Sunday, June 26, 2016

Becoming A Mother

A year ago today.
A year ago today my life changed forever.
A year ago today was one of the most exciting days of my life.
A year ago today I found out that I was a mother.

I am a firm believer that I became a mother when Karis was formed in my womb by our wonderful Creator, God Almighty. But once you KNOW you're a mother, everything changes. Your mind changes, your anxiety level changes, your body starts to change, your priorities change, your eating and drinking habits change, your prayer life changes, your marriage changes, your conversations change... you get my point.

A year ago today was one of the best days of my life.

A few weeks before this, my gal pal, Becky, was over and (of course) talking to me about babies, pregnancies, and whatnot. That was the topic of conversation 99% of the time those days. She must have been newly pregnant, because she was telling me that she found out she was pregnant with both of her pregnancies four days early (pp) on a $1 Dollar General pregnancy test. I was shocked! I don't know why, but I just always (wrongly) assumed you had to pay $10+ for a test to tell you accurately if you were pregnant or not. Well, once I found out you could accurately find out for $1, it was game on!

I knew I would be getting a visit from Mother Nature soon, so I thought, "What the heck!" For months I had been thinking I may be finally pregnant and then wasn't. If you haven't experienced this, you don't know how frustrating it can be. And annoying. And does all kinds of crazy things to your mind. I thought if I wasn't pregnant, then I wasn't pregnant, and nothing was new. But if I WAS pregnant, then I could potentially find out EARLY. For just a few dollars!! Why not, right?!

So, every morning, my ritual was to get up and take a pregnancy test. And if it didn't show pregnant, I just told myself that it was too early to tell, and I didn't get upset. It wasn't even "time" yet. I started 7 days pp, and by 5 days pp, I squinted, went a little cross-eyed, and shook it off. I'd try again tomorrow.

It was one of my first days of my summer vacation. I woke up and took a pregnancy test. It was becoming a part of my morning ritual, haha. (Call me crazy.) On this day, 4 days pp, I saw something! A super faint line. I had never seen a positive pregnancy test before, so I thought it was potentially a dud. I texted my gal pal Whitney, who knew what craziness was ensuing, and Becky. I asked Becky, "So...when you said you found out early...was it obvious or a super faint line?" I didn't even think I was telling on myself, I thought I could get away with "just asking." HA! Becky's immediate response was, "Did you get a faint line?? If so, you are for sure pregnant!!" Ummmm..... what?!?! I texted Whitney, freaked out, and went out to get a "real" pregnancy test. I needed to see the word "Pregnant" spelled out for me. I had used those expensive tests before. It's clear as day, usually that I was "Not Pregnant." I had previously vowed that I wouldn't spend money on one of those expensive tests again unless I really thought I may be pregnant. Well, today was that day.

I got home, took the test, and that was the longest minute or so of my life. I didn't want to look. It was like one of those scenes out of a movie. What if I wasn't pregnant? Now I'd really be sad. But what if I was?!?!?! I hadn't really processed what I would do or how I would feel if I WAS pregnant.

When I saw the word "Pregnant" on that test, I literally just started crying and praying - thanking the Lord for this blessing and praying for protection over this child. I had heard tons of horror stories of miscarriages and health problems and I just wanted a healthy baby.

I was expecting a child! [Enter Freak Out Mode] Only two people knew, and none of them were my husband. Oops! I had a good reason for that though. I wanted to think of a super cute way to tell Alex. No better way to brainstorm than to go walk 6 miles on the rail trail with Whitney. She had been there with me through my emotional roller coasters in the past months and was great at these kinds of things! I just knew I had to include our dog, Chloe. We decided I could go get a dog shirt, or infant shirt, and Whitney could quickly embroider it. We'd put the shirt on Chloe and the shirt would somehow tell Alex I was expecting!! I also was determined to find a way to video the interaction. Fool proof, right?? Ha....

Side note: I have to give many many thanks to Whitney. She listened to me yap about baby stuff, followed by pregnancy stuff, stopped what she was doing to make me an impromptu shirt for this momentous occasion, and just has gone above & beyond in the friend department through it all. Love ya Whitney & THANK YOU !! 

I wish I could show you the video. But if I did, Alex would kill me. He's super private that way. But I can tell you that it went a little something like this: Chloe wore her "BIG SIS" shirt, walked right up to him and sat on his lap, it took him a few seconds to even acknowledge she was wearing a shirt, then he told me she hated her shirt (he's anti-dogs wearing clothes), and didn't even acknowledge what the shirt said. It took him a few more seconds, and he read the shirt. He asked if we were getting another dog. (Ha!!) While I continued to be sketchy and video him, he asked "Why you gotta play games?" and then asked me if I was pregnant. When I said yes his first words were "That's awesome." and I said "Good answer." He was then sketched out by the camera and I respectfully quit recording. LOL

Telling everyone was so fun and memorable. I will have to share other videos in a future blog post. I videoed as many as I could. :) I will always cherish those videos... and that's why I am always shoving a camera in my loved ones' faces, to later have memories of a lifetime!!

