Life as a Newbie Running Mom

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Don’t let the smile fool you.  Running as a new mom is a lot harder than I ever expected it to be.  I don’t know why I ever thought I would just jump right back into it, like nothing changed. Time, feedings, cryings, heat, humidity, cardio depletion, muscle fatigue, daddy’s schedule, appointments, nutrition, cuddles, snuggles, daily chores, laundry, dishes.  Did I mention crying?  Yeah, these are all factors I never had to really worry about before Clayton’s arrival. When I wanted to run, I would run. If I wanted to hit the trails, I would venture into nature.  Now, the only things I can think about are when the last time Clayton ate, did he poop yet today, how long was his nap, is he still breathing, and the list goes on and on.



TIME— Where does it even go now anyways?  We’ve gotten ourselves on a pretty decent schedule, at least I think so for being a new born, a preemie, and a first time mom.  BUT that doesn’t stop it from getting away from me.  Some mornings, we can wake up, snuggle, eat, && then fall right back to sleep.  Leaving me with a hopeful 1 hour at the least for myself, but typically about 30 minutes.  If it’s a treadmill run, or a trainer ride, we are usually pretty golden.  The sounds of each put little man to sleep && keep him asleep.  But other mornings, I just want to chill after numerous wake ups through the night to feed the booger.  And then before I know it, it’s time to feed him again. Sometimes feedings take 20 minutes, other times over an hour.   Then we have doctors appointments for both of us, and those seem like an everyday occurrence sometimes. I also have to share my exercise time with Chris.  When he gets home from work, he wants to go ride.  Those days, I tend to hit the treadmill or nothing at all.  On weekends, we have to share the cooler mornings, and more times than not, Chris takes them, and then I am either forced to try it in the summer heat, or again, nothing at all.  Factor in daily Clayton laundry, constant dishes, and more spit up than I care to share, and the day seems to be done and over with.

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NUTRITION— I have been making so many healthy choices when it comes to my postpartum nutrition.  The problem lies in the time, AGAIN.  There rarely seems to be the right time for me to sit down and eat, and with the list of other things on my mind constantly, I check them off first, before even thinking about stuffing my face.  I am pretty good about getting breakfast in, but then most days, lunch does not happen until the evening, and then dinner tends to go by the wayside.  This has been affecting my running like woah.  If I eat to late into the day, when Chris gets home and says I can run, I can’t because I will literally upchuck my food.  Basically what happened on today’s run.  My salad was repeating on me.  Factor in the heat and humidity and well yeah, that’s a recipe for disaster.  This also affects me when I do get the chance to run.  My energy levels are slim to none.  It’s kind of scary that I don’t ever feel hungry either.  I know I need to eat, for more reasons than I can count, but before I know it, it’s bed time and I’m just like, “Dang!  I only had a piece of toast with PB and some carrots.” I know it is playing a part in my losing the rest of my baby weight too.   I’m trying over here though, promise.

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BP— So my postpartum hypertension seems to be pretty well controlled with the meds that I am on, but the medicine causes its own problems.  I’ve never been on any kind of medication in my life.  I had the healthiest pregnancy, no BP issues, no gestational diabetes, no extreme weight gain.  As soon as they induced me, my BP shot through the roof.  After six weeks, it seemed to level to the average, but I can still spike up sometimes.  It frustrates me, it worries me, and it makes me feel helpless sometimes.  I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I might need to be on medicine for longer than expected, and maybe even forever.  BUT the medicine affects my running too.  When it is super hot and humid and I run outside, I break out in hives and a crazy heat rash all over my body.  Never experienced that before. I also get really dizzy when I am done running.  My average heart rate is ridiculous right now, but my resting heart rate is still that of when I was in killer shape.  This is so obvious in my pace. BUT I am able to push it some days and get back down to where I was before pregnancy.  My hope is that with my continued exercise, my cardio conditioning and BP will get better.

