Thursday, December 31, 2020

4 Week Postpartum Update | Baby #2

I am officially 4 weeks postpartum tomorrow, and I wanted to share a little update on how I'm doing physically, mentally and otherwise.

The final weeks of pregnancy consisted of an incredible amount of joy in anticipation of welcoming our second daughter into this family. To be quite honest, the final weeks of pregnancy also consisted of some anxiety as to what this postpartum period would look like; being a new mom of two during a global pandemic. However, I am pleased to say that these past four weeks have gone better than I could have ever expected. God is so good!


My husband and I were blessed that we could afford for him to take three weeks of unpaid time off work to stay at home with us after Delaney's birth. This helped in so many ways! It was also so good for him to have that bonding time with Delaney and the entire family. It was precious time for our family that we will forever cherish.

First and most importantly, because Nick stayed home we were able to fully quarantine for those initial weeks with him home. Second, Piper was able to have one of us at any given time to help support her transition into being a big sister (which, I must say, has gone incredibly well). 

Mentally

Having Nick home during those first three weeks also helped me to truly be able to heal and recover from my c-section, without the pressure of trying to "do it all" myself. I also believe having him home helped me emotionally and mentally. I didn't have any cause for anxiety with him home during that sensitive period when hormones take a huge dip. Having him return to work this past week seemed like perfect timing, as I am so much more independent and my hormones seem to be more regulated.

A couple days after we got home from the hospital, I started noticing that as soon as the sun would go down, I would start getting weepy. During those nights when the sun would go down I would cry for just about any reason, or no reason at all. My husband was there to talk me through it, and of course, he was there to make me laugh. We knew from my first postpartum experience that this happens and it doesn't last. Thankfully, it only lasted until about the end of the second week postpartum. Not that it's a bad thing to cry, it just feels good to have my emotions more regulated now.

Physically

Physically, I am doing so much better this time around, and that is even with a pretty big setback in mind. A week after my c-section, we took off my pico wound vac dressing to find that I had a decent size opening in my incision that was leaking quite a bit. A couple days later I went into the office for my doctor to take a look. He ended up opening the incision even more to allow the fluid that was built up behind the wound to drain. I had a follow-up visit a week later, at which time he was pleased to see it was beginning to close up on it's own. At three weeks postpartum, my incision stopped draining. At four weeks postpartum now, it is almost completely closed and I am just about back to normal as far as physical activity goes! I have been praising God every day for such a great recovery, with no infection!

Weight

At my first prenatal appointment in the Spring, I weighed around 230 lbs. At my final prenatal appointment, I weighed around 250 lbs. During this pregnancy, I only gained about 20 lbs. which I am very proud about! And, while I am not trying to lose weight right now, I was surprised to see that I have lost all of my pregnancy weight already! I stepped on the scale to see 227 lbs this morning. I'm convinced breastfeeding helps with this because of the extra calories it burns and all of the extra water I drink.

Spiritually

Overall, I am doing really well and I know it has so much to do with living out these days in God's strength and not my own. I have been listening to worship music during Delaney's feedings and staying engaged in The Word through daily devotionals. I also have a really great Christian community cheering me on, and checking in with me. God is so good to give us exactly what we need. 

This entire year, which started out with my third miscarriage and ended with Delaney's birth, has taught me that I can fully trust in Him and that He will not let us sink when we keep our eyes on Him.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Delaney's Birth Story

Delaney, our second daughter, was born on Friday, December 4, 2020 at 10:46 a.m. She weighed 7 lbs. 7 oz. and was 20 inches in length. 

Hearing her first cries was a sound that brought so much joy and relief. In the moments leading up to her birth, I just kept saying her name over and over again. Once she arrived, I cried "She's here! She's here!" Here and safe. Thank you, God!

Welcoming Delaney into this world was truly a beautiful and calm experience, which is something I cherish a little more after having an emergency c-section with my first daughter nearly 6 years ago. Having a planned c-section this time around went so much smoother.

The morning of Delaney's birth, we had to be out of the door around 5:45 a.m. for my scheduled c-section at 9:00 a.m. Piper, our 5 year old, woke up early on her own and we were all happy she did. This gave us the chance to say goodbye again that morning, and snap one last picture of our family of 3.

Arriving at the hospital was so surreal. Nick and I were so excited to be there; to know that we would be welcoming Delaney into our arms in just a few short hours. God was with us, gifting us with the peace  we needed for joy to fill us completely in the moments leading up to Delaney's arrival. We are so grateful for His peace.

After getting checked in with security, we went up to our room on the 5th floor. We spent a few hours in the labor and delivery suite, preparing for delivery. I remember being very relaxed and excited in that room. We listened to worship music, we prayed, we laughed. The hours leading up to delivery were really special for us.

