My, how wonderful these 2 months have been. Destin is a perfect little baby. He makes every day so much sweeter.

At his checkup at 5 weeks he was 10lbs 13oz and 21.5″ long. So he’d gained 3lbs 1oz and grown an inch! The pediatrician prescribed pepcid for his reflux but I forgot to pick it up and actually, he seems to be doing a lot better and not burping up in his sleep and doing those weird sounds in his sleep anymore, so I think he’s outgrowing the reflux now. She was happy with his growth and remarked that she can tell he likes to eat! ๐Ÿ˜‚ She did say he has torticolis and showed me some neck stretches to do with him and I feel like that has also improved a little in the last 3 weeks. She said she could refer him to PT if needed but said that breastfed babies tend to do well just because of turning their head for every feeding. He has an appointment scheduled for a day shy of 10 weeks and I plan to ask her about his eyes. The right pupil is always a little bigger than the left and I’m not sure if that’s ok or not.

The other concern we’ve had is how weak and floppy he is. At 8 weeks he is finally starting to get a little stronger and able to hold his head up a bit better. He will finally put a little weight on his legs too. I’m really glad he’s showing some improvement. I was getting really concerned when I did tummy time with his and he just laid face down on the carpet and didn’t try to turn his head when it was obvious he was struggling to breathe. He actually gave me quite the scare! I didn’t even realize how much muscle tone he was lacking until I held my nephew who was born a month early and 15 days after Destin. He was so sturdy and strong at only a couple weeks old and I realized that Destin was definitely more floppy than was normal. But anyway, I do really feel him getting stronger now and I’m so happy about it!

Quayd loves his own binkies so much that he can’t image how Destin ever goes without one. He’s constantly trying to give Destin his binky, especially if he’s crying. He will even sacrifice his own binky if he think Destin needs it. ๐Ÿ’™

I’m so pleased with the schedule Destin has himself on. I hope he continues on this schedule for awhile. Currently he starts squirming around at 7am every morning (this is also around when he would kick a lot every morning during pregnancy). This is my cue to get up and pump so he can latch on. In the mornings I am excessively full, painfully so. I usually pump 16-20 ounces in the morning. I have no idea why my body does this but it’s been the case with all of my kids, so I just roll with it. Anyway, he wakes up for real at some point during this and I nurse him. Then he’s back to sleep until 9:30-11am, depending on the day. Then he’s up for awhile. He tends to take 1 longer nap in the afternoon, maybe 2 hours or so. The rest of the day he just dozes off and on any time he gets tired. We don’t really have a safe place for naps for him right now because every room has people in it. So most of his naps are in my arms or in his bouncy seat by me, preferably on the porch if the day is nice. He eats every 1-2 hours all day but starting to lean more towards 2 hours. Bedtime is at 10pm now. He previously would put himself to sleep at 11pm, but lately he is out by 10, no matter what is going on. I wake him up briefly to nurse and change his diaper and swaddle him at 11 and that is it for the night. He’s been on this sleep pattern for the last month and I absolutely love it. ๐Ÿ’™ I pray he is always such a good sleeper. I thank the Lord for this after Quayd about did me in from lack of sleep. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Destin smiles all morning and is starting to say “goo” and make little sounds while he smiles. Occasionally he will even make a tiny short giggle! He’s very calm and quiet. He doesn’t cry much. Basically I could just copy and paste my posts from Zane. They are essentially the same in their personalities so far. They look neatly identical in their baby pictures. I can hardly tell them apart! Zane was so much like Destin with sleep also, wanting to be swaddled so tight for all sleep. Very easy going babies. ๐Ÿ’™

As for me, I’m taking advantage of his new schedule to take better care of myself. After he eats in the morning, I go get a shower before Quayd is up (the older kids are up earlier than Quayd, usually before 8am), and then I get my coffee and a quick breakfast and take the older kids outside to the porch so I can do my yoga app. I absolutely love it! I’ve been feeling so achy and stiff and yoga has really helped me loosen up and I can definitely tell a difference in my body even though I’ve only been doing it about 3 weeks. I’m still dealing with daily headaches which I think are caused by tight neck and shoulder muscles. I hope I can get that dealt with soon.


Dear God, thank You for this precious and wonderful baby. He was truly meant to be in our lives and we are so thankful for him. Please bless and protect him and help him to be safe and healthy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

It would appear that caring for any sort of creature – whether it be children or pets or livestock – is basically periods of calm, enjoyable existence punctuated by moments of varying levels of stress and anxiety. I don’t like the stress and anxiety at all but I really love the calm times.

Currently our goats are spending the month with a buck at a stud farm who is hopefully laying his moves on them for some late July/early August babies. I am so excited to have baby goats again! I’m also super excited for our goats to be milking again. They really have the creamiest milk and I love knowing everything that went into making that nutritious milk for my (human) kiddos. I’m really looking forward to growing our herd and building a strong, healthy line of goats. The buck we picked to breed them to is gorgeous and comes from a strong dairy line. If we get any does from him, I definitely intend to keep at least 1 or 2. This will hopefully be Lucy (our baby goat from last year’s kidding) first time to have babies and we are really looking forward to seeing them and also finding out what kind of milker she will be. Her mom isn’t a big producer but on her dad’s side are good milking genes. I sure hope she will do well!

Lucy

Our chickens are back to laying eggs after their winter break. We could have put lights in the coop and kept them laying throughout the winter but needless to say, this winter was not a great time for projects like that while getting ready for Destin to arrive. Maybe we will get the coop set up more before next winter. (DH is dreaming of an automatic door opener so he can be sure they are locked up safe at sundown) It’s warm and cozy and that’s all that matters for now.

