and then there were Four.

Well, as many of you know Baby Evelyn has graced us with her presence.  She is a tiny, but fierce being with such an attitude for a two week old.

As the weeks neared to my due date, my midwife was growing concerned with Evelyn’s growth, or the abundance of growth I should say.  Evie was already weighing over 8lbs and with a history of shoulder dystocia from my previous birth, my midwife wanted to induce.  However, induction was not a possibility.  My body was showing no signs of being ready for labor.  Two weeks from my due date and I was at 30% effaced and not dilated AT ALL. So the only plan was to wait. At my last appointment, I had made some improvements and we scheduled an induction for that next Wednesday.

However, fate had another plan.

9 AM February 19, 2017 (Due Date): Woke up to my oldest daughter running into my room happy as a clam. We laughed and played a bit, watched some tv and we started to get dressed.

10 AM cramping started, but they stayed mostly in the front so I thought they were Braxton hicks contractions or gas.  I timed them anyways just to see if they were timeable and they came every 15- 20 minutes. About 10:45 I used the restroom where some unmentionables happened (this is key and when I knew labor had started!) After that contractions were about every 5 minutes but not too painful. I talked to my husband who looked at me like I was insane for not telling him sooner and we called the midwife.

My midwife was glad that I had decided to call because she had been out in the garden and needed to get cleaned up just in case contractions stayed consistent.  She told me to time it some more, get my things together, and to call her back in about an hour if we decided to go into the hospital to at least get checked. With all of this going on I hadn’t eaten anything and we had lost the “clicker” to my car (the “clicker” unarms the car and lets me start it) so we transferred the car seat out of my car and into my husbands and I packed all the last minute things.  We called the midwife and told her we were going to head that way around 1pm. All the while my 1 1/2 year old is running around holding on to my leg begging me not to leave.

We stopped to get food at Sonic (because I was STARVING)  I knew once I got to the hospital that they wouldn’t give me any food.

Around then I stopped keeping time and started stuffing my face and begging my husband not to drive like a maniac, haha. We made it to the hospital and got checked in. My midwife checked me and I was well on my way at 3cm and 100% effaced. We were doing this.

Around 7cm pain levels were at about an 8 and we decided to break my waters because contractions were still only 5 minutes apart and I was getting exhausted.  That’s when shit got real.  Literally. There was meconium in my waters, which for those of you who have never had a baby means that little Evie had pooped inside me due to stress of labor.  My cool went out the window and I began to panic.  Regaining my ability to handle the pain of labor was an uphill battle from that moment.  I tried everything I could to focus on getting her out, but with every contraction another part of my body began to light on fire with pain.  I tried all positions possible and I’m almost 100% positive that I almost threw my husbands back out everytime had I had a contraction while standing, poor man. At some point I ended up on my back for the end of labor and everytime anyone would touch my legs it felt like fire.

Finally at 7:54 pm Evelyn Aria was born. 8lbs 9oz 20.5 inches long.

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Lewis Party of 4.. WHAT?!?!

Entertaining the idea that I wouldn’t actually be pregnant I satisfied the worry by taking a test anyways.  I was only two maybe three days late? Nah, this wouldn’t be it. We had been safe… for the most part. I chuckled to myself at the idea of being pregnant again even though my daughter had only just turned 1 years old two weeks ago.

Then our lives changed again. Two lines slowly and faintly appeared right before the 3 minute mark and by the 5 minute mark there was no denying that I was indeed pregnant with jelly bean #2. My mind went from holy craps to oh my god’s. I texted a bestie asking if she saw that I saw before even telling my husband. I said, “Hey babe? were… pregnant.” Jeff reply? “Huh, Cool.” Still to this day I roll my eyes to that statement.

After the stress of planning Freyah’s birthday party, I had experienced light headed or faint feelings, a rise in temperature/over heating, and issues eating anything.  I just assumed it was my thyroid and decided to find an Endocrinologist.  Which is how I found out that I had hashimotos disease. Its an auto-immune disease where your body literally kills your thyroid. Shortly after that I took the pregnancy test that would tell me all of my symptoms were in fact due to pregnancy.