The doctor was about an hour late for my c-section, as she was working on another case that took longer than expected. I was grateful for the extra time with Nick prior to surgery. 

I was finally walked back to the operating room a little after 10 a.m. I remember it was really bright and cold in that room. The medical staff was working meticulously, preparing and counting instruments. 

I didn't get too nervous until it was time to sit on the table for my spinal block. The anesthesiologist was wonderful, though. He was funny, kept things light hearted and was also very helpful and informative during the entire surgery. I had to quickly lay down once the medication was administered in my spine. As I was swinging my feet up onto the table I could feel the warm numbing sensation begin in them, and quickly rise up through my legs. Laying down, I felt relaxed, knowing this was one of the last few steps left before welcoming our sweet girl into this world.

Moments later, Nick was brought into the room. In my mind, seeing him enter the room brought us another step closer to seeing our daughter. I remember thinking, he's here now and Delaney will be here soon. I also remember taking a moment to recognize God in the room with us, overseeing all of this with His loving care and control. I had so much peace on that operating table. I prayed for everyone in the room, and I prayed for our baby girl.

At one point, we were told I was going to feel a lot of pressure, which I knew meant that it was time for Delaney to arrive. At that time, I started saying Delaney's name over and over again. Almost as if I was calling for her; willing her to finally be with us, to be safe in our arms. It was only a minute or two later when we heard her cries, and complete relief washed over my body. "She's here! She's here!" I cried as I looked at Nick.

The nurse brought Delaney around to us within a minute or two and Nick got to hold her immediately. He held her close by my face, so we could be cheek to cheek. My hands weren't tied down this time and so I got to caress her soft cheek as Nick held her close to me. She cried and I sang "You are my sunshine", which calmed her within moments. I heard Nick choke up a bit as he witnessed this. We stayed this way for a long time, skin to skin as best as we could. So much relief, so much joy.

Nick and Delaney got to stay in the room with me for a lot longer this time around. It was so sweet to be together in this way.

After about 30 minutes, I asked Nick to take Delaney back to our room so he could give her more skin to skin time. The anesthesiologist was so funny. He told Nick the next time we see him, he better have his shirt off (and that baby on his chest). 

While Nick took Delaney back to the labor and delivery suite, the nurse measured Delaney.

A half hour later, when I was wheeled back to our room, Nick was sitting in the chair with Delaney on his chest. Then, it was my turn, and it was a taste of heaven. Not much beats the feeling of a warm baby on your chest. It was a moment I had been dreaming of for so long. 

I praise God for this moment, and all the moments leading up to this moment, and all the moments to come.


We stayed in the labor and delivery suite until about 2pm, then we were wheeled to the room where we'd stay for the next couple of days. I remember feeling very loopy those first few hours back in our room, as I came down from all the medication from surgery. My vision was a little off and I was very lethargic - but so, so happy! Delaney spent every moment on my chest, between feeding and sleeping, she was at home on me.

One of my favorite moments after Delaney's arrival was when we were able to call Piper for bedtime and introduced her to Delaney on the phone. It was so special! Piper was so excited!

Around 8pm, the nurse removed my catheter from surgery and I was so surprised to be walking by 10pm. I could tell immediately that this surgery felt so much different than the first c-section I had. I was so much more mobile in the hospital this time around. Recovery overall went so much smoother this time around. I had an amazing doctor! She cleared out a lot of scar tissue and also said she removed a nodule that was pulling together various muscles. A few weeks later now, I actually feel like I have more of a range of motion than I did prior to this surgery!

That first night in the hospital, I had only got 90 (non-consecutive) minutes of sleep, and it didn't really phase me. I was so happy to be awake. I wanted to soak in every moment!

Day two in the hospital was absolutely wonderful. Worship music played in our room nearly 24/7 while we were in the hospital. Delaney continued to live on my chest, except for diaper changes and check-ups from the pediatrician/nurses. One of the nurses who came into rotation laughed when she entered the room and said "The last nurse told me to expect the baby to be on your chest when I came in. She told me your baby has been on your chest every time she checked in on you guys." She was not wrong. I had waited so many years for these moments with Delaney.

During the second night, I was still not all that tired and it's a good thing because Delaney spent the night cluster feeding. God's strength was definitely with me. I had only gotten 45 minutes of sleep that second night. I remember being so shocked with how I was able to stay awake for so long, but at the same time it didn't surprise me all that much. I was so happy to have all that bonding time with Delaney.

The second night, I remember being so happy to walk around the room unassisted. I felt so much more independent than last time. In the middle of the night, I remember walking around the room with Delaney, and rocking her in my arms as I looked out the window at the starts in the sky and city lights down below. I praised God in those peaceful moments.




On the third day, we were released to go home! It took (many) hours before we could get fully discharged and by that time we were so ready to get home and be with Piper!