But anyway, yes, they are laying eggs again and DH couldn’t be more thrilled. Like I seriously woke up the other morning to see him standing by the bed with 4 eggs in his hands, smiling and remarking on the unique color of each egg. So far we are getting 3-6 eggs a day from our 10(ish – I forget actually๐Ÿ˜‚) hens. We also have 3 roosters. We originally had 5 roosters, which is way too many for the number of hens we have. Decisions had to be made about who would go and we actually only need one rooster (we don’t need any roosters really but I want more chicks soon) but so far we have removed 2 that were dangerous. Zane was outside with me and one of our previously docile roosters decided to flog him, out of nowhere and for no reason. Thankfully I was only a couple feet away and despite wearing Destin in the wrap at the time, I was able to grab Zane and throw him behind me. The rooster learned quickly that he was no match for my ninja skills and went back to his eating, but as soon as I could, I caught him and his identical brother (because I couldn’t actually tell them apart). Thankfully Zane was only pecked once and was ok. Unfortunately, of our remaining roosters, one is full size. The bantams don’t go anywhere near the kids because they’re not tame at all, but the big guy is Levi’s favorite and he can’t bear me to get rid of him. He may disappear one day though…. I can’t take risks with roosters.

DH is a great little farmer. He took over all animal care for the last month of my pregnancy as it was snowy and icy and he wasn’t having it with me going back and forth between the house and barn multiple times a day. He was very diligent with keeping the water thawed and everyone healthy. He even spent Christmas evening saving chickens from the cold after they inexplicably got stuck outside the coop. He spent some considerable time crawling through their pen in the dark and getting them back inside and warmed up. He frequently is heard singing “We are farmers… Dum dum dum dum…”๐Ÿคฆ ๐Ÿ˜‚

Unrelated but DH and our neighbor rescued an owl yesterday. I was outside and heard our big rooster making weird sounds and the hens ran away. I saw what I thought was a hawk in our neighbors field. Levi tried to scare it off but it flopped around. He said he thought it was an owl because it turned it’s head around. I went to investigate it closer and sure enough, it was an owl and was dragging a chain from its foot. Apparently it had stepped in a small game trap. DH decided to call our neighbor and see if they could help the owl. They were able to catch it and remove the trap and because there was no sign of injury, they set the owl free. He was tired and rested awhile but later on he flew away. ๐Ÿ™‚

Amazing camouflage skills

So, what is next around here? I need a couple barn cats to control the mouse population. You wouldn’t believe how many mice I’ve had jump out from behind hay and feed buckets in the last year. Tru and Levi are anxiously awaiting this addition. ๐Ÿฑ๐ŸˆStay tuned!

Today is Destin’s 1 month birthday. ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s grown and changed so much already, it’s incredible! One thing that has stayed the same is that he is a very sweet and happy baby. We are in a super good routine and I hope we can stick with this for a long time.

Sleep

From day 1, Destin slept well at night in the hospital. I think he woke 2 or 3 times through the night for the first week. Some time toward the end of the first week or beginning of the second, he started waking just once around 3-5am. Now he usually wakes around 4:30-6am. Then he usually wakes around 7:15am and will take his binky until I get him up between 8-9am for the day. Bedtime is at 11pm after cluster feeding from 9-11pm, although I’ve noticed that he’s cluster feeding less now than the first few weeks. I try to wake him up around 9pm to get some energy out before bedtime.

At first he napped pretty much all day between nursing. He had almost no awake time at all. Now he spends around an hour awake at a time, sometimes more. Some naps are long, especially if I lay him down for them. He can’t take long naps in my arms because I don’t get to sit down for long without having to jump up to take care of Quayd and the other kids. It actually makes me super sad that I have to ever lay Destin down for his naps at this young age, but honestly it’s probably for the best as it’s teaching him healthy sleep habits.

He definitely prefers to be swaddled when he’s put down, whether he’s awake or asleep. He gets agitated easily when his arms are loose. At night I wrap him in a receiving blanket to keep his legs secure and then put a thin swaddle over top of that. I SO wish I had thought to try this with my other babies because it seems to make a huge difference in how much Destin startles at night when his legs are secure. It only took me 5 kids to figure this out. ๐Ÿคฆ

Eating

All day. Especially at first, feeding on demand was every hour at the hospital. Once we came home I noticed it was more like every 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. Now he’s going longer, even up to 2-3 hours occasionally. But honestly, if it helps him sleep longer at night if he eats all day, I’ll gladly do it. I even encourage cluster feeding before bed. Plus, feedings mean I have a solid reason to just sit and snuggle. โค๏ธ I’ve been so blessed that after the initial soreness and engorgement, breastfeeding has been easier this time than any of my other experiences. I was extremely particular this time about latch, although I still managed to get blisters on both sides before we got home from the hospital. They healed quickly though. The nipple shield didn’t work for Destin, but thankfully a deeper latch helped the soreness immensely. I also was very faithful with putting on nipple balm the first couple days and every night for the first week.

He’s also just been my easiest baby to get a good deep latch with from early on. I worked on it a lot in the hospital. He had latched himself on right after birth and did great, so I feel like he’s just a natural. Interestingly, he likes to nurse longer durations than my other kids did, except Levi.

I’ve been pumping with my Elvie pump, which is a post all of its own. I definitely like it, even though I don’t think my milk supply is quite as high this time. Probably at least partially due to not usually pumping both sides at the same time and not pumping fully dry because the Elvie only holds 5 ounces. I’m pumping in the morning, before bed, once in the night and usually a time or two during the day. I’d say I get roughly 25oz a day, although I’m not keeping track. No milk has made it’s way to the freezer though as Zane and Quayd are drinking it as fast as I can pump. With Zane’s petite size, I’m glad he’s getting the extra calories and nutrition. For Quayd it’s more of a comfort to him and helps him feel more included rather than not being the baby anymore.

Growth

All this feeding has meant that Destin has been very quick to gain weight. He’s well over 10lbs already, maybe more! At first his newborn clothes were baggy. Now he’s filling out his 0-3 month clothes. ๐Ÿ˜ญ We ran out of newborn diapers after the first week, so I moved him into size 1 since we had a ton of those. At first they were really big on him but already the waste band is about to not fit! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I’m both devastated by how fast he’s grown and super thankful that he’s growing so well. Emotions are complex. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

He has had 1 checkup so far at 13 days old and he was already 8lbs 13oz. Up 1lb 1oz from birth weight.

