor and delivery was fast, and yet he is the sleepiest and most chill baby I've ever been around. Especially the first few days, he is getting more alert and has his fussy periods but overall he is a happy baby.

The whole process was perfect, which is strange to say about birth but that's the only word I can use to describe it. As some of you know we went through a miscarriage last year and pregnancy after miscarriage is hard. It's hard to let yourself get excited again or to get attached. It's a complicated mix of emotions of grief and joy. In all honesty, for a long time during this pregnancy I didn't think I would get to hold this baby. I didn't allow myself to dream about him or think about his birth. I didn't write out a birth plan or weigh the options of each decision. Partly because we had spent so much time going over those things before Walt and I was still confident in our decisions but also because it was scary to plan. If I just got to hold him I was going to be grateful. He has brought joy into our family that we didn't realize was missing, just like Walt brought us joy during our sadness. We picked the name Silas Jackson, because Jackson means "God is gracious." Despite all of the trials we have gone through to get to this point, God has remained steadfast and unchanging, He is indeed gracious.

All of our pictures are thanks to my amazing and selfless friend Caysi, who made it a priority to be by our side during this birth just like she was with Walt and just like she was when we lost our little baby last year. I am forever grateful for these pictures, for her presence during labor, and for her friendship every day. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Silas' Birth Story Part 1

Okay, so I love reading birth stories and wrote Walt's down with no intention of posting it but ended up sharing it here and here. I love having them so that I can look back and read them (I have a horrible memory but never want to forget those details) Anyways, I wanted to do the same for Silas.

*Disclaimer--It's a birth story. If you don't want to read about all things birth, then stop here.*

My pregnancy this time around was very different than with Walt. It’s hard to be pregnant and keep up with a very active 2 year old. I was sore and tired at the end of the day. I also had lots of weird stomach problems. I think Silas was laying right on my stomach or something so I had a hard time eating during the second half of my pregnancy. In fact, I only gained 5 pounds between 20 weeks and delivery. I just couldn’t eat a lot and ended up with a really bad stomach bug once and it took me a long time to recover.

Despite having a much lower weight gain than with Walt, my stomach measured big the entire time. So I knew I was growing a big, healthy Nieman boy again.

Check out that belly!
I had Braxton Hicks for months and months this time around, my stomach would get rock hard and be crazy shapes. For the most part they were painless, just annoying, and would get worse if I hadn’t had enough water that day. Texas heat and pregnancy is no joke, coconut water was a lifesaver though.

Starting around the 13th or 14th of July I started having real contractions at night. They were definitely not Braxton Hicks, they were uncomfortable and they would get closer together and then just die off. They happened EVERY night, around the same time usually 1 am-3am. You know the perfect time to disrupt all sleep. I found out this is called Prodmodal Labor, and it pretty much sucks. It’s real contractions but it doesn’t turn into active labor, instead it just stops and starts over a period of time. Mine lasted about a week and a half. The up side of these contractions is because they are “real” they are actually doing something. At my 38 week appointment I was dilated to 3 cm. Despite being exhausted, I knew there was a purpose to these contractions and that we were getting close to meeting our little boy.

I had a midwife appointment on Thursday, July 20th in the morning. I had been contracting a lot the day before and we decided that Kyle would come with me to the appointment and that we should probably have all of our stuff ready just in case. Walt went over to my mom’s house for the morning and we headed to my appointment. I woke up with back pain that morning and noticed some strong contractions, which didn’t usually happen during the day. But didn’t get my hopes up because of all the times things had stopped.

My appointment went well—I was dilated to 4cm (which is what I was when I was admitted to the hospital with Walt) She was pretty amazed that I wasn’t in active labor. We made the decision to have her strip my membranes, I won’t go into details, but it is just a gentle way to try and encourage labor to start. We left the appointment encouraged, my midwife thought things would happen in the next few days but obviously couldn’t guarantee anything.

Since Walt was having fun Kyle and I decided to go out to breakfast together, so we headed to Paris Coffee Shop for a little breakfast date. I was still having some back pain but no contractions and we headed home after breakfast. I asked my mom if it would be okay if I came to pick up Walt closer to nap time so I could rest for a bit. Kyle headed to work, and I did a few things around the house and then laid down around 11:15 to take a nap.  I set my alarm for noon and tried to fall asleep but my back was really hurting. I got my heating pad and laid on that and then the contractions started. It was 11:30 and they came fast and strong. I think they were 3 minutes apart and lasted about a minute. I text my mom to let her know I probably wouldn’t be able to pick up Walt and then I text Kyle and told him he probably needed to head back home.

