Giving Every Minute a Name

Hazel has been with us for almost 3 weeks. So far, she’s still breathing. Every day I keep her alive is a success. [First-time-mom syndrome]. Time seems to slip through my fingers these days. I feed her every 3 hours – diaper change, breastfeed, bottle feed, diaper change, swaddle, put her down and pump. By the time I’m done with my routine, an hour and a half has passed and then I clean the bottle and pump parts for the next go around. By the time I finished with all of this, I have a little over an hour until my routine starts again. In this precious hour I can eat, work on Eden, take a shower,  do laundry (and try to remember to put the clothes in the dryer), straighten up the house, make more baby wipes, restock the nursery with diapers, take out the trash from her room, start dinner, clean up after dinner, workout (when I’m at least 6 weeks postpartum), or rest. It’s crazy how insanely busy I can be in a day, and when I try to tell Robbie what I’ve done or accomplished, I draw a blank… but I’ve been hustling from 6:15am – 10:30pm.

When people say being  a parent is a “full-time job”… what they mean is a “full-time job with overtime but has great benefits.”

There’s so much that needs [or I want] to get done in a day and I’ve done a good job not getting overwhelmed [yet]. Since she is on a schedule, it gives me the opportunity to schedule out my time and priorities as well, once she’s put down and content until the next feeding. It’s like “giving every dollar a name”, except with my minutes.

My goal over the next few weeks is to identify what needs to get done, and what I’d like to do and mesh that in with Hazel’s schedule.

Hazel has been such a little sweet gift to our family. She sleeps well at night and during the day, she’s fussy only when we change her and when she’s about to eat, and she likes to snuggle 🙂

If you’re wondering where I’ve found time to write this blog post, it’s after my 6:30am feeding. This is the time where I can have breakfast, get on the computer and take a shower. I don’t know what I would do without my baby monitor. It helps being able to see her in her crib, knowing she’s not suffocating on something, or crying.

Getting me on a schedule with Hazel will be good for us. I won’t feel as aimless and I’ll have something to shoot for every day. I also don’t want the things I’d like to accomplish in my day to overshadow my priceless time with Hazel either.

It’s a balancing act. Time is a funny thing.

My Week on The Farm

Robbie and I spent a week at The Farm postpartum and it was incredible. My midwives present at my birth were Deborah, Pamela, Sara and Carrie. My primary midwife, Deborah, came over every day to check on me, monitor Hazel, and just to hang out for a couple of hours. She served us so well while we stayed there. She knitted Hazel a hat and crocheted little booties for her that are adorable, she let us borrow her laptop to watch a movie, and taught me how to use a breast pump, answered my many first-time mom questions, among many other things. The midwives at The Farm are so generous and kind and just overall really wonderful people. If Robbie and I ever have another baby, I wouldn’t hesitate to return to The Farm for my prenatal’s, delivery, and postpartum care. I learned so much that week.. it boosted my self-confidence as a mother that I could actually tackle this thing called motherhood. 

The day after delivery, Hazel started to look a little yellow.. and sure enough she developed some jaundice. The whites of her eyes looked yellow, her little belly was yellow… I called her my little pumpkin. Deborah and Pamela monitored her over the next few days during house visits and recommended we put her in indirect sunlight to burn off the excess bilirubin in her skin. It’s amazing how well something that simple worked. We all kept an eye on her the next 5 days and her colored started to return to normal. We think the reason she had jaundice is because of a blood incompatibility between me and Robbie. I’m O+ and Robbie may be A something.. we tried to find out before her birth but was unsuccessful.

Hazel had also lost some weight the first 3 days to the point where we thought it would be a good idea to supplement with Formula, on top of breastfeeding. [I had a breast reduction when I was 18 so I was prepared that I may not make any milk at all so the fact that I’m making some is awesome] I was more than happy to do this and had already bought some formula from Germany I kind of liked in case something like this happened. Carrie showed and educated me on breastfeeding and gave me some good tips. I’ve been taking some herbal lactation pills recommended by Deborah to increase milk supply which has really been helping, and I’m pumping so that I know for sure Hazel is getting something from me.

I can totally tell that my hormones have crashed since giving birth and I’ve always been very sensitive to hormonal changes. I’ve been taking my placenta pills every day and I feel like they’re helping stabilize things. Sara also made placenta art which is pretty awesome – matches her room perfectly, and will be hanging on the wall as soon as I can find a frame that’ll work 🙂

Deborah, Sara and Carrie came over to the house a few days ago to hang out for a minute, and check on Hazel. They weighed her and she’s almost back up to her birth weight! So the breastfeeding, pumping, and formula feeding has been a success!! This regimen has really been beneficial to Hazel so we’ll continue it as long as we need to. Perfect world scenario, I would be making enough breast-milk to sustain her BUT it’s not a perfect world and I’m just thankful and thrilled that I’m making any at all to give her. 

Thank you Deborah, Pamela, Sara and Carrie for a special experience that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.







Hazel’s Here! : Birth Story

February 15th, at 1:30pm, my water broke.

