Jun 262013
 

KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer

Welcome to the KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer Giveaway!

You will have the chance to win a beautiful KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer ($230 ARV) sponsored by myself and a group of other awesome bloggers. Will you be the lucky winner?

About the KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer: The tilt-head feature and generous 4-1/2-quart capacity make the KitchenAid Stand Mixer the ultimate in user-friendly design. Features 10 speeds and KitchenAid’s unique planetary mixing action, driven by a powerful 275-watt motor. Rugged all-metal construction ensures long life and quiet operation, and rubber feet anchor it securely while in use. This mixer has a 4-1/2-quart stainless steel bowl.

Special thanks to our co-hosts: Oh My Gosh Beck!Searching 4 SavingsA Few Short Cuts and Mommies with Cents.

Giveaway is open to the US only and ends July 17th at 11:59 PM EST. Good luck!

 

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 Posted by at 6:44 pm
Jun 262013
 

 

John is a huge Dr. Seuss fan.  He loves all books by Dr. Seuss.  I think he bought Kayleigh’s first Dr. Seuss book the week we found out I was pregnant with her, and we’ve accumulated many more books by Dr. Seuss since then!

John and Kayleigh Reading Dr. Seuss

While books by Dr. Seuss can be quite silly and crazy, most of his books teach a valuable lesson, in a subtle way that children will never forget. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Here’s a list of our 10 Favorite Books by Dr. Seuss:

Our 10 Favorite Books by Dr. Seuss 

1.  The Lorax – The Lorax is a wonderful book that teaches children to care about our planet.  We want to teach Kayleigh this very valuable lesson.  We can’t wait to teach her how to garden, and take care of plants, and be respectful of all living things.

The Lorax

2.  Oh, the Places You’ll Go – This book is awesome because it encourages children, and even adults, and shows them that even though there will be many ups and downs throughout their lives, they have the potential to do anything they want.  This book makes an excellent graduation gift!

Oh, the Places You'll Go

3.  The Sneetches and Other Stories – This books contains a few different stories, but our favorite is The Sneetches. This story teaches children to be acceptable to others, even if they are different.

The Sneetches

4.   Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book – This is an excellent bedtime story.  It’s warm and cozy, and full of wonderful illustrations.  

Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book

5.   The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins – This book teaches children about bullying and the abuse of power.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

6.  Wacky Wednesday – While this book doesn’t really teach children a “valuable lesson”, it does teach them to be observant, as they scan each page to find all of the things out of place.  When I was a little girl, my Nana had this book at her house, and it was one of my favorites.  I read this book many times, and it always made me laugh!  This book isn’t actually by Dr. Seuss but it’s in the Cat in the Hat’s Beginner Books series. 

Wacky Wednesday

7.  There’s No Place Like Space:  All About Our Solar System – This is an incredible tool for teaching children about our solar system.  Cat in the Hat heads to space and rhymes his way among the planets, teaching important facts along the way.  This book isn’t actually by Dr. Seuss, but it’s in The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library.There's No Place Like Space 8.  Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? –  This books teaches children to be appreciative of what they have, because there are people that are far worse off.  

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

9.  Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! – This book encourages children to be creative and use their imaginations

Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

10.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas – No Dr. Seuss book collection would be complete without this book.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas teaches children all about the Christmas spirit, and that Christmas in not all about presents, but about being with the ones you love.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

What are your favorite books by Dr. Seuss?

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.

 Posted by at 1:27 pm
Jun 212013
 

 

The Egg McMuffin has always been my favorite breakfast item from McDonald’s, and now they have a slimmed down version, the Egg White Delight McMuffin.  The Egg White Delight McMuffin is 50 calories, and 5 grams of fat less than the Egg McMuffin! 

The Egg White Delight McMuffin is made with freshly grilled egg whites, extra lean Canadian bacon and smooth white cheddar, stacked on a toasted English muffin, made with 8 grams of whole grain.  All this, for only 250 calories, so you won’t feel too guilty for scarfing one down!