We decided to keep the pregnancy a secret, minus a few close friends and my parents.  Mostly because of issues that I had from my first pregnancy that indeed reared its head again this pregnancy with bleeding or spotting and the in ability to eat almost anything.  My thyroid issue was out of control and gave our child only a 50% chance of surviving the 1st trimester.  I was scared that if my thyroid wasn’t watched closely that I would lose our little bean.

Fast Forward to today.

Luckily my Ob-Gyn assured me that I had nothing to worry about.  The heart rate is in the 170’s and growth rate is on time.  He feels there is no reason not to rejoice or enjoy this pregnancy like I did the last. So as I enter my second trimester I find it fitting to take announcement photos and share with the world … or Facebook rather.. that were expecting another addition to the family and we honestly couldn’t be happier.  Yeah maybe were not where we want to be.  Were a family on a budget, a severe budget.  Were a family who still lives with my parents, but every day we get closer to being on our feet and in our own home. If it weren’t for my family helping us every step of the way my little family would be living in our cars parked in some parking lot just barely getting by.  I thank god every day that we have a roof over our heads and food in our tummies. Adding one more of course is going to be an interesting challenge but we will make do. Just like we always have.

With school coming close to ending Im one step further to getting a job that can help us make bills or take that family vacation that we’ve always wanted.  So in February we will have a new little one. A cutie pa-tootie if you will. And were thrilled! So without further ado here are some photos taken by one of my all-time favorite girls Alicia you can see her page here.

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P.s. lately I’ve become INSANELY OBSESSED with Lu La Roe.  Its a clothing line thats 100% unique the dress I’m wearing in the photoshoot is a Nichole Dress. If anyones interested in even just looking at the designs I’m going to link my distributor here.

Mermaid Party fit for a Princess

So seeing as how May was a VERY busy month for us I decided better late than never and post about our Mermaid Theme Birthday Party.  I’m one of those people who always thinks that DIY is the best way to go about parties.  Even if it stresses me out to complete exhaustion and I don’t even get to enjoy the party I know that my daughter will have photos to remind her that her first birthday was bitchin’.  So I went all out found tutorials or went on pinterest and looked at ideas and this is what I ended up with.  Enjoy the photos I’ll post recipes and links as needed underneath the photos.

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Right away theres was a panic because every mothers worst party nightmare comes true as soon as you get to the venue that you’ve reserved and paid for and theres another party already there cutting it close to the wire.  Because then you have to be the bitch, the rude one, the one who’s like look dude I paid for this you need to leave, we have to set up. So after that was that we went over to the play yard and swing while party guests began showing up and the other party slowly moved out of the way.

Being a Big family we set up the party in about an hour and it was all fun just helping out and getting things done.

 

Lime Sherbert Punch: Recipe I actually added cherry 7 up instead of ginger ale to give it color and flavor and then half a gallon of Berry Blue Hawaiian Punch to make it look “Sea Worthy”.

Jello Cups were Blueberry Flavor with Swedish Fish and marshmallows. Nothing too fancy.

I made “Jelly Fish” for the children incase they didn’t want pin wheels which was literally jelly sandwiches cut into fish with a cookie cutter.

Pinwheels: Recipe This is the exact recipe here and Oh man they were a hot commodity and we still had a whole platter to take home! It was a very welcomed left over ❤ yum.

Mermaid Rice Crispy’s: Made according to the package and then set in a rectangle container where i let them set.  After done I cut them into rectangles and then melted chocolate melts and dipped them in to create that V for a mermaids tail.  Left over melts were used in a shell chocolate mold to create a “shell bra”.

Cake Pops: Pinterest Link Here I followed this tutorial to the T. It turned out amazing. NOTE If you can’t find styrofoam to put the cake pops on to dry try buying a cheap cake pop stand. They cost about 5$ and can be reused at the party :D.

Most party supplies were bought from Target or from the local Card and Party Factory.

