Birth Story

Most women love a good birth story. I’ve been reminiscing over mine the last few days and missing the newborn snuggles. I figured I would share my most recent birth story!

Thursday (2/22) I had an appointment at the birth center (2:30pm) I was 40w+3d & at the risk of not being able to deliver there, we decided to try a membrane sweep.

Came home, felt fine. Played outside with Abigail & we took a walk around the neighborhood.

I was having some light cramping from the membrane sweep, but no contractions. Went on about my evening as normal.

Fast forward to about 11:45pm. I was laying on the couch and felt a light pop. There was no leaking, so I didn’t think anything of it. Then another pop. This time I decided to stand up & go to the bathroom. I peed, no water leaking. About ten minutes later I had to pee again. This time I had mucus plug & bloody show. I wasn’t really concerned because bleeding is normal after a sweep. But then the cramping started & was rapidly getting worse. Contractions were 5-10 minutes apart & about 35 seconds long. I called my midwife & told her I wanted to wait at home a little longer. I got in the shower to see if it would help take the edge off. The contractions were super strong from the beginning, but I still wasn’t sure if I was in labor or just having bad cramps from the sweep. Austin asked if I thought it was time to go, I said no, I want to wait a bit longer. He wasn’t convinced but we waited. I got out of the shower, tried a Miles Circuit and got on my birth ball. Austin starting timing contractions for me & they were coming about every 3 minutes lasting 1 minute. I was doing hip rolls, trying to ease the contractions, which were almost unbearable, & my water broke (around 2:30am). I knew then, it was time to go. I called my midwife & doula, telling them we would be at the birth center within the next hour.

Austin called his mom, she ran over. My mom had arrived and we woke up Abigail. We packed up the car and everyone was ready except me. Haha

The contractions were so strong & quick I couldn’t do anything but bounce on my birth ball. Austin was worried we were going to have a home birth instead. I finally got myself together enough to walk out the door. The drive there was AWFUL! It was all I could do to make through each surge. I was almost convinced I couldn’t make it through the pain.

We arrived at the birth center at 3:50am. My midwife checked me and I was at a 6! I was so relieved to be making progress. Contractions were coming right on top of each other and were fierce. I was ready to throw in the towel, thinking I couldn’t make it another few hours in that much pain. I had an awesome support team that kept telling me how wonderful I was doing & that I had this!!. We started a shower & right before I got in I had an intense urge to push. My midwife said, no shower! I had progressed to a 9.5 in the 20 minutes since we arrived. It go time! I got on the bed and with each surge I pushed our baby girl earthside. 💞 the pain was out of this world, but I knew we were so close to meeting her. Austin was there, in my ear whispering, you’ve got this, you’re doing great, we’re almost there. When I felt the ring of fire, i pushed through and her head was out! I took a break between contractions and with the next one she was born. Feeling her body slide out was amazing and I was flooded with relief. She was immediately placed on my chest and I looked at Austin and kept saying, “I did it. We did it!” I was overwhelmed with all kinds of emotion. Our second baby girl was born 2/23 @ 4:34am weighing 7lbs 15oz & 19.5 inches long. We were home within 11 hours of arriving at the birth center.

My Daddy was my hero. I just couldn’t be his.

My daddy was my biggest supporter. He loved me fiercely, and I loved him right back.

He spent Saturday afternoons teaching me how to throw a baseball or catch a ‘pop fly’. He would bring me “books” he had made on his computer at work (which was impressive for Windows 95, haha) that he’d customize with his nickname for me. He taught me how to hammer a nail. We would take these little “adventures” together, on the four-wheeler. We explore a part of the woods we’d never been to. Those were my favorite days. Just us two, enjoying the quiet, spending time together.

My daddy had a heart of gold. He was so kind and he loved Jesus with his whole heart. He could spend hours answering my questions about the Bible or putting my doubts to rest. Talking to him came so easily. He was one of those people you could go and talk to about ANYTHING. He never made you feel like you were asking a dumb question or were wrong for not knowing the answer. And, if he didn’t know the answer, he would tell you and let you know he’d find it and get back to you.