Destin was by far our weakest and floppiest newborn. I asked the pediatrician about it at his checkup (it was at 13 days old, not right after hospital discharge because of snowstorms). She said something about low muscle tone. Since I didn’t have a lot of fluid with him during the pregnancy, I feel like maybe that prevented him from building as much muscle tone as our other newborns had. Nevertheless, he’s definitely getting stronger. He’s even lifting his head off our shoulders now when we burp him. I think he’s still not as strong as my other 1 month olds were but he’s definitely getting there!

The other big developments are his awake time increasing and the fact that he looks around to see what he’s hearing when things are loud. He also looks at the TV when it’s on. From birth he has always responded to his daddy’s voice and looks for him when he hears him talking.

As of 3 weeks 4 days, he smiles at people. I thought maybe he had smiled at me once before but for sure he smiled at 3 of his aunts in separate occasions over the weekend, then today he definitely smiled at me for real when I was talking to him this morning. He had his pacifier in though so I’m anxious to see him smile without it. ๐Ÿ˜€

Destin just has such a calm and sweet demeanor. This might sound silly but he has a soft and quiet cry. I’m so incredibly thankful for that because Quayd came out screaming and never stopped and his cry is so incredibly loud. Like opera singing is almost definitely in his future. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I prayed throughout my pregnancy for Destin to be a quieter baby than Quayd because, our sanity. I’m so thankful that so far he is not a fan of screaming at us and to be honest, a couple times he’s been crying in the other room after waking from a nap and I didn’t even hear him till I went to check on him. I call this a blessing, folks.

The family

We’ve all adjusted well to having Destin in our lives. Everyone loves him so much. My sister said she was going to take him home with her when she came to see him the other day and (bless his heart) Zane started crying and ran to me begging me not to let her take our baby home. It was equal parts sad and adorable. Zane had to hold Destin after that to comfort himself. The kids all kiss him a million times a day. I’m constantly wiping crumbs off his head from kisses left by sticky little mouths. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I personally have done well recovering so far but I’m still trying to take it easy (failing because it isn’t possible, but trying nonetheless). I had one scary incident at 9 days pp where I had done serious gushing and thought I might be hemorrhaging again, but a call to the dr assured me I was ok. My energy levels stayed low the first couple weeks but after some daily iron pills, I do feel stronger. The body aches were what surprised me most this time around. I took ibuprofen every single day for probably 3 weeks. I’m starting to feel ok enough to skip now but still have a headache and get really tired around 3pm every day. Some coffee and sitting down for a bit is usually enough to recharge me until bedtime. I haven’t found that unicorn opportunity to take a nap yet but that’s ok. If Destin will (please God) keep sleeping well at night, I will be just fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dear God, thank You for this beautiful and precious baby. Please keep him safe and healthy and happy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Last Tues , Feb 9th, I woke up a little earlier than usual but felt well rested and refreshed. I got up and cleaned the kids’ bedrooms and got lunch ready before my mom and brother came over to watch the kids while I went to my appointment. I convinced DH to go with me and work in the car, just in case. I had been having stronger contractions for the last 4 days but they were really far apart and would stop for hours at a time. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I felt like it would probably put me over the edge into active labor if the dr did a membrane sweep that day. I made sure to take my suitcase, camera and baby’s carseat.

This is what I’d been having for 4 days. The duration is inaccurate but the interval was very weird.

We arrived early to my appointment since it had snowed a bunch and I didn’t know what the roads would be like. I sat in the car and paid bills in advance “just in case” while I waited.

When the Dr came in I told her about the contractions and mused that I wondered if I was starting early labor. She said I was “3cm and 50% effaced… 4cm actually.” I asked if she could sweep the membranes and she started to but then said no, she was afraid my water would break either right then or after I left and that if it was after I left, I might not make it back to the hospital in time. Then she asked me “How would you feel about going to the hospital now?” I was pretty shocked because I hadn’t really thought of this scenario. I told her that I would do whatever she thought was best. So she stepped into the hall and asked the on-call dr “would you rather I send her over now or have her call you at 3am?” The on-call dr said now would be good. ๐Ÿ˜… So my ob came back in and said “having gone from 2cm to 4+cm since Fri”, she didn’t feel comfortable sending me home. I sent my mom a quick message at 3:11pm to let her know I wouldn’t be home today. She said she wasn’t expecting me to come home and she had brought her bags with her. ๐Ÿ˜

I got out to the van and asked DH (trying not to cry with all the nerves and excitement) “Are you ready to have a baby today?” He was pretty surprised too and it took a minute to set in. ๐Ÿ˜… We decided to grab a quick lunch from KFC before getting checked in and he notified his boss that he was clocking out a little early. I could only manage the Chicken Little sandwich for lunch but I’m glad I ate something.

We were checked in around 4:10pm but had to wait awhile for our room, so I’m not sure exactly when we got back there. The nurses came in to start my IV (4 attempts! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ) and get baby on the monitor. I was having contractions at this point a little more frequently and they were stronger than earlier but still probably 10-15+ minutes apart, I’m not really sure. Certainly not contractions that would have convinced me to head to the hospital if I’d been at home.

The dr came in to say hi and let me know the plan was to just break my water and let my body do the rest. I was so incredibly nervous, I just kept telling DH and the nurses that I didn’t know if or how I could do labor and I was just really getting worried about it. They kept trying to reassure me but not to much avail.

At 6:30pm the dr came back in and broke my water. I didn’t even feel her break it but suddenly there was gushing. She said I was 5cm and 70% effaced with baby at -2 station. So all the contractions I’d been having had made a difference! Then everyone left the room and I waited. And waited. 6:41pm came and still no contractions when mom texted to ask how it was going. I decided to rock in the rocking chair for awhile as that had always given me Braxton Hicks but nothing happened. DH suggested I get up and walk around the room but I didn’t want to leak everywhere. Nevertheless, I stood up and BAM, there were the contractions. Strong, frequent and lots of downward pressure. These contractions hurt across the area of my c section scar, just like with Zane. At 7:01pm I texted mom that the contractions were getting bad. I didn’t send any more messages after 7:04, it was all business after that. The nurses came in for shift change and I told our new nurse that I was going to try the shower. She brought me some ice and left us alone to labor in privacy. She was very sweet and good about giving us all the space.