Over all It was a great first birthday .. that got rained out about 45 minutes after we set up! Haha thats okay it made for great memories and lots of fun with family and friends.  Credit of photos go to one of my bestie’s Alicia Rosiu if your in the Houston/Huntsville/Bryan/College Station areas she’s freaking amazing.  Her Facebook page is The Art of Observation Photography.

Any who thats all I’ve got for now, again sorry for the late post.

A letter to my Daughter..

On our First official mothers day together, that isn’t being  spent completely exhausted recovering from labor two days prior and being in an adrenaline rush haze, I would like to write a letter to my baby girl.

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A couple days ago was the one year anniversary of the day I spent 12.5 hours bringing you into the world. For a while it was just you and me kid.  I mean yeah your dad was there every step of the way, and for the most part so were your grandparents (minus PopPop for the actual labor). However, for 9 (almost 10) months it was just you and me. I carried you all on my own and I birthed you on my own.  No one could do it for me, it was just you and me.  Even after your birth I was the first one who got to hold you.  They placed you in my shaking arms as I cried in relief that you were okay.  I looked you over and counted your fingers and toes and you looked at me not even crying until they took you from me.  Your father held back tears and starred from the bedside.  I could tell he wanted you as much as I did but he held back knowing that after the last 12.5 hours of intense labor I needed you. I needed that moment with you.

After that it was still you and I, because it was I that sustained you.  I fed you from my breast and changed every diaper (except for the 1st one daddy called dibs lol!).  Pound after pound that was all me and you.  We struggled together with breastfeeding, we struggled together to communicate, we struggled to make sense of the new world that surrounded us that neither of us felt completely prepared for.

Together we grew and learned more than I ever thought possible.  It was I that awoke in the middle of the night to calm your nightmares or fears.  It was I that fed you through your sleep hunger and slept with you on my chest because you craved my comfort.  I thank every day for that time we spent together. As you grew I would notice you reaching your hand out deliberately or smiling at me not because of gas but because I had finally caught your eye.

Eventually you started rolling and crawling. Your first words came at 3 months Mama and Dada. The day after christmas you began standing and it wasn’t long after that when you started walking.  Although these moments are my proudest, they are also filled with some sadness. Its only a matter of time before you’re running and reading on your own and your father is teaching you to ride a bike.  Its a matter of time before your dressing yourself and doing your own hair. Which makes me realize that it will only be you and I for a little while longer.

Through this year together you have grown so much and so fast that you are not my little baby any more.  You have grown into my little girl and one day you will make a fine young woman.  Your smile and laughter brings more light into my life than every star, moon, and sun in the galaxy.

So on this mothers day, our first official mothers day, Im going to be playing with you celebrating the day with the one who makes me a mommy.  Smiling and laughing with you.  Just you and me, kid.

Love,
Momma

 

The Ugly Truth

 

Lets be Honest here.

Sometimes you’re just utterly tired.  Exhausted.  Sometimes you just need a flippin minute. Or maybe you’ve just been pooped on or spit up on and you can’t always hold your precious little one 24/7. 

So what do you do?  You do what all parents do.

You put them down.

Yes! OMG I know!  God forbid you put your child down for a few minutes to get some mommy time.

I believe that putting your child down for a while is actually good for them, they can learn independence and how to self soothe a bit.  Every time the baby cries you don’t have to immediately rush to them.  When you hear that whine come over the monitor just take a deep breath and count to 10. Sometimes they’re just talking in their sleep. Sometimes they’re actually awake and want you to come say hello, but that 10 seconds while breathing in can help you center yourself and prepare for “turning the mommy on.”

Maybe I should explain that a bit..

Like many people I was a completely different person before I was pregnant. Before I went through 12 hours of labor and pushed a baby out of my vagina I was something completely different.

I was a party girl, a full time art student, a dough throwing pizza chick.  Literally, I worried about myself and my boyfriend of 6 years. Bills were all that ever were on my mind besides getting good grades.  So when I hear that cry come over the monitor I have to mentally prepare myself. 

Now don’t get me wrong.