One thing people remember most about my Dad were his stories. We used to sit around the fire pit, roasting hot dogs & marshmallows, telling stories. He could get you so riled up and scared that you’d pee your pants, literally. He would tell a story about some creature he once saw, then have you swearing you were seeing eyes in the woods. Those of us who knew these stories, would sit by and hold in our laughter. The thing is though, he would never tell you if he had made it up or not, that way you’d go on wondering.

It has been 11 years since my Daddy. Since I heard his big, booming voice tell me he loved me. Since I held his giant hand or tugged on his elbow. ELEVEN YEARS.

I’ll never forget getting the call. “You need to come to the hospital”. I didn’t think that was the end. He had been to the hospital many times before, but he always came home. The next call came: “It is critical that you get here fast”. I started to panic. The ride was the longest of my life. When we arrived I walked in and saw him. I could’ve sworn he was sleeping. It looked just like he was sleeping. I walked to wake him, but he wouldn’t wake up. Why wasn’t he waking up?! That’s when I realized that he wasn’t sleeping. He was gone. Forever.

My daddy, like most little girls’, was my hero. Always there to save to me when I needed him. I just couldn’t do the same for him. In that moment I felt like a failure. Like I had let him down. And not one of those, kid type of letdowns. This was bigger than that. I couldn’t save him. I wanted to, more than anything, but it was out my control.

All the missed moments of time that I had let slip through the cracks. Time that I would’ve rather spent with friends, acting stupid, than with the man who raised me, even though I wasn’t his blood. He was my grandfather, he was my father, but most importantly he was my Dad.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day and I wish he were here. Selfishly. Because deep down I know he is in Heaven, with my mom (grandma), and Jesus. I just can’t help but want to hug him once more or even have him yell at me for something stupid I did.

Father’s day isn’t only for those Dads that are biologically yours. It’s for the dads that stepped up when another couldn’t. Who taught you one of life’s hard lessons when yours wouldn’t. Don’t forget about them. And don’t forget about the dads we’ve lost.

IN LOVING MEMORY: Jimmy Edward Stafford January 25, 1937-November 10, 2007

Where is the love?

THE BEST KIND OF FRIENDSHIPS ARE FIERCE LADY FRIENDSHIPS WHERE YOU AGGRESSIVELY BELIEVE IN EACH OTHER, DEFEND EACH OTHER, AND THINK THE OTHER DESERVES THE WORLD

In a few of the Facebook groups I’m in, the women are full of hatred toward another. Not all of them, of course, but enough. They comment with such hostility, it’s scary. It makes me wonder what our world will be like if this continues.

We as women, mothers, daughters, wives, we need to be there for each other. To lift each other up and support one another. Too often I see a Mom reaching out for advice and in turn getting attacked. So, maybe she didn’t do the right thing, instead of criticizing that, show her the right thing.

If we don’t have each other’s backs, who will? If you stumble upon a mom at the grocery store, corraling her 3 rambunctious kids, don’t give her the side eye. Stop, look her IN the eye and let her know she’s doing a good job. Ask her if she needs anything. I bet you’re the only one that will.

Where is the love?

It is time we came together and stood up for each other. After all, we are all out here just trying to make it. Just trying to be the best we can and sometimes failing miserably. But that’s when we need each other most. To say, hey. I see you. I see that you’re struggling, but look how far you’ve come. Keep going, Mama. You’ve got this.

Be the change. Support women everywhere.

Why We Homeschool

We were at Chick-fil-A the other day (our home away from home) & the cashier asked my oldest where she went to school. “I’m homeschooled”, she replied. I waited, anticipating her response, ready to respond with facts. But, unlike most, she completely understood our standpoint.