Egg White Delight McMuffin

I really enjoyed this lighter version of the Egg McMuffin.  It was fresh and tasty, and I really enjoyed the white cheddar cheese instead of the usual yellow American cheese used on the Egg McMuffin.  One sandwich was satisfying and enough to hold me over until lunch time rolled around.    

McDonald’s has given me 10 coupons to give away to my readers!  I’ll be giving away 2 coupons to 5 winners, so you can enjoy a sandwich yourself, and share one with someone else!  These coupons expire on December 31, 2013.

To enter for a chance to win 2 coupons for a FREE Egg White Delight McMuffin from McDonalds, simply complete as many entries as you wish, using the Rafflecopter application below.  5 winners will each receive 2 coupons.  Winners will be contact via e-mail at the end of the giveaway period, and must claim their prize within one week, or a new winner will be chosen.  Please allow 4 weeks for prize delivery.  This giveaway is in no way associated with or sponsored by Facebook.  

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Good luck!  :)

Disclosure:  I received free product coupons in exchange for my honest review and opinion.  

 Posted by at 4:46 pm
Jun 192013
 

 

Being a new Mom means I’m constantly covered in breast milk, spit up, and other gross things.  On the rare occasion that I actually have time to take a shower, I really need to make it count.  Dial Body Wash helps me feel clean and fresh again!  

Dial Body Wash is available in several different varieties, including Spring Water, Lavendar & Twilight Jasmine, Mountain Fresh, Gold Antibacterial, Coconut Water & Bamboo Leaf Extract, Himalayan Salt & Exfoliating Beads, Tangerine & Guava, Grape Seed Oil & Lemongrass, Cranberry & Antioxidant Pearls, White Tea & Vitamin E, Himalayan Pink Salt & Water Lily, Shea, Jojoba & Mango Butter, Vanilla Honey, White Peach & Shea Butter, and Soy & Almond Milk.  Don’t they all sound amazing?!

To commemorate Dial’s 65th anniversary, Dial is giving away $65,000.00 in gold to one lucky winner!  In addition, everyday from June 16th to August 19th, 65 daily winners will receive a year’s supply of Dial Body Wash!  Awesome, right?!  You can enter once a day at the link below!

Click Here to Enter to Win $65,000.00 in gold or A Year’s Supply of Dial Body Wash!

Dial has also given me three coupons to give away on my blog.  Each coupon is good for a FREE bottle of any (1) Dial Body Wash!  These coupons expire 8/20/14.  

To enter to win one of these coupons, simply complete as many entries as you wish using the Rafflecopter application below.  Three winners will each receive one coupon.  Winners will be e-mailed at the end of the giveaway period, and must claim their prize within one week, or a new winner will be chosen.  Please allow up to 4 weeks for prize delivery.  This giveaway is in no way associated with or sponsored by Facebook. 

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Good luck! :)

Disclosure: I received free product coupons in exchange for my honest review and opinion.

 Posted by at 1:03 pm
Jun 182013
 

 

Summer’s here, and that means it’s time for ice cream! John and I love taking trips to Gifford’s for their awesome ice cream (seriously awesome!), but it’s hard to get out of the house with Kayleigh now, and eating ice cream out at a restaurant can be very expensive too.  

We have a Deni Ice Cream Maker at home, so I’ve been making homemade ice cream lately.  It’s a lot cheaper, really easy to make, and I can add any ingredients I want to it!  

I absolutely love this ice cream maker.  It’s very high quality and a great price too!  It comes with a candy crusher, making it super easy to add candy and nuts to your ice cream mixture.  I have it in the pretty blueberry color below, but it is available in several other colors as well.  

Deni Ice Cream MakerDeni Ice Cream Maker with Candy Crusher

Today I made an awesome vanilla ice cream.  I love this 3 Ingredient Recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream.  This is really so simple, and very tasty too!  I like vanilla ice cream because you can dress it up with any toppings you like.  Everyone in the family can get exactly what they want!

Easy 3 Ingredient Recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream

Easy 3 Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream

Here’s the 3 Ingredient Recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream!  You’ll love how creamy and delicious this ice cream turns out.  It’s pretty darn amazing!