I labored standing in the shower, leaning forward during the contractions with the water on my back, oftentimes with my left leg up on the seat. DH held my hand to keep the iv out of the water. We chatted between the contractions but during them I prayed, breathed/blowed and said “ok, ok, ok, ok” over and over like it was impossible to stop saying it. The pressure was really intense and I felt like I almost wanted to push already. DH was getting very nervous about me giving birth in the shower, so after much begging for me to get out, he finally convinced me to get checked around 7:45pm I think. I was soooo disappointed when the dr said I was 6cm and 80% effaced with baby at 0 station now. The contractions were so close and strong, I’d hoped for more progress even though it hadn’t been long. She said the pressure was because I was nearing transition and that the next time I called her in I’d probably be ready to push. She’s a very hyper and giggly personality and was so excited and positive about everything.

Straight back to the shower I went. This time I took the shower head and put it between my low back and the wall and leaned against it. DH left the bathroom to give me some time alone to focus. I forced myself to stop blowing through the contractions and just breathe normally. I mostly closed my eyes and prayed for God to help me through every contraction. I focused on all the tension in my body and tried to relax each area, especially my back, core, buttcheeks and thighs. It was one of the most mentally contradictory experiences of my life but when successful, I’d feel a slight relief in the pain vs staying tense. I didn’t have much concept of time but I knew I wanted to make it an hour before being checked again. It was weird and amazing but I was so focused, I could feel the baby moving down and rotating slowing from my right side to the middle. I could feel him pushing himself downward with his feet during contractions, working with my body. I’d never experienced that before, maybe because I’d never been that focused before. DH came to check on me around 8:30pm and thought the contractions had stopped but actually I was in the midst of a several minutes long contraction that I thought would never end. It felt like a turning point for me and the urge to push became stronger. I kept trying to tell myself, just one more contraction, let’s see how the next one goes. At some point I decided “I want to enjoy this experience, not hate it, so I’m going to get the epidural”. The urge to push was strong now, which is unusual for me as I usually don’t have much urge at any point.

I called for DH to help me get out of the shower even though every fiber of my being wanted to stay in there. He called for the nurse and the dr came in too. Standing through a contraction on my way to the bed was unbearable. I told her I was ready for the epidural now but she said “Ok, but I think you’re ready to have the baby. Just let me get some gloves on although I will catch your baby barehanded if I need to.” I looked at the clock on the wall as I got in the bed and it was 8:44pm. The nurse commented that the baby had a change in his baseline heart rate and I felt guilty for all the hot water in the shower possibly stressing him out. The dr said he did have a shift but it’s ok, he will be out in a few minutes.

Once gloved, the dr said I was ready to push with a little cervical lip on the right side but it would go away as I pushed. I rolled to my right side for a couple contractions to try to get rid of the lip while they quickly rushed to set up the room as nothing was ready yet. Then I moved to a semi sitting position and began pushing. *side note: I learned from this that I really prefer pushing with stirrups to rest my legs in. They didn’t set the bed up this time and I missed having the stirrups to rest my legs in vs putting my feet on the bed. It felt counter-productive and like it wasn’t opening my pelvis properly.* My first few pushes I was afraid to really bare down, so they were wimpy but I pulled my legs to my chest after that and asked DH and the nurse to help me and with a couple more pushes, Destin’s head was out. I felt so relieved as all my babies slid out after the head was born, but nope, not Destin. The dr said I needed to push as hard as I could and she was pulling so hard, it scared me as I realized his shoulder was stuck. The nurse quickly laid the bed flat and he popped free and they laid him crying and pink on my chest. The relief was immense and the pain was 100% washed away. Just completely gone. I just kept thanking God. After begging Him to help me just minutes before, I was so blessed to have my beautiful baby out and the pain over. 8:55pm. Just 2 hours and 25 minutes after my water was broken.

DH cut the cord after a couple minutes. It was a beautiful spiraling dark purple cord. I remember thinking it was so cool looking. A few minutes later and I felt the cramping for the placenta and the dr remarked that it was huge. Then she declared we were all done and I could just enjoy my baby now. Unfortunately, no sooner did she say that than I felt gushing. Pitocin was started in my iv and a cytotec suppository inserted but the dr, through apologies, had to manually hunt down the source – a “film”, just a tiny piece of membrane that broke off somehow. Thankfully she had acted fast and the hemorrhage wasn’t too severe. I was shaking a lot and felt a little off but nowhere near how bad I’d felt when I hemorrhaged with Levi.

Destin latched right away after I was able to sit up again and nursed for basically the whole first hour on both sides. He even latched himself the second time and was a total natural. DH called our family on video chat and we showed the boys their newest brother. After a couple hours we moved to our recovery room and got settled in for the night. It was around midnight I think. I managed a few hours here and there of sleep but wasn’t really too exhausted since I’d slept well the night before. Thank God. All those prayers for me to be rested going into the birth were answered!

The next morning the nurse came in to tell us that Destin had a borderline bilirubin level and needed to be put on the light and bili blanket to be proactive. He did great though. It was good that he had started taking a binky within the first couple hours of birth, so that helped soothe him. That second night went well and I think he only woke to eat 2 or 3 times. I actually got pretty good sleep. Sometime in the night the nurse removed the light and just left the bili blanket. The next morning his bilirubin was stable, so they took him off the blanket also to see how he did for the day. By his evening check the bilirubin had rose a bit but they said since my milk had come in and he was eating, pooping and peeing well, we could go home if we got his level checked again the next day (and the day after that, as it turned out). So we went home about 46 hours after birth. Thankfully even though his bilirubin level rose, it stayed below the level to need treatment. Today his eyes are finally less yellow. ๐Ÿ™‚

The boys were so excited to meet their brother and have been so loving and not at all jealous. They’ve really embraced their new bro and declared him the cutest baby ever. ๐Ÿ˜Š He fits in like he was always destined to be. โค๏ธ

I’m just so thankful for how everything went. If I’d gone into labor the next day, we would have had a very hard time getting to the hospital as we got hit with a lot of snow. If I’d had the baby in the car if my water had broke at home, what would I have done if he got stuck? Not to mention the hemorrhage. And I couldn’t have managed a 1.5 hour car ride with that intense labor. So many what ifs. I was so discouraged about not going into labor at home but it ended up being for our safety. I’m so thankful to the Lord for His protection and to my ob for her wisdom. ๐Ÿ˜Š Most of all I’m thankful that Destin made it out safely and that we have recovered so well. I had no tearing and very little discomfort other than after pains. Not going to lie, those cramps were BAD. ๐Ÿ˜… We’ve settled into our routine at home now and it’s crazy and bittersweet to think that whole pregnancy and birth is already behind us.