Kyle got home around 11:45 and the contractions had stayed consistent and very strong. Kyle realized how close together they were and asked me if we needed to go right to the hospital, but I wanted to wait a little bit longer and try to take a bath. When I was in labor with Walt the water helped so much and I just wanted to make sure this was the real deal, and figured the water would calm things down if it wasn’t or at least give me a chance to rest for a little bit. The contractions slowed down a little—but they were still 4 or 5 minutes apart and starting to last longer. The bath helped me rest a little, after I got out I just stood next to our bed and the contractions just kept coming. Around 1 pm we made the decision to head to the hospital.

My contractions spaced out on the drive to the hospital and when we pulled into the parking garage I thought maybe we should just head back home. (We had a “false alarm” with Walt and got sent home from the hospital and I really didn’t want that to happen again) But Kyle had still been timing my contractions and knew they were still coming just closer to 6 minutes, and were strong. So we headed inside, I walked from the parking garage all the way to Maternal Observation, still convinced this wasn’t the real thing. They got me into a room and the nurse started asking me questions and hooking me up to be monitored. I don’t think she thought I was in active labor either cause things had slowed down and I could answer all of her questions. After laying there for a little bit the contractions started back up and they were very strong. She checked me and I was dilated to 5.5 cm—I think she was pretty surprised at that considering how calm I had been. She went to let the midwife on call know and left me hooked up to the monitors. I hate having to lie still during contractions and was so uncomfortable, so I was very grateful when she came back in and told me I was being admitted and she would unhook me and let me move around.

She said it would be about 20 minutes before they could get me into a labor room, which was disappointing but gave me something to focus on besides the contractions. Kyle put some music on and we talked some and I focused on breathing in during my contractions. She went ahead and hooked me up to an IV and got my antibiotics started because I was GBS positive and needed antibiotics for the baby during labor. They came in to let me know that the room was ready and asked if I wanted a wheelchair but I wanted to walk. We had to stop three times on the way to the room so I could breathe through contractions.

Part 2 coming soon...

And this little cutie makes his entrance (fast)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Summer Bucket List

At the beginning of the summer we came up with a Summer Bucket List. We value family time, some weeks get very busy especially during the summer since that is a busy time in youth ministry. The list gave us ideas and helped us to be intentional about the time we had together. I don't think summer is officially over, especially since we live in Texas and it's still super hot out, but I've retired our list and moved on to fall. Thought I would do a recap of the things we accomplished on our list. 

We had a busy summer, filled with travel and adventures along with some very difficult times. But we ended up checking all but one thing off of our list!

We didn't make it to the Farmer's Market, so we just moved that on to our Fall Bucket List. Really, it's a better fall activity anyways!


We went to the Nashville Zoo when we were there visiting my brother. It was a really nice zoo! They have an awesome playground and even a nice area just for toddlers that Walt loved. And he got to pet a kangaroo, how special is that! We had a great time, it was hot out but we had a blast!

Splash Pad

We have quite a few splash pads near by, which is awesome. W was so cute playing at this one. We had the whole place to ourselves and he was a little unsure of the water at first but then he loved it. I brought his swimsuit with us but didn't put it on him, so he ended up soaked and in a regular diaper that was down to his knees by the end. But it was a fun time!

Build a Fort

This was a father-son playtime, and they had a blast! I came home from Starbucks and this was the state of the family room. W used a flashlight and they ate snacks in their fort. They loved it and had a blast building it!

Make S'mores

This was our last thing to check off of our Bucket List, it just happened last night! The mosquitos have been so bad and it's still hot out even at night so we kept putting it off. We had our bonfire at 6:30 and it was still light out, but W goes to bed pretty early. He loved helping Kyle hold the skewer, and of course, he LOVED the S'more. He was covered in chocolate by the end and we all smelled like a campfire by the end, but the s'mores were delicious.

Baseball Game

Well we didn't make it to a major league game, but we did make it to two of daddy's softball games and that more than counts! Walt loved running around and really wanted to climb up into the score box. He also loved watching daddy hit the ball. Sweet boy

Catch Lightning Bugs

Well not technically a picture of us catching lightning bugs cause I forgot to take one, but it was this night. We were out in Nashville and had just gotten done taking family pictures when we found a bunch of them and got to chase them around. I grew up in Illinois and there were tons of lightning bugs. I remember catching bunches of them after dinner during the summer. We don't have many of them in Texas so it was fun to find them while we were gone.

Ice Cream Truck
Clearly W wasn't interested in the ice cream at all... ha! Kyle had an ice cream truck come on a Wednesday night for the students, so it worked out perfectly. W loves hanging out with the big kids, he mostly just stares at them and freezes if any of them try to talk to him or give him a high five. But when we go to leave he cries and cries. Grateful that he gets to grow up with so many good role models around.

Go to the Library
I'm kind of embarrassed at how long this took for us to accomplish. And I wasn't even at this trip, but we went through some personal and difficult things at the end of summer so it's understandable. Kyle and Walt headed out on an adventure and ended up at the library. W loves books, but he also loves to pull all of them off the shelf so it didn't last long.