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So where does this leave me?  Well the old me would get super upset if I didn’t hit my desired mileage, or pace at that.  I would slave away on the pavement, or at the gym.  Late nights, early mornings, two a days.  You name it and I went for it. BUT the newbie mommy in me could care less.  When my body says its had enough.  I listen.  If  I don’t get to run everyday, that’s okay.  If my abs never come back, well so be it.  I am still going to push as hard as I can, when I can, but my life is about the cutest little boy EVER.  He will always come first.  And I know with time, I will figure this all out.  It will get easier. But mommy life is the best life.  Running just plays a different part in my story now.  Same story, new chapter.  I will come back, just stronger, more appreciative, and on a new time frame.  On Clayton’s time.  He is my reason, my strength, my EVERYTHING!❤

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I’ve got races on the calendar.  I still have goals. I will work each day towards achieving them. I am just no longer the runner worried about pace, distance, placing in age divisions, && being the best. I am a mother runner, and that in itself is medal worthy && my trophy is my sweet baby boy.  I’m already a winner in my eyes!  <3

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imagesTanya

Friday Five on a Sunday Schedule

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So clearly Friday got away from me && obviously Saturday too, but I wanted to talk about some essentials for me this week && really some things I’ve been using daily for awhile now.



 

A little while back, I was approached about product from a company called Evolv. This company stood out to me, not necessarily for their products, at first, but for their goals, their message, and the difference they are making in the world.  It was something that really sparked a fire in me.

The EvolvHealth “Change Your Life, Change the World™” Mission is to eradicate childhood malnutrition through our Buy 1, Nourish 2™ giving initiative. This mission is powered and sustainably funded by our revolutionary Social Business 3.0 model that promotes our proprietary line of advanced nutritional products enabling millions to Reboot their health while richly rewarding those who choose to champion our cause.

My fav products from them are their E N E R G Y packets for your water, and their PB Crunch Bars. 2014_0711_AccordionBanners_Fuel_SGC

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I’ve been using the FUEL as my energy in the mornings, in place of coffee sometimes, or before my run time.  And the bars are so good, without any crap in them. I enjoy one as a snack everyday.  They have so many other products to offer, if you want to check out the link I provided.  Let me know what you think too, if you’ve tried the products already, or if you are interested in trying something.❤



The next item I’ve been enjoying lately is Becky Wade’s “Run the World” novel.  It is so good.  It is refreshing to hear about the differences in one simple concept of running, yet how alike it remains in the way it changes people’s lives.  EVERYONE is a runner. I say it time && time again.  If you run//jog//turtle crawl as some of you call it, you are a runner.  Anyone can be a runner.  We might not all be Olympic//BQ athletes, but we have the heart that embodies all a runner needs. This book displays that and more.  The guts, glory, and yummy foods runners eat.  I highly recommend it!  :)

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I hate to think that my Friday Five always revolve around food, but let’s be honest, without food we really aren’t living!  :)❤ So my next item just so happens to be one that the ladies at Fit Approach && Prana have teamed up with as their next campaign.  So Organic Valley made this high protein milkshake that makes my taste buds ridiculously happy, especially post run, and its packed with 26 grams of protein . Plus, who doesn’t love chocolate milk?  Anyways, the great thing about my sharing this is that I am going to let you in on a contest that they are doing with Prana (( which by the way, has the cutest most functional clothes EVER).

CLICK THE LINK to be entered into the running as one of  ten winners to swing away with some awesome Organic Fuel swag, a two-month supply of Organic Fuel and $300 in credit to use on prAna.com!

http://www.drinkorganicfuel.com/promo.php ❤❤



My fourth necessity of the week is my Baby K’tan wrap carrier. This gem has changed the game as a busy mom trying to get stuff done. Clayton can usually sleep anywhere, but sometimes he just wants his mommy, and that makes it difficult to get work done around the house.  PLUS, I would love to just cuddle him all day, everyday.  This wrap kind of lets you have the best of both worlds.  <3 It’s easy to use, versatile in the way the baby is held, and fits comfortably.  Happy baby, makes a happy mommy.❤

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And last, but not least, dry shampoo from batiste.  Getting showers in on the daily are tough.  And when you finally get a chance to, its like a race to beat the clock ((baby)).  So more times then none, I run to this bad boy to take care of my hair needs.