Hopefully I can post about our first week at home soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here we are already over a week old and I haven’t posted an announcement yet! Destin arrived last week at 38+4, a couple days before our induction was scheduled. Hopefully I can get his birth story typed up soon. It was a fast one! 7lbs 12oz and 20ยพ” long.

He’s doing great and we are in a good groove at home now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanking God for such a sweet and beautiful new son!

First, the tale of the false labor:

After I posted my last update at 37+4, I went to make supper and started having contractions. It was around 5:30pm and by 7pm I decided to start timing them. They were coming about every 10 minutes at that point. As I got the kids ready for bed, they were 5-7 minutes apart. They stayed that way most of the evening and weren’t too intense, so I decided to go to bed around 11pm and see what would happen and I think they spaced out a little more. I was in and out of bed and all over the house trying to decide if this was the real deal. By 1am the contractions were 2-5 minutes apart and I thought it might be time to wake up DH and call my mom to watch the kids. I tried laying down again to see what would happen and suddenly the contractions were more like 12 minutes apart, so I didn’t wake anyone up afterall. By 3am, they completely stopped. Like totally gone. Needless to say, I woke up exhausted in the morning from being up most of the night. Thankfully I got a nap with Zane in the afternoon but oh my, so disappointing to think it was the real thing and have it just 100% stop. ๐Ÿ˜“

Anyway, fake annoying labor aside, this week has been pretty draining physically and mentally but I am really happy that I’ve had several nights of great sleep (great for 9 months pregnant, that is ๐Ÿ˜‰). I had my checkup and nst a couple days ago and it went alright. I had woken up around 5am and realized that I didn’t know when I’d last felt the baby move but I hadn’t felt him at bedtime which is usually an active time for him. After trying to get him to move by poking at my belly for awhile, I went to rock in the family room. Usually he kicks when I rock. Still nothing though, so I ate a snack to see if that would wake him up and FINALLY he moved a few times. So when my appointment rolled around in the morning, I was really hoping for a reassuring nst. Unfortunately, he had to be buzzed to get an acceleration and never had a decel, so I left feeling less reassured than I’d hoped. The dr felt confident that he was fine though and I just need to be watchful with kick counts in the meantime.

Naturally the appointment also involved a cervix check. I think she said a stretchy 2cm, soft and 50% effaced. She gave an aggressive membrane sweep in the hopes that I will go into labor before the induction. I had absolutely zero cramping from it though, so in my mind it seemed unlikely that it would be successful. The dr remarked that it didn’t have a certain “cobwebby” feel that usually makes her think it will be successful. I have no idea what that means but it didn’t instill a lot of confidence that I’ll have spontaneous labor. *(I’m continually trying to remind myself that I’m only 38 weeks and my body and baby might not be ready, despite the induction looming in the near future.)* That was around 11:30am. By evening I had some bl**dy show and a few strong contractions, but they were very far apart. Overnight I woke up a few times with contractions and had lots of cramping in the morning but by afternoon, it was quiet in there again. Definitely a lot of pelvic pressure though. I guess we will see what happens! It’s supposed to snow for over 24 hours straight the day before and day of the induction, so I’m feeling concerned that we might not be able to get to the hospital that morning. :/ Ugh, stupid winter.

Let’s see, what else….

  • Last time I checked I was up 46lbs I think
  • Froze a couple more prepped meals
  • The baby’s bed is set up and ready
  • My hospital bag is packed full of snacks and I can’t *not* eat them ๐Ÿ˜…
  • DH is nesting so bad this time. He can’t stop painting things. He’s literally painted our entire house and is touching things up constantly ๐Ÿ˜‚
  • I can’t tell if I have any new stretch marks but I’m still being really good about putting on my lotions and balms
  • My belly is definitely smaller than with some of my kids, despite my biggest weight gain of all time. I can’t wait to see how big baby is!
  • Getting very very nervous about labor ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

My one and only nst with this pregnancy. It was great listening to his heartbeat. ๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ

I had a lovely pedicure. I love the color and it was so nice to do something relaxing while I wait on this child.

Actually 37+6 but close enough. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dear God, thank You for another week down and being so close to the end! Please bless us with a safe, healthy, happy birth. If it’s Your will, a spontaneous labor would be great too. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The week wherein I am DONE!

Seriously guys, I was chugging along just great until the last week. All of a sudden I wake up in the mornings in despair (sounds so dramatic but accurate) because I still have over a week to go and I don’t feel like I can make it. Or actually, to be more accurate, I’m quite sure I’ll make it but I don’t want to suffer through the final days. The pelvic pain has increased to a point where I actually wake up and cry every morning. It takes me about 2 hours after getting out of bed to get the pain to a manageable level. Sitting on the yoga ball, taking a hot shower and generally a good cry are really my only coping mechanisms right now. And also the morning sickness is pretty constant now, so that’s tough too. I’m not trying to complain, I’m just being real with y’all. This week has sucked and I’m over it. I can’t believe women do this to 42+ weeks sometimes. I really don’t think I would survive another month and I’m quite serious about that. Either I’m a serious wimp or there are some unicorn pregnancies out there that I haven’t experienced.

Last week I was still in the “I’m really looking forward to meeting the baby but not ready just yet” mindset. This week I’m so preoccupied with the pain that I’ve kind of forgotten there is a baby and I just want the misery to be over with. (Again, just being real.) It’s sad because I feel like my pregnancies tend to end on a note where I’m no longer feeling excited to meet the baby as much as I’m so focused on just not being in pain. (Sorry, it’s just how it is.) I was so looking forward to being able to get in to see the chiropractor yesterday in the hopes he could help. He was out of the office most of last week, so I feel like I’ve already been waiting forever. Lo and behold, we got hit with snow several times over the weekend and he wasn’t able to make it to the office, so my appointment got rescheduled for NEXT WEEK! ๐Ÿ˜ญ I’m trying now to see if I can get a massage appointment in the meantime.