[yumprint-recipe id=’2′] 

 Posted by at 12:45 pm
Jun 172013
 

 

Breastfeeding.  It’s what’s best for baby, but not always what’s best for Mom.  When I talk to other Moms about breastfeeding, most of them absolutely love it.  They love the bond they share with their baby.  Not me.  I bond with my baby in other ways, like when I read her stories, sing her lullabies, or when we fall asleep together on the couch. 

I breastfeed simply because “breast is best”.  I’d rather not feed Kayleigh formula if I don’t have to.  It’s expensive, it smells funny, and it makes for a much more disgusting interesting diaper change.  

I’ve been breastfeeding for over a month now, and I still hate it.  That doesn’t mean I’m going to give it up any time soon though.  I plan to breastfeed for 8-10 months, or possibly a year.  We’ll see how that goes.  It’s just one more sacrifice I will make for my daughter because I love her and want the very best for her.  I didn’t love feeling every single contraction, and pushing for 2.5 hours during her 24 hour natural birthing process, but, I did that for her too.   Because I love her.  

7 Things I Hate About Breastfeeding

Image provided by FreeDigitalImages.net.

7 Things I Hate About Breastfeeding 

 1.  It Can Be Painful – Breastfeeding can be quite painful sometimes, especially in those first few days when your milk hasn’t come in yet, and you don’t really know what the hell you’re doing.  Your nipples get all dry, cracked and blistered, and even slathering them in Lansinoh doesn’t completely heal them.  

My nurses and midwives told me that breastfeeding should not hurt, and if it does, then the baby is not latching properly.  Well, Kayleigh’s got her latch under control, but sometimes it still hurts.  Like when she breastfeeds all.day.long.  Or when her Daddy makes a loud noise while I’m feeding her, startling her, and she pulls on my nipple really hard.  Ouch!

There’s also engorgement.  That’s when you haven’t had a chance to breastfeed or pump for a while and your boobs get so full that they feel like they’ll explode if you don’t express some of that milk out of them.  Fun times.

2.  I Have No Time to Myself – Babies digest breast milk much more quickly than they do formula, so breastfed babies need to be fed more often than formula fed babies.  Like every 2-3 hours.  Did I mention that’s every 2-3 hours from the time you start breastfeeding, not from the time you stop?  So, if Kayleigh takes an hour to eat, which she does a lot of times, then I have to feed her again in an hour.  And no, I don’t have time to myself during that hour in between.  That hour is spent burping her, changing her diaper, bathing her, trying to settle her down, the list goes on and on…  And on days when she’s going through a growth spurt, she never wants to stop feeding.  

3.  I Miss Out on All the Fun – Yesterday, John and I took Kayleigh to my parents’ house for a Father’s Day gathering.  One of my sisters was also there, along with my grandmother, her sister, and some friends that were visiting from Florida, who I hadn’t seen in over a year.  Well, right in the middle of all of the fun, Kayleigh got fussy and needed to eat.  So, I had to leave everyone, head on down to the bedroom, and listen to the laughter coming from the livingroom, while I spent nearly an hour feeding Kayleigh, all by lonesome self while everyone else was having a great time catching up with each other.  :(

4.  It’s Very Inconvenient –  It’s a huge chore to get out of the house and travel anywhere when you breastfeed.  I’m not one of those Moms that are comfortable pulling my boob out in front of everyone to feed Kayleigh.  I only do that in private.  So, I can only be out in public with her for short bursts of time when she’s not hungry (usually no more than an hour or two).  It makes it really hard to get out of the house, and impossible to get out of the house alone.

On Saturday, John and I went into the city to run some errands.  We had to go get my engagement ring cleaned and inspected, pick up Kayleigh’s 2 week pictures from JC Penney, get gas, and stop somewhere for lunch.  We had intended to go grocery shopping together as well, but halfway through our lunch, Kayleigh started fussing and needed to eat.  So, we scarfed down our lunch (the first restaurant outing we have had in over a month!) and rushed home so I could feed Kayleigh.  John ended up going grocery shopping by himself, again.  