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I apologize for my delay in time && days, but thanks for checking out my Friday Five && don’t forget to enter into the PRANA && Organic Fuel Contest!  Until next week love bugs!

imagesTanya❤

From Miss Independent to Miss Depended On

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Minus the alcoholic beverage, this picture just about sums up my life. Add some laundry, baby spit up, some colicky tendencies, and postpartum high blood pressure issues && you just might understand what it is like becoming a mom. MAYBE….



Now I am fully aware that no two stories are the same, but from the outpouring of love && support from my family//friends, and social media gurus, I am learning that more times than none, we have all experienced the same things when becoming mamas.  I guess the parts that make it different fall on a more emotional level &&how we handle things mentally.



Pre Clayton days, I was this crazy independent women ((still am)), always on the go, striving for more. I would do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  Maybe it was because of my childhood upbringing, or the fast paced world we live in, but either way, I would jump at any opportunity regardless of the outcomes.  I depended on no one.   What I had, I earned.  What I wanted, I worked my ass off for.  I was emotionally strong, because I had to be. I built walls around me.  No one or nothing could hurt me ((anymore)).

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After Clayton, those emotions began to break down.  I found myself vulnerable again. When he cried, I cried.  When he was in pain, I was in pain.  When he was happy, I was happy ((&& still cried)).  His being; his little life, stripped me raw. I am emotional in every sense of the way.  I fear like I’ve never feared.  I call my pediatrician like they are my own personal help.  I get stressed much faster and much easier.  I feel like I get nothing accomplished && struggle to find the time to eat.  I used to be so scheduled about everything in life. NOW, a schedule?  What is that anyways?  Is it Monday?  What month are we even in?  The days fly by in a blink of an eye && yet sometimes I feel like they aren’t moving at all.

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BUT he has taught me how to feel love much deeper, hope much stronger && believe much harder. I went from being Miss Independent to Miss Depended On.  I am forever a mom first.  I am forever loved by this sweet boy.  I am forever changed.  I am forever blessed.  Because he is everything I’ve ever wanted && more, that makes any feeling I experience so worth it.  <3



No matter how we handle becoming a mother, we all experience what it means to love a child unconditionally, no strings attached.  We all become a Miss Depended On && I know I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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imagesTanya❤

Friday Five

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Many of you have asked for me to do a Friday Five segment on my blog.  I think I might have done it a couple of times [[called it my Friday Faves..yes? no? maybe? I THINK SO]].

Anyways, so now that I am a stay at home mommy, I tend to lose track of EVERYTHING ((time, items, days of the week, my own head sometimes)) && the one necessity that hasn’t left my side is the my baby tracker app.

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It is a free app that literally keeps me sane.  Clayton’s eating is sometimes on a schedule, but mostly whenever he wants.  However, after switching pediatricians, who can I just say has helped with Clayton’s tummy troubles tremendously, he wants Clayton to be on a schedule closer to 4oz every 4 hours.  He also thinks the app is a joke && that I should throw it away haha, which I can see why he thinks that.  It was feeding into my OCD with Clayton, and causing me to worry way more than I needed to.  I still use it though, strictly for the hour that he ate.  If I didn’t keep it some where, I would have no idea if he ate 30 minutes ago or 12 hours ago.  SECRETLY THOUGH, I need it for my OCD.  I like to rest assured that he is pooping at least once a day, and how much sleep he gets.  I guess that’s the special ed data freak in me, who knows.