Anyway, even though it’s hard to focus on anything other than my hips, restless legs, heartburn, nausea, lower back and pelvis right now, there are other things going on in my life. I was really excited to squeeze in a hair appointment last week to get highlights done. It turned out great and I love it. ๐Ÿ˜ It made me feel slightly less frumpy, which is important right now. ๐Ÿ˜‚

My to-do list has shrunk to almost nothing. I could freeze a few more meals if I really get bored but there’s nothing vital left to do. Water some plants, pay some bills in advance – that sort of thing. I’m really happy about that. The older boys have been a great help with checking stuff off. For a small fee of $.25 – $1 they will gladly do all the weird things that have to be done before it’s permissible in my mind to bring the baby home – wiping down cabinets, washing the kitchen chairs, wiping the couches (leather) and so on. They’re saving up for walkie talkies, so they’re pretty pumped for money making opportunities. ๐Ÿคฃ It’s a lucrative business but I think everyone is a bit tired of me being pregnant. I’m also feeling over the nesting phase now, so I’m kind of just feeling blah about cleaning. Nesting was fun; I actually wanted to clean. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Levi has taken to praying for me to “go in labor tonight” and Tru says he can’t wait to see the baby’s face. I have to temper everyone’s excitement with reminders that Destin’s lungs might need a little more time. Meanwhile, Zane just hugs my belly with sadness in his eyes and questions me constantly about Destin “popping you belly out”. He’s been slightly less worried since we looked at the boys’ baby pics and videos last week. All the boys were very interested in discussing the umbilical cords and Tru remarked in disgust about me holding Quayd while he was still “all covered in goo”, a moment I didn’t get to have with Tru since he was c section and I’m still sad about the delay in getting to hold him. ๐Ÿ˜ข

It’s weird to not have an update about a checkup this week but I delayed my appointment so I could do the pre-induction covid test on the same day (as I think I mentioned last week). Hoping and praying my cervix is more favorable for induction at this next appointment than it was last week. ๐Ÿ™ I’m feeling a lot of anxiety surrounding the lack of sleep I know I’ll have going in for the induction first thing in the morning. How am I supposed to sleep the night before when I’m a ball of nerves?? But despite having a lot of “show” over the weekend, nothing at all is going on now, so I’m thinking I probably won’t go into labor before then. :/ When I went into labor with Quayd, I had a lot more pre-labor symptoms going on than I do now. I really really wish I would though. It’s so much easier on my body. I’m praying!

Quayd has no idea he’s about to lose his seat. ๐Ÿ˜‚

37 weeks

Dear God, thank You for another week closer to meeting our baby. Please help us through these final days to stay healthy and safe. I pray that Destin will come out at the right time. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What is it about the 36 week point that makes me feel like time has come to a complete halt!? Time has just flown by to me this whole pregnancy and now suddenly, it’s like each day is equal to a whole week. I think it’s partly the discomfort with trying to drag this heavy body around and being too out of breath to accomplish tasks easily. I literally have to take a break between each thing I do just to catch my breath. It’s ridiculous! Also its partly the lack of sleep as the return of restless legs has struck hard this week. One night I was up till after 2am in and out of bed trying to calm my legs down. The night before that I only slept like 4.5 hours due to waking up with restless legs. I realize this is all “preparing me for the sleepless nights ahead” blah blah blah but you know what? It would be nice to go into labor JUST ONCE with a few solid nights of sleep fueling me instead of already running on empty. That the thing that’s making me so nervous about the induction… I know I won’t sleep the night before and I’ll go in exhausted. I just hope and pray I go into labor on my own before then.

Shew, ok. So what else is going on this week…

  • Severe acid reflux/heartburn
  • Less Braxton Hicks than in earlier weeks but the ones I do have are super super strong. I had some every 15-20 minutes the other night for about 6 hours but they fizzled out after I went to bed.
  • Not much cramping anymore either, which is nice but weird
  • The intense pressure I was having last week has either improved a bit or I’ve just gotten used to it ๐Ÿ˜… The baby has been changing his position back and forth from the right to the left to posterior in the middle, which probably affects the pressure too.
  • Nesting urges are insane this week! I’ve gotten so much done. I cleaned out my closet and got rid of several boxes of stuff and clothes I’ll never fit or wear again. It feels great. This has been my most productive pregnancy, by far, for getting rid of stuff and getting organized. I’m definitely going to miss this nesting energy! However, I’ve also come to realize that 90% of the stuff I’m doing would be 100% easier when I’m not pregnant. For example: I leaned over the tub washing a blind today. My legs were falling asleep, my back was screaming and I think I broke both of my buttcheeks. Without a belly in the way, it would have been so much more doable and not pulled any muscles. I literally laid in bed and cried afterwards… Now on to the next stupid project that has nothing to do with having a baby!
  • I’ve actually probably enjoyed this pregnancy the most. Not the first few months because they were brutal, but the second and third trimesters have been the easiest – mentally especially but also I’ve done pretty well physically. Just gotta hang on these last couple weeks! It’s definitely getting challenging now but I’m so glad I had some good months.
  • I am having some issues with nausea though and took zofran one night so I could finally go to bed after going back and forth from the bed to the bathroom floor over and over. Hopefully I don’t have any more nausea that severe ๐Ÿ˜ฌ Mostly its a low level queasiness but spikes to real nausea at least a time or two a day.
  • I’m staying on my raspberry leaf tea pretty good. I just make it in a quart mason jar and refrigerate it and then drink it with a little stevia. Mmmm!
  • TMI probably but I also started hand-expressing colostrum and freezing it. I’ve done this for the last 3 pregnancies since it’s always a possibility that I’ll have another baby with ABO incompatibility jaundice and I want to have colostrum available if needed to supplement with.