5.  It’s Exhausting – When you breastfeed, it’s extremely difficult to just pass your baby off to someone else to feed her, so you never get a break.  The only way you can do so, is if you are able to pump a bottle of milk ahead of time, but I have not been able to master that yet.  You know all those late night feedings?  Well, that’s all on ME too.  John can’t feed her, so there’s really no point in him getting up to help me.  So, I’m the one with all the sleep deprivation, every single night.  Yay me!

6.  It’s Messy – I can’t tell you how many times my boobs have leaked all over my nursing bras, shirts, pants, the couch, Kayleigh…  Sometimes when she pulls off early, it’s still squirting out and goes all over the place.  I feel like I am constantly covered in breast milk, and that stuff is sticky!

7.  I Have to Give Up Things I Love – I haven’t had an alcoholic beverage in over 10 months!  I’m not an alcoholic by any means, but geez, I’d love to be able to have even just one drink once in a while.  I also have to limit myself to only ONE cup of coffee per day.  Ugh.  John will drink 5-6 cups of coffee some days, and I am so jealous.  I’m the one with all the sleep deprivation, yet I can’t drink enough caffeine to actually help me get through it.  Yesterday, at my parents’ house, my Dad cooked up some onions and peppers in oil to go with our bbq dinner.  Normally, I would jump at the chance to eat those, but now that I’m breasfeeding, I can’t, because they’ll make Kayleigh gassy.  I can’t eat spicy foods, anything acidic, and select fruits and vegetables.  I just want to be able to eat and drink what I want, when I want! 

I feel like a bad Mom sometimes because I hate everything about breastfeeding.  It makes me feel really guilty.  I wish I loved it, but I just don’t.  I’m honestly counting down the days (of which there are many!) until I can stop, get my body back and just enjoy life again.  

Did you, or do you, breastfeed?  Do you love it or hate it? 

 Posted by at 3:43 pm
Jun 132013
 

Today, I have nursery organization on my mind. Since Kayleigh’s arrival, I have accumulated more and more baby stuff.  I could really use some help in the nursery organization department!  I have more diapers and clothes than I know what to do with. Right now, my crib is full of clothes because I just don’t have any place to put them.  Her closet, and dresser, are already full of clothes, so I need to figure out how to get this nursery organized!

After doing some online research, I found quite a few nursery organization products that look really awesome and useful. I bet these will help me keep my nursery neat and organized, so I can easily find what I need. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

8 Great Nursery Organization Products You Need

1.  Organize Baby’s Changing Supplies

The Dex Baby Nursery Organizer is an awesome tool for helping with nursery organization.  If you find yourself running out of room for your baby’s changing supplies – diapers, wipes, creams, toys to keep them distracted while changing them, etc., then this could really help you out!

Look at all the diapers this thing holds.  I just love that compartment in the middle for the wipes, and there is plenty of room on both sides to hold other things, like creams and toys.

The Dex Baby Nursery Organizer easily attaches to a changing table, dresser, wall or door!

Dex Baby Nursery Organizer

2.  Make More Room for Clothes in Baby’s Closet

Kayleigh’s closet is super full of clothes right now, and I need to make room for more.  This DEX Products Closet Cubby would be perfect for adding more space for clothes!  I can fold all her onesies and store them on the shelves, instead of hanging them up with hangers.  This will save me a ton of room!

DEX Products Closet Cubby

3.  Organize Toys, Stuffed Animals, Odds and Ends, and more!

Behind the nursery door is an excellent place to make more storage room, especially if you have a small nursery and don’t have much floor space to work with.  I love this Delta Girls and Boys 4 Pocket Nursery Organizer.  It comes in pink, blue and beige, so you have a few different color options there.

It easily hooks to the back of your door, keeping it out of sight, but creating a lot more room for you to organize smaller baby items!

Delta Girls and Boys 4 Pocket Nursery Organizer

4.  Organize Your Baby’s Clothes by Size

I don’t know about you, but I have a TON of baby clothes in my house right now.  If Kayleigh’s clothes are not put in size order, I spend way too much time going through them every day, trying to find something that currently fits her.  The solution to this problem is the Baby Buddy 5 Pack Size-It Closet Organizers. Now I can easily keep her clothes organized by size and not have to dig through all of them every day.  I can open her closet door, and quickly pick out something in her current size.