 

My next MUST HAVE item for the week is obvi those blueberry Clif Bars I keep talking about.  Finding time to eat is rare.  I am surprised I’m not super skinny and wasted away yet.  I find I just graze on food now, rather than having actual meals.  So the Clif Bar has become my breakfast go-to when I want to sneak in a run//ride in the morning.  SO GOOD!🙂

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Let’s see….my next fav of the week is the new ProCompression SOM. The berry color is perf && we all know I am O B S S E S S E D with their products. It’s been a saving grace to my poor out of shape legs, especially with preventing shin splints with all the treadmill running I’ve been having to do.
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My fourth must have item for the week is my TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller.  #hurtssogood❤  I’ve always had a love//hate relationship with foam rolling or stretching in general.  I would say I am lazy when it comes to that.  But after last years foot injury while marathon training && now not running in over a month, I’ve been trying to make more of a conscientious effort in hitting the roller EVERYDAY!  Plus, every workout I do now, leaves me sore.  That’s a good thing, YES, but also makes it difficult to get moving the next day!  I am still in awe at how fast you lose muscle and endurance versus how long it takes to acquire and build it.

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Last, but certainly not least, is my TeamiBlend teas.  The R E L A X has helped me tremendously with falling asleep and not worrying so much about every sound Clayton makes throughout the night.  It is a soft minty flavor that cleanses the pallet too.  The skinny tea has made a difference in my cravings && has a subtle taste that makes it so versatile to anyone’s liking.  FOR 10% off your purchase, enter code: TANYAC

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What are your Friday Favs?

imagesTanya❤

 

Giving Up or Giving In

“Breast is BEST!” I know this, the doctors know this, the world know this.  But what the world doesn’t know, is that it is easier said then done….

I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby long before he was even a thought.  Everything about it was everything I ever wanted.  The bond, the health benefits, the savings. I was going to be one of those mama’s who didn’t give a crap about what people thought, and would whip those bad boys out whenever my baby wanted them.

True life. Things don’t always go as planned.

I may have been prepared for an early delivery, but I wasn’t prepared for the work that breastfeeding entails. I didn’t know that my body wouldn’t be able to produce enough milk for him && how much work it would be just to make 15ml. I didn’t know that I would have to wake up every two hours in the hospital to pump, to produce literally nothing. I had no idea that it would be so physically, mentally and emotionally draining.

Because Clayton was in the NICU for his sugar levels, they had to give him formula to help regulate his numbers. The very first hour after Clayton was born, he latched on, and he latched on so well. I was excited about it.  They said preemies tend to have a hard time latching on, and that could lead to bottle feeding only. BUT in that moment, I was hopeful.  He was able to pull the good stuff out, but it still wasn’t enough to keep his levels up. So they took him from me, in order to continue with the bottle feeding.

In the beginning, I would pump for 20 minutes at a time, and get NOTHING!  NOTHING!  They said it was because he was early and my body doesn’t know yet.  They said it’s because I’m stressed.  They said it’s because the baby does a better job. Over and over they said it was okay, that it was coming.  By the third day, I was engorged.  I don’t even know how, because I wasn’t producing anything.  I swear the poor lactation lady lived with me. I was in so much pain, but she insisted it was good, it meant my milk was coming.  So we massaged, we iced, we heated, we pumped, we let little man latch on.  BUT still I would only make 20ml.

 

When we got home, I was so worried about his sugar levels dropping that we continued to breast feed && supplement with formula.  A week later (so two weeks after delivery), I still wasn’t producing.  I tried everything; lactation cookies, taking shots of Brewers Yeast, Mother’s tea, drinking all the water in the world.  BUT surprise, surprise, I wasn’t flowing with the goods.  I was able to get myself to produce max 40ml, but that was only once a day.  So I continued to see a lactation specialist, who helped me stay hopeful, but also continued to make me feel like poop.

I found myself getting so emotionally raped (pardon my language) by the whole ordeal.  Anytime people offered advice, or wanted to talk about it, I would just cry.  Cry because I felt like I was failing my baby.  Cry because I felt like an incompatible mother.  Cry because nothing was going the way I expected it to go.  Cry because I hated the way the world was judging me.  Cry because the doctor would look at me like I was a disgraceful mother.  Cry because I needed to.  It was the only way to deal with the situation.  There wasn’t an answer, a fix all.  But every time I feel like giving up, I am reminded that something is better than nothing.

