Birth Story: Krista from Krista Nile

Happy Friday! I am so THRILLED with all the submissions for my birth story series! Keep them coming!!! If you would like to submit a birth story, please email me at [email protected]
To view all the previous published birth stories, please click here.
Today’s post is from Krista, who blogs over at Krista Mae Nile! Don’t forget to also give her some love on her social media accounts!
Grey’s Birth Story:

Wednesday. December 17, 2014: I started off the day by going to my weekly check up at the Doctor.  At my appointment she told me I was still between 1-2 cm dilated but that his head was very low.  She was also shocked that I wasn’t having any contractions.  She said she would see me in another week and I left thinking that’s what was going to happen. After all, I was only 38 weeks and 5 days at that point.  (I found out later that she knew I wouldn’t be making it to my next appointment…and bless her for not telling me that because I would’ve been anxious all day.)  So I got home and continued my day.  Around 3:40 I started feeling cramps in my lower abdomen.  I wasn’t sure if they were contractions or not because they weren’t super painful and there wasn’t any sort of regularity to them at all.  I made a batch of cookies…and ate all of them. Ha! Kane got home and I told him what was going on…and we just weren’t sure if it was the real thing or not.  We made dinner (stuffed peppers) and just kind of went about our night. Around 7:45 I FaceTimed my Mom.  I told her that I thought I was having contractions but at that point I could still talk through them.  We were on the phone for about an hour and a half and during that time the contractions got so much more painful.  It was to the point where I had to put the phone down and just breathe through them.  It was so funny because I remember thinking during a contraction that this was it…I was definitely going into labor.  But then after the contraction I was like nahh this isn’t the real thing.  My mom was convinced however that I was going into labor just based on how painful my contractions were getting.  They still weren’t very consistent though so I was confused because I was told to go in when they were 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each for an hour.  Instead, they were all over the place.  I got off the phone with my mom to try and get some sleep but I soon realized that wasn’t going to be happening.  Around 10:00 I decided to call my doctor.  She said that I should go ahead and go in just to check and see how dilated I was. We got to the hospital and they took me to the observation room in the birth center.  At 11:15 I was 3 cm dilated and the nurse said that if I was 4 cm in an hour that they would admit me.  Sure enough an hour later I was 4 cm!  I was so thankful because the contractions were so intense and I wanted that epidural!  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do if they sent me home.  Even Kane was worried about it…ha!

Thursday.  December 18, 2014:  It was a little after midnight and the nurse had to start my IV before she took us to our room.  For some reason it took her three tries to get my IV in and I threw up the entire time she was trying to do it.  Contractions + getting poked over and over with a needle = vomit.  She finally figured it out though and we were taken to our room.  They had the anesthesiologist come in right away to give me the epidural.  (Side note…I have SO much respect for every woman that gives birth naturally.  You are all my heroes and deserve some sort of prize…because ouch.)  Getting the epidural was the easiest thing ever and didn’t hurt at all.  Before the Doctor left, he said he was going to give me a “generous” dose.  And that he did! I couldn’t even feel my legs…but my pain was gone and that was fantastic!   The nurse had to come in every hour to help me switch the side I was laying on…apparently this helps the baby “labor down” even lower.  It was hilarious every time though because I literally couldn’t feel my legs and had absolutely no control over them!  (Probably the first sign that the epidural was turned up too high…but hey I wasn’t about to complain!)  Around 8 AM the nurse came back in and realized that my water had broken.  Oops! I didn’t even feel it!  She said they were going to let him “labor down” some more and that we would be pushing soon.  (Side note: I threw up two more times but honestly cannot remember exactly when that happened…) At this point I was so ready to get the show on the road.  I wanted to meet my baby boy so badly!  She came back around 9:30 and we started pushing.  I pushed for about 10 minutes and then our doctor showed up.  The whole pushing part of giving birth was so different than what I was expecting.  It was just the 4 of us in the room (doctor, nurse, me, Kane) and everything was super calm.  We would wait for a contraction and then push for 10 seconds three times.  No one was screaming and the vibe was just really relaxed.  In between pushes we were honestly having conversations like we were all out to lunch or something…not in the middle of giving birth!  I think that is just what I needed though because it kept me super calm the whole time.  I ended up pushing for 30 minutes and there he was!! I really cannot explain that feeling when you see and hear your child for the first time but it was incredible.  The nurse asked me if I wanted to hold him right away and of course I did!  How could you not?!

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And that right there was the best moment of my entire life.

I couldn’t believe how quickly everything had gone.  Kane was so great the entire time and I felt so lucky to have him there with me. I feel like I am not doing this labor and delivery story justice but it just all went so fast and so perfectly that there isn’t much else to say!  I am just so thankful that we have a happy and healthy little boy!  We are both so in love with him and could just cuddle him all day long.  He is literally perfect.

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About Krista:
My name is Krista and I live in Texas with my husband and our son, Grey.  I absolutely love to write and document our lives on my blog.  I also love sharing any tips and tricks that I find to make life as a Mom a little bit easier!  I love the community of Moms that I have found online and am so grateful to have their support.
Follow Krista on Social Media:

Going Through It

On June 14th, our life changed completely.