Driving home felt like such a relief. I was so excited to be reunited with Piper and for her to officially meet her baby sister. We arrived home around dinner time. Nick's mom ordered us dinner from our favorite local restaurant, which was so wonderful to come home to. She was such a blessing in the days when we were in the hospital. We didn't have to worry about anything while we were gone, and we came home to a clean house and a happy Piper. We are so grateful to her!

We are so blessed for Delaney to be safe at home, and apart of this family God created. He has been so, so good to us!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Introducing Delaney Jane

Our second daughter, Delaney Jane, was born on Friday, December 4, 2020 at 10:46 a.m. Delaney weighed 7lbs. 7.8oz. and was 20 inches at birth. Hearing her first cries was a sound that brought so much joy and relief. In the moments leading up to her birth, I just kept saying her name over and over again. Once she arrived, I cried "She's here! She's here!" Here and safe. 

Thank you, God!

God answered our prayers with sweet Delaney Jane. She was born healthy and strong. She is so beautiful, born with a head full of dark hair and the most striking eyes.

Thank you for everyone who prayed for this sweet girl's arrival. I can't wait to share her birth story with you. It couldn't have gone any smoother. 


God's hand was all over this beautiful experience of bringing her into this world. 
She is the sweetest addition to our family.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Final Pregnancy Update | Baby #2

Delaney will be here before we know it and so I am going to take this opportunity to wrap up my pregnancy updates with a letter to our daughter, while she is still on the inside.




Delaney Jane,
We prayed for you before we knew of you. You have been covered in prayer all the days of your life, and always will be. We can't wait to bring you home to meet your big sister, who has been praying for you to "grow strong and healthy" ever since she found out about you when I was 8 weeks pregnant. We can't wait to hold you close, and smell your hair. I can't wait to caress your soft arms, and kiss your tiny fingers and toes. We can't wait to soothe your cries, and help you grow with all the love we have to give. God has great plans for you, sweet girl. I am so blessed to be gifted the role of your mom. You are the answer to so many prayers. 

This will be my last post for a while, as we prepare to welcome Delaney home very soon. We look forward to sharing her arrival with you all in the coming weeks. In the meantime, below is a majority of the updates from my pregnancy with sweet Baby Laney:

First Trimester

Our Special Announcement 

Jesus Will Not Let Us Sink

First Trimester: Weeks 3 - 8

10 Weeks Pregnant

11 Weeks Pregnant

First Trimester: Weeks 9 - 13

Second Trimester

Second Trimester: Weeks 14 - 18

20 Week Ultrasound

Gender Reveal

Second Trimester: Weeks 19 - 23

Second Trimester: Weeks 24 - 27

Third Trimester

30 Weeks Pregnant

Maternity Photo Shoot

Third Trimester: Weeks 28 - 31

36 Weeks Pregnant

Pre-Baby Quarantine: Days 1 - 3

Third Trimester: Weeks 32 - 35

Pre-Baby Quarantine: Days 4 - 6

Pre-Baby Quarantine: Days 7 - 9

Nursery Tour & Name Reveal

Third Trimester: Weeks 36 - 39

Please be praying for a safe and healthy delivery for us! We'll be taking a break from posting until she arrives. Next time you hear from me, hopefully in the next week or two, she'll be here and we'll finally be a family of 4! 

Thank you, God!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Third Trimester: Weeks 36 - 39 | Baby #2

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness! It's here! The final update of my third trimester with Baby #2! I am so in love with this baby girl. I am so blessed to have had all this time with her growing inside of me. I cannot wait to help her grow in love "on the outside" soon!

Week 36:

- COVID numbers began exploding this week

- We began a pre-baby quarantine of our family

- Meditating in prayer every morning

- Praising God for a sense of peace that is stronger than the fear/anxiety

Week 37:

- Finally full term and feeling great!

- Braxton Hicks contractions happen daily but they are still dull

- Checking a lot of items off of our pre-baby to do list

- Spent so many hours sorting through baby clothes we had stored away from when Piper was a baby

Week 38:

- Final prenatal appointment

- Doctor said baby is very low and thinks she's around 7 lbs

- Nesting like crazy, but also trying to take time to relax and enjoy this precious time

- Celebrated Thanksgiving, safely at home


Week 39:

- Hospital bag is finally packed

- Feeling super blessed and experiencing a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions



My final pregnancy update with a letter to our baby will be coming out soon, and then I will be treating myself to a little break from posting until after baby arrives. Hopefully we'll be announcing her arrival in the next week or so! We can't wait!

Monday, November 30, 2020

Nursery Tour & Name Reveal | Baby #2

Delaney Jane. 

Her name is Delaney, and we can't wait to meet her!