Our Fall Bucket list is coming soon...

Any ideas for what I should put on it?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Stitch Fix #2

I decided to sign up for another Stitch Fix box. I did my first one back in January, you can see that blog post here. I waited a few months to do another one because life has been kind of crazy and I have basically lived in yoga capris and t-shirts. But I decided it was time to do another one because it's almost my birthday, almost summer, and I had some credits from people signing up from my affiliate link (thanks guys!!) I tend to stick in the grey range so I requested some color and different patterns. Take a look and see what you think, help me decide what to keep! And then sign up and request a box for yourself! There is a $20 styling fee, but that goes toward any item you purchase.

Here's what I got:

Le Lis: Parsons Lace Back Tank

You think I could've hidden the tag a bit better...ha!
Details: I like the lace on the back and the fact that it's not super see through. It's really soft material and I love the navy. I did have to dig through my drawer to find a strapless bra to take this picture haha. I have a shirt that is very similar to this so I won't be keeping this one
Verdict: Pass

Pixley: Ivy Split Neck Print Blouse
Details: I don't think I own a pink shirt. This one is super cute, it has little flowers on it. It fits really nice and I like the color on me. It's 100% polyester, which might make it a little warm for summer. I'm still deciding on this one. What do you think?
Verdict: Undecided

Nimue Zipper Detail Top

I would never have picked up this shirt at a store. I like the colors and the stripes. But I'm not a fan of the shape of it. It's really flowy at the bottom and kind of short. Also a zipper in the front with a one year old boy who loves zippers... not a good plan.
Verdict: Pass

Joey Skinny Jean

These are the same brand as the jeans in my last box that I kept and love, love, love. They are my go-to jeans. I am not a fan of the front pockets on these jeans so I knew I was going to pass on them before I even tried them on. But I still tried them on cause Stitch Fix says try everything on! And I do  love the way this brand of jeans fits me but the pockets are just not for me.
Verdict: Pass

Papermoon: Waters Knit Maxi Dress

Details: This dress is so soft and so pretty. I never try on maxi dresses because I'm so short. It's a bit long on me but I love it! The pattern is pretty and it's flattering but not revealing. The top is high enough that I don't have to worry about bending over or a little boy pulling on it too hard. I think this is my favorite item from the box.
Verdict: Keep

What would you keep if you were me? Let me know!

I'll leave you with a cute pic of me and Walt ;)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

11 Month Favorites

Ah! We are only one month away from one year! I'm not ready. This year has flown by, for the most part those sleepless nights definitely didn't fly by ha! I'm not ready for my baby to be one but I love, love, love watching him learn new things every day. He is so fun to interact with and is developing such a cute personality and sense of humor. He remembers things that have made me laugh and will do them again and again. He loves giving kisses and chasing after big kids. He has no fear and loves to explore (he keeps me busy for sure!). He's a great eater, some of his favorites are: eggs (he can eat a 2 egg omelet easy), grilled turkey and cheese sandwich, mozzarella cheese, and sweet potatoes (I cut them up and bake them as fries to make them easy for him to grab). Maybe I'll do a food post soon. But for now here are our 11 Month Favorites...

Carter's 2-Piece PJs-- Nothing says "big boy" like growing out of sleepers and switching to regular pajamas! But the switch has been awesome and W has been regularly sleeping through the night. Not sure why, maybe he's just hot natured (like his daddy) or doesn't like his feet covered (like his mommy) Either way these have been awesome.

Magnetic Cabinet Locks--Hands down best purchase of the past month. As I've mentioned (many times) W loves exploring and that usually means the kitchen. Once he figured out how to open the cabinets it was game over. I could not keep him out of the kitchen if I tried. I ended up putting up a gate and he just sat in front of it and cried and cried. So we needed locks. And strong locks because he is a strong boy. Unlike the normal push top ones these don't open at all when they are locked, meaning little fingers can't get through and grab things or get pinched. We keep the magnet on the fridge and just grab it when we need to get into a cabinet. You can also flip a switch on them and keep them unlocked if you're putting away dishes or cooking which is really helpful.

Radio Flyer Trike My brother got this for W for Christmas, it's awesome. It "grows" with your kiddo so it works from 9 months-5 years which is great! We mostly take it on shorter walks because it's harder to push than the jogger but W loves going in it--he can see more and likes to grab the handle bar. Ours has a big basket on the bottom and a "parent pocket" up top to store things.

Shape-O Toy Right now W pretty much just likes shaking this or watching Kyle and I stack the shapes and then he knocks them down. But eventually it will help him learn shapes and matching. It's a quiet toy and very sturdy. It's made by Tupperware and has Lifetime Limited Warrantee. 