Baby Buddy 5 Pack Size-It Closet Organizers

5.  Organize Your Baby’s Stuffed Animals

Kayleigh’s not old enough to play with stuffed animals yet, but she’s already accumulated a pile of them. This Extra Large Deluxe Pet Net is just what I need to keep them all in one place and from taking up valuable floor space.

Extra Large Deluxe Pet Net

6.  Organize Baby’s Socks & Shoes

Kayleigh has a HUGE amount of socks and shoes already, and they are all just thrown into one of her dresser drawers, making it a big mess.  This 32 Compartment Diamond Drawer Organizer is an awesome way to organize those socks and shoes in a much more manageable way.

32 Compartment Diamond Drawer Organizer

7.  Organize Baby’s Books

Kayleigh already has a bunch of books, and they are currently sitting in a basket on the nursery floor.  It’s really hard to find a particular book we are looking for, because we have to dig through the basket to find it.  This Teamson Bookshelf would be the perfect addition to Kayleigh’s jungle themed nursery!

Teamson Book Shelf

8.  Organize Baby’s Bath Toys

My bathtub is already crowded with shampoos, conditioners, soaps, razors, etc., so I definitely don’t have room for a bunch of bath toys.  This Munchkin Scoop, Drain and Store Bath Toy Organizer is the perfect thing to hold all of baby’s bath toys in one place, without cluttering up your bathtub!  It easily attaches to tub walls with strong adhesive strips.

This extra large bath toy organizer is shaped like a scoop, making it easy to grab toys in a flash. Just unhook the scooper from the wall and glide it across the water for quick, convenient cleanup. The holes allow you to rinse and drain toys in bulk to reduce mold and mildew.

Munchkin Scoop, Drain and Store Bath Toy Organizer

I can’t wait to put some of these great nursery organization products to use in my home!

 

 

 Posted by at 10:43 pm
Jun 112013
 

 

Kayleigh is almost a month old already, and I realized I hadn’t shared her birth story yet, so here it is! 

KayleighKayleigh – 3 weeks old and full of personality!

I was pregnant with Kayleigh for 41 weeks.  I was seriously beginning to think she would never come! Throughout my whole pregnancy, I always thought I would go into labor early – 35 weeks, 36 weeks… I never imagined I would be a week overdue!  

By week 39, I was practically tearing my hair out.  I was so unbelievably uncomfortable, huge, exhausted, and just ready to not be pregnant anymore!  I cried my eyes out on a number of occasions just wishing she would come out already.  I. was. done.  

40 Weeks Pregnant BellyI mean, look at this belly!! 

I had contractions off and on for an entire week before Kayleigh arrived.  They would start to get into a regular pattern, and then all of a sudden, just stop.  It was absolutely frustrating!  I would think “Oh, this is it!!” and get myself and John excited, and when the contractions stopped, I would be devastated.  It was so exhausting.

On Monday, May 13th, I started having contractions very early in the morning.  They were pretty strong and regular, about 10-15 minutes apart, and lasted all day and night.  I thought for sure I was going into labor.  John stayed home from work that day, once again thinking this was “it”.  But, it wasn’t.  The contractions ended up tapering off sometime around midnight that night and we finally went to bed.  

Nothing much happened all day Tuesday.  John went to work, and it was a normal day.  He came home, we ate dinner and went to bed fairly early, since we had stayed up so late the night before.  

At around 12:30am, I woke up from a deep sleep.  I was having period-like cramps, contractions, and they felt a lot different to me than previous ones.  I just knew these ones were the beginning of labor.  They were coming regularly at 6 minutes apart right from the start, and they stayed that way.  

I finally called my birthing center at around 3:30am to let them know what was going on.  The nurse told me they usually don’t have people come in until their contractions are 3-4 minutes apart, but I live 45 minutes to an hour away from the birthing center, and I was terrified I would end up having my baby on the side of the road on the way there if I didn’t get there in time (I now know that was an absolutely ridiculous thought!).  I also reminded her that I tested positive for Group B Strep, so I needed to be administered antibiotics early on in labor.  She told me I could come in if I felt like it.  They would evaluate me and either keep me there, send me home, or have me leave for a while and come back.  I needed peace of mind, so I told her we would be there in 45 minutes to an hour. 