I love my child more than anything in the world.  Hell I never thought that I could even have children. So the fact that my little girl is in her crib asleep right now is the biggest blessing I could have ever hoped for.  That being said, sometimes I have to push myself to be the best that I can be and prepare myself for what may come when I walk in that nursery.  

So I breathe, count to 10, and then tend to her.

As a mother who is constantly dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety those extra 10 seconds can do a world of difference for how I handle a situation.

I mean, lets face it you can go in and there will be a smile on your baby’s face and you can pick them up and cuddle the crap out of them. Give them raspberries while you’re changing their diaper and have those babies chuckling themselves into your arms before your leaving the room.  OR You can enter a freaking war zone.  Screaming and tears with coughing because she’s got a runny nose and she leaked through her diaper during nap time because teething decided to bare its ugly head one more time and give your child diarrhea. So not only do you have to calm your poopy child down who just wants to be hugged and kissed while you’re simultaneously trying to take her clothes off so that you can see exactly how bad of a situation you’re dealing with. Then once you get in there and assess the damage she’s trying to wriggle out of the diaper faster than you can get it off of her and then all you’re left with is a child dangling over the edge of the changing table because you were quick enough to grab one foot before she lunged herself over the edge. Leaving a terror of poop smeared across the changing pad.

That’s just how it is, you either have a good experience or one that’s well.. not so good.  I don’t like to call them bad because by the end of it yes you have a lot of poop to clean up but at least you can laugh about it.

Back to the point of this entire post I think that ultimately we, as parents, have to do a lot of things that we were never prepared for. Sometimes we have to put our babies down for the sake of our own sanity. If that means that I have to put her in the play pin for 10 minutes while Baby TV is on so that I can go in the next room with the monitor and just look at Facebook or read a magazine then I’m going to do it.  She’s not going to die, you’re right there within ear shot. 

Of course this goes without saying, but do this within reason (sometimes the dullest crayons in the box take things for granted and do it all the time ultimately stunting the child’s development).

So in the end I just want to say its okay, we all do it (well most of us there are those few super mommies that just “never do anything wrong” *rolls eyes*) the ugly truth is that sometimes you just need a minute.

*disclosure I do not support you leaving your child completely unattended in a bouncer/jumper/high chair or free range in the living room as injuries can occur please use the head that god gave you and be smart about the “minutes” you give yourself*

 

May 6, 2015 (Induction Day)

As I rolled over for the millionth time to look at my phone and see, again, that it was not yet 5 AM I sighed and rolled over. I wasn’t due at the hospital until 6 AM and it was barely 2:30. The wait was nearly over and I could barely rest up for the big day that was quickly approaching. Even though I was being impatient I was more worried about complications than anything. No matter how I felt sleep ultimately found me and the alarm that went off just three hours later was an unwelcome sound.

We got dressed and woke my mother, she and my father would be joining us later that morning. Grabbed pillows and laptops then walked out the house. The last time ever that it would be just he and I. When we return to this door it will be with baby in tow. I was grateful that I had already packed the trunk of the car full of our things. I practically took the whole house!

We arrived at the Hospital after the short drive to the hospital, small talk and smiles the whole way. Not fully grasping the incredulous adventure that was about to begin. Checked in through the ER and made our way to the maternity ward where they showed us our “suite”. The room was dark (partly due to the fact that the sun had still not risen) and quiet. Soon we would be meeting our little girl.

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So around 7:00 AM I got my IV and started my induction with a round of pitocin. Labor took off quickly but not as fast as they had hoped since I was sitting at 3cm before we even started. With each contraction growing stronger around noon they decided to break my water to get things moving. They used an Internal monitor because jelly bean kept moving away from the external monitor and having a nurse come in every 10 minutes to find the heart beat again was getting annoying.

Before the internal monitor was put in I was confined to my bed dealing with labor by turning right and left not getting to really walk around. The hospital told me that I had to be monitored to make sure the baby was not having any problems. Thinking back after I got the internal monitor I could have gotten up to walk around, but at that point I was getting contractions every 5-10 minutes and couldn’t really think straight. The pain that I remember was excruciating like someone was breaking my back bones repeatedly. I don’t say this to frighten anyone, but it freaking sucked. I had back labor like nobody’s business.