Babyganics Sunscreen Neither Kyle or I have very fair skin but W does so we have to be very diligent about putting sunscreen on him. The tops of his feet got burned on a walk in the middle of January... I like this sunscreen because it is meant for babies and is safe for their skin (over the age of 6 months) It's easy to apply and works really well. 

And just cause I can't pass up an opportunity to share a good picture of W...

Exploring at the park, this boy loves to be outside!

Friday, April 8, 2016

10 Month Favorites

Of course it's late cause that's life with a busy boy, but here it is...
This month flew by! Every day is a new adventure with this little boy. He loves to explore and is on the move all day long. He loves climbing, pulling up on everything, pushing chairs/stools/highchairs, pulling down dish towels, and trying to get Buddy's food. It's amazing to see him learn new things--he has started saying "mama" "dada" and "baba" which we think is Buddy, but only when he wants to. We started signs with him awhile ago and haven't been very consistent with any besides "light" because he loves lights, and he knows the sign for it now! It's adorable! And motivation to be more consistent with others--you know things that would actually be helpful, since "light" is just fun.
Anyways, here are our favorite things for this month:

Brown Bear, Brown Bear Slide and Find Book--We try and read several books every day, usually before nap time and this one is a regular. W loves looking at the animals and seeing the door slide on each page. He also loves Polar Bear, Polar Bear.
IKEA Wagon--I had the Lion Walker on last month's favorite things but W has really loved this lately. He got it for Christmas and he was still too little for it so it ended up in his closet until about a week ago. I got it out for him and he just took off! He moves so fast and it's a good height for him to hold on to. I try to put toys in the basket part for him to push around but he stops and takes them out and then keeps walking...silly boy!
Graco Contender--I spent far too long looking through carseat descriptions and reviews. But finally decided on this one and I'm really happy with it. W seems to like sitting up a little higher and being able to see out the window, the seat is really comfy, it has a built-in cup holder, and isn't gigantic like some of the other options. It doesn't turn into a booster so we will have to buy another seat in a few years but I'm okay with that. Kyle installed it and had some problems but ended up getting it really secure and would probably be easier the next time around.
Mega Bloks--Another Christmas gift that W is loving! He got a big bag of all different Mega blocks, including a base for a car. He likes to pull all of the blocks out of the bag and play with the car base. He also likes to knock down anything that Kyle and I build. It's a fun little game ;)
Huggies Little Movers Plus--Diapers, diapers, diapers... They are a necessity for any baby and yet they are all so different. We started out using Pampers Swaddlers and they were good, it was nice to have the indicator line when he was little. But as he started moving more they just didn't hold up. We used Pampers Cruisers and liked those, but then I saw these at Costco on sale so I couldn't pass them up. They are awesome! (Something I never thought I would say about diapers) They have an extra grip strap which helps the diaper stay nice and snug, even when you have a boy that doesn't stop moving. I also like how the back of the diaper is stretchy so it fits really well.

Monday, March 7, 2016

9 Month Favorites

Our sweet little boy is 9 months old, how is that even possible?! He is such an adventurer, keeping up with him is a full workout. He loves to pull up on things, climb through small spaces, find things that aren't toys, make loud noises, and explore. He's started sleeping much better, which is a huge blessing. I feel like an actual human being again, I can have full conversations and most of the time remember words. We give Walt mashed up avocado before bed and I think that's helped him sleep better, and honestly it seems like he just realized hey sleep is pretty awesome. I mean I've been trying to tell him that for months now but he's a pretty stubborn determined little boy.

Anyways, here are our 9 Month Favorites...

Nuby Toothbrushes This is a set of 4 toothbrushes that go along with the different stages of teething. We've used the finger brush on his gums, and the first rubber toothbrush. He likes to put it in his mouth and chew on it, I guess that's teaching him to brush his teeth right? 

Fisher-Price Lion Walker This is a pretty popular toy, and I can see why! W loves looking at himself in the little mirror on the front and pushes it around the room. This is a great toy for the "learning to walk" stage. It plays music and has lots of fun things for them to play with. Just a fair warning--if you forget to turn it off it will just randomly start playing music, it has scared me pretty badly a few times. ha!

Halo Wearable Blanket We used a sleepsack for a while, it was in my 7 Month Favorites but it was starting to get too small. I bought a large in this one which is really for babies over a year but W is a big boy and I'm glad I got a bigger size. He wears this at night over his pjs, it's like having a blanket on and feels nice and snuggly but not overly warm.

Table Toppers These are the best things ever invented. Okay that might be an exaggeration but they are awesome. They are great for little ones who want to feed themselves but can't be trusted with a plate. A picture is really the best way to describe them...

Plus look how adorable he is...
Skip Hop Bath Spout Cover We gave up the baby bath tub this month and started doing baths in the normal tub. This goes over the water faucet and keeps it safe for little heads that might bump into it.