We arrived at the birthing center at around 4:30am on May 14th.  I had contractions every 6 minutes on the way there.  As soon as I arrived, they hooked me up to the contraction machine, and confirmed that I was definitely having contractions.  They evaluated me, and I was 2 cm dilated.  Thinking I was further along than that, I was a bit disappointed.  

The nurse suggested that I stick around the hospital for an hour and a half until the midwife arrived.  She wanted to see if I progressed any further during that time.  So, for the next hour and a half, John and I walked up and down the halls of the Labor & Delivery unit trying to keep the labor going.  I continued to have contractions every 6 minutes.  

Once the hour and a half was up, the nurse examined me again, and said that I was now 3 cm dilated.  She was pleased with my progress.   The on-call midwife arrived at that time, and also examined me.  She agreed that I was 3 cm dilated and was in early labor.  She told me I could either stay there, take a sedative and try to get some rest for a while, or go out and get some breakfast, and come back.  John and I were pretty hungry, so we decided to head out for a bite to eat.  

We went to a little cafe down the street and had a wonderful breakfast.  I continued to have contractions every 6 minutes while we were there, and they were getting stronger each time.  We had to walk across a very busy street to get back to our car after breakfast, and I had a pretty painful contraction while crossing.  John asked me if I wanted to go anywhere else before heading back to the hospital, or if I just wanted to go straight back to the hospital.  I felt I had to go right back to the hospital, as the contractions were getting to be very uncomfortable.

We headed back to the hospital, and the midwife examined me again.  I was now 3.5 cm dilated, and admitted as a patient.  While the midwife was examining me, Kayleigh’s heartbeat suddenly dropped to 60.  I was given oxygen, and told to turn over onto my left side.  Thankfully, her heartbeat came right back, but it sure did give us a scare!  The midwife thought she probably sat on her cord, but wanted to keep me hooked up to the heartbeat monitor to make sure it didn’t happen again.  Being hooked up to the monitor was kind of a pain in the butt, but it was very comforting to hear her heartbeat.  I also had an IV in for antibiotics because I tested positive for Group B Strep.  Going to the bathroom was a bit of a chore with all these things attached to me!

My labor didn’t progress very fast.  I spent quite a bit of time sitting on the birthing ball, working through my contractions.  

LaborSitting on the birthing ball.

Labor

John and I in between contractions.

Listening to Kayleigh’s heartbeat kept me going.  

LaborI loved listening to her heartbeat through the headphones.  It really helped me to focus and work through the contractions.

When the midwife checked me four hours later, I was only 4.5 cm dilated.  Another exam two hours later showed that I was between 5.5 and 6 cm dilated.  At that point, I headed into the tub to continue my labor. 

I spent several hours laboring in the tub.  The warm water felt so great and really helped me to relax.  I was able to freely move around, which really made the contractions easier to bear.  The midwife came in to check on me and asked me to get out of the tub so she could examine me again to see how much progress I had made.  

At this point in my labor, things were getting real.  My contractions were really strong, and getting closer together.  I sort of stepped outside of my body, and wasn’t really there in the room anymore.  I knew people were talking to me, but I didn’t really know what they were saying.  The midwife, nurses, and John helped me slowly get out of the tub.  After being in there for so long, my legs were very weak and wobbly.  I remember commenting that I felt like Ariel with her new legs.  

new legs

After I got out of the tub, it took me quite a while to actually make it over to the bed for my exam.  The contractions were really painful, and I could not move through them.  I just stood there, leaning up against the wall, the midwife and John holding onto me so that I wouldn’t fall. 

I finally made it over to the bed, and the midwife examined me again.  I think I was about 7 or 7.5 cm at that time.  The nurses drained and refilled the tub with warm water so that I could get back in, but I was in too much pain to move at that point, so I stayed on the bed, and finished my labor there.  