You see, most of the time people don’t get it. Why don’t you send your kid to public school like normal parents? How does she socialize? Does she have friends? You could get more done during the day if she went to school. These are questions I’ve been asked more than once. But it doesn’t bother me anymore. Homeschooling is the right decision for us and my husband and I are the only two people who get to have any input on the situation. #sorrynotsorry

Homeschooling has grown so much. There a ton of resources of there, it’s amazing really. Groups have popped up all over the world! Here in the US there are multiple groups per county. Most of the co-ops offer classes or activities and lasting friendships, not only for the kids but the parents as well. This isn’t just a schooling decision, it’s a lifestyle!

Here’s a short list of a few reasons why we went with homeschooling.

  • You can cater your teaching style to your child’s learning style. This is extremely important. You want to make sure your child is being taught in a way they can understand. If not, then what is the point?
  • Learning through play and experience. I, personally disagree with the length of time kids have to sit in school. It’s ridiculous, really. And then they bring homework to do at home, too?! I believe kids learn more efficiently by being hands on.
  • You can move at your own pace. If you see your child isn’t getting something, spend extra time on it. Move forward if they are excelling.
  • Homeschooling is a “create your own schedule” type of thing. That’s one of my favorite things about it. My husband works 3rd shift so it is hard to have family time. This makes it a little easier.

I thought the hardest part would be teaching my oldest to read. Over the last year her reading skills have blossomed. She amazes me everyday. It really is something, to see their growth and watch it all unfold.

If you’re thinking about taking the leap, I say go for it. Do your research, though. It can feel overwhelming at first, but take your time and a few deep breaths. It won’t be as hard as you think.

Feel free leave questions in the comments or reach out via email! I would love to share my experiences, book recommendations, and more!

It Won’t Be Like This For Long

You know those rides you get on and they have warnings like, “keep your arms & legs inside the ride at all times”? I feel like parenting should have a warning like that.

“Hold on tight, this ride will be wildest of your life”

Ain’t that the truth. You get on, knowing it’s going to be quite the journey. And while you’re on it, you wonder if you’ll ever make it to the end. But once it’s over, you can’t believe you made it. Or that it happened so quickly.

My 7 year old is a force of nature. She pushes every damn button I have. But, she’s always the sweetest soul I know. She has so much compassion and love in her little self, & I don’t know how I ever lived without her. I used to think, in the thick of toddlerhood, how will I ever make it out alive?! hahaha! Yet, here we are, she’s growing up and I feel like I missed it.

My 15 month old is full of personality. She’s always happy and has a way to draw you in with her charm. One of her less charming days was today. It’s pretty obvious when she’s going #2, I saw her hiding out in the kitchen & went ahead and grabbed some wipes and a clean diaper. My oldest goes “Mommy, she has poop on her leg”. So, it wasn’t a regular poop. It was a POOP-EXPLOSION. I grabbed her, ready to wipe her leg, when I noticed her hand has also been graced with e presence of poop. Joy. But that wasn’t the worst of it. SHE HAD RUBBED HER EYE. *gasps* *deep breaths* Bath time it is! Disclaimer: {No babies or mamas were harmed in the Poop-explosion of 2019}

“The days are long, but the years are short”

It seems like every phase your kid goes through, just dragggggggggs on. But, then when they go on to the next phase, you want to go back to the one before.

A few examples: When my girls were immobile, I couldn’t wait to seem them start crawling/walking. I loved carrying them, don’t get me wrong, but I knew it would be nice to let them go places on their own. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! Immediately, I realized life was much easier when I could lay them on the floor and they stayed in the same spot I left them. All of a sudden I was chasing them EVERYWHERE. I thought I was a hot mess before, hahaha.

And, you know you can’t wait for your babies to say their first word. My oldest daughter’s was ‘Hey’. My husband and I were baffled. We were expecting her to say Mama or Dada, like we kept hearing about. Nope. She didn’t want either of us to have that satisfaction. Our youngest daughter’s had different plans. She, apparently, didn’t care that I had had been sick, tired, and protecting her little self for 9 months before she was born. She gave her father the enjoyment of saying ‘Dada’ first (& proceeded to only say dada, all day long, for the next 4 months). So, now our babies were finally babbling. Then they started to talk. Talk. TALK. All the time. Asking a (literal) thousand questions a day. And we started to question ourselves, for being so impatient about our kids learning to talk. Because once, they do. They are never quiet again.