We chose a pastel rainbow theme for the nursery because Delaney is our sweet little rainbow baby. After two consecutive miscarriages, one last summer and again in the winter, we feel so blessed to be welcoming this little rainbow baby home, soon.





When I look at the pictures of Delaney's nursery, I can't help but remember all the work that went into this room. My husband has such a gift for remodeling. When we found out we were pregnant, there was a framed unfinished section where he added a wall. This was from when he added our second bathroom upstairs. This being the spare bedroom at the time, wasn't a high priority until we found out we were expecting earlier this Spring.

When I look at the pictures of this room, I also remember the days that Piper helped us paint the walls for her baby sister. We listened to hours of music, singing along at the top of our lungs while we painted. It was such a fun and special project to do together as a family.


Delaney and I already have quite a few hours logged in that rocking chair, just the two of us. I am looking forward to many, many more hours with her in that rocking chair to come. It won't be long, now.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

VLOG: Remote Kindergarten Routine | 2020

Happy Sunday, everyone! This post is one that I've been wanting to share for quite some time, now. With baby #2 due December 9th, I have been feeling the crunch to get all of my "to-do's" checked off; especially those that have been lingering for a while. Editing and sharing this vlog that I recorded in October was one of them!

This vlog shares a typical day in the life of remote Kindergarten! In this video, I share our schedule, my methods, and some tips to make the day go more smoothly.

For more on our journey in remote learning, you can revisit the following posts:

Piper's First Day of Remote Kindergarten

Our Remote Kindergarten Schedule

Friday, November 27, 2020

Pre-Baby Quarantine: Days 7 - 9

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you all had a happy and safe Thanksgiving. We had a quarantined Thanksgiving, of course. I'll cover that all in another post soon. Today, I wanted to share the recap of days 7 - 9 of our pre-baby quarantine.

DAY 7:

This was the last day of home school before Thanksgiving break! My husband got home from work early this day so I could go to my prenatal appointments, which lasted most of the afternoon. 


I had a sonogram, meeting with the doctor, followed by a non-stress test. Everything looked really good!

After dinner, we had a fire outside. That was really fun and relaxing!

DAY 8:

On day 8 of pre-baby quarantine, we did a big donation drop off. It was zero contact and really nice to unload all the bags from the basement. We then went to our appointment for grocery pick-up. We really love grocery pick-up. It's so nice to not have to go into the stores right now with COVID cases so high in our area.

When we got home, we put away groceries and played a few games of Go-Fish. We have been loving card games lately. We've been playing Go-Fish, Old Maid, Crazy 8's and Uno Attack on the regular during quarantine.

Later in the afternoon, I began the long process of purging toys; creating new bags for donation. It took about 4 hours to purge toys and re-organize them with a new system that would work best for us moving forward. Before we went to bed, we put up the Christmas tree.

DAY 9:

On day 9 of pre-baby quarantine, we decorated the Christmas tree and the house for Christmas. Oh, how I love decorating the house for Christmas. The lights are so calming. I love to meditate and pray with the lights on.



For lunch, I made lasagna soup (a new family favorite). For dinner, I made ham and bean soup (and old time family favorite). We also made paper chain countdowns to Baby and Christmas!

We are so close to meeting this baby! We are soaking up every moment until then! Please keep us in prayer for a healthy delivery and God's protection from any illness leading up to delivery and after we return home.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Our Quarantined Thanksgiving | 2020

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Since I'm 38 weeks pregnant, our family was on pre-baby quarantine during Thanksgiving this year. For more on that, you can read about it here: Pre-Baby Quarantine: Days 1 - 3.

Even if we hadn't been on pre-baby quarantine, due to the amount of COVID cases in our area, I still believe we would have done Thanksgiving at home with our immediate family. It was no question, however, being 38 weeks pregnant. We were staying home this year!


Quarantined Thanksgiving was full of love and a lot of the same traditions as usual. We made breakfast together as a family and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning. We made monkey bread, eggs and bacon.




My mom cooked and dropped off our entire Thanksgiving meal in the afternoon! (Thanks, mom!!) We FaceTimed with her while we ate the Thanksgiving meal for lunch. We also Facetimed with my grandma during lunch. It was really nice!



Piper played with her legos while Nick and I cleaned up lunch. We all took a little rest before playing a few table games together. Later in the afternoon we Facetimed with my dad's side of the family. We got to chat with everyone for over an hour. That was also really nice!

We had Thanksgiving on repeat for dinner, and got to video chat with Nick's mom for almost an hour. With all of the video calls, we got to see most of the same people we always do for Thanksgiving!

I'll be sharing a little video with some clips from our Thanksgiving at home and time spent decorating the Christmas tree together, soon!

Although some things look a little different this year, we are so grateful for this season we're in.