I sobbed all morning, and then we drove to Children’s Services and dropped off our baby.

Well, I guess she technically was never “ours”, but if you try telling that to my heart, you aren’t going to get very far.

We drove away from her and I sobbed. All day.

We got flowers. And texts. And even some emails. We felt loved and supported. And even in those really tough moments, we knew that what had happened was the right thing. Not the easiest thing. But the right thing.

We gave nine long (and often incredibly difficult) months of our lives to sweet Little Miss.

And we don’t regret that one bit.

 

But the healing journey. Man. That has been something that I totally didn’t expect. I didn’t expect the grief to manifest itself in the ways it has. I didn’t expect to still be here, in this spot, over two months later.

We talked it through and decided to give ourselves at least one month off from taking another placement. A lot of people in our life affirmed this and told us it was wise. I am really glad we did that, and it is something that we will continue to implement as we continue our journey through foster care.

After one month, we still weren’t ready for another placement. There are a million factors, like the fact that we were traveling for most of the summer, or the fact that I’m in the third trimester of pregnancy. I have a million reasons that I’m not ready, but I keep going around and around in my mind fighting myself back and forth over the issue of not being ready. In foster care…there is never an ideal time. There is never a moment when you lean back in your chair and say “I’m ready for a phone call now”. Maybe in our hearts, we are ready. But within the wall of our homes, “the phone call” always seems to come at a crazy time…like the middle of the night. Or two hours after you said goodbye to your last houseguest of the summer. Or two weeks before your due date. The list could go on. It’s never going to be perfect timing, because it’s something that is almost completely out of our control.

After the first month passed, the check-ins and the comments and the hugs petered out, and we have been left with our grief. I’ve heard that’s how it is on this grief journey. Our lives came almost to a complete halt, but I have to remind myself that no one else’s life did…and that is ok.

This summer has been SO FULL of joyful moments. I was in two of my best friends wedding. I mean…nothing can get more joyful than that! We had a gorgeous family reunion, full of so much family and laughter and fun. I couldn’t help but be so grateful for those huge events that showed me that life is still beautiful, even in the midst of the hard.

Another thing that this grief journey has revealed in me is my struggles with anxiety and my need for control. Since Little Miss left, I have struggled with the anxiety of losing Tera more than ever before. Spending time away from her is difficult for me. When there is a storm or a near-miss or when she is sick, I struggle. I think about God and how his sovereign plan is sometimes not the same plan that I would choose, and I wonder what He is going to ask me to do next. Right now is a time of beauty and rest and celebration in our lives, but what will be right around the corner? Is it sinful of me to be terrified?

But mostly…I’ve been learning about grief. How it is a journey. But it’s not a journey with an end mark, as so many people expect. I think that especially with our grief, I am expected to reach the end, to not be “grieving” anymore. But I think that I will always grieve saying goodbye to Little Miss. I think I will always miss her, even if the journey dulls the ache over time. And grief is funny, because I often think I’m over a particular emotion, and that out of the blue, it hits me like a freight train. Sometimes I’m standing in the store and then suddenly I’m bawling because I am reminded of something. Going to a place for the first time without her is one of the hardest things, too. We went Up North for our family reunion, and immediately upon arriving I missed her fiercely, because the last time I had been there, she had been there, too.

It’s also interesting how grief comes on people in different ways. I’m actually far less emotional about it than I thought I would be, and most of my sadness comes out as anxiety and a lack of control. But some days it surprises me and lingers in an emotion that I thought I would have been done with by July.

As the months have passed, I have gotten less questions asking me how I’m doing, and more questions asking me when I’m ready for another placement. It’s humbling to say that I’m not ready yet. I mean…if I’m this devastated by the loss of Little Miss, how can anyone trust me to be a foster parent again? I mean…there are so many foster parents out there who don’t let their rooms sit empty, who are almost immediately ready to welcome in more children. And here I am…still struggling two months later. I think we will know when we are ready. I think it will be obvious to us when we should say yes. And so far…that peace has not come over us. And I need to be ok with that. I need to remember and remind myself that I am not a failure, nor am I doing anything wrong by saying no to those phone calls. I am not weak and I can certainly stand to be humbled a little more often.

A lot of people’s first comment to me when they hear that I am a foster Mom is: “I could never do that. I would get attached and it would be too hard to say goodbye”. Well, I hope that if you are reading this, you are given a peek into the moment of “too hard”, Guys…it’s hard. It’s so hard. But it’s not TOO hard. And all of this? All of these emotions and feelings I just wrote about? It’s so worth it. Because this girl? This Little Miss right here? We changed her life. We gave her the best start she could ever have. We gave her our all. And no amount of pain and grief would make that NOT worth it. Yes, we will do it again. Yes, it will hurt again. And I’m more than ok with that. I’m just willing to be honest about the emotions while we go through it. But it’s not too hard.