So, while the days pass slowly and you’re exhausted by dinnertime, it won’t last forever. Soak it up; the love, the crazy, all of it. I promise it won’t be like this for long. There will come a time (sooner than you think) that you’ll wish you could go back, even for just a little while.

8 Things I Want My Daughters to Remember

I love you, always. No matter what happens in life; where you go, who you love, what career you choose. I will always be there, cheering you on and loving you. Never forget that.

Believe in yourself. There will times in your life when people doubt you, that says more about them than you. Don’t let that bring you down. If you believe you can do something, other people will too!

Step out of your comfort zone. The saying “great things never came from comfort zones” is so true! Get out there, do something or talk to someone you normally wouldn’t. It won’t be easy, but I promise it will be worth it.

You are beautiful, just the way you are. There are so many standards for girls out there. But, unless you’re bettering you for YOU, don’t give in to them. Just keep being perfectly you.

Be brave. Take chances. You’re going to get scared, be hurt, lose someone you love. But through it all, remember to be brave. It may not seem like it, but I promise you will make it through.

Be kind. We are all walking different paths in life, keep that in mind when speaking to others. Even though you may be on top of the world, their circumstances could be very different. Treat them kindly. You may be the only person who will.

Be honest. You will go far in life just by being truthful. People will respect you, but most importantly, you will respect yourself.

Stand up for yourself & the things you believe in. Although I will always be in your corner, others won’t, and that is a part of life. If it is something you’re passionate about and believe in wholeheartedly, don’t back down.

Lonely, yet never alone

When people learn I’m a Stay at Home Mom, they usually respond with “Oh, you’re so lucky!” And it’s true. I AM absolutely blessed to be able to stay home with my girls every single day. I love knowing I’ll be there for all of their successes. To share in the joys, and even the chaos.

But some days, it sure is lonely.

You’re probably thinking, “Wait, you’re never alone! How can you be lonely?” Correct again. I am never alone. I go to the bathroom and one, if not both, of the girls are close behind. And if they aren’t, there’s always the dog.

The truth is, there are days I see only my kids. They are the only interactions I have. And, while I love them so much, sometimes I need adult conversation!

“What about your friends?” you ask. Well, making mom friends isn’t as easy as you might think. Sure, I have plenty of ‘friends’. We might comment on each others posts or say hey at the grocery store, but that’s usually the extent of our relationship.

While my loneliness still lurks in the shadows, I’ve found a few ways to keep it there.

  1. Take up reading. If you don’t already love to get lost in a good fiction novel, get started. You can go so many places, all while sitting on your couch.
  2. Go for a walk. Fresh air does the mind good.
  3. Join a mom group. Preferably an in person one, but if you insist on joining an online one, put yourself out there. The point is to meet new people.
  4. Write. I started this blog to write out my thoughts and feelings. To share my experiences and meet like minded people along the way.
  5. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Friendships take time, sure. But you have to start somewhere and that is at “Hello”. Reach out. Your next BFF could be right in front of you.

Naps & Chaos

Before I became a mother, I thought there wasn’t enough time in a day. I was always so busy with work, cleaning, and barely found the time to sleep. I had SO much time on my hands!

Netflix binges, uninterrupted naps, reading, relaxing, long showers. Did I mention naps?

{Sidenote: Why is there no such things as “Rollover Naps”? I mean, I know there were times throughout my childhood that I refused a nap, so how come I can’t cash in on those now?!}

Now, the only Netflix shows I’m binge watching are Little Baby Bum and Word Party.

Before motherhood – I didn’t have many things to worry about and the things I did, seem so silly now. Who am I going to invite over this weekend?, Should I go buy a new outfit before the party? None of those things were really life changing.

Now the only question I have on Friday night is “Which pair of sweatpants will be the most comfortable?”, “Should I stay up after the kids go to bed & have ‘me’ time, or catch up on sleep?” #whatfridaynightsaremadeof

Looking back now, I can’t help but laugh. I thought my life was so full then. I seriously had no idea . Sure, I might have had more time for myself then, but I wasn’t really BEING myself then.