Lately my main concern regarding the birth is leaving the kids for an unknown period of days/nights. I know they’ll be well cared for but I hate being away from them, especially overnight. One of the main things I’ve been focusing on the last few weeks is getting things set up so that it’s easier for my mom and anyone else who might take turns babysitting. DH and I are used to our little people and are able to run things like a pretty well oiled machine but it’s a lot harder for someone else to come over and know the method to the madness, so to speak. So notes are going up on the fridge and Tru and Levi have been assigned a few things that they can be helpers with so it’s not so hard for Grandmom. ๐Ÿ˜

I had a checkup and BPP yesterday. They said baby is about 6lbs 3oz I think. 24th percentile. However, this ultrasound tech has historically underestimated my babies sizes in past pregnancies, (plus it’s so hard to get accurate measurements now with his head so low and fluid levels dropping) so I’m thinking he’s probably a bit more than that. Would love for him to be a little smaller than my last couple babies but we’ll see! His head is still measuring a week behind and legs are a week or so behind.

I only have 1 checkup left and with the help of my dr, was able to move covid testing back a couple days so I don’t have to drive all the way to the hospital twice in a week. So happy about that! I did have to change my appointment to a different day and switch the bpp to an nst instead. Apparently they’re doing those again? This has been a weird time to be pregnant, I tell ya. Rules are changing every day now, as the dr said.

She did an exam, of course, and said she felt that I was barely 1cm dilated. She had checked my chart and said “I know they told you 2cm last week but…. ๐Ÿคท” So she decided to give a little bit of a sweep in the hopes it’ll make my cervix a bit more favorable for induction as it’s still firm. With my prior c section, they can’t/don’t use any cervical ripening agent for induction. So if I go in with an unfavorable cervix, they would probably want to switch to a c section. Really hoping things move along this week and look better by my next appointment! I definitely don’t want to cancel the induction and wait it out as baby’s fluid is not plentiful at this point (I don’t know the exact measurement). I don’t know if I truly regressed in dilation or what happened but it was a bummer, for sure.

Dear God, please help us get through these last days of pregnancy and birth and I pray that this baby will come at the right time and in the way that he needs to come. Thank You for another good checkup and please bring us safely through. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Chugging along! I’m so thankful and relieved that I got a lot of stuff checked off my list this week. We set up a diaper changing area on our dresser and got rid of the changing table, which really freed up some space. I bought a nice comfy night shirt to wear at the hospital and some new bras. Got my pump and pacifiers sterilized and ready to go. Plus I froze quite a few meals. Several more to go but I feel pretty good about where we’re at now. Things are falling into place!

At my checkup today I was 2cm dilated but cervix still pretty firm. The dr I saw is new to the practice and she was really great. We chatted for quite awhile and I felt really comfortable with her. I only have 2 appointments left! Then I also need to go in for the pre-induction covid test 4 days beforehand. The dr suggested stopping by to have my membranes stripped that day possibly, in the hopes that it would jump start labor and I could skip the induction. Of course, it depends on whether my body makes more progress before then if it would be worthwhile.

Baby has been much less active the last 2 days. He looked good on the bpp today but I wish he would be a little more active. Fluid is still absent in one quadrant, making me nervous. But his stomach and bladder were both full today, so he’s definitely drinking in there. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Also, he appears to be basically constantly practice breathing now, despite being asleep. At my last 3 or 4 ultrasounds he was practice breathing the whole time. Making his lungs nice and strong! He’s really deep in my pelvis now and the pressure is intense. I’m not having too many Braxton Hicks but when I do, they’re very crampy down low. I have them more at night and whenever I’m in the car. I’ve also had some “lightning crotch” this week. I had avoided that so far but looks like it’s here to stay now. ๐Ÿ˜†

I definitely have a lot of pelvic pain now but it’s all on the front right side and nowhere near as bad as it’s been in other pregnancies. I’m not sure what the difference is this time but I’m thankful. I’d like to go to the chiropractor at least once before the birth to make sure everything is straight and good. I also want to get my hair highlighted and toenails painted but hey, that’s really not going to impede my ability to give birth if I don’t get around to it. ๐Ÿคฃ

Funny looking pic this week but where my hand is, that is Destin’s butt. I feel like he really dropped this week!

Sleep is still decent, thank the Lord. I get up a lot of times but I feel like I get into a pretty deep sleep in between mostly. Lots of weird dreams though. ๐Ÿ˜‚ My main issue is falling asleep. Sometimes I don’t fall asleep until really far into the night, so that sucks. I’m taking advantage of sleeping in a little bit in the boys’ bedroom in the morning when I go in there to lay down so Zane will sleep a bit later. Otherwise he is up at crack:30 and a grouch all day. For some reason he will sleep longer if I’m in there.

Not pregnancy related but we finally got to have Christmas with DH’s family last weekend. It was really nice. It was kind of fun to have this late Christmas to look forward to. I also took Zane for his 3 year checkup this week. He’s 30.8lbs (30th percentile) now and 3’3″ (75th) tall, which is just adorable to me. โค๏ธ Overall he’s looking fine and healthy. He really enjoyed the one on one time with me and was absolutely perfect all day. His mood was great and it made me realize that we need more of these one on one times together. All the kids do! Too bad stupid covid had to ruin everything or I could have been alternating taking each kid with me to my weekly appointments and getting lunch together afterwards like back in the olden days when I could do stuff like that. ๐Ÿ˜ญ Oh how I miss the world of 2019! Anyway, that was not supposed to get all negative but hey, just being real. I’m tired of it all.