The contractions were very painful.  If I had to describe them to someone, I would say that it felt like someone stabbing me in the stomach with a knife and twisting it, tearing my insides apart.  My mother and mother-in-law both thought I would have back labor like they did, because I had a lot of back pain during my pregnancy, but I didn’t have any back labor at all.  It was all in my belly.

At around 9:30pm, the midwife examined me again.  Since my labor was progressing so slowly, I thought I would probably only be around 8 or 8.5 cm.  I was completely shocked when she lifted her head up, looked at me and said “I think it’s time to start pushing!”  

After I heard that I could start pushing, I thought Kayleigh would come pretty quickly, maybe in 20-30 minutes.  My midwife even said “I think we’re going to have a baby today, on the 14th!”  Little did we know…

I started pushing with each contraction.  The midwife and nurses kept asking me to push four times per contraction, but I was so exhausted by then that the fourth pushes were just not doing anything.  I was barely able to get three pushes in on each contraction.  I pushed, and pushed and pushed.  I wasn’t making much progress at all.  The midwife told me that Kayleigh was stuck under my pubic bone, so it was going to be difficult to get her out.  I kept at it though.  

A while into pushing, the midwife and nurses asked me to get up out of bed, to sit on the birthing stool, and change my position.  I was just absolutely wiped by that point, and I didn’t want to get out of bed, but they all pushed me to.  It took all of them, plus John, to get me out of bed.  I had no strength left in my legs.  I sat on the birthing stool and pushed a few times.  Pushing in that position was absolutely horrid.  It was the most painful thing I’ve ever done.  After a few minutes pushing on the birthing stool, they told me I could get back into bed.  I felt like I had to push a few times while standing up, so they helped me up.  I leaned up against John and pushed a couple of times.  He and I were both really hot though, so I let go of him and held myself up on the tub and pushed a few more times.  

Everyone helped me get back into bed, and I continued pushing three times with each contraction, sometimes four.  I was completely out of my head and didn’t really know what was going on anymore.  Even more so than earlier that night.  My body was there, but my brain was somewhere else.  I think that was in response to the pain I was in, and also a result of being just completely exhausted.  I’d never been so tired in my life.  I remember the midwife putting an oxygen mask on me again, and I thought it was just to help me breathe during my contractions.  John told me later on that they lost Kayleigh’s heartbeat then.  I had absolutely no idea that even happened.  The midwife did her best to hide that from me.  She knew I would freak out and tense up, and I couldn’t do that because it would hinder my progress, and we needed to get Kayleigh out.  

I vaguely remember the midwife saying she could see Kayleigh’s hair and she had me reach down and feel her head.  I kept pushing, and with each push, everyone cheered me on.  They kept saying how close I was, but I felt like I was still so far away.  With each push, Kayleigh’s head came out a little bit, but then went back in.  It was so frustrating.  I felt like she would never come out!

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity later, I remember feeling the “ring of fire” everyone always talks about.  A couple of pushes after that, they told me Kayleigh’s head was completely out.  One more easy push and her body came out.  I couldn’t believe she was finally here!  After 2.5 hours of pushing, it didn’t seem possible.  

The first words out of my mouth were “I did it!”  I had been so set on having a natural, unmedicated birth, and I was proud of myself for doing it, especially with such a long, exhausting labor.  Before I went into labor, everyone told me it would be ok if I changed my mind and asked for medication.  Once I have my mind set on something though, I have a very difficult time changing it.  I never liked the idea of having an epidural, and drugging my baby.  I wanted to feel my labor.  I wanted it to be real.  I wanted an easier recovery after Kayleigh’s birth.  I know epidurals are necessary sometimes, but if I could do it without, then I wanted to.  During my whole labor, it never crossed my mind to get medication.  The nurses and midwife were awesome and did not ask me even one time if I wanted medication.

Upon seeing Kayleigh for the first time, I just could not even believe this was my baby.  I could not believe that she was finally here.  I had several ultrasounds during my pregnancy, and I thought I knew exactly what she was going to look like.  I had this vision of her in my head.  I thought she was going to be blonde, with blue eyes, and look just like me.  She looked just like me in the ultrasound pictures.  I was very surprised when she came out with a head full of dark hair, brown eyes, and looked just like John!