The real me is a messy bun, Goodwill t-shirt, 3rd day wear pair of jeans. I’ll likely have my RBF in place, a toddler on my hip, and a sassy blonde 7 year old by my side. Motherhood is hard. All consuming. It takes over every single aspect of your life (& body, haha). But, the day my children took over my heart, were the best days of my life. They are the best gifts I’ve ever received.

My life is chaotic now. Full of laughter, love, and craziness (also, poop. because – toddler) and I wouldn’t change a thing.

I lost my Mama, but it felt more like I had lost a limb

Grief is a funny thing. It comes in waves. Some wash over you slowly, while others slam into you with such force it knocks you down.

Discover and share the most beautiful images from around the world

Most days, my grief is bearable. I move through my daily routine with ease, pausing to reminisce on a happy memory. Remembering a funny story my Mama told me or something silly she did.

Then there are days I’m, quite literally, knocked down to my knees. It could be while I’m in the kitchen, making one of my Mama’s famous Chicken Pot Pies. The smell takes me back to the day we baked them together. And, just like that, I’m overwhelmed with heartache, sobbing uncontrollably, wishing she were standing there next to me telling what to do next.

It is so hard to lose a loved one. But to lose a Mother, that is something you never really get over.

It has been 3 devastating years and I’m still just getting by.

I have learned a few things though:

  • There is no right or wrong way to grieve. For me, writing helps. Sometimes I’ll sit down and write a letter to my Mama or even talk out loud. It may sound a little odd, but it is how I grieve.
  • Grief does not expire. No one can tell you it is time to “get over it” (& if they do, maybe you should choose to get over them!) You should take as long as you feel you need to grieve a loved one.
  • It is okay to let go of their belongings. I wanted to hold on to every little thing. Somehow it felt wrong to get rid of even the smallest possession. I finally came to terms with the fact that those things weren’t my Mama.
  • I could be happy and it wasn’t wrong. For a while after she passed away, I didn’t want to allow myself to have happy days. My Mama had died, how could I ever be happy again? But, that’s the cycle of life. It was normal to still laugh, even when I felt so broken inside.
  • You will still pick up the phone to call them. Three years later and I still find myself thinking “I need to call and tell Mama about …” It’s the craziest thing. I know she can’t answer, but for 26 years of my life she was my person. She was the first person I told when I found I was pregnant (besides my husband), the one I called for advice when something was going wrong.

If you’re reading this & your mom is still alive, pick up the phone. CALL HER. Tell her you love you and thank her for everything she’s done for you. There will come a day where that simple task will no longer possible and it will be devastating.

In Memory of my sweet Mama. The one who raised me. I miss you every single day.

YWS 1941-2016

1454766_1379636888953925_866121257_n (1)12698528_1247848591896575_3004966664640327043_o

Defining Motherhood

What is Motherhood?

No matter who you present that question to, the answers will vary. If you’d have asked me that before I became a mom, I may have said something like, “kissing boo boos, bedtime stories, catching lightning bugs”. Now that I have two kids, I know Motherhood is so much more than that.

I believe that everyone defines their own motherhood. We are all out here trying to raise our kids to be the best version of themselves, while also trying to be the best version of OURselves. It’s overwhelming and rewarding, all at the same time. With the love and laughter comes worry and heartbreak.

Mothers are looked at as some sort of superhero. And, while we must try to juggle so many things at once, we are simply human. It is hard to try to live up to every hype of “pinterest mom” or “soccer mom”. So, I’m standing (technically sitting, haha) here saying, STOP. Stop living for what everyone else sees or thinks of you and just be the best mom you can be. That’s all your children will remember. You gave your all, you loved them, and were there for them when they needed you most.

Here’s my motherhood.

It’s full of love, bedtime stories, boo boo kisses, crying (I am raising girls, after all), laughter, picnics at the park, crafts, flower crowns, silly songs, and chaos. Lots of chaos.