Also, DH went for his follow-up bloodwork and CT scan last week. Blood was perfect but CT showed an enlarged spot of some sort in his abdomen. The oncologist said it might have always been there and just not noticed before, as in DH may have been born with it. The dr said he will look into it and if we don’t hear from him, all is well. ๐Ÿ™ I’m gonna make DH call in a few days to find out for sure though so I can rest easy about it. This was the first time he’s ever had to drink the solution before the scan in addition to getting the iv, which may be why the spot wasn’t noticeable before. Prayers appreciated!! As usual, he is calm and chill but I find it a little harder to be quite as relaxed. He’s definitely the optimist in our relationship. โค๏ธ

Dear God, please help everything to be healthy with DH and for him to stay cancer free. Please also keep the baby growing strong and healthy and for us to have a safe and easy birth. Thank You for all the things we’ve been able to accomplish this week and for the good progress we are making. In Jesus’ name

1/14/21

*Searching for my notepad so I can make a list of all the things I need to do before baby comes.*

I keep feeling like I have all kinds of time left but we actually have less than 30 days until induction! When the kids and I first started counting down, it was over 40 days and now we are in the 20s??? How did that happen?! I have frozen zero meals (working on that today), haven’t sterilized the breast pump or storage bottles, haven’t organized all the baby stuff, haven’t located and washed the baby bed, haven’t taken maternity pics, haven’t bought new car seats (have to get slim fit seats so we can get everyone in the van) or finished packing the hospital bag and gotten the camera ready and charged etc. But hey, DH and I did spend 3 hours one evening getting our bedroom rearranged and getting rid of tons of stuff that was in the way that we no longer need. So, that’s something. ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ˜Œ

At any rate, my weekly appointments feel like they’re 2 days apart at this point (and I only have 3 more to go!) as life is flying right by at warp speed and not waiting around for me to haul my pregnant booty at the speed of a fossilized snail. I may have to call in reinforcements. My poor mom though… She’s already watching the kids once a week for my appointments, so I don’t want to ask her for additional support. Pretty sure spending 6ish hours with 4 small people who eat pretty much constantly is wearing her out enough. I need her to be charged up and ready for the possibility of being here several days when I go to have the baby.

My appointment yesterday is what woke me up a little. I had my GBS swab and the dr decided to check dilation too. She said I’m 1cm but cervix is still thick. Which definitely doesn’t mean baby is coming imminently, seeing as I typically spend a solid 3 weeks with some level of dilation but it still kind of jarred my brain into realizing “Oh! My body is actually planning to do this thing. Like, this baby really is going to come out soon and I don’t have time to play around with procrastination. Yikes!”

Thankfully he passed his BPP with an 8/8. He’s measuring smaller than my other kids, 5lbs 3oz in the 30th percentile, but really, I still won’t be surprised if he’s 9lbs. The dr thinks he will be well under 8lbs though. Who knows! His legs are measuring a week behind (not 5 weeks behind like the last ultrasound said) but overall he looks great. I was a bit concerned that his fluid has dropped some. He had no fluid in one quadrant, which is exactly what happened with Tru. I’m going to have to up my game and actually do kick counts. I’ll admit, I haven’t done them this time, not even once. I do pay attention to the times when he’s usually active every day and take note of that but I haven’t specifically been doing counts. He’s typically very hyper at 7:30am and 11pm with almost no movement throughout the night. During the day it’s more random and depends on when I’m sitting down. He either loves or hates rocking because he’s usually very active if I sit in the rocker. ๐Ÿ˜‚ He really hates when I lay on my right side and pushes his feet out very aggressively. He was having hiccups a lot, but not at all that I’ve noticed the last few days. He does practice breathing a lot and DH was able to feel him doing that the other night.

Other things to note:

  • No new stretch marks so far with this pregnancy. I’m keeping lathered up with my homemade belly butter.
  • The dark line down my belly appeared suddenly a couple weeks ago. Like literally over night. So weird.
  • Definitely having some mild queasiness that is annoying.
  • Weight is up 42lbs. My most ever.
  • Zane totally gets it now that there is for sure a baby in my belly. He stared at a diagram of a pregnant belly for like 5 mins just puzzled. We watched some animated educational birth videos and he’s now convinced that “Destin is going to pop you belly open and come out!” Also, he can’t wait to play with him.
  • Braxton Hicks continue and are very uncomfortable. Often accompanied by cramping.

**Optional Reading**

At my appointment last week I had a new dr that I’d never met. She’s young and new to the practice. I really wanted to like her but we definitely didn’t click at all. She explained everything in minute detail, as if this wasn’t my 5th pregnancy (like about my blood thinner shots and everything) and it was clear she didn’t read my chart because she didn’t know I’d been induced in the past or that I was scheduled again or even that I was planning to vbac. I could forgive all this. Drs are busy and see dozens of patients every day. I get it. But when she got to the “rules” regarding masks etc during labor and birth, she was very forceful and adamant that I will keep my mask on and that I won’t notice it and it would be “incidental”, whatever that means. No matter that the drs will have all received their second vaccine by then, that I’ll hopefully have a negative test on file and that they will be wearing masks, goggles and face shields….. Look, I’m all for people being safe but to force someone to birth with a mask on in addition to all the other precautions (vaccines, neg test, PPE) is overkill. So after my appointment, I called patient relations. Not to get permission to take the mask off but to find out if I would be denied care if I do. She couldn’t say for sure but was very sympathetic and understanding of my concerns. She sent me to the practice manager who said she also couldn’t guarantee I wouldn’t be denied care and that she doesn’t know how the masks are enforced but that I’d just have to comply with it “like all the other moms.” (Actually there was a lot more to the conversation but that’s the footnotes) Unfortunately, I broke down crying like a big baby. I felt really upset because this isn’t in my control and that doesn’t make sense when it comes to medical care and especially birth. I asked my friends who birthed at other hospitals in the last few months and none of them were required to wear a mask, so I don’t understand why my hospital is being so rigid about it. Anyway, the dr I saw yesterday is the one I’m scheduled to induce with (I love her) and she said not to worry, she won’t make me wear a mask as she will have had both shots etc. I asked what will happen if I get a different dr, like if I go into labor sooner and she said just tell them I can’t wear it and that’s that. She said “This baby should pretty much just fall out! I don’t think you’ll be pushing any longer than 5 minutes.” So basically she feels that me not wearing a mask isn’t even going to be much exposure for anyone, period. I feel relieved for now but really hoping I don’t get that new dr because in labor, I don’t have the energy to fight and I really don’t like giving birth with a dr who isn’t willing to even hear my concerns or be understanding.

**The end**

Sneak peek of our maternity shoot

5 babies folks!! Can you believe it?!

Dear God, thank You for an easy and comfortable week. Thank You for a healthy happy baby. Please bring us safely to the conclusion of this pregnancy and beyond. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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