I saw God in so much of my day. I’ve been slowly leaking amniotic fluid for a couple of days but not enough to write home about. Finally on Sunday I got a good sample of it to test and send to my midwife and sure enough, the PH was high enough for her to feel confident that I could go ahead and make my way to The Farm sometime that afternoon. We were due for a “snow storm” that night and into the morning so the timing couldn’t have been better. We had already grocery shopped that morning too. Robbie and I took our time getting ready, packing, etc when my water for real broke. I had no idea how to contain it.. It was surreal. After that, we started to hustle. Got the car packed, was having light contractions on our way (1 hour drive). When we got to the farm, we got into our birth cabin, got settled in and started walking around to move labor along. Not long after that, I was laying in bed getting really intense contractions while Robbie read a book to me about how to conduct a staff meeting. I had made a playlist for labor and delivery that played the whole time. My labor progressed quickly to the point that when I was checked for the first time I was already fully dilated. The plan was to have a water birth but Hazel was quickly on her way and we didn’t have time. I pushed in 4 different positions and ended up delivering on the birthing stool. It was intense! As soon as her head came out Robbie and I looked at each other with a look that doesn’t have words. I guess shock and amazement could come close to describing it. As soon as her whole body came out, I could feel tears on my shoulder from Robbie. That’s something I’ll never forget. She just looked around and didn’t cry. The only time she cried was when they suctioned her mouth. Baby Hazel was born at 9:59pm: 7 lbs, 19.5 inches long. Labored for 7 hours. Thankfully, I didn’t tear during delivery and I didn’t poop during labor! When Hazel was born, I got to hold her, skin to skin, while I birthed the placenta and waited for the cord to stop pulsing. Robbie cut the cord. After I birthed the placenta I started getting light-headed. I was losing quite a bit of blood so they laid me down on the bed next to Hazel. One of the midwives drew up some Pitocin but after they massaged my uterus the bleeding subsided enough and my blood pressure was normal. I stayed laying down or sitting up most of the remainder of the night.

The snow storm turned out to be mostly an ice storm which equally sucks when driving. We’ll probably stay at the farm for a few more nights while I recover and still have the midwives close for monitoring and follow-up visits. We’ve learned so much from them!
So far Robbie’s changed all of her diapers and has become a master swaddler in 24 hours. I’m doing good just to walk to the bathroom and back to bed right now from being weak but that’ll subside over the next day or so. I’m not in any pain when laying down and only have slight discomfort when going to the bathroom. I’ve got some healing to do. Haha
My placenta is currently being turned into pills by Sara Rosser so i can take them to help elevate any postpartum depression and help stabilize my hormonal balance.
I’m so happy with my birth experience. I was so encouraged the entire time. Robbie and my midwives were amazing. Hazel is a great baby, and we love her very much. If we ever had another baby, I wouldn’t hesitate returning to The Farm.

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The Big Picture

So the past few weeks have been a nesting blur. In 12 days, Robbie and I have put our crib together, painted the walls, decorated, found a white dresser on Craigslist, ordered and washed everything, organized baby shower gifts, disinfected bottles, nipples and pumps, etc etc etc. Why the sense of urgency? I’m due Feb 21st and it’s Feb 13th.
Most of my days the last few weeks have been consumed with beating the clock. I have no idea when labor will start and I want everything to be ready when it happens… But then it hit me. Why don’t I live the rest of my life like this? I should always live my life with that same sense of urgency because I don’t know when my last day is. My time could be up on my way to dinner tonight. I almost felt a bit foolish for the time I had invested in nesting as opposed to how little that reflects my actual life.
Yes, I’m excited and yes I want to be prepared.. But after the baby comes, what will I be that excited about next? I want to dedicate my time wisely because just like waiting on labor, I don’t know when I’ll be out of time on this planet.
I want to live my life with a fierce respect of my time here, and take advantage of opportunities before me and not fall to laziness.
This is the one life I’ve been given, and I want to honor it by using it well.

Fight fear

“Fear will always establish the limits of your life.” – Pete Wilson

Today has been one of those days where it’s apparent how much fear has been holding me back. It’s to the point where I’m letting down those I love the most.

I’m scared of looking stupid.
I’m scared of not being taken seriously.
I’m scared of putting myself “out there” & being rejected.

I never thought of myself as a prideful person but what am I to lose if one of those fears actually happened? Damage my ego? Pride? Embarrass me for 10 seconds?

I can’t help but wonder what opportunities I’ve already missed out on because of this flaw – this limit created out of fear. I don’t want to look back on my life and wish I hadn’t taken myself so seriously.

Life isn’t about being super serious for me. It’s about taking risks and having fun. I am constricting myself from that life due to fear but not anymore. I am going to fight fear, break through my own barriers and not take myself so seriously. I’m going to have fun. Care less what others think. and be brave.

Today, I am a strong, brave and confident woman who doesn’t let fear control her decisions.

Blind //

I’m currently living with one foot hanging off a cliff.. while the other is firmly rooted into the earth. I think I’ve lived most of my life in this way but this time it’s different. It’s not intentionally reckless or irresponsible. It’s a future full of unknown responsibilities and reckless abandonment in love. It’s a new life behind a frosted glass that I can’t quite make out what’s happening. It’s an old silent movie that screams to be noticed. Around me there are so many sounds, loud, chaotic, & all at once. But all my heart will let in is a gentle hum that allows my soul to rest.
There’s a large black unknown in the distance that requires me to jump. Unroot my foot. Dive from that cliff. I’m searching deep for courage and am uncovering a mirage of emotions I’ve never known existed. This spectrum of feelings will be my new existence.
I am stepping into motherhood.
Watch me jump.