And just when I thought I had come to some kind of terms with the situation, Clayton began to have tummy troubles.  And the whirlwind of emotions started again.  Would he be having these issues if we could just exclusively breast feed?  It’s my fault he is in pain. And as I sit here and type this, I can’t help but cry again.  It is a hard pill to swallow.  Something you wanted so badly, just doesn’t work, no matter how hard you try and how much work you put into it.  But this time, it ins’t just about you, it’s about another life. A life that is looking to you for the answers.

Now that we seem to have his issues under control, I sit here and wonder if it is time to stop pumping, stop trying, stop stressing, and just give in to the situation.  Is it giving up or just giving in? I am not a quitter, and dislike the sound of giving up, but I am also so done with being so emotionally invested into something that just isn’t changing.

I am so torn. I don’t want to cry about it anymore. BUT I just can’t seem to close the book to this chapter.❤

 

 

An Unexpected Arrival: Clayton Tucker

This is my birth story of the most amazing, tiny, miraculous, totally unexpected little boy.

Where does one even start when telling the wonderful book of life that is life itself?  Days prior to the start of a brand new life, I had just visited the doctors for a checkup.  I remember dreading her last words to me, “Tanya, stop worrying about having a preemie.  You are going to go past your due date.”

At the time, I got a little upset.  I wanted my baby boy to keep cooking, but I couldn’t bare the thought of what it was going to feel like to gain more weight, and spend the rest of the summer pregnant.  The world says that premature babies are not genetic, but in all my experiences, it seems that if you were a preemie yourself, you have a preemie as well.  If some of you did not know, I spent most of my pregnancy worrying about having my little guy early ((hence I packed my bags at 32 weeks–the exact time I was born)).  All over social media, friends of friends, it seemed like everyone was having their babies early.  I think it is only natural to fear the same for yourself.

So anyways, back to my story.  Sunday evening ((June 26th)) Chris said let’s go to bed.  I couldn’t without unpacking and repacking the hospital bags per the checklist I found.  He laughed at me and told me to stop worrying.  BUT, call it intuition, or just a super OCD individual,  I had to do it again.  It would’ve kept me up all night if I hadn’t.  Flash-forward to midnight.  I woke up to do my usual hourly pee, and when I went, I couldn’t believe the amount that came out.  I had a quick paranoid reaction that my water broke, because that is how it tends to happen to most women, on the toilet, and they don’t even know it.  BUT then I said to myself, “Darn, that’s the last time I chug a glass of water before bed.”

As I stood up though, more liquid came out, and I instantly thought my water broke again, or that I was getting that incontinence people talk about getting in the third trimester.  I was so embarrassed and terrified about how I was going to hide that for another month.  The more I walked around, the more stuff came out.  I texted my mom and asked her if she thinks my water broke.  I wasn’t having any pain whatsoever though, so I got back in bed.  Two seconds later, MORE stuff came out.  I finally decided, okay, yes, this is it. My water broke.  By this time, Chris was already up, because I was pacing and screaming, “MORE!” over and over again, while running back to the toilet.

We decided it was best to call the doctor, who said the only way to check was to go to the hospital, and so we did.  I didn’t really have any emotions, other than get me to MORRISTOWN, before this baby makes an appearance.  Morristown is the closest hospital with the B E S T  NICU around.  They work some serious miracles there and I knew that is where I needed to be.  At 35 weeks pregnant, babies can be fully developed and only need to pack on the fat, but still 5 weeks early is five weeks early.