KayleighOne of Kayleigh’s first photos.  Isn’t she just beautiful??

I asked John what time it was when she was born.  It was the middle of the night, and I didn’t know if she was born on the 14th or the 15th.  The midwife overheard my question, and responded that she was born at 12:06am on the 15th.  

Kayleigh was very clean when she came out, and they immediately put her up on my chest to bond with me.  The midwife said the cord was done pulsating, and John cut it.  They let me breastfeed her for a while before they took her away to weigh and measure her.  She weighed 7 lbs., 5 oz., and was 21.5″ long.

We spent 2 more nights in the birthing center so they could monitor Kayleigh because of my Group B Strep.  We spent the time bonding and getting to know our baby. 

us

I am thoroughly enjoying motherhood!

 Posted by at 3:23 pm
Jun 062013
 

 

Summer’s just around the corner, and we all know what that means!  It’s time to get our bodies beach-ready!  I recently gave birth to my first child, Kayleigh, and I’ve got 25 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  And even after I hit my pre-pregnancy weight, I’d like to lose another 25 pounds, so overall, I’ve got about 50 pounds to lose.  

I don’t have time to go to the gym to workout, and honestly, I am not very comfortable exercising in front of other people.  I do, however, love to exercise in the comfort of my own home.  I had great success in losing weight before using my wii fit.  In particular, I love the Just Dance games.  They are a great way to work out, without feeling like you are working out.  Dancing is FUN!  I lost about 40 pounds in just a couple of months by working out to Just Dance, and I hope to do it again! 

Right now I’m in that awkward stage where my maternity clothes are too big, but I can’t fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes yet.  I need to get my butt in gear and start exercising again.  Luckily for me, I was recently selected to participate in another Old Navy Sample and Share opportunity as a member of Crowdtap!

This Sample and Share was for Old Navy’s activewear, and myself and a friend were each given a coupon to select a free activewear top and bottom!  With all this baby weight I have to lose, this opportunity could not have come at a better time. 

Old Navy Activewear

I usually take my sister, Angela, with me on these shopping trips, but she couldn’t make it this time, due to car trouble, so I brought my Mom along instead.  She was thrilled to get a free Old Navy Activewear top and bottom!

We headed on over to our local Old Navy to check out their activewear selection.  We had my 2 week old daughter with us, so we didn’t really have a whole lot of time to try clothes on.  It didn’t matter though, we both pretty much knew what we wanted before we even got to the store!

There was quite a selection of activewear tops and bottoms to choose from – tank tops, t-shirts, yoga pants, jackets, shorts, sports bras and more!  I really love the variety of colors to choose from too!

Old Navy Activewear

They had a whole rack dedicated to yoga pants!

Old Navy Yoga Pants

I love these pretty tanks.

Old Navy Activewear

They had some really cute sports bras and shorts.

Old Navy Activewear

And pretty shirts. 

Old Navy Activewear

Lots of sporty socks. 

Old Navy Activewear

And I absolutely love these sneakers!!

Old Navy Activewear

I already knew I wanted an Old Navy Activewear jacket, so I tried two on, a black one, and a grey one.  

I thought the black one looked great on me, but it was a little snug. 

Old Navy Activewear

Old Navy Activewear

I loved this grey one!  It is SO comfortable!

Old Navy Activewear

Next up, I tried on a pair of grey yoga pants, but they didn’t really stretch as much as I wanted, and they felt too tight on my legs. 

Old Navy yoga Pants

I tried on a black pair after, and I loved them!  They were a much better fit. 

Old Navy Yoga Pants

Even though I already had my outfit picked out, I tried on this shirt just for fun.  While it was really comfortable, I just didn’t think it was very flattering on me. 

Old Navy Activewear

My Mom already knew what she wanted to get to, so she got right down to business.  She loved the grey jacket and the grey yoga pants.  She even got herself a grey shirt to go underneath too!

Old Navy Activewear

Old Navy Activewear

If you’re in the market for some activewear, head on over to Old Navy and check out their great selection!

 Posted by at 2:01 am