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At one point my uncle called my fathers phone (he was just chilling in the room with us) and asked what that sound was in the background, my father replied thats Debbie she’s in labor.

Hours Later..

I was told many a time that there was a more civilized way to give birth, but I held on as long as I could. Wave after wave until it was time then it happened after pushing as hard as I could for about an hour she was here. I was crying, she was crying, and Jeff cut the cord.

There she was this perfect little angel, ten fingers, ten toes. Hair as black as the night and the most beautiful complexion.

Freyah Lynn was born at 6:32 pm weighing 8lbs 7oz and 20 inches long.

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And thats how our adventure began.

Eviction Notice (April 26th, 2015)

As the months passed my belly (and baby) grew to sizes I never possibly could have imagined.  I tried everything in my power to get this baby out just a little early but she was not budging.  Day after day, weeks after weeks.

Nothing.

Finally my due date came and went and my doctor talked to me about my options.

There I was a first time mom and being given the talk about induction.  Being the Type A person that I am this entire pregnancy (and our future) had been planned down the T.  From how I was going to give birth to the type of diapers we should be using.  I even calculated the last details of how to make home made baby food, or breastfeed in public.  I read every journal or book on what to expect when you go into labor.  However, that was the last thing my body would do is go in to labor on its own.

This was NOT my plan.  I do not like being out of control of my body and here I was clearly NOT in control.

Its like she wanted to stay in forever! (large and in charge @ my baby shower below)

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I tried everything to convince my doctor to let me go into labor on my own.  I mean I was dilated 3 cm and effaced 90% how much longer could it take for my water to break or contractions to officially start? Every week I would go in to see my doctor and he would again urge me to induce.  I kept gaining weight and was retaining more water than a whale. In three weeks I gained 15 lbs. The doctor grew worried that the baby would grow so large that I would be forced to have a C-section. Which was 100% completely against my plan in every shape and form.

2 weeks.

Three weeks of off and on labor and I folded. Tired and exhausted, bed ridden except when I had enough and tried a few more times just to get her out. Walking around, jumping or dancing around. I sat on my yoga ball for hours counting the contractions just for them to get 30 minutes apart and stop for another couple hours. It was frustrating and utterly exhausting.

“Fine, we can induce but Im still going all natural. Please don’t change my birth plan.”  My doctor sighed at my persistence and called the hospital to set my induction day for May 6th, 2015.

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(next to where Freyah was born on Induction day)

First come baby then comes Marriage

With everything that was going on in our lives, together we decided that it was time to get married.  We had been together for almost 6 years and put off the wedding for numerous reasons. Cold feet, family deaths, even just arguing and thinking that we weren’t ready.  However, with a baby on the way in my heart I felt that it was important that we be married when she arrived.

In the state of Texas if the parents are not married when a child is born proof of paternity is required to put the father down on the birth certificate.  I felt like it was a bunch of hassle just to claim paternity when we both knew the baby was his.  Any who so we talked to our families and decided it was time then set a date.

Around this time we found out the sex of the baby and took engagement photos/ maternity photos. (Best two in one photo session ever)

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January 17, 2015 would be the day that I married my best friend; the father of my child.

I remember the day like it was yesterday.  Normally my little jelly bean would have been stretching and kicking away.  Never resting a moment or giving me a breath.  However, for the first time in weeks I woke to no pain in my joints. Freyah moved enough for my heart and mind to know she was there, but did not pain me in any way.  It was as if she knew this was the day that I had be waiting for since the day her father asked me to marry him some years before.  So at six months pregnant I put on my wedding dress and married the best man I could have ever hoped to fall in love with.  As I walked down that isle with parents on either arms I saw him standing there with a look on his face that I’d only seen once before. The same smile was placed upon his face as when I told him we were pregnant.

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There was of course some family drama, but realistically what wedding doesn’t have that?

Fast forward a couple months.