BUT my doctor delivers at Hackettstown, so that is where we had to go first. We got to Hackettstown hospital, right down the road from us, and they confirmed my water broke, hooked me  up to machines, and gave me the most painful shot I have ever experienced in my life.  Because I was 5 weeks early, they gave me a steroid shot (one of two) to  help boost little man’s lungs.  You have to get the second shot 24 hours later.  If you’ve ever had a shot in your butt, you know my pain.  It burned like none other, and then it felt like someone just pummeled the heck out of your butt cheek, punching it over and over.  OUCH! After an hour wait, I was off in an ambulance to Morristown.  The longest ride of my life.  It was bouncy, they went way out of their way to get there, I wanted to sleep, but couldn’t close my eyes.  I kept checking that Chris was still behind us every minute.  I tried to make small talk with the EMT, she wasn’t amused.  So I prayed and prayed that I made it and we both remained safe.

When I arrived, they didn’t even know I was coming ((poor communication among the hospitals)), so I got all worried, as usual.  BUT they found me a room, they just needed to find me a nurse.   The first plan was to go ahead and induce me right then, for fear of infection with the baby.  BUT then they decided to let me get the second shot of steroids 24 hours later, to improve the function of his lungs. SO yes, I had to get that painful shot AGAIN, on the other butt cheek. From that point on, it was literally a waiting game. Research shows that the steroid shots need 24 hours after each one to really take affect and reach the baby.  So, Tuesday morning around 8am, they induced me with pitocin.   Because I wasn’t dilated at all, they said we could be in labor for hours and days. Lack of sleep, plus anxiety about the near future made it impossible to think, sleep, or really absorb anything that was happening.

And then the dreaded contractions started.  They weren’t so bad at first, and I could breath through them. My nurse kept saying, “You don’t have to be a hero, the girl next door just got her epidural, and she is at the same point as you.”  I remember saying they weren’t bad and as long as I got a break in between to catch my breath, I was okay.  That lasted like 30-40 minutes, and then I was desperate.  The contractions became minutes apart and the pain was so bad I couldn’t control my breathing, and it made me cry like a big baby.

Then my hero came; the anesthesiologist.  As much as I wanted the epidural, I was traumatized by the thought of getting it.  Too many movies, and too many stories read about incidences that occurred.  BUT the contractions are no joke.  KUDDOS TO THE MAMAS WHO DELIVER NATURAL!  Like for real.  I would bow at your feet if we ever met.  I couldn’t hang haha.  The epidural wasn’t that bad, just weird. && once the meds hit, I was like a jello blob.  I couldn’t move my legs on their own, or sit up without help.  It was fab.  And then the epidural came out, well was only shooting down my right side of the body, and the contractions came back, as well as one seriously numb right thigh.  Like when you go to the dentist and your lip feels fat.  That was my poor thigh.  The nurse thought it might’ve been because I had to pee.  So she cathed me.  Another first experience, but I couldn’t feel anything anyways, so who knows.  But even after I filled an entire bag, the contractions were still miserable. SO in came my hero anesthesiologist again, and he re-did my epidural.  That second one was a gem.  MORE about that later.

Shortly after, the doctor came in maybe 6 hours into labor and said I was 5 cm dilated.  He went on with is presumptions and said it was going to be awhile yet.  I couldn’t imagine going 72 hours without sleep, and then trying to push a baby out.  I was beginning to get super nervous.  Luckily, about 15 minutes later, I told the nurse  I thought I had to poop, but that I was afraid to try, because it could be the baby.  I really couldn’t make out the difference.  So she left to find the doctor.  In that short 5 minutes, I kept telling Chris I was afraid to fart, push or anything, because I really think it’s the baby.  When the doctor came in, he said there’s no way I went from 5cm to 10cm in 20 minutes, but then sarcastically said, “Oh, you’re having a baby.”  At first I was thought he was joking, because that’s how he was the entire time we engaged with him, and so I said something about pooping, and he responded, “Oh, I’m not kidding. You’re having a baby!” IT WAS GO TIME!  I didn’t take classes, I didn’t watch movies.  I wanted to go into this without expectations of fears.