I got home in early August from our last trip of the summer, and August has been good to us so far. I have been able to be at home, keep up with my housekeeping and cooking and grocery shopping, and spend time with those who are most precious to me. I have been able to keep up with my blog and to even work ahead a little bit in preparation for baby boys arrival in October. This past week has been difficult as Tera has been really sick with a virus. It’s not fun having a sick child, and as I mentioned above…my anxiety is through the roof. But in a way, I am so thankful for these moments that I get to snuggle with her all day, cramming my pregnant self into her bed and reading book after book to her. I won’t forget these moments.

Timing is Everything

One thing that I love to do is brag on my man. Theo is not only an incredible husband and an incredible Dad, but he is an incredible EMT, too. I am always filled with pride when I get to announce what my husband does for his job. I love declaring that yes, indeed, Theo is a public servant…and he saves lives on the daily basis!

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Do you know how important timing is in Theo’s line of work? Not only does he have to remain calm and collected under immense pressure, but he has to do everything he does as quickly and effectively as possible. I love collecting little facts about Theo’s line of work, and I thought I would share a few of them here:

  1. Theo and his fellow first responders are not allowed to run. Even if the circumstance is life or death (and it often is), they still have to walk. The reasoning behind this is to help keep calm, and to make sure that the first responders can get there without tripping/falling or injuring themselves in the process.
  2. He works long, long, long shifts…24 hours, to be exact
  3. He responds to an average of 16 calls in his 24 hour shifts
  4. He uses everyday devices (and his God-given common sense) to save lives
  5. In Theo’s line of work, time is everything. His medic’s average response rate from alarm tone to departing the fire house is less than two minutes.

Yes, time really is everything in his line of work. And that is one reason why I was so happy to be able to gift Theo this Jord Wood Watch!

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Theo is one of those men who is incredibly hard to shop for. He doesn’t want clothes, he doesn’t need more tools or weights and he certainly couldn’t care less about cologne or beard trimmers (fun fact: firefighters are not allowed to have beards since it can break the seals on their face masks and cause nasty smoke inhalation!). But a watch? Now that is something that is not only stylish but also VERY practical in his line of work.

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JORD Wood Watches are beautiful hand-crafted wood watches that use time to tell our stories. There are many different types of wood watches available, including zebrawood, ebony, sandalwood, purpleheart, bamboo, and maple. There are so many unique watches available, made with all these different kinds of woods, different colors, and different types of watch faces. You can view the men’s watches by clicking here, and you can view the women’s watches by clicking here.

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JORD Wood Watches are not only beautiful to look at, but so functional as well. Made from wood, the watch is light and the clasp function is easy to take on and off. JORD Wood Watches are measured to your wrist and therefore are the perfect fit for your individual wrist. Theo got the Fieldcrest Dark Sandalwood watch specifically because of the simplicity. Although JORD offers watch faces that have intricate designs and colors, the simplicity of this watch shows off the beautiful sandalwood grain.

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Do you love JORD Wood Watches? They have graciously offered to give away a $75 gift card to their shop to ONE winner! However, if you don’t win you will still receive a $20 gift card automatically- just for entering! Talk about generous!

To enter, just click on the link below and enter your name and email! Remember, one of you will win $75, but each one of you will win $20! You can’t beat that!

This giveaway will run until 8/28!

To ENTER, click here!

We love you, Theo, and we are so proud of the work that you do!

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Shop Feature: Ella and Ezzi

Happy Monday!

We are two weeks out from Tera’s birthday, and I’m STILL thinking about her party and the birthday presents that she got! Did I mentioned that I loved the farm theme so much??

I think my absolute favorite gift came from the shop Ella and Ezzi, and they are my shop feature for today! I seriously want to buy every single thing in the shop!