I just can't believe a whole year has gone by that I've been thinking of this baby, praying for her, and doing what I can to be the best mother I can. She now comes first. She's so precious and dependent and seriously the best baby that I could have dreamed of. I now can't imagine my life without her. The Good Lord surely knew what He was doing when He picked her for me, or me for her. Either way, she's an awesome baby who loves to eat, sleep, smile, and be happy. Just like her Mama. :)

A year seems like such a long time but I can remember this day like it was yesterday. It was one of the best days of my life and I will never forget it!!

Pregnancy blows my mind.
When you think about it, something this small...

...turned into this 7 lb. 14 oz. bundle of pure love. 

Praise the Lord!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Karis Jane: 3 Months!

I gave you all a little update at one month, and here we are, two months later. Time is FLYING by and it's super bittersweet. While I can't wait to do certain things with KJ once she's older and more able, I also am going to, and already, MISS MY BABY! I swear she grows every night in her sleep.

I can guarantee you the Lord knew what He was doing when He made me her mama. He knew I had no idea what to do with a baby and gave me as low maintenance of a baby as possible.

Karis Jane is such a happy go-lucky baby. She is happy from the moment she wakes up and will just sit happily, kicking her fat little legs around, in her crib for a while before crying for someone to come get feed her. This may or may not happen in the middle of the night since, you know, I'm sleeping. Speaking of sleeping, Karis is still doing a lot of it!! While she is definitely awake more than she was, she still loves a nap! She get it from her mama! Since I returned to work, we tried to move the time we put her to bed from 10:30-11:00 to more like 9:00-9:30. Again, she's a super easy baby so we just put her pajamas on, nurse her, and she's out like a light 99% of the time. Thank goodness that cluster feeding has calmed way down! While she's nursing before bed, Alex reads her a Bible story & we pray over her. This is probably my favorite time of the day.  She'll sleep for about 5-6 hours before she wants to eat. Not bad! Since returning to work, Alex shares some nighttime duties with me, which is definitely helpful. I wake him up (do men not hear crying babies?!) and he goes and gets her out of the crib, changes her, and brings her to me in bed. I'll nurse her for about 20 minutes and she'll pass out again. Then she'll sleep for another 3-5 hours! I'm telling you, my baby loves her some sleep. Dear Lord, please let this last. 

I returned to work after 13 weeks of maternity leave. Going to work wasn't THAT bad. Knowing me and my love for my job and my work ethic, there's no way I wouldn't be making appearances at the end of the school year anyways, so I might as well be getting paid for it, amiright?! I had to return to work with two more school weeks left, then work the following workdays. Again, not bad. God DEFINITELY timed my pregnancy & subsequent maternity leave PERFECTLY. Alex's mom could watch Karis Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and my mom graciously took off work Mondays and Tuesdays while I am back at work a few weeks. Then I'll have my summer off with my baby girl!! I am super excited to spend the time with her. She's growing like a weed & is such a joy!

3 month stats:

  • Size 2 diapers
  • Wearing 0-3 or 3 month clothing
  • Probably 13ish lbs now... She was 12 lbs 1 oz at her 2 month appt. 
  • She has been sleeping in her crib full-time for a couple weeks now. 
  • She can ALMOST roll over. She sleeps on her side. :) 
  • Starting to use her hands for things.
  • Still sticks that tongue out for pics and smiles A LOT. :) She is starting to baby laugh too and it's THE MOST precious thing. 
  • She doesn't gag EVERY time we offer her a pacifier. She prefers her hands right now!
  • She loves bath time, watching the ceiling fan, to ride in the car or just basically always be moving, and her swing! Her swing is still her favorite thing. (That was the best investment.)
  • She still hasn't lost her hair & her eyes are still blue. We may end up with a blue-eyed baby after all! 
  • Still nursing! Getting better all the time... but still takes a bottle like a champ! Woo-hoo! 
  • Usually just cries when hungry, but starting to teethe and fight sleep a little... Nana purchased an amber necklace in hopes it helps!
I get it now. The overload of pictures. The missing your baby. The pure pride and joy. The bittersweetness. I get it. Motherhood is going to wreck me, but it's a pretty awesome job! Again, thanking God Karis is who she is. While I can, I also can't wait to see her grow into the little girl and later young woman God has created her to be. 

7 weeks old - first REAL smile caught on camera :) :)

8 weeks old

2 months old

11 weeks old

11 weeks old

12 weeks old - Mama's last day of maternity leave

Memorial Day 2016 - 12 weeks old

still loving that swing!!

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