That didn’t matter.  When he said you’re having a baby, I became so excited && completely terrified.  “Was he going to be all right”, that was my biggest concern.  BUT I’ve prayed with little man everyday since finding out he was a part of our lives, and knew God would take care of us. That didn’t stop me from asking if he was okay after every push.  After about 4-5 pushes, his head was already crowning, and my hubby had started to cry.  Because my epidural was so good the second time around, I couldn’t feel a thing.  The nurses and doctor would have to tell me when to push.  About 8 pushes later (17 minutes)), little man made his appearance.  AND MY WATERWORKS BEGAN!❤

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Because he was a preemie, they put him on my chest quickly enough for a kiss, and then took him to his own little room, where they did all their magical things.  My hubby went with them.  It was kind of nerve wrecking seeing them work on your baby from afar, but not knowing what was going on.  I just kept watching my husbands face and the tears streaming down his cheeks.  He was happy, so I knew everything was all right.  They brought him back to me for a little to hold him and love him, before taking him to the nursery.

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My boys were gone, and I was left to give birth to my placenta and get stitched up. It seemed like forever before Chris came back to see me.  BUT when he did, I was so happy to hear Clayton was doing just fine, minus some glucose levels.

My boys in the nursery.  They wanted to bring him to me for some skin-to-skin, but I wasn’t in my recovery room yet. But I did make a pit stop on the way to see him.

When I finally got settled into my room, they brought Clayton to me. And let me tell you, that boy knows his mama. He just stared up at me with his beautiful little eyes, and I was in love.  Deep, unconditional, indescribable love.  My heart became his, and he became mine.❤

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I didn’t get to spend very long with him, as they wanted to observe him in the Nursery for the night, to continue to monitor his glucose levels.  Around 3am, the doctor came in and told me they had moved Clayton to the NICU because his levels dropped.  I just remember crying.  Not fully understanding the severity of anything, just the words NICU was enough.  BUT he reassured us that he was doing great, they just needed nurses more skilled in this area to watch over him.  He wasn’t going to be hooked up to machines, other than the heart rate and blood pressure screen.  He just needed to eat, and eat a lot. It was tough not being with my baby, but I knew I could go see him anytime I wanted.

The next morning, I couldn’t wait to go see my baby.  I felt like I hadn’t really truly seen him, or loved him since his birth.  I just cuddled him until it was feeding time, and learned the ropes of taking his temperature, watching them prick his tiny little foot, adapting to changing a diaper on something so teeny with wires in the way, to feeding and burping him.  I knew how to do all of these things prior to his arrival, but he size and in my mind fragile state, I was so cautious and afraid to do anything.  BUT LET ME TELL YOU, those nurses kind of throw them around like nothing ((not aggressively, they’ve just been doing it forever and know)). Most of our nurses for Clayton were fabulous.  SO nice, encouraging, understanding, and super supportive.  Every three hours, for about three days, I would go back up and spend an hour with my baby boy.

Daddy would come after work and feed him too. And my heart would melt all over again!❤

Because of my postpartum hypertension issues, I had to stay an extra day in the hospital too.  It was kind of secretly nice, because I was still in the same building as my baby, and didn’t have to leave him behind, when we went home.  I am still struggling with this hypertension stuff. They said it happens to women sometimes, when their bodies haven’t realized they are no longer pregnant, and their hormones are all out of whack.  Apparently, it can take the full 6 weeks to settle itself out.

We only had to go home one day without baby Clayton.  It was rough, but knowing we got to bring him home the next day made it a lot easier. In order for our boy to come home with us, he had to pass the car seat test.  I was worried he wouldn’t pass because of his size, and how tiny he sits in it.  But he stayed sound asleep for the entire hour he was in there, and passed!  :)  YAY!!  For as much as I was so excited to take him home, and that he was actually healthy enough to go home, I was still so afraid.  For three days, I stared at a monitor that told me he was okay, and everything was fine.  AND NOW, he was going to come home without the help of a machine telling us he is just fine.  BUT who was I kidding, we are so blessed to be able to bring him home only four days old, at 35 weeks gestation.

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That car ride home was one of the most agonizing experiences of my life.  I didn’t take my eyes off of him for one second, and kept sticking my finger under his nose, to make sure he was breathing just fine.  When we finally got home, the real fun began.