Ella & Ezzi handcrafted treasures and toys began when my heart’s desire for creativity and quality collided. I wanted to create both toys and treasures that were not only whimsical and fun, but durable and ideal for little ones.
Each item in my shop is handcrafted by me with both the buyer and child in mind. I wanted to create toys and treasures featuring their favorite characters to encourage both educational and imaginative play. Moms and Dads will appreciate the durability of the toys and unique packaging that makes each item perfect for gift giving right out of the mailbox.
I’m Gretchen, mama to 3 wonderful kids; Ella, Ezzi, and Andrew. My passion is to create quality gifts that will last for years to come. I will always strive to choose materials that are of the highest quality even if it means I have to spend a little more for them. I don’t believe in cutting corners and I’m a bit of a perfectionist when creating my items. I want each recipient to receive their product in a timely fashion, beautifully packaged, ready to give as a gift!
I enjoy all things crafty, dabbling with graphic designs, the culinary arts, coffee with friends, and relaxing in the sunshine with a fine crafted adult beverage–hey, I have 3 kids under 6! I’m married to my best friend of 12 years and am incredibly blessed to have him as my rock, biggest fan, and amazing father to our kids. Our life is an adventure filled with peaks and valleys, but through each high and low, we remain steadfast in our pursuit of authentic love without agendas. We strive each day to be the very best versions of ourselves. Some days are better than others, but we press on because the alternative is to give up and settle for second best. Our promise to you at Ella and Ezzi is you will always have our very best.
Here are some the favorite items from my shop:
Wooden Memory Tile Games:
(Frozen)
Frozen Wooden Disc Memory Matching Game, Frozen Party, Frozen Gift, Anna & Elsa, Montessori, Wooden Toy, Educational toy
(Camping)
Camping themed Wooden Disc Memory Matching Game, Campfire, Hiking, Wooden Toy, Educational Toy, Happy Camper, Camping Party, Memory Match
(Barnyard Theme)
Wooden Chore/Reward Boards (these are fabulous for potty training or working towards a reward/goal. Each completed task earns one tile on the board, when the board is complete, the child earns a reward!):
Hipster Animal Reward Board, Animal Magnets, and Magnetic Chalkboard, Reward Chart, Behavior Chart, Tokens, Woodland Animals, Wooden Disc
Story Starter Sets (these are fabulous for starting stories! “There once was a _____. And he went to ______”):
Story Starter Set, Story Stones, Wooden Disc Game, Montessori, Educational Toy, Quiet Time
I am also open to custom orders, so don’t let what you see (or don’t see) in the Etsy shop limit you!!!
Don’t forget to find me on social media:
Gretchen is offering my readers a 10% off discount code! Use the code THANKYOU10 at checkout to get 10% off your order! Please take advantage of it!!! I can think of SO many places those story tiles would come in handy- in the car, out to dinner, at doctors appointments, using for homeschool, etc.
Tera received the barnyard memory matching set for her 2nd birthday, and boy does she LOVE it. She received it in the mail, wrapped in this paper with this personalized card. I mean…you guys. I work with a lot of shops, and a lot of shops just sent me their product, which is all fine and dandy. But when I get a product in the mail that goes above and beyond, I just want to shout it out. I mean, how perfect is this present??
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The tiles are just the right size for her to be able to handle…not too small, and not to large. As soon as we opened up the box, Tera fell instantly in love. She has been carrying them around for two weeks now. Although she isn’t quite ready for memory matching, her favorite game to play with Daddy right now is matching. Theo will lay them all out, and Tera will pick one. Theo will then say, “Where is the other cow?” and Tera will find it! She’s pretty good at it, although she does get a little confused between the farm girls 😉 Hey, she’s only two.
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Not only is the idea for a wooden matching game genius, but the characters on the tiles are SO CUTE!!!
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They are so well-made and durable, and that’s always a good thing when something is going to be played with by a two year old!
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The barnyard set with all the matching tiles. Remember that you can order any of the sets in Gretchen’s shop, or you can request a custom order!
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No, my playroom floors and my photography are not perfect…but I’m all about being real, and not perfect on this blog space. And I’m being real about how much we LOVE this game!
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SO CUTE!
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Thanks so much Gretchen for sharing your shop with us today! Don’t forget about the 10% off discount!! Take advantage of that!
If you would like to view my other shop features, please click here.
If you are interested in having your shop featured, please email me at [email protected]

31 weeks (Pregnancy #2)

How Far Along: 31 weeks! Down to the single digits in the countdowns: 9 weeks to go!

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Size of Baby: He is the size of a coconut! I believe it! He should weigh over 3 pounds now and be about 16 inches long. It’s so crazy to me how much/fast he is growing. I still don’t think my mind has caught up with the fact that I have a full-grown baby in me. And that full grown baby is going to have to come out! Ha!

Weight Gain: 20 pounds!

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How I’m Feeling/Symptoms: I’m feeling…sluggish. Sluggish and very pregnant. I have slowed wayyyy down this week and I keep trying to convince myself that I’m the home stretch. But 9 weeks with a very busy toddler does not feel like a home stretch to me!

And I had the emotional breakdown this week. You know the one, pregnant Mamas. All of a sudden…nothing fits. I was bending over trying to pull up a pair of maternity shorts and it was SO DIFFICULT that I just burst into tears. I mean…maternity shorts! I’ve outgrown maternity shorts! And don’t even get me started on my maternity jeans. I can barely even get them over my thighs. These are the jeans that I wore the entire pregnancy with Tera. It’s a little depressing. Theo’s words of comfort? “It’s ok! You can just start wearing my clothes now!” Thanks, babe. (For the record, Theo is extremely comforting and emphatic when I have irrational emotional breakdowns).

I’m having hard time sleeping at night, mostly because this baby likes to wake up right when it’s time for me to lie down. I’ve also been SO thirsty before bed, so I’m up half the night peeing.

I’ve been reading up on my birth stories and I cannot believe that I have so little time to prepare for going through labor and delivery again. I think I’m more anxious this time going into it because now I know what to expect. I am planning another natural birth at Family Beginnings (the Birth Center), and while I’m really excited about this, I’m also getting nervous! There is just so much that my body will have to endure to get this baby from point A to point B. Yikes!