Looking back I felt silly for even worrying about my pregnancy considering that I only had mild complications.  When I looked down I no longer could see my shoes, instead I saw a big round belly. With only a few weeks left I find myself complacent.  The last days of pregnancy, sometimes considered agonizing, are a distinct place in time.  An in between stage of being neither here nor there.  One foot on the edge of pregnancy another teetering into the ocean of motherhood.  Some people refer to this as the, “Time of Zwischen,” or the time of in between.  Although I had not gotten my footing yet I knew that within those next few weeks I would eventually emerge on the side of motherhood.  With no real knowledge of how to be a mother besides the love that I had already been containing.

This whole experience had been a revelation of all sorts that left me with more questions than answers.

 

The scare…

As I looked at my reflection I felt broken and disembodied. Like there was a force trying relentlessly to drag me from within myself. Disoriented I turned on the water and started rubbing the blood from my hands. It was only until I gained full consciousness did I realize that I had tears streaming down my face and repeatedly said, “no.. No… NO!” The other women in the restroom looked at the scene mortified but stood back and waited in line patiently for the sink or toilets trying to keep themselves otherwise occupied in reply to my unhinged appearance. I thought back to the moment that I realized that I was holding a child within me, excited and inexplicably startled by the unplanned event in my life.

Returning to reality I was now standing in front of my drawing professor trying to spit out that I had to leave while being discreet, but every girl in the class had already seen my outburst in the restroom. He told me to leave, of course, and to not worry about anything until I was better which was more than I thought I would ever get from a professor. However, I was losing it.. her.. him.. the baby. I rushed to put my stuff together and to call my mother to pick me up from campus. Then I called the doctor. Everything seemed to blur together. Almost like I was living someone else’s life.

Instead of receiving the comforting words of a doctor, the nurse answered. She told me to go home, put my feet up and drink some water. That there was nothing I could do to stop the inevitable if it were to happen. At 10 weeks I was losing the most precious gift that I had ever been bestowed in my life, at least thats how it felt. That night my mother and my boyfriend didn’t leave my side. I cried out to God, pleading him to give me a chance to prove that we were worthy of being parents. My mother held me and brushed the hair from my face and wiped the sticky tears from my eyes. She was at a loss as to what to say or do. We waited for what seemed a lifetime for the sun to rise. As the day became new the bleeding subsided and we had made it through the worst night of my life still whole and intact was our little miracle child.

This scare was only two weeks after our first sonogram and I wasn’t due to go back to the doctor until week 17. It scared the hell out of my husband and I, but we are all the more thankful for our beautiful daughter. After receiving a full work up the doctor gave us the chance to see our beautiful baby one more time to check the growth and heart beat. Thats when we decided that the worst part was over and to announce our pregnancy publicly.

the announcement

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The Beginning

I guess to start off I would have to say something about myself.

My name is Deborah.  I am a first time mom, 25 years young and married to the love of my life.  My little ones name is Freyah and she is about to turn 8 months in a few days.  Im just a woman taking each day one diaper at a time.

This is our story.

After finally come to terms with the fact that we might never have a real family the way we always planned fate reared its head and changed our lives for ever.

Goodbye Cancer. Hello Baby.

 

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I jumped from the toilet and ran bare-assed into the restroom across from mine where my boyfriend of six years sat reading on his “throne.”  With fear in my voice I stated, “umm.. Honey, were pregnant.”  He looked back at me with a look in his eyes that I shall never forget.  Vigorously astonished to the fact that we never once thought we could conceive after the last crazy six months and yet here we were parents in the making.  Tears welled in my eyes, for I thought forever to be a well sucked dry from upon the moment I were born. Never to bare the true identity of being a woman.  That was the moment I truly fell in love with him and realized that a tenderness, that had yet to be born, reached around the edges of my heart and permanently glued old broken pieces together again.

This was the beginning of the rest of our lives.

Waiting the long 8 weeks until we could go to the doctor to confirm my pregnancy was the most anticipation I’d ever endured. Our little bean was growing fast and strong, but fear plagued my mind. I worried that my previous illness with cervical cancer would endanger the baby. That I wasn’t strong enough to carry such a burden.

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But I was strong enough and my due date was tentatively set for April 26, 2015.