Clayton is almost two weeks old already, and my love for him just grows and grows by the minute.  His quirky little personality already makes me laugh.  His smirks, and little routines he has are entertaining.  I count my blessings everyday for this little boy.  God is so good, and being a mommy is the best feeling in the world.

Even through the rough nights, exhausting days, sleepless feedings, and troubles with breastfeeding, I could not be anymore thankful to be this boy’s mama.  I feel so honored and loved.

HE IS EVERYTHING!❤

My heart is full, my world is complete, && I cannot wait to see how this amazingly sweet, and precious boy changes my life daily.

❤ X0X0

Tanya && baby Clayton🙂

 

 

Maternity Photo Shoot <3

 

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My journey through this pregnancy has been one of the craziest rides I’ve ever experienced.  If you’ve been following me from the beginning, you already know it hasn’t been the easiest.  From receiving potentially devastating news, to seeing your baby for the first time, to hearing his little heart beat, the ups and downs have been some of the most taxing times of my life. BUT I thank God everyday for bringing us to 34 weeks with our sweet baby boy, and for every little kick//punch//hiccup he makes.

Words cannot even begin to explain the love I have for this boy.  I’ve heard other women say the same thing, and always wondered how you couldn’t put words to feelings.  The intensity of it all truly renders you speechless.  He is a part of me.  He is my reason.  He is my life.  He was the missing piece to a full heart.  I CANNOT WAIT TO MEET HIM!  <3

 



 

The hubby and I have always been simple people.  We do not like fancy or foofy.  Our wedding was all DIY and under $2,000 && the same went with EVERYTHING baby related.  Our announcement photos were taken by my MIL, my baby shower was simple, but perfect, && I wanted our maternity pictures to be the same.  Luckily we have some tremendous people in our lives, one of them having a father who loves photography.  They live on a beautiful piece of land && offered their home, time, and love to us.  We didn’t need to spend thousands of dollars to capture the beauty of becoming parents.  I am so thankful for the people in our lives && the continued blessing God bestows upon us.

The Instagram community is so good to me.  For the next photos, I won a contest held by Angela (@runlikekale) and received a $75 gift card to pinkblushmaternity.With that gift card, I was able to get two beautiful dresses.  The blue and white one I wore for my baby shower && this lovely little gem.  Thank you so much Angela for hosting the giveaway && for giving me the chance to win this dress!  I LOVE IT && will continue to rock it after baby boy gets here!  <3

These photos were so fun to take.  My friends dad was pretty obsessed with this cowboy hat, and if you know my hubby, he is not a cowboy haha!  So to see him “modeling” this hat made my day!  I couldn’t stop smiling && of course laughing every time they told me to be serious or make a different kind of face.  I only know how to smile folks.  Especially when you point it out to me.  :)



 

For the last couple of photos, a beautiful company, that makes gorgeous dresses reached out to me on IG and asked if they could sponsor me ((sewtrendyaccessories)).  Of course I said yes!  Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to look beautiful in one of their dresses? At first I didn’t think I was a fan of the dress.  It is a stunning piece of art, and looks amazing on other women, but when I put it on, I didn’t think I looked good.  But when I got the pictures back, I was pleasantly surprised with how well they turned out && fell in love with the dress.

 

My gratitude towards this whole day && experience will never go unknown.  I am so thankful for the people in our lives.  The support. The love.  The caringness.  I am humbled && honored to be well taken care of and thought about.  Thank you to Mr. Dorlan for taking our photos and capturing such a special time in our lives.  Thank you to PinkBlushMaternity and SewTrendyAccessories for making me feel beautiful and providing the gorgeous dresses for this photo-shoot.  Thank you to my love, for putting up with the outfit changes, posing, and countless smiles needed to make this day happen.  I love you.  <3  AND thank you to you guys, my followers, my friends, and my family.  We love you and appreciate everything you do for us.  :)

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imagesTanya