I’m also trying hard not to think about all the potential outcomes of having a really fast labor. Tera’s labor was only 7 hours from start to finish, which is apparently pretty quick for a first baby. I’ve heard the second one can go even faster! But then again, I’ve also heard from ladies whose second labor was much harder than their first, so I know that it’s not a cardinal rule. Ha! I don’t think labor has any cardinal rules!

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Dr. Appointments: I had another appointment this week, and everything is looking great. I mentioned that I have been having contractions, and each of the last appointments they have kind of just rolled their eyes at me. I guess all women have contractions during their second pregnancy. However, this time, I had a full-blown contraction while sitting on the exam table. The midwife’s eyes got kind of wide and she was like, “woah. That was a strong one.”. Yep. All day. Every day. I don’t think my labor is going to last very long with this baby boy!

Food Cravings/Aversions: I’ve been really exhausted again this week, so the nausea has come back. At least now I’ve narrowed it down to only feeling nauseas when I’m really tired!

I have had a series sweet tooth the last few weeks. And for someone who doesn’t usually have a sweet tooth, this has been a new experience for me!

I don’t seem to have any aversions this week, which is a fabulous place to be!

Best Moment this Week: This week it was fabulous to just be home. I can’t think of any particular moment that was absolutely fabulous, but I’ll take just being at home with my little family to be pretty fabulous!

Worst Moment this Week: Tera spiked a really high fever on Thursday night. It always causes me a lot of anxiety. She was sick all afternoon, and then in the evening her fever seemed to peak. Then, she up at least once an hour on Thursday night, and that was ROUGH. I was dragging on Friday, but thankfully today has been a bit better and she seems to be on the upswing. There were absolutely no other symptoms…just a high fever and the lethargic/not feeling well that seems to go with it.

What I’m Looking Forward To: My parents will be here in less than 2 months!!! It has been two years since we have seen them…and I’m SO excited to have them here again. SO EXCITED.

And dare I say it…I’m actually ready for cooler weather! This might be the first time in my life that I’m ready for summer to be over so that we can have some cooler nights and mornings. I still love the heat and the warmth during the day, but I think I’m ready for fall! I seriously can’t believe I just said that.

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Exercise this Week: Ha. Haha. That’s a funny one. Again, I’m hoping that with the cooler weather I’ll be motivated to start walking again? Here’s to hoping…I know I need to get my body more ready to weather labor, so this is a goal for next week.

 

And just for funsies!!! I put on the same shirt that I wore with Tera, and here I am at 31 weeks with baby boy (on the left) and with Tera (on the right). It’s SO eerily similar! And yet…I look smaller with baby boy, but rounder over all?

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31 weeks with Tera

Birth Story: Jennifer from The Brock Blog

It’s Friday! That means it’s birth story day! Half my readers are rolling their eyes, and the other half can’t scroll fast enough past my intro!

 

Today Jennifer from The Brock Blog is sharing the birth story of her son, Joshua.

As always, please be respectful of any differences you may have between the author and yourself. Sharing a birth story is deeply personal and no two births ever go the same. Be respectful, and please feel free to leave a comment or head over to Jennifer’s blog/social media accounts to give her some love!

If you have been around blogs and the online world of pregnancy and birth, you will know what a **trigger warning** is. However, if you have not ever seen this before, it simply means that this story may contain parts that bring on anxiety or even PTSD for women who have gone through similar things (whether the outcome was good or bad). In this story, there is a small trigger warning related to breathing issues for the baby, so please do not read if you feel that it will be a trigger to you.

To view the other birth stories that have been published on my blog, you can click here.

If you would like to submit your own birth story, please email me at [email protected]

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Joshua Alexander was born on March 2, 2016 at 1:45 in the afternoon. Although I would say it was an easy labor and delivery we had our share of complications. I went in to be induced on March 1, two days shy of being 41 weeks pregnant. I was severely anemic and had a horrendous tooth infection that I could do nothing about until he was born. I tried ALMOST everything to naturally bring on labor. My husband bought me a yoga ball that I bounced on from sunrise to sunset while I binged watched One Tree Hill and colored in my time consuming adult coloring books, I walked almost 2 miles on a treadmill every night while my husband and his best friend worked out, I ate ALL the spicy food I was able to get my hands on (Which is no problem for me. To me the spicier the better. LOL), and we even tried sex….but none of that worked.
When I went to be induced I was only dilated to about 1.5 cm and not effaced at all. At 7 that Tuesday night the process began with the cytotec. I had my husband, mom, and aunt there for support, and boy did I need it. Around 4:30 am on Wednesday I started my iv pain meds and they started the pitocin. Every 2 hours they came to give me another dose of my meds and at 11:30am I was at a 4 so my doctor came in to break my water. They thought that it was going to be another 7-8 hours before I even went into what they called “Active Labor” but within 30 minutes I was to a 6 and having the most painful contractions.
They gave me my epidural at about 12:30 pm and at 1:15ish I started pushing. Joshua heart rate suddenly began dropping after he started to crown. My doctor ended up giving me an episiotomy and tried to use a suction cup to get my son out but when that popped off he had to pull him out forcefully.
Now, I’ve heard my whole life that once your baby takes his very first breath and you hear him/her crying as they enter the world it is music to your ears. Well, I heard no music. What I saw terrified me. My son was the purplish blue color of a blueberry. There was no sign of life. I glanced over at my mom trying not to burst into tears because I knew that something was wrong. Babies aren’t supposed to be blue and purple. My mother did her best to reassure me that everything is okay. The issue was that the chord was wrapped tightly once around Joshua’s neck cutting off his airway.
Quickly my doctor cut the chord and air began to fill his lungs.
As I was being stitched up and they were cleaning him they noticed that his oxygen levels were dropping and he was having problems breathing on his own. His lungs were filled with fluid. I got to spend about 10 minutes with him before they needed to take him to the nursery so they could hook him up to oxygen. He was screaming. As they put my 7lb 13oz miracle on my chest and I started talking to him he began to calm down some. The screaming became small whimpers and he just laid there content but still not breathing well.
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Our first family photo!
Joshua spent two days in the nursery and one day in my room. My recovery went well. On March 3 I was walking to and from the nursery constantly so I could check on my son and rest. We had very few visitors because of how miserable I was. Now I am fully recovered physically and am still working on my emotional recovery.
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Joshua’s first picture in the nursery before they hooked him up to his iv’s and oxygen!
I would love to have more kids in the future. Labor and delivery doesn’t scare me, the postpartum depression does. BUT postpartum depression won’t stop me from loving my son and being the mother I am so desperately trying to be. It may get hard but it will get easier in time as I surround myself with people who will uplift me and pray for me! Joshua means Yahweh is Salvation, and I truly believe that God saved him. Satan tried so hard to steal this blessing from Joe and I, and is still trying to steal this blessing from us through my depression but I truly believe that God will be our saving grace. He saved me from depression before and He will do it again.
About Jennifer Brock
My name is Jennifer Brock. I am a stay at home mom and a loving wife with dreams of being a missionary, writer, and worship leader. Once my son was born I had to put my dream on hold. In this time that I am not pursuing my dreams I decided that I would use my love for writing to bring hope, joy, and laughter to those willing to read it. I have battled many mental illnesses and am willing to talk to anyone who needs someone as well as share my story. Like every mom I have my good days and I have my bad ones but I have just learned to smile through them. Keep Smiling! 🙂
Links to Follow Jennifer on Social Media:
Blog Link- https://thelanguageofheaven.wordpress.com/
Instagram- @Ynnej.rose
Twitter- @TheBrockBlog

Recipe: Chocolate Caramel Squares

A few weeks ago I posted a spaghetti squash recipe and I mentioned that I don’t usually post recipes on my blog.

HOWEVER, I think I need to make (another) exception.

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Because these Chocolate Caramel Squares are my everything this pregnancy.

I’ve mentioned in my pregnancy updates that I have a serious sweet tooth this pregnancy. Now, most people say that they always have a sweet tooth, and to that I respond…I’m sorry. I’ve never had a sweet tooth. I usually turn down dessert, just because it doesn’t sound all that wonderful to me. I’ll eat M&Ms and chocolate chip cookies, but the less chocolate chips the better. Until this pregnancy. And these Chocolate Caramel Squares.

I’ll stop gabbing and just let you try them for yourself. Also, don’t judge my food photography. #notmygifts

Also, I must say that the term “caramel” is rather misleading. I am not a caramel fan, pregnant or not. And these don’t taste anything like caramel. They taste like shortbread topped with s gooey, sweet topping and then topped with icing. So basically, sugar topped with sugar topped with sugar. Aka delicious.

First up, prep the counter! This means getting a glass of water, a snack (a cupcake because #sweettooth), my favorite and most well-worn cookbook (the one my Mama compiled for me as a wedding present) and a podcast. The Happy Hour is my go-to!

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All the ingredients that you will need! Did I mention that this recipe contains a little bit of sugar? Haha.

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Recipe:

Preheat oven to 400

Mix together and press into an 8×8 pan:

1/2 c margarine

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 c flour (this might depend on what type of margarine you are using)

Bake 10 minutes. While baking, cook caramel topping on the stovetop:

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Mix together:

1/2 c margarine

1/2 c sugar

4 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

2 Tablespoons corn syrup (I actually use honey as a substitute!)

Boil 2-5 minutes. Pour immediately onto shortbread.

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Cool, then ice with chocolate icing.

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We find that although it doesn’t have to be refrigerated, but it holds together much better if it is stored in the fridge!

 

ENJOY!

 

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Tera’s 2nd Birthday Party

BIGDisclaimer: If you are reading this post on a mobile device, the pictures will be sideways. I have tried to fix the problem, but so far I have not been successful. Thanks for letting me know. If you don’t want a crick in your neck, turn your phone sideways and lay on your left side. Just kidding. You can either scroll through and ignore those sideways pictures, or open up the blog post on a laptop. Once again…I apologize, and I am working on getting it fixed!

Tera turned 2 on August 8th! It’s so crazy to me that my baby is two years old!

We decided to celebrate her party the next day, August 9th. I had just gotten back from a trip the day before her birthday, and I was glad that I took the one day to prepare for her party and spend with my girl.

You can read her 2 year update here.

As most of you, I’m a huge fan of keeping it simple and within the budget. I am NOT a Pinterest Mom, and I don’t have any goals to become one.

I delegated some tasks to Theo and his friend Jeff who was visiting for the week. Theo was doing an awesome job until…

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Oops.

We had Tera’s birthday party at the Learning Tree Farm. I cannot say enough about this farm and all they do! Birthday party packages include 2 hours at the pavilion, a farm hand that takes the children around to all the animals and on a hike, and then uninterrupted time to go on a hike or play with the animals. I just love the atmosphere of the farm and how the kids can get down and dirty with the animals. It’s not like other farms where the kids have to stand at the gate and look at the animals. Instead, they get to touch all the animals and all the animals are so gentle.

You do have to bring your own food, decorations and handle your own clean-up, but as far as parties goes…the farm made it so easy!

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We stuck with some simple platters of fruits (the fruit orchard), veggies (the veggie patch), no-bakes (cow patties), and rice krispie treats (hay bales). For drinks, we just had water bottles.

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All of the paper products and decorations are from the Etsy shop 3 Little Flowers. You can read my feature of the shop by clicking here.

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It was so hot and humid, so we were sure glad to have this water!

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I love having summer babies so we can always party outside!

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After we got set up, we all walked over to the barns to start looking at the animals. The farm has two barns and includes pigs, sheep, goats, ducks, cows, chickens, ponies, donkeys, cats and two sheep dogs!

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First up: the pigs!

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Jenny was our farm hand, and she did SUCH a fabulous job leading us and our gaggle of children all around to the animals. She shared facts about the animals and was SO good with the kids- all of them! She let the kids take their time touching the animals and interacting with them. We absolutely loved her!

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In the second barn, there are a few playground type devices like rope swings and hay bales all saddled up to ride.

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There is a fun little interactive activity where you learn the technique to milk a cow!

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Tera loved the rope swing! She was a little small for it, but she still managed!

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The animals are so gentle and loving!

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All the kids loved the animals!

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Here we ALL are petting the sheep! One of the sheep stood up and pooped, and Tera is STILL talking about it. She will randomly tell me “sheep pooping! sheep pooping!”

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We got to line up and help the corral the animals out into the pasture.

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Sebastian the donkey did not want to go the right direction!

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I think the highlight for most of the kids was the chickens! They learned how to properly pick up and hold a chicken, and how to let it go when they were done. I just love how hands-on the time at the farm was!

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She might have a few of these at home:

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Family!

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Kyrin was loving the chickens!

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After seeing all the animals, Jenny led us on a little hike into the woods! We all got to pick some flowers on the way to the hiking path.

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The hiking path was easy, but not stroller accessible.

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There are two one mile loop hiking paths, and a tire swing along the way. Usually for a birthday party, the group would do the whole loop, stopping at the tire swing along the way. Since we had so many littles, we just went to the swing. It was the perfect distance and the kids loved it!

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Everyone got a turn on the tire swing!

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Tera LOVED it!

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Tera and Sophia are just a few hours apart! Vanessa and I were pregnant together and we are loving celebrating our girls birthdays every year!

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And Kaylee is just a few weeks behind Tera and Sophia! It’s so fun having so many little girls the same age (there are 6 little girls within 6 months in our church family!).

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Tera got a cupcake! Because what birthday is complete without a cupcake?

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And then she got to open some gifts! It cracks me up how EVERYONE was involved in opening her presents. Hahaha.

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Tera got lots of puzzles for her 2nd birthday!

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And that was it! It started pouring while we were eating, which was a blessed relief from the heat, but it meant we packed up fairly quickly to leave. Usually, the kids are free to go back to play with the animals or go back to the tire swing.

I think that Tera loved her birthday party and I’m already excited for next year!

 

//Tera’s Birth Story//

//Tera’s 1st Birthday Party//

The Learning Tree Farm

3 Little Flowers

Shop Feature: 3 Little Flowers

Happy Monday! With the business of the last few weeks/months, I haven’t had as much time to contact shops to be featuring here on the blog. However, this month, I have a jam-packed schedule for my shop features. I recently planned out Tera’s 2nd birthday party and decided to take the chance to feature all the shops that I used during her party!
Today’s shop is 3 Little Flowers, and I am SO in LOVE with the work that Anelys does!
My name is Anelys  and I am 35 years old.  I’m the mom to 3 beautiful, crazy, smart and active little (not really) girls: Gaby (12), Cami (10) & Mimi (9).
I’m a graphic designer, photographer and Etsy Shop owner! I can go to bed every night knowing that I’m blessed to do for a living something I enjoy and LOVE!
My shop first started back in 2007 after many years of doing digital designs for free for my friends.  I was focused on invitations, thank you notes and holiday cards. I found this to be really fun.  One day, a friend asked me to design a birthday invitation for her daughter and insisted on paying me. That was when 3 Little Flowers © was born. It was the perfect way to get to stay home with my 3 babies under 4.
The name for the shop is a tribute to my three daughters. Their last name means Flowers in another language, which means I actually have 3 Little Flowers.
In June 2016, I decided to expand my digital shop into something more.  After lots of researching, I was able to find ways to offer many personalized gifts and that is when I opened my Etsy Shop. My shop has MANY great gifts for children (even for adults), and I still have LOTS of more items to publish. My shop is the go-to place to find every kind of personalized gifts.  After all, who doesn’t love seeing their name on the things they get?
Here are some of the items that are available in my Etsy shop:
Personalized puzzles:
Personalized Pregnancy Announcement Puzzle - Personalized 8" x 10" Puzzle - Grandmother Pregnancy Announcement Puzzle - Custom Puzzle
Personalized plates, bowls and placemats. These can be customized with your child’s traits (Note from Suzanne: and all the foster/adoptive/biracial Mommas said AMEN!).
Little Girl Plate and Bowl Set - Personalized Melamine Children Plate and Cereal Bowl - Kids Dishes for Mealtime - Choose hair skin color
Personalized digital files:
You can find me on several social media sites as well:
Thanks for sharing all about your shop, Anelys!
Of course I have to share a few more things that Anelys makes for her shop. She makes incredible custom birthday packets! I ordered an entire birthday packet for just $25. It was SO WORTH IT!
I got an invitation, a thank you note, a welcome sign, a candy wrapper, a goodie bag tag, cupcake toppers, cupcake wrappers, a table sign and a birthday banner. Basically, every single décor item I would have wanted was provided. I will share the items from Tera’s party, but here is an example of what the entire package looks like:
Garbage Truck Party Package - PRINTABLE Party Package - Personalized Birthday Package - Garbage Truck Invitations Thank you notes and Favors
Obviously, we didn’t do a garbage truck theme…instead we did a barnyard theme! Anelys was awesome to work with and to customize everything that I needed. At one point, she emailed me the completed file and I responded and said I didn’t like the fact that the girls overalls were pink because they clashed with the red barn (pick me, I know!). So a few minutes later, she emailed back with a file that didn’t have the red/pink combo that I hate so much! So perfect!
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Here are some of Anelys designs in use at Tera’s party:
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If you would are interested in collaborating with The Glorious Mundane, please email me at [email protected]
To view other shop features click here.

30 weeks (Pregnancy #2)

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How Far Along: 30 weeks pregnant! Hello there, baby! It seems insane that I’ve reached the 30s now! Only 10 weeks to go!

Size of Baby: Baby is about the size of a large cabbage. He should weigh in around 3 pounds and there is a lot of amniotic fluid going on in there, too! He’s still working on his vision and working to gain weight!

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How I’m Feeling/Symptoms: I arrived back home on Sunday afternoon and that completes ALL of my trips from the summer. It’s been a fabulous summer, but I am SO happy to be home. All the traveling and emotions of the summer have certainly played a toll on my body and I am so ready to just rest. For the first week this pregnancy, I haven’t had hardly any nausea, and instead I’m hungry ALL THE TIME. It’s such a welcome relief! Unfortunately, I’m mostly hungry for sweets!

I’m having a hard time getting comfortable at night, but when I do finally fall asleep I usually sleep straight through the night with one bathroom break around 5 am.

Sciatic nerve pain is possibly the worst!!! I feel fine when I’m sitting down, but as soon as I stand up, I can feel the entire 3+ pounds of baby just sitting on my sciatic nerve. I’ve tried lots of different remedies, but the only thing that seems to work is laying down and getting that baby bump OFF the nerve. Which does not bode well for…life. Ha.

I’m having a really hard time bending over to pick things up, especially when that thing is a 23 pound toddler. I know that I have a tiny toddler in reality, but I’m still very much done with hauling her around.

The heat is still very persistent, and I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a fall more than this one! I have noticed, though, that my body has somehow managed to entirely avoid swelling so far. Well, except for the areas that are legitimately putting on weight. That’s a whole ‘nother type of swelling! Haha!

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Best Moment this Week: Celebrating Tera’s 2nd birthday!! When people ask me what my favorite holiday is, I have to say birthdays! I just love that we all have that one special day a year that is OURS. And it’s soooooo much fun to have a child and get to celebrate their birthday! I am totally going to be that birthday Mom. You know, doughnuts for breakfast, balloons all over the place, special ice cream for lunch and friends over for dinner. Or whatever the kid wants, it’s their day! Theo is already rolling his eyes. My kids future friends already love me.

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Worst Moment this Week: This week has been pretty fabulous! I have been an emotional wreck once or twice, and I’ve had epically bad attitudes about a few things, but otherwise I feel like I have finally had a steady week and that’s fabulous!

Exercise this Week: At this point, doesn’t growing a baby count as exercise? Ha. I haven’t done anything except go on one or two walks with Tera. I know I need to get back into that, especially as the end